About That Palin Backstabbing… [Followup]

An article on MediaBistro says that the Eisenstadt hoaxers merely took credit for being Cameron’s source for the “Africa is a country” rumor on Fox News, and I’m mature enough to admit that my previous post was incorrect.

But that still doesn’t absolve Fox from giving credence to what is clearly intra-Republican backstabbing and vicious rumor-mongering. If Palin was really that stupid, you’d think that “anonymous McCain aides” would come forward and testify openly so as to prevent her from ever running for anything again. The fact that they haven’t done so, and that plenty of other people — friends and enemies — who know her from more than a couple of bad interviews (namely, the voters and politicians of Alaska) say that she’s plenty smart*, suggests to me that this is, as I said, merely a vicious rumor.

Anonymous sourcing is a first-class ticket to the sort of weasel politics we all should righteously despise, but nevertheless supposedly reputable institutions like the NYT or the Washington Post use it all too frequently against their political enemies. Shame on Fox for succumbing to the same racket.

Since I’ve made an issue of this story, I’m going to keep following it in case the identity of the anonymous source turns up.

* Blogger Beldar reports here:

In the many hours I spent online doing background research on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin before I wrote my first post about her on June 8, 2008, I read many dozens of newspaper stories about her, dating back to her time as mayor of Wasilla in the late 1990s, in the state’s largest newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News, as well as in some of the smaller Alaska newspapers. I was specifically looking for negatives: I knew that the Democrats would be too, in the (then unlikely) event that Gov. Palin became a serious possibility as the GOP Veep nominee.

The single most frequently recurring theme was that Sarah Palin’s political opponents underestimated her. In every campaign, her opponent attacked her as inexperienced. None of them argued, however, that she was stupid. The closest any opponent ever came to that was one of her two opponents in the 2006 gubernatorial race, Andrew Halcro, who claimed that she didn’t immerse herself in the minutia of policy detail in which he himself reveled. Halcro is a wonk, and an annoying, patronizing twerp, and a sore loser, and the people of Alaska recognized that by leaving him an embarrassing distant third in that race, with less than 10% of their votes. But even Halcro didn’t claim that Sarah Palin was stupid.

Nor did anyone else of consequence make that claim during Gov. Palin’s first year-and-a-half as governor. She was criticized for having “sharp elbows,” for holding political grudges, and for disfavoring those who’d crossed her — complaints leveled by losers left behind in the wake of every successful politician, because that’s the loser-side view of being held accountable for ones actions and positions. But dim? Provincial? Uneducated? Nobody in Alaska had ever seriously charged Sarah Palin with being an airhead — not even the political enemies she’d left bleeding in the dust.

[Emphasis in original]

7 thoughts on “About That Palin Backstabbing… [Followup]

  1. Pingback: About That Palin Backstabbing… | No Clever Pseudonym

  2. chrisrnps

    “If Palin was really that stupid, you’d think that “anonymous McCain aides” would come forward and testify openly so as to prevent her from ever running for anything again.”

    Keep in mind that many of the same people that worked on the McCain-Palin campaign were veterans of, or proteges of, Karl Rove and the Bush 2000 and 2004 campaigns.

    Would you really put it past them to maybe, just maybe, construct and prop up another empty (skirt)suit candidate for the next go-round?

    Given her post-campaign behavior, it seems to me that she, at least, thinks she’s “the future of the party”.


  3. admin Post author

    construct and prop up another empty (skirt)suit candidate

    That’s laugh out loud funny, coming from an Obama voter. (And probably a Kerry voter, too.)

    That aside, I’d propose a corollary to “never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity”:

    “Never attribute to conspiracy what can be explained by malice.”

    And besides, how does destroying Palin’s reputation *after* the election help them prop her up for the next? That just doesn’t make any sense at all, and certainly makes it look like you’re deliberately leaving logic behind in order to get your hate on.

    Unless it’s *different” McCain aides who are *against* her being “propped up” next time, but that makes an even stronger argument for “they should come forward.” Nope, still looks like they’re a bunch of sour-grapes backstabbers-after-the-fact, which was my original interpretation after all.

  4. Susan

    I think anonymous sources can be very credible if the person who reports on them is credible. That is, if I read about an anonymous source in the Washington Post, I’ll give it more weight than say, the Enquirer. Sometimes people want to share info but don’t want to take the heat. Deep Throat is the most obvious example off the top of my head – that anonymous source took down Nixon!

