Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Friday, July 1, 2011

Townhall Poll Agrees with Conservative Musings

In a poll released today by &, Ron Paul lead all contestants for the Republican Party candidacy. What is ironic and impressive to us at Conservtive Musings was that the results were similar to our poll which ended a week ago.  Our readers and those who voted on Townhall are different from the punditry that we hear on the news.  Of course, time will tell and we will run another poll later in the month to see how our numbers vary from those at Townhall.  Whatever the result, we have some quality people running for President and it is our hope that we can end the Obimnator's term in November 2012.

Here is the posting from the site:

Congratulations to Ron Paul who has won the June & Presidential Straw Poll! This is the second time since January that Ron Paul has won the Straw Poll. He also saw the biggest jump in support this month at 5.8%. In fact, he was one of only four candidates who gained ground this month: Sarah Palin (+4.1%), Michele Bachmann (+5.3%) and Rick Perry (+3.4%). Not surprisingly, those candidates received the most buzz this in the media this month. Herman Cain, the May Straw Poll Winner, received the biggest drop in support at -6.6%. Has the Hermanator's support peaked? Is Sarah Palin making a comeback in anticipation of a possible presidential announcement? Are new faces Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry beginning to gain momentum? Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Middle East--A Place of Hypocrisy

The Middle East is a confusing place for most Americans due to the fact that freedom of religion is so fundamental in this country.  We would never think of establishing a "national religion."  If an attempt was made to do that, there would be immediate protests in the street.  We are so used to practicing our religion and whatever our neighbor worships does not bother us as long as he does not try to convert us to his way of thinking. It is live and let live. 

The vast majority of inhabitants in the Middle East are Muslim and whether you believe that they want Islam to be the religion of the world or not, those attitudes even if expressed by a tiny percentage of believers translates to millions.  Tie that fact with  human nature, not to "rock the boat", it is no wonder that many people are concerned with the radicals.

Radicals will always be a problem in any group of people. They are the true believers and they are very dogmatic about their beliefs to which you better not disagree.  It does not matter the subject matter, there always will be those who go over the top.

The problem that America is going to have and that Europe does have now, is the benefit of doubt that we give other religions. In France, Muslims close entire streets when it comes to prayer. The country allows this because "it is a fundamental part of their religion."  Until recently, women in some communities wore full burqas which covered the woman's entire body  even shielded her eyes from view. This has now been stopped by legislative action which ironically is one of the first to stop a religious practice. 

Another issue is the "honor killing" of women who have violated a rule of Islam. The male members of the family are honor bound to kill the woman for her violation.  There have been a couple of those in the United States. One was a doctor who killed his two teenage daughters for becoming "too Western."  He was convicted and the religious excuse did not work. 

Whether it is honor killing or giving in to those who practice Islam, we must not.  If the mosques are breeding grounds for jihadists, they must be stopped.  We must not allow this activity no more than we would allow a numbers racket being run out of a Catholic church or a ponzi scam out of a synagogue. It will not be easy and those of us who believe this way will be targeted as xenophobes, but so what, someone has to speak out and it may as well be me.  How about you?  Are you with me?

It will be a tragedy if the freedom of religion is used against us and I am going to do my best to stop it. I do not want America to look like France, Germany or Holland.

The attached article is about the hypocrisy in the Middle East, with Delta Airlines and with the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. It is a great article and well worth the time to read.

Here it is:

Hypocrisy on Parade

Abraham Cooper and Dr. Harold Brackman - Huffington Post, June 29th, 2011

Arab SpringIn an interview in London, The Artist Formerly Known as Prince has eased human rights concerns about religious authoritarianism in the Middle East by explaining: “It's fun being in Islamic countries, to know there's only one religion. There's order. You wear a burqa. There's no choice. People are happy with that.”

Less clear is whether Prince also approves of the Kingdom's systematic discrimination against Christians and Jews, treated either as second-class aliens with no right to worship or banned from stepping foot on Saudi soil altogether.

