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Governor Palin - A Homerun for McCain

  

One can only guess the despair and bitterness that assails those commonly referred to as "the elites," as in the bicoastal elites, the Washington insiders, the media, the cognoscenti, the "enlightened ones," the cultural doyens, the connoisseurs, the intelligentsia, the raconteurs and latte drinkers, the dilettantes of the left who must surely feel as if the rug had been pulled out from under their feet.  For the past year they have operated under the heady assumption, the bracing notion, the uplifting conceit that they and they alone were riding the crest of history; that they as cultural and moral stewards of the nation (as they saw it) were part and parcel of an uncommon time, of an uncommon and historic campaign, that they, through, their support of the Sainted One, the great Obama, had joined him in a grand and noble enterprise, and were, as he was, agents of change, heralds of atonement, prophets of redemption (for a nation stained by sin), harbingers of a new order, apostles of a liberal, Messianic paradise and era, of a second Camelot and Kingdom of secular, progressive heaven, of moral rectitude and reconciliation, of hope and change (not to mention, self love and adulation) under the guidance and authorship of His Eminence Himself, the benevolent, all knowing, all merciful Obama - only to find, in the matter of a brief five days, from August 29 (the day after Obama's "historic" acceptance speech in Denver), when McCain introduced Sarah Palin as his running mate, to September 3, when she delivered her acceptance speech as Republican nominee for Vice President at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, that the oxygen had been completely sucked out, so to speak, of the Obama campaign - and all their lofty self assumptions and vanities left tattered and broken on the Denver convention floor. 

The sudden ascension of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, 44, on the national scene, as Republican Vice Presidential running mate for Presidential hopeful John McCain, has turned the political universe upside down and nowhere moreso than in the Obama campaign, the Democratic Party, the mainstream media, and amidst the fever swamps of the hard core angry left.  This authentically American woman, a moose hunting, happily married mother of five, including a Down's baby born only five months ago (which is to say, not aborted), has become every bit the phenomenon that Obama was, only more so, and in so brief a time and so unexpectedly, as to have left the nation fascinated and spellbound, and her adversaries - dumbfounded and confused.  She draws huge crowds, has "star" power, has energized the base, and has become the same "mass" phenomenon and "rock star" that Obama had been, only now completely superceding him and downgrading him to that of second string act.  

No one knows, of course, how long it will last, if their will be fatal missteps, or if damaging material will emerge as the media, Obama lawyers and other Democratic hacks converge on our forty-ninth state feverishly rooting around for dirt, but in the meantime she has taken the country by storm much to the chagrin of the Obama campaign and his supporters in the media and elsewhere. 

Sarah Palin is pro life, a member of the NRA, believes in limited government and lower taxes, and not afraid of challenging entrenched interests, including within her own party.  She is fiesty, intelligent, articulate... and beautiful (she was runner up in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant in 1984).  She also attends (horrors!) an Evangelical Church.  In other words, she is not just a conservative, but a religious conservative, a bible reading Christian conservative, no less, guaranteed to inspire fear and loathing among many on the left who regard the Christian Right with greater suspicion and contempt than they do murdering Islamic extremists. 

Watch for the blowback, already occuring and duly noted by commentators and personalities everywhere; there will be a level of degrading media scrutiny reserved only for those deemed the greatest threat to the dominant, ruling liberal elite.  And a rising star who is a member of an "oppressed minority" (blacks, Hispanics, women...) and does not tow the liberal party line had better be prepared for the worst. 

There will be personal attacks, slander, rumor, innuendo, and smears including against innocent family members (as has already occurred), all intended to discredit and debase her in the public eye.  There will be a degree of investigation (and efforts to vilify) that Obama, with all his questionable relationships and associations (all ripe for entirely proper inquiry and research) with those such as racist Reverend Jeremiah Wright, radical Father Michael Pleger, unrepentant terrorists William Ayers and Bernadine Dorn, and, of course, shady realtor, Tony Rezko, will never have to experience being as he is the Chosen One, annointed by the very media who should be asking him the questions.

But Palin's treatment by the media and the left will be among the worst: right up there with that of Clarence Thomas, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush.  She will be attacked because of who and what she is.  And she commits the greatest crime of all: she is a prominent member and rising star of an "aggrieved group" (women) - and has the temerity to not be a liberal.

Liberals, of course, are the masters of diversity politics; in the liberal mind, it is they and only they who possess the intelligence, sensitivity, and compassion to understand the suffering of "exploited" peoples such as blacks and women; and it is from the ranks of liberals that will come the various leaders and spokespeople that will represent such minority groups.  It is assumed, in other words, that any new minority luminary will be a liberal or else face the wrath of the vast grievance infrastructure that has evolved over the last forty years: the various advocacy groups, lawyers, the academy, media, and Democrat Party that exists to defend the interests of the (liberal) "oppressed."  And especially this year, what with the twin historical Presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both, of course, Democrats, which, from the liberal perspective, is as it should be. 

Now, from the frozen tundra of small town and small state America comes an upstart, a woman, conservative, Evangelical, and beautiful, no less, and on the Republican national ticket and threatening to usurp the entire diversity apparatus upon which so much of the liberal imagination depends. 

For it is they, the liberals, who are the tribunes of the underclass, the heralds and defenders of oppressed peoples everywhere, the protectors of those victimized by our racist, sexist (homophobic, imperialist, exploitative...) nation, the messengers and prophets of the aggrieved, the saviors of the disenfranchised, the disrespected, the tired, the hungry, the poor... etc; of course, it is understood that any rising topliner from the coalition of the oppressed must be liberal...

But what a divine comedy, what an inspired plot twist, and what a bitter and insidious irony for liberals, if the historical campaign this year, turns out not to be Obama, not to be Hillary, not to be Obama-Hillary, nor Hillary-Obama, but the heretofore unknown pro-life Governor from Alaska? 

What if the one who finally shatters the "glass with 18 million cracks" is not the pant suit wearing liberal feminist diva, Hillary Clinton, but the moose hunting, card carrying NRA member, the salmon fishing, mother of five who opposes abortion, reads the bible, does not consider herself a feminist, and is as "normal" and middle class as the neigbor next door, the straight talking, spunky, and absolutely fetching, Sarah Palin? 

What storms of grief and rage and scandal will pour from the lips of the pundits and Washington insiders and Democrats and assorted liberal hacks?  What wailing and gnashing of teeth shall come from the feminists and scribes of the NY Times and Washington Post and other liberal venues that sniff and condescend to the great unwashed of the nation's heartland and beyond (Alaska?)?  What handwringing desperation shall befall the snooty and the diabolical who believe themselves the elite, the wise ones, the annointed, the far sighted visionaries in the media and elsewhere who have proclaimed the arrival of the Great One Himself, the Chosen One, the all knowing and merciful Obama, and who have otherwise carried His water and provided cover for Him the past year with such tender and solicitous devotion?  

Expect a war, no less, for their bitterness will know no bounds.  The diversity game is theirs and they will defend it as their personal fiefdom, especially from a usurper from the benighted hinterlands, as far away from Washington as you can get, and a traditionalist no less. 

For this was the year of the historic campaign, a kind of national passion play and allegory, the year of Obama, the annointed One, the first black President, a candidate they have courted and followed and loved with fealty and zeal, assuming some measure of sanctity and holiness themselves (in their eyes) by virtue of their singular support of Him. 

Indeed, they, too, as a consequence, became (in their own minds) a part of history, just as many on the aging left have looked upon their efforts to lose during the Vietnam era as their heyday, their moment of history and their greatest hour.  The Obama campaign was their campaign, their historical moment to repair in some measure the original sin of their country, the sin of racism (and other sins), to elevate themselves in their eyes, to feel good about themselves, and to relieve themselves of their own white liberal guilt over being part of this wretched nation in the first place (and rather successful at that - horrors again!). 

No, this little Philistine from the Klondike, this redneck, bible thumper from a state college is not going to take that away from them!

Their reactions, their rage and hatred, the vitriol directed toward this middle class and accomplished woman, by many "feminists," finally puts the lie to the whole feminist movement.  It was not ever about women but about liberalism.  The feminist movement, much as the so called civil rights movement (see NAACP and others), is not about women or blacks but about liberal women and liberal blacks; for if the advancement of women was the chief goal of feminism than why not wholeheartedly endorse a woman being picked to run for Vice President even if a Republican (or, say, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas being selected for the Supreme Court vis a vis the various black groups who so vigorously opposed him).  The answer, of course, is that they are all facades or masks for liberalism.  They are a piece with monolithic intolerant liberalism that, Stalin like, demands ideologic purity.  They care much less for women than for liberalism and a religious conservative like Palin, even though very clearly a member of the female gender, is anathema to them politically, morally, and intellectually; therefore, they will oppose her and smear her, woman or not.  She is, in effect, their enemy.  And, it is safe to say, feminism is simply a mask for liberalism and the whole charade about feminism as a "women's movement," supportive of women in general is quite simply a lie and should be treated as such.  It is a cleverly packaged branch of dogmatic, monotonous, orthodox liberalism. 

There is also the matter of accomplishments for this is a competent woman and her achievments and experience are impressive and stack up well against that of the Democratic Presidential nominee, Barack Obama.  She did, after all, run a state with an $11 billion budget, a $1.7 billion capital budget, and 29,000 state employees, which means making decisions and and managing a large bureacracy, not to mention the Alaska National Guard, a much greater order of responsibility than pontificating on the Senate floor for 147 days before deciding to run for President, as Obama did. 

She is also a reformer.  After serving on the city council on a platform of lower taxes, she ran for mayor of her small hometown of Wasilla (1996)  and defeated the three term incumbent, criticizing him for raising taxes and wasteful spending.  Upon assuming office, she promptly fired the former mayor's sidekicks including the police chief and town librarian, lowered her own salary, and cut property taxes.  She was later appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission by then Governor and former Senator Frank Murkowski, and chaired it from 2003-2004; she also served as Ethics Supervisor and resigned in January 2004 over the "lack of ethics" of fellow Republican members who maintained party positions while serving on the commission, and for cozying up with oil companies.  After resigning, she filed complaints against the state Republican Party's chairman, Randy Ruedrich, and former Alaska Attorney General, Gregg Renkes, over a conflict of interests (Ruedrich was working too closely with a company he was supposed to be regulating), both of whom resigned; Ruedrich eventually paid a $12,000 fine. (some of above from Wikipedia).  These, by the way, were among the most powerful men in the Republican establishment in Alaska. 

In 2005, she ran against the standing Republican Governor (and former Senator from Alaska) Frank Murkowski and defeated him in a three way primary winning 51% to his 19%.  Part of the debate at the time involved competing proposals for a natural gas pipeline for Alaska.  She criticized Murkowski's proposals because of special treatment for the oil companies.  Specifically, he called for a pipeline contract to be built exclusively by the big three, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and BP, which included a $4 billion state investment, relinquishing oversight, and an oil-requested tax package for up to forty years, a deal negotiated behind closed doors and highly favorable for the oil companies.  Palin ran against this and won handily in the primary.   

During the Republican primary, Gov. Palin apparently recieved a call from Ben Stevens, then president of the Republican-run Alaska Senate and son of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, the powerful Alaska Republican. "He told me, 'You're not just running against Murkowski. You're running against me, my dad, the whole state Republican party,'" Gov. Palin says.(as reported in WSJ)

The younger Mr. Stevens opted not to seek re-election after his was one of six legislative offices raided by federal agents in 2006. Four other state legislators have been sent to prison or are awaiting prosecution in the case, which has focused on bribery and other influence by oilfield contractor VECO Corp., whose chairman and a top lieutenant have pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy charges. The elder Mr. Stevens, who handily won the Republican primary this week to face re-election in November, was indicted in the case and has pleaded not guilty.  (Some of above from the WSJ).

She went on to win the 2006 election against the state's former Democratic governor, Tony Knowles.  She was the youngest governor in Alaska's history (42) and its first woman governor. 

As governor, she has confronted the big oil companies, forcing them to move faster with oil and gas production.  She revived a long delayed effort to build a natural gas pipeline.  She also raised taxes on the oil companies as oil prices increased, sending $1200 checks to Alaskans to assist them with rising energy costs.  She threatened to revoke ExxonMobiles's liscence to one of largest undeveloped fields in the US for failing to develop it quickly enough; and, as a result, ExxonMobile recently announced it was planning to drill a well this winter.  She forced Alaska's dominant oil producers, ExxonMobile, ConocoPhillips and BP, to finally move forward in creating a natural-gas pipeline from Alaska's North Slope oilfields -- without tax or royalty concessions.  She also opened up the bidding process to outside competition instead of limiting it to Alaska's oil majors as her predecessor (Murkowski) had done, finally giving the primary contract to TransCanada Corp (and snubbing the Alaska producers), a Calgary based Company, to lead the $30 billion project and with a $500 million state incentive instead of the $4 billion investment offered previously.  

