At the risk of becoming The Student Life’s official Sarah Palin reporter, I list below three fictional responses from elected officials of varying political stances in reaction to Sarah Palin’s appearance at the Tea Party Nation’s National Convention two weeks ago. For the record, I blame one person for my Palin-phobia. I hear from him every day, and he’s a big part of my life–no, not my dad–Andrew Sullivan. A writer for The Atlantic and head blogger for “The Daily Dish,” he has molded me into the Palin-phobic person I am today. Thanks?
I didn’t go to the convention. I didn’t try to see Sarah Palin speak. It’s just that I’m addicted to C-SPAN and had to watch when she came in. The highlight of the convention came before Sarah was even behind the podium, when good old Tommy Tancredo called for a literacy test. I guess Republicans are convinced that an all-white party is the best kind of party. They obviously don’t know anything about demographic trends here in the U.S.
As for the rest of her speech, Sarah continues to excel most at delivery. Her grasp of the facts remains weak but rhetorically valuable. She identified Democrats as 0-3 in recent races, conveniently forgetting the NY-23. She said that after a year in office, the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda is to blame for all of our troubles. She must have also forgotten the Bush-Hastert-Lott/Frist agenda. (Side note: There must be something about being a majority leader in the Senate that causes you to make racist comments.) But more importantly, have the Republicans forgotten that they had eight years? And our “charismatic guy with a teleprompter” has done more in one year than their guy did in eight. And I’m pretty sure their guy used a teleprompter, too.
But in addition to Palin’s approach to our country’s domestic problems, it’s also worth looking at her foreign policy. She wondered why Obama doesn’t vocally support members of Iranian opposition? Because he’s not an idiot. He understands that any form of Western, especially American, support for the opposition will make it even easier for the regime to characterize the movement as an American attempt to undermine their leadership. Also, the world is not simple enough to break down into friends and enemies, as the Republicans so readily attempt to do.
Republican (on the record):
Although I couldn’t make it to the Tea Party Nation’s national convention, I believe Governor Palin is an exciting, motivational figure who has energized conservatives around the country. Her involvement in each congressional race has had a positive effect, and her laser-like focus on national security is the right vision for a federal government that has been spending too much on all the wrong things. The Republican Party will continue to welcome Governor Palin’s opinions on policy issues and support her appearances on Fox News.
Republican (off the record):
The Tea Party Nation’s National Convention isn’t just a mouthful, it’s a minefield. Thank God none of their candidates succeeded in Illinois primaries, as they hardly need more encouragement. They seem to be able to create enough in their imagination alone. Palin must have mentioned Scott Brown’s name twenty times in the first half of her speech. He was a candidate on the Republican ticket, not the Tea Party/Conservative ticket or whatever they call themselves these days.
Will she appear on my behalf come election time? It depends how she polls in my district in the coming months. If the numbers are right, I’ll invite her in a heartbeat. That way she won’t support anyone against me in the primaries, because primary competition doesn’t sound so good to me. And I’ll make sure she uses whatever speechwriter she used in that speech. The speech may not have been particularly meaty, but she absolutely nailed its sound bites, which the “lame-stream media” will re-air for me. At the very least, Palin sounds like a free media spree to me, which is never a bad thing.