The uber-conservative Human Events Magazine has named Sarah Palin its “Conservative of the Year,” and I couldn’t agree more. Palin exemplifies the vacuous philosophy of Republican politics. Her strident anti-intellectualism, blind faith, and personal corruption are the hallmarks of her Party and stand as testimony to her worthiness for this honor.
The tribute paid to Palin by Human Events was authored by another icon of rightist infamy: Ann Coulter. In the opening sentence of the article, Coulter identifies Palin’s key attribute as “her genius at annoying all the right people.” I’ll defer to Coulter on this since annoying people is a talent for which she has no peer. As proof of this, Coulter devotes most of her column, not to praising Palin, but to slamming McCain, Obama, and Democrats in general. About McCain’s selection of Palin, Coulter says…
“I assume Palin was chosen because McCain had heard that she was a real conservative and he had always wanted to meet one — no, actually because he needed a conservative on the ticket, but that he had no idea that picking her would send the left into a tailspin of wanton despair. “
Aside from the insult to McCain, Coulter totally misread the response from the left. It was quite apparent that the left could not have been more thrilled with McCain’s choice of a theo-con nitwit that believed geographical proximity was a measure of one’s grasp of foreign policy. Palin does have her supporters. Polls amongst Republicans show that 64% want Palin to run for president in 2012. I haven’t seen a similar poll of Democrats, but I would venture to guess that 100% would want to see Palin run in four years. I sure do.
What becomes obvious in Coulter’s homage is that she has a serious crush on Palin, referring to her at one point as “our beauteous Sarah” and later waxing poetic about “her beautiful head.” But it was not enough for Coulter to champion the object of her affection, she also had to attack the women who threaten her:
“Democrats may have a fleet of women politicians, but they don’t have a deep bench of attractive ones. You don’t even think of most Democratic woman as women.”
Classy as always, Coulter continued by disputing, even ridiculing, the contention that Palin was not accessible to the media. Of course, Palin’s aversion to the press was well documented. During the campaign she didn’t hold a single press conference, she never appeared on a Sunday news program, and most of the rare interviews to which she agreed where conducted by friendly inquisitors like Sean Hannity. It was only when she sat down with relatively neutral reporters like Charlie Gibson that she embarrassed herself. But the funny thing about Coulter’s assertion that Palin was readily available to the press is that Palin herself denies it. In an interview with Human Events accompanying her award, Palin laments…
“…the opportunities that were not seized to speak to more Americans via media. I was not allowed to do very many interviews, and the interviews that I did were not necessarily those I would have chosen.”
So not only does Palin confirm her press scarcity, she reveals that it was because she was not permitted out of her bubble by her handlers. On this point I have to score one for the handlers. Clearly they knew what they were doing. Palin was so plainly unprepared, she could only hurt her cause. On this, surprisingly, Coulter seems to agree, but doesn’t care:
“Who cares if Palin was qualified to be President? She was running with John McCain! There was no chance that ticket was going to place her anywhere near the presidency.”
On the contrary, putting Palin on a ticket with a 72 year old man who has had four bouts with cancer is placing her very near the presidency indeed. But Coulter apparently discounts the need for any vice-president at all and, therefore, an inadequate one is no disgrace. And Coulter goes even further to extinguish Palin’s flame by disparaging her experience and advising her to sit out 2012 in order to “become wiser and better read.”
Now that’s the kind of testimonial that justifies an award for Conservative of the Year. Even the author of the tribute thinks Palin is a cerebrally deficient lightweight who is ill-prepared for leadership. And yet, by Republican standards, she ranks above all of the other conservatives in meriting this award.