Palin v. Reagan

Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

On Page 5 of her memoir, Sarah Palin displays a bit of that maverick flair the media was all atwitter over last year:

I had certainly gotten off on the wrong foot with the Republican Party by daring to take on the GOP Chairman Randy Ruedrich, and then incumbent Governor Frank Murkowski. Party bosses weren't going to let me forget that I had broken their Eleventh Commandment-"Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican" -even if Murkowski did have a 19 percent approval rating, his chief of staff would later plead guilty to a felony charge, and it appeared corruption was growing at a breakneck pace.

I didn't have time to waste embracing the status quo and never had it in me to play the party's game.

Yeah, what's with those losers who "play the party's game and running around saying things like this:

But remember one thing -- it came from the West, I know, but I'm still singing it -- the greatest thing that's happened for the Republican Party is, when the chips are down and the decisions are made as to who the candidates will be, then the 11th commandment prevails and everybody goes to work, and that is: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.

That is, of course, Ronald Reagan, whose name is basically synonymous with the term "Eleventh Commandment."

It's sort of funny that Palin would take on the most popular figure in the history of conservative politics - the attack on the Eleventh Commandment cuts against a book otherwise full of praise for Reagan. Two pages before, she writes that she "became aware of the impact of common sense public policy during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. And from pages 391 to 394 alone, Palin writes:

  • "Ronald Reagan faced an even worse recession. He showed us how to get out of one. If you want real job growth, cut capital gains taxes and slay the death tax once and for all."
  • "Reagan once recalled with amusement that economists in the 1970s never saw the tech boom coming when they made their gloomy forecasts."
  • "And our goal in the War on Terror must be the same as Reagan's: 'We won. They lost.' "
  • "America, as Reagan said, is 'the abiding alternative to tyranny.' "
  • "That sentiment is best expressed in the simple yet profound motto on the seal of the USS Ronald Reagan: ' Peace through Strength.' "

It certainly seems curious that the one Reagan precept Palin is unwilling to accept is the Eleventh Commandment. And it doesn't bode well for Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, et al.

Sarah Palin
Going Rogue: An American Life
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