Now, Delta Airlines has added Saudi Arabian Airlines to its SkyTeam Alliance of corporate partners. By extension, this puts Delta Airlines in a position to facilitate the Saudi ban on Jews, holders of Israeli passports and anyone who even has an Israeli stamp indicating a visit to Israel.

Delta, of course, denies all discrimination while kowtowing to discriminatory Saudi regulations. No one forced Delta to choose such an international partner with a track record of religious apartheid. But Delta's spokesmen are right about one thing: Ultimate responsibility lies with governments, not companies. Our government's response? In a break with the past, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned the Saudi refusal to issue driver's licenses to women, but in keeping with previous U.S. policy has apparently been silent over the Kingdom's embedded rules of religious apartheid.

It's this context of Saudi apartheid that renders so blatant the hypocrisy and double standards of so many of the world's gatekeepers of civil society. NGOs have zero tolerance regarding Israel naval blockade against Gaza arms smuggling. The Second International “Gaza Freedom” Flotilla, including the American ship, “The Audacity of Hope,” is enroute to Gaza. Their goal: breaking Israel's sea blockade of Hamastan, thus depriving Israel of the right of every U.N. member state to defend itself against threats to its sovereignty and survival. In the case of Gaza, the Jewish state is confronted with the growing threat posed by a Hamas government determined to re-arming with new Iranian missiles and enhancing their capacity to wreak mass destruction on the Jewish state.

Hamas-run farm where Jewish settlements once stood is producing enough fruit that Israeli imports are tapering off,” The Times reported.

So it seems the only place where the Arab Spring appears to have produced better economic times is precisely the place where Israel is accused of brutally stifling it.

Now Turkey, the prime mover behind the first Gaza Flotilla manned by “peace crusaders” armed with pick axes and knives, has backed off from participation in the brazen Flotilla II, given Ankara's angst over the bloody Syrian regime's behavior around Turkey's borders. Turkey's leader is incensed that Bashir Assad's desperate attempts to suppress Syrian dissenters have caused a specter of Syrian refugees suddenly pouring over the border seeking Ankara's protection.

But nothing — not improved conditions in Gaza; not Assad's thuggery and murder of its own citizens; not the duplicity of Iranian Revolutionary Guards supplied by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to abet Assad's butchery — is enough to change fundamentally the master narrative embedded among so many elite among human rights NGOs, media and church “activists.” Israel can do no right and its enemies, who are also the enemies of human rights, can do no wrong.

As a result, it's a safe bet that the 50+ international media outlets embedded in the Gaza II Flotilla will most benefit not the Palestinians but two tyrants: Gaddafi and Assad. They'll be able to breathe a temporary sigh of relief. With any luck, the “Audacity of Hope' will yield enough dramatic footage and sound bytes to knock the tyrants of the Arab Spring off the top of the news on Al Jazeera for a couple of days.

Have A Safe and Enjoyable 4th!!

Monday will be the 4th of July and yes, Virginia, they do have a Fourth of July in England.  It follows the third and is before the fifth.

Ok, that's an adolescent joke but there is a reason.  Every year adolescents of all ages experience the tragedy of accidents whether it is drownings, car accidents or firework explosions. These events can ruin the holiday not only for this year but for years to come. Wear a life jacket when around water, drive sober or have a designated driver if you are going to drink.  And don't take chances with fireworks. A second of inattention can result in a permanent disability or even death.  If the sparkler or rocket (I am sure you only use legal ones) won't light, leave it alone and use water  to douse the wick or better yet, go to your local park and enjoy the professionals put on their show.

Enjoy the holiday, fly the flag and remember the trials and tribulations our Founding Fathers went through to give us the greatest nation the world has ever seen.  We all should be thankful for the blessings of prosperity and freedom we experience daily by living in this wonderful country.

Have a wonderful Fourth and on the fifth we can go back to fighting to keep the United States great.

Conservative Tom

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Obama Care Scores One On Appeal

Today, it was announced that a panel of the Appeals Court in Cincinnati had voted that the requirement that all American citizens maintain minimum health insurance or be fined was reasonable by a 2-1 margin. This is the first major victory for Obama Care in the Appeals Court arena. However, this is not the end of the fight.  Supporters of repeal can request a full hearing by the Circuit or they could appeal it directly to the Supreme Court.  Those decisions have not been made.

