Since the 2008 campaign, I have been among those wary of Sarah Palin and what she portends for national leadership. I have agreed with the critique offered by David Frum and others. Palin’s appeal, although overwhelmingly positive to the Republican base, begins to diminish when one looks at the response of the political center. Since fewer Americans than ever now declare themselves Republican, that means for a Republican to ever win the Presidency, he or she must have the support of a good percentage of that shifting center. Our country may still be a center-right nation, but it is definitely not a center that will be defined by a narrowly based Southern Republican Party, that is socially conservative and whose appeal to the middle class remains minimal.
With that in mind, I turn now to Peggy Noonan’s recent biting and vitriolic editorial attack on Palin, written after Palin’s announcement that she is leaving her post as Alaska’s Governor. According to Noonan, Palin has never learned how other people see things; she was out of her depth in a shallow pool,” she “didn’t read anything,” she could see no truth in anything others had to say. Moreover, she pretended to be working-class when in fact she earned a salary on the high end of American wage-earners; she was clearly middle-class in upbringing; she graduated from a good college, etc. Clearly, Noonan does not like much about Sarah Palin.
Moreover, rather than being anti-elite, Noonan sees Palin as a creature of the Republican elite, from party operatives to journalists like Bill Kristol who championed her. Noonan sees Palin as one who can and will never learn anything, who will be able to name the president of Pakistan but who will never “know how to think about Pakistan.” She is a gift to both the mainstream media and the Democrats, who will keep her popular in order to knock her down and assure a left-liberal future. So Noonan says we as a nation need a serious and responsible Republican party, not a frivolous one whose appeal is based on the kind of resentment Palin followers respond to.
We need, in other words, someone with gravitas and knowledge—-like—-our current Vice-President, Joe Biden. Remember the media during the debates: Palin was an unprepared know-nothing; what if she actually ascended to the Presidency? In contrast, Joe Biden was depicted as a wise, experienced and proven leader, a man ready to step in and take over our nation’s leadership, leaving us in safe hands.
A leading Washington journalist and author, Carl M. Cannon, provides the devastating facts about Biden on the website of AOL’s “Politics Daily.” He states the truth most journalists want to avoid admitting: the mainstream media treated Palin inexcusably during the campaign and is still doing it in the present, and boldly took sides “straight and simple” against Palin- no holds barred. And they failed to hold Biden to the same standard by which they judged Palin.