EDITOR OF REDSTATE
On Fox News, Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham had the best discussion on Sarah Palin I have seen. And Ann said something I have said. But I have not said it nearly as well as Ann did.
To paraphrase Ann, a lot of us fell in love with Sarah Palin because of her enemies and a lot of us have fallen out of love with Sarah Palin because of her fans.
For the past year, Palin fans have become an online fixture with more venom and insanity than the most rabid Ron Paul fan. They have not evangelized on behalf of Sarah Palin trying to lead people to Sarah Palin, they have freaked a lot of us out.
I am at the point of fearing that should Palin not get in the race we’re going to have a Hale Bopp moment with many of her most ardent supporters. These people have become too emotionally invested in one person to discuss that person rationally or even to address serious policy concerns.
For the longest time I wanted Sarah Palin to run.
At some point, I decided Sarah Palin could not defeat Barack Obama, but I’d rather go down fighting on Team Sarah than side with any of the guys who will just take us down the “big government conservative” path of creeping socialism.
Finally, I decided Sarah Palin was not going to run and I moved on. Ultimately, 2012 really is about beating Barack Obama, not what Sarah Palin will or will not do.
Unfortunately, as I found out and as others are starting to find out, moving on from Sarah Palin is like leaving Scientology.
To not bow at the throne of Sarah you get disowned. You get attacked. You have people drum up stories attacking your credibility. “Oh, Perry announced at his event, he must be bought and paid for,” etc. Ironically, some of the very people going after this site’s and my credibility — claiming we’re pressured to do things by higher ups at Eagle Publishing — are people who were on payrolls advocating for clients while refusing to disclose potential conflicts among other things. To add comedy to irony, it seems more and more apparent that some of those who attacked this site and me for holding editorial positions based on what our corporate parent dictates (a lie designed to undermine our lack of sufficiently pro Palin bona fides among other things) are themselves engaging in projection because it is they, not RedState nor me, who must tread carefully in who they attack because their livelihoods depend on it. It’s always the kooks who project their sins on others.
Logic, reason, and being nominally on the same side in a fight against Obama has no logic for people in the cult. In the past month RedState and I personally have been attacked for being in Romney’s camp, Perry’s camp, Bachmann’s camp, Herman Cain’s camp, and most laughably in Jon Huntsman’s camp — all by Palin fans who clearly are not paying attention.
For the past several months, I have posted a weekly horserace. Inevitably, should Palin not get mentioned the angry horde of cultists come out of the wood work offended that Sarah Palin did not get included. If I included her and dared suggest either she might not run or it might not be a sure thing, the attacks were even more unhinged.
There are many, many good people who support Sarah Palin and feel like they owe it to her to support her given what she has been through — from her shoddy treatment at the hands of Team McCain to an unrelenting press. But these people who have sat and continue to sit patiently and quietly waiting for Sarah Palin to finally make up her mind are starting to get frustrated. And some of them are getting aggravated by and drowned out by The Palin Fan Cult. The cult is full of people with little prominence outside a twitter stream, a few nominal soapboxes imagined to be bigger they they are, and possessing a lot of bile and little grace inside an echo chamber of indecision 2012 dementia. About the only thing this cult lacks are thetans.
Sarah Palin is a great person. She’s a great fighter. She draws in awesome attention and rallies a crowd. She has some terrific and loyal supporters I don’t want to lump in with the loud voices largely now disconnected from political reality. Ron Paul is the same way. But at some point, Sarah Palin has to take some responsibility for her supporters as Ron Paul must for his. Palin’s dragging out the tease on her decision has compounded the problem and we’ve reached a breaking point.
The comparisons to a late Reagan entry in 1980 and late Clinton entry in 1992 are frivolous and false comparisons. While both waited to make it official until November for Reagan and October for Clinton, it was abundantly clear to people even outside their most ardent supporters that they were running. Few outside Palin’s most ardent fans think she is running and, at this point, a sizable majority no longer care.
As Ann Coulter said, “Fish or cut bait.” Governor Palin has teased us long enough. Most of us are tired of it. She has harmed her own entry into the race and now, even if she got in, would only see a modest rise in polling.
There are many still who are ready to get involved, are sitting on the sidelines, and are growing impatient for Sarah Palin to tell us what she’s doing. There are others who are going to have to be deprogrammed.
I’m tired of the tease. But I’m even more tired of the angry cranks and Palin prophets who swear to know her every move and have shown neither ideological nor political moorings in anything other than their hopes and wishes poured into the vessel of their ambition named
L. Ron Hubbard Sarah Palin. That’s exactly what many lefties did with Barack Obama. Like Barack Obama, Sarah Palin is just a mortal politician, just a human of the same sinful flesh as the rest of us passing through this place on her way to eternity just like you and me.
We should not set Palin on a pedestal so high she shatters if she falls off, but that’s what her most ardent fans have done. Thanks to Palin’s own conduct, if she does shatter by either not running or running and losing the nomination, the Palin Fan Cult gives me and many others the strong impression they’d rather shatter all the other candidates than have anyone but Palin herself win.
In the process, these people have overshadowed the efforts and desires of many reasonable Palin supporters who are just ready to either vote for Palin or be told of her decision not to run so they can go support someone else.
Enough is enough.