Friday, July 31, 2009

John Hawkins on Palin criticism from the Right

John Hawkins deals with the issue of criticism of Sarah Palin from the right in a Pajamas Media op-ed:
To many conservatives, those complaints didn’t seem to make sense when the people making them often seemed to give Obama a free pass for the very flaws they seemed to hate so much in Palin. Where did these strange complaints come from? Why were these “conservatives” so spiteful towards Sarah Palin? What was the real reason that John McCain’s own staff was seemingly working 24/7 behind the scenes immediately after the election to sabotage the best thing to happen to the GOP in 2008?
Hawkins explains why many Palin supporters feel betrayed by attacks on Palin from right of center:
An unspoken assumption was made by many conservatives: Palin is like me and the real problem that Palin’s enemies on the right have with her is that they’re snobs and they don’t accept common people like me in their leadership.

Given the way that conservatives are regularly betrayed and the contempt for them that some Republicans have shown over the last few years, that assessment is probably correct more often than not.
And he recalls that we've seen this before:
That’s why a lot of conservatives react to criticism of Palin from the right the same way that they react to criticism of Reagan. Granted, Sarah Palin is no Ronald Reagan. But one of the seldom discussed reasons conservatives love Reagan so much is because he was the personification of their principles. This was the man who put what conservatives believed in to the test in the real world and proved the worth of their ideas. An attack on Reagan from the right was not just considered to be a slap at a politician, politician, but was also treated like an assault on the value system of “Reagan conservatives.”
But in the final analysis, it's all too personal for Palin supporters:
The same principle applies to Palin except the assault is considered to be primarily on people’s identity, not their values. The thinking goes, “If the snobs on the right don’t like Palin because she’s a conservative with an accent who isn’t rich, didn’t go to an Ivy League school, and wouldn’t be welcome at their cocktail parties, then they wouldn’t like me for the exact same reasons.”
Hawkins says neither Sarah Palin nor any other conservative should be immune from legitimate criticism from the right, but her critics should remember that when their attacks on her go over the top, they are aiding and abetting their avowed political opponents on the Left:
At a time when the Republican Party has lost so many seats in Congress that it’s teetering on the brink of irrelevancy, Palin’s detractors on the right should ask themselves how much sense it makes to help the liberal media try to tear down the biggest star in the conservative movement.
Preach it, brother.

Update: Mark Noonan has written a response to this essay at Blogs for Victory.

- JP

1 comment:

  1. It's become clear to me that many on the Right -- that is, many in the Beltway/pundit clique -- would rather have Sarah Palin go away than Obama.

    It's also become clear to me that there really is no reason whatsoever to support the Republican Party, at least at a national level, because not only are they not doing a damned bit of good, they are also attacking (or aiding attacks on) the one person in their party who actually excites people outside the Beltway. That's the straw that breaks the camel's back for me -- there really is no longer any reason for us not in the Beltway clique to vote Republican (unless Sarah Palin runs for office, and despite it having somehow become conventional wisdom that she WILL run for President, she hasn't made her plans clear yet).