WASHINGTON, Jaunary 20, 2016 – If Alaska’s former governor was the object of hate and scorn before today, Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin’s endorsement of GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump will consign her to the flames of perdition in the minds of the bipartisan protectors of America’s corrupt and dysfunctional status quo.
Early Tuesday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said Palin’s support for Trump “would be a shocker” to Sen. Ted Cruz and his supporters, adding it “would be a pretty big disappointment, because – well, it just would be.”
“I’m proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for president of the United States of America,” Palin later said that day in a statement released by the Trump campaign.
“She is a friend,” said Trump, “and a high quality person whom I have great respect for. I am proud to have her support.”
Tuesday evening, Palin appeared with Trump at a campaign rally in Ames, Iowa.
“Are you ready for a leader to make America great again?” Palin asked the crowd at Iowa State University. “Are you ready to stump for Trump? I’m here to support the next president of the United States, Donald Trump.”
She made one remark worth noting, “He’s been going rogue left and right. That’s why he’s doing so well. He’s been able to tear the veil off of this idea of the system.”
Meanwhile, Byron York of the Washington Examiner quotes a “well-connected Iowa Republican” as saying Palin’s “shelf-life, even with the most conservative voters in our party, seems to be near the end.”
It stretches credulity to believe Sarah Palin is burning political bridges. The conservative movement, as it was known from the time of Sen. Robert Taft to President Ronald Reagan, is dead.
It’s a victim of its own success.
Today, you cannot find a Republican politician that doesn’t identify themselves as a conservative. That’s because Ronald Reagan’s example consigned the grand old liberal “Nelson Rockefeller wing” of the Grand Old Party to the ash heap of history – along with the grand old Soviet Union.
At least that is what we are supposed to believe.
Liberal, big-government Republicans simply relabeled themselves as “getting-things-done” “pragmatists,” passing trillion dollar omnibus bills and driving up the nation’s debt.
Like former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, who buried deep inside a 359-page appropriation bill $450 million for defense contractors in his Ohio district.
Or the late GOP Sen. Ted Stevens, who literally cried in the well of the United States Senate when his colleagues, thanks to excess media attention, killed a $398 million appropriation for his Alaskan “bridge to nowhere.”
So it’s a little sad to read writers at William F. Buckley’s National Review desperately attempt to paint all of the GOP’s presidential contenders – save for Trump, of course – as the inheritors of Reagan’s conservatism.
“Christie is rising,” insists National Review’s Jim Geraghty, “In part, Christie’s current ‘moment’ reflects a masterful ability to sound pugnaciously conservative despite a mixed political record.”
That “mixed political record” runs the gamut, from favoring stricter gun control, providing personal financial contributions to Planned Parenthood and a pro amnesty stance on the issue of illegal immigration.
A blue state, big-government Republican is what the granddaddy of conservative journals considers a pugnacious conservative.
If this ideological and intellectual confusion passes for “conservatism” in today’s America, it’s understandable why Palin has thrown in the towel, siding with the GOP’s first post-partisan presidential candidate.
Some Iowa conservatives were scandalized when during a speech Palin said, “Screw the left in Hollywood.”
Byron York said some conservatives found Palin’s speech “crude.”
“I know she is popular,” social conservative Sam Clovis told York, “but it is hard to take her seriously given that performance.”
It’s clear that Palin doesn’t much care what her critics – on the left or right – think about her or her endorsement of Trump.
And many GOP voters are ready to join Palin in support of Trump, telling a schizophrenic GOP and its enablers, “Screw you.”