The GOP’s ‘Palin problem’ is much bigger than one person

I tried.

I tried to watch Sarah Palin’s 35-minute speech to the Iowa Freedom Summit, right after she had declared herself “seriously interested” in running for president. I could not come close to finishing it, largely because the embarrassment I felt on her behalf was more than I could bear. I finally ended her misery and mine as well by shutting it off.

For those with a higher tolerance for humiliation humor, the whole thing is on YouTube. But here’s a bit of it in as large a dose as I could personally handle:

Even most conservatives found it deeply uncomfortable. Writing about “the GOP’s Palin problem,” conservative writer Byron York calls the performance “long… rambling … barely coherent ….petty”. He quotes conservatives in the Iowa audience who called it “terrible,” “weird”, “sad”, “painful.” And he strongly suggests that the Republican Party find some way to keep Palin far away from more serious candidates for the GOP nomination, where she can do no more damage to herself or her party.

I agree that the GOP has a “Palin problem,” but my understanding of it is considerably more broad than what York describes. In fact, Palin is merely a symptom of that problem, not its cause and not its its primary example. You could also call it the “Herman Cain problem,” the “Donald Trump problem,” the “Ben Carson problem,” “the Benghazi problem”, “the birth certificate problem”, “the no-go zone problem” ….

From the moment Palin made her entrance on the national stage, it was glaringly apparent that this is who she was and is — utterly unqualified for high office. She lacked experience, intellect, temperament and even basic curiosity about how the world worked, and the thought that she would be one heart-beat away from the presidency should have been terrifying to anyone who cares about this country and its future.

But the refusal of most conservatives to acknowledge what was screamingly obvious at the time was disheartening. To hear them tell it, Palin was merely the victim of a biased liberal media, and they closed their eyes and ears to anything but the emotions of resentment, victimhood and frustration that she tapped among the GOP base.

That’s a real problem. It’s hard to work out our very real political differences when a large portion of the electorate retreats inside a protective bubble, where you can believe what you choose to believe and you can find comfort in the company of many others doing the same. And if you can talk yourself into believing that Palin was in any way tolerable for the position that she sought, you can talk yourself into believing almost anything.

Nicolle Wallace, in an appearance on “Morning Joe” earlier today, pointed out that Byron York, the same Byron York now so critical of Palin, “had been one of her staunchest defenders” back in 2008. “I remember being on the cell phone with him –he was one of the harshest critics of the (McCain) campaign’s handling of her,” said Wallace, who served as Palin’s top staffer at the time. “He really thought that the problem with Palin was in our packaging of Palin. And to kind of see him come full circle — I mean, this is who she is.”

Since ’08, Wallace has admitted that even during the campaign she had grave reservations about Palin and her emotional and mental stability. She has even suggested that had McCain won, the Republican Party would have tried to prevent Palin from becoming vice president, which is ludicrous. But despite her profound misgivings, Wallace played the game too, claiming for example that Palin “did fantastic” in her interview with Katie Couric and complaining about “the vicious hate-filled commentary coming out of so many of the women in cable news. It’s something I’ve never seen before. I find it startling and stunning.”

“My personal theory is that she’s something that they can’t grasp. They don’t know how to process her. She is beautiful, accomplished, successful, pro-gun and pro-life. They’ve never seen all those things in one package. She totally disorients many in the liberal media, especially a lot of the women.”

Finally, Palin too is a victim in this. She found herself thrust into a situation for which she was totally unprepared and ill-equipped, a situation in which she was guaranteed to come off as a fool and eventually a laughingstock, and that is exactly what has come to pass. She’s an object of pity, and the liberal media didn’t do that to her. John McCain did, with an important assist from those who pretended to see her as someone she could never ever be.

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1183 comments
ATLJacket
ATLJacket

Nice article. Agree 100%. Now, let's forget she ever existed and stop making stupid people famous. News and aggregate websites who are mostly reduced to "click-bait" these days need to stop putting up references to this train wreck. Let her fade away into obscurity where she should have always been anyways.

fedup52
fedup52

Uncle Samantha

++++

You are right about that climate changing all the time.  If you read a little bit deeper you will find that some climate change have resulted in loss of 85-96% of all life.  This has happened quite a few time on this earth.  Right now we are in the process of annihilating a few species. 

UncleSamantha
UncleSamantha

@fedup52


WE?

A FEW?


LOL


WE ARE ELIMINATING  LOTS OF SPECIES


BUT NOT BY CLIMATE CHANGE



AND THE SUN IS CHANGING THE CLIMATE

AND WE ARE CONTRIBUTING 



Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Palin is like a toothache that won't go away.  You treat it and you treat it.  Finally, you just PULL the %$&# thing!  Pull the media plug on Palin, like the Octomom, Jim Bob and Sarah Sue,  and the other publicity hounds.

straker
straker

53% 


I have not ever read where any of these scientists have said their beliefs are ABSOLUTE scientific fact.


