Monday, November 9, 2009

The Rundown

Let's start with the tabloid trash and then get to the good stuff. That way this post won't leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Apparently Levi has had enough. I pause while you laugh. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, after a couple of weeks on the media circuit and just in time for Sarah Palin's book tour, Levi has finally had enough. His true motives couldn't be any more transparent if he were spelling it out in skywriting.

He's planning on suing for joint custody for Tripp. All I can say is, "Finally!" It's about time. This happens all the time folks. People have a kid, they break up, they work out custody. Nothing earthshattering. I honestly thought they should have done this a long time ago.

Upside: when it's finally worked out, Levi won't be able to use "the Palins are being mean to me!" as an excuse to push his face in front of the cameras.

Now, on to more pleasant things.

Sarah Palin has her Twitter account up! Yay! Yay! Yay! Snoopy dance!

And she's also put out a statement on her book tour. Looks like the 'Cuda's about to kick it into high gear:

Here are some details of the upcoming book tour. I’m starting in Michigan and you’ll understand why when you read the book. Last year, I made a promise to the good people of Michigan that I would be back, and now I’m keeping that promise. Michigan is near and dear to my family’s heart! Our eldest son, Track, lived with a great host family there during his hockey days.)

From Michigan, the “Going Rogue” tour will cover as much of the country as possible. I’ve decided to stop in cities that are not usually included in a typical book tour. For instance, I’m looking forward to meeting our honorable men in women in uniform and their families at a Fort Bragg book signing, and to reconnecting with friends my family made last year on the campaign trail in different book signing venues.

We have a tight schedule, but I’m working with the publisher to allow possibilities of stopping at a few unannounced places, too. I’ll Twitter information when the tour starts, so I’ll post our progress from the road. You can follow on Twitter at SarahPalinUSA.

Below are dates, times, and locations for the first part of the tour – this schedule brings us up to Thanksgiving, where I’ll get to connect with family in Washington state for the holiday. Stay tuned for our post-Thanksgiving schedule coming soon.

Please contact each venue for more information. Can’t wait to see you soon!

- Sarah Palin
Next on the rundown, a good opinion piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about Palin's pro-life speech:

"There's just something about Sarah Palin." That's all Charlie Sykes had to say before the crowd went wild. The Milwaukee talk radio personality hosted a Wisconsin Right to Life fund-raiser headlined by the former Alaskan governer and GOP vice-presidential candidate before a packed house at State Fair Expo Center on Friday.

The price of admission included a T-shirt that says it all: "America's Conservative Conscience." Palin made news recently for putting "principle over party," a radical notion for some. But "Going Rogue" (the name of her new book) is part of Palin's signature appeal to middle America. And middle America is definitely paying attention.

As for Palin's very public life choices, Sykes got it exactly right: "We are defined by the choices we make. We are also defined by the enemies we make." Sykes reminded everyone that Palin "thoroughly annoys the mainstream media." Don't forget political elites, Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, to name a few more.

When it comes to pro-life organizations, Wisconsin Right to Life is in a class by itself. According to Executive Director Barbara Lyons, its commitment to youth outreach is evidenced by extensive use of mass media and the Internet to successfully target the 18-to-24 age group that has 80% of abortions. Wisconsin's abortion rate has decreased by a staggering 52% since 1987.

The list of WRTL-sponsored legislation over 30 years is equally staggering. What's more notable is that not a single piece of it has been overturned by any court anywhere. WRTL made history in 2007 with its successful free speech challenge to McCain-Feingold in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision.

According to Pew Research, "millennials" are far more pro-life than the preceding generation. A May 2009 Gallup Poll reported that 51% of Americans now identify themselves as pro-life, compared to 42% as pro-choice.

Lyons and Palin understand that affecting culture starts by changing hearts and minds "one life at a time" with compassion and simple truth. In defending the defenseless, Palin is clear: "A baby is a baby regardless of the circumstances of her conception, including less than ideal and even impossible circumstances."

With cutting-edge ultrasound technology, we literally have a window into the womb. For those with eyes to see, the truth is clear: the developing unborn child is just that - a child. For those blinded to such obvious truth, Palin is crystal clear: "You have to believe the Earth is flat."