What does this mean for you and I. At the present moment, not very much, however, if this trend of muddle headed judges (is that too strong) continues, we could well see our country saddled with Obama Care forever. It will not be good when 1/6 of the economy is controlled by the government. They cannot run the post office profitably or run the trains on time so to expect them to run  the health care system, a significantly more complex business, successfully will guarantee you a trip to the funny farm.

 Government never has been run any business with any sort of acumen. Why? Profit motive!  A business has to make money but the government does not. Where a business person might not add personnel until they are needed, the government bureaucrat will add them without regard to how well the program is doing.  He does so because the more people he has working for him, the higher is his salary. The motivation is not success but to get more people under him/her.

If the company is not profitable, the business person closes up their shop.  Not so for the government program. It soldiers on, changing direction and asking for more support from the taxpayers so that those using the service will not be left without.  Amtrak is a great example.  The railroad business at the beginning of the 20th century was a massive business generating millions of dollars in business.
With the advent of the airplane, the passenger train business declined to such numbers that it could no longer be viable. So government in its great wisdom decides that "we needed" to maintain this business, so Amtrak was started. 

Amtrak  has never been profitable and probably never will for a couple reasons. First of all, air fares are low making flying cheaper and forcing the passenger rail business to compete with even lower fares. Secondly, planes are much faster. You can fly across the country in a matter of hours verses days on the train. Trains are great is you are in no hurry to get where you want to go, but in today's world where everything is rush rush, the market for slow is very limited.

So why do we keep supporting this dinosaur?  Politics, nostalgia and inertia are the only  reasons that make any sense. I am sure some Representatives and Senators have supporters who want rail traffic to continue. Maybe they have a business that builds locomotives (for example, General Electric) or rail cars that are made in their district and losing Amtrak would result in a loss of jobs. Additionally, we still love to watch trains and remember when they were THE way to travel.  However, we have always had trains so why should we stop now is probably the real reason for Amtrak.  Does it make sense, no.

Now we are looking to the same  bureaucrats who run the Post Office and Amtrak to run our health system when never in the history of the world has one operated at a break-even no less a profit nor has the benefits been delivered in as cost-effective manner as the planners and promoters of the system have predicted. Most times benefits are "rationed" by various screens to provide services to those who will benefit most from the operation or product. If you are too old or too ill, you will be passed over for someone else.  In Canada, anyone over 65 cannot get a heart bypass regardless of their health. Sorry pal, those dollars are for younger people.  So, they come to the United States and pay for it themselves.

I am not looking forward to seeing the United States' great health system (it has problems that could be rectified) descend to disgrace because we did not speak out and encourage change. Obama Care, especially in these economic times, will be the absolutely wrong medicine for the medical business.  Let's work to make sure it gets repealed.

The following article relates more of the details of today's court action.  Let us know what you think, write a comment.



US appeals court upholds Obama health care law

By Dan Sewell
CINCINNATI (AP) — In the first ruling by a federal appeals court on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, a panel in Cincinnati affirmed Wednesday that Congress can require Americans to have minimum insurance coverage.
A conservative law center had challenged the measure, arguing on behalf of plaintiffs who said potentially being required to buy insurance or face penalties was subjecting them to financial hardship. They warned that the law was too broad and could lead to more federal mandates.
The Thomas More Law Center, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., argued before the panel that the law was unconstitutional and that Congress overstepped its powers.
The government countered that the measure was needed for the overall goal of reducing health care costs and reforms such as protecting people with pre-existing conditions. It said the coverage mandate will help keep the costs of changes from being shifted to households and providers.
The three-judge 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel delivered a long opinion with disagreement on some issues.

