Sunday, October 26, 2008


One of the odder developments regarding the Palin selection is how conservatives have essentially realigned themselves so that Palin is the standard they use to determine who's a "real" conservative, as well as what conservatives believe. Here's something I wrote regarding how they did this with Bush:

One of the scary things about conservatives is how almost the entire
conservative world realigned into a Bush-centric perspective, which completely
abandoned all previous conservative theory, yet still considered itself to be
pure to its original intentions. In a sense, they all set their ideological
compasses to reflect that Bush was the new North without even realizing it.
And now that Bush has become such a leadweight that even RedState uses him as an example of what not to do, they've adopted Palin as the new North. And I already documented how Love of Palin is the new litmus test to determine if people who were identified as conservatives their entire life are "real" conservatives. with everyone else being exiled from all respectable conservative circles.

The New North

And the latest Palinocentric shift: Everything you know about the powers of the Vice Presidency is wrong. Why? Because Sarah Palin answered a question wrong. But because Sarah Palin can't be wrong, everything else you've known about the VP is simply wrong and even the power-hungry Dick Cheney wasn't aware of this.

RedState's Mark Kilmer was quite upset after Chris Matthews mocked Palin for believing that the VP "can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes." Because the word of Sarah Palin can never be doubted, Kilmer is forced to write:

"That is the only specifically enumerated duty of the veep in the Senate, besides presiding over it, but the role is not Constitutionally limited to only that. But still, Matthews is a dull blade."

And sure, the Constitution doesn't limit the VP from fulfilling that role. Similarly, I just checked the thing out and see that I'm not limited from running the Senate either, so watch out Harry Reid. That gavel is mine, bitch!

But of course, they were only following the McCain campaign's silly lead. But still, anyone willing to make this argument will only be laughed at. In fact, this is just standard operating procedure for conservatives, to double-down on every mistake. Somehow, conservatives have become convinced that this is some method of defense. But of course, repeating something that you need to defend yourself against doesn't constitute an offense. It only brings the mistake back into the focus of the conversation and makes you look even dumber. But because conservatives can't make mistakes, conservatives aren't even allowed to believe that this is what's happening.

And that's doubly so if the mistaken conservative is the egregiously blunder-mouthed Sarah Palin. Everything Palin says must be triple-downed on, to ensure that everyone understands that she couldn't possibly have made the mistake that everyone thinks she made. And again, this is the same blunder they made with Bush, which is why he made so many mistakes and why they followed him head-first into each one of them. Actions need to have consequences.

Commenters Comment

But of course, a RedState post wouldn't be the same if we didn't hear from the RedState commenters.

We've got Colokid who encourages RedState to vote for McCain based on the premise that Palin might really be able to get in there and preside over the Senate and force liberal Senators to ask Palin's permission before they can speak. Why didn't anyone explain this to Cheney before?

My favorite RedStater, Moe Lane, writes "Look, we're sorry that we picked somebody who read the darn thing," And of course, the implication here isn't just that Palin wasn't mistaken when she said this, but that she's the first VP to have bothered reading the Constitution in over a hundred years, and realizes what a screwing the other saps got.

And then there were a few who tried desperately to find ways to revise history to suggest that this is the normal way things are done. One cites a blogpost at Ace of Spades, where memories of Al Gore running the Senate in 2000 cannot be found online (I'm planning to write a separate post on that), as well as someone who cites a piece on that mentions that Vice Presidents used to preside over the Senate, but no longer do. In fact, that piece cites a story about Spiro Agnew attempting to lobby Senators, which prompted a fierce backlash where a Senator vowed that anytime Agnew lobbied him, he'd automatically do the opposite. And that said nothing about Agnew even attempting to run the Senate. It's just not done anymore.

Cult of Palin

And of course, in some way, these people have a point. The Constitution doesn't strictly limit the Vice President against running the Senate. But there's this thing called precedent, and how we do things as they've been done in the past; and to somehow skip back one hundred years to find the rule to justify Palin's control of the Senate is a bit reactionary, to say the least.

But of course, I'd guesstimate that the number of these people who were making these arguments before Palin said these things would be somewhere around zero. This isn't some longstanding conservative position they've held since time incarnate, and if Joe Biden attempted to takeover the Senate in January, I have no doubts that they'd be as outraged as we'd be if Palin attempted such a thing.

This isn't about Constitutional limits. This is about the Cult of Palin. Palin can do no wrong, and if Sarah Palin claims that the Vice President controls the Senate or that the Sun sets in the East, you can bet your bottom dollar that they'll find the argument that finds this to be true. And woe be to anyone who suggests any differently. All hail Palin!


bill said...

Sie haben recht, Herr Doktor.

Your post brings to mind a comment I made elsewhere a few days ago that Palin seems to be thinking along the lines of how Cheney "runs" the Senate. That when he shows up, the shit hits the fan and all the Republicans--and, alas, many Democrats--whip out their kneepads and assume the position. But that's Cheney, who as we know has the political mojo to give substance to the squalor of his theory of government.

Palin ain't no Cheney, as far as I can tell, even though he may be her role model.

Faded said...

I don't has much. But it coulds be the quote of the day or somezing...

Spocko said...

Interesting they did follow Bush until it was clear that he wasn't helping them anymore. At that point the began to bash him. (Note how I don't use the overused public transportation phrase)

McCain is already not a conservative. When McCain/Palin lose it will be because McCain wasn't conservative enough.

As digby says, "Conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed."

Doctor Biobrain said...

Spocko - Limbaugh's already ahead of you. Somehow, it doesn't seem to have occurred to him that it wasn't enough for McCain to be a moderate if wingnut freaks like him were going to insist that McCain had to keep acting like an ultra-conservative. But then again, perhaps it did. I've always insisted that the Republican leadership didn't really want the Republican to win, so perhaps it made sense to use a moderate to throw to the wolves.