I don't bother to write much about Sarah Palin because she's a twit and me writing about Palin would be a little like Dostoyevski writing a 1000 page novel about lima beans.
But every once in a while the response to Palin is so egregiously stoopid that it's worth pointing out because it's a sign that we still don't understand what's happened to the Right, especially the GOP. Case in point, Steve Benen, writing about Palin's political self-immolation, writes what has to be one of the Top Five Dumbest Sentences he's ever written. (Via Norwegianity)
There's simply no logic to this strategy.
Steve, sweetie, since when does "logic" have any connection whatever to conservative, especially ultraconservative, thinking? For that matter, what has thinking got to do with it? Hasn't the last 10 years taught you anything at all?
Steve is confused, you see, because he can't figure out why Sarah, who had a shot at the national stage, didn't take the opportunity to widen her appeal, instead choosing to head even deeper into Pub Slug Land.
What's curious about all of this is that Palin had a more obvious and productive route, which she's inexplicably chosen to ignore. As Chris Orr noted the other day, "Perhaps the most mystifying element of Palin's recent forays into nuttery is that, politically speaking, it would be difficult to come up with stupider way to position herself in the wake of her v.p. run. The base already loves her -- the diehard pro-lifers, the hands-off-mine individualists, the anti-elitist brigades, you name 'em. Where she has (deepening) trouble is with everyone else: moderates, socially liberal libertarians, DC-establishment types, and anyone who places a premium on basic competence."
And yet, Palin has chosen to become an even more rigid ideologue, annoying lawmakers (in both parties) and locking up the support of the GOP's far-right base that already supported her.
There's nothing "curious" about it. What's curious is Mr Benen's and Mr Orr's perplexity and their assumption that movement conservatism is, you know, politics and why aren't these people acting the way the politics of the situation requires them to act?
Because, Steve & Chris, movement conservatism is NOT politics. It's a religion. It is a faith. It is faith in the Free Market, Deregulation, Low/No Taxes on the rich, the aristocracy of True Americans as defined by MC dogma, and the absolute rightness of everything True Believers choose to believe. Present them with all the facts you like that prove they're wrong, acres of facts, and you won't make any more of a dent in their faith than you would if you presented a Catholic with evidence that Jesus's birth wasn't by immaculate conception or a Muslim with evidence that Mohammed drank like a fish.
The modern GOP is no longer a political party. The people who believed that were all purged long ago. The modern GOP is now the home of a religion called Radical Capitalism, an unabashed, take-no-prisoners adoration of $$$ and all that flows from it. In fact, if they're going to presume to change the name of the Democratic Party, we could do worse than change theirs to the Radical Capitalist Party. But even then we'd be dodging the fact. The Church of Radical Capitalism would be nearer the mark.
Palin wasn't reaching out because Palin isn't interested in representing any species of non-believer. She's running for Rush's current gig, Head of the Church of the True RadCap Believers. She wants to be High Priestess of the Cult, not president. She couldn't give a rat's ass what outsiders, heretics, and infidels think, want, or aspire to.
Look, why do you think they continue to fight for lower corporate taxes and more deregulation when the proof is all around them that those things a) don't work, and b) are completely anathema to a healthy economy? The facts have been in front of us for 100 years. Every time unrepentant, unchained capitalism has been tried it has been a disaster for everybody except the very rich. Yet conservatives continue to insist that any other economic system is tantamount to Satanism.
Benen's & Orr's naivete about this isn't really a luxury we can afford.