A George W. Bush appointee concurred; a Ronald Reagan appointee who is a U.S. district judge in Columbus sitting on the panel disagreed. Judges are selected for panels through random draw.
An attorney for Thomas More said the center expects to appeal. It could ask for the full circuit court to review the case or go on to the U.S. Supreme Court.
More than 30 legal challenges have been filed over the health care overhaul, some focusing on different issues.n to you and I?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our Latest Poll on Presidential Candidates

In our latest poll, we asked who our readers would like to see as a Presidential Candidate for the 2012 election.  It turned up surprising results.  Current leaders in other polls (Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin) barely scraped up 5% each along with Rick Perry and the formidable "unnamed candidate" while Ron Paul was an out of the box winner at more than 35%. Second place was Herman Cain with 17%. Tied for third were Michelle Bachman and Chris Christy at 11%.  The real losers were Gingrich, Santorum and Pawlenty who did not garner a single vote.

While this poll is far from scientific so to take anything to the bank, would be foolhardy.  However, we have seen other polls where Ron Paul has scored well so he might be stronger than we would have expected.  I am glad to see that Herman Cain scored so well as it proves what I have always thought, conservatives vote for the man and his ideas rather than other "cosmetic" issues.

In the future as the field starts to thin out, we will again run this poll.
Thanks to all who voted.

The Silence Is Deafening--Where is Weiner's Mother in Law?

Since the story has broken about Anthony Weiner's mother in law being a part of the Muslim Brotherhood, we have heard nothing!  Not a word from the family, from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Secretary of State or from the press.  There can only be a couple reasons. First, there was no story and it was all a made up article without "legs."  However, the more insidious rationale might be that the whole issue is true.  Could our government be infiltrated with Muslim moles?

The silence of the press scares me for if we are being infiltrated, this absence of comment cannot be good. Are they scared of the retaliation by Muslim activists? Without having a way to get accurate, unbiased information, our basic freedoms can be lost. Or is that the reason?

The Weiner pictures, denials and then resignation were all covered by the press 24/7. All of a sudden he resigns, the Mom in Law story surfaces and we hear nothing. That does not sound like the press. Where are the reporters following the family, shoving a microphone into their faces, and demanding to know.  Hey, they did that to Charlie Sheen, where are they now?  Is this story too big, too dangerous to be covered?  Or have they been threatened?

If true and Huma Abedin, the very valuable assistant to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton whose mother is supposed to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, is a indeed a mole, this would be a disaster.  She would have access to all sorts of state secrets which she could pass along to her fellow travellers. I sure do hope that this is not true.

What do you think we are having a blackout on this issue?  I would like to know what others are thinking.

Monday, June 27, 2011

States verses Federal Government Who Wins

One of my readers asked me to look at a recent Supreme Court ruling which involves a case  in which a generic drug manufacturer was sued in State court due to inadequate health warnings per state law. However, the drug maker met FDA requirements. The State Regulations were stronger than the Federal, however, the manufacturer was prevented from substituting the less restrictive FDA warnings because it violated FDA rules.  The question was how does one meet the two standards. The Court ruled that the manufacturer had only to meet federal law (the FDA regulation). Of course, this violates the Tenth Amendment.

So where do I stand on this?  I am a very strong states rights person and believe in a weak Federal system due to the fact that they get so far away from the people, that the average citizen can have no influence on any decision.  States are by their very nature closer to the average Joe or Jane and therefore, we should have more chance of being heard. (Notice I said "should have" not "does".)

In this case where it deals with our drugs and the very complex nature of drugs, favoring state regulation meets the impracticality of each state having its own FDA to certify the safety of drugs.  The cost of this would drive up the costs of medicine even more and that would not be practical nor efficient.  If each state had to regulate drugs we could fine 50 different formulations for Viagra for example. This would be very inefficient.

I believe this comes more under the regulation of interstate commerce than states rights. The business of pharmaceuticals is very complex and would not be beneficial  to have multiple jurisdictions controlling the drug formulation. However,  I do believe the Supreme Court could have ruled that a state might impose stronger warnings if it so desired without violating FDA requirements.  However, that was not done and from the reading I saw, was not really considered. (If someone has another source, please do advise.)

