The obligatory “problem with the problem with the Palin problem” post

Ian Lazaran at Conservatives for Palin, the go-to site for anyone interested in the Palin supporter’s side, raises some serious questions about Quin Hillyer’s “The Problem with Palin” – a piece whose title somewhat defeats the author’s numerous compliments to Sarah Palin.  Lazaran introduces reasonably well-evidenced arguments on Palin’s behalf – that she was a budget-cutter, that her rise to the governorship was an underdog triumph against corruption, and so on – that would serve Palin-supporters well in conventional politics, but no one much is engaging in conventional political warfare with Sarah Palin at the moment.

Lazaran is much less successful defending against Hillyer’s “quitter” attack, I think because the charge and the bare facts of the matter encapsulate and reinforce all of the discomfort that the unpersuaded feel about Palin, in a way that may be effectively beyond argument.  We had a long and informative discussion at the HA headlines and elsewhere on Hillyer’s article and in particular on the resignation- what it meant, what it still means, and what it may end up meaning for Palin.  Rather than recapitulate the exchanges, I’ll just maintain for now, in as neutral terms as I can come up with, that the resignation was the moment that she fully detached from “conventional,” and people who are made uncomfortable by too much unconventionality in a political figure may never learn to like it – or look past it.

On the other hand, as was largely predictable last July, “Palin, Inc.” has been served famously well by Palin’s resignation, to the tune of 8-digits, but the end of the initial growth phase is over, and a familiar diminishing returns plateau appears to have been reached.  I’ll concede that Palin gone stale would still be a lot more interesting, and influential, than the vast majority of politicians on their best days, but for her star to start ascending again, rather than just settle in the firmament at approximately its current coordinates, or perhaps begin an accelerating decline, she would need to renew her message. I’m not sure she can or will, or even if she should.

Until then, I think the real Palin problem – the problem for Palin – may be that the chemical reaction that makes it happen, her particular format for the meeting of conventional and unconventional, is going flat:  It’s not a perpetual motion machine, but depends on a continual supply of popular interest, and… people get bored – gradually, unevenly, at first invisibly, but inexorably.

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13 comments on “The obligatory “problem with the problem with the Palin problem” post

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  1. @CKM: I dunno, she still makes me smile the way Reagan did but no other major politician in my lifetime. For me that’s a tribute to her charm but also to her substance. That doesn’t mean she’s a good bet for 2012 but I don’t view her problems as incurable. Of course I’m not privy to her thoughts. I don’t know how her family is doing or whether she’s serious about acquiring the kind of professional staff Republican presidential hopefuls have traditionally relied on. On the other hand she’s been in a monogamous relationship for thirty years and has five children. She’s not dizzy about the important stuff in life, which is certainly more than I could ever say for myself. Give her time to collect herself, and meanwhile take a break from her yourself. You sound like you could use it.

  2. You know I don’t really see where the compliments that Hilyer gives her, she is either deceptive, stupid, or avaricious, in his view, You’d
    think she were John Edwards, with the firm brush of contempt, that
    he draws of her. He ellipses with the best efforts of Couric and Gibsonfrom the very outset, the quote he uses, has a paragraph of explanation behind it.i found that this article came from the Spectator, which was a touchstone of my political education, in my college years, which the Clinton machine through the use of cutout like Salon, had buried under a mountain of innuendo and legal debts, kind of ironic

  3. @ narciso:
    this admirable and galvanizing woman

    We know that Sarah Palin shares our conservative values

    supply-side conservatives are rightly thrilled at Palin’s mayoral record as a tax-cutter

    to her credit — she spent most of her time fighting against ethical improprieties of others.

    Chalk up a point for Palin’s integrity

    her legendary toughness

    Few could possibly deny that she repeatedly challenged unethical and entrenched interests in Alaska.

    ALL OF WHICH IS NOT TO SAY that Sarah Palin lacks the right stuff — the right values, the right determination, the right gumption, the right toughness — to serve our nation in high office. She certainly has abundant and admirable amounts and quality of all those virtues, no matter how viciously the left tries to smear her.

    preternatural ability to turn a pithy phrase to convey powerful messages

    brilliant ad-lib

    The undeniable fact for conservatives is that when it comes to broad principles, Sarah Palin “gets it.” And when it comes to pluck, she’s overflowing.

    The promise of Palin is that she has plenty of time to prepare

  4. We should call her The Saintly One, my dears.

    Sarah is all too human. She quit because it hurt too much.

    She doesn’t want to be President.

    This deeply spiritual woman just wants to help.

  5. I doubt anyone will still be paying attention to this post at 4 days after the last comment, but I thought I’d add my thoughts anyway.

    Among several conservatives that I know, an alarming number of them don’t like Palin. They like her political positions, but don’t like her personally. Some don’t want her to be the face of the Tea Party. Others don’t like the way she speaks or her voice. One wants a Margaret Thatcher type personality. Most don’t want her to run for national office. And these are from people who I’d be almost certain that they’d be fans of hers.

    The best answer I can come up with is that it’s a northeast elitist thing (I live in Boston). I find it a somewhat disconcerting. Personally, I’d love to have someone like Palin as President. She embodies the “anti-Obama.” I want someone in there who is going to push for less government rather than more. Someone that trusts the collective citizenry, rather than the elites, to make the best decisions for this country. Now more than ever that’s needed. Her character is such that I’d trust her judgement when it came to handling any arising issue – even if she wasn’t an expert on that topic.

    Regardless of what I think, it seems to me that Palin would have a hard time generating support in these parts. I suppose these people would vote for her if it was between her and Obama in 2012, but wouldn’t support her in a primary. Given this unfortunate dynamic, perhaps the best way she can help the conservative movement is to be a fund raiser/king maker, rather than as a politician.

  6. That’s the irony isn’t it, they’ll vote for someone else, probably hold their nose, and wait to be disappointed by him or her.

  7. Lotus Feet wrote:

    This deeply spiritual woman just wants to help.

    herself to all she can get. She’s got two hands full of gimme and a mouth full of store-bought teeth.

  8. As opposed to Al Gore who brainwashes the next generation with garbage, only one stepped removed from the Day after Tomorrow, who
    makes tens and hundreds of millions, with the latter day indulgences
    that we call carbon credits. His actions have ramifications on every single one of us, and they happen to be noxious to society

  9. @ narciso:Tell you what, narc. i’ll go with the guy who’s pushing scientific theories open to question rather than the gal
    whose mind closes on a religious literalism deserving a horse laugh.

  10. @ Fourstring Casady:
    Did someone miss his two-minute hate this morning and get assigned homework?

    El Sr. Gore has made a damned mess of things, and more and more people on his aisle of the side are glomming onto the incontinent troof of the matter.

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