Sarah Palin, the Biggest Loser?

Sarah Palin, the biggest loser.

That seems to be the consensus of the grandees inhabiting Washington and New York and pockets of glitter beyond. There is a variety of interpretations of the midterm Republican wave emanating from the wine bars of upper Manhattan and the salons of Georgetown, but most include the notion that for Sarah Palin, this election was the political equivalent of the hit ABC show "The Biggest Loser." When push came to shove, she stood on...principle?

Media and political elites may disagree on the many consequences of what the president called a "shellacking" by the voters, but they largely agree that the biggest loser was Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin has once again been flagged for her unwillingness to play the game according to how the media and political professionals want it played. For them, it is a game, with taxpayer dollars as Monopoly money. But for Sarah Palin, it's about beliefs and values and service -- which disqualifies her, in their view, from life between the political lines. Sure, she won -- having helped more than sixty candidates to victory -- but, as Rush Limbaugh pointed out, the political and media elites are "a little miffed" at how the Tea Party and Palin put principle ahead of politics. C'mon, lady -- professionals don't do core beliefs!

It was her principles that represented the biggest negative for Karl Rove, whom Lee Cary of American Thinker characterized as the "lead consigliere for the Republican bluebloods." Rove attacked Palin as unfit for political leadership after she insisted on endorsing candidates based on their beliefs in limited government and traditional values. Principles, he sneered, are for amateurs; professionals believe in winning. In response to the attack of the former Bush advisor and Fox News analyst, Hot Air blogger Allahpundit reminded him that she is effective in large part because she is "authentic and unpretentious." Exactly, Rove thundered in return: those qualities have no place in Washington!

Immediately following the election, the nation's elites went on Sarah Palin Alert. They have worked hard to strip taxpayers of hard-earned dollars and make Washington, D.C. the center of wealth, with six of the ten wealthiest counties in the United States bordering the Beltway. And it was Karl Rove who slammed his foot down on the accelerator of government spending during the Bush presidency, handing Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama a government poised to careen out of control. And it has: now that great centralized motor vehicle bureau known as the federal government has twice as many $150,000-a-year bureaucrats as it did when Obama took office, all extravagantly paid to scowl, fill out forms, and say "no" to the hapless citizens underwriting their million-dollar homes.

Small wonder that Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, a veteran of almost two decades inside the Beltway, looked at the Tea Party-inspired Republican sweep and saw only danger...from Sarah Palin. He said of her Herculean effort in creating a Republican wave: she cost us the U.S. Senate! Stop her! he screamed. And the media answered with a barrage of articles offering advice on how to stop Palin. For example, a former Wall Street Journal editor who had bolted when the owner of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, bought the news outlet and put an end to its leftward drift laid out a plan to "derail Palin for 2012."

The mainstream media have been only too happy to oblige, for, as Allahpundit reminds us, Sarah Palin represents virtues alien to political and media elites. Should God offer a new beginning and utter the words, "Let there be honesty," a new Left Behind series would begin in empty Ritz Carlton meeting rooms and mainstream media offices all over the East Coast. Remaining would be the Sarah Palins of the world, the people who think Manolo Blahnik is the name of the guy who dishes up those great fish tacos from the truck just inside the entrance to the state fair. That's why the media elites immediately joined the Republican political establishment to highlight the "urgent task" resulting from the midterm victory: "Stop Sarah Palin."

And over on the Upper East Side of New York City, at a favorite hangout called The Corner Bookstore ("a small treasure in a neighborhood famous for its elegant townhouses" and celebrities), Peggy Noonan takes time out from being quintessentially Manhattan and concentrates on the common enemy created by the midterm elections. Sarah Palin has again, she writes, proved herself "a nincompoop." This "empty or crazy" woman actually thinks she's capable of operating in the rarefied atmosphere of official Washington, of holding her own with the media establishment. Look at her: Palin hangs with her family and enjoys such tacky pursuits as hunting and fishing. Meanwhile, everyone who is anyone knows that a life truly worth living begins here, where Lauren Weisberger first read from The Devil Wears Prada to the applause of Peggy's friends. Prada, not Palin. There's a world of difference in those five letters beginning with "P," Noonan reminds us, as the latter has none of the cachet of the former and lacks "actual talent."

And to the west on this storied island, the width of Central Park and then some, two icons of the ruling class have gathered in the studios of CNN to reinforce the notion that Sarah Palin is now a danger to the United States. It's called "Parker Spitzer." Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker and the disgraced former governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, have put together a show that is mainstream media right down to its "bomb" in the ratings. Parker lets us know that she is proud to have led the "assassination" of Palin in the days following the Alaska governor's vice presidential nomination. Rove is right to slam Palin, for she has "earned her ridicule" for her outrageously extreme positions. Palin believes that abortion is wrong, that Israel is courageous and admirable, that traditional family relationships are a strength and blessing, and that God is a part of all that is good and true -- extremist positions, Parker claims, repugnant to the real heart of America...Washington, D.C. This "dangerous" woman represents a "fresh terror" for "establishment Republicans," who, like Parker and Spitzer, are professionals. This election has now put the professionals on alert: Palin must be stopped.

Parker is the latest highly paid female to partner with Spitzer, who was forced to resign from office in a prostitution scandal. His last relationship was accompanied by the tears of his wife and three teenage daughters, who were "devastated" when the FBI released the details of his taxpayer-subsidized, $100,000 "hooker romps" during which he "kept on black stockings," his socks. But Parker, CNN, and the political establishment have been quick to embrace him, not letting a few "flaws" stand in the way of a "mythic figure, maybe even a God" who supports all the right causes (get Wall Street, help unions, stop global warming, etc.) and has the right pedigree (Princeton, Harvard Law, wealthy family).

And so Parker and Spitzer join with Noonan and Rove and others of the political establishment to stop the greatest threat to come out of the midterm Republican victories: Sarah Palin. By winning, she has lost, for they all understand that there's no hope of her joining them, of compromising her principles.

And so expect Rove to go after Sarah Palin again and again and again. And expect him to wear his black socks while doing so. You betcha!

Stuart Schwartz, formerly a media and retail executive, is on the faculty at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
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