The observed of all observers, the fantasied of all fantasists

Sarah Palin’s resignation as governor or Alaska has triggered a steady stream of excited commentary, in which various supposedly conservative pundits imagine, with Yeats,

That the future years had come,
Dancing to a frenzied drum

And not all this excitement is coming from Palin’s transported “conservative” champions. Much of it is coming from liberals. For example, former Democratic California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown at the San Francisco Chronicle opines that Palin’s “decision to step down as Alaska governor was a brilliant move.” Then there is an article at the liberal Los Angeles Times quoting Republican professionals who are calling Palin dead meat, while the Times reporter disagrees with that assessment and says no, she has a chance. Of course, some liberals may be talking up Palin because they think that given all her qualities for which they despise her, she dooms the GOP. For a pure expression of this strategy, see the hate-filled liberal columnist Mark Morford at SF Gate, who writes that after wishing for the last ten months that Palin would go away, he suddenly realized, on hearing her resignation announcement, that he desperately wants her to stay around.

Back on the conservative side, a contributor named Otis A. Glazebrook IV at the increasingly enthusiastic website American Thinker describes Palin’s resignation as a transcendent act by which she has “positioned herself to disrupt the status quo and send much needed shock waves through the entire American political system.” Palin, according to Glazebrook, has now freed herself from the Republican Party, as a result of which, he continues (in a leap of logic that, if it came from Palin herself, her followers would say was an example of her unconventional, “out of the box” thinking), she can now become the leader of the Republican Party. “You are now free to wage all out war on the status quo. More importantly you are free to fashion a Reagan-esque Conservative alliance on your terms.”

I apologize for asking a logical question of the distinguished American thinker Otis A. Glazebrook IV, but in what substantive respects (as distinct from her unquestioned stylistic individuality) has Palin actually differed from the status quo? Offhand I can’t think of one respect. Glazebrook himself seems to be aware of the problem, since he proceeds to lay out an entire political agenda which he says Palin ought to champion. In other words, Palin has no known agenda of her own, and Glazebrook is projecting onto her his hopes, his beliefs. Such fruitless fantasizing is as old as politics.

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Paul Mulshine writes:

How has she differed from the GOP status quo? Well, she’s called for “ramping up” spending on public schools. And she opposes the limits on punitive damages supported by every other Republican on earth. As for any veering to the right of the party regulars, I’ve yet to hear of it.

LA replies:

She also differs from the conservative status quo in warmly supporting the gender-socialist Title IX of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which has caused the closing down of innumerable athletic programs for boys in American public school so as to equalize the number of programs for boys and girls.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 13, 2009 11:20 AM | Send

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