    It sounded like there was some in-fighting in that campaign from before she was chosen, and as I recall there were some bad things said about her before this recent stuff from within the campaign. That’s pretty lousy. McCain picked her, after all. Where’s the loyalty? I don’t think she’s stupid – it’s hard to get to be governor if you’re stupid – but I don’t think she was ready to run for a race like that. She sounded woefully uninformed and afraid to have her own opinions. I can’t blame her for taking the job, but perhaps those who chose her blame themselves and are blaming her now. She’d probably do better without those people controlling her, when she “went rogue” she sounded better.

    Anyway, I hope they figure out who was talking smack about her and give them a talking to. I’m sorry to be rambling at length in your blog, as I know I’m this big liberal, but I was just thinking about it and saw your post. I think she could be an asset to the Republican party in another roll (Senator?), she just needs some more educating and preparation. She did have a lot of personal strengths, like being approachable, charming, and tough, and she was also good at getting money for her constituents. She got the base excited. When grilled on issues, she seemed to have differing opinions she hesitated to share. I’m curious as to what her real beliefs are, as I don’t believe they mirror McCain’s. She’d be better on her own though, and with people she chooses to help her.

  5. admin Post author

    Susan, the conventional wisdom in the right-blogosphere is that the “anonymous aides” are Romney supporters who joined the McCain campaign after Romney dropped out. Supposedly they think that Palin is a threat to their guy’s chances in 2012 (they’re right), so they’re poisoning the Palin well now.

    Oh, and remember that I live in the Democratic People’s Republic of Seattle, and almost all the readership so far is people I know personally, so you’re hardly THE big liberal here. 🙂

  6. Susan

    Romney supporters? That’s interesting. It makes sense, but yeesh, that’s lousy. Romney being a Mormon I think would keep him from getting the party nomination. Then again, I never thought we’d have an African American president in my lifetime. Stranger things have happened.

    I know I’m not the only liberal here, but I felt kind of bad when I read your initial post about your blog. I use my LJ to vent political stuff all the time – it’s my political outlet! I didn’t realize I had more than one or two conservatives on my list. I like to read political thoughts from both sides, so I’m glad to have a conservative writing about things.

    I’m curious to see what will become of the Republican party. It doesn’t seem to know what to do with itself now. I’d like to see it concentrate less on social wedge issues and more on fiscal issues and real social issues. I completely disagree with deregulation and trickle-down economics, and I’d like to see a departure from that too. There must be a different approach that works. Basically, I’d like to see some new ideas come out of the Republican party. It seems kind of like the grumpy old man party.

    Last night I saw Pat Buchannan (hardly a great GOP representative, but…) and this other guy on MSNBC, an African-American Republican, I can’t remember his name. They were arguing over the direction the party should take. Buchannan was saying that they had to return to the old ways, stick with the old people, forget about minorities because they’ll never vote Republican anyway. The other guy was arguing that Pat kept bringing up the year he was born, and times have changed. The party has to change or die, because the minorities are going to be the majority one of these days. Pat got all riled up and started complaining about immigrants, saying 90% of them were “uneducated and on welfare”. *sigh* Anyway, Pat came across as looking like a big bigoted jackass. Pat’s viewpoint to me is unfortunately shared by too many people in the party. Getting the grumpy old geezers like Buchanan to shut up is probably key. Tim Pawlenty has been saying they need to stop clinging to the Reagan era and move on, which he’s right about (although Pawlenty has been fairly worthless in MN if you ask me, but I digress).

  7. Rob

    Governor Palin has a really bad case of Eisenhower syntax when she speaks off the cuff, from what I can tell of her TV interviews (her speeches are fine). It’s important to note that Eisenhower wasn’t stupid.

    Basically, I see Governor Palin as another version of George W. Bush- fractured English, not particularly intellectually curious, good political/people skills (also a governor in a state where there’s a divided executive, also a governor who was able to work with Democrats at times on the state level, also the governor of a state with lots of oil money). This isn’t the same as “stupid”, as a lot of successful people aren’t particularly introspective or possess intellectual curiosity.

    (As for the empty suit crack about Obama- you aren’t an empty suit if this guy is the reason you are brought in to teach ConLaw at U of Chicago.)

    That being said, if the Republicans think George Bush with XX chromosomes and a Miss Congeniality award is the future of their party… I think the phrase here is “bring it on”. I think governors like Pawlenty and Jindal are MUCH closer to what the Republicans need to be promoting as their future.


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