Instead, Supreme Court said that due to the fact that the FDA had rules say that all generic drugs must have similar warnings as the brand name, stronger state language cannot prevail. This does not effect the strength of the drug or its composition, rather the warnings for the person taking the medicine. I disagree with the Court and would have ruled with the minority in this case.

What do you think?

ATF's Misdirected Gun Operation

The more I read about this dumb ATF operation "Fast and Furious", the more incensed I get.  Since when does the government become involved in illegal and immoral activities? Obviously there had to be an objective. The only one that I can imagine (in my not so subtle paranoid mind) is that it was an attempt to entrap gun shop owners and to blame them for the illegal weapons being sold to buyers who were gun runners in Mexico. The plan backfired when those who were being set up contacted the ATF and their representatives in Washington.  Now the government agency has to explain its behavior to Congress. As Ricky Ricardo used to say "Lucy you have some 'splainin to do!"

It is obvious that the plan was not thought out well. This could mean that the operation was done by underlings who wanted to be cowboys or it could point to the incompetency of those leading the agency.  Whatever the case, those in charge must answer a lot of questions.  When did they know and how long did they know it? Did they approve it or were they directed to do it?  If they were told to do it, who told them?

 Could this lead to the Oval Office? One would hope that the attempt to prove the current system is not working and that very strict gun control measures were needed  to be instituted was not the driving force.  Could this administration be so intent of changing the Second Amendment that they would "create" an emergency through illegal activities?  If so, what other fake emergencies have they created or are in the process of being instituted? 

Another consideration is that this operation effected not only American citizens doing a legal business but it resulted in Mexican citizens being killed as well an American Border Guard. Additionally, it damaged the relationship with the Mexican Government.  No longer could Mexico blame the gun runners getting the weapons from Americans, now it was the American Government itself that was supplying the guns.

This is not a victimless crime and for this, heads must fall.  If no one is punished for this act, it will unleash a cascade of similar actions by other agencies as they realize they can do anything and no one will be punished.  What if the EPA told car companies that if they did not pony up dollars, their cars would lose 5 miles per gallon on the fuel economy tests?  Or the FDA would allege that certain drugs were dangerous if contributions were not made to the agency? Or the Treasury telling banks that they had to participate in a bailout whether or not they needed the money? Oh, I forgot, that already has happened.

Government complicity in illegal activities or trying to manufacture situations that will create an outcome is not what we expect from our public servants. This must be stopped now before it gets worse.  What do you think?

The following article appeared in Human Events recently and gives more details on the operation.

From Human Events:

By Roger Hedgecock
June 17, 2011

Did the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), an agency of President Obama's Justice Department, operate a program that deliberately allowed some 3,500 guns bought in the U.S. to be "walked" across the Mexican border and into the waiting hands of the murderous Mexican drug cartels? At first, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder denied such a program existed.

Four ATF agents who worked in the program, called Operation Fast and Furious, however, answered yes this week in testimony before the House Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.).

Special Agent John Dodson testified that he was assigned to the Phoenix office of ATF and specifically to Group VII, the designation of the Fast and Furious team. There Dodson found that ATF agents had been following 40 individuals who were known "straw purchasers" of guns for the cartels from federal government-licensed gun shops in the U.S. Gun shop owners who called the ATF with concerns, to report suspicious buyers, were told to complete the sales.

In 2009, Obama, Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Dianne Feinstein had all charged that the increasing violence in Mexico was caused by guns purchased too easily in the U.S. They called on Congress to act to tighten gun control laws.

Obama specifically claimed 90% of the weapons in the cartels' hands were purchased in the U.S.--sheer nonsense. Of the 100,000 or so guns recovered by the Mexicans at crime scenes at the time, 18,000 were found to be manufactured, sold or imported from the U.S. Of those, 7,900 came from federally licensed gun shops. Of those, up to 3,500 came from Operation Fast and Furious.

Was Operation Fast and Furious an Obama program to create a self-fulfilling prophecy and accomplish a gun control objective? Again the agents' testimony was clear.

