What Palin’s response to Rahm Emanuel’s “retarded” remark says about her intelligence and her politics

I have posted further thoughts about Sarah Palin’s demand that Rahm Emanuel be fired for saying to a group of liberal activists in a private meeting that they were being “f**king retarded” for giving President Obama a hard time, a comment which Palin took as a slur on all people with mental disabilities.

With one exception, no VFR readers who are Palin supporters have replied to the question I posed to them: what does her statement tell us about her intelligence and her politics? Perhaps it is because they agree that the statement is damaging to her, but don’t want to say so publicly.

- end of initial entry -

Jed B. writes:

I submit to you that if a Palin supporter found his way to VFR, he wouldn’t remain a Palin supporter for very long. VFR has a tendency to eliminate any such flaws in your reader’s thinking in a rapid, forceful, and thorough manner.

LA replies:

[laughing] Thanks. So the answer is, the group to which my question was addressed—VFR readers who support Palin—no longer exists.

However, that outcome may not be due to my powers of persuasion, but to the opposite: Palin supporters may have simply stopped reading VFR.

Laura Wood writes:

I don’t think so. :-)

James N. writes:

Subject: “Have Palin supporters stopped reading VFR?”


I’m still here.

LA replies:

You are the one exception I’ve already mentioned.

February 11

Pierre writes:

To answer the question in the title of this entry:

Palin’s response to Emanuel’s remark tells us that she understands Alinsky’s rules better than most Republicans. And she knows how to use them.

Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. “You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

The left has set up absurd rules regarding what a person may or may not say. Palin perfectly turned that back on Obama’s attack dog. And the old right is so darn dense they don’t get it. But we the people get it.

LA replies:

You’re right. Thoughtful conservatives are not going to agree that the way for conservatism to be advanced is by adopting Communist methods of lying and intimidation, which, among other things, will make them lose the ability to tell the difference between truth and lies. And I don’t think the “people” will want to adopt Communist-style lies either. What other Communist methods do you think conservatives ought to adopt?

Was Obamacare stopped by Communist-style lies and intimidation, or was it stopped by our side, including “the people,” speaking the truth about it?

For that matter, was Soviet Communism defeated by its opponents adopting Communist-style lies and intimidation, or was it defeated by its opponents—Solzenitsyn, Walesa, Havel, Reagan, Pope John Paul II, Yeltsin—speaking the truth about it?

Pierre writes:

Where was the lie? Where is the intimidation? She merely turned their rules of speech back onto the left. She made them abide by the same rules they have set out for us. She had enough clout to make the accusation stick. By doing this she forced one of the main figures of the socialist revolutionaries to apologize and lose face. When is the last time “thoughtful conservatives” were able to make one minor figure inside the Obama administration admit an error?

Perhaps you have noticed that “Thoughtful Conservatives” have been losing the battle for quite some time. The universities, media, most of the congress are all lost and were lost especially since the right thought itself above the fray. The left is absolutely gleeful that we won’t fight to win. We fight to feel good about ourselves in the morning, while turning over a bankrupt much less free nation to our children.

And regards to the Soviet system being defeated … what a strange defeat it is. We now have the head of the former KGB as the quasi leader for life. Speaking truth about it??? Perhaps the Soviets simply saw another path to victory that we didn’t consider?

LA replies:

Well, the lie was in the claim that calling liberal activists “retarded” in a private meeting was an insult to all people with mental disabilities. The intimidation was in telling people that private comments having nothing to do with a victim group could be used to demand the speaker be fired for insulting that victim group. Which is what the left does. Instead of fighting leftist rules, you want conservatives to adopt them. No thanks.

Furthermore, contrary to your statement that Palin was using the left’s methods against it, I am not aware off-hand of any Democrat saying such a stupid thing as Palin said and demanding that a Republican be fired from a high level political office for a private comment such as Emanuel’s having nothing to do with insulting any victim group. So you want the conservatives to be WORSE than the liberals. Again, no thanks.

