Charles Krauthammer was shooting straight with Bill O’Reilly Tuesday night, and the target was none other than Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Fair or foul; right or wrong; off-base or on it; his comments are likely to make some noise. If you remember; the last time Krauthammer spoke less than favorably of Gov Palin, she was responded by calling him “hoity toity.”
Okay, so you may have forgotten that little Twitter outburst; but the Krauth sure hasn’t.
O’Reilly: ”Why do people like George Will and the so-called Washington establishment Republicans not like Sarah Palin?
Krauthammer: ”I can’t speak on behalf of George, but I can speak on behalf of myself as a ‘hoity toity’ cocktail swilling Washington establishment elitist.”
O’Reily: ”But that’s what we love about you Charles – especially the “hoity toity” part.”
Krauthammer: ”Which is actually a phrase she used in a Tweet about me. So that… and I take it as a badge of honor. So I’ll speak on behalf of myself and the ‘class of hoities’ that I represent here.
You said in the introduction the rap on her is that she isn’t smart. That is not so. She is very smart; and adept. Great political instincts and is a star. The problem with her, I think, is that she is not schooled – I don’t mean she didn’t go to the right schools. I mean when you get into policy – beyond instincts. I like her political instincts. I like her overall view of the world. But when it comes to policy, she’s had two-and-a-half years to school herself, and she hasn’t.
And that’s a problem. You want a president who will be able to not have to learn on the job. We’ve already had that with President Obama and others. It’s not only a lack of schooling; it’s the lack of effort to school herself and the lack of instinct to see that she needs it.”
Krauthammer says Palin needs more “schooling.” That should grab some headlines.
But it gets better. O’Reilly says he disagrees with Krauthammer’s analysis, but then somehow manages to say that the problem with Gov Palin is not that she’s not “schooled enough”; but that she simply does not know her history – the Korean War, the Cold War, and the rise of radical anti-American Muslim Fundamentalism.
Wait. Wasn’t he supposed to be disagreeing with Krauthammer here?
Krauthammer: ”I agree with you about that.”
“If you’re going to master policy – especially world affairs – you’ve gotta know history… You have to know how things evolve. And she is weak on that. It’s not as if she can’t learn. The fact is it doesn’t appear as if she wants to sort of sit down, spend some months schooling herself as many people have done in preparing for the Presidency.”
Anyone wanna disagree with the tag-team analysis here? Anyone not think Sarah Palin’s already working on the Twitter response?
I guess the question is really this – why am I sharing this? Do I agree with Krauthammer; and I guess by default O’Reilly as well? Absolutely I do. Frankly, it’s what I’ve been saying about Gov Palin since the day she arrived on the scene. She’s got all the tools; she says all the right things; I “agree” with her 98% of the time; I just don’t think for a second that she has even a shred of understanding as to the justifications behind her many positions. Her instincts are sound. Frankly, they’re spot on. She just lacks the ability, or at least the desire, to explain them.
But not even that is why I’m sharing this.
I’m sharing this because I do believe this interview demonstrates my greatest fear surrounding a potential Palin candidacy. Krauthammer will be vilified by Palin supporters for “piling on” the Former Governor. He’ll be pained as a RINO and characterized as an elitist. People will say he’s “professorial.” They’ll explain his remarks away as token Washington establishment Palin bashing. They will turn on him for nothing more than sharing his opinion in response to a very direct question.
Are we not allowed to have opinions any longer if Gov Palin enters this race? Is that the newest addition to the Sarah Palin supporters’ List of Commandments? Though shall not say anything even remotely unkind about Sarah Palin?
If one is willing to watch the entire interview with even the slightest hint of objectivity, it is plain to see that Krauthammer very much respects, appreciates, and likes the Former Governor. He calls her a “star.” He says she “has a future.” He says she is “very smart and adept.” He even says she has great political instincts.”
Do those sound like the words of a Palin-hater?
More importantly, have you ever heard Krauthammer speak that way about President Obama?
Of course not; and that’s my point. If Gov Palin enters this race, it is going to be incumbent upon every Palin supporter not to lose sight of who the real opponent at the end of primary season is. And just a little heads-up. It’s not Charles Krauthammer. He’s on your team folks – as are many who may simply prefer another Republican candidate. If she enters this race, she will a candidate for the Republican nomination – nothing more; nothing less. And if supporting her is going to be the new RINO litmus test, I think it’s fair to say you can count me out for 2012. Why even have a primary?
The current field of candidates may lack star-power. They may not possess the passionate support that Gov Palin most certainly enjoys. They may truly be the B-List All-Stars of Right-Leaning world. They may be all those things, but there is not a single one of them capable of dividing us. I’d kinda like to keep it that way. My fight’s with a guy with a (D) next to his name.
“It makes you wonder what he thinks of Obama’s stellar understanding of world affairs.”
Again, how is this about President Obama?
And just to preempt the obligatory comment referencing Reagan’s 11th Commandment of not speaking ill of any fellow Republican… Does the same cover apply to the “actual” field of Republican candidates seeking the Party nomination? Are they “off limits” as well? Did it extend to John McCain in 2008 or at any point since his electoral defeat? Did it offer protection from friendly fire to George W. Bush during his presidency – or in the years since his departure? Yeah, didn’t think so.
You can’t amend that Commandment and replace “Republican” with “Sarah Palin”; and still think it carries weight. Without consistency and equal application it is but another meaningless throwaway talking point – not worth the breath it takes to share it.