At Human Events, John Hayward opines on the Palin slam that Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter tag-teamed up to perform Tuesday night on Fox News:
Judging the fortunes of political candidates from polls is a tricky business, especially those who have not formally declared yet. Is it a sign of strength or weakness that non-candidate Sarah Palin shows up in third place behind Rick Perry and Mitt Romney? Whatever that says about Palin, it’s probably a more significant data point for the declared candidates chugging in behind her. Personally, I would not find the notion that I could enter the Presidential race in third place to be depressing.Tammy Bruce also discussed this on her show today.
At any rate, people do change their minds.
In the wake of the conversation between Coulter and Ingraham, many bloggers echoed Coulter by expressing their exasperation with fans who can’t tolerate any criticism of Palin. I suspect Palin herself would strongly maintain that the issues at hand are far larger than any single person, and would not be happy with those who say they will only participate in the 2012 elections if they can vote for her. She also wouldn’t want the issues she cares about to be evaluated solely through personal admiration or disdain for her. Of all the many things Palin has been, or aspired to be, I’ve never heard her express a desire to become an ingredient in an ideological litmus test. She puts too much effort into writing and speaking eloquently, about matters of great substance, to be treated that way.
Why are so many Palin fans dedicated to her, and why do they perceive so much of the criticism leveled at her from sources on the Right as unfair? Because she’s always out in front. She took a mountain of abuse in 2008, and then cheerfully began climbing the even bigger mountain behind it. Hers is often the first voice raised in response to attacks against conservatives, the Tea Party, and middle-class Americans… especially against the really vicious attacks. And when Palin herself is the target, as in the wake of the Tucson atrocity, too many conservative and Republican “leaders” are much too slow to speak up for her.
Look at her response to James Hoffa’s vile remarks on Labor Day, and Barack Obama’s agreeable silence afterward. She didn’t just run to a camera and express her outrage. She wrote a very detailed, thoughtful response, as constructive as it was fiery, and posted it in the wee hours of the morning. Did you see anything like that from the declared GOP presidential candidates? Why not?
Maybe Palin won’t run, and never seriously planned to. Maybe she will, but she’s taking a long time to make her announcement. She always said she wanted to see if there’s another candidate she could support. Tonight will be the first big debate appearance of Rick Perry, the last big name to join the race. He had a pretty spectacular campaign launch. Is it so unreasonable for Palin to wait a bit longer and see how he fares, once his campaign reaches orbit? If she’s a non-factor, why are so many people – pro and con – being so unreasonable about her?