Pining For Palin: What Most Conservatives Noticed

Still the One

My bride wasn’t home when Sarah Palin spoke at CPAC, so she wasn’t able to view the event live.  When she arrived home, we relaxed in front of the television, and I played the event on the DVR. After watching the event, I asked my wife for her impression.  It matched most of the comments here on my little blog site, and it was comprised of a single question:  “Why in the hell isn’t she our candidate?”  Here we had the person many consider to be the most eminently qualified to lead us out of our national quagmire, and she isn’t a candidate in this race.  Here was the most thoroughly engaging and compelling speech of this entire campaign season, and it was delivered by a non-candidate who some in the GOP establishment tell us is “unelectable.”  By what standard?  For my part, I have lost all patience for this faulty argument.  After attending her speech in Indianola, Iowa last September, and having viewed this speech from afar, if Governor Palin isn’t electable, I have no idea which Republicans can fulfill that definition.

I have read a few criticisms of the speech Palin delivered on Saturday and they all seem focused on superficial nitpicking.  The most frequent of these has been that it was filled with “red meat,” but what of it?  I believe in a balanced diet, and red meat is an important component of any conservative menu.  To criticize this is to suggest what too many Republicans of a more moderate leaning have accepted for far too long: We must never openly and harshly criticize our adversaries lest we be seen as being every bit as unrefined and undisciplined as they.  I reject this too.  The willingness to explicitly and unrepentantly castigate our opponents does not speak to a lack of “refinement” as if the idea of a political campaign is purely to demonstrate one’s social graces, but it is instead to incite a little energetic and vigorous candor into an issue to which the electorate will respond.  If this is the worst of the criticisms, then let those who propose them be damned, because I see no merit in such an argument. In point of fact, I would contend that electability rides on the shoulders of the candidate’s willingness to speak in such language to those whose votes they would solicit.

Still, the reality is that Governor Palin is not now a candidate, and more is the shame of the loss implied for conservatives. When announcing her decision in October last year, she cited her need to observe her values of God, family, and country, in that precise order.  With this as her final answer, despite our desires to the contrary, there is nothing to do but accept it.  This leaves us where we’ve been, and with nothing to do but forge ahead with the remaining candidates.  On the other hand, what this will remind many conservatives is what we had missed.  At some point, as a movement that is a subset of a party, we will need to address this problem we seem to have, where for whatever reason, our best and our most able candidates, dynamic and appealing, get left on the sidelines in the most important contests of our time.

Buck up conservatives, because while it’s apparent that we’re going to be forced to settle, we still have time to decide among those remaining, in order to work out who in this bunch is the best prospect to lead our nation philosophically, and also to win.  It’s my firm conclusion that the former begets the latter.  I don’t believe candidates with alleged “electability” creates a winning philosophy, or George W. Bush wouldn’t have left office with approval in the high twenties.   I believe a candidate with firm and principled beliefs is best suited to election, and is therefore by definition most electable.  The problem in our current race is that the best-suited will not necessarily rise like cream to the top.  Money doesn’t make great candidates either, because as we all know, whomever the Republican nominee, no matter who among those remaining is selected, despite any financial advantage at present, there will be no such advantage when we arrive in the general campaign season, with Obama’s purported war-chest to exceed one billion dollars.

I think we should begin to consider which among these has made the most of the least.  After all, if we follow Governor Palin’s example, we should take note of the fact that she clearly knows how to win while having nothing like the funds of an opponent, as she demonstrated in her political career in Alaska.  Perhaps this is something we ought to consider when looking more closely at the rest because it is fairly certain that none of them will have the sort of cash on hand that will be at the disposal of the Obama campaign.  As this race goes on, we might want to reference Sarah Palin’s successes, because while she may not be running, I think there is much to be learned from her both in terms of selecting our eventual nominee, but also in combating Obama this Fall.

I think almost every conservative who viewed Saturday’s CPAC keynote will have noticed that she stands head and shoulders above our actual candidates, but as I said, that wistful, wishful thinking.  The fact that Governor Palin is not in this race doesn’t preclude victory in November, but it surely will make it a good deal more difficult, as so many viewers concluded on Saturday.  There are those who think if this drags on into summer, and we wind up with a brokered convention, it will spell doom, but I think it also presents a possible opportunity, not merely for an outcome aimed at stopping the establishment, but one more moment of pause to reconsider who all of our alternatives might include.

Like Be the first one who likes this post!
  • http://www.thebookofsarah.com j.a.agibinik

    That Sarah is our hope, my hope……c'mon brokered convention…..got my fingers crossed! That speech is why she is the closer, imagine Mitt, Rick, Newt, or Ron having to give a speech after her? Her shoes where a trip! Quite the security team for someone who is "unimportant, irrevelant"…..
    Palin/West 2012

  • rattletale

    Reblogged this on Florida Rattle Tale and commented:
    How many times have I said "If only Sarah would run"! With the way the GOP playing field has taken shape, it is tough on this conservative to passionately throw myself into the 2012 Presidential Election.

