Buona Sera, Governor Palin
Today, among the two main stories – the Obama transition, and the revelations of Sarah Palin’s bizarre candidacy – there was a side story about the loss of jobs in America. I guess it wasn’t all that sexy, so it was relegated to coverage of Wall Street; and since Wall Street opened in positive territory today, I guess it wasn’t all that important after all to the nattering nabobs of television. Seems our government has been keeping important information to itself in the run-up to Election Day. While over 250,000 jobs were lost in October, there was also released today a “revision” of September’s job loss numbers from 160,000 to 280,000. That’s almost twice as many as we were led to believe. Gee, do you think withholding that information might have been helpful to the McCain campaign as well as other Republicans running for re-election? Of course, it was.
But the news media, while not questioning the possible secret agenda of a Republican administration going into an election, did dish the dirt coming out of the McCain campaign post-mortem about Sarah Palin. And juicy it was. According to “high-level” operatives within the McCain campaign, including Nicole Wallace, Sarah Palin was a real dummy when not reading from her cue cards. Of course we saw this quite plainly in the Katie Couric interview. But the campaign itself at the time blamed the wily Couric for tricking poor Sarah into making a fool of herself. While before the cameras on the Today Show this morning, Ms. Wallace denied that she had said any of the things attributed to her about Governor Palin. But as Morning Joe himself pointed out, it is usual behavior for people in Ms. Wallace’s position to say one thing before the cameras and another behind the scenes.
What is shocking about the revelations is the utter ambition that John McCain showed in his bid for the presidency by first picking Palin and then defending a woman that he himself knew to be absolutely unqualified for the job for which he attempted to hire her. Things that came out were the fact that Ms. Palin didn’t know that Africa was a continent, not a nation. She asked if South Africa was just part of the country of Africa. I guess she thought it was just like her home state of Alaska.
Nicole Wallace is reported to have complained that Governor Palin refused to take her prep for the Couric interview seriously and often chose to follow her own course during the campaign. It is terrifying to believe that a woman who doesn’t remember anything taught in junior high school civics or geography class could become the leader of the free world, as we like to characterize our president. Here she sat poised to take the reins of our nation in the event that an old man without enough judgment to reject her nomination out of hand either died or lost his mental ability to lead. Frightening!
Then there’s that little matter of the Governor’s “fabulous” wardrobe. The word coming out of the failed campaign is that Sarah Palin herself did the shopping. The direct quote is too delicious not to repeat here. “The Palins were like The Wasilla Hillbillies looting their way through every Neiman-Marcus from coast to coast.” Isn’t that hilarious? Have to love it! But who is this swipe really at? Is it merely directed at Governor Palin, or is it also a jab at her lower income white voter admirers across the South? Joe Scarborough, I think rightly, pointed out that this will galvanize her supporters to rush to her defense. Then he dismissed the attacks as coming from a bunch of campaign workers who are now trying to deflect attention from their own failures in the McCain campaign. Well, Joe, that may be right, but I detect a different scenario behind this attack on Sarah Palin. You, of course, wouldn’t want to step on the toes of any potential Republican politicians looking forward to 2012. But I feel that there is foul play at the root of this. Joe blamed the Left, but this has the fingerprints of the Right all over it.
It is always important to remember one of the basic tenets of politics. When your opponent is self-destructing, get out of the way and stay quiet. Time and time again President-elect Barack Obama utilized this strategy, and look where he is today. I urge my fellow liberals and Democrats to not go on the attack against Sarah Palin, no matter how great the temptation is. Let the Republican Party fight its civil war. The long knives are out and clashing.
When your opponent is self-destructing, get out of the way and stay quiet.
In a poll released immediately after the election, self-identified Republicans were asked who the leader of their party should now be. Mitt Romney got the largest percentage – but not a majority. Mike Huckabee came in second, and Sarah Palin came in third. It is important to note that Huckabee and Palin together surpassed the total of Mitt Romney. The cultural conservatives are still a force to be reckoned with in the Republican Party. But the real money power of the party feels that it is really this group, cultural conservatives, that has led to the alienation of the American people. I happen to agree.
So as the Republicans struggle to right their ship, these two powerful factions are going to be duking it out. My prediction has always been that the powers that be within the Republican Party will do everything they can to discredit Governor Palin long before 2012 comes around, leaving her as a forgettable loser in 2008. That may prove harder than they think, but they do have one ace up their sleeve, Mike Huckabee. He appeals more to the Religious Right/cultural conservatives than even Sarah Palin. If these two leaders of that movement knock each other out, then the fiscal conservatives can start rebuilding their coalition with a weakened cultural conservative base. So we on the Left need only sit back and watch as an army of investigators dig through every bit of evidence they can find on Governor Palin up in Alaska until they find the self-inflicted wound that will kill her future candidacy.
I’ll put my money on Mike Huckabee to become the leader of the cultural conservatives. After all, he is a retired Baptist minister, and FOX NOISE has given him his own show to politic from. And from our side, if the cultural conservatives manage in their bid to take over the Republican Party in the next four years, a former Baptist minister will have a very difficult time convincing Independent voters that he can be trusted to stay out of their bedrooms and family matters. This does not, however, relieve us of the responsibility to keep a close watch on the Religious Right. They continue to be a force to be reckoned with. They are easily swayed by wolves in sheep’s clothing because it is their very nature to be followers. Adolf Hitler knew that, and some shrewd American wolf is sitting back licking his lips right now anticipating his move. Stay vigilant!
Well, that’s it for today. Yea for us, WE WON! But always KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT!