Scarborough to GOP: ‘Man Up’ and Stop Palin

November 30th, 2010 at 11:22 am | 35 Comments |

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Writing in Politico, Joe Scarborough advises the GOP that it’s time to finally confront Sarah Palin:

Republicans have a problem. The most-talked-about figure in the GOP is a reality show star who cannot be elected. And yet the same leaders who fret that Sarah Palin could devastate their party in 2012 are too scared to say in public what they all complain about in private.

Enough. It’s time for the GOP to man up.

Everybody knows that Palin is a busy woman. The former half-term governor of Alaska stays so busy these days that one wonders how this mother of five manages to juggle her new reality show, follow her eldest daughter’s dancing career and launch her latest frenetic book tour while still finding the time to insult a slew of revered presidents and first ladies.

You’ve got to admit hers is a breathtaking high-wire act.

What man or mouse with a fully functioning human brain and a résumé as thin as Palin’s would flirt with a presidential run? It makes the political biography of Barack Obama look more like Winston Churchill’s, despite the fact that the 44th president breezed into the Oval Office as little more than a glorified state senator.

Still, Palin is undeterred, charging ahead maniacally while declaring her intention to run for the top office in the land if “nobody else will.” Adding audacity to this dopey dream is that Palin can’t stop herself from taking swings at Republican giants. In the past month alone, she has mocked Ronald Reagan’s credentials, dismissed George H.W. and Barbara Bush as arrogant “blue bloods” and blamed George W. Bush for wrecking the economy.

Wow. That’ll win ’em over in Iowa.

One can only guess what comes next on Palin’s bizarre road show. Maybe the publishing world’s favorite reality star can keep drawing attention and selling billions of books by spitting on John Wayne’s grave or “manning up” by shooting an American bald eagle.

Or how about this? Maybe Palin could show up on Fox News and build her weak résumé by tearing down Reagan’s.

Oh, wait. Been there, done that.

When Sean Hannity asked Palin whether being in a reality show diminished her standing to be president, the former half-term governor mocked Reagan’s biography, dismissing him as “an actor.”

Sounding like every left-wing politician and media elitist who ridiculed Reagan for decades, Palin sneered that she could be president if the actor from “Bedtime for Bonzo” managed to do so.

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35 Comments so far ↓

  • Nanotek

    pass the popcorn

  • balconesfault

    dismissed George H.W. and Barbara Bush as arrogant “blue bloods” and blamed George W. Bush for wrecking the economy.

    Wow. That’ll win ’em over in Iowa

    Actually, it may. Those things make her sound a lot more intelligent than most of what she’s said to date, and play directly to the populist anti-elite fraction of the party she’s been cultivating.

    Sounding like every left-wing politician and media elitist who ridiculed Reagan for decades, Palin sneered that she could be president if the actor from “Bedtime for Bonzo” managed to do so.

    Palin handled that artfully, and the GOP has no real answer – if some of the worst clunkers in Reagans film resume didn’t disqualify him as a serious candidate, why would Palin’s reality show do so?

    There’s actually a lot of good answers for that, but just claiming that Palin was “sneering” isn’t one of them.

  • anniemargret

    Finally a Republican who says it like it is. Basically Scarborough is calling her a huckster…something I’ve called her from Day One.

    But what is intriguing…is…why? Why has she gone this far when it is clear her ‘resume is thin?’ Is it not simply that she is a pretty woman with a chutpah attitude and a penchant for slinging insults? Let’s sum up – she is basically Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura and Ann Coulter in a prettier package and her prettier package gives her a pass.

    Yep, that’s it.

    But I give a high five to Scarborough who is calling for a push-back against Palin the Pitbull politically. Palin is still gleeful though, because with every word that is written about her, every TV interview that portrays her as the fanged and snarling darling of the Culture Warriors, she just stuffs that money in her bank account a little bit more often.

  • anniemargret

    Anyone ever seen Reagan’s movie, “King’s Row?” He was superb in it, and put Bedtime for Bonzo on the Back Burner with that one.

    But we can’t forget that despite Bedtime for Bonzo, Reagan was governor and hadn’t run from it the way Palin did. That one will haunt her forever.

  • anniemargret

    There’s one more aspect that everyone is forgetting about Palin and her audacity to run for President despite a meager resume and an apparent, and quite obvious, lack of intellectual depth.

