Category Archives: Popular Culture

Oh, Sarah

Emily Zanotti has it right:

Sarah Palin took the stage last night in a strange chainmaille cardigan, determined, it seemed, to relive the best moments from every speech she gave on the campaign trail in 2008. The result was an amalgamation of “Drill, baby, drills!” and vague references to congressional spending as drug use, pulled, seemingly at random, through a Magnetic Poetry kit or the like, from every great speech Sarah Palin has ever given. In some places, you could have easily replaced the what was quickly deemed on social media a “word salad,” with a string of emojis, and still have elicited the same general level of specificity and reason. We will be America! We will go to places! We will ensure the conservative opinion journalists of this world constantly regret their internal provision against day drinking!

The result was bizarre. She raged against crony capitalism — alongside a man who earlier in the day had embraced increased ethanol disbursements to the Iowa farmers we already pay not to grow food. She insisted she was “sticking it to the establishment” — alongside a man who has openly embraced the symbiotic relationship between government and big business at every opportunity. Gone was any indication that she had ever supported grassroots principles — you can’t oppose Obamacare in the same room as a man who recently called for a single-payer health care system, call for lower taxes from a man who has openly committed to raising them, or claim to support the pro-life cause next to a man who claims to be pro-choice “in every respect.” It’s hard to push a conservative agenda when the man standing next to you has no agenda but his own.

[Mid-morning update]

Matthew Hoy is with me:

Now, I’ve never been a big Sarah Palin fan, but I defended her in 2008 against attacks by the media on her fitness to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. Not that I thought she was necessarily qualified to be vice president, but she was more qualified to be VP than Sen. Barack Obama was to be president. It was the media’s willful and abject failure to apply a consistent standard that prompted most of my defenses of her.

I don’t know if yesterday’s endorsement will help Trump in Iowa or any other state, but for Tea Party conservatives, Palin has trashed what little remains of her own brand. Donald Trump is in no way shape or form a conservative. It’s almost mind-blowing that in her endorsement speech, Palin would include the following, considering who she was standing next to:

The permanent political class has been doing the bidding of their campaign donor class, and that’s why you see that the borders are kept open,” Palin said. “For them, for their cheap labor that they want to come in. That’s why they’ve been bloating budgets for crony capitalists to be able to suck off of them.
Trump is the living embodiment of crony capitalism. He brags about how successful he is at the crony capitalism game.

I’m through defending Sarah Palin against anything anyone throws at her, no matter how vile.

[Afternoon update]

Does Palin’s endorsement of Trump spell an end to the Tea Party? An interesting conversation with some libertarians:

I’m not one of those guys that thinks that Donald Trump would make a bad president because he’s not a conservative; I’m one of those guys that thinks that Donald Trump is dangerous because he has such an authoritarian instinct that we don’t know what he would do as president. But he would not follow the rules, he would not respect the differences between the executive branch and the legislative branch. And that’s what the Tea Party was supposedly all about. We didn’t like executive power. […]

And I hate to use the F-word, but let’s go ahead and use it: The technical definition of fascism, and the history of fascism in the world, really wasn’t tethered to some sort of ideology the way socialism is. The goals were more random and scattered, but it creates a lot of chaos and it requires a lot of power. And I think we as Tea Partiers, as libertarians, as constitutional conservatives, we should judge a candidate based on whether or not they’ve actually read and respect the restraints placed on government power by the Constitution….

And by the way we should point out that there’s a mythology that all of Trump’s support is coming from the Tea Party. The data suggests something quite different–there’s a lot of independents, there’s a lot of registered Democrats, there’s a lot of people that haven’t participated in the process before.

That’s pretty much my take, too.