Alfalfa, Stimulus, Bagels, and Ordinary Barbarians


Many of you nervous morons (I love AoSHQ) are out there wringing your hands whimpering, "Oh no! Palin supports the porkulus!"

Relax, people. When has the Associated Press or the other "AP" ever reported on Palin with complete accuracy? The AP and "AP" both hate Palin.

You saw her hanging out with all the swells at the Alfalfa dinner and you thought she went "Barbaric!" on us. She didn’t.

First off, I need a new name for all of us. I can’t call us morons — I have too much respect for the King Moron to steal his thunder. All of you know how much I admire Robert Stacy McCain’s discourse on "Ordinary Americans." As an homage to RSM, I shall dub us "ordinary barbarians" — unlike those "Barbaric!" barbarians in Washington, DC.

We’re the average slobs and working stiffs on Wall Street and Main Street and Sunset and Wilshire — and even on Madison Avenue. We’re "harmless loveable little fuzzballs."

We are the Joe-Six Packs and John Does of every race and creed. And as the old Capra film declared, "We’re the hope of the world":

We are the meek who are supposed to inherit the earth. You’ll find us everywhere. We raise the crops; we dig the mines, work the factories, keep the books, fly the planes and drive the buses. And when a cop yells: "Stand back there, you!" He means us, the John Does!

Frank Capra described us in his film "Meet John Doe" in 1941, and Sarah Palin spoke for us in her stump speeches in 2008:

All you’ve ever asked for is a good job in your own hometown, and for your government to be on your side and not in your way.

The term barbarian was used by the ancient Greeks to mean anyone who was non-Greek and spoke a strange language. Sure, they meant it as a pejorative, but there is nothing forbidding the melioration of this term for our purposes. It’s not like we’re "Barbaric!".

So let me put my fellow ordinary barbarians’ minds to rest about this story from the Associated Press that implies that Palin was in DC this weekend begging cap in hand for porkulus.

What did she actually go to DC to do? Well, here’s what she said she was going to do:

"I’m going to meet with those who are making decisions for Alaska in the stimulus package, including senators Feinstein and (I’ll) be meeting with Mitch McConnell and others, having dinner with them and meeting with John Katz in our D.C. office on what it is that we can support in the stimulus package.

Advocating tough too for an exemption that Alaska needs in terms of timelines for some of these shovel ready projects. Congress is saying the projects involved in the infrastructure aspect of the stimulus package have to be shovel ready — have to get them out the door — whether it be 90 days or 120 days. Well, we’re Alaska and we need an exemption there so that we’re not left out in the cold in terms of some of the projects that will take a northern climate a longer period of time…"

Now I can hear you all grumbling about her taking stimulus money. Let’s consider this for a moment…

Arguably the most fiscally conservative member of Congress is Rep. Ron Paul — famously called "Dr. No" for voting against anything he deems outside the scope of the Constitution. However, as Tim Russert famously pointed out, Dr. No voted against pork barrel spending, and yet didn’t have a problem taking a share of the earmark money for his district — to the tune of $400 million.

Russert grilled him on this, but I believe Dr. No made a reasonable argument:

PAUL: I’ve never voted for an earmark in my life.

RUSSERT: No, but you put them in the bill…

PAUL: I put them in the bill because I represent people who are asking for some of their money back.

Sarah Palin is no dummy. The porkulus is poised to pass. We don’t have enough votes to block it. Alaskans pay taxes the same as the rest of us. If they are distributing infrastructure dollars, she wants her state’s fair share. It’s as simple as that. The AP quotes Jindal as saying that he would have voted against the bill if he were still in Congress, but he’ll take the money for his state. I can see his point, and I don’t hold it against him. In fact, I think Palin agrees with him.

In her interview with Glenn Beck, Palin indicated her attitude toward the Federal government’s attempt to spend us out of recession.

In December, Newsday.com reported on the debate that ensued among the nation’s governors after Obama met with them to discuss his stimulus:

[New York Governor David Paterson] said Republican Govs. Rick Perry of Texas, Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Sarah Palin of Alaska, led a spirited debate about the pitfalls of adding to the $10.7-trillion federal debt. They warned that the U.S. economy could collapse.

