January 14, 2010

Getting It Right On Palin

Erick Erickson over at RedState is certainly an important voice in the conservative movement today -- one who is so prominent that the Left has begun to attack him in an effort to limit that influence. But he has also stirred up some conservatives by casting a critical eye at some of the things done and said by Sarah Palin, even as he continues to be a major supporter of the former Alaska governor.

His current post on Palin offers an insight that I think is really important.

In 2008, Obama and Palin were, to many people, empty vessels into which people poured their hopes and dreams without really knowing anything about either.

He is exactly right. I know I was one of those who was willing to get quite enthusiastic about her precisely because she was the young, attractive working-mother of a special needs child who had risen to lofty political heights through her own skill and grit. As time has gone on, Ive grown somewhat disenchanted with the former Alaska governor as she has made decisions and statements that I question disenchanted enough with her, for example, that I cant envision supporting a potential Palin candidacy for the White House in 2012, though I would like to see her in the House or Senate in order to garner the experience and insights that I think could make her a truly formidable leader in the future.

Now the real problem, as Erickson points out, is that Palin has become a Jesus figure for too many partisans on both sides of the aisle. On the populist right, we have those who have developed an almost worshipful devotion to their heroine people who will defend her against every slur and criticism. On the raging left, there are those who feel the need to destroy Palin and scatter her followers call them the political equivalent of Richard Dawkins and his atheist acolytes.

The reality, though, is that Sarah aint Jesus. She is neither the political savior nor the Beast from the pit. She is neither Reagan nor Obama and the sooner those on the political right figure that out the better (I frankly dont care what the political left does; they can tilt at the Palin windmill forever as far as Im concerned). We must be free to examine her strengths and weaknesses, to praise her when she is right and critique her when she is wrong.

And if we cant get that point, we will be setting ourselves up for an increase in strife and discord, beset by a politician with followers who are more concerned with purity than practicality. Weve already seen where that leads can you say Ron Paul?

AllahPundit has more.

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She may or may not be great -- but she certainly isn't perfect, or above criticism. Not even Reagan, at the height of his popularity, was beyond criticism by Republicans, nor was it ideological treason to question his decisions. I like Palin, as anyone who reads this blog knows, but I'm not ever going to offer unswerving fealty to any politician. In that direction lies all manner of sins...

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