Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Palin and Huckabee: The Establishment Doesn't Like Us Because We're Not Wealthy

Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin are crying about how they're not included in the "cool" crowd of the Republican party because the're not rich like them. Their complaints are silly. 

Mike Huckabee just mortgaged $ 3 million dollars to pay for a new home in Florida. Sarah Palin makes plenty of cash from her books and television appearances. The fact that they complain about the establishment is all a bit silly. 

Listen to Sarah Palin complain about the political bourgeoisie within the Republican Party. She makes this complaint after Barbra Bush's stated on Larry King Live that she would like to see the former Alaskan governor stay in Alaska and after reports of "establishment" Republicans who don't want Sarah Palin to run in the 2012 election began circulating in the press. The key quote is below:
"I don't think the majority of Americans want to put up with the blue bloods. And I say it with all due respect - because I love the Bushes - but the blue bloods want to pick and chose their winners, instead of allowing competition to pick and choose the winners."
What does Sarah Palin mean by calling Barba Bush a "blue blood"? John Hayward provides us with the meaning to this term in his Human Events essay "The Blue Bloodbath":
“Blue blood” is a term that resonates with a frustrated nation, weary of serving at the pleasure of an insular ruling class.  The inheritance of power, through family or party machinery, is of far greater concern to middle-class Americans than the inheritance of wealth.
Mike Huckabee also whines about the Establishment as he talks about how he gets snubbed by the "country club" conservative elites:
"It's about, again, to be blunt, the kind of country club attitude that we're not sure there are certain people we really want as members of the club and we're not going to vote them in. And we don't mind showing up to events to put up signs and making phone calls and going door to door making those pesky little trips that we don't like to do, but we really don't want them dining with us in the main dining room."
Crying about the Establishment is and not getting the proper respect is not what mature, aspiring, politicians do. And complaining about the elite of the Republican party isn't their problem. Its easy to use them as a straw man to knock down those who oppose you whether it the Bushes or somebody else. 

Too be sure, elitism exists in all sorts of places. It can pose a problem for a political party as Hot Air explains:
"Elitism is the tendency of an entrenched political class to assume that they can make better decisions for individuals and have a better understanding of individual interests than the individuals in question.  It makes no difference if the elites attended Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or Cal State Fullerton.  It is fundamentally anti-democratic, as it negates the entire idea that an individual can govern himself, and should govern himself.  If the prevailing assumption is that individuals cannot govern themselves individually, it’s a very short hop to the notion that a group of individuals cannot be relied upon to choose their own political leadership, either."
There is a danger in targeting the establishment as the barrier to your political success.  Mitt Romney discusses the danger underneath the complaints made by Palin and Huckabee:
“The populism I’m referring to is, if you will, demonizing certain members of society: going after businesspeople, going after Wall Street, going after people who are highly educated, people who are CEOs. That kind of ‘All of our problems are due to that group’ is something that is unproductive.’’ 
Why is it unproductive to lay blame on one group of people? It is unproductive for the simple reason that politicians rely on creating class conflict as a way to win a political office. To create a conflict between classes, you have to get one group to envy, despise, mistrust or look down on another group. Todd Dittmann's American Thinker essay "The Dead-End Politics of Envy", explains how why class envy is a dangerous idea:
"Class envy, albeit one of the two foundations of the modern Democratic Party's soul (identity politics being the other), is very divisive and fuels mob rule.  It is a tool that exploits happy people who were previously neither aware of their forced group membership nor of their antipathy toward other groups.  It is a tool used in previous tyrannies but one that should remain on the historical scrap heap."
Essentially, class envy is not concept that brings about positive change in society but only a negative and destructive change in society since it introduces dissension and conflict in society by pitting one group against another to obtain the desired outcome or to achieve political power. As Mr. Dittmann noted, class envy is one of the tools that Democrats use to maintain power. I think class envy is no longer strictly in the domain of liberalism but now has seeped into conservatism as well. I'm not the only one who thinks this. While one blogger thinks that class envy is occurring on the part of the Establishment towards the TEA party, I think its the other way around: 
"...Are we witnessing a corresponding politics of envy on the right that turns the concept on its head as members of the GOP Ruling Class — the "blue bloods" called out by Sarah Palin this week in a radio interview with Laura Ingraham — awaken from their comfortable stupor to the sound of pitchfork-bearing members of the Country Class at the gates?"
Complaining about the establishment is childish and immature. However, getting people to support you by stirring up anger towards the rich and powerful is no laughing matter. Yet, certain politicians like  O'Donnell, Huckabee, Palin and Pawlenty exploit class envy to mobilize political support. One Los Angeles columnist writes about why Sarah Palin's complaint of the Bushes are silly and why she resorts to class warfare to draw support for her:
"Palin probably doesn't envy Mrs. Bush (why should she, she's a rich and privileged woman herself now) but she shrewdly uses others' envy of elites like the Bushes to stoke her fans. In politics, such maneuvers are called "class warfare," and when convenient, both sides use it and/or decry its divisive nature."
Politicians like the idea of pitch fork bearing country class members stomping towards the gates of the ruling class. With such anger, they can ride the wave of anger to political office. Which is why they they are presenting themselves as the champions of the middle-class and tea party, solid conservatives. 

Yet, as Ace explains, there's a glaring logical fallacy in their argument:
"Do the elite engage in the fallacy of the argument to authority, offering their status as the credentialed elite as a reason to support their ideas? Yes, they do. But what bothers me about this whole damn anti-elitist panic is that it replacing one appeal to authority with another appeal to authority which is nearly as odious, and actually a bit more when you add in the hypocrisy factor.
The old appeal to authority is rotten and horrible, you should not credit anyone who says "listen to me because I hail from the credentialed elite;" that's why we need to replace it with a new appeal to authority: "Listen to me because I hail from the striving low-to-middle class."
I do not see the great benefit of replacing one regime of sneering dismissiveness based on happenstance of birth with an opposite regime of sneering dismissiveness based on happenstance of birth."
I'm not defending the political elite here. But like Ace, I don't buy into the notion that just because we certify that someone is not a part a certain group, it makes them qualified to lead us. What we're seeing is a form of elitism not from the top but from the bottom based on the argument that we’re better than you because we’re not rich ivy league people.

Not only is their argument flawed, but there's s a good reason to mistrust politicians who have no problems using class warfare and class envy to achieve political power
"For many in Washington (and in statehouses), ideas are to be trotted out at election time and when the cameras are on, while they focus on the acquisition and administration of political power. While they may believe in the primacy of the Constitution, in limited government, or have deeply held personal beliefs on social issues, they use the ideas to win elections, rather than wanting to win elections to advance the ideas."
While the quoted article above was made towards conservative elites, it applies equally to the blue collar conservatives as well. These who have no problems using  liberal tactics of stirring up class anger among the public towards those who stand in their way of political office are not to be trusted. They may advance conservative ideas but only to win elections at any cost.

Karl Rove was invited on the Laura Ingram show to address the complaints made by Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee of elitism within the Republican party.  Listen to the exchange between Rove and Ingram below:

Karl Rove wins the debate with this key point:
"I think it would be healthy for the party for us to have everybody jump in, and let them go out there and spend the next year making the case for themselves and making the case against President Obama and let people know what they got and show them that they can unite the party and reach outside the party like Ronald Reagan did."
That's how conservative politicians should run. As Karl Rove noted, complaining about the establishment is "unnecessary."  There's no need to whine about not being liked by the Establishment or that the Elite is keeping you down. There's no need to resort to class envy either. Let it remain a device used by the Left.  

Conservatives should stay with the well worn path of relying of winning elections on their own merits simply by making the case for themselves. They make a poor argument for themselves when they complain about the establishment and use class envy to divide conservatives from one another based on wealth and status. Just get out there and just compete in the realm of ideas.
All you have to be is the best hard working individual you can be and let the public vote.

1 comment:

  1. My main objections to Palin are that I have heard nothing substantial from her regarding how she would approach the challenges facing this nation. Specifically I watched an interview on O'Reilly back in July where they were talking about illegal immigration. Palin's only ideas were "do everything necessary" and repeating any concrete idea posed by O'Reilly. My other primary concern is a lack of maturity when dealing with the often unfair, but also at times legitimate criticisms of herself and her family (any criticisms of her family I think are unfair). She reacts to seemingly everything, and never semms to ignore the ignorant. At this point I am not confident in her ability to truly lead this country in its challenges.

    Regarding Huckabee, even if I had no other problems with him, his excessive (and that's an understatement) use of clemency completely disqualifies him for such high office. He showed a complete lack of judgment in this area. I also think his encouragement of class warfare shows immaturity.