Over 10 months in 2009 and 2010, Dodson testified that on an almost daily basis, he was ordered to take notes, record conversations, videotape gun purchases, make reports and track the movements of these straw buyers but nothing more.

With everyone knowing the guns were headed for Mexico and the drug cartels, Dodson and his fellow agents were ordered to not stop or arrest the suspects or impede the flow of weapons.

When the straw buyers handed the guns off to third parties, ATF agents were told to follow the straw buyers, not the third parties who headed for the border with the guns. When the agents objected, they were told to "get with the program" and that "higher-ups" including "senior ATF officials" had sanctioned the operation.

Newell was asked whether ATF agents were ever ordered to allow guns to "walk" into Mexico. He answered, "Hell no!"

Leaked e-mail traffic from spring 2010 documents show that ATF management from Acting Director Kenneth Melson on down were personally briefed in Phoenix on Operation Fast and Furious by Newell.

One of these e-mails describes Melson's intense interest in the program, including getting the IP address for the hidden cameras located in a gun shop in Arizona so he could watch the straw buyer buy guns on a screen in his Washington, D.C., office.

Melson later said Fast and Furious was really a sting operation "gone wrong." The agents had been ordered not to stop the little fish (the straw buyers) so that the guns could be traced to the big fish (the cartel bosses).

This lame explanation ignored the fact that ATF agents were ordered to not follow the guns and that ATF had no jurisdiction to take down anyone in Mexico. In fact, no "sting" ever occurred, no arrests of cartel bosses ever happened. ATF made no effort to trace the guns after they crossed the border.

ATF agents feared that one day one of these guns would show up at a crime scene. That day came one night last December when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, armed with a bean bag gun, was killed by an AK-47 armed cartel bandito in the Arizona desert. The serial numbers on two AK-47s found at the site of the shooting identified them as coming from one of the straw purchases that the ATF agents had been tracking but were ordered not to stop.

The Mexican government has linked 150 of its police or military casualties to Fast and Furious guns. As Issa pointed out, referring to a State Department report, in the last year 111 Americans were killed in Mexico--victims of the drug war.

After bloggers started talking about what they called Project Gunwalker, CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson began a series of reports that blew the story wide open. On-air interviews with the ATF agents made Gunwalker a big story on both sides of the border.

At this point, Obama said neither he nor Holder had authorized the program, but admitted "mistakes had been made" and vowed to "hold the responsible parties accountable." Holder ordered an internal investigation.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R.-Iowa) repeatedly sent letters to Holder demanding information. In a February 4, 2011, response letter to Grassley, Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Ron Weich described as "false" Grassley's assertion that ATF had knowingly allowed guns to be purchased and walked into Mexico.

Weich, a former aide to Sen. Harry Reid, told Grassley that "ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally, and prevent their transportation to Mexico." Challenged on the truth of this statement, the Justice Department says that because the straw buyers themselves did not cross the border but handed the weapons off to third parties, the statement was true. Huh?

In 2009-'10, the ATF agents were ordered to not arrest the "little fish." Following revelations of the Gunwalker program, the Justice Department indicted 20 of the straw buyers who were known to ATF before Fast and Furious began. Then Justice stonewalled answering any more letters seeking information on the program from Issa or from Grassley and refused to respond to Issa's committee subpoenas on the grounds that there was an ongoing criminal prosecution!

Rahm Emanuel, when he was Obama's chief of staff, famously said that no crisis should ever go to waste if it could advance the agenda. Did Obama go Rahm one better, advancing the gun-control agenda by manufacturing a crisis caused by gunrunning into Mexico, where one of the gunrunners was the U.S. government?

Members of the Mexican Congress think the answer is yes and have opened their own investigation. From the Mexican standpoint, Operation Fast and Furious was an act of war on Mexico.

For Americans of a certain age, the next question is, "What did the President know, and when did he know it?"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sarah Pallin--An Interesting Take

Ever since Sarah Palin has arrived on the scene some three years ago, she has been a lightining rod for criticism. Some is deserved but most is not.  In the following article Mary Claire Kendall, delves into some of her background in Alaska and starts to tell a different story.