    It is because no one has said NO to her. Scarborough is correct. Her ego has been fanned continuously since she appeared with McCain. And look at McCain! He keeps saying he ‘respects’ her and believes she can be President. A long-time Senator who has a admirable military career who thinks Palin is qualified to be Top Dog.

    Why shouldn’t Palin think of herself as qualified, when everyone around her has been telling her so? Who is now going to pick a few feathers off that peacock???

  • politicalfan

    Thanks Scarborough.

    Perhaps the Republican party will realize that their rise in 2010 will be a difficult fall. They did not add the percentage of people that did not vote into the equation. If they push Bush tax cuts, they will be showing their motives out the gate. Tax cuts are nice but ticked off people are not so nice. Don’t mess up and spin the message!

  • Honestly 22

    Palin can afford to alienate GOPers because she is actually void of political intent. It’s just one big publicity ride for her.

  • trk113

    There is a reason that the GOP is not going after her in earnest. Right now, her bombthrowing rhetoric is much more valuable in keeping the base fired up. Most of her inanities are directed at Obama and the Dems, so it’s a net win. The GOP establishment are tut-tutting, just so that there are at least some voices of reason from the Party and at least some movement to keep her from running away with the rank and file. Either way, when it starts to get closer to the primaries, they will go after her and do what needs to be done to bring her down.

    Unless…What will change that timetable is if she starts to attack the recent GOP standard bearers and, heaven forbid, the unspeakable, unthinkable sacrilege of attacking Ronald Reagan. Sounds like that is exactly what is going on now, so let the GOP Civil War begin.

  • politicalfan

    I beg to differ. I would challenge the fact that her base is made up of those who know exactly what she is doing as a Republican cheerleader. Those are the behind the scene puppet masters. Those “grassroot” folks are not challenging her because they like what they hear.

    I think Lawrence O’Donnell is a very witty guy who speaks with logic. However, he does not have a chance of ever becoming the President of the United States.

    Let’s just call Donald Trump and have him send over some of his super smart beauty queens with an interest in running for political office. That should be his next show, btw. “Political Women Powerhouse,” aka Apprenctice. If it were legal to bet, I would win hands down that there is some major beautiful talent out there!!! Just make sure to add a Dem to the equation next time and watch the polarization grow! ;)

  • jwilky1

    I agree that more people, the GOP, the press etc. need to put Palin in her place and stop patting her on the back! It is unbelievable that she can even believe that she has the intelligence, experience or ability to run the country, it is because everyone is cheering her on and not telling her like it is that she is believing that she could actually win it all, as she said she could in a recent interview but the poles tell a different story. I hope there are enough intelligent voters out there who recognize that she is not qualified to run the country and who do not vote for someone because of their personality or looks.

  • trk113


    I would challenge the fact that her base is made up of those who know exactly what she is doing as a Republican cheerleader. Those are the behind the scene puppet masters. Those “grassroot” folks are not challenging her because they like what they hear.
    You’re not challenging me, you’re agreeing with me. Your point is exactly what I was saying. I didn’t say “her base” I said “the base” meaning the GOP rank and file. She is being tolerated by the leadership because of that. Now, however, she is going after former icons and standardbearers. That will change her relationship with the GOP establishment very quickly. If Palin continues along that line, you will see an increasing divergence of interest between what is best for her and what is best for the party. Hence my comment about the GOP Civil War.

  • lessadoabouteverything

    “Palin handled that artfully, and the GOP has no real answer – if some of the worst clunkers in Reagans film resume didn’t disqualify him as a serious candidate, why would Palin’s reality show do so?” The difference here is Reagan quit acting to go into public service and politics, first as Union Rep. then as two term Governor of California. Palin quit midway through her only term as Governor to…what exactly does Sarah Palin’s Alaska qualify for anyhow? And how the hell is it HER Alaska?
    I guess the only word I can think of is Narcissaumentory.

  • TAZ

    Two Words…………Fred Thompson.

  • anniemargret

    Taz: but the only thing is that Fred Thompson had no ‘fire in his belly’ to really want the Presidency.

    Palin does…she does because it will be the ultimate spite and spitball at the ‘non-real America’ – all those uppity elitist Republicans and ‘godless’ liberals and Democrats .

    I have long thought there is something really really wrong with Palin. I think she gets high on having someone to bait or insult or create an enemy. Therefore she is the antithesis of what a ‘leader’ is. A leader is someone who can forge relationships and workable ones at that, for the greater good.

