I am a bit skeptical; actually, I’m a lot skeptical whenever I hear Sarah Palin square off against a political person ostensibly from the same political leanings as she professes is her personal leaning. I cannot help but suspect that her motives are purely self-centered versus being voiced “for the good of the party”.
I heard a clip as she was interviewed on CNN’s “State of the Union” program where she said she would do all she could do to see that Paul Ryan (R-WI) was defeated in his bid for re-election to Congress. Paul Nehlen is running against Paul Ryan for that congressional seat in Wisconsin. I have never heard of Paul Nehlin although he might be a Republican insider in south central Wisconsin.
This all seems to center upon Palin’s professed thoughts that Rep. Ryan is not sufficiently conservative, and apparently was triggered when Rep. Ryan, in his role as Speaker of the House and a leader of his party said that he needed to sit down with likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump before he, Ryan, can commit to being solidly in Trump’s camp.
There are a couple of sets of dynamics at work I suspect. I believe the first and single strongest dynamic is simply this: Sarah Palin wants some face time, and maybe even thinks she can land a spot in Trump’s governing group if she cozies up to him in this manner. It is difficult to believe that Sarah Palin knows much if anything about Paul Nehlin since I don’t know anyone in Wisconsin that knows much if anything about him.
I dislike being suspect of Palin’s motives, but she has done nothing to make me believe she is pure as the driven snow (pun intended given her Alaskan roots). I think she saw this as an opportunity to try to use Rep. Ryan’s statement concerning his need to sit with Donald Trump before he can get firmly behind Trump. That is a most prudent position for the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Blind obedience to a largely unknown politician without some earnest one-on-one discussions would be ill-advised no matter who that person might be.
In fact, we have another case of the political right not being far enough right to satisfy the most rabid members of the conservative movement. I think Rep. Ryan knew he’d have to confront this kind of ploy when he was sworn in as Speaker. Insufficient observance of the demands of the far right segment of the Republican Party has been a threat to the Party since those are so extreme, even to conservatives, as to be seen impossible to achieve in such short order if at all.
That this is the card now seemingly being played by Sarah Palin, who has managed to be a non-player for some time, makes me very suspicious of her real motives. Ms. Palin is an opportunist who really could care less about any damage she might cause to the party of which she professes to be a part since that would be seen simply as collateral damage that had to be inflicted to get further right.
There are certain realities, and one of those is that the ultra-far right is at least as dangerous, if not more so, to the health of the conservative movement as is the liberal left of the Clinton world. And Palin plays right into the hands of the very group she tells everyone she cannot tolerate.
This has virtually nothing to do with Rep. Paul Ryan and everything to do with Sarah Palin’s self-promotion. She seems entranced with the idea that if she throws enough against the wall, maybe some will stick. That, unfortunately, does not resolve the problems she creates for conservatives working to further the conservative position in Washington, D.C.