(Video) Must-viewing: Sarah Palin at CPAC 2012

February 15, 2012

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) seems like such a natural venue for former Governor Sarah Palin that I’ve often wondered why she didn’t appear there in 2009-2011. It’s not as if she’d have encountered anything other than a rapturous audience.

Well, she fixed that in 2012, and the crowd loved her, as you’ll see especially when some hecklers tried to cut her off. Dopes.

Just under 40 minutes. Grab a coke and some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy:

PS: It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Sarah Palin, and that I hope some day to cast a vote for her for president. I don’t think she’s perfect –we’re all human, after all– but she matches my beliefs regarding politics and the nature of American greatness more closely than any pol I’ve come across in recent years. And I think she has the right character for high office.

PPS: In case you missed it, I’m sure you’ll also enjoy MEP Daniel Hannan’s speech before CPAC.

PPPS: Sorry for the light posting of late. Things have just been hectic.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Dear GOP Establishment: BOOM! Taste her nightstick!

January 27, 2012

The last few days have erupted in controversy as former Reagan-era politicians and bureaucrats have come forth to question hack with a meat axe at Newt Gingrich’s claims to have been a leading figure in the “Reagan Revolution” of the 1980s. Among the most hard-hitting was former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams’ broadside. (Rebutted by Jeffrey Lord, also a former Reaganite.)

To say the rhetoric has become angry and bitter would be like characterizing the Civil War as a “family argument.”

Enter Sarah Palin, who knows a thing or two about being the victim of a coordinated hatchet-job. Flawed as Newt is, Momma Grizzly is mad and breaks out her nightstick.

Boom.

I am sadly too familiar with these tactics because they were used against the GOP ticket in 2008. The left seeks to single someone out and destroy his or her record and reputation and family using the media as a channel to dump handpicked and half-baked campaign opposition research on the public. The difference in 2008 was that I was largely unknown to the American public, so they had no way of differentiating between the lies and the truth. All of it came at them at once as “facts” about me. But Newt Gingrich is known to us – both the good and the bad.

We know that Newt fought in the trenches during the Reagan Revolution. As Rush Limbaugh pointed out, Newt was among a handful of Republican Congressman who would regularly take to the House floor to defend Reagan at a time when conservatives didn’t have Fox News or talk radio or conservative blogs to give any balance to the liberal mainstream media. Newt actually came at Reagan’s administration “from the right” to remind Americans that freer markets and tougher national defense would win our future. But this week a few handpicked and selectively edited comments which Newt made during his 40-year career were used to claim that Newt was somehow anti-Reagan and isn’t conservative enough to go against the accepted moderate in the primary race. (I know, it makes no sense, and the GOP establishment hopes you won’t stop and think about this nonsense. Mark Levin and others have shown the ridiculousness of this.) To add insult to injury, this “anti-Reagan” claim was made by a candidate who admitted to not even supporting or voting for Reagan. He actually was against the Reagan movement, donated to liberal candidates, and said he didn’t want to go back to the Reagan days. You can’t change history. We know that Newt Gingrich brought the Reagan Revolution into the 1990s. We know it because none other than Nancy Reagan herself announced this when she presented Newt with an award, telling us, “The dramatic movement of 1995 is an outgrowth of a much earlier crusade that goes back half a century.  Barry Goldwater handed the torch to Ronnie, and in turn Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt and the Republican members of Congress to keep that dream alive.” As Rush and others pointed out, if Nancy Reagan had ever thought that Newt was in any way an opponent of her beloved husband, she would never have even appeared on a stage with him, let alone presented him with an award and said such kind things about him. Nor would Reagan’s son, Michael Reagan, have chosen to endorse Newt in this primary race. There are no two greater keepers of the Reagan legacy than Nancy and Michael Reagan. What we saw with this ridiculous opposition dump on Newt was nothing short of Stalin-esque rewriting of history. It was Alinsky tactics at their worst.

But this whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on. In fact, the establishment has been just as dismissive of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Newt is an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, but in South Carolina the Tea Party chose to get behind him instead of the old guard’s choice. In response, the GOP establishment voices denounced South Carolinian voters with the same vitriol we usually see from the left when they spew hatred at everyday Americans “bitterly clinging” to their faith and their Second Amendment rights. The Tea Party was once again told to sit down and shut up and listen to the “wisdom” of their betters. We were reminded of the litany of Tea Party endorsed candidates in 2010 who didn’t win. Well, here’s a little newsflash to the establishment: without the Tea Party there would have been no historic 2010 victory at all.

Emphasis added. Read it all.

If there’s one person outside the candidates themselves who has sufficient respect and influence among the base to significantly influence the primary race, it’s Sarah Palin.

And she just shot a bullet at the feet of the GOP establishment.

