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September 19, 2011

Strange New Respect: Ralph Nader Praises Sarah Palin For Echoing His Themes

I had a few emails last week from Palin-boosters noting that Sarah Palin had managed the coup of a favorable write up in the New York Times.

Of course, they were not impressed by her ability to convince them of things they didn't believe -- like the prudence of expanding domestic energy production.

No, they were impressed at her ability to say things they already agreed with:

Let us begin by confessing that, if Sarah Palin surfaced to say something intelligent and wise and fresh about the present American condition, many of us would fail to hear it.

That is not how we’re primed to see Ms. Palin. A pugnacious Tea Partyer? Sure. A woman of the people? Yup. A Mama Grizzly? You betcha.

But something curious happened when Ms. Palin strode onto the stage last weekend at a Tea Party event in Indianola, Iowa. Along with her familiar and predictable swipes at President Barack Obama and the “far left,” she delivered a devastating indictment of the entire U.S. political establishment — left, right and center — and pointed toward a way of transcending the presently unbridgeable political divide.

Ralph Nader is also praising Palin, but I think Ed sums up the reasons for this fairly well:

And just like when the NYT suddenly discovered Palin’s anti-establishment cred, I suspect that the newfound respect from Nader and Salon doesn’t have much to do with surprise as it does with trying to take a few indirect shots at the Republicans running for President. If Palin does toss her hat in the ring, don’t expect this late media infatuation with Palin as a smart crusader to last very long.

Those shots were not "indirect;" they were aimed directly at the media's new designated Hate Figure, Rick Perry.

It's nice to see the media and leftists (but I repeat myself) note that Sarah Palin is not, in fact, the right-wing Wolf Genocidalist caricature they have long informed the public she was. (But note, in neither Strange New Respect piece is there any acknowledgement of being wrong in perpetrating this caricature; both the NYT and Ralph Nader imply that this is entirely new information, so they can't be faulted for having previously missed this aspect of Palin.)

On the other hand, I'm not buying the claim put forth by Palin-supporters that good reviews from the NYT and Ralph Nader are suddenly good reasons to support someone. I had thought the rule was entirely the opposite: I have heard again and again that Rush Limbaugh's vague statement, "They will tell you who they fear," was a covert endorsement of Palin, for, after all, by pouring so much hate on her, they told us they feared her, and (in a bit of logic that's never been quite clear to me*) ergo we ought to do the opposite and support her.

But if Rick Perry is now the designated Hate Figure and Sarah Palin praised as the Republican We In The Media Sort Of Agree With, doesn't that mean that now they're telling us they fear Perry and ergo we should rush right out and do the exact opposite of what they tell us and support him?

And aren't the nice comments about Palin a warning that she's a terrible RINO?

I don't actually believe that. But then, I never believed this bullshit that "They will tell us who they fear" and that we should all therefore subcontract our decision-making to liberals, by supporting, without any evaluation of our own, whoever they most opposed.

I guess I'm just looking for some consistency in politics.

And given the history of politics, I suppose I'll keep on looking for it for some time.

* Most offensive to me in this formulation is the notion that we conservatives are too dumb to figure this stuff out for ourselves, but apparently liberals are smart enough to figure it out. So we should just watch what those smarty-pants are doing or saying, and then do the opposite.

When you key your decisions entirely on the decisionmaking of someone else -- even if you will do the exact opposite they urge -- you are giving up your own decisionmaking and giving that power to someone else.

I've never wanted to give that power up to anyone. Nor have I ever believed that liberals were smarter than myself, so that I would make better decisions if I watched their decisions and then simply opposed them. I always sort of thought I (and other conservatives) could figure out what we wanted for ourselves, with no need of checking the Liberal Caucus about it.

And Ron Paul, Too: At 6:11, Jon Stewart demands to know why FoxNews doesn't treat Ron Paul better.

He plugs Ron Paul a lot. Because of the Peacenik hippy thing.

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posted by Ace at 04:26 PM

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