Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Usefulness of Sarah Palin

One of Megan's commenters makes some very interesting points about Sarah Palin, with which I totally agree.
America’s elite and Palin-haters worldwide should not be so quick to dismiss or disregard the future of Sarah Palin. No other national political figure so completely fills Middle America’s vacuum of frustration and hate for the Left and Right as Sarah Palin.

In a way, these people are wiser than any partisan. They realize that both sides are doing very little to help the middle and lower classes. They just can't figure out who to blame or who will rescue them.
Middle America has been abandoned by the Left and Right, who have saddled it with a $700 billion taxpayer bailout, an unnecessary and costly war, a soaring deficit, and an overall neglect of the pocketbook issues that impact Middle America every day. Where are job creation, quality public education, affordable health care, and fiscal responsibility, to name a few?

Middle America is mad as hell at the Left and Right and they just might be willing to roll the dice on someone like Palin, who lacks an Ivy League education, is a working class hockey-mom with a disabled child, and who has blue-collar roots like many of the folks in Middle America. The status quo on the Left and Right have produced nothing material for Middle America, which may toss conventional wisdom into the toilet and throw the lever for Palin, figuring it has nothing to lose, and it may be right.

The Ivy League educated on the Left and Right have delivered little to nothing for Middle America, perhaps precisely because they are out of touch with the issues that someone like Palin understands personally.

"Middle America" does not look beyond the surface, and rejects anything it does not want to see. Palin's followers have an almost transcendent ability to explain away Palin's weaknesses. Desperate people will go with the leader who seems to understand them and fills their emotional needs.
However, to say that Palin is a salmon swimming upstream is an understatement. The results of a CBS News survey released Monday indicate that 66 percent of respondents do not want her to run for the White House in 2012. Seventy percent of respondents to a CNN/Opinion Research poll said she is not qualified to be president.

More difficult for Palin is the fact that the trend is not her friend—public opinion is moving in the wrong direction right now.

In the CBS survey, 43 percent of GOP respondents said Palin would have the ability to be an effective president. Only 11 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of independents agreed.

However, there is an opportunity for Palin among independents, where Palin’s rating is 41 percent favorable, and 48 percent unfavorable, according to Gallup.

These numbers are not great, but there is plenty of time if she can move the needle by appealing to Middle America and independents, which is where elections are won or lost.

Clearly, Palin has put the monkey on her back, especially with her resignation from Alaska’s governorship in July, a self-inflicted wound that will be difficult to explain away. However, don’t put it past Palin to put lipstick on this pig and paint herself as a victim of politically motivated and baseless ethics charges that prevented her from successfully serving the people of Alaska, forcing her to do the noble thing and take the bullet by resigning.

It's pretty easy to lie to people. They are very reluctant to challenge the word of someone who is given authority.
We can say what we want about Palin, but no Republican in recent history has created such frenzied excitement across the country as she has. Just take a look at the fervor she stirs as she wheels across Middle America on her book tour.

Perhaps this is a misreading of the tea leaves, but one could argue that she creates a wee bit more excitement than Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee, the two Republican front-runners for president in 2012. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed woman just may be queen.

A. Muser

See this comment below, in which a No Tax For The Rich advocate throws his support behind Palin, who would serve corporate interests very well. She is an idiot, but she is a very, very useful idiot.

Also, heh.

Lemmy Caution (Replying to: AmericanMuser) November 19, 2009 3:21 AM
I liked conservatism a lot more when conservatives were elitist, overeducated snobs, rather than angry, resentful populists.

The participants are the same, only the image has changed. Palin is in the right place at the right time, and her image would serve the needs of the elite.


Anonymous said...

I'd have to disagree. Palin is a know-nothing fraud, and I think it's clear that majorities in both parties see her for what she is. Her supporters are the same 27% who thought George Bush was doing a great job in 2007.

And if, by some miracle, Palin every became president, I suspect she'd resign after a very few months. As Teh Shrub so eloquently put it, "Presidentin' is hard work." And however much Palin might love the ceremonial aspects of being president, however much it might cater to her megalomania, she would still have to actually do things and learn things--and be held accountable for her actions and decisions. THAT would get very old very quickly for her.

So like McCain before her, her VP pick would be the determinant. Because she's only going to be in office for 6 months at the most.

Susan of Texas said...

I agree she's a know-nothing fraud.
If Bush could do the job, Palin could. Badly, of course, but so did Bush.

I don't know about resigning. I don't think at this point that she could be elected, but I'm not sure that she would quit. She quit up, after all.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Right and the Left have either declined or failed (or both) to help the majority of Americans.

