Sunday, December 20, 2009

Beltway ‘Conservative’ Blowhards Do Little to Impact Iowa Republican Opinion

Reeling Conservatives I was over at The Bean Walker and noticed an op/ed by David Mastio at The Des Moines Register.  Who is David Mastio you may ask?  I’m not familiar either, but he is the “Senior Editor for Online Opinion” at The  Washington Times, and obviously he thinks we should care about his opinion regarding who Iowa Republicans support in 2012 and who we give our money to.

He chastises Iowa Republicans, and what is our crime?  Not only did Iowa Republicans give Sarah Palin a high approval rating in a recent Iowa Poll, but we also spent too much money on her book, Going Rogue: An American Life, as well as, time waiting in line for her book signing in Sioux City.  I’m also sure he’s wondering why establishment darling, Mitt Romney, still isn’t as well liked as Palin or Mike Huckabee here in the Hawkeye State.  As he peers down his nose at the unwashed masses who identify with the Republican Party of Iowa the Iowa Politics “expert” Mastio bloviates:

Once I thought there couldn't be anything dumber than the Democrats' combo of a giant auto bailout and "Cash for Clunkers." We'll squander untold billions, but completely fail to change the reality that there are fewer and fewer auto jobs, factories and dealers. When U.S. sales plummet from 17 million cars a year to around 10 million, there's not much a bailout can do other than slow the rout.

I was wrong. Iowa Republicans have come up with something worse. Call it "Cash for Quitters." A whopping two-thirds of self-identified Republicans have a positive view of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, according to the Iowa Poll, and, as a result, they're willing to line up in the cold by the hundreds while shelling out cash for her new book.

But every dollar that goes to Palin - in book sales now or campaign donations later - is a dollar that can't be used to help a Republican who actually has a prayer of being president.

What is his reasoning?  Because she left office early.

There's no getting past the fact that Palin is a quitter. In more than two centuries, nobody has ever been elected president when their only turn in high office was aborted in the middle just because doing the people's work got to be too much of a drag.

Now if she decides to run, a big if, no doubt that will be an item of discussion.  But to say “doing the people’s work got to be too much of a drag,” tells me that Mr. Mastio doesn’t have a clue about what was going on in the State  of Alaska, and he further proved it by writing:

Conservatives can say a lot of bad things about Bill Clinton, but one thing we can't say is that he ran from a fight. When voters took the House of Representatives and the Senate from his party, he still came in to work. When Republicans impeached him, he didn't give up and walk away, he bombed the former Yugoslavia. Liberals can say a lot of nasty things about George W. Bush. Even if he was a dumb warmonger, he kept right on dumbly warmongering, no matter what voters or the Democrats threw at him…

…If anything, politics in Washington, D.C., is tougher than the game they play in Juneau. If Palin can't handle cold politics on a glacier, she's not going to fare much better in the hot politics of the D.C. swamp.

In many ways, the 1994 elections did President Clinton a favor.  He got to govern from the center which is what he wanted to do anyway.  As far as his impeachment, fair or not, it was his behavior that led to that point.  Let’s not paint President Clinton to be an innocent victim or holding on to his position as not running from a fight.  I’m glad he was able to function and continue to accomplish the role of Commander-in-Chief.  As did President Bush… that is precisely the point.

Juneau is not D.C., and Governors do not have as much protection, or in many ways, power to continue to govern when their administration is in gridlock.  Governor Palin accomplished her agenda in the 2 1/2 years she was in office.  She stepped down to make sure that agenda would progress under an administration that wasn’t having frivolous ethics charges & FOIA filed against them left and right.  Her administration was in gridlock, and the state was wasting taxpayer money.  Governor Sean Parnell, so far, has had a pretty smooth tenure.  When she stepped out of the Governor’s Mansion she was able to take the fight to the next level.

She wouldn’t have been able to speak out on the health care debate, cap and tax, climate change, Afghanistan, and common sense conservatism in general if she were still Governor.  She wouldn’t be able to campaign in 2010 for good candidates, why?  Until the Alaksa Executive Ethics Act is addressed she’d still be incurring more complaints and incurring more debt (which this book I’m sure helped her pay off since her legal defense fund is frozen due to… you guessed it, another ethics complaint).

Perhaps wasting taxpayer money in order to be in a better political position is ok with Mastio.  That shouldn’t surprise us as he’s used to operating within the Beltway and that is how the game is played.  We in Iowa, if I can be bold enough to speak on behalf of those who do have a favorable opinion of Palin, are sick of politics as usual.

If she decides to run, and Iowa Republicans give their backing to her it won’t because of “just hope.”  It will because we see her as the real deal, and that we believe she has the right policies and experience to undo the damage that has been done.  It’ll be because we trust her over plastic, change as the wind blows, type of candidates like Mitt Romney.  Snarky and condescending op/eds won’t do much to change our mind.

In the meantime, I encourage all Iowa Republicans (and any Republican, independent, or conservative Democrat anywhere) to continue to “waste” their money by purchasing her book or by donating to SarahPAC.  It will be money better spent than sending it to anyone Mastio supports.

Shane Vander Hart is the editor of Caffeinated Thoughts.  He loves to connect with fellow rogues so feel free to follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.


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