"Ending a baby's life is not health care," said Palin. She called out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), insisting she allow a vote on the Stupak Amendment, which specifically bans abortion coverage. The House bill that passed the next day included the ban. No small feat.

Early women's rights campaigners opposed abortion. Alice Paul, author of the first Equal Rights Amendment, described abortion as "the ultimate exploitation of women." Like many of her peers, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was also an abolitionist. She was unequivocal: "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit."


Palin cuts through convoluted feminist orthodoxy to articulate a pro-life position that is "compassionate, philosophically consistent and intellectually honest." The pro-woman, pro-life worldview that Palin champions (and lives) not only energizes the pro-life movement; it takes back the heart and soul of classic feminism.

Palin sums it up perfectly: "Sometimes the best things in life aren't planned."

And last, but certainly not least, Hot Air's Doctor Zero slams David Frum. I'll post it without block quoting it, because it's pretty long, but it's sticky sweet:

Writing on his website, which used to be called “New Majority” until he got tired of people laughing at him, David Frum published an essay called “The Palin Fantasy” over the weekend. Even as the House of Representatives was preparing to pass the most blatantly unconstitutional assault on America’s freedom in Congressional history, Frum found something really outrageous to write about: Matthew Continetti’s admiring essay on Sarah Palin’s populist appeal. It’s a good thing Frum has his priorities in order. We wouldn’t want Palin to get into office and drop a few trillion dollars of unsustainable debt on us.

Frum disputes Palin’s populist appeal by citing some poll numbers: According to Gallup, 63% of Americans say they would never consider voting for her. By a margin of 62%-31% Americans rate Palin “unqualified” to serve as president – by far the worst score for any leading Republican.

In comparison, only 51% of Americans say they would never consider voting for Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee – and a plurality of Americans rate the two as “qualified”: 50-36 say Huckabee is qualified, 49-39 say Romney is qualified.

This is an important point, because poll numbers never change, especially for private citizens who haven’t declared any intention to run for office, three years before the elections. How often to polls have to shift, or produce completely inaccurate numbers, before people stop trying to use them to shape the reality they supposedly measure? A nation looking for confident, visionary leadership is not going to look down and notice David Frum waving a spreadsheet of poll numbers.

I doubt many of the respondents to that Gallup poll could specify exactly what the “qualifications” for the President are. It’s a singular position, with qualifications that change based on current events, and the mood of the electorate. I suspect the electorate of 2012 will be looking for someone who isn’t a “community organizer” with a shady past and zero governing experience, riding a wave of uncritical media adulation and touting an education at elite universities. Palin doesn’t have the only resume that fits the bill, but nobody else’s resume is selling millions of copies at the moment.

Given the difficulty in itemizing the exact “qualifications” for President, and the painfully thin portfolio of the current occupant of the White House, a poll pronouncing the former governor of Alaska “unqualified” is really measuring the effectiveness of crude media caricatures from 2008.

Palin isn’t currently running for anything, so people who don’t follow politics closely are left with the afterimage of her savage treatment in the last campaign burned into their memories. That might change when people read her book, and follow her appearances on the book tour, but otherwise I wouldn’t expect much movement in her poll numbers unless she actually tosses her hat in the ring. Why would disengaged voters think of her as anything but a celebrity author until then?

Comparing Palin’s “qualification” ratings to Romney or Huckabee is a little silly, because neither of them took the kind of pounding she did. The Left’s supply of anti-Mormon bigotry remains locked in the toxic waste dump of its soul, where it will remain until Romney looks like he’s going to win the Republican nomination.

Huckabee seems to be carefully laying the groundwork for a 2012 run, but right now he could interview live extraterrestrials on his Fox show without pulling a fraction of the sustained media attention Palin continues to receive. Much of this attention is negative, but any principled Republican who thinks he would draw positive media coverage is fantasizing more than the most ardent Palin supporter.

Speaking of fantasies, Frum figures he’s the red pill that will awaken Palin supporters to the hopeless, blasted wasteland of the real world: Palin supporters have constructed an alternative reality in which their heroine is wildly cheered by the American yeomanry, and despised only by a small coterie of sherry-drinking snobs.

No contrary evidence, no matter how overwhelming and uncontradicted, can alter this view: not the collapse in Palin’s support in just 5 weeks in 2008, not the statistical studies that show her as the only vice presidential nominee in ticket to have hurt her ticket, not her rampant unpopularity with American women, not her own flinching from a second encounter with the Alaskan electorate.

