by Jedediah Bila
It’s truly astonishing the lengths that some will go to in order to try to discredit Sarah Palin. Sure, the left-wing media loons are a given, but what about the folks on the Right who relentlessly brand her as unelectable, unintelligent, unpresidential, and/or unqualified? What is their basis for those assessments? And if she is so darn unelectable—why the need to consistently, near-obsessively attempt to tear her down?
What’s most interesting about the repeated attacks on Palin – from the Left and the Right – is that they are routinely empty. They are often featured in online hit pieces that are void of any reference to her record and/or her contributions over the past two years to discussions of national and international significance. They focus on absurd criticism of her TLC series, which so many elitists deemed anti-intellectual and so many regular Americans deemed relatable. They call her a “quitter” because she resigned from the governorship, but don’t reveal the reality that she was faced with numerous frivolous ethics charges made by political operatives that were costing her state hundreds of thousands of dollars and her staff countless hours to refute. The fact that she made the right decision for Alaska, and that the charges were all ultimately dismissed, get buried under the frenzied need some have to try to sabotage her at all costs.
And let’s not forget the manner in which the authors of these hit pieces so often compile every possible negative quotation on Palin they can find, particularly from the mouths of whom they consider to be the conservative intellectual elite. The quotes are typically nonsensical and/or erroneous, and mark embarrassing moments for those who uttered them, as they tend to reflect a complete lack of awareness of Palin’s accomplishments, writings, and outspoken stand on policy initiatives.
Since September 2010 alone, Sarah Palin has penned commentary on such topics as the unrest in Libya, the protests in Wisconsin, Obama’s 2012 budget proposal and State of the Union address, getting tough with Iran and standing with Iranians who seek democracy, challenging the specifics of President Obama’s energy policy, the omnibus spending bill, defeating the New START, opposition to state bailouts, tax policy, a message to Republican freshmen in Congress, opposition to quantitative easing, and more. She has repeatedly been a leading voice—via television appearances and speaking engagements—against the dangers of ObamaCare and the risks of President Obama’s approach to energy. During the 2010 election season, SarahPAC endorsed 81 candidates across the country. Let’s take a look at a few samples of Palin’s written commentary:
On Obama’s 2012 budget proposal: “The fine print reveals a White House proposal to increase taxes by at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade. If you want to know how minuscule their proposed $775 million-a-year budget ‘cuts’ really are, please look at this chart. The proposed cuts are so insignificant—less than 1/10 of 1% of this year’s $1.65 trillion budget deficit—that they are essentially invisible on the pie chart. That speaks volumes about today’s budget.”
On Iran: “Much more can be done, such as banning insurance for shipments to Iran, banning all military sales to Iran, ending all trade credits, banning all financial dealings with Iranian banks, limiting Iran's access to international capital markets and banking services, closing airspace and waters to Iran's national air and shipping lines, and, especially, ending Iran's ability to import refined petroleum. These would be truly ‘crippling’ sanctions.”
On energy: “Right now Beltway politicos are quibbling over cutting $61 billion from our dangerously bloated $3.7 trillion budget. Allowing drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas will enrich federal coffers by $167 billion a year without raising our taxes. If we let Harry Reid keep his 'cowboy poetry,' would the White House consider letting us drill?”
On quantitative easing: “If the President was serious about getting the economy moving again, he’d stop supporting the Fed’s dangerous experiments with our currency and focus instead on what actually works: reducing government spending and boosting business investment through good old-fashioned supply-side reforms (cutting taxes and reducing overly burdensome regulations). Simply running the printing presses in order to avoid paying off your debts is no way for a great nation to behave.”
My question to the critics: How is that commentary lacking in intellect? How do you find her active leadership role in these important debates to be unpresidential?
With respect to those who label her “unqualified” for a presidential run, I ask, how so? A resume that features the roles of city council member, mayor, governor, small-business owner, chairwoman of the AK Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and vice chairwoman of the National Governors Association Natural Resources Committee doesn’t fit your vision of “qualified”? Opening up drilling for oil and gas at Point Thomson for the first time in decades, reducing earmark requests for Alaska by more than 80%, establishing Alaska’s Petroleum Integrity Office to oversee safe energy development, investing $5 billion in state savings, reducing spending for Fiscal Year 2010 by more than $1 billion from Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski’s FY 2007 budget, vetoing nearly half a billion dollars in wasteful spending, signing Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share bill into law to incentivize development and to ensure that Alaskans would receive a “clear and equitable” share of oil profits, and actualizing the "Alaska Gasline Inducement Act"—the largest private sector infrastructure project in North American history—somehow make Sarah Palin “unqualified”?
The truth is that Sarah Palin is more than qualified to step up to the plate this 2012 election cycle if she so chooses. And as far as her “electability,” that decision rests with voters, not with those media and establishment voices who are decidedly desperate to shove her off the stage and to shape the 2012 presidential narrative.
So, to the media and conservative “elite”—challenge her policy if you wish. I’m sure she’d gladly accept that debate. Ask questions about her record. My guess is she’d welcome those and be happy to answer them. But when it comes to silly, baseless labels—haven’t you embarrassed yourselves enough already?