And, I can only guess your "engineering degree" was gotten from the back of a pack of matches.

straker
straker

Jaysbehind "why not'


Did you see, at the bottom, that most of these scientists are NOT atmospheric scientists?


Do you understand what that means in terms of their criticism?


jaysbehind
jaysbehind

The Northeast is freezing but don't let the global warming narrative stop for "you people"...

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@jaysbehind It's called GLOBAL warming, not just one little provincial speck on the globe.  And the situation in the NE is directly related to the GKOBAL warming.

UncleSamantha
UncleSamantha

@Wascatlady @jaysbehind


FOR GOD'S SAKE


IT WAS CHANGED TO 


GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE


THAT WAY IT CAN'T BE DENIED


SINCE EVERYONE KNOWS 


THE CLIMATE HAS CHANGED 


ALWAYS


LOL

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

"Get lost social conservatives. You're ignorance and superstition are a stain not only on the GOP but on this great nation."


Says Breckenridge of the very people who built the nation that feeds his lazy a33 and fought for his right to be a worthless pile of dung.  A simple "thank you" would do you well, breck.

straker
straker

53% - "are those the scientists you're talking about"


Yes.


Your comments show only a slight understanding of Evolution, The Big Bang and Climatology.


You need much more formal education in science before posting any more half-baked opinions here.


Here's a tip.


These scientists know far more about this than Rush, Glen and your fundamentalist youth pastor.

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

@straker And you need a dictionary to look up the word "THEORY".  You apparently have absolutely no idea what the word means and have confused it with the word "FACT".  


And I'll put my engineering degree up against your "took some classes at tech school" any day, fool.  

breckenridge
breckenridge

 "You're against abortion? Okay, that's fine.  But if you're against abortion you must also be willing to take care of kids that are born into poverty."  Governor Chris Christie, R-New Jersey, responding to a question from a lady who asked him why he's not more outspoken against abortion, December 2014


Not only does Christie gets right to the heart of the matter, but he also points out the blatant  hypocrisy of social conservatives. Anti-choice = expansion of the welfare system.

The religious right despises Christie, which was why he was resoundingly booed Saturday night at the dog and pony show in Iowa.  The 1200 attendees were all social conservatives, which means that canes, wheel chairs, walkers and Depends were the order of the day.


Get lost social conservatives. You're ignorance and superstition are a stain not only on the GOP but on this great nation.

Mandingo
Mandingo

No need to pity or feel embarrassed for Palin. She is laughing all the way to the bank. She should team up with Kim Kardashian and then she could really skin these fools out of some money.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@TBS 

Question:  Why would you say Washington-back Kiev but not Russian-backed federalist?

***
Simple. Because I see the Kiev regime getting much more direct backing from Washington than the federalists in the Donbass are getting from Russia. But of course there is no small amount of rhetorical flourish involved in my choice, since the truth of the matter is that the phenomenon is (deliberately) murky and none of us really knows for sure.

straker
straker

Lenin - "shifting blame away from itself and on to the Russians"


Which is exactly where you and I both know it belongs.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@straker

Well, that's what the liberals and the cons are determined to believe. 

Despite a complete lack of evidence to support such a claim.

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

There's also this:

'New-home sales rise 11.6% to 481,000 annual rate in December



straker
straker

53%


Its interesting, in a pitiful and pathetic sort of way, to see you and other dullards here actually believing you know more than top NASA and NOAA scientists.

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

@straker You mean the same sorts of people who believe life started when a cell decided it wanted to live among the primordial soup they can't explain the origin of even though none of the positive additions to the genetic string it would require HAVE NEVER BEEN OBSERVED?  And the ones who believe a ball of explainable origin went "bang" in a big way and created a bunch of perfectly round debris?  And the ones who believe the oil we're pumping from the ground are from fossilized matter that must have once existed in a now barren desert that couldn't possibly have supported that much matter (unless the climate changed without the influence of man....)


Are those the scientists you're talking about?  

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

"You mean, from Jay?

Well, he could make some hay from the usual silly statements that (I'm sure) are out there from some of the more prominent AGW deniers, I guess."


They couldn't get today's forecast right YESTERDAY, but you're absolutely convinced their 100 year projection of a 2 degree increase is spot on.  Have you considered you might believe that simply because you WANT to believe it?  It fits your agenda regardless whether it makes sense?  

JamVet
JamVet

@fiftythreepercenter 

Nobody of intellect or consequence (besides Sarah Palin, LOLOLOL!!!) cares what you dimwitted, uneducable Republicans think.

Hint, fake Jesus boy: the planet isn't 6,000 years old, all of the animal species were not loaded two by two onto some tiny boat and Eve was not born of Adam...

YOU do not have even the most BASIC knowledge to even attempt to do anything other than embarrass yourself in public on these matters. 

Keep the laughs coming though!

