The Problem With Palin

By Peter Wehner, Commentary

“He is … endowed with a happy nature,” Edmund Morris wrote of Ronald Reagan, “his optimism unquenchable, his smile enchantingly crooked, his laughter impossible to resist. If these attributes, together with [others], do not constitute grace, in the old sense of favors granted by God, then the word has no meaning.”

While a fierce advocate for the causes he believed in, Reagan demonstrated passion without rancor and “aggression without anger,” in Morris’ words. This is particularly impressive given that Reagan was the object of repeated ad hominem attacks. He was derided as a dunce and accused of being a war-monger, a racist, a religious extremist, and indifferent to the suffering of the poor. Yet Reagan possessed a remarkable ability to rise above it, to resist returning insult for insult. Clearly at peace with himself and the world around him, Reagan helped conservatism shed its attitude of distrust and defensiveness.

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  • http://www.coloradochristianworldview.blogspot.com R.Munoz

    Reagan was a “practiced” orator. He literally practiced his speeches on GE employees and tried out his ideas on smaller crowds before coming to the national scene. There were many, many years and a major Christian transformation that made Reagan the man he was. We may never see his kind again, but I suspect God is not limited with what we consider to be perfection in a politician. He frequently uses the base, the uninitiated, the weak, to shame the proud. He’s done it before and I suspect He will do it again. It could be Sarah. You’ll think you witnessed a miracle. And you won’t be too wrong.

  • TOMMY FREEDOM

    BERNIE, THE PROBLEM WITH SARAH PALIN IS SHE DOESNT HAVE A

    $ 100,000 IN HER FREEZER, NO RENTAL PROPERTY OFF-

    SHORE, SHE HAS AN ATTORNEY, SHE DOES NOT BUILD

    TURTLE TUNNELS UNDER THE HIWAY FOR 1/2 MILLLION $

  • TOMMY FREEDOM

    BERNIE, SARAH PALIN’S ALASKA WAS A BIG HIT ! 1.2 MILLION VIEWERS.

    ITS GREAT TO SEE A BEAUTIFUL, GOD FEARING FAMILY HAVE FUN IN

    A GREAT STATE. MAY GOD BLESS THEM. DONT CRY LIBERALS! !

    THE RATINGS EVEN SURPASSED ” MR B’S BIG EGO FACTOR “

  • rag

    I disagree. Palin is in the processes of learning and getting better at being political savvy. While she’ll use the attack which I consider to be mild for most, she also educates. I was there for Reagan too and dearly love the man and his presidency as much as the culture and lifestyle most lived in those times. But that’s hindsight quarterbacking. The many in opposition to Reagan didn’t see his charm as charm. They didn’t see his simple-ness as a virtue. You’re asking Palin to not only engage in the charm she already does but to win the opposition over with it as well. What other politician today is this said of? Jindal just wrote a book hounding the current prez, yet nobody says anything of that except what a great president JIndal could be. Huckabee is about the closest that I can think of that would resemble a Reaganesque politeness in combat and he’s had his moments too. The principle charm of Reagan wasn’t that he was congenial but he held his convictions. And we need that. Margret Thatcher would probably be the best comparison to Reagan in her grace and charm but didn’t she utter a few choice expressions in her years too? You take people as they are. Coaching from the sidelines in hindsight makes great history telling but this her day in the fight. And there are many who wished Bush had taken on his critics and fault him for it now. I think Sarah is doing fine. She’s being herself and genuine and gosh, don’t we need real people in politics today than the polished tea set that are disingenuous these days? It’s going to be tough as most of the possible Republican candidates are good candidates. Sarah is a good one. Don’t make her into something we eventually regret if she gets there.

  • Wm Ridenour

    Palin can be helpful to conservatism preaching to the choir, but something more is needed to convince those in the pews or on the streets: real depth of intellect that can cogently, congenially and coherently communicate to the average person.
    I would never do it, but if the comparison between Palin and Reagan must be made it must be pointed out that the differences are greater than the issue of temperament. There is also the primary difference of intellect.
    Reagan seemed simple to many, but that is only because they had not observed the often labyrinthine process required to arrive at that simplicity. Behind his plainly spoken words was a depth of learning, done through self-study over many decades.
    It is there Palin falls woefully short.
    I heard it said once that “the thoughts of the young are long thoughts.” This describes Palin’s thoughts to a “T”.
    The effect of her meandering syntax on the listeners is often that of incoherence.
    Palin is a good person with good instincts and lots of tenacity and character, but intellectually she is simply too young—and it remains to be seen if she will ever be old enough to present her ideas and ideals in that confident and congenial simplicity that enabled Reagan’s words to reach beyond the choir and speak to the hearts of a broad spectrum of Americans,( with the notable exception of the elites who, being educated beyond their intelligence, find being identified with the hoi polloi repugnant to their effete sensibilities.) And Reagan did most all of it with a few ideas hastily scribbled on note cards with nary a teleprompter in sight!

  • TOMMY FREEDOM

    WHATS WRONG WITH OUR BEAUTIFUL TEA PARTY GAL,

    SHES TOO GOOD FOR POLITICS ! ! !

    MISSOURI TEA PARTIES LOVE HER, GOD BLESS A REAL PATRIOT ! !