Gov. Palin's political wisdom, as it has done so many times in the past, served her well this weekend. By choosing not to attend the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans she avoided the embarrassment of being associated with the farce the event turned out to be.
Most any political event which has a straw poll and sells credentials for attendees risks having the poll results skewed in favor of the highest bidder. As he has a history of doing at these dog and pony shows, Congressman Ron Paul purchased, according to the buzz going around the convention, a block of 600 tickets to the event for his faithful and enthusiastic followers, and as if by coincidence, received 612 votes to win the RLC straw poll going away. The implication is that in addition to the 600 "Ronulans" Rep. Paul had bused in to News Orleans, there were a dozen people at the conference who voted for him. Straw poll runner up Amb. Jon Huntsman evidently couldn't fly in 600 supporters to flood the zone, but the former Obama employee still managed to get 382 Huntsmaniste to the Crescent City to vote for him.
As easily manipulated as these straw polls are, conservative media nevertheless give them plenty of coverage, without any mention of how the straw polls are almost always rigged. That speaks to the power of sponsorship and advertising. Though not as corrupt as their lamestream media counterparts, such conservative media stalwarts as The American Spectator, by reporting the flawed poll results as news, demonstrated that you can't believe everything you read in the conservative media. Shame on you, James Antle. Even Investors Business Daily got caught with its integrity down by simply reprinting a press release from Ron Paul's Presidential Campaign instead of fairly reporting on the straw poll. That's hardly what we would call "news and analysis," IBD, as it fails to satisfy the definition of either.
If the straw poll wasn't enough to make a bad joke out of RLC, the appearance of Reggie Brown, a "comedian" and Obama impersonator, moved it into the Total Farce category. After suffering though an eighteen minute salvo of mostly racial jokes with a few shots at gays thrown in for bad measure, RLC President and CEO Charlie Davis finally decided that he had just about heard enough and pulled the plug on the over-the-top comic. Brown's rude routine was rudely interrupted and mercifully truncated when a man went to the podium, told the comedian to leave and escorted him off the stage. Though NewsBuster Noel Sheppard questions the real reason why Brown was yanked, in our view that is a matter which is beside the point.
The point is that before Brown was sent packing, the comic had provided the left with a veritable armory full of ammunition to shoot back at conservatives. The Atlantic, Politico and the usual retinue of leftist blogs seized on Brown's bad jokes as further "evidence" that the right is raaaacist, just like the left has been claiming since day one. The Republican Party has earned its appellation of "The Stupid Party" for its tendency to not always act in its own best interests, and sadly, its
Which brings us back to Sarah Palin. Every time a "conservative" mocks or criticizes the governor, the left jumps on the opportunity just handed them to further demean her. "See," they breathlessly exclaim, "even conservatives don't take her seriously!" Never mind that serial centrist Palin-bashers such as David Frum, Peggy Noonan and the rest of their ilk are no more "conservative" than Zell Miller is a "progressive," ammo is ammo, and it rips the reputation of conservatives and tears the fabric of their ideas, no matter where it comes from. Anyone right of dead center, even if just slightly so, knows full well in advance of making disparaging remarks about Sarah Palin that by doing so they are giving aid and comfort to the left. We submit that a true conservative, if he or she differs with another conservative on issues and ideas, should be free to argue the points. But attacks by those on the right against the character, intellect, physical appearance, or family of a good Reagan conservative should be considered a treasonous act by all conservatives of conscience, and they should publicly shun those who are guilty of engaging in such behavior. In the end, these attacks do as much to damage the cause of conservatism as they do to politically wound any individual conservative.
Getting back to New Orleans, Sarah Palin has once again offered convincing evidence that not only are her political instincts right as rain, the decision making process she employed to evaluate what she instinctively knew to be likely -- an intellectual exercise -- proved to be beyond reproach. She knew ahead of this event that the straw poll would be stacked against her and rightly judged that there was no win for her in lending her presence to this sham of a conference. Just like CPAC, the corruption spreading through the conservative establishment is tainting all its public events. Sarah knows that she and the grassroots conservative movement are better served by her participation in Tea Party rallies and other events organized by those who put plenty of distance between themselves and the (once upon a time) conservative establishment. She's smarter than your average grizzly bear.