Go, ‘Cuda.

RELATED: My blog-buddy ST has a long piece about this controversy, the dread charge of “RINO-ism,” and pols who try to manipulate voters. Legal Insurrection calls it a “thousand points of fright” for the GOP establishment.


Clueless editorial

October 6, 2011

Normally I like the Washington Examiner; it’s a great center-right paper and they feature some excellent columnists. I highly recommend it.

But, in an editorial saying Sarah Palin was right not to run, the editorial writer showed himself to be intellectually lazy and shallow:

As he bowed out of next year’s race, Christie said President Obama “has failed the leadership test.” Christie added: “Everything else you can be taught. You can’t be taught how to lead and how to make decisions.” The reality is that by resigning her post as governor of Alaska — citing as her reason an ethics law that she had championed — Palin failed the same leadership test as Obama. It does not matter how deeply unfair the press was toward her during the 2008 presidential cycle, when John McCain chose her as his running mate. By quitting the job she was elected to do, Palin essentially acknowledged her critics’ most essential contention — that she was not ready for higher office. Nothing she has done since then has changed this.

Oh, boy. Here we go.  It’s the “quitter” argument, again, the favorite of people who look at one fact –“She quit!”– and then shut off their brains. They only look at it from a national perspective, not recognizing or acknowledging or perhaps even caring about differences between states and their laws.

To whomever wrote this editorial: it wasn’t the 2008 press coverage that made her quit. It was the campaign of unending and baseless ethics charges that were aimed at her political paralysis and financial ruin. As I wrote to a friend when we were discussing this yesterday:

The law in question was the Alaska ethics statute. Under it:

  • All complaints and charges had to be investigated. There was no preliminary vetting.
  • The accused had to pay for their own defense, no state resources. In other words, the state AG couldn’t lift a finger, unlike other states.
  • All document requests had to be honored. Given the number of requests filed, this ate up an enormous amount of staff time and public money.

By the time she resigned, the Palins had accumulated $700k of legal debt at least on a combined salary of (roughly) $200k. Again, there would be no reimbursement from the state, nor anything paid by losing complainants. I think asking someone to continue as governor and take bankruptcy on the chin is a bit much. (Regarding some sort of a legal defense fund, they tried that, a predecessor to SarahPac, and it was challenged under the ethics law, too. The money was locked up. I donated to it and was eventually given a refund.)

The ethics law was well-intentioned but (as is so often the case) poorly designed and fraught with unintended consequences. Not surprisingly (as I understand it), it was changed under her successor.

So I ask the editorial’s author: How would it be passing a test of leadership to hang on to an office at the price of it being paralyzed by the complaints (thus being unable to do “the job she was elected to do”) and her family being bankrupted? Would you seriously call that leadership? Honestly?

Sure, the rest of the editorial is largely complimentary, but the heart is in the quoted paragraph. This editorial wasn’t even a backhanded compliment; it was a thinly-disguised patronizing slap to Sarah Palin’s face from a mouthpiece for the Beltway Establishment.

Bah.

AFTERWORD: My understanding of the Alaska ethics law is based on several years hashing over this topic. My apologies for not having a link handy. If I’m wrong in my summary, I’ll gladly stand corrected if someone can cite the relevant text from the law as it existed during Palin’s administration.

RELATED: Stacy McCain has a good article on Palin’s decision at The American Spectator.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


So, did you hear Sarah isn’t running?

October 6, 2011

Let me be upfront about this: I’m disappointed Sarah Palin decided not to run for president in 2012. She’s been my preferred candidate since she was introduced to the nation in 2008 by John McCain and then made her brilliant (and I do not use that word lightly) acceptance speech at the Republican convention. I thought then and I think now she has “it” — what it takes to be a great president: strength of character, the right understanding of what this nation is about, of the proper role of the government, of our unique place in the world, and what it would take to make us great, again. If she had run this year, I would have crawled over broken glass and through a nuclear holocaust to vote for her.

So my disappointment is with her decision, not with her. Just so we’re clear.

Meanwhile, this provides me with a good chance to get a few things off my chest:

(Sleeps on it)

Nah. I was going to go into a long rant and diatribe about Palin-fanatics and Palin-bashers, but what’s the point? I’ll just leave it at what I wrote on Twitter last night:

One thing I’ve learned: among both Palin-critics and Palin-fans, there is an incredible number of self-righteous jerks.

And then there’s the mainstream media, which has spent the last three years largely successfully destroying the reputation of a good person, and large swathes of the Republican establishment, which let them get away with it or even joined in. You both have my contempt.

