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Oh, That Liberal Media Elite: Drummed Palin Right Out of Office

Reported by Ellen - July 5, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Julie

Friday (7/3/09) on Your World, hosted by Stuart Varney, the breaking news was, of course, Sarah Palin's resignation as Alaska's Governor. According to Varney & Co., Palin didn't really quit – the “elite” media forced her out. And this isn't political suicide at all – it's a strategic plan to quit governing with a year and a half left in her term to, I don't know, stage a comeback? Leave it to some of the Fox Newsies to help Sarah Palin launch her 2012 candidacy for President (and for the record, I can barely write “Sarah Palin” and “President” in the same sentence without gagging) while avoiding mention of Palin's responsibility in her own demise.

Varney played a portion of Palin's resignation speech. You can view the entire speech text and video here. With Baby Trig (I presume) gurgling in the background (are there no lengths to which she won't go to gain sympathy?!?), Palin rambled (“ . . . and I'm taking my fight for what's right for Alaska in a new direction”) and ranted (“ . . . superficial, wasteful political blood sport”) and whined (“ . . . [her kids have] recently seen their baby brother Trig mocked and ridiculed by some pretty mean-spirited adults recently . . . .”) and basically made little sense, except at the end she – friggin' finally – quit. (She did, though, talk about her family being supportive of her resignation, and she said, “ . . . and someday I'll talk about the details of that . . . .” Unfortunately, that sounds like we'll be hearing from her again. Damn.)

A portion of Palin's speech that Varney didn't show had her saying this: “Life is too short to compromise time and resources... It may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: 'Sit down and shut up,' but that's the worthless, easy path; that's a quitter's way out. And a problem in our country today is apathy. It would be apathetic to just hunker down and "go with the flow.'” Why did nobody on Fox News note that QUITTING is the quitter's way out? What's that saying? Winners never quit and quitters never win?

Among other guests, Varney brought out Fox News host and former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Varney and Huckabee brilliantly ran the Fox News playbook for protecting Republicans in peril. Play One: It's all the fault of the liberal media elite.

Began Varney, “Now you heard the Sarah Palin announcement. Would you say that she was run out of politics, run out of the governorship of Alaska? Did she get fed up with this and left because she didn't like it any more, or is she taking a political gamble – free herself of Alaska politics, free herself of the harsh intrusion into her life, so she can get on and campaign in the lower 48 . . . .”

Step Two: Not only is the liberal media to blame, the Republican at issue is a saint and a total victim and wouldn't harm a fly.

Huckabee did his part, saying, “I think what she's showing is what many of us loved about her – her spunk. She is who she is and she's willing to take risks, today was an unusual and I believe an unexpected announcement . . . On the other hand, I don't know what's in her heart, what's in her mind . . . but what I know about her is that she is a very candid, forthright person, and I think we're seeing a level of candor . . . If it's because she has been unmercifully attacked by the press, then, you know, you have to say, well get some rest 'cause it has been tough – and they have been very brutal to her and I think some of the recent things have been so unfair.” Tug at my heart strings, why don't you? From calling herself a pitbull with lipstick to accusing Barack Obama of “palling around” with terrorists, Palin is going to have a big problem playing the victim card.

Varney lamented, “ . . . There was an awful lot in there where she said, 'Look . . . it's been pretty insane' . . . I'm sure she was referring to the comments by people like David Letterman about her own family . . . She said it was 'pretty insane.'”

“And she was right, Stuart . . . ,” Huckabee agreed.

To which Varney responded, “Yes she was indeed right . . . Is she buckling under pressure, is she getting out because she doesn't like this?”

Huckabee conceded that, “ . . . Certainly having played on the stage of the national presidential primary, I can tell you it is a brutal experience . . . It's tough.”

Play Three: The Democrats are nothing but a bunch of wild jackals willing to eviscerate anyone they don't agree with – or anyone they “fear.”

Varney said, “ . . . We just got the Democrat National Commission, Committee's spokesman Brad Woodhouse, with an official response to the Sarah Palin announcement. . . : 'Either Sarah Palin is leaving the people of Alaska high and dry to pursue her long-shot national political ambitions or she simply can't handle the job now that her popularity has dimmed and oil revenues are down.’” There is a third possibility – something uglier than usual is about to surface about her (such as a rumored federal embezzlement indictment and she wants to avoid being Sanfordized, and a fourth – the big book deal, speaking engagements, and the like, with the bottom line being about money.

“Well, that sounds like exactly what I would expect coming out of the Democratic Convention, or Committee . . . ,” Huckabee sneered. “They were always afraid of Sarah Palin because she connected with many of the people that the Democrats thought they owned . . . She spoke to the hearts of people who struggled . . . The Democrats were dismissive of her because they in many ways feared her.” Ah, yes, that must be it: The party whose President has a 62+% popularity rating lives in stark terror of the power of the batty Governor whose approval ratings have dropped more than 30 percentage points since the election and now hover in the low 50's.

Varney continued, “. . . The quote from the DNC spokesman goes on to describe her as engaging in 'bizarre behavior' today . . .”

Huckabee once again embarked on his campaign to prop up Palin, and at the same time slam the Democrats for attacking Republicans while he attacked the Democrats – demonstrating, once again, Fox News and its agents have no shame.

“Oh, again, I just liken that unto what I would expect the Democrats to say. They're never gonna say something nice about any of the Republicans . . . Democrats criticize Republicans, we know that's gonna happen - the day they have something nice to say, that's the day we ought to call it a breaking news event.” It is terribly unfair, particularly since we've all seen how kindly and charitably the Republicans and Fox News mouthpieces speak about the President.