    She’s the Rat Pack Leader. But she doesn’t care, because she’s having a ball, and raking in the dough! If her followers haven’t seen through this glitz and charade yet, they never will. But then again, her followers are more interested in their leader throwing barbs and insults whereever she can, rather than study up and get smart!

  • Madeline

    anniemargaret: Is it not simply that she is a pretty woman with a chutpah attitude and a penchant for slinging insults?

    The word is chutzpah.

  • _will_

    I’m certainly not one to defend this scaremongering nitwit, but to be fair:

    “dismissed George H.W. and Barbara Bush as arrogant ‘blue bloods’” – probably isn’t all that far off the mark; and

    “George W. Bush wrecking the economy” – well, he and the GOP majority in both houses certainly did very little to safeguard us from the turmoil of the last 3 years (though I suspect her reasoning would be imprecise at best)

    As for dismissing Reagan’s credentials, that certainly is a bit rich coming from Ms. Palin. On the other hand – considering her poorly informed and aggravatingly repetitive rhetorical bleating – she COULD conceivably paint Mr. Reagan as a RINO (cf. the 11 tax increases he signed, the ballooning deficit under his watch, massive increase in the size of government).

  • politicalfan

    I stand corrected. I must have mis-read. I think the point that I was trying to state is that Palin’s base does not only exist of grass roots individuals. She also has a group of individuals who are pushing their interests by encouraging her to message for them. This is the reason that I think she would be a horrible President. If I wanted to see all of my “interests” moved forward. I would want her in. I think this is very dangerous and will hurt the Republican party long-term. They will lose all credibility and they are getting ready to spend the next two years on relitigating the past. This could really hurt their gains in years to come.

    She would have been wise to fight the lame-ethics “haters” (Her words) that is an embarrassing term for a political figure head. Note to others, please don’t use. Had she effectively fought and won that battle, she would have gained my interest. She would have displayed that she can stand the heat. I would have even been okay if she would have simply said, (no more politics), my kids come first and I need to focus on securing our future. I am going to raise money for kids with special needs, etc. ect. While many men don’t like to that, as a woman, I would have understood that more. I honestly think that Palin could have had a better re-launch. She is being used for monetary gain. Plain and simple, if she were really intelligent, she would realize that and ask for more money. I don’t think she is the person she portrays and people will fight to keep her in their mold. She should have listened to Katie Couric. Sometimes our critics give the best advice because they are not trying to be nice with false adoration. Palin still has time to turn it around, she might just back-out and tell us that “she played us.” Who knows!!!

  • anniemargret

    Madeline: yes, I knew that about ‘chutzpah.’ I get sloppy writing at times, and that word is easy to rush out and make an error in spelling. Thanks.

  • anniemargret

    She *knows* she’s being played and she likes it. It garners her the attention she craves and the money she wants.

    This is a woman who puts her children under the kleig lights so that they can make money and encourage votes. I find it utterly crass. Some mother. Now we are hearing that Bristol might have her own ‘reality show.’ She has proven over and over that her kids come LAST. SHE comes first.

    Good grief. So this was the game. She knew from Couric’s interview and from the McCain camp, that she either had to do her homework, stay in the governorship, finish out her term, try out for Congress, etc…. but she chose the easier way.

    She saw she could make gobs of money just playing out the “Sarah Pitbull” persona. Therefore the Facebook/Twitter/Fox news gigs where she could insult to her heart’s desire, but stay far afield from any real critiques or in the moment interviews where she might mess up again. She won’t ‘speak to the lamstream media’ because she wants to make up the rules as she goes.

    The Republicans have supported her in all this, knowing she was fanning the flames of resentment, anger and fear and they liked it. Now she wants to give them all a black eye. The neocons hoped they could use her for their own purposes, but her own views are allied very closely with theirs. And that is why she should never get anywhere near the Oval Office.

    And she wouldn’t ever listen to Katie Couric or anyone else who critiques her, because at the core, she is an egoist. She wants to do things her way, or the highway. Her refusal to learn during the McCain elections was the signal that she likes being the Lone Wolf. And that is not what a leader is.

  • CentristNYer

    anniemargret // Nov 30, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    …Fred Thompson had no ‘fire in his belly’ to really want the Presidency. Palin does…

    I would dispute that. What actual work has she done to lay the groundwork for a convincing campaign? She quit her governorship — her only claim to credibility — when her term was only half over. She became a reality TV star rather than immersing herself in the workings of government, economics and foreign affairs. She wrote sappy books about her life in Alaska rather than sketching out an actual vision for America.