As for what Sarah Palin will do in the future, I don’t know. One of Jim Geraghty‘s correspondents, a Palin fan, thinks this is the end:

I still admire and respect her, and still think she is one of the most potent natural political talents in the country, but I think this starts the decline of her influence in American politics. She no longer has an obvious platform. I would be very surprised if she starts appearing more on Fox News and would be shocked if her contract is renewed. It’s pretty clear that she’s pissed at them, and Ailes made it equally clear in his interview with Howard Kurtz that he considers her a “branding problem,” and FNC appears to have turned against her. I would also be very surprised if her speaking engagements continue at anywhere near the pace of the last two years, and she can’t believe that she will continue to get the media coverage she has been getting. The media hates her and covered her primarily because she had a chance, no matter how improbable they considered it, of being the GOP nominee for President or even winning. Same for her Facebook postings. I can’t believe anyone in the media, liberal or conservative, will pay any attention to her now, nor do I think she will be that much in demand as a stump speaker for other candidates.

Maybe, but maybe not. After defeats in 1960 and 1962, most people thought Nixon was finished (1). Six years later, it was “hail to the chief!” Sarah Palin may vanish into Quayle and Ferraro-land, or she may refresh, reload, and come back in a few years stronger than ever (2). We’ll see, and I hope it’s the latter.

Meanwhile, we have a candidate to decide on and an election to win. Sitting out or third party is not an option; the nation cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama, even if the Republicans take control of Congress. Here’s my take on the current serious candidates:

Mitt Romney: I want to like Mitt, but he has so many moments that make me slap my hand to my forehead that I’m developing a welt. Steven Hayward brings up a couple of Mitt’s recent clueless moments. As president, I don’t doubt that he’d try to “reach across the aisle,” McCain-like, on key issues, and that he’d need a conservative Congress and an active base to keep him on the reservation. I do think, however, he’d be solid on foreign and defense issues.

Rick Perry: My second choice after Palin, probably the closest of the serious candidates to me ideologically. Yes, he does have serious questions to answer about immigration and the Texas Dream Act, and I think his position is defensible, but he’s handled it wretchedly and now has to dig himself out of a large hole. He also needs to show he really wants the job and isn’t another Fred Thompson, running because everyone else told him it would be a great idea. And we need to see better debate prep, if only because the nominee will have to dismantle Obama at some point.

Herman Cain: I want to warm up to him, but I’m having hard time. His answers on foreign affairs have been awful, his 9-9-9 plan, while interesting, is seriously flawed (you do not want a national sales tax and an income tax both), and I can’t escape a nagging feeling that he has the wrong temperament for dealing with a more assertive Congress. I get a “my way or the highway” vibe. Still, I’m open to being convinced.

The rest of the field is just window-dressing.

What do the rest of you think? Since we have to deal with what is, rather than what we’d (well, I’d) like it to be, which candidate floats your boat?

LINKS: Michelle Malkin had some nice things to say about Sarah Palin in the wake of her announcement. Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection is both more concise and more eloquent than I, and I agree with everything he wrote about this.

PS: You can bet Palin’s phone is ringing off the hook with candidates seeking her endorsement for the nomination. I would suggest to these political suitors, if you want to please those of us who looked to her for intelligent leadership on energy policy and who are aghast at the policies of the Obama administration, keeping her in mind for the Energy or Interior chairs in the Cabinet would be a very good idea.

Footnotes:
(1) No, I’m not saying she’s another Nixon. That’s Obama, if anyone. But Tricky Dick is a prime example of someone resurrecting a political career thought to be ruined.
(2) If she’s willing to do the work. I honestly wouldn’t blame her for walking away forever.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Hope for our energy future, but first we need Change

September 10, 2011

Via Walter Russell Mead, news of a big oil strike off the coast of French Guiana:

A consortium of energy companies Friday reported a large oil discovery off the coast of French Guiana, opening up a potentially massive frontier of petroleum development along the northern coast of South America.

The discovery, made by Tullow Oil PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Total SA, could buoy hopes about the extent of the world’s untapped crude-oil reserves. Most of the barrels still underground are believed to be in the hands of a few countries that restrict access or are trapped in hard-to-exploit regions like the Arctic.

It’s estimated that 3.5 billion barrel of oil lie untapped at the site, though how much can be recovered remains to be seen. Nonetheless, this is a big find, comparable to estimates to the Bakken formation in the US. And its location makes it a double-boon for America, as Mead explains:

America’s geopolitical good luck seems to be continuing in the 21st century.  With very large deposits in Canada, the Gulf, Mexico, Venezuela and offshore Brazil, the US looks to have the most stable and secure oil supplies of any major world power.  Throw in new reserves here and the vast natural gas resources we keep finding, and the US energy picture seems to be getting brighter all the time.

