Sarah Palin — The Truth, Fair and Balanced
By: Guest Authors
by David Bozeman
“If something were to happen to [Alaska Governor] Frank Murkowski, I’m prepared to step in and run the state government. I don’t think [Sarah Palin] is.”
— Gail Phillips, Palin’s opponent in the 2002 Alaska lieutenant governor’s race
True statesmen embody ideas and concepts greater than themselves. Sadly, since liberals tend to set the agenda for public discourse, Sarah Palin the leader pales beside Sarah Palin the tabloid star and Sarah Palin the eternal novice. It’s not a pattern anymore, it’s a cliche — the governor is attacked with innuendo and gut-wrenching bile and her supporters jump to her defense with rhetorical tributes to her charm and tenacity. I plead guilty to the latter (but keep reading for another — I can’t help myself). One could argue that she is partly to blame, but who can deny that she has had to navigate a media minefield while Barack Obama has strolled a red carpet.
He fairest assessment is likely to come from Fox News. On the April 17 O’Reilly Factor, A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, opined that the governor is not a viable candidate for president, citing her tenuous relationship with the GOP hierarchy and her neglect of fellow Republican candidates, unlike Mitt Romney who been working “behind the scenes.” The other guest, who lauded Palin’s pro-life stance and connection with average voters, concurred with Stoddard. Maybe I dreamed it all, but I thought Palin campaigned for Sonny Purdue in Georgia’s December runoff and started SarahPac expressly for supporting candidates who share her vision. Stoddard also mentioned the standard plaint: Palin’s lack of weight on foreign policy issues (I thought the economy trumped every issue and that foreign policy was almost passe’, so Bush Administration).
One has to wonder why Fox News is such a bane to liberals and Bill O’Reilly a Satan, since even the fairest discussions of Palin proceed from the assumption that she is a ditz who must demonstrate basic competence to a demanding public that elected a four-year senator its president. O’Reilly frequently reminds viewers that Obama is a “brilliant” man, “very smart,” etc. The No-Spinmeister himself has been well trained in Discourse 101: always shower Democrats (or at least Obama) with odes to their high intellects. Republican presidents can graduate from Harvard and Yale and speak eloquently without aid of a TelePrompTer, but Democrats earn all the laurels for their soaring brainpower (along with their noble intentions). Try to imagine Palin receiving remotely similar treatment from Keith Olberman and then tell me about right-wing media bias. Democrats, however thin their resumes, are never subjected to foreign policy pop quizzes, either, as was candidate George W. Bush in 2000, who was roundly chided for apparently not knowing the names of at least two world leaders.
If she is to resonate, Sarah Palin the policy wonk must outshine Sarah Palin the media phenomenon. Unfortunately, more people can recite the Bristol-Levi Johnston saga than know Palin’s history of governance. Her ascension to power and her stands on various issues are too lengthy to repeat here. In a nutshell, she is, according to otherissues.com, “a populist leaning conservative.” Though lauded for supporting the unborn and the traditional family, she has focused on ethics reform and economic growth. She has spoken at length on tapping Alaska’s resources for America’s energy independence, even standing against John McCain on ANWR drilling. Finally, SarahPac mentions healthcare reform and education as important issues that could launch a Republican “renaissance.”
Not that she needs validation. She just deserves a fair hearing, which she will get not via the media but by making her case directly to the American people. Her political history thus far and her agenda, both matters of public record, speak for themselves. What sets her apart, even from fellow Republicans, is an abiding faith in everyday Americans to keep out nation competitive. Her charm and radiance are just extras, people love her tenacity and can-do spirit in preserving traditional American values, thus the extra protectiveness many on the right show. Her story is her own to tell, but she deserves some rousing testimonials, lest the words of People, Us Weekly, MSNBC, etc., make their way to history books unfiltered.