In a Facebook note posted Friday entitled “Cannibals in GOP Establishment Employ Tactics of the Left,” former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said Republicans “need a fair primary that is not prematurely cut short by the GOP establishment using Alinsky tactics to kneecap Governor Romney’s chief rival.”
That chief rival is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Prior to the South Carolina primary, Palin said that if she were a South Carolinian, she would vote for Gingrich to keep the primary going – the closest she has come to an endorsement so far. Palin says that she has “great concern” about the “establishment trying to anoint a candidate without the blessing” of grassroots conservatives.
The former governor – who is known for taking on the party establishment, and winning – writes that the same establishment who fought against Reagan in the 1970’s is now going after Gingrich and the grassroots Tea Party using the tactics of the left:
We will look back on this week and realize that something changed. I have given numerous interviews wherein I espoused the benefits of thorough vetting during aggressive contested primary elections, but this week’s tactics aren’t what I meant. Those who claim allegiance to Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment should stop and think about where we are today. Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, the fathers of the modern conservative movement, would be ashamed of us in this primary. Let me make clear that I have no problem with the routine rough and tumble of a heated campaign. As I said at the first Tea Party convention two years ago, I am in favor of contested primaries and healthy, pointed debate. They help focus candidates and the electorate. I have fought in tough and heated contested primaries myself. But what we have seen in Florida this week is beyond the pale. It was unprecedented in GOP primaries. I’ve seen it before – heck, I lived it before – but not in a GOP primary race.
I am sadly too familiar with these tactics because they were used against the GOP ticket in 2008. The left seeks to single someone out and destroy his or her record and reputation and family using the media as a channel to dump handpicked and half-baked campaign opposition research on the public. The difference in 2008 was that I was largely unknown to the American public, so they had no way of differentiating between the lies and the truth. All of it came at them at once as “facts” about me. But Newt Gingrich is known to us – both the good and the bad.
She goes on to sum up Gingrich’s record as an elected official and says that the real target is the Tea Party:
But this whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on. In fact, the establishment has been just as dismissive of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Newt is an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, but in South Carolina the Tea Party chose to get behind him instead of the old guard’s choice.
“In response,” she writes, the GOP turned on the voters of South Carolina, using the same vitriol the left does – dismissing the voters of that state as dumb hicks not worthy of notice.
“The Tea Party was once again told to sit down and shut up and listen to the “wisdom” of their betters,” she wrote.
Anyone who has ever been deeply involved with a political campaign knows they often get brutal, with attacks frequently coming from people once considered “friends.”
“There’s two things you never want to see,” Alaska State Rep. Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage) once told this writer many years ago: “Sausage being made and the inner workings of a political campaign.”
Palin wasn’t finished.
“We were reminded of the litany of Tea Party endorsed candidates in 2010 who didn’t win. Well, here’s a little newsflash to the establishment: without the Tea Party there would have been no historic 2010 victory at all,” she added.
Pundits and establishment politicos are declaring the primary basically over – despite not having heard from 46 other states. Palin writes that while “it’s possible” the whole thing could end soon, it will “not have come to a satisfactory conclusion.”
With questions about Romney’s record and statements not being satisfactorily answered, and what Palin calls “the unanswered question of Governor Romney’s conservative bona fide” foremost in voter’s minds, many Tea Party conservatives will not be so quick to pull the lever for Romney.
The Tea Party grassroots will certainly feel disenfranchised and disenchanted with the perceived orchestrated outcome from self-proclaimed movers and shakers trying to sew this all up. And, trust me, during the general election, Governor Romney’s statements and record in the private sector will be relentlessly parsed over by the opposition in excruciating detail to frighten off swing voters.
The challenge in the 2012 election, she adds, is not just to replace Obama.
“The real challenge is who and what we will replace him with,” she writes, correctly noting that America will not survive if voters simply replace one face with another.
Observing that America needs rapid change, she adds: “If we don’t change the team and the game plan, we won’t save our country.”
She concludes by observing that Obama escaped the 2008 election unvetted, and that all conservatives should be concerned about the attacks coming from the establishment.
“We will not save our country by becoming like the left,” she writes, and finishes by asking who it is the establishment is really running against:
“Oddly, they’re now using every available microscope and endoscope – along with rewriting history – in attempts to character assassinate anyone challenging their chosen one in their own party’s primary. So, one must ask, who are they really running against?”
A post at the conservative blog Hot Air notes:
In fact, she’s right on the cusp of claiming that Romney’s nomination will be illegitimate if he wraps this up on Tuesday aided by the ferocious media criticism of Gingrich (“it will not have come to a satisfactory conclusion”). If that’s the prevailing view among tea partiers, that Mitt cheated by being the beneficiary of Beltway collusion, that lingering bitterness will be a problem for him in the fall. Which would be ironic, since some sizable chunk of the people who are attacking Newt are doing it only because they’re terrified that he can’t beat Obama.
More on Newt Gingrich at modenook.com can be found here.
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