  • stevethird

    It is frustrating beyond measure, and also self-destructive of the Party power structure to want no part of her candidacy, while she still maintains ownership of the political hearts of the Conservative rank and file. Something's gotta; give here, either in 2012 or soon…and very soon. As usual great work Mark. thank you for what you do.

  • Jo

    I like Sarah Palin and believe she is and will be important to America but I think we already have a candidate this year who is better qualified for the office of President than Sarah at this point and is a consistent conservative with firm and principled beliefs and that candidate is Newt Gingrich. Here he is in 1994 speaking about those conservative beliefs, the exact same beliefs he still holds today: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/CongressionalR

  • http://sedeuce.wordpress.com sedeuce

    I would not completely rule out Sarah being selected by a brokered convention. A very long shot but possible. If that doesn't happen, I believe that she is keeping her powder dry and will come out with all guns blazing when the time is right. And she will support not only the Republican nominee for President but will repeat her stunning success of 2010 by endorsing Constitutional Conservatives for downstream offices because if I can see the need for a filibuster proof Senate, if not a veto-proof one in case Barry is not defeated, she surely can.

  • http://gravatar.com/1lynda Lynda

    Mark you said everything I feel…what a lose for all of America..

  • eyetooth tom

    Google "From this day forth lyrics". Play song. For Palin.

  • http://twitter.com/BDWatcher bdwatcher (@BDWatche

    Last year, I talked to a couple radio talk show hosts. It was expressed that Sarah Palin will not run. It was said she was unelectable. haha, I laughed. One thing I did express she will dominate influence who will be elected. I still believe this. I also am disappointed that she is not a candidate. But, still we have what we have and must vote for the one person we deem most able to change the direction of this country. Indeed, I am disappointed with the candidates, but disappointment can not lead to apathy. We must still vote. I am still for Newt Gingrich.

  • eyetooth tom

    This is really not off subject, just more exposing what Palin can stop.
    Several columns over the weekend mentioned tooth-level surveillance for the healthcare bill.
    From reason.com :
    "Examples of that astounding power include tooth-level surveillance. That's right. Section 4102 of the health-reform law says, "The secretary shall develop oral healthcare components that shall include tooth-level surveillance." It defines tooth-level surveillance as a clinical examination in which an examiner looks at each dental surface, on each tooth in the mouth."
    Any other orifice your'd like to keep shut? Just you consider individual abuse…TSA? How about the government nurse and Doc examining mouth and your other holes, i.e. orifices, by law?

    • eyetooth tom

      Of course not a reply…but recommendation…come November 5, 2112, USA americans remember…have your morning after pill ready on election day, November 6. Hope it works and changes things.

  • jerseyflash

    As my wife say's " She makes you crazy "…yes-my wife is right…why doesn't she stay home and make moose chili ???,,,Sarah makes the second best political speech EVERY ( Sarah also owns the first best )…has people lined around the block and has more standing ovation's then any specker ( even though I like Jindal's speech )…a BROKER convention ???…is this Sarah's very unconventional campaign ???…when I hear the FAT LADY SING, only then will I exhale…

    Palin/West 2012 and 2016

  • http://securetherepublicwithsarah.com Tamara Heater

    We cannot afford to look back! We must take what we have and not only win but be determined to restore, and no one knows what the future holds stay tuned!

  • Tim

    I just smirk when I heard "the usual suspects" opine and whine that Sarah isn't in the race but where the SAME ones nitpicking and caterwauling pre 2012 on everything Sarah did or didn't do.

    They bitch that the field is lacking and that they hate the superpac smearing, but WHERE WERE THEY when Palin was getting whacked with bogus ethics complaints or smeared from the Giffords shooting…..THERE WERE NOWHERE!!!!

    These yahoos keep shooting themselves in the foot time-after-time and keep complaining that no conservatives get in the race. They wince every four years after Bush 41, Dole, Bush 43 and McCain but they never seem to learn.

    Unless people are willing to set up, fund and man an infrastructure outside the GOP (and get involved EARLY in the process), the GOP machine will just keep pumping out RINO after RINO. The House and Senate will keep assimilating and push out any Tea Partier or outsider.

    Palin said it best two weeks ago on FOX….."There was no support." O4P and C4P are not enough. The Tea Party didn't coalesce, the carping of FOX and talking heads, the GOP machine (national, state, local) would offer no help, and many folks who Sarah helped in 2010 were dead quite in 2011. In essence, she has no infrastructure to take on the GOP machine and the BO machine.

    Let 2012 be a teachable moment. It took Reagan 12 years for his POTUS RUN (1968-1980) and he had to overcome a lot of establishment roadblocks.

  • http://rebintexas.wordpress.com RebinTexas

    Mark,

    I had hoped for a good speech by Sarah…….yet what we got was a real barn buster………..I'd even say as good as her speech at the '08 convention.

    I'm still praying…..for, as you and your very wise wife said, "why in the hell isn't Sarah Palin our candidate?".

    She keeps reminding me why I have long supported her, even after I studied her long career from early on.

    Thanks my friend.
    Reb