Thursday, May 6, 2010

Testing My Loyalty To Sarah Palin

I remember my first "moment of doubt." The Fox News Alert flashed on my computer. It was Troopergate. I took a deep breath, researched it and waited for a response from Sarah Palin. Albeit a nervous response, Palin's response was consistent with the online research I did the night before. It was a left wing conspiracy and Trooper Wooten was a jerk. Alaska law said Monegan served at the will of the governor. I trusted Sarah and I believed her.

I remember my second "moment of doubt." A friend called me to tell me that Sarah Palin was resigning. I listened to her speech. The next morning I read her tweets and the letter she had written telling her fans to hang in there. I believed her. I realized then that I would always trust Sarah Palin. From that moment on I decided that I would handle anything else that would ever happen to her down the road like this: trust her and wait.

So with that, my position on this Fiorina issue has been queued up since July 3, 2009. Hit play.

"Regardless of what it may look like, I trust Sarah Palin."

This "third moment of doubt" is very different from the first two. It does not involve any outside forces acting on Sarah Palin which causes her to be forced to respond. This one involves an active conscious decision that Sarah Palin has made - one which she could have sat out. And this one doesn't involve me and how I feel about Sarah; it involves others.

Had people turned on Sarah because of Troopergate or her resignation, I would have chalked it up to weakness. Those who could not stomach left wing smears probably would be pretty wishy washy supporters anyway. If Troopergate had turned out to be true abuse of power or if her resignation was the result of a pending investigation or something she had done wrong, it would have been devastatingly heartbreaking. The closest thing I ever experienced to that was when Mark Sanford admitted his affair. I still well up thinking about it.

But this is not a Sanford moment even though some in the conservative movement may be reacting like it is. Endorsing Carly Fiorina is not going to cost Sarah Palin my support. But I understand why others would question her; and it does give me a worried mind that she may lose other supporters even if I'm not one of them. I understand political science. I understand that Sarah Palin made a very calculated decision and took a political risk that will raise some ire with some folks in the Tea Party movement.

I never liked playing the politics of hope: picking a candidate and hoping they would get out of a jam even when criticism was just. But there was a time when I hoped Reagan would survive Iran-Contra and there was a time I hoped Palin would survive her resignation. These are the only two moments I have ever gone against my policy on the politics of hope. I realized that my love and loyalty for these two individuals was an exception to the rule of how I view politicians. I only waive this rule when I have total faith. And it's only happened twice in 46 years.

I'm going to waive the rule again. It is unprecedented that I would waive it a second time for the same candidate. I've been through hell and back with Sarah Palin. I get my ass rhetorically kicked on line and in real life. But she's always been worth fighting for.

I pushed all in the day after her RNC speech. I have to play the hand. I will not fold unless they show me the video of her robbing the bank. I'm playing the hand to the end. When the final call is made and everyone turns over, I'm hoping my pocket aces are good enough to win. The river card isn't helping me right now. I just have to wait for the flop.

I am not going to give her the John McCain pass on this one. But in the same respect, I'm not a Californian. I wasn't a big follower of the race until now. I thought the winds were blowing in Devore's favor from what I was seeing in the blogosphere. But, I knew he was down on money and too far to the right for California (not that his ideology is too far right for me, far be it - I wanted Tom McClintock to win the gubernatorial primary years back but he was in the same boat as Devore is today).

I will say this. It is a gutsy call on her part. I understand the politics of it. A favor like this can be called down the road. Palin may even have a strategy to win California in 2012. In the past I have found that I am simply a mere mortal when it comes to Sarah Palin. While her genious is never visible at the moment she does something, when all plays out she ends up looking brilliant. She is an outside the box thinker. Our "by the textbook" brains are just not worthy of her. I feel so guilty about having a moment of doubt when it first broke on Twitter. I know I'm wrong. But it doesn't mean I'm not scared.

Palin could lose the support of her base or she can convince enough people that she is not the right wing zealot the media plays her out to be. Politically, this may not be a bad move given the fact that any support she might lose would come back to her if those people were ever forced to choose between her and Obama. Or it could be a disaster. Only time will tell.

I know, in the short term, this is going to kill her Tea Party base. But successful people don't think short term. So all I can do is swallow, respect the fact that unlike the loons on the left some of my friends on the right are going to have legitimate reasons to criticize her and hope they don't let this be the thing that breaks up the movement and destroys our chance of taking back the shining city on a hill.

Okay, Sarah. I trust you.

1 comment:

  1. Great read Patrick, as usual, but one thing that caught my eye at the end.

    From what I understand the Tea Party may support Carly more than Chuck, and Chuck is about to have some issues with the FEC over paying campaign workers with taxpayer money.

    He simply doesn't have the juice to beat Tom Campbell, who would be a disaster. On the other hand, Carly is right there.

    Sarah had three choices One was more liberal than Boxer, the other wasn't getting traction, and had no hope. She saw the big picture, as leaders tend to do, and made a command decision. The right one.

    People will get over it.


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