“What really needs to happen now,” Huckabee went on, “For Sarah Palin is some time to get away and rest and reflect and recharge her batteries. I don't think this dims her political career in any way, she very well may come back.” Gosh, this begs the question – come back to what? For there to be political rehabilitation, there has to be some point in the past where there was a successful persona operating.

Play Four: Whatever the Republican foible, treat it as a brilliant tactical decision, and make sure he or she is completely absolved of all personal responsibility in the drama.

Right in lockstep, Varney set the stage for Huckabee. “ . . . You know politics from the inside out . . . Her move today, dramatic as it was, would you describe it as political suicide?”

“No,” Huckabee said firmly, “I certainly would not . . . The people who love Sarah Palin and who want Sarah Palin to be on the national stage are still gonna want Sarah Palin to be on the national stage, they're gonna feel like that she was in essence hounded from the opportunity of continuing to serve, they're not gonna be upset with her, they're gonna be upset with the people that they will blame for having gone after her . . . just unmercifully.”

Play Five: If the Republican at issue is a female, roll out women's rights, and spin it so that the woman in question is an ardent feminist just trying to make it in a man's world – and it's the Democrats who seek to deny women rights and hold her back.

Said Varney, “The elites in America . . . dislike Sarah Palin with a degree of intensity which has not been seen in politics for a long time . . . That's the elites. Are there enough other people, non-elite Americans, who like a woman breaking the mold, speaking from the heart, and engaging in real political candor? I mean, do the math, are there enough people on that side of the fence . . . is this a long-shot campaign that we've just seen starting?”

Huckabee agreed that Palin's resignation was “a gutsy move, yes, a risky move.”

Although Varney tried hard to pin him down, Huckabee wouldn't commit to running in 2012, although he said he's not “ruling anything out.”

Varney then played a clip of Governor Palin's brother, explaining her decision:

“Well, I can tell you what I believe after a few conversations with Sarah on the subject . . . She reiterated to me the amount of time she was spending defending herself from these ethics complaints (which he falsely said had all been thrown out, and Varney didn’t correct the record). . . and this non-stop negative media blitz, and she said that she was spending up to 80% of her time and a lot of her key staff was doing the same, defending themselves when they should be focusing on state issues . . . and I think this has weighed on her for a long time.”

Varney said, “There you have it, Governor, the media blitz, Sarah Palin didn't like it . . . the personal affronts, she didn't like it . . . .” Having her job get increasingly difficult while her approval ratings dropped like a stone, she didn't like it.

Huckabee responded that given that her brother is closer to her than either Varney or himself, “ . . . He's probably giving you a pretty accurate assessment . . . One of the things that the opposition party used against me was just a constant barrage of ethics complaints and lawsuits . . . If they can't really attack your policies then what they revert to is to attack you on a personal level and to try to destroy your character, I think Sarah Palin's been the recipient of a lot of that . . . .”

Varney made the claim that, “ . . . Modern politics . . . it is a rough and tumble business . . . Do you think though . . . I'm going to go back to David Letterman's comments – I'm not going to repeat his comment, it was a disgrace, but nevertheless he said it . . . It was a direct insult to Sarah Palin personally and to her family. Did that ratchet up the negative level of politics to a degree? . . . Do you think that had something to do with her leaving?”
Funny, Varney left out the Vanity Fair article that had just come out in which her own campaign advisors painted a much less than flattering portrait of her.

Huckabee followed suit by sticking with the attacks on Letterman, saying, “ . . . The only thing more despicable than the absolutely indefensible comments that he made was the fact that it took him a week to find his apologetic voice . . . and the lack of groups, women's groups and others who came to her defense . . . But other than that, most, you know . . . the elite . . . simply just looked the other way . . . What a horrible statement that is about the state of our culture.” It seems, to me, to be a horrible statement about who the Republicans will allow in its inner tent, and who it promotes to lead the Party.

Varney wondered, “ . . . At this level of national Republican politics, was there any even vague hint that something like this might be coming out of the Palin camp? . . . .”

Huckabee then made the outrageous statement that, “ . . . I'm not observing Sarah Palin up close . . . She's been in Alaska kind of out of the public eye except when she's dragged into it by people like David Letterman . . . .” (emphasis mine). Out of the public eye – oh, right, except when she's doing documentaries with John Ziegler, or when she's giving right to life speeches, or when she's having public battles with an Alaskan blogger and David Letterman. Or when she hangs around while her unwed teenage daughter has a friendly family chat with BFF Greta van Susteren. Or when she's making speeches defending Carrie Prejean. Definitely – out of the public eye, and dragged kicking and screaming back in by David Letterman.

Varney posited that Palin split the Republican Party, but, predictably, Huckabee denied this.

“Let me close it with this,” Varney said, practicing for the Fox News informercials news segments they'll begin to run for Palin when she announces her candidacy for 2012. “Sarah Palin stands for free market capitalism, individual liberty, small government, low taxes . . . I think that's the kind of conservative that she was . . . how long do you think it takes for America to get back and have that kind of policy fashionable again?”

Huckabee continued his attacks on Democrats and President Obama (even though most of the segment was devoted to how terrible the liberal media was for attacking Palin), saying, “I think it's becoming more fashionable with every day that Barack Obama continues to spend a new trillion dollars and indebts this country's grandchildren . . . I think the Sarah Palin kind of conservative you just described is going to be increasingly popular with each passing month.”

Palin-Huckabee . . . or Palin-Gingrich . . . or Palin-Joe the Plumber . . . 2012. I can hear the Democrats praying for that now.