Scarborough tells GOP it’s time to “man up” and confront Palin

I am not an admirer of Joe Scarborough, the anti-social conservative “conservative” who makes a fool of himself every day on “Morning Joe” with his open collared shirt and his blank-faced, half undressed female sidekick sitting at his side. But this article, in which he expresses his indignation at Sarah Palin’s habit of elevating herself by tearing down Republican presidents who have achieved far more than she has, is worth reading.

My main problem with the piece: Scarborough’s praise for George Bush the elder as a “great man.” Being a World War II combat veteran makes Bush a World War II combat veteran, for which he deserves honor and respect. It doesn’t make him a great man. Indeed, by describing as a “great man” the very symbol of mediocrity and me-too Republicanism, Scarborough demonstrates precisely the hopeless intellectual and spiritual emptiness of a Republican establishment that needs to be toppled.

Notwthstanding those weaknesses in the piece, Scarborough makes good points.

GOP should take on Palin
By: Joe Scarborough
November 30, 2010 04:44 AM EST

Republicans have a problem. The most-talked-about figure in the GOP is a reality show star who cannot be elected. And yet the same leaders who fret that Sarah Palin could devastate their party in 2012 are too scared to say in public what they all complain about in private.

Enough. It’s time for the GOP to man up.

Everybody knows that Palin is a busy woman. The former half-term governor of Alaska stays so busy these days that one wonders how this mother of five manages to juggle her new reality show, follow her eldest daughter’s dancing career and launch her latest frenetic book tour while still finding the time to insult a slew of revered presidents and first ladies.

You’ve got to admit hers is a breathtaking high-wire act.

What man or mouse with a fully functioning human brain and a résumé as thin as Palin’s would flirt with a presidential run? It makes the political biography of Barack Obama look more like Winston Churchill’s, despite the fact that the 44th president breezed into the Oval Office as little more than a glorified state senator.

Still, Palin is undeterred, charging ahead maniacally while declaring her intention to run for the top office in the land if “nobody else will.” Adding audacity to this dopey dream is that Palin can’t stop herself from taking swings at Republican giants. In the past month alone, she has mocked Ronald Reagan’s credentials, dismissed George H.W. and Barbara Bush as arrogant “blue bloods” and blamed George W. Bush for wrecking the economy.

Wow. That’ll win ‘em over in Iowa.

One can only guess what comes next on Palin’s bizarre road show. Maybe the publishing world’s favorite reality star can keep drawing attention and selling billions of books by spitting on John Wayne’s grave or “manning up” by shooting an American bald eagle.

Or how about this? Maybe Palin could show up on Fox News and build her weak résumé by tearing down Reagan’s.

Oh, wait. Been there, done that.

When Sean Hannity asked Palin whether being in a reality show diminished her standing to be president, the former half-term governor mocked Reagan’s biography, dismissing him as “an actor.”

Sounding like every left-wing politician and media elitist who ridiculed Reagan for decades, Palin sneered that she could be president if the actor from “Bedtime for Bonzo” managed to do so.

Reagan biographer Peggy Noonan dismissed the remark as “ignorant, even for Sarah Palin.” Noonan reported that Reagan loyalists were outraged that Palin would stoop to using the old left-wing jab. The Gipper’s former speechwriter then used her Wall Street Journal column to strike back.

Noonan noted that Reagan walked into the White House as far more than an actor.

The 40th president first led a major American labor union through massive upheaval, toured factories for General Electric for eight years and was California’s governor for two full terms during the Golden State’s most momentous times. Reagan then challenged an incumbent president from his own party and reinvented American conservatism without the help of the GOP establishment or the conservative movement.

After Palin mocked Reagan’s credentials, the TLC reality show star took aim at the 41st president and his wife. Borrowing again from old left-wing attacks that Democrats used against GOP presidents, Palin channeled Ann Richards by bashing Bush and his wife as “blue bloods” who had wrecked America.

Palin was perturbed that a former president and his wife would dare to answer a question about whom they preferred for president in 2012. Perhaps her anger was understandable. After all, these disconnected “blue bloods” had nothing in their backgrounds that could ever make them understand “real America” like a former governor from Alaska who quit in the middle of her first term and then got rich.

Maybe Richards and Palin were right. Maybe poor George Herbert Walker Bush was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Indeed, he was so pampered growing up that on his 18th birthday, the young high school graduate enlisted in the armed forces. This spoiled teenager somehow managed to be the youngest pilot in the Navy when he received his wings, flying 58 combat missions over the Pacific during World War II. On Sept. 2, 1944, “Blue Blood” Bush almost lost his life after being shot down by Japanese anti-aircraft fire.

