Friday, August 3, 2012

Sarah Palin--conservatives false political idol

PJ:  Yesterday, I posted an article from the London Telegraph by Tim Stanley who usually heaps praise on Sarah Palin.  Since then, I have read more articles propping up this false idol for American conservatism. The author from the Telegrah has, in the past, suggested that Palin is the leader that the US needs.  He and others of his ilk gloss over the woman's gross lack of knowledge and  intellectual curiosity in doing so.  They celebrate her 'star power' but ignore her lack of knowledge about American history (search google for Sarah Palin's explanation of Paul Revere's ride) just as they defend her ineptidude about how the world really works.  They instead tout her 'King Maker' persona, ignoring her utter failures in supporting fringe candidates who lost sure-fire Republican seats by endorsing candidates too extreme to win like Doug Hoffman,Sharon Angel and Christine O'Donnell.  They laud her successes while omitting her big losses such as when she lent a stauch vocal support of Newt Gingrich in the Republican primaries.

It's almost as if there is an entire cottage industry of journalists so enamoured with the photogenic former half-term governor that reason has no place in their adoration.  In most cases, these writers and admirers of Mrs. Palin go back to the speech she delivered at the Republican convention four years ago as the reason for their adoration.  'She knocked it out of the park' is the fawning praise you hear and read.  Did they forget that Mrs. Palin did not write that speech?  They can credit her for a great delivery, just like you can credit a great actress for flawlessly delivering the lines written for her, but they can not credit her for the words she recited.  That credit belongs to speech writer Matthew Sculley who had prepared most of the speech prior to Mrs. Palin's selection.  Did they forget that many of her unscripted moments since has given fodder to late night comedians and caused conservatives to squrim in embarrassment?  Did they not listen to her disjointed and rambling resignation speech in Alaska that she wrote and delivered within months after losing the 2008 election?  Four years have passed but many in the conservative media still cite the convention speech as the crowning jewel in Mrs. Palin's crown and the biggest reason for their adoration.  With this type of thinking, I am surprised that Angela Jolie has not been prodded by these same people to join US security forces because of her portrayl of Laura Croft. 

Sadly, many in conservative circles allowed Mrs. Palin to remain a force in conservative politics after she showed her unpreparedness during the 2008 election.  Leaders, recognizing her appeal to their base, advised her to return to Alaska and govern effectly as she studied diligently.  She did neither. Still, the leadership thought that they could use her to benefit the GOP just as they grabbed hold of the Tea Party, making it nothing more than the extreme end of their party. Fox News propped her up and gave her a platform to say whatever she liked, they made her a political pundit, they made a woman with no background or true understanding of America's founding documents into a constitutional expert.  You would have thought that conservative party leaders would have taken pause in promoting someone so lacking in  basic knowledge.  I would have thought that they would remember how decades earlier they had courted evangelicals for their votes...a group who now controls the party and who now holds so much power in the GOP that moderate voices are drummed out of their ranks and non-believers are executed at the voting booth. 

Politics in the US have become so poloraizing that nothing can get done for the benefit of the citizens of that country.  The left is not blameless but the right is currently leading the charge.  Republicans in Congress will vote against anything that the President proposes.  Right leaning media will invent controversies against the President and celebrate anyone who can put in a dig or two against him based on nothing more than hate for the man in the oval office.  Sarah Palin is one of the biggest named players in this entire effort.  She is a media-made sensation who has grabbed hold of any spotlight available to say whatever her fans want to hear.  She plays to the base and discredits herself and her own background.  She promoted 'death panels' during the health-care debates about end-of-life planning which was later fact-checked and deemed the biggest lie of the year.  Didn't anyone notice that while Governor of Alaska she promoted the same kind of end-of-life planning for Alaskan citizens? 

Whether she is driven by the need to be in the spotlight (and the easiest way to do that is to play to the fans she has garnered in the right-wing fringe) or whether she is still playing out childish resentments because she lost her bid for the Vice Presidency to the Obama and Biden ticket, she is a woman bent on stirring the pot.   Sadly neither is enough of a reason to prop her up and even less of a reason to worship her. 

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