Faint Praise for Palin

According to JR Dunn, there is a rift amond the pubbies

The selection of Sarah Palin as Republican vice-presidential candidate has revealed a serious chasm in conservatism, a chasm separating conservative elites – opinion leaders, pundits, spokesmen — from the vast population of center-right Americans they purport to represent.

If this is the choice of the conservative base, one said “Then we need a new base.”

The rift is between those that think that ordinary-person-off-the-street is just the kind of person you want as president and the east coast elitists like Charles Krauthammer and George Will and David Brooks who think Palin is a very lady lady but the potential ruler of the free world should be a little more curious about the world she might be ruling in a few months.

Ross Douhat has faint praise:

As a early Palin-booster who’s expressed disappointment with what we’ve seen from John McCain’s running mate to date, I think it’s reasonable for me to explain what, exactly, I was hoping for from the Alaska governor

Brooks is harsher

Democracy is not average people selecting average leaders. It is average people with the wisdom to select the best prepared.

Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she’d be your woman. But the constructive act of governance is another matter. She has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness.

The idea that “the people” will take on and destroy “the establishment” is a utopian fantasy that corrupted the left before it corrupted the right.

George Will thinks his fellow conservatives have been hit by Cupid’s arrow.

Conservatives, who reputedly have lumps of coal where their hearts should be, have fallen in love. So have many people who are not doctrinal conservatives. The world is a sweeter place because Sarah Palin has increased the quantity of love, but this is not a reliable foundation for John McCain‘s campaign.

JR thinksthe elitist conservatives have thrown their lot in with the elitist democrats

If they won’t recognize that, they won’t recognize anything. Living in a Northeast that is steadily combining aspects of a Third-World state and a suburban mall, they have lost sight of what America actually is. Huge gaps exist in their knowledge of the country. In the same way that liberals view the U.S. a racist, militarist monolith, the Northeast Corridor coterie view it as a cultural wasteland populated by backwoodsmen, halfwits who need to be guided by an enlightened but aloof elite.

That’s what they saw when Sarah Palin stepped before the public. Not a superb example of the 21st-century American woman, knowledgeable, capable, and admirable, but a hick with a roughneck husband and a load of kids. Quite the opposite of what the rest of the country saw, and accepted, and will likely send to Washington this November.

A few years ago, I start to wonder whther I’d see book burning in my life time. It seemed like the danger had passed but now I wonder whether book burning might be preferable to the demonisation of elitism – where anyone who has respect for competence or experience or ability is somehow suspect.

I have republican friends who think that McCain can ride the monster that the republican party has become. I think the monster is already riding him.

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

2 thoughts on “Faint Praise for Palin”

  1. > I have republican friends who think that McCain can ride the monster that the republican party has become

    Do you know if your friends also thought that Bush was going to be much better than everyone else anticipated in 2000 and even more so in 2004? Because if they’re wrong every time, maybe it’s okay to assume they will be wrong again.

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