When Palin initally imposed the strict state requirements, the oil majors warned they would not bid, nor would other companies.  Five groups offered proposals.  TransCanada was awarded the contract this July.  BP and ConocoPhillips, meanwhile, have come up with their own proposal to build a gas pipeline without any state inducements, coming up somehow with the money. Outside observers credit her for moving the process forward after years of delay and at great advantage to the state. 

Around the time of her election as governor in 2006, a federal probe showed that oil executives had bribed lawmakers to endorse the Murkowski tax changes.

Although, she has stood for reform and has been tough on the oil companies, raising taxes and imposing stiff requirements on oil companies bidding for state contracts, she has not been a populist.  She thanks oil companies and understands that oil executives will "seek maximum revenue" and are "simply doing their job."  She saw her own function as governor was to be a "savvy" negotiator for Alaska and to ensure effective oversight.  (Kimberley Strassel, WSJ).  

She has bucked big oil, entrenched interests, the good ole boy network in her own party many with close ties to industry lobbyists, particularly Big Oil.  She has rooted out corruption.  She has been an agent of change, a reformer, and a crusader.  She has been fearless in holding Alaska's chief oil producers accountable and negotiating with them fairly but firmly, placing Alaska's interest first, not easy in a state where the oil companies wield great power and influence considering that much of Alaska's revenues are tied up with energy production.  She has sacked political appointees including in her own party with conflicts of interest and stopped pork projects; she has cut taxes and reduced spending.  As governor, she sold the private jet used by Governor Murkowski at state expense, using commercial airlines instead.  She drives herself to work and doesn't use the security escort.  She has a moving personal narrative growing up in a small town.  She has five children.  Her husband works in an oil production facility, owns a commercial fishing business, and is a member of the United Steelworkers Union.  Her oldest son Track is in the military and has deployed to Iraq.  Her fifth child has Down's Syndrome.  She describes herself as an average hockey mom.  She is a normal, middle class American, a conservative, gutsy woman who has brought renewed energy and vigor to the Republican Party, increased McCain's chances of winning in November, and has the Obama campaign, Democrats, and the media flailing desperately in their feeble and embarrassing efforts to discredit her.  She is also the ultimate "outsider."

She is exactly the kind of leader the conservative movement and the Republican party needed.  A reformer who will cut taxes and spending, who will challenge the establishment including within her own party, the perfect "outsider" to take on our bloated Federal government and its defenders on both sides of the aisle, a "maverick," a pioneer, a conservative, traditional American from the heartland, a Ronald Reagan in a skirt.

This election year will indeed be historic, only not, perhaps, as liberals imagined it.  It may be the first time in our nation's history that a woman will be elected on a national ticket.  That woman, that historic candidate, though, will not be Hillary.  It may very well be Sarah Palin, Republican and religious conservative: A perfect symbol and role model for Americans of every stripe, male, female, or what have you. 

Even in the event of a loss, she will remain a force in Republican politics, the new undeclared leader of the conservative movement, the darling of middle class America, a beacon of normalcy, of middle class virtue and integrity, the girl next door endowed with incredible fire, passion, and talent.  An inspired politician and leader. 

(And the perfect female counterweight to a Hillary run in 2012 or 2016.)

 

Comments

  • Gunnar Bruun

    October 1, 2008

    Dr.Moss.

    In view of the recent weeks events, I imagine you are not as happy with Gov. Palin as you once were. If so it would surprise me greatly.

    My view of people running for these high offices can best be summarized as:
    "They should be so knowledgeable, that I would feel like wasting their time if I was talking to them." - My quote

    Gov. Palin is far from meeting this criteria.

  • richard moss

    October 13, 2008

    Hi Gunnar. She acquited herself quite well with Biden. She is actually a very talented politician who connects well with voters. She will also be a very quick study. If elected, she will be up to speed within months. I prefer her experience and background to Obama's. regards, richard.

  • Gunnar Bruun

    October 17, 2008

    Dr.Moss,

    I wouldn't call avoiding questions and memorizing a few talking points acquitting herself. She didn't embarass herself further, which I think was enough for people to be satisfied her porformance.

    She is quite clearly not ready for the position offered. Not to say she might not be sometime in the future, but as of I don't think she is anywhere close.

  • Gunnar Bruun

    November 6, 2008

    Seems like the Palin choice was a hot topic within the McCain campaign too:

    http://www.foxnews.com/video2/video08.html?maven_referralObject=3178951&maven_referralPlaylistId=&sRevUrl=http://www.foxnews.com/

  • Ike

    April 13, 2011

    HA!

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