I don’t imagine anyone here was thinking this, but if anyone out there had the idea that the GOP and conservative establishment would go gently into the night after the 2012 election debacle, where their chosen candidate lost the most winnable Presidential election for a challenger in 20 years, they now have their answer. Even though the first primary votes for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination won’t begin for another 2 1/2 years, and we don’t even know who any of the the candidates will be, the battle lines are now being drawn for the direction of the Republican party, the conservative movement, and by extension, the country.
Governor Palin’s return to FOX News as a contributor and her speech over the weekend have brought out some of the usual suspects from the right of center world in their trashing of her. Whether it was David Frum wannabe Jeb Golinkin in The Week, or Peter Wehner today, the knives are out for the Gov. I had the pleasure of taking Wehner to the woodshed several weeks ago, and he was responded to for today’s hit piece at the aforementioned link. For someone who claims to completely ignore Governor Palin, Wehner certainly does like to write about her a lot. Max Boot also decided to weigh in on Wehner’s Commentary piece, where he took hundreds of words to essentially say “Sarah Palin is a big, stupid meanie, and Peter Wehner is awesome.” Stacy will be taking care of this dude later on.
The most interesting mini battle of the past few days was the one that has occurred between Governor Palin and Jeb Bush. Jeb created some news where he said in a speech that one of the reasons we should embrace the amnesty bill is because immigrants supposedly breed like fruit flies. Governor Palin got in a nice little dig at Jeb’s comment over the weekend at her speech in DC. We all knew this would not go unnoticed by the Bushies, and Jeb responded in kind, although not naming Governor Palin directly:
Jeb Bush says he’s not worried that his work toward comprehensive immigration reform and his ties to the GOP establishment will alienate conservatives and negatively impact a potential 2016 presidential campaign, referring to critics as “the chirpers.”
“If I decide to run for office again, it will be based on what I believe, and it will be based on my record,” the former Florida governor said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody. “And that record was one of solving problems completely from a conservative prospective.”
Bush (R) pointed to his conservative credentials on social issues, cutting taxes and shrinking government.
“I will be able to, I think, manage my way through all the chirpers out there,” he said.
So, between McCain calling conservatives wacko birds and Jeb calling them chirpers, I guess one thing we can take away from this is that the GOPe kids have some sort of aviary fixation. Who knew?
I knew that Palin’s speech over the weekend and her return to FOX would garner some attention, but even I did not think it would be this much and this significant. Admittedly, I was somewhat neutral on her return to FOX. I was not like some people, who were despondent the way Bill Maher would be if he found out that this weekend’s sorority party was cancelled, but I also was not Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch excited about it, either. But, I am now glad it has happened. The timing is perfect, as she is going to be increasing her visibility just when it is needed most. The attacks being leveled against her by those who are supposed to be on our side are not coincidental, and they are probably not random, either. Wehner and others leveling attacks against Palin are Bushies, and we all know the Bush family not only represents the GOP establishment, but also big government conservatism. In fact, what is plaguing the GOP today is the same thing that afflicted them from 1932-1980. On the eve of the 2008 election, the late Tony Blankley wrote a piece entitled The Birth Of The Me-Too Conservative. It is every bit as applicable today as it was 5 years ago. Here are some excerpts:
With the rise to enduring power of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1933, a new type of Republican emerged in reaction to FDR’s attractive and overawing power: the me-too Republican. Until the election of President Reagan five decades later, these me-too Republicans supported, rather than opposed, Democratic Party policies but claimed they would administer them better. Of course, this led to a half-century of Democratic dominance of American government and politics.
Now, on the cusp of what some think will be a major Obama victory, we are beginning to see emerge what I will call “me-too conservatives” — initially among conservative commentators (politicians to follow). I have in mind, among others: Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, Chris Buckley, David Frum and Kathleen Parker.
The new conservative movement will be facing a political opponent that will reveal itself soon to be both multiculturalist and Eurosocialist. We will be engaged in a struggle to the political death for the soul of the country. As I did at the beginning of and throughout the Buckley/Goldwater/Reagan/Gingrich conservative movement, I will try to lend my hand. I certainly will do what I can to make it a big-tent conservative movement. But just as it does in every great cause, one question has to be answered correctly: Whose side are you on, comrade?
This is what has become of the conservative and GOP establishment in DC. They embrace big government, too, but they say to vote for them because they will administer it in a more conservative way. If I see one more column by these people where they make the “conservative case” for adopting another liberal policy, I’m going to pull my teeth out with a pliers. Governor Palin and those of us who support her principles completely reject this notion. We refuse to embrace big government and don’t think the GOP should be handed a medal because they plan on increasing government spending by 5% instead of the Dems proposed 9% increases.
We can say what we want about the GOPe, but they are not stupid. They know Governor Palin has the talent to galvanize millions of ordinary Americans if she wants to. Because they know she speaks for so many of us. That is dangerous for them and their power. I think their current strategery as it relates to Governor Palin goes beyond what it went in 2010-11. Back then, I think their main goal was to keep her out of the Presidential race. They figured it she stayed out, she would fade away and never be heard from again. Well, that didn’t happen. Yes, she stayed out of the POTUS race, but she did not go away. So, knowing they are in a weaker position this time around, they have to do even more. Yes, they will still try to paint her as a know-nothing extremist who should be marginalized in an effort to keep her out of the Presidential race or make her candidacy a side show, should she decide to enter. But, if she stays out as she did last time, they want to make sure her endorsement in a POTUS primary or down ticket race also means nothing. They want any association with her to be seen as damaging for any conservative candidate. This is what we are going to be up against.
While it is annoying that these baseless attacks against Governor Palin by the DC conservatives continue to happen, I’m kind of glad it’s happening now. Our movement needs this battle, and I’ve been itching for a fight with them for quite awhile. I believe the events of the past three days were the opening shots in the battle that will take place inside the GOP and conservative movement over the next few years. I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully all of you are, too. Let’s take this as a call to action. Whenever we see someone on the right, we ask them, “which side are you on?”
Let’s win this thing.