Sarah Palin: Conservative Of The Year!
by Todd Beeton, Mon Dec 22, 2008 at 06:42:56 PM EST
Lord knows she was my favorite conservative of the year, providing what seemed like an unlimited supply of blog fodder and some classic moments in what was already an historic race for the presidency. But I don't think that's why Human Events named her their Conservative of The Year, nor do I think it's why Ann Coulter enthusiastically wrote the column announcing the honor. Rather, reading through the piece, the only rationale for the choice of Palin I can glean appears to be her skill at getting under liberals' skin.
Pre-Palin it had been one race -- boring old "You kids get off my lawn!" John McCain versus the exciting, new politician Barack Obama, who threw caution to the wind and bravely ran as the Pro-Hope candidate. And then our heroic Sarah bounded out of the Alaska tundra and it became a completely different race. This left the press completely discombobulated and upset. They didn't know whether to attack Sarah for not having an abortion or go after her husband for not being a sissy.
I assume Palin was chosen because McCain had heard that she was a real conservative and he had always wanted to meet one -- no, actually because he needed a conservative on the ticket, but that he had no idea that picking her would send the left into a tailspin of wanton despair.
But if anyone on the McCain campaign chose Palin because she would drive liberals crazy, my hat is off to him!
Coulter takes particular glee in using the piece to take on her favorite of liberal bogeymen, the media, accusing them of holding Palin to a double standard, accusing them of sexism and on and on and on. Coulter here is exorcising her demons of the 2008 race as though that were still relevant. It's actually sort of sad.
What's even sadder though is that there's very little in the editorial that references Palin's conservatism. The message Coulter is sending is that what defines conservatism is not ideology or policy but rather the effectiveness of its opposition to liberalism, which pretty much sums up the problem with movement conservatism. It's always been an opposition movement even when they were nominally in power. This is what they do, they rail against their fictional demonized version of liberalism and now that failing is laid bare for all to see in Coulter's rant. It also points to why movement conservatism is so unsustainable -- it's based on nothing but tearing down straw men. As long as conservative institutions continue to give the likes of Coulter a megaphone, conservatives will continue to be in the wilderness, which, let's face it, is where they're most comfortable anyway.