Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Undefeated changes a mind at

"Shame for not bothering to look up her record. Shame for not reading her story."
I knew Ben Howe back in my front page contributor days at Like all of my other former colleagues there, Ben is a person of outstanding character. They are good people, the RS family of front pagers, and I still feel honored to have had the chance to work with them and share a friendship, even though it was an electronically networked one.

I parted company with RS after only six months of writing for the site. While I wanted to write about Sarah Palin all the time, I was eventually advised to broaden the scope of my subject matter. This I would have been happy to do, but I decided to leave because a virulent anti-Palin streak ran through the place -- not so much among the front page contributors, most of whom that were hostile to her hid their hostility -- but among a group of member commenters "down in the diaries."

These people delighted in mocking Sarah Palin, and by extension, Palin supporters, all of whom they considered to be nothing more than "bots," much like the moonstruck moonbats who worshiped at the altar of Obama or the "Ronulans," whose devotion to Congressman Ron Paul was and is nothing short of creepy. The refusal of the website's moderators to apply to the mockers the same rules that all RS members were supposed to be governed by was the final straw for me. Though it was Gov. Palin's record and her experience with energy issues that had made me one of her supporters, I was treated like I was some love struck 13-year old by this bunch. I don't want her on a pedestal, I want her working in the Oval Office working for U.S. energy security and cutting the federal leviathan down to size. I'm too old and time is too short for puppy love. Again, these mockers are not the front page contributors. In fact, these RS members have contributed very little to the site over the years except for standing on the sidelines and casting stones.

Since RS and I went our separate ways, I haven't followed it too closely, except to look in on the site from time to time. Despite some mostly favorable treatment by a couple of front pagers, Sarah Palin doesn't get much bandwidth on the main page there. But Stephen Bannon's Palin documentary may be about to change that.

Now, with Ben Howe's review of "The Undefeated," we may be seeing a little crack in the wall of Palin skepticism which surrounds Red State. Ben, like a number of other contributors was never a Palin mocker. But also like many of his colleagues, he tolerated them. Read some excerpts from his review of the film, however, and it seems that Ben may just be somewhat less tolerant in he future of those at RS who mock the first woman to be both governor of Alaska and a vice presidential candidate of the Republican Party.
I didn’t think she’d really done much in Alaska, or if she had, that it was enough to act like she was the second coming of Reagan. I thought that her contributions when being interviewed were bubble-gum and lacking of any real substance. I would never finish hearing a story about her and think, “Wow, I never thought of that before.” I just didn’t see that she had that much to offer.

There was so much media coverage of Palin, and so many people that were incredibly unfair to her, that I had been desensitized. I didn’t realize it, but I had actually developed a sort of immunity to believing anything positive about Sarah Palin.


I pride myself on my ability to know when something is baloney, almost instinctively. On Sarah Palin, I was so incredibly hoodwinked that the one word that my wife and I agreed described how we felt after watching it, was shame. Yes of course invigoration, satisfaction and all the other things you experience when watching a good film, but about how we had handled our vetting of Mrs. Palin, shame was the word that best described it.

Shame for not bothering to look up her record. Shame for not reading her story. Shame for turning the channel when she came on the tv. Shame for not listening to people that we had a great deal of respect for like Andrew Breitbart, Tammy Bruce, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

As Breitbart points out in the film, the greatest shame is that while this woman was savaged to degrees you may not even realize yet, some of us sat back and let it happen. For me to buy into the media template and not defend someone who’s only offense was being a conservative, is the absolute antithesis of what I stand for, and something that I shall never allow to happen again.

I urge you to see this film when it hits theaters tomorrow. And I urge you to put aside your preconceptions about who this woman is. You don’t have to think she should be the next president to believe that the way she has been presented, even by conservatives, has been completely wrong.

It's a blog cliche to say,"Read the whole thing," but it would be a shame if anyone reading the above excerpts of Ben's piece fail to do so. It is honest, insightful and very well written. Ben is now on a journey of discovery about a remarkable political figure, and I commend him for giving the governor a chance by watching "The Undefeated." Now if only a few other major contributors there will watch the film, who knows? may even begin to start taking Sarah Palin seriously.

- JP


  1. Speaks well of Ben and his wife that they were willing to be honest with themselves. And in your blogging career thanks for staying true to your own lights, Josh.

  2. Maybe if Sarah Palin announces, she or we can convince Rick Perry to run as the VP candidate. Fershur, fershur, we need to start a campaign for Todd Palin to become the FFDOTUS. (First First Dude of the United States). GB

  3. Not Perry, please! He's NOT a small gov't conservative (Trans-Texas Corridor), and the makers of the vaccine he tried to push on teenage girls in Texas were HUGE contributors to his campaign.

    Palin-West or Palin-Rubio I could support. Even though Rubio is not as conservative as West, he's from a key swing state, and could thus help Sarah there. She would carry Texas with or without Perry.

    - JP