Defending One’s Own — Starting with Sarah Palin

On a recent radio show, Rush Limbaugh bemoaned the tendency of conservatives to shut up when one of their spokesmen (or women) is attacked:

When a conservative, a public conservative gets in trouble, other conservatives tend to throw that person overboard to get rid of the problem, rather than defend them. . . . The left circles the wagons around their people, but we never have. We didn’t have people defending Romney on the specific charges made against him. The Bush people didn’t even defend themselves on some of the absurd accusations they faced! We just don’t do it. We don’t defend our own people.

He went on:

And then [a caller] says, “Conservatives simply have no one in the media that has any credibility with the ill-informed masses.”  I sadly think that’s true.  There’s a reason for it.  It’s not that conservatism doesn’t fit.  It’s not that conservatism doesn’t apply, because Reagan did have that credibility. It’s one of the reasons why the revisionists in history have been so unkind to Reagan.  Reagan was profoundly effective and they hated him for that simple reason.  And they hate anybody else who is, by the way.  So they have to destroy them.  Now, the difference is, when they launch assaults, pick your favorite conservative anywhere, elected or in the media, the rest of the conservative establishment usually does not defend that person.  They join in the criticism, or they express sorrow and concern and agree that something needs to be done about what that person said.

On American Thinker today, Lloyd Marcus picks up this theme in The Lesson in the Betrayal of Sarah Palin:

Allow me to recap.  Immediately following her amazing VP nomination acceptance speech, the media/the left went crazy, consumed with hatred and a desperate desire to destroy her.  Why?  Palin was a beautiful, smart, articulate, and strong woman who boldly touted traditional values and a love for God, family, and country — all of which are anathemas to the left.

No tactic was too low to discredit Palin.  Thus, the left even attacked Trig, Palin’s Down syndrome child.

Women in my family parroted the media talking point that Palin was bad for women.  I thought, “You idiots…Palin is the epitome of everything the left/Democrats claim to desire for women — successful inside and outside the home.”

While she was governor of Alaska, the left tried to drown Palin in lawsuits.  Palin resigned to save her state from the cost and aggravation.  The left’s mantra was that Palin is a quitter, and Republicans/conservatives joined their chorus.

He closes:

Have we learned something from the Republican/conservative betrayal of Palin and their passivity and culpability in the media’s vicious, vile destruction of her image? . . . Sarah Palin, on behalf of We The People, I wish to thank you for your profile in courage, trumpeting conservatism (God, family, and country).

Both Limbaugh and Marcus deserve a complete reading. The point is that anyone who looks like they might be an effective advocate for conservativism –especially with women or minorities, who are regarded by the Progressives as personal political property — will be attacked and demonized. It is crucial that conservatives defend them. Use the public prints; make the point in personal conversation; post on Facebook. Start a food fight at the family reunion (you never really liked that cousin anyway). Recognize that the average Progressive has an attention span suited to the 140 character limit imposed by Twitter, so learn to speak in tweets. Don’t let them get away with nonsense.

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Author: "Ending 'Big SIS' (The Special Interest State) and Renewing the American Republic" (2012) [] and "Property Matters--How Property Rights Are Under Assault and Why You Should Care" (1997). Some former jobs: Assistant Director of Consumer Protection in FTC; member of the Program Analysis Staff of the US Bureau of the Budget; Research Director of the Administrative Conference of the United States; Director of IPCentral at the Progress & Freedom Foundation; VP & GC of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest. Graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, former Book Review Editor of the Harvard Law Review.

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