Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why the Media won't leave Sarah Palin alone

I've been increasingly dismayed over the last month or so my the number of times I hear people say "we're not voting ourselves out of this".  It's dismaying, because it's a vote of no confidence in the Republic's future, and that particular future leads to no place but ugly.

But I think I understand where they're coming from.  They see politics as the "Hamster Wheel of Pain".

The HWOP is a concept popularized by Andy Jacquith, in a highly recommended (for security geeks) book, Security Metrics.  In it, he describes security product vendors with a doughnut-shaped "security process" that goes something like:
Assess -> Prioritize -> Fix -> Verify 
 ... and back to the beginning.  It's a wheel, and Andy's point is that IT Security guys are trapped on the HWOP.  Only to them it's more like:
Didj00 get pwn3d -> DO SOMETHING!!1! -> Anyone still looking? -> Hope it goes away
I say this not to poke fun at the IT security guys; after all, I've been one of those security product vendors who's actually created this sort of thing.  It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it hasn't been terribly effective.

And so to the Political Hamster Wheel Of Pain:
Country on wrong track? -> Vote bums out -> Get new bums -> Lather, rinse, repeat
I think that the problem is that politics is a game played on the 50 yard line.  American politics has always been notable for having less of an ideological difference between the parties than most other places.  Heck, for a lot of the 20th Century, France had both the Communist and Socialist parties and explicitly Royalist and Catholic parties.  Our politics, by comparison, does indeed look like a pig pile on the 50 yard line.

Except as the Elites have taken over the Media and the Academy, the apparent location of the 50 yard line has shifted to the left.  This has coincided with the collapse of public trust in the elite institutions, but they have been admittedly effective in creating a Potemkin consensus pushing a Potemkin "Middle Ground".

And since the Stupid Republican Party has let them do this, most Republicans are well to the left of where the American public was thirty years ago, or even today.  Because most of the Republican candidates are too stupid or scared to call things the way they see them, they go along to get along [*cough*Mitt Romney*cough*].

And this is why Sarah Palin is so important, and why the Press can't leave her alone.  She calls things the way she sees them, for better or worse.  And disastrously for the MSM, she's just about bang on the American public's "Moderate" ground:

Does this picture add up to a frothing theocrat or hot-eyed right-wing culture warrior? Um…no. Not at all. On issue after issue (with the single exception of the rape-and-incest exception), what I discover about Palin seems to put her right smack in the broad middle. Far closer to it than me, usually, even with respect to issues we’re on opposite sides of.

Furthermore, the sense I get from her speech and presentation is that she really is like that; she doesn’t display the kinds of equivocation you see in a politician who is constantly trimming sail to the electoral wind and delays making a in issue commitment until he’s backed into a corner...

And a note to all you anti-Palin left-liberals: on every major issue I’ve discussed, I hold what you’d consider the left or extreme-left position and have described Palin as closer to center despite the fact that this tends to legitimize a position further right than you (or I) would prefer.
The recent case of the Alaska emails is instructive.  The MSM, convinced that she must be some sort of extremist, engaged in a preemptive feeding frenzy of speculation about what might be found in the emails released under a Freedom Of Information Act request.  What was actually found, of course, was what the average American would describe as entirely normal.

Entirely normal.

In other words, she's only "off the center" when you look at the elite's Potemkin center.  She looks to me to be pretty bang-on the actual center.

And this is why she's so important.  She is, so far at least, the only major politician (other than R0n P4U1!!!) to expose the Potemkin village for what it is.  The others - with the possible exception of Michelle Bachman, Chris Christie, and Rick Perry - are all "centrists", which means that they're leftists.

And this is a good time for me to say that there's actually nothing wrong with being a leftist, if you're honest about it.  But what's been going on for decades is a battlefield preparation that intentionally and surreptitiously seeks to de-legitimitize beliefs that are held by the majority of Americans.

And so far, Palin is the only one who's willing to call them on it.  That's why they can't get over the 2 minutes of hate.  And that's why she's so important.

As Tam likes to say, it's the kicked dog that yelps.

I'll be rethinking my "Vote Them Out/All Of Them" stance.  It's imprecise, and not diagnostic of the problem.  Reading back through it, I kind of feel stupid for issuing that particular fatwa.  Be sure of your target, and what's behind it ...

But the Press and, sadly the Public Education System have got to go.  They are caustic to the Res Publica, and the best that we can likely hope for is to nuke them from orbit and recolonize.  That is pretty painful to write, beneficiary as I am of the Higher Education system, but the last 30 years have seen a rewriting of the social contract.  It used to be an educated public was good for the Republic.  Now it's a public educated in the Academy won't see where the real 50 yard line is.

As institutions become politicized, the institutions should expect political problems.

So I'm still not entirely in agreement with the feeling that we won't vote ourselves out of this.  That will be a post for another day, after doing an inventory of our assets.  I can't (yet) demonstrate what they are, but we have some that are non-trivial.  For example, the Press can be destroyed - indeed, they must be.  The Academy, too.  A greater hive of scum and villainy you will never see, at least in its current form.

That's for another day.  But for now, you'll see no more of the "Vote Them Out/All Of Them" nonsense from me.  Maybe we won't vote our way out of this, but I for one do not intend to go quietly into that Dark, Statist Night.


Sean D Sorrentino said...

It sounds like what you are saying is that she is a catalyst for a preference cascade. The press hates her because they have spent the last 50 years pushing the public up that potential energy hill and she shows up and lowers the activation energy for that huge exothermic reaction that chucks their favored politics out the window.

