Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fred Kaplan's Republican Party

Newsweek's David Graham has a piece up on Slate's Fred Kaplan's plea for "responsible Republicans" to speak out against Sarah Palin. The piece goes on to explain that Republicans have been doint what Kaplan wished:
...there are "Republican grown-ups" who haven't been shy about criticizing Palin. Let's start with the team at FrumForum (né New Majority) who have been such frequent critics that Alex Knepper has taken to anticipating backlash in his posts ("The next time I say something negative about Sarah Palin and her Baghdad Bobs tell me to 'go back to the Huffington Post' . . . ). They were even at the tea-party convention, filing tepid to critical dispatches about Palin from Nashville. But that's hardly the only example. Gingrich revolutionary turned MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said yesterday morning that "she keeps lowering the bar for herself" and that top Republicans were increasingly impatient with her "lack of substance." Looking a little further back, one of the nation's highest-profile moderate Republicans, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, took a hard swipe at Palin's global-warming stance in December. And conservative pundits in the media have been criticizing her for months, from Paul Mingeroff of the influential conservative blog Power Line to Kathleen Parker, the Washington Post columnist who unequivocally attacked Palin as unqualified to run for vice president during the 2008 campaign.
So, are there are Republicans who don't think Palin is the second coming of Christ. So why then are they being ignored by the likes of Kaplan? Graham explains:
The "where are the moderate Republicans?" argument is just as weak as the old canard about how moderate Muslims are failing to speak out against Islamist extremists—it's not that moderates aren't out there, but all the attention goes to the latest Osama bin Laden tape. If Kaplan truly wants to encourage a Republican alternative to Palin, he might be better served by helping to amplify the voices that are out there now, rather than stifling them by pretending they don't exist.
Graham's viewpoint on Palin could be the answer to a lot of issues where journalists and some on the left tend to think the GOP is silent. It could be gay rights, or the environment or foriegn policy, but the voices of dissent are hardly heard. If a Republican believes in gay marriage, he or she gets very little coverage. However, if a Republican believes that Barack Obama is from Mars and plans an invasion of Earth by six-foot-tall lesbian cyborgs, it's the talk of liberal blogs and the wider media.

What I think is happening is that people have a certain view of who Republicans are will ignore anything that might muddy up their simple view of conservatives. So it's a lot easier to focus on the Sarah Palins of the world than it is to give space to Republican who doesn't like Palin.

There was a time in my life that I took these questions seriously. I thought they were questions that needed to answered. But I am finding out these days that they are rhetorical questions that were never meant to be answered. People like Kaplan already know the answer they want.

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