Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Yes, Sarah Palin Is a Social Conservative - And Conservatives4Palin Is Off Its Meds

Hat tip to Lisa Graas for linking to one of the most mind-boggling blog posts I've seen in a good long while. It seems Chris Cillizza, in an overview of the 2012 GOP field, hurled an absolutely unfathomable insult at Sarah Palin: he called her a...a...social conservative!
While Palin has spoken forcefully against President Obama’s fiscal policies, her rise to prominence has largely been built on very strong support among social conservatives.
Doug Brady at Conservatives4Palin is very, very upset about this:
This simply makes no sense. Just because the Lamestream Media concocted a phony “Sarah Palin is a religious fanatic who thinks dinosaurs roamed the earth just last week” narrative the moment McCain selected her doesn’t make it so, and Tea Partiers know this (unlike, evidently, Washington Post pundits). Indeed her entire political career has been based on fiscal, not social, conservatism. To be sure, she is personally a social conservative, but that did not figure prominently, if at all, in any of her political decisions.
The issue, then, isn't that Cillizza insulted Palin, but that he innocuously identified her as something Brady considers contemptible. To normal people, "social conservative" denotes a handful of political views, chief among them opposition to abortion and gay marriage. But when Brady hears it, his mind immediately jumps to "religious fanatic who thinks dinosaurs roamed the earth just last week."

If you wanna argue Palin's tenure as Alaska governor was defined by fiscal matters, fine. If you wanna argue she's devoted the bulk of her commentary since then to small government and economics, fine. But make no mistake, Palin is indeed a social conservative (the "normal people" variety, not the "religious fanatic" one). Palin's always embraced the pro-life movement, with many of her fans inspired by her choosing life for baby Trig, despite his Down Syndrome. She supports the Federal Marriage Amendment. And she's freaked out leftists with her discussion of the Founders' faith in God.
Anecdotally, I have attended several Tea Party events. Everyone I have spoken to has the highest regard for Governor Palin…due to her fiscal conservatism. In fact, none of the Palin supporters I know (and there are many), including myself, could be characterized as social conservatives. Her appeal is to libertarian leaning fiscal conservatives because that is how she has governed.
Wait a minute. Is this guy - a die-hard supporter Sarah Palin - really claiming not to have ever encountered pro-lifers or marriage defenders among her supporters? Really? Under what scenario is this plausible? In what universe is this tool not lying?

This is simply bizarre - Doug Brady opposes Palin on social issues, yet defends her from an imaginary attack as if they're on the same page. Is he such a diehard Palin fan that he simply can't accept that his heroine parts ways with him on anything significant?

I like Sarah Palin, but clowns like this don't do her any favors. Cults of personality aren't healthy, no matter who they coalesce around.

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