Roger G. writes:


Pierre replies to LA:
Private comment? There is no such thing with public servants, especially with the cast of crooks that have inhabited Washington DC on both sides of the aisle.

Sorry, must be mistaken by all the Democrats that called for Bush to be impeached. How many Democrats called for Ari (Bush press secreteary) to be fired when he suggested that folks watch their mouth. It wouldn’t be very hard to give you 50 examples of conservatives and Republicans who have been viciously attacked for saying something politically incorrect.

Finally when you are in a fight, and we are in a vicious no-holds barred fight with the left, and they are NOT abiding by any set rules, and they make stuff up as they go, and they hold the high ground of the media, universities and entertainment abiding by the “rules” may make you feel good, but you will lose.

Given the left’s history in other countries when they gain victory we cannot afford your Marquis of Queensbury rules. I don’t want to be lined up at the re-education camps patting my children on the back saying “well we played by the rules”.

I want to win. Show me how we win with your rules. Thank you for being so kind as to respond.

LA replies:

I am not saying that Republicans shouldn’t fight, not at all. Much of my writing is a call for conservatives and Republicans to confront the left and wage political war against them. What I am saying is that Republicans do not help themselves by making utterly ridiculous statements. And Palin’s statement on Emanuel was utterly ridiculous.

So the question is, HOW should Republicans fight back? They should fight BY SPEAKING THE TRUTH. When Democrats falsely accuse Republicans of “extremism” or “racism,” the Republicans should launch an all out attack on the Democrats for trying to silence one side of politics, which is the same as trying to end politics. The Republicans should expose the leftist, tyrannical nature of what the Democrats are up to. And doing that doesn’t require Communist techniques; it requires taking a stand and speaking the truth and not letting the other side get away with their lies.

Of course the Republicans have never done anything like this, because they accept the liberal premise that Republicans are implicitly racist and guilty and are under an obligation to prove their own moral legitimacy. Therefore they never expose that liberal premise for what it is.

The “thoughtful conservatives” you condemn are conservatives who have never fought. For years I’ve made my slogan something Samuel Francis once said, that the right needs to engage in “principled confrontation” with liberals. Notice how those two words go together. Not unprincipled confrontation, not principled retreat, but principled confrontation.

What the Republicans have been doing for decades has been unprincipled retreat.

Mencius Moldbug writes:

The American right has been losing for (literally) 250 years because it adopts the methods and principles of the American left. After all, it grew up believing in these methods and principles. How could they be wrong? How could the whole thing just be a massive pack of lies? Oh, wait. You’re a dissident. You do believe it’s a massive pack of lies. Well, then! Shall you join this pack of lies, or shall you oppose it?

Alinskyism in specific is a massive lose for the right, because the right finds that the laws are enforced mercilessly against it—by the left-wing Alinskyites now in power. Ask James O’Keefe about that. Revolutionary methods violent or nonviolent do not work against a determined and unified adversary, which is why there was never any successful insurgency against Communism.

Why did Nixon think he could get away with playing dirty? Because his Democratic adversaries had been playing dirty since the ’30s. What he forgot was that they had the power to hold him to an entirely different set of standards than they applied to themselves. Those standards had not been applied to the American Presidency in Nixon’s lifetime. They were, however, still on the books. Thus, the massive revolt of the “silent majority” that elected Nixon (the first anti-Establishment President since Calvin Coolidge) petered out, was wasted, destroyed and “discredited.”

Moreover, the special cases in which the ruthlessness and mendacity of the nihilist left can be transferred successfully to the right also produce the worst examples of evil on the right. Case in point: Hitler. Bolshevik methods worked for Hitler, and why? Because old judges from the Imperial era gave Nazi street thugs the same kind of “boys will be boys” treatment that left-wing Alinskyites today are accustomed to getting for their “civil disobedience.” Needless to say, there’s none of that now—not for the right. And if there was, would we want it? Not, I think, at VFR …

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 07, 2010 05:52 PM | Send

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