Sunday, November 22, 2009

More Palin

Writing in Foreign Policy, Annie Lowrey asks, Is There a Palin Doctrine? Based on Palin's just releases memoirs, the answer is no, or at least it is according to Lowrey.

The political world has been astir with the release of Palin's book, a sign that one year later, she may be an even more divisive figure than she was during the '08 election. The back and forth on Palin tends to go something like this: Liberals criticize her for being an unserious political candidate if not down right stupid, while conservatives rush to defend her against attacks from the liberal elite. In many ways, Sarah Palin represents a microcosm of political debate today, where style and what side you're on means more than substance. It's why I appreciated the short piece in Foreign Policy, which confirms my suspicions about the Palin book: that it's more concerned with gossip and score settling than it is with serious ideology or policy. Not that there's anything wrong with that per se, but it reinforces the idea that Palin's appeal is based solely on personality and the fact that liberals hate her.

And it may seem trite to be talking about her, but the fact remains that she remains a popular figure in many conservative and libertarian circles.

My dissatisfaction with Palin was summed up with her responses the Katie Couric interview last fall. You can complain all you want that it was a hit job, but her inability to answer questions on important Supreme Court decisions and what news she reads sticks with me. What it means was either 1- She had no answers to give, which does make me question her knowledge base, or 2- She had answers, but she didn't know which answers made the most political sense. So either she really is dumb, she's simply a political creature with no strong principles, or her beliefs don't have a strong intellectual or ideological grounding.

For my money, the Palin phenomenon represents the worst of the right, an anti-elitism where, as I said above, style triumphs over substance. Palin is loved by the right even though she's never expressed a coherent ideology of her own. And that's what scares me most of all.

2 Comments:

Blogger The Constitutional Insurgent said...

Sarah Palin is a soldier in the 'culture war'. In the 'culture war', truth counts for nothing. All that matters is riling up the ignorant masses with a populist frenzy and hot button smoke and mirrors. She has a following because she can convince one-dimensional Americans that a great looming threat is darkening the nation and only she and select others can act as a bulwark against it. All the while convincing those slack-jawed oxygen thieves that the looming threat hasn't already darkened this land. With her 'folksy' style, she can proclaim that a repressive, intrusive government is only bad under a certain political administration......but not under her party banner.

I will give her credit however.....she and others [namely the psychopathic pied piper of populist perfidy] have been somewhat successful in trying to usurp the Libertarian mantra in an effort to rally the culture war troops. It doesn't dawn on the army of vacant eyed lemmings that they are flaming hypocrites....all that seems to matter is their narrow, one-dimensional perception.

The number of 'inconsistencies' in Palin's book seems more than one should expect in a biography that was ghost written to begin with.

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8:18 AM  
Anonymous rose said...

She came off as shallow and inarticulate during her interviews this week. She can't claim shackles from the McCain camp anymore either. And given how many easy targets Obama has provided, there's no excuse for being so unpersuasive.

You can get away with charisma and rhetoric on the left and still be successful. Can't do it on the right. Free-market economics is too counter-intuitive which requires an articulate defender.

If she or Huckabee or someone like that ends up with the nomination in 2012 this country is in rough shape.

10:14 AM  

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