Dear Readers: I have just come back after being beaten-up on the Hot Air comments board for not blindly backing Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Carly Fiorina, as well as explaining to rabid Palin fans that the former Governor damaged her reputation with her ill-considered support.
The Palin supporters are classic examples of why the newly-minted Fox News pundit should heed the proverb: “God save me from my friends – I can protect myself from my enemies.”.
Here are my main assertions:
Palin relied on the California GOP leadership, who have been clearly backing Fiorina since the beginning. Palin is heavily engaged with Tea Party Express, which is known to citizen activists to have deep roots to the traditional Republican elites who have managed to be part of the problem for so very long. Her support of Fiorina popped the bubble of enthusiasm for her among many citizen activists and Tea Party coordinators. The supporters, who have been backing Assemblyman Chuck Devore, have donated time, money, and energy to his run. He is a quintessential “Tea Party” candidate.
Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition founder Dawn Wildman has been fielding calls from many unhappy compatriots. Sarah Bond, another founder, is removing her Palin line from the t-shirt shop. Personally, I have gone from being an enthusiastic Palin fan to a tepid supporter — I probably won’t bother buying Palin’s new book.
The bold use of Republican strong-arm tactics means all that volunteerism currently devoted to Chuck Devore will NOT necessarily translate into equivalent grassroots engagement for Fiorina — should she even win. When there are people willing to develop witty graphics or promote someone’s campaign using their resources and creativity free of charge, this is a costly miscalculation.
Additionally, some incentive for such activism on behalf of Palin has dissipated. How much? It is hard to say. I think the book sales for her new tome, “America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag” should be a good gauge. I will be interested in comparing its sales number to that of her autobiograpahy.
If Palin had not made a formal endorsement, perhaps indicated she preferred Carly but Chuck also had an appeal, then grassroots support would still be intact. Her continuing defense of her endorsement indicates Palin knows she has made an error and is trying to do damage control.
Furthermore, the trumped-up charges related to Chuck Devore many in the Hot Air comments have cited (related to his using staff for campaign work) come straight from the IP address of a highly placed Fiorina campaign operative (specifically, a law firm which represents the well-oiled Carly Fiorina campaign, and the state Republican party).
The establishment GOP in California has vowed to “take over the Tea Party or destroy it”. I should think that unless you are a blind follower of the GOP, you might at least consider that an Army Vet such as Devore deserves better than this treatment by the Republican Party. It is into this scene that Palin has unwisely interjected herself, in my opinion (a Palin supporter and California activist).
Finally, for those of you who think the words of “our Sarah” are sacred, let me take you down a trip through memory lane:
Carly dissed Sarah for “not being qualified” to run a big company during the presidential race. Fiorina was back-benched by McCain after the flub, and dubbed “Joe Biden-like” for her public speaking gaffes.
Weigh this bit with her poor performance against Campbell and Devore in a recent debate: CLICK HERE for link to audio. Furthermore, compared to Devore, Carly is a RINO (see this Michelle Malkin piece as evidence of this: McCain-backed GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina hearts Jesse Jackson — and radical gender politics). As a Democrat, I can hardly complain — but please don’t offer me a turd burger ans say it is prime rib, either.
There are two separate arguments that were reviewed in the Hot Air comments section, so let me break them out:
* Devore can win both the June primary (his numbers are increasing, where as Tom Campbell is stagnant and Fiorina’s are on the decline) and the November general election. He is a much more genuine conservative than Firoina, and has served California honorably. The nay-saying of the GOP-loyalists at Hot Air cannot take away the grassroots excitement that Devore has earned on his own.
* It is immaterial to the discussion as to whether Palin’s endorsement will help or hurt, or if Devore can win. In this instance, in a campaign closely followed by citizen activists, she choose unwisely. This has hurt her numbers and lowered the level of enthusiasm for her among an energized electorate. Any of you that followed the comments on her Facebook page after her post should realize this.
Need further proof? See this review from another California citizen activist and conservative pundit: Disappointed by Left Coast Rebel.
UPDATE: Libertarian friend and politically independent pundit, W.C. Varones has this great post with a key takeaway line: Falling from grace: Sarah Palin and the Tea Parties
I’ve hesitated too long in coming out against Palin, probably largely because I despise her East Coast elitist detractors. No more.
After being called a Marxist “Nutjob” with a limited IQ for detailing the real California environment, in hopes of conveying the extent of the problem so Palin’s staff can potentially correct their course of action in the future, I was left weighing whether I could automatically pull the lever for the GOP-backed Fiorina should that be my choice this November — or if I could even pull the lever for Palin in 2012, if it came to that. My answer:
No. Let me revise that farther — HELL NO.
At this point, I will pray Democrat Mickey Kaus has a surprise victory in June and support him fully for the general (MUT Note: There have been sightings of Kaus Republicans; who could not love a Democrat willing to battle the public service employee unions).
My new stance on my senatorial pick is also the result of reading the derogatory comments on Hot Air directed to one of the kindest and most rational writers on the internet, the Anchoress. What was her sin? Writing this:
But Palin’s base needs to calm down a little, and realize that when they act like the rightwing version of gaga-eyed Obamabots, they’re not helping their candidate. There is no such thing as a “perfect” person, certainly no such thing as a “perfect” politician, and when I hear someone refer to Palin as “my Sarah,” or I get an email from someone for daring to criticize “our Sarah,” I frankly want to puke. Such emails do not convince me to “love” Sarah Palin, they actually make me distrust her political viability all the more, because I distrust emotionalism in politics.
In response to the current poll and news, Dr. Zero, writes this:
At this moment in time, Sarah Palin is the heart and soul of the Right. I can understand why many Republican voters might be reluctant to go into the next election with their hearts on their sleeves, but that’s the only way to win… and achieve the mandate necessary to do what needs to be done. If she formally declares for office, some of those reluctant Republican hearts will grow stout, and the next salt-encrusted poll from PPP might look quite a bit different.
Dr. Zero: Besides the Right, Palin will also need to accrue a portion of the Independents (e.g., Left Coast Rebel, W.C. Varones) and Jeffersonian Democrats (such as myself) for any future chance of electoral victory. So will Fiorina, for that matter, if the former Hewlett-Packard executive is to prevail in the senatorial contest against Boxer. Degrading insults and nastiness do not sway those who are not enthralled completely by “our Sarah” — and will cost Palin and other Republican candidates key allies in the upcoming push-back on the Obama administration.
Opining on a dynamic situation from afar, then consistently having to defend that position, usually is a good sign that a politico has made a mistake. Truly, supporting Fiorina was an unforced error that Palin did not need to make.
In conclusion: Live by the Facebook post, die by the Facebook post.
UPDATE: Hot Air’s GOP-thralls were busy spreading lies that Red State’s EriK Erikson asled Chuck Devore to stand down — California Pro-Life Council Owes Chuck DeVore and Me an Apology
UPDATE 2: I read the following comment on Michelle Malkin’s post about Palin attaching herself to the brave stance taken by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer with some interest:
I wish the unprincipled Sarah Palin would have stayed out this battle as she should have in Ca. Although, her sugar daddy McCain is running for Senator there so I can see why she’s on the band wagon. Have you heard about her new book?
It seems W.C. Varones is not the only one who feels ready to unveil the extent of their true reservations about the political viability of the former Alaskan Governor.
I will also point out that other comments, especially those made by Arizonans, are especially insightful.