Monday, July 6, 2009
Personal Aside: Gov. Palin Figures It OutMore Worthwhile Influencing America for Good Via Media than Politics The Growing Sophistry of The Economist the Minnesota Recount Debacle How Dare the Vatican Discipline Nuns! Says Feminist Marin Dan Proft....
The surprise resignation by Gov. Sarah Palin makes clear that she is not doing it as an artifice to run for the presidency. Her family is suffering from the strain of the unwarranted abuse dished out by the liberal Democratic media. For Palin to continue as governor would place the family is continued strain which could conceivably affect her marriage and her relationship with her husband and kids. For this she is to be congratulated: all too many public officials in the national limelight subordinate their family to the incredible sacrifice of seeking high political office. As we have seen, Palin is one official who imparts more than lip-service about family values. She believes family is most important, even at a time when she clearly leads the polls in popularity with the Republican base and was until last Friday that partys front-runner for the presidency. Congratulations to her.
It must be remembered that she has become an important spokesman for traditional values and it is likely that she will continue as suchlikely in the media and in a prominent role. That could very well lead to a return to politics in the future. It is hard to forget that she is very young: only 45. She could well be a factor as a spokesman not just in 2012 when she will be 47 but in 2016 when she will be 52, in 2020 when she will be 56even in 2024 when she will be 60: an average age for those seeking the presidency. Granted, she has to devote deep study on the issues; were she to run for national office again she cant get away with clichés but has to crack the books and come up with substantive answers. But shes up for it. At any rate, she realizes this: the media is where its at these days.
One Rush Limbaugh is worth 50 conservative pols. One Sean Hannity worth 25; one Glenn Beck 20; one Charles Krauthammer worth more than all of them together in intellectual heft if not in audience. With all the attention paid to candidates for office including conservative ones, it is wise to remember that many of them not all are bottom-feeders. When she gets into the media Palin will be a greater influencer for good than she was as governor.
The idea that she is doing this because she fears a shoe will drop that will embody a scandal is not credible. So far she has been exonerated in 12 bogus ethics scandals that has been lodged against her. Im sure other attempts will be made to sully her name but they will be as unsuccessful.
The last ditch smear the Democratic National Committee has madethe announcement Friday that she is breaking her pledge to the voters of Alaska by stepping downhas a point. I personally would have adviser her to serve out her term but this minor point will not matter much if and when she decides to return to the political arena in 2016 at age 52. Her decision evokes the statement of Richard Nixon when he lost the California governorship in 1962 that you wont have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore. But Palins decision to leave the governorship to attend to her family needs is less far less damaging than Nixons bad tempered concession statement, (that of a surly poor loser which Nixon truly was; he was even a poor winner). And look with all his warts he resurrected to run for and be elected president in 1968 and reelected by a landslideand in history will be regarded favorably as one who opened the intermediary to China, taking advantage of the Sino-Soviet split, and thus turned an important key in the Cold War. This will overshadow by far the Watergate scandal which forced his removalnot for what he did but for what in his anguish he SAID.
In a sense, Palins base is very like Nixons without his disadvantages. No matter what happened to him politically, Nixon was cherished by a solid phalanx of conservatives as the patriot who sent Alger Hiss to jail: and all the hatred of Nixon in the world by the media and liberals had no effect of dissuading them. Palins supporters are the same. They love her for the enemies she has made essentially those who were self-shamed for her joyfully assuming the true moral choice of having a Down Syndrome baby when legalized abortion would have enabled her evading that central moral responsibility.
For that reason, Palin is a hero to social conservatives. Frankly when I hear from our liberal Democratic friends the phrase drag on the ticket I wonder whom theyre referring toPalin or John McCain. Palin added zest, excitement and verve to the ticket; she brought in a solid Republican base that had been wary of John McCain. I think her interview with Katie Couric was marginal compared to the showboat flopping on-stage that her running-mate did and couldnt pull off by adjourning his campaign for a time to solve the economic crisiswhich he didnt. The fact that they lost by only four points in a campaign beset with severe economic recession and an unpopular war was incredible: and most of the credit I give, frankly, to Sarah Palin.
For this feat and for her indomitable courage and will, Sarah Palin will continue to be regarded as topmost among conservative leaders. I wish her well and look forward to see her reemergence as a media star. Later who knows she may return to politics when her family is older and the David Lettermans, Jon Stewarts and Jay Lenos are relegated to the cultural dustbin where they belong. But for her politics is not necessary. She belongs before the cameras and microphonesnow and possibly for the remainder of her life.
Her stepping down leaves Mitt Romney as the heir to the presidential nomination. She could be an ideal running-mate in 2012 but dont count on it. Shes better off waiting even longer in the future.
There is no doubt that The Economist has been a major oracle of content in publishingbut recently it has taken am evasive, sly, unhistorical and all-too-careful position on the issues too concerned with pleasing the liberal establishment and less, far less, on being courageous. Already pro-abort and pro-gay rights, it assumes a wise-guy attitude to please the drawing-room without being very honest in its analysis of the issues: almost as if it wishes to please both sides, liberal and conservative. There are many recent evidences: one that gave FDR credit for ending the Depression a fashionable view with liberals..but which has been widely disproven when one looks at the factsthe unemployment rate particularly, showing that it took the rearmament program leading up to World War II to overcome the economic slog.