They don't see just their man Obama getting the boot, they see 50 years of hard work getting blown to pieces in an instant.

Anonymous said...

Most people have seen her on TV and concluded that she's a self-promoting lightweight. They may be absolutely wrong. But when most people see her on TV, unfiltered, she comes off as a self-promoting lightweight.

That's why the media love her. That's why they won't let go of her. Because she's a huge winning issue for the Democrats with most Americans. They see her on TV, and they vote for Democrats. The NYT email fiasco was a lot of fun for all of us, but it didn't come anywhere close to turning the tide. The media reflects people's disgust with Palin. It didn't create it. It reflects it.

I know you're absolutely convinced she's not a lightweight and not self-seeking. But she can't win and she couldn't get anything done if she did. In the mean time, she's campaigning for the Democrats.

She knows that. Why doesn't she care?

"Preference cascade", oh pull the other one. You're living in a dreamworld.

Borepatch said...

Anonymous, all sorts of politicians are lightweights, including the current President and Vice President. We don't get to vote for Philosopher Kings.

Maybe you're just more impressed than I am with most politicians, but Palin seems cannier than most.

Would she make a good President? Who knows? But the media narrative you seem to be relying on is obviously unreliable.

wolfwalker said...

I hope you're right, Borepatch. Problem is, in politics the perception is the reality. It doesn't matter if the media narrative is real-world-true or not, it only matters that it's the perception of things that most people get.

The fact that a majority of people polled think that we can solve our debt problems by cutting foreign aid and defense spending, and still insist on no changes to Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security, tells me that the majority of people still believe the media version of things. As long as that's true, failure is guaranteed.

Jay G said...

Wow. I started writing a reply to this and it became its own post...

Rick C said...

It's interesting how people, completely devoid of facts, simply assert Palin's a lightweight and wouldn't make a good President. Frankly, even if that's true, how could she be worse than the Current Occupant? Objectively, she almost has to be better, because she won't bring us more bailouts.

Borepatch, I thought of your post about Sarah winning by destroying the media a couple of paragraphs before you mentioned it. Might be good for the Republic for her to run, if she were to follow your plan, just to help the Republic.

Tai said...

I think the point of the 'Voting won't get us out of this' viewpoint is the realization that what has gone wrong with this country is us.
People are either ignorant of the fact that 'There Ain't No Free Lunch', or all too many realize that what the government has promised them is being take from someone else, and they don't care.
The politicians are simply giving their voters what they demand.
We have as a people become ignorant or immorally self-serving, and will continue down this destructive path until we change, regardless of whether there's an R or a D in charge at the moment.

Jester said...

For me, the vote of confidence in Sara is out there as far as being a Great president. I think that may be more of .. something that would be tempered with a solid running mate, either as president or vice president. I think, that she would make an outstanding vice president for now, as being vice would keep her free to continue doing what she is right now, and that is $%^&ing up the media, and drawing proper attention to the true center issues, freeing up a president to tend to more worldly matters. Who that running mate is, that I'm not sure on. Cain or Bachmann seem to be the best in the mix right now. I do love the fact that she does not play by the "rules" that the Mobsters I mean Gangmembers, I mean extortionists, I mean the Media hands out to politicians. I just would like to see her temper that attention she gets from the media to more of the issues we all face, she is savvy enough to do it. Right now it is almost a detraction with the attention spent on her, instead of highlighting the corruption in Obummer's administration. (Then again the media does not cover that anyway) All in all, she is fun to watch for how she kicks the media in the teeth over and over.

Newbius said...

Borepatch, I hold to the belief that we will not vote ourselves out of this problem. Here is the caveat: "until we retake the institutions that generate the candidates, and their policy planks, voting will only give us more of the same."

The Progressives and the Left currently hold sway over the institutions that matter: Media, Education, and the pre-primary processes. Until we retake those, and reteach our true history, tell the truth about actual policy positions and their trade-offs, and get real people into the elections very early on, we will not get the change we need.

Until then, elections will not save us.

TOTWTYTR said...

Two thoughts.

First, we will vote our way out of this because that's what we do. We've already had one War Between The States and that one was before we were a world power that a lot of other nations would love to pick apart while we were busy fighting amongst ourselves.

Second, Sarah Palin would lose more than an election by running for office. She's far more influential and can say things that no candidate could say as an outsider. She might be outside the beltway, but she is INSIDE their heads and making them very uncomfortable. As such, she'll drive politics and elections far more than she could as a mere candidate.

Josh Kruschke said...

Anon 8:29 -

"That's why the media love her. That's why they won't let go of her. Because she's a huge winning issue for the Democrats with most Americans. They see her on TV, and they vote for Democrats. The NYT email fiasco was a lot of fun for all of us, but it didn't come anywhere close to turning the tide. The media reflects people's disgust with Palin. It didn't create it. It reflects it."

WTF are you smoking and it must be some really good shit for you to be this delusional.


P. S. Also grow some balls and sign your name, and if you're a woman make that a metaphorical set.

Josh Kruschke said...

Now that vented with the last post. In a weird way if most of the population thinks, or lack of thinking for themselves, the way Anon does he kind of proves his own point..... kind of. Not about the LSM being in love with her that's just stupid, but about it being nearly impossible her to get elected.
The gauntlet she has to run to be President.
1. A largely uninformed electorate.
2. The elitist & establishment GOP pricks.
3. The LSM.
4. And her democratic opponent.

I think she could do it again as it's what she faced winning the governorship of Alaska. Well except for she didn't have the LSM hounding her back then.

I want her to run so bad......