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

Crappy day on Wall Street, but there is this:

'Consumer confidence jumped in January to the best reading since August 2007'

Thank you, President Obama.

UncleSamantha
UncleSamantha

TIME FOR LEFTIES TO OPEN UP A NEW MUSEUM OF THEIR HEROES


HONORING


BENEDICT ARNOLD 

ALGER HISS

THE ROSENBERGS

ALDRICH AMES

BERGDHAL

JIHAD JANE


LOL

JamVet
JamVet

@UncleSamantha 

Just as soon as you open up your "Hitler was a Great Republican!" museum, screamer!

The foyer could have a nice display detailing the identical philosophies between the German fascists and you American fascists! Maybe a nice diorama of how each sought to eliminate homosexuals!


Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Not sure if calling a former governor "governor" steps on the toes of the current governor. 

I'm about 99% certain that it never does. People who attain very high elected positions, like Governor, Senator, Congressman, or President, who are not currently serving some other elected position, are pretty routinely referred to, respectfully, by that title in person. 

Thus it was not disrespectful (to pick a famous example) for Obama to have said "Please proceed, Governor," when he did.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

 Isn't it about time that Obama honor another American hero in the Rose Garden?.

That reminds me--did anyone here happen to see Downton Abby Sunday last?

The topic of posthumously honoring a deserter (from the Great War) came up. 

It was quite moving, actually, and I suspect anyone who watched it would perhaps re consider the kind of flippant, judgmental treatment they may have afforded someone like Bergdahl in the past. (Perhaps.)

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Visual_Cortex 

Watched off the DVR last night...

War is hell, and those who are quick to judge those who took an oath to defend us do a disservice to all our troops, IMO.  (Hope ol' Carson changes his mind...)

Gmare
Gmare

Yes, I sawDpwnton last Sunday. I'm pulling for Mrs. Patmore!

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@Visual_Cortex I think it's an Agatha Christie book that addresses something like that.  One of her characters was being denigrated by a crusty old British army officer because he was not robust and strong (the implication was that he was a weakling and maybe even gay) and it turned out he was in poor health because his chest had been crushed when he was rescuing someone from a burning building.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Gmare

We all are.

It is interesting that the author of that series is a self-identifying Conservative. They're soooo much different in Britain than here, aren't they?

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Visual_Cortex  I'd like to hear what Jay makes of the President's India trip, or the Greek election, or junk-bondage of Russia, for example

***

What you might want to be concerned about is not so much the 'junk bondage' of Russia, but of Ukraine. 

The situation there is dire as ever, with the war between the Washington-backed Kiev regime and the federalists back to white hot, and the country facing utter economic collapse. 

But as for Jay's take, don't expect anything other than a retread of the US media line, which is cribbed straight from the US State Department talking points of shifting blame away from itself and onto the Russians.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LeninTime @Vindicator


What you might want to be concerned about is not so much the 'junk bondage' of Russia, but of Ukraine. 

Agreed; the bond rating was but a symptom.

UncleSamantha
UncleSamantha

@LeninTime @Vindicator


THE WEST PUTS SANCTIONS ON RUSSIAN


CAUSES PAIN TO THE PEOPLE


IN AN EFFORT TO BANKRUPT THE RUSSIAN OIL COMPANIES


SO THEY CAN SWOOP IN AND BUY THEM


BUT


PUTIN NOW CLOSES THE SPIGOT 


FOR NATURAL GAS TO FLOW TO EUROPE


CAUSING SHORTAGES AND PRICE SPIKES


WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING


LOL

TBS
TBS

@LeninTime @Visual_Cortex


Question:  Why would you say Washington-back Kiev but not Russian-backed federalist?

I understand your overall point is bigger than just this nuance but I don't think it was by accident that you phrased it the way you did.  

If you are going to be saying propaganda this and that it might be best not to be pushing your own overt and in this case covert propaganda. 

I'm not arguing that there is a total wrong or right on either side but I am pointing out your decision to highlight the side you are against and downplay the side you seem to be backing in this conflict. And I say "backing" based on numerous comments you have made in the past

KUTGF
KUTGF

 "Father, we cry out for the seven mountains of influence today," Mills said. "We pray that you will give us government, arts and entertainment, education, the church, and the family. That our ambassadors would occupy the high places. That you would bring us into a place of understanding that they need to be occupied by the body of Christ because it's rightfully His": - See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/bobby-jindals-prayer-rally-advocates-putting-christians-control-government-and-all-aspects-s#sthash.UUax8rzd.dpuf

________


Jindal is working hard with the TX "prophet" who brings back the dead to eliminate the Constitution. 

Gmare
Gmare

Is it just me, or has Gov. Jindal gotten nuttier?

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Gmare 

Jindal seems like a smart guy - I'm thinking he has to work real hard to seem this whacko.

kitty72
kitty72

@Gmare  Consider the state he is from. All that needs to be said. He has to act dumb to fit in.