    I just don’t see any serious effort to mount a bid for the White House. What I do see, however, is an effort to make as much dough as possible and to play the media as long as she’s got her looks, a Twitter account and an adoring fan base of people like jeninCT who can’t see her for the farce that she is.

    The only fire in Palin’s belly is for money and celebrity. And she doesn’t need to put herself through the rigors of a grueling presidential campaign to achieve it.

  • politicalfan


    The “trogan horse” is the faux attempt at being conservative. The real conservatives are going to be ticked off. As well as the liberals are going to really get fired up. How can they honestly come in say, we are going to give tax cuts to everyone because it creates job. Where are the jobs that have been created by those tax cuts during the Bush era? I want to see those statistics? While we are at it, let’s negotiate how many jobs are going to be created for each year that a tax cut is extended. Let’s give them one year of Bush tax cuts and require that a number of jobs be created. Prove it!!!

    Secondly, Palin has “paid advisors” to give her all types of funny and logical things to say. If Palin can explain what a (blue blood) is, then I might listen. The problem with Palinism is that she is a millionaire, so the very elites and aristrocats that she dislikes are becoming a new part of her persona. “Elite theory”- she is a political major isn’t she? I would take Barbara Bush over Palin any day of the week- blue blood or red blooded American. I wouldn’t mess with Ms. Bush, if she takes off those 3-strand pearls all bet are off, Palin will be crying for her halibut club.

  • NRA Liberal

    I was thinking about this today…maybe the GOP leadership should just let Palin go ahead and run. That way The Tea Party can’t claim that they’ve been shut out. They’ll get their shot, lose, and this will clear the decks for one of the rising stars in 2016.

  • anniemargret

    centrist: I guess you misunderstood, or I misrepresented what I think of Palin. I think she’s a huckster and I think she’s milking this shot for all it’s worth. That she has already proclaimed she won’t speak to the ‘lamestream media’ was actually her acknowledgment that going for the Presidency is a ploy to keep her in the limelight, give a big, fat Bronx cheer to all the ‘elistists’ in the GOP and ‘non-real’ America, while she keeps herself and her family rolling in the dough.

    Yes, I agree. She has no real guts to run for the Presidency, because she doesn’t like doing her homework and studying. Five colleges! That should tell you something about her intellectual desires. She hasn’t changed. She is still relying on her beauty queen looks and a fawning press, and her ‘base’ who will buy her bill of goods anytime, anyplace, and as long as she can get away with it, she will.

    Then again, Romney and Gingrich and Huckabee and Thune or anyone else the Republicans are hoping for to take the Main Seat, will have to deal with her….and they are SO afraid of the halibut-gutting pitbull from Alaska, she still effectively wins.. It’s an ideological struggle that they themselves created.

  • anniemargret

    NRAliberal: I actually agree with this theory, and said similar on another thread here. The only way to rid yourself of a nagging biting mosquito, is to face it down, and whack it.

    Give her what she wants….she is playing games with her own party and with the American people, and loving every minute of it. She craves the limelight and adoration. Give her lots of it. Lots of air time, and give her a lot of press.

    Eventually her schtick will get old, really old. It’s like listening to the grating insulting voice of Mt. Rushbo everyday – at some point you just turn it off.

    Let her run in the primary against Obama. That’s big buttered popcorn time, because her cliches will only carry her so far.

  • politicalfan

    Alaska has a large land mass. Let’s just gift her a piece of land and let her run her own kingdom. If she succeeds, then we talk. I call for further review. (Never say never). If she won we would all be crying.

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    Any real conservative who posts on the FF owes a big thank you to Annie M. for defending Reagan against all the idiotic Palin comparisons that are in vogue with ‘Movement’ conservatives. These comparisons are self-evidently stupid and FACTUALLY wrong, and a really grotesque calumny on an accomplished (if somewhat imperfect) statesman. They are the stuff of mythology and peronsality cult, not politics in the proper sense. How sad, and how emblematic of the absurdity of contemporary U.S. political culture, when it is LIBERALS like AnnieMargaret who have to defend Ronald Reagan’s reputation against the distortions, however unintentional, of opinion makers on the right. A lot of the left-of-center commenters on the FF constantly remind me that the watchword “loyal opposition” is not always the empty and trite expression I’ve come to think of it in recent years: they truly lend it the dignity and honor it had in bygone times, and they deserve respect for this.

