Monday, March 29, 2010

Sarah Palin and Reaganite Neoconservatism

Some time back I published, at RealClearPolitics, "Sarah Palin, Neoconservative." As noted there, Palin represents the best of Reaganite neoconservatism.

Thus I'm really excited to see that theme echoed by Norman Podhoretz, at WSJ, "
In Defense of Sarah Palin: She understands that the U.S. has been a force for good in the world—which is more than can be said of our president."


What I am trying to say is not that Sarah Palin would necessarily make a great president but that the criteria by which she is being judged by her conservative critics—never mind the deranged hatred she inspires on the left—tell us next to nothing about the kind of president she would make.

Take, for example, foreign policy. True, she seems to know very little about international affairs, but expertise in this area is no guarantee of wise leadership. After all, her rival for the vice presidency, who in some sense knows a great deal, was wrong on almost every major issue that arose in the 30 years he spent in the Senate.

What she does know—and in this respect, she does resemble Reagan—is that the United States has been a force for good in the world, which is more than Barack Obama, whose IQ is no doubt higher than hers, has yet to learn. Jimmy Carter also has a high IQ, which did not prevent him from becoming one of the worst presidents in American history, and so does Bill Clinton, which did not prevent him from befouling the presidential nest.

Unlike her enemies on the left, the conservative opponents of Mrs. Palin are a little puzzling. After all, except for its greater intensity, the response to her on the left is of a piece with the liberal hatred of Richard Nixon, Reagan and George W. Bush. It was a hatred that had less to do with differences over policy than with the conviction that these men were usurpers who, by mobilizing all the most retrograde elements of American society, had stolen the country from its rightful (liberal) rulers. But to a much greater extent than Nixon, Reagan and George W. Bush, Sarah Palin is in her very being the embodiment of those retrograde forces and therefore potentially even more dangerous.

I think that this is what, conversely, also accounts for the tremendous enthusiasm she has aroused among ordinary conservatives. They rightly see her as one of them, only better able and better positioned to stand up against the contempt and condescension of the liberal elites that were so perfectly exemplified by Mr. Obama's notorious remark in 2008 about people like them: "And it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Be sure to read it all.

It's not just leftists who reject Palin, but the "conservative intellectuals" as well.

Photo Credit: El Marco, "
Showdown in Searchlight: Sarah Palin Pals around with Patriots in the Nevada Desert."


Reaganite Independent said...

Great post, and imho she's hitting her stride... she sounded good out there

Go get em Cuda

AmPowerBlog said...

Thanks RR.

Old Rebel said...

Of course Podhoretz admires Palin. The man who once admired the Soviet Army now sees the US military as the force that will hammer the world into the neo-Trotskyite vision.

Palin is W in skirts -- an unprincipled apologist for continuous war and authoritarian government.

All of which explains why true conservatives reject her.

AmPowerBlog said...

Oh, God, O.R. ... You still troll around at this blog?

Tapline said...

She speaks in a language understood by the large majority of the people. She speaks of the need to stick to the Constitution. Not seeing it as a changing document the way some of our black robes see it......Sad but true....Great post as usual Donald...

Rich Casebolt said...

Palin is W in skirts

Yep ... and perhaps even better.

Methinks she would keep wars shorter and less costly in blood and treasure than they are when you wait until the thugs touch American soil as paleocons like OR would have us do ... or wait until the liars-in-formal-wear finish their jaw-jaw and corruption gatherings ...

... and also less susceptible to letting the follow up after a quick victory degenerate into a perpetual search for the exit door, instead of directing the application of precision-guided ruthlessness to protect and win over the innocents in theater.

In other words, she has the wisdom that neither the proponents of Woodstock Nation, nor Fortress America, possess.