The Problem with Palin: Day Two
March 15, 2011BEGIN TRANSCRIPTRUSH:
The Politico has a story out of Iowa: "Republican Sounds Alarm over American Decline -- Republican activists in this key presidential state have a dark, foreboding feeling that America is in decline. They believe the nation is hurtling in the wrong direction and, worse, on the brink of losing its unique place in the world. That sentiment is hardly new to American politics, but it's one that’s been reanimated by the presidency of Barack Obama. Some see him as hostile to the notion of American exceptionalism. Others simply don’t believe he's an American at all.
"Together, it’s fueling the rise of an emerging debate on the right that could overshadow the traditional focus on social and fiscal issues and create an opening for a candidate who can speak to a still inchoate but clearly volatile element that is roiling the conservative grassroots. It’s not that culture wars and tax revolts are about to be displaced in GOP presidential politics ... Rather, the very issues that have typically energized GOP primary voters -- such as abortion, faith, gay marriage, debt, military power -- are being subsumed into a larger debate about a country in decline." They're not separable! This is Jonathan Martin writing the story.
I would submit that all of these... This is another attack on the "social issues." Republicans have gotta just forget this social stuff. Oh! Speaking of that -- speaking of that -- let me proffer a theorem. I have shared with you on some occasions one of my first ever big-time dinner parties in the Hamptons in the early nineties when, after dinner, I was approached by a well-known, wealthy moderate Republican financier, fundraiser, big time contributor. On the deck of this large house in the Hamptons after dinner, he comes up and pokes me in the chest and says, "What are you going to do about the Christians? They're killing us! This abortion business is killing us. We're never gonna be able to win elections."
I said, "What do you want me to do about it?"
"Well, yeah, they listen to you. That's who listens to you, isn't it? The Christians, the pro-lifers?"
I said, "Well, I don't know that all of them do, but I'll tell you, I don't think you guys can win elections without 'em. They're 24 million votes."
"Well, you gotta do something about it."
"Well, we just can't keep it up! I mean, my wife is nagging me. All of our wives are nagging us about this. They don't want to go conventions with these hayseeds that show up from the South who are part of this belief system."
I'm listening to this -- and, now, you understand, I'm into maybe the third or fourth year of my show here; Clinton has just been elected; and I'm being told the Christians are the problem! And these guys think I have a pipeline to 'em. Well, it got me to thinking last night. You know, I raised the question yesterday: What is it these same people, the intellectuals hate about Sarah Palin? BREAK TRANSCRIPTRUSH:
Yesterday's discussion that we had on this program where I finally had to ask you, "What is it that all of the conservative intellectuals hate about Sarah Palin?" and these guys at The Politico, "Rush, was really, really puzzled by this."
MARTIN: I was struck by the transcript of Limbaugh, I actually read it last night, and he seemed to be genuinely struggling to figure out why exactly these conservatives were criticizing Sarah Palin. But he thought about a lot of ulterior motives, but I don't think he ever considered the fact that maybe some of them do genuinely have concerns over her practice of identity politics. Some of these folks, there is some conviction here. They genuinely do think what separates the right from the left, Chuck, is the practice of identity politics. That's what they do on the left. And I think seeing Palin on the class card, that the left has done in their eyes for the last 40 years, I think there is some genuine concern about her doing that.RUSH:
Now, Jonathan, you know I love you and I respect you, but is that an idea you put in their heads? Is that an idea you had for a story and then you went and asked them? Or did somebody call you and say, "You know what, the reason we don't like Palin is 'cause all this victim stuff she's getting into"? Of all the things I've heard to explain why they don't like Palin the fact she's running around making herself out to be a victim and that's what's separates us from the left? For crying out loud, what separates us from the left, gee, freedom! Spending! Rein it in, Rush. Victimology? I don't even look at her as trying to make herself out to be a victim. My problem with this is, you talk about Palin and her identity, what is the woman supposed to do, Jonathan? I'm really at a loss here. And I'm at a loss for two reasons. Why do conservatives not like a conservative? That's what she is to me. She articulates conservatism as well as anybody else out there is doing it. She has the ability to reach people like Reagan does. What the hell's wrong with this? I can understand having this kind of vitriol for a liberal.
I can understand this kind of vitriol for a Democrat. But she's a conservative. Okay, so what, then, is really happening here? Well, it could be this. This is not my theorem, by the way. It could be this. It could be what I was saying earlier, they really are scared to death, everybody in Washington is, of the Tea Party. And there isn't a Tea Party leader. There is not a single person you can destroy and take the Tea Party with it. Maybe they're trying to make her to be the leader of the Tea Party, or me, or their favorite person of the week, because the objective is to take out the Tea Party. Well, you can't take out the Tea Party 'cause there isn't a Tea Party leader. The Tea Party is like the NFL. Your starting tackle goes down, it's the next man up. This candidate takes it in the shorts, okay, next man up. We're not gonna be determined here by single individuals because we're a movement of ideas, genuine grassroots.