With his engine shattered and his plane on fire, Bush still refused to turn back, completing his mission by scoring several damaging hits on enemy targets. His plane crashed in the Pacific, where he waited for four hours in enemy waters until he was finally rescued. For his bravery and service to this country, Bush was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, three air medals and the Presidential Unit Citation for bravery while in combat.

What a spoiled brat.

I suppose Palin’s harsh dismissal of this great man is more understandable after one reads her biography and realizes that, like Bush, she accomplished a great deal in her early 20s. Who wouldn’t agree that finishing third in the Miss Alaska beauty contest is every bit as treacherous as risking your life in military combat? Maybe the beauty contestant who would one day be a reality star and former governor didn’t win the Distinguished Flying Cross, but the half-termer was selected as Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants.

And now a point of personal privilege. I work hard every day to assume the best of Americans who engage in public service. But I am offended by Palin’s attempt to build herself up by tearing down great men like Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Palin is not a stupid woman. But like the current president, she still does not know what she does not know. And she does know how to make millions of dollars, even if she embarrasses herself while doing it.

That reality hardly makes Palin unique, but this is one Republican who would prefer that the former half-term governor promote her reality shows and hawk her books without demeaning the reputations of Presidents Reagan and Bush. These great men dedicated their lives to public service and are too good to be fodder for her gaudy circus sideshow.

If Republicans want to embrace Palin as a cultural icon whose anti-intellectualism fulfills a base political need, then have at it. I suppose it’s cheaper than therapy.

But if the party of Ronald Reagan, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio wants to return to the White House anytime soon, it’s time that Republican leaders started standing up and speaking the truth to Palin.

[end of Scarborough article]

- end of initial entry -

JC from Houston writes:

Palin was here at a bookstore in Houston yesterday to sign 500 copies of her book. Palinbots started lining up as early as 5:00 p.m. Sunday to be in line for the book signing which began at 11 a.m. the next morning. My sister, who shares my dim view of Palin, noted that the last time she stood in line overnight was for tickets to some rock concert by a big name group in the ’70s. Palin is developing a cult of personality and her followers are becoming unthinking and unreasoning cultists. Hopefully we can stop this approaching 2012 train wreck.

Alan M. writes:

I think the issue is the the GOP establishment needs to “man up” period, full stop, end of story.

The reason Sarah Palin is popular is that she presents her arguments confidently, within the news cycle, without spin doctors and political-speak. Yes, she has significant challenges as a candidate. Yes, a lot of people think she is dumb. Yes, she probably would not win.

I can only hope there is a lot of competition for the role of Republican presidential candidate. However, all the candidates I see out there are “women” in relation to Sarah. They are too concerned with being careful with their speech, not offending, not taking a stand, being a politician, etc, etc.

Sarah exists because there is a vacuum and she is only too glad to fill it while ninnies in the party fret and get the vapors. On top of that, they attack her weaknesses while not competing with her strengths, thereby looking like they are not sympathetic to the cause. This leads to a “circle the wagons” behavior in her fans and those who admire the stands she takes. When she is the only standard-bearer who is willing to stand up, not defending her looks like not defending the cause.

Today’s Senate vote on earmarks with eight Republican defectors is a clear sign that the Republican leadership doesn’t get it. Those who care at least see that on the core issues, Sarah does. Provide a competitive alternative to Sarah and she will lose … and likely be just fine with it (if I read her character correctly).

LA replies:

I can’t disagree with you. As you indicate, the irony is that while Joe Scarborough calls on the GOP to be more “manly” and oppose Palin, the very reason she has the prominence and popularity she has is that she is more “manly” than the rest of the GOP. She takes strong, clear stands in a timely way. She seems alive, in a way that the other GOP figures do not.

Alan M. replies:

This the money quote for me from your response …

She seems alive, in a way that the other GOP figures do not.

It is a battle of life vs. death (or the zombie-like state that passes for life in the elite-o-sphere).

Perhaps that is the central issue and the difference between the two sides—trust in life versus lack of trust in life—and by life I mean that God and that God-given life force within each of us.

Some see that life and rejoice, some see that life and shrink in fear.

Gintas writes:

We’re in a two-year run of the final, climactic scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It is the culmination of the search for the lost Ark of the Covenant. The Germans, having gotten their hands on it at last, open it in an attempt to unlock its power in their service. A supernatural being emerges, it is beautiful, everyone is entranced, but then the beautiful being turns into a horrific spectre and they are all destroyed. Indiana Jones somehow knows that he and his lady friend can survive by not looking at the spectacle.

The GOP opened a box looking for magic power, and out came Sarah Palin. “She’s beautiful!” For two years she has been swirling about, creating a whoosh of ecstasy among her admirers. I can’t wait for it all to melt down so I can open my eyes.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 30, 2010 01:17 PM | Send

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