And yes, Sarah Palin is unqualified for any elected office whatsoever. And for any job requiring a modicum of thought. Also.

Anonymous said...

(btw, I do feel she could be elected, to disagree with what seems to be a widely held view amongst lefties. Mind you, I think it'd be an unmitigated disaster that would make Bush look good by comparison -- imagine that -- but remember, after the 1960 presidential campaign, Nixon was consigned to the wilderness of political has-beens. And a few years later, he was, alas, president. In fact, as much as it pains me to say it, he was one of the more effective presidents of my lifetime. I'm fond of pointing out that certain things -- like the creation of the EPA -- occurred under Nixon's watch, and would be impossible today with a large Democratic majority. His own health-care reform plans were significantly more progressive than anything modern-day "progressives" have on the table too. We've been taking immense strides backwards for decades, and perhaps Palin is the natural result of immense regression and immense stupidity.)

Susan of Texas said...

She would need a lot of rehabilitating, but that could happen. The point of the post is that yes, I think it might be possible for her to be elected under certain circumstances--major rehabiitation, a major financial disater.

I remember when Bush was governor and spent his days playing solitare. The prospect of him becoming president was valid because of the people backing him.

Anonymous said...

The right and the left have failed to help.... In this country we've decided to call multi-millionaire liberals,Kerry,Pelosi etc., the left. Then everyone is surprised when they protect the status quo.

Anonymous said...

The difference between Palin and Bush is that in 2000, people thought the country was stable and in good shape, so electing someone who might be a little underqualified wasn't a big risk.

In these circumstances, that doesn't hold up anymore. Beyond which, the "She'll just have to learn up on policy" meme ignores that learning on policy is the antithesis of what she's about. Too many people cannot respect her enough for her for her to ever be elected - and I don't see it as within her to ever properly convince them otherwise.

Susan of Texas said...

If people voted on the basis of intellectual reasons, yes, there's no way. If people don't, there's a remote possibility. I can't believe she'd be elected, but I couldn't believe Bush would be elected either.

Anonymous said...

At this stage, I don't think the 'rejection' of Palin is intellectual either. It's pretty much visceral.

Palin has the rare power to almost instantly confirm everything people think, whether for or against her. Her biggest problem, as a candidate, is that she's locked into her market share, and now incapable of growing it.

She had a shot in 2008, and squandered it through rawness and pettiness. I don't see her overcoming the negative impressions she created in September. The, things she'd have to do to demonstrate seriousness - are things she rejects as inauthentic and beneath her.

Oh, I suppose she could win, but she'd need an awful lot of help. (See John Corzine)

Susan of Texas said...

Yes, she'd need a great deal of help.

I wonder about the liberal reaction--some of that is relief that a potentially dangerous opponent blew up publicly, some is sexism, and a lot is fear of her fundamentalism, in every sense of the word.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of the liberal reaction is actually complacency, and I would caution us all greatly against it.

Never underestimate the power of stupid in this country. (My gawd, does anybody need a primer on that these days???)

Understand I'm "playing" Devil's Advocate here, and utterly detest the modern-era political right in this country. It's way way way too fascistic for anyone who has studied 20th century history to be sanguine.

But bear with me:

-- First, let's take the elected Dems, who are proving themselves to be corporate whores of the worst sort and are repeatedly failing the needs of regular middle-to-lower class people. I promised myself after the last election I'd never again vote "least worst", which means, basically, that I will have no vote to exercise whatsoever, because the Dems have failed me. (I will never again vote for a Republican under any circumstances. Unlike the braying yahoos who worship "the Founding Fathers" I know this country was founded on progressive principles (the conservatives of the era were loyal to the British King and, if they were lucky, fled to Canada). It sticks in my craw to see these under-educated, easily-led fools being told that their desire to "return" the country to "the Constitution" is something that makes sense, much less a good thing. Republicans irresponsibly feed this & play the rubes, and that is unforgivable.) But let's just say there could well be a great deal of voter dis-satisfaction with elected officials. Elected officials have certainly earned as much.

-- Second, if the left base becomes dis-illusioned or unmotivated, at the same time the rightwing nutjobs are keeping the outrage meter set on high on their side, there could well be a further and catastrophic lurch to the right in this country.

Such a scenario is exactly what we don't need, of course. But I no longer feel that those on the right can be reasoned with in any normal way (& those craven enablers who are still sane but have the "populist" tiger by the tail are just as bad as Beck & his ilk).

End game, you know?