And let’s not forget that estimates of oil and gas reserves within the US are growing, perhaps as high as 145 billion barrels of oil (Source in PDF):

U.S. proved reserves of oil total 19.1 billion barrels, reserves of natural gas total 244.7 trillion cubic feet, and natural gas liquids reserves of 9.3 billion barrels. Undiscovered technically recoverable oil in the United States is 145.5 billion barrels, and undiscovered technically recoverable natural gas is 1,162.7 trillion cubic feet. The demonstrated reserve base for coal is 488 billion short tons, of which 261 billion short tons are considered technically recoverable. …

Proved reserves are those amounts of oil, natural gas, or coal that have been discovered and defined, typically by drilling wells or other exploratory measures, and which can be economically recovered. In the United States, proved reserves are typically measured by private companies, who report their findings to the Securities and Exchange Commission because they are considered capital assets. In addition to the volumes of proved reserves are deposits of oil and gas that have not yet been discovered, which are called undiscovered resources. The term has a specific meaning: undiscovered resources are amounts of oil and gas estimated to exist in unexplored areas. If they are considered to be recoverable using existing production technologies, they are referred to as undiscovered technically recoverable resources (UTRR). In-place resources are intended to represent all of the oil, natural gas, or coal contained in a formation or basin without regard to technical or economic recoverability.

If those UTRR estimates become “proved reserves,” then we vault into the top-ten oil producers in the world — and bear in mind that those estimates could be too low, as well as too high.

Which brings us to fly in the ointment, that which makes Mead’s brightening picture something to look for several years down the road, not right now: we have to get rid of the Obama administration and all the anti-exploration and anti-drilling ideologues it’s put in positions of power. We could have all the oil in the world, and it would do us no good because of the Obama’s administration’s hostility toward responsible exploration and exploitation, both on- and offshore.

Let’s face it, the situation won’t improve until a new administration is in power that is not a slave to the Green Statist, eco-Socialist agenda and that will put an end to the administration’s insane permitorium. One that stops trying to strongarm the nation into “green technology” that isn’t yet economically viable and is a breeding ground for corruption.

Which, of course, means we need a new president. Someone with a commitment to free markets, limited government, and responsible energy development.

Gee, I wonder who comes to mind?

RELATED: Taking the brakes off exploration and development would do wonders for our jobs situation, too.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Sarah Palin: Sure, she’s not running. Yep. You betcha.

August 20, 2011

And to prove that, SarahPac released a video of her visit to the Iowa state fair that looks every bit like a campaign ad. Because, well, political professionals, pundits, would-be pundits, and candidates hoping not to compete against her all say so, silly! So there.

Judge for yourself:

And apparently she survived the fried butter on a stick. (1)

The September 3rd date referred to at the end is for something called the “Restoring America” rally. Originally scheduled for Waukee, Iowa, it’s been moved to the Indianola Balloon Grounds near Des Moines, because of a larger than first-planned crowd.

For someone who, we’re told, isn’t running.

Now, it’s possible that she will endorse another candidate at Indianola (if so, I would expect it to be Governor Perry), and it’s even possible that she would announce she’s not running at all. There are good reasons not to throw her hat in the ring.

But, that very, very slick video does not look to me like something put out by someone who is not running for higher office. Perhaps I’m projecting my hopes (2), but I’d say she’s running and the announcement comes on the 3rd at Indianola.

Go, ‘Cuda.

UPDATE: Glad to see Karl Rove agrees with me.

LINKS: Stacy McCain asks: “If she isn’t running, why’d she release this video?” Good question, dude. Legal Insurrection says “Nobody does it better.” Radio host Mark Levin believes she will run (via Hot Air).

Footnotes:
(1) They also had deep-fried cheesecake?? I hope they also had a cardiologist in attendance!
(2) For those who don’t know me, she’s my preferred candidate, though there are several Republicans I could easily vote for in November ’12. The point is to get the current Schmuck-in-Chief out.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Perry-Fallin 2012?

August 18, 2011

Sure, I’m being facetious in the headline (“Fallin who?”), but in one sense I’m not; freshman Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin is presiding over a economic mini-boom in her state. Check out this interview on Fox & Friends:

Now don’t you think Obama would give his last piece of arugula to have Oklahoma’s 5.3% unemployment rate? (1) But that would require him to give up his fallacious Keynesian dogmas and abandon his Socialist intellectual framework. I think I’ll see the sun rise in the West before that happens.

What Fallin and the Oklahoma legislature have done is what other states, such as Texas, are doing: establish a competitive tax burden, set out reasonable and predictable regulations, keep government spending within its means, and institute legal reform to prevent frivolous lawsuits. Oklahoma has followed this path and is reaping the benefits. The United States as a whole can, too.

If we elect the right man or woman.

Footnotes:
(1) As would my beloved California, where the official unemployment rate is a nauseating 11.8%. Governor Brown and the Oligarchs of the State Legislature, take note.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 13,157 other followers