So what precisely is Palin’s position on the stimulus package?

The Guv’s latest press release makes it clear that she has serious conserns about the stimulus package and the effect it will have on our national debt and future economic stability. But we already knew she thought that.

Palin sent Alaska’s Congressional delegation a letter outlining her position. I’ll quote a chunk of it, including my favorite part in bold, because I want to make sure you ordinary barbarians get this once and for all:

Governor Sarah Palin today emphasized that the stimulus package pending in Congress likely will be based largely on existing federal formulas for appropriations and will not be the vehicle for earmarked spending on specific projects for states.

"As I wrote to our congressional delegation on January 7, our administration recognizes that President-elect Obama and the congressional leadership of both parties favor the use of formulas to ensure fairness among the states and to avoid the earmark abuses of the past," Gov. Palin said. "We also have to be mindful about the effect of the stimulus package on the national debt and the future economic health of the country. We won’t achieve long-term stability if we continue borrowing massive sums from foreign countries and remain dependent on foreign sources of oil and gas."

The governor has recommended five specific projects for the stimulus package, all of them in accordance with previous guidelines requiring that any individual spending requests must be in the national interest. Those projects are infrastructure upgrades to accommodate the natural gas pipeline, which will bring clean fuel to Lower 48 markets, and the Kodiak Launch Facility, which is important for the nation’s defense. While the latest comments in D.C. suggest that no earmarks will be accepted, the governor is hopeful that the extraordinary nature of these national-interest projects will allow their inclusion.

And there you have it, folks.

Palin has asked for $150 million for Alaska (out of the $800 billion stimulus package) for five projects only — four related to the natural gas pipeline and one related to national defense.

These are projects in the national interest. And yet it should be noted that every state has a right to their fair share of federal infrastructure money regardless of whether their projects benefit the people of Boise and Newport and Cleveland.

To deny Alaska its fair share of federal infrastructure dollars based on an abstract adherence to conservative principles is like telling people not to accept their Social Security checks because on principle conservatives should be against Social Security. How stupid is that? You paid into it. You didn’t want to. You were forced to. But you might as well get your money back when they mail out the checks. It’s the same principle with this stimulus.

The AP reported last week that Palin’s message to Alaska’s state legislative leaders was that "Alaska should seek its share of transportation dollars from the Federal Economic Stimulus Package but should be wary of accepting money to pay for new state services."

They should be wary not only because they "have to be mindful about the effect of the stimulus package on the national debt and the future economic health of the country," but because the state will have to pick up the tab for these new spending projects when the federal dollars are gone.

For those of you who think that Sanford will hold out as the only "principled" Republican to turn down stimulus money, I wouldn’t bet on it. He’ll take the money too. He should. The people of South Carolina shouldn’t be shafted.

It might not sound lofty, but it’s pragmatic to see the situation for what it is. Palin is using the money on infrastructure projects that will benefit the entire nation. This is a good position, and we should commend her for this.

None of this stopped the hebetudinous ADN from writing in their "Who’s up/Who’s Down" column:

DOWN — Gov. Sarah: How ya gonna keep her down in Juneau after she’s seen D.C.? SarahPAC, Alfalfa Club dinner and rumors she’ll appear with Springsteen at the Super Bowl. The lady was Born to Run.

DOWN — Gov. Sarah: There’s a little grumblin’ that the Belle ain’t really mindin’ the store. And just what is it about the Alfalfa Club dinner that’s good for Alaska?

Yeah, going to Washington to argue for concessions for Alaska in the stimulus package’s "shovel ready" provisions means that Palin isn’t "mindin’ the store." Funny how no one asked how the Alfalfa Club dinner is "good for Alaska" when Ted Stevens was the honoree.

Meanwhile her own state legislators are complaining that she’s not asking for enough, including the new junior senator Begich.

And one of the Dem dingbats in Alaska actually wanted to do some worthless "Sense of the House" vote to see how many dead-from-the-neck-up dingies agreed with him that Gov. Palin should go for more porkulus. The dingy’s reasoning:

"About $150 billion went to one corporation to bail one corporation out — AIG, an insurance corporation. It may take just take a very small amount in comparison stimulus to jump start our pipeline," Crawford said.

These are the barmy fruitloops she has to deal with on a regular basis. These same worthless mushheads wonder aloud why she isn’t as "sparky" as she once was:

"There were days when she walked around the building with (her daughter) Piper handing out bagels. I think those days are gone," he added with a touch of wistfulness.

Buy your own damn bagels, you whiny dingbat! She’s the governor of your state, she’s not your mother. Pack your own f***ing lunch!

Oh, but they don’t think she loves them anymore — she’s just using them for sexing up her political resume.

Gov. Palin has been playing mommy to these annoying children from the moment she took office. In one of her first meetings with legislators, she told them: "All of you here need some Adult Supervision!"

She told Charlie Rose’s green room crew that her job as governor is a lot like baby-sitting:

As she said in that interview, you can’t please everyone.

Our good friend Mel pointed out to me the other day:

You know, no matter what she does she somehow gets attacked for it. Either from the left, by the media, by the elites on the right, by the insane Trig Truthers, by Repubs in her state for not being conservative enough, by us for her bad PR, by the Dems in her state for acting partisan on the campaign trail and not bringing them bagels anymore…

Between the ankle-biting Falafel Lady charging her staff with ethics violations, Keith Olbermann’s twin trying to get her job, the View hags harping on her, David Letterman hitting on her, her son in a war zone, a special needs baby, her local church burned by an arsonist, Dan Fagan getting Levi Johnston fired, Levi Johnston’s mother under arrest, a volcano about to erupt in Anchorage, Dem dingbats still moaning about Troopergate, the economy in recession, and the hopes and dreams of the conservative movement and the future of our free market system resting on her shoulders… I can’t imagine why she would be tense these days?

Despite all of this, the Guv has accomplished a great deal this week. She has formed her own PAC. She hired one of the leading GOP fundraisers in the country to run it.

She made friends with Fred Malek, one of the most important GOP financial movers and shakers. It was Malek who invited her to the Alfalfa dinner.


And make no mistake — attending that dinner was a big darn deal:

Palin’s invitation to the Alfalfa Club was "a coup," said Letitia Baldrige, who served as the White House social secretary and chief of staff to Jacqueline Kennedy.

"It’s something that everybody who’s anybody in politics wants to be invited to," Baldrige said.

If a roasting by the most powerful people in America is a sign you’ve made it, then Palin had clearly arrived. Or, at the very least, was acknowledged Saturday night as one of the most interesting women in American politics.

In addition to the Alfalfa dinner and her meetings with Congressional leaders, Palin also attended a luncheon at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a foreign policy think tank. These are all important steps in earning the respesct of the people that she will one day lead.

CNN noted:

"She came into the campaign as the maverick, as the person outside the establishment," Zelizer said. "What she really needs to do now is build her credentials with the establishment. Right now, the goal is not to build her support with the grassroots, it’s to build her support inside the beltway."

Lest my fellow ordinary barbarians balk at this talk of schmoozing with the beltway players, keep in mind the advice that Laura Ingraham gave Palin. Laura likes Palin a lot. In fact, Laura’s "Power to the People" is in many ways a manifesto for the Palin Revolution. Laura said that Palin needs to earn the respect of the Brookses and the Noonans and the Buckleys of the GOP establishment. They don’t need to like her, but they do need to respect her. Right now they don’t. But they will.

All of this is to say: buck up, my fellow ordinary barbarians. Don’t worry. Stop whining. And buy your own bagels.

UPDATE by RAM:

A worthy ordinary barbarian who goes by the nom de cyber CCRWM posted this at Hot Air:

[we] realized that fighting back is what we have to do… we just got totally rolled. We expected the MSM to be fair and we kept waiting and in the meantime a decent conservative woman got viciously pounded and people still believe all the lies about her… Don’t need to be taught that lesson twice!

Fight back, my fellow ordinary barbarians! Fight back!

Ronald Reagan said: "For every problem, there are ten people waiting to volunteer if someone will give them a lead and show them where they can be useful."

We know who the leader is. We know where the future lies. So does Rush Limbaugh and Michael Steele.

RSM knows where the future lies:

Just as the conservative intellectuals once projected their hopes onto Dubya, now they project their disappointments onto Sarah. But the fault is theirs