Most notable in the recent sniping have been RedState's Erick Erickson, who, in a post titled, simply, "Enough", repeated the same old lines we've been hearing for at least a week:
Sarah Palin is a great person. She’s a great fighter. She draws in awesome attention and rallies a crowd. She has some terrific and loyal supporters I don’t want to lump in with the loud voices largely now disconnected from political reality. Ron Paul is the same way. But at some point, Sarah Palin has to take some responsibility for her supporters as Ron Paul must for his. Palin’s dragging out the tease on her decision has compounded the problem and we’ve reached a breaking point.
I'll give Mr. Erickson credit for at least pointing out that not all Palinistas are crazy; as I said last week, some are all too eager to lump us all together in the crazy train. With that said, though, we've heard the rest of that paragraph all too many times before.
Mr. Erickson was inspired to post this (and many, many more paragraphs which will not be quoted here, including one likening moving on from Palin to leaving a cult) by an appearance on Fox News the other night by Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter. William Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection has that video, about which I will not say much more except to point out that Ms. Coulter pretty much said the same thing as Mr. Erickson: that Sarah Palin has to decide now or else, and also, her supporters are jerks who are killing her image. Mr. Jacobson fired back at the snipers:
So yes, I do take it personally when conservatives lash out at Palin not because of her policy positions or what she’s done or not done in her career, but with personal invective.
It’s not religion, its a cold hard understanding of what is to come, and how those who call Palin a diva or a tease or any of the other names coming from media conservatives do damage to us all. Palin is simply the test case for how the Republican nominee, whoever that person may be, will be treated, and we pile on her at our own peril.
I won't go into other people's posts basically calling Governor Palin a diva, an attention whore, or whatever. Life's too short, honestly, as is my patience with this kind of talk. I also won't go into the further Palinista response of "go to hell" for those who want the governor to go away. While I feel that telling Governor Palin to go away is not helpful, I also don't feel it is helpful to lash out at those who talk that way.
I also don't want to say much more about those who cannot tolerate any criticism whatsoever of Sarah Palin. I've already said that this viewpoint is not helpful. Now, though, I wonder if there is more to this don't-you-dare-say-anything-about-our-Sarah faction than I thought. Since last week's post (which I've already linked twice, so scroll up), I've been blocked on Twitter by at least two intense Palinistas, one of whom is somewhat well-known internet radio host Tammy Bruce. How in the world is that helping?
(Incidentally, I had intended to link a Tammy Bruce clip refuting (or refudiating, as it were) Ms. Ingraham and Ms. Coulter, but for some reason, I no longer feel the desire to do so.)
Perhaps the best response to the people sniping at Sarah Palin was by John Hayward at Human Events, as linked by Josh Painter at Texans for Sarah Palin:
Maybe Palin won’t run, and never seriously planned to. Maybe she will, but she’s taking a long time to make her announcement. She always said she wanted to see if there’s another candidate she could support. Tonight [note: this was obviously written yesterday] will be the first big debate appearance of Rick Perry, the last big name to join the race. He had a pretty spectacular campaign launch. Is it so unreasonable for Palin to wait a bit longer and see how he fares, once his campaign reaches orbit? If she’s a non-factor, why are so many people – pro and con – being so unreasonable about her?
If Palin doesn't run, the vast majority of her supporters will look to the other candidates. If those candidates think they've been left with insufficient time to rally voters to their cause, because Palin waited a few extra months to announce she wouldn't enter the race, then Sarah Palin isn't the one who has a problem worthy of serious criticism.
Regardless of how one feels about Sarah Palin's timeline or her potential candidacy, as Mr. Hayward points out, she has been a major voice in the political narrative. And that's very true: honestly, Sarah Palin has done as much to advance conservative objectives (Tea Party objectives, in many cases) as anyone has with her public statements.
So why don't we all--Palin fans or not--step back, take a few deep breaths, and remember what is important? Here's a hint: it's not winning an argument on the internet.