    As for Joe Scarbarough, kudos to him, but I do have a caveat: I mean, can anyone imagine him making his remarks about Palin– which I do find to be totally spot on with respect to their content– not from the political comfort zone that is a studio at liberal MSNBC, but from his old political stomping grounds: his uber-red congressional district in the Florida pandhandle, aka the “redneck riviera”? The folks down there love Palin– the SE U.S. is where she polls most strongly– and they would have tarred and feathered him for criticizing her.

    But the joke’s really on the people of NW Florida. Scarbarough’s a bad ass, one of the last real conservatives around. I’d kill to have him as my congressman– he’d be a huge improvement over the christianist know-nothing, Jaimee Herrera, that my congressional district, WA’s 3rd, just elected.

  • politicalfan

    “thank you to Annie M. for defending Reagan against all the idiotic Palin comparisons’” I am sure that I read that- do you have the link WaStateUrbanGOPer. Agreed that Joe did the right thing!!! Let’s see who follows.

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    The link to what politicalfan? Read Annie’s comments toward the beginning of this comments thread. She’s totally spot on re: the absurdity of comparing Palin to Reagan.

    And yes, I saw a discussion of Scarbarough’s comments this morning on MSNCB while I was in the locker room at the gym, and I read the excerpts above. I know a bulls-eye when I see one, and he aced it.

    politicalfan: I suggest you wash the pseudo-conservatism– all of the Beck and talk radio and worldnetdaily– out of your system with a little Burke or Buckley. Start using your brain before it atrophies from lack of exercise.

    (Oh God, I totally misread your comments and I feel like a total stooge. I. AM. TOTALLY. SORRY. I though you were contradicitng me from a Palinite POV. Time for me to brush up on the grammar school reading comprehension skills, perhaps. Just read my response as an attack on some generic tea bagger. Once again, totally sorry p-fan!)

  • politicalfan

    That was pretty funny, I was getting ready to have a witty comeback about my cranium and mandible. LOL.
    I am an Independent. Live strong!!! (Don’t sweat the small stuff-Richard Carlson) It is all small stuff after all.

  • anniemargret

    Wastateurbangoper: Thank you .

    Reagan was the “Great Communicator” wasn’t he? Then there’s Sarah. Nothing could contrast more than that.

    Whether you liked Reagan’s policies or not, he commanded respect and when he spoke, people listened. Personally I liked him, he was just a likeable guy. (and he really did a wonderful dramatic role in King’s Row – which should be held up rather than Bedtime for Bonzo). Then again, he had a sense of humor didn’t he?

    He was gutsy and he talked to the Russians – and he did it without having to wink! Imagine Palin and Putin? Imagine Palin near the nuclear codes?

    But one thing I cannot imagine Reagan doing and that is insulting Americans the way Palin does. He was smarter than that….

  • anniemargret

    Yes, it’s easier for Scarborough to call out Palin from his safe seat on MSNBC. Then again, at least he had the guts to do it. Then again, I doubt Palin’s supporters watch his show – they’re all over at Fox, so Joe doesn’t have to worry about offending them.

    I think Sarah Palin loves when people criticize her – then she can play the victim and the ‘lamestream media’ thing or the ‘bluebloods’ thing, or the ‘real America’ thing. Her persona, her values, her worldviews, her phony populism, her glitz and grenades would be the absolutely worst thing to happen to this country.

  • medinnus

    “thank you to Annie M. for defending Reagan against all the idiotic Palin comparisons’”

  • anniemargret

    medinnus: ;-)

  • TJ Parker

    Man up? I thought that Sarah and Rush had collected all of the party’s testicles already?

  • politicalfan

    Nicolle Wallace added why they wont adress Palin this morning on (Morning Joe). – Oh and added that Palin was “prickly.” Do you really think Nicolle, what was the first clue or 10th?

    The only bad thing about this is that the very people that are critizing are selling their books and considering a test of the people (for a possible run). Nicolle, please stop with the prickly and be honest about how she was prepped. She is preaching American Exceptionalism and you are probably her professor. A quick insult and “we will ride the Palin wave” is kind of “pulling a palin” in its self! What if the D’s actually start feeling bad for her? More over, what if she is the Republican candidate? Never say never. Sean H and Rush are self-serving, that is to be expected. To win at any cost should be the Republican 2012 slogan! There are a few of us that really would like to see real candidates out here! We have some big problems, can someone send in the grown-ups!!!