Diary

Open Letter to Jonah Goldberg Regarding Sarah Palin

Yes, another Sarah post. But this post, as usual, is inspired by yet another unwarranted anti-Sarah screed. I am not going to spew venom. I’m just going to state that which should be obvious. First, you state:

Second, peddling a few platitudes and truisms about free markets and limited government is no substitute for really knowing what you’re talking about. Yes, you can talk well about the stuff you know — oil drilling, energy, etc. — but beyond your comfort zone, you fall back on bumper-sticker language that sounds fine to the people who already agree with you but is useless in winning over skeptics.

President Bush had the same problem you do, which is why there’s a hunger for Republicans who can effectively articulate and sell our policies and philosophy. That’s why the wonks have the upper hand. Mitt Romney, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and other hands-on types are what the party wants and, frankly, needs.

(Hmmm, “peddling a few platitudes and truisms”. Is there some kind of talking point memo going around because I’m pretty sure Krauthammer and Frum have used that same exact language regarding Palin?)

So a few pundits think the “wonks have the upper hand”. Being a wonk is hardly a practical or winning strategy. That is Poli-Sci 101. We live in a fast paced, restless world. It’s a sound bite culture, where the ten second clip rules. And charisma, speed and brevity are becoming more critical, not less. The political landscape if full of the carcasses of flat, long-winded, wonks with political aspirations.

Didn’t our current president just win by using nothing but a “few platitudes”, as did George W. Bush? The last real wonkish president that we’ve had was Jimmy Carter. I’ll pass.

Also, did I miss something or is Sarah still the Governor of Alaska. You lament the fact she only displays expertise in oil and energy, but what is she suppose to talk about on a national stage? I’m sure she could talk at great length about the indigenous peoples of Alaska or the Dutch Harbor commercial fisheries, but nobody is asking her. Is she receiving daily briefs on the situation in Hondurus? Was she was invited to speak at some national health care consortium? It’s 2009 and she is the Governor of Alaska. She is talking about those things that she should be talking about.

Let me state that I like all three Republicans you cited. But they represent the unknown. Some Republicans posses an almost childlike infatuation with unknown over the known.

This I know is true: if any one of those three ever became a threat to the Obama administration and to the Left’s foundation of identity politics like Sarah has, they will become just as tainted if not more. Don’t you recall the small armies of reporters and investigators flying into Alaska to scour that state for dirt? What do think would have happened to the last great unknown, Mark Sanford, under such scrutiny?

I like the fact the Palin been put through the ringer and has come out not only standing, but swinging. Sarah’s vetted and tough.

Bobby Jindal had one primetime interview and the media turned him into Kenny from 30 Rock. I think Jindal has a bright future, but his one prime time address was hardly impressive. Frankly, he bombed. This is your standard to criticize Sarah. If you recall, Sarah knocked her first two primetime addresses out of the park.

And Mitch Daniels has an “upper hand”? I like him too, but where does he have an upper hand? In South Bend, Indiana? Sarah shows up at a parade in a small town thousands of miles from her home state, waves a flag, and draws a crowd of 20,000. It’s nice that Daniels is impressing the folks over at the Heritage Foundation, but I doubt he has the star power and charisma to go toe to toe with Obama on a national stage.

And like you, I was an early defender of a presidential candidate. I was with Romney when he ran for governor of Massachusetts. Romney has some good qualities, but being a wonk has never helped him on the campaign trail. His stiff, wonkish demeanor has been a liability, not an asset. It’s his wonkish expertise in health care that may actually prove a fatal albatross to his political aspirations.

And you are dead wrong about her appeal. It’s her ability to rally the base AND draw new voters that has the Democrats afraid. I am a bachelor in Boston. I don’t ‘run’ with the base. I see how people outside “Sarah4Prez circles” react to her.

There are college kids, hipsters, young women, working moms, people who work with the disabled; people who normally wouldn’t stop for one second to listen to some crusty, old, white guy with an “R” next to name; but, when Sarah speaks, they stop, they are intrigued, they listen. She may not get them all, but they listen. How can you appeal to voters, when the voters won’t even tune in?

Sarah is a medium into demographics that the Democrats think they own. She could never run for political office again; accept a ten year deal to host a television talk show; become the conservative Oprah; and do more for conservatism than Jindal, Romney, Daniels combined.

You also state:

For starters, every time I see you on TV, you’re whining about unfair press coverage. Don’t get me wrong: Much of it is unfair, and some of it deserves a response. But it’s not presidential. It’s not even gubernatorial. You are constantly taking the bait, taking up the fights your biggest fans want you to take up.

That is just so bad. This is where the base leaves the establishment. Maybe, it’s because you, like your cohorts, fancy yourselves as part of the press now that you’ve had some success. I’m not sure. But for the first time in generations, we have rallied against an agenda driven press that has crippled our efforts for so long. Media bias and educational indoctrination are the two great fights of our time. Without pushback, all political efforts will be lost. We should no longer try to win the favor and respect of a hostile press. Sarah gets that. You don’t.

Maybe she is wonkish after all.