That isn’t a glass of sherry gripped in David Frum’s sweaty fist, Palinistas. It’s a mug of scalding hot coffee, and it’s going right down your throats. Personally, I’m stuck in an alternative reality where a hardcore leftist is running up astronomical deficits and double-digit unemployment, in the service of a liberty-destroying collectivist agenda.

I wonder how many hard feelings the voters of 2012 will carry for the woman who gave 110% effort to save us from this little branch in the time line, and has the battle scars to show for it… assuming they can tear themselves away from obsessing over those “statistical studies that show her as the only vice presidential nominee in ticket to have hurt her ticket.”

Frum published a companion piece on his web site, “Saint Sarah” by Napoleon Linardatos. (Get it? She’s an object of religious devotion to her mindless supporters, a little glow-in-the-dark plastic statuette on the dashboard of their limited intellects.) Linardatos zeroes in on the real reason Palin has so many Frum-ious bandersnatches nipping at her ankles:

Since the defeat of the McCain ticket in 2008, Palin as governor failed to make any serious progress despite the fact that she had gained tremendous prominence and influence on the right and that she was at the helm of a conservative state. At the end she decided to resign, 18 months before the end of her term, admitting that she was no longer able to effectively govern the state. It should have been a “mugged by reality” moment for the Palinistas. But for them her resignation was proof of the everlasting prosecution.

Palin would leave governing, as the Washington Post reported, because it was “in the best interest of the state and will allow her to more effectively advocate for issues of importance to her, including energy independence and national security.” Those who can’t govern perpetually campaign.

Do you suppose that tsunami of frivolous lawsuits from the Democrat slander machine might have had something to do with her “failure to make any serious progress” as governor? It doesn’t matter to the dutiful scribes of conventional wisdom. When the Washington Post counts a Republican out, David Frum will always be there with a bottle of chloroform, to make sure they don’t get back up. Deviation from the accepted script for Republican political life is dangerous populism.

It would be foolish to suppose Palin could resume a political career without getting asked about her resignation. In fact, the media won’t just ask her about it… they’ll argue with her about it. She gives every sign of understanding that. One of her best qualifications for high office is her demonstrated ability to set aside ego and emotion, to learn from her mistakes.

Another of Palin’s qualifications is her relationship with her supporters. Contrary to the usual lazy dismissal, they’re not brimming with the kind of blind faith that put Barack Obama in office. Of course they like her. I’d be tempted to say every major politician is well-liked by their supporters, but I haven’t been able to forget about John Kerry yet.

I’ve read a lot of blog posts and comments from enthusiastic Palin supporters, and they generally don’t strike me as hypnotized by the glory of her inevitable victory. They like what she says, they like her personally, and they take every opportunity to encourage her to run for office. Dismissing the ability to inspire such respect and affection as a liability is remarkably wrong-headed.

Palin has developed a remarkable knack for saying all the things President Obama should be saying, at any given moment. While Obama was serving as the warm-up act for anti-American and anti-Semitic nutjobs at the United Nations, Palin spoke of her country’s proud tradition of liberty and capitalism in Hong Kong. While Obama pondered whether the ruins of the Berlin Wall would make a suitable backdrop for his magnificence, Palin wrote of the twilight struggle between Ronald Reagan’s America and the Evil Empire… and wasn’t shy about naming both the heroes and villains.

Palin’s qualifications are not merely academic. She’s been a lonely pair of boots on the ground, in conflicts where most of her presumptive rivals have been content to either sit on the sidelines or follow her lead. She’s demonstrated a willingness to take risks, and stand her ground under fire. Those are qualities Republican voters will be looking for, if they want a President who can do more than just negotiate lower monthly payments on the lethally overdrawn American Distress card.

The mocking dismissal of Palin as a pity fetish for her faithful worshipers has it exactly backward. Many of her strident critics enjoy using her as a voodoo doll to insult her supporters. They’re the real targets of accommodating “moderates” hoping to be chosen as valets to a permanent socialist ruling class. They’re the reason David Frum perches on his dreary web site, furiously scribbling equations that prove they don’t exist. Behind the endless nattering about Sarah Palin’s qualifications for President is the assertion that her supporters aren’t qualified to vote.

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