We certainly live in bizarre times and everyone knows that politics makes for strange bedfellows. But the fact that as of late I (the guy who spent over two years being probably her strongest defender) have been one of the very few on the right pointing out the absurdity and hypocrisy of recent Sarah Palin's public statements, shows exactly how close we indeed may be to the apocalypse.
Palin's latest Facebook salvo is targeting the Republican "establishment cannibals" for using "Alinsky" tactics against Newt Gingrich in the run up to the Florida primary. Her main objection appears to be that those who have questioned Gingrich's ties to Ronald Reagan have done so inappropriately and are effectively doing the work of the left.
The layers of silliness here are at least at multiple as those of snow in the frozen Alaskan icecap this time of year.
First, it was Newt Gingrich who raised the issue, constantly tying himself to Reagan and his accomplishments in almost every other bombastic breath. He made this topic an issue. No one else did that.
Second, those who have questioned whether the facts really back up the impression created by Newt that he is the last remaining heir to Reagan are hardly part of any Republican "establishment." What the heck is the "Republican Establishment" anyway? Who are these people? Not even specifying who you are talking about makes you seen like a tin foil wearing conspiracy theorist.
So, because a few people who actually knew Reagan (unlike Palin, who had barely graduated college by the end of the Gipper's second term) have written articles which would have been largely ignored if they had not been linked at the Drudge Report, this is some how evidence the work of a dark, shadowy "establishment"?
And how in the world is Matt Drudge (who has always been incredibly kind to Palin) part of any establishment? Anyone who has followed him closely (I used to fill in for him on his old radio show and have studied his tendencies extensively from multiple perspectives) knows he isn't even a political person. He is a brilliant business man, but his incredibly soft treatment of Obama during the 2008 primaries proves that he really couldn't care less who wins elections from an ideological perspective.
And what about Drudge's pal Ann Coulter, who has also led the charge to tell the truth about Newt? Calling her part of the Republican Establishment is more hilarious than saying that about Drudge. She has made her very commercial career on being anything but "establishment."
Palin goes on to defend Newt from the specific (and largely politically insignificant) allegation that he exaggerates his Reagan ties with an "argument" so thin it makes her 2008 attempt to explain her foreign policy credentials seem substantive by comparison.
She says that because Nancy Reagan once, while being extremely polite to Newt who was in attendance, sort of (not really if you look closely at the statement) proclaimed that "Ronnie" passed the "torch" to "Newt" and the other House Republicans who led the 1994 takeover, that this is somehow proof that Newt is impervious to criticism here. Then she says that because Reagan's step-son Michael and biggest fan, Rush Limbaugh, like Newt and condemn these "attacks," that they must not be true. (By the way, aren't Rush and Drudge also allies? How does this fit into the anti-Newt conspiracy?)
Even more laughable than this intellectual house of cards is how Palin simultaneously suggests that going after Newt like this is inappropriate, but that "vetting" Mitt Romney and his finances for as long as possible is good for the cause of beating Obama. Her "thinking" here is that because Democrats will surely use the issue of his wealth against him if he is the nominee, we need to make sure he can withstand the onslaught.
This might make some sense if Romney hadn't already addressed the issue as much as he reasonably can and if Newt Gingrich hadn't single-handedly legitimized this line of attack for the media/left, practically serving it up to them on an envy-plated silver (certainly not gold) platter.
Now, to be fair, if there is a "Republican Establishment," the former presidential nominees would certainly qualify and John McCain and Bob Dole have certainly been outspoken about the obvious electoral dangers of nominating the clearly unelectable Gingrich. But since when is actual knowledge about how the process works a disqualifier for your opinions?
And wait a minute; I thought Palin said people who knew Reagan should be believed, so why are the far more numerous former colleagues (not to mention wives!) of Newt somehow discredited in their observations about him? Then, of course, there is the most obvious flaw in this entire theory: When did "Mr. Establishment" Newt Gingrich suddenly somehow become the anti-establishment candidate?
Palin simply isn't being consistent in any of this, but it isn't because she is stupid (as I have always said, she is most certainly not dumb). I believe her motivation is actually far more troubling than that.
There is no way that someone whose biggest issues in this cycle have been: combating "crony capitalism," promoting "life," beating Obama and overturning Obamacare, could possibly really favor the guy who got paid $1.6 million by Freddie Mac to be an "historian," has zero chance to win the election, and had been in favor of a federal healthcare mandate for twenty years, especially when Mr. Pro-life (with a special needs child, no less) Rick Santorum is still viably in the race. It just makes absolutely no sense.
This brings me to my most important and surely controversial point regarding Palin's latest attempt to endorse Newt without actually saying the magic words.
Could someone please tell me what her personal incentive is for President Obama to be defeated?
I would suggest that there is absolutely none.
If Romney beats Obama she is immediately irrelevant. Her entire purpose at this point is to throw bombs at a liberal president with whom she is obviously linked through her 2008 VP run. Not only would there be no one left in power for her to be the brunette Ann Coulter against, but her chapter of American history also becomes instantly ancient.
Even worse than that, unless she decides to go completely rogue and humiliate herself by being Romney's primary opponent in 2016, she would have no, even theoretical, next political act until 2020 at the very earliest. That will not be nearly enough to sustain her career as a commentator/speaker/author at anything near its current levels.
So the only logical explanation for Palin's bizarre "endorsement" of Gingrich is that she knows that he can't win and that she is using him to create this false narrative of an evil "establishment" keeping the noble Tea Party down (explain to me again how Newt is remotely "Tea Party"?), like they somehow did in those Palin-induced Senate losses in Delaware and Nevada in 2010.
I don't know if she really thinks Newt can win the nomination (which would obviously help her in both the short and long runs), but she clearly sees no downside to creating as much damage to Romney as possible. This whole effort is nothing more than a branding/career move for Sarah Palin.
At one point she might have deserved the benefit of the doubt that she may just be "misguided," but her clearly cynical presidential "tease" last year ended any ambiguity about her true motives now.
That is what makes this whole thing so incredibly ironic. In so vehemently questioning the credibility of the "establishment," she has revealed that she has a massive conflict of interest herself and should no longer be trusted on the issue of this presidential primary.