The Republican Party continues to amass expertise in losing elections. Its current reticence in getting behind the momentum of Sarah Palin, now the former Governor of Alaska, unequivocally proves the point.
Many have postulated in vain as to why such an energizing presence in the party has been soundly rejected by its "inner circle." Yet despite phony attempts at eloquence and deep analysis, it is clear that somehow, the basic integrity and common sense that Palin exudes are themselves the offending factors. All of that "of the people, by the people, and for the people," rhetoric may look good engraved on the monuments and surely sounds good in campaign ads, but this is just not how things are done in Washington anymore.
When measured against the current "ruling class," Palin's faults, or more precisely, those qualities about her which critics attempt to manufacture into faults, are trivial at worst. More pertinently, the derisive commentary is far more reflective of truly serious character defects on their own part. Sadly, many of them claim to lean to the political right.
Some have descended to the level of finding fault with the unconventional names Todd and Sarah Palin have given to their children. Certainly, such small-mindedness is a matter of absolute irrelevancy to Palin's nature, and merely another indication of the desperate efforts to marginalize her.
It also reveals a glaring hypocrisy among those critics with their flagrantly selective powers of observation. In comparison, they studiously avoided ever noticing anything unusual about the name "Hussein," as if it is a typical moniker expected for the average passerby on Mainstreet in Middle America.
Not surprisingly, many of these same critics have been having a field day ever since Palin's announcement of her resignation from the governorship of Alaska. Somehow, by prematurely leaving a political office, we are told that she has thoroughly betrayed the public trust and desecrated every worthwhile American institution right down to motherhood and apple pie.
Yet little if any similar criticism was leveled at Hillary Clinton who, during her waning days in the unelected post of "First Lady," suddenly recalled a "Jewish" heritage and a lifelong affinity for the New York Yankees. And all of this happened just as she and the little man were making a frenzied purchase of their dream home in the New York City suburb of Chappaqua.
Apparently, in the world of the political insiders, it is just fine to invent a residency in order to pursue political office and personal ambitions under the flagrant pretense of "representing" the people of New York in the United States Senate. Yet it is political "heresy" for someone to leave office, out of a sincere belief that their best interests and those of their State are served thusly. Nevertheless, in doing so Palin has proven herself to be of a far higher character than any of her attackers.
Of course, no discussion of Palin's detractors would be complete without a mention of the Republican Party's menopausal wing, as epitomized by former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan and Washington Post token conservative "pundit" Kathleen Parker. In their incessant efforts to derail Palin, Noonan and Parker have descended to a level of discourse rife with shallow catcalls and jeers. In telling contrast, Noonan had heaped accolades on Barack Obama while Parker supports the elevation of judicial activist Sonya Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and excoriates the GOP for refusing to follow along.
Over time, a disturbing pattern of arrogance and elitism has revealed the mindset of the average Beltway insider, regardless of political affiliation, to be self-absorbed and disdainful of the hopes, dreams, and concerns of real America. As a result, on one issue after another, although the people of the heartland are steadfastly committed to their heritage and their roots, elected officials obsessively seek to move the country away from such things. Those entrusted to protect the rights, liberties, and property of the common man are instead fixated on vast increases in the concentration of power and wealth at the federal level, with the average citizen required to pay the bill.
Throughout her public life, Sarah Palin has steadfastly opposed such entities, and in stark contrast to the mutual "back-scratching" corruption that permeates Washington, has dealt severely with any breaches of ethics on both sides of the political aisle. Rather than being "of the Ivy league" and for her own ambitions, she has made the difficult decisions needed to eradicate the facades and restore public confidence in the workings of government in her state. And it is clearly this personality trait, and the resolve to act on it, that makes her a hero to the citizenry, and a mortal threat to the "establishment" regardless of party affiliation.
Having made a meteoric rise to national prominence on the heels of her nomination as John McCain's 2008 running mate, Sarah Palin became the foremost target of the Alinsky/Acorn political attack machine. Her ability to rise above it and advance the cause of conservatism will signify the ability of conservative America to do likewise.
A recent Rasmussen poll shows that Americans still overwhelmingly consider themselves conservative. Sarah Palin can connect with that segment of the population, motivate and inspire it to action. In such a political climate, no excuses suffice for a party that professes to be conservative, yet is devastated at the ballot box as badly as was the case last November.
What Republican Party hacks seem unwilling to recognize, or perhaps have become too jaundiced within the system to comprehend, is that Palin's success or failure will ultimately be their own. If real Republicans really want to win in 2010, they had better start by recognizing what it is that made, and continues to make Sarah Palin an inspirational icon of conservatism.
Copyright ©2009 Christopher G. Adamo