The latest manipulation has to do with the Honduran coup. This weeks Economist leader (editorial) wants it both waysLousy president, terrible precedent. Its subhead says Manuel Zelaya should be restored to power. He should also be forced to respect the constitution. Huh? Ordered to respect the constitution? Well, isnt that nifty! Thats like recommending terrorists to desist and respect Israel. Not going to happen. The facts of the Honduran coup argue that what The Economist wants cannot be done.
Granted that it was awkward to send President Zelaya to exile at dawn, lets consider what he was doing when he was hustled out the door in his pajamas. He was rushing ahead with a referendum to demand a constitutional revision that would allow him to seek a second four-year termdespite the fact that the Honduran courts and AG warned that he would face prosecution if he carried it out. Zelaya not only did not heed these legal injunctions but tried to conduct a coup himself against orderly processesrounding up a crowd to distribute ballots imported from Venezuela and Hugo Chavez, Zelayas patron. In essence it was the scheme of Chavez to get his buddy reelected unconstitutionally and join the anti-U. S. bloc.
These things being said, President Obama made a wrong call by publicly supporting the return of Zelaya. He should have been as quiet and nonjudgmental on the issue as he was originallyoriginally, that ison the Iranian street protests. America doesnt have to be in the forefront of everything. He should have hopedin Honduras as in Iranthat the forces of freedom win in Irans case the street demonstrators, in Honduras the forces of Roberto Micheletti which deposed Zelaya. Beyond that: he should have shut up. Thats what Coolidge would have done.
What should have happened, of course, was: Honduras should have impeached Zelaya and convicted him for violating the law. But that begs the question of The Economists advice: get Zelaya to return and make him respect the constitution. Utter nonsense and impossible to execute as well.
Until recently I admired The Economist because it was a realistic journal. What is behind its often foolish leaders? Who knows? Too much accommodationism. I like its content but I may drop my subscription.
The Minnesota Debacle.
Minnesota was home to me in my early formative yearsand I returned here to the city of my birth after an interregnum as result of a recount in which we were beaten for reelection by 91 votes out of 1,250,000 cast. But while the election was hair-split close, there was no case of vote fraud. Not so with the election of Al Franken who appropriately gained fame as a clown. On election night Franken trailed the incumbent, Republican Norm Coleman by 725 votes. Then after a recount, it was Coleman still ahead by 215. At that point the election was decided not by counting but by shrewd political conspiratorial advocacy.
The Franken people argued and won in behalf of absentee ballots that they charged had been wrongly disqualified. Colemans lawyers wanted a uniform standard by which counties should evaluate the disqualified ballots. But the courts were disinclined to overrule decisions by the canvassing board no matter how arbitrary. It is on this legal decision that the election turned. Proceeding to use subjective standards adopted by the pro-Franken counties canvassing, the DFL finally cobbled together 312 votes ahead while the Coleman people concentrated on arguing the legalities. The same Democratic tactics were used in the state of Washington for governor in 2004 after Republican Dino Rossi was ahead on election night. The result in both states: legal argumentation won the election rather than vote counting.
How Dare the Vatican Discipline Nuns!
Fresh from last weeks column where she suggested that the spirit of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin who wanted to fudge Catholic moral absolutes permeate Barack Obamas meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, Carol Marin who carries the mien of a Sister Superior herself equipped with grade school wooden ruler with which to spank her students, asks how dare the Vatican try to discipline nuns to follow its theology. It is par for the course for Marin who is buddy-buddy with some `60s liberal nuns who hate male autocracy, free-lance with feminism and challenge timeless precepts on the male priesthood, contraception and abortion. Thats exactly what Marin is. Wrap it up with a plea for unbounded funds for social programs and thats Marins New Age Catholicism.
Marin rose from TV anchor to Joan of Arc status with a Bernardin-like flourish of the media. When NBC was moving to fire her because her numbers were sagging, she discovered that her stations program chief was about to slip in raucous TV talk show host Jerry Springer, a former Cincinnati mayor, for a brief commentary on her evening news. Knowing she was being phased out anyhow, Marin raised the roof about cheapening the news and left under her own power: a magnum opus. A beautiful finesse: a Saint Joan of Arc, quitting in self-martyrdom all in behalf of quality broadcasting, wincing as the flames rise higher on the wood pile. Im frankly in admiration of how Marin finessed it and how she landed a short-lived anchor job at CBS, then returned to NBC as its political editor, rounding up a political commentary at the post-John Callaway Chicago Week in Review and following up after the demise of Steve Neal with a political column at the Sun-Times.
The `60s liberal is now lecturing her church at least I think its still her church on how socially conscious it should become using Bernardin who occupied an all-but Kim Philby mole in the backwater of a mistakenly dubbed Spirit of Vatican II and who was serenaded at his funeral by the Gay Mens Chorus as a come-on.
Proft Extraordinarily Able in Debate.
A final thought: Dan Proft who was my guest last night on WLS-AM is extraordinarily able in debateas he showed in verbal fisticuffs with another excellent debater, Eugene Mullins, spokesman for Todd Stroger. Proft has skills in front of a microphone which I havent seen in a candidate on either side of the aisle since the debut of Hubert Humphrey in 1948 which I witnessed. And that is really saying something.