The Huffington Post's Howard Feinman observed
a few weeks ago--not unreasonably--that Joe Scarborough is "one of
those Southerners who thrives in Manhattan by making locals nervous
about their ignorance of the country." Whether this is true or not, the
GOP congressman-turned-MSNBC host is earning plaudits from the Midtown
media set for his new Politico column
calling for Republican leaders to "man up" and denounce (or even
) former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for crimes against the
GOP, which include misunderstanding Ronald Reagan's career arc, being
mean to George Bush the elder, and not fighting in World War II.
Republicans have a problem. The
most-talked-about figure in the GOP is a reality show star who cannot be
elected. And yet the same leaders who fret that Sarah Palin could
devastate their party in 2012 are too scared to say in public what they
all complain about in private.
man or mouse with a fully functioning human brain and a résumé as thin
as Palin’s would flirt with a presidential run?...Adding audacity to
this dopey dream is that Palin can’t stop herself from taking swings at
Republican giants. In the past month alone, she has mocked Ronald
Reagan’s credentials, dismissed George H.W. and Barbara Bush as arrogant
“blue bloods” and blamed George W. Bush for wrecking the economy.
Sean Hannity asked Palin whether being in a reality show diminished her
standing to be president...Palin sneered that she could be president if
the actor from “Bedtime for Bonzo” managed to do so.
Palin mocked Reagan’s credentials, the TLC reality show star took aim at
the 41st president and his wife... bashing Bush and his wife as “blue
bloods” who had wrecked America.
I suppose Palin’s
harsh dismissal of this great man is more understandable after one reads
her biography and realizes that, like Bush, she accomplished a great
deal in her early 20s. Who wouldn’t agree that finishing third in the
Miss Alaska beauty contest is every bit as treacherous as risking your
life in military combat? Maybe the beauty contestant who would one day
be a reality star and former governor didn’t win the Distinguished
Flying Cross, but the half-termer was selected as Miss Congeniality by
her fellow contestants.
If Republicans want to embrace
Palin as a cultural icon whose anti-intellectualism fulfills a base
political need, then have at it. I suppose it’s cheaper than
therapy....But if the party of Ronald Reagan, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio
wants to return to the White House anytime soon, it’s time that
Republican leaders started standing up and speaking the truth to Palin.
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