So it is a genuine intellectual disconnect for me to think that the real problem these conservative intellectuals have with Palin is rooted in the fact she's defending herself and claiming, "I didn't pull the trigger in Arizona." She's supposed to sit there and smile? I don't know if there is a one of them who could take one week of the media anal this woman's had and shut up, not say anything, and remain of good cheer like she has. So, another theorem. I don't really have enough time here to get into detail, but remember when these guys told me that their wives were nagging 'em about pro-life, pro-choice? Well, what if these guys happen to dig Sarah Palin? Well, look, I have talked to people with actual experience. She first shows up, she makes that speech at McCain's coming-out party, VP, bunch of guys are raving about her, I had a bunch of them tell me their girlfriends and their wives gave 'em static, "Oh, you love Palin, huh?" Don't discount this outta hand.
Let me ask you a question. Jonathan Martin, Politico, does this story that the conservative intellectuals don't like this identity politics that Palin's playing. Victimology and all that. May I ask you, what is her identity? No, no, somebody tell me. Snerdley, if somebody asks you to tell 'em who Sarah Palin is, what's her identity? In fact, if she were playing upon identity politics, if people really meant what they said, wouldn't the NAGs love this woman? She's got it all. The only thing she did not do was have an abortion, and that's maybe a big problem. But she's got it all. I mean she is the epitome of having it all, in a way.
We were talking yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, about how the media and even some conservatives mocked Ronald Reagan. They didn't like Ronald Reagan. In fact, one of the nicest things that Reagan was called was an amiable dunce, and that was by Tip O'Neill. Well, ask yourself. Is there anybody on the political scene today who has proved to be an amiable dunce? Is there? I give you Obama, if there is a genuine amiable dunce. I mean here's a guy playing golf every day, recording his NCAA picks for ESPN broadcast tomorrow, if there is somebody walking and wandering through the motions here, and I would question even the amiability on this. But let's not leave him out of it.
Now, I get Internet spam out the wazoo. Sometimes I have to really guard my temper 'cause my friends send me this stuff. "Hey, Rush, wait 'til you see this," and I've only seen a thousand copies of it by the time they send it to me. So not only does it clutter my e-mail box from spammers, my friends send this stuff to me. One of these things they sent was from February 27 called: "'Open letter to Sarah Palin' -- Sarah, you chose to keep and raise your Down syndrome child and that is CHOICE that the left and probably a lot of women HATE to be reminded of what choice they might have to face in their own lives. They don’t want to be exposed to the site of a competent, happy mother dealing with all of the complexities of those circumstances. It demonstrates an internal strength and SOLID MORAL COMPASS that many of them cannot bear to witness. They suspect that in their own hearts they don’t have that level of moral strength within them. We know that Clinton’s moral compass was prone to pointing towards the best female target in the room at the time."
Now, this next paragraph I really think is right. "We [as a culture] seem to be more in tune and sympathetic to weakness and moral failure. We want to help weaklings all we can, after all it’s 'not their fault', and it's easier to watch someone as bad or weaker than ourselves. We see it in all the Hollywood coverage of the failed icons of stage, screen and TV who have all the advantages life offers repeatedly failing. They use the proceeds of their profession to abuse themselves and control their entourage. How many of the odd ball papers in the super marker checkout line exist purely on this appetite for details about failed lives? The very fact that yo, Sarah, are successfully dealing with you’re child Trig while stiff arming all of your political enemies, that appear to be legion, shows that you are very much feared by the progressives, and have the right stuff for true conservatives. You are more than qualified to fend off attacks by the progressives. If you decide to run and are successful in a presidential campaign it will be because you are a strait shooter, unlike what we have now."
So the point is that this business here about her being a threat to people, in the conservative intellectual sense, I think she's a threat because she got where she is without seeking their counsel, she has not sought their advice, she doesn't pal around with them. She has direct access to the Tea Party, by virtue of her ideas. They don't. And I think trying to take her out is an attempt to take out the Tea Party as well. To try to impugn her is to impugn the Tea Party as well. But this business here of we want to help weaklings, we're sympathetic to weakness and moral failure. And this is true not just in the entertainment media. This is true throughout the media. I could give you a couple one-name examples but I'm not gonna revisit this at this time. But this is, believe me, right on the money. People who have failed, people that just don't quite measure up, it's cause of our country, it's because of our culture, it's because of some form of discrimination, some form of racism, bigotry, sexism, homophobia, what have you. So we identify with these victims. That's what I don't get. She doesn't play this card. She doesn't play that kind of victimology card. She doesn't portray herself as weak like the others who do and get away with it. BREAK TRANSCRIPT
RUSH: It seems to me all this hating going on on Sarah Palin, for whatever reason, there are a lot of people who just don't like the idea of a strong woman. Well, isn't that what we heard in explaining the criticism of Hillary? We did.