As I have written before, I think she has a real talent to commuicate with normal people which is something missing by current politicians.  The current New Jersey governor, Chris Cristy was on  Meet the Press today, said that Americans want someone to tell them the truth. Citizens might not like the message but they want to know what is going on and not to sugar coat it.  We are tired of hearing the "tested" safe words that the advisors give the candidate to say.  Sarah does that.

I just wish that she had not made some of the mistakes that have occurred. Hopefully she can continue to contribute to the discussion, however, I see no way that she could get the nomination.

Here is the story:

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah?

Her new documentary brings up the question: will Palin find someone who can guide her out of rogue territory, deftly shaping her into a towering figure who can accomplish for America what she did for Alaska?
June 22, 2011 - 11:36 am - by Mary Claire Kendall
Have you heard the rumor?
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will announce her decision this week regarding whether or not she will seek the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Problem is, she tweeted, nobody told her.
No matter. With Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Texas Governor Rick Perry surging in the polls — as Palin remains comfortably ensconced in a strong second place — it feels right.
But it must be an excruciating decision — less than three short years after she splashed onto the national stage when she accepted Senator John McCain’s nomination to be his running mate on the 2008 GOP presidential ticket.
Of course, it was a great first impression, after which she was soon engulfed in a swell of bad press, starting with “Trooper-gate,” suggesting she was too green to fill the shoes of vice president, which was confirmed as the campaign progressed.
You see, being a VP nominee is akin to sitting in that carnival contraption where, if someone hits the bull’s eye, you’re dunked in water.
Sarah Palin didn’t take kindly to being dunked in water. She tangled with the staff of McCain-Palin ’08 because she was being treated poorly, which surely she was — not understanding that’s par for the VP course.
On the positive side of the ledger: Palin was/is a star on the stump, electrifying an audience like nobody’s business.
Now, along comes Steve Bannon’s remarkable feature-length documentary film, The Undefeated, which hits the reset button on Sarah Palin — and also hits AMC Theaters on July 15.
Washington Post’s Phil Rucker — like me, invited to a private screening — told Lawrence O’Donnell on The Last Word that it’s “professionally done” and shows how truly accomplished Palin was as governor of Alaska, at one point registering 80% approval; albeit, he noted, the film has “not a single dissenting voice.”
It’s a stunning, Reaganesque portrait. What she accomplished in 18 months as governor of Alaska, most notably on the energy front, is testament to her political and policy understanding and skill — and her forbearance.
Specifically, she shepherded through legislation other governors had tried, but failed, to pass for decades, including initial legislation for a natural gas pipeline; oil tax reform garnering billions for Alaska and its residents; and a solution by which Exxon Mobil was prodded to start drilling in a leased oil field it had left idle for decades.

The only problem is Sarah Palin — a wild thing in desperate need of corralling — has the tendency to hit the reset button back to negative impressions.
If only McCain had not picked her or she had not accepted. If only she had not quit the governorship eleven months later. If only she had continued building her impressive governing credentials, starting a legal defense fund to deal with those pesky and frivolous ethics complaints.
If only. How indeed to solve the Palin problem?
She reminds me of great talents in the entertainment industry — Betty Hutton of Annie Get Your Gun fame seems a particularly apt comparison — whose talent overwhelms them, then because they don’t know how to get and take the right direction, their potential is never fully realized.
But it’s not too late for Sarah Palin.
Now that she’s found a great director for her life story, let’s hope she can find a director who can help shape her story going forward in a more focused, strategically effective way.
FDR had his Louis Howe; Ronald Reagan had his Lyn Nofziger. The question is will Sarah Palin find someone who can guide her out of rogue territory, deftly shaping her into a towering figure who can accomplish for America what she did for Alaska.
Mary Claire Kendall's articles have appeared in the NY Daily News, New York Post, Washington Examiner, National Review Online, Human Events Online, the Daily Caller, Big Hollywood, On Patrol (USO magazine) and VFW Magazine, among many other publications. Visit her Website at