The birth of Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin sparked interest and comment across cyberspace within hours of its announcement.
Seth Lipsky broke the story at NewYorkSun.com on Friday morning, April 16, at http://www.nysun.com/national/obamas-pressure-on-israel-gives-birth-to-jewish/86918/
Within hours, the report was picked up by:
The Jewish online magazine Tablet:
British blogger Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs:
“I would rather have Sarah Palin sitting in the Oval Office than Barack Obama.”
With those words, Norman Podhoretz has fired a shot-heard-round-the-blogosphere at those conservative intellectuals who have looked askance at Gov. Sarah Palin.
Writing on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal on March 29, Podhoretz not only broke with many fellow-conservatives regarding Palin, but also gave a huge boost to Palin’s supporters within the American Jewish community.
In his essay, Podhoretz compared the response of some conservative intellectuals to the rise of Sarah Palin to the response of some conservatives to the 1980 presidential candidacy of Ronald Reagan.
“It’s hard to imagine now, but 31 years ago, when I first announced that I was supporting Reagan in his bid for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, I was routinely asked by friends on the right how I could possibly associate myself with this ‘airhead,’ this B movie star, who was not only stupid but incompetent,” Podhoretz wrote.
While conservative intellectuals acknowledged that Reagan’s views were much closer to their own than those of President Jimmy Carter, they cringed at what they saw as “the embarrassing primitivism with which he expressed them.”
Podhoretz quoted Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol as pointing out that Gov. Palin’s views, too, “are much closer to those of her conservative opponents” than to isolationist or “moderate” Republicans.
Podhoretz noted that on foreign policy, for example, Gov. Palin may have had less direct experience than her vice presidential rival, Senator Joseph Biden, but Biden “was wrong on almost every major [foreign policy] issue that arose in the 30 years he spent in the Senate.” And “what she does know–and in this respect, she does resemble Reagan–is that the United States has been a force for good in the world, which is more than Barack Obama…has yet to learn.”
What then, accounts for some conservative intellectuals’ dislike of Gov. Palin? “Class bias,” according to Podhoretz. They are personally uncomfortable with the “Tea Party rabble.” They do not really feel any sense of personal kinship with the ordinary conservatives “who see [Gov. Palin] as one of them, only better able and better positioned to stand up against the contempt and condescension of the liberal elites…”
After more than a year of watching the Obama White House “in action,” Podhoretz wrote, “I hereby declare that I would rather be ruled by the Tea Party than by the Democratic Party, and I would rather have Sarah Palin sitting in the Oval Office than Barack Obama. .”
As editor of Commentary magazine for more than three decades and the author of numerous critically acclaimed books and essays, Podhoretz, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom,
is widely regarded one of the leading Jewish intellectuals of our era.
Under Podhoretz’s leadership, Commentary emerged as of the most influential intellectual journals in the United States. His publication of Jeane Kirkpatrick’s landmark essay “Dictatorships and Double Standards” in 1979 led directly to the choice of Kirkpatrick to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Reagan.
Many Americans fear that President Obama’s new energy proposal is once again “all talk and no real action,” this time in an effort to shore up fading support for the Democrats’ job-killing cap-and-trade (a.k.a. cap-and-tax) proposals. Behind the rhetoric lie new drilling bans and leasing delays; soon to follow are burdensome new environmental regulations. Instead of “drill, baby, drill,” the more you look into this the more you realize it’s “stall, baby, stall.”
Today the president said he’ll “consider potential areas for development in the mid and south Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, while studying and protecting sensitive areas in the Arctic.” As the former governor of one of America’s largest energy-producing states, a state oil and gas commissioner, and chair of the nation’s Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, I’ve seen plenty of such studies. What we need is action — action that results in the job growth and revenue that a robust drilling policy could provide. And let’s not forget that while Interior Department bureaucrats continue to hold up actual offshore drilling from taking place, Russia is moving full steam ahead on Arctic drilling, and China, Russia, and Venezuela are buying leases off the coast of Cuba.
As an Alaskan, I’m especially disheartened by the new ban on drilling in parts of the 49th state and the cancellation of lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. These areas contain rich oil and gas reserves whose development is key to our country’s energy security. As I told Secretary Salazar last April, “Arctic exploration and development is a slow, demanding process. Delays or major restrictions in accessing these resources for environmentally responsible development are not in the national interest or the interests of the State of Alaska.”
I’ve got to call it like I see it: The administration’s sudden interest in offshore drilling is little more than political posturing designed to gain support for job-killing energy legislation soon to come down the pike. I’m confident that GOP senators will not take the bait.
Next week I’m headed to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, where I look forward to discussing what “Drill, baby, drill” really means.
(March 31, 2010)
Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin is an independent group of academic, religious and political leaders, dedicated to promoting consideration of Gov. Sarah Palin’s political positions in the wider American Jewish community.
We find Ms. Palin’s policy positions on Israel, Iran, national security, fiscal responsibility, energy, and social policy – as well as her record on these issues as governor of Alaska and candidate for Vice President of the United States – to be serious, substantive and politically mainstream.
Though not at present a candidate for any political office, Gov. Palin’s track record in public office has been exemplary, and has withstood the test of the most demanding scrutiny of investigative news media. Gov. Palin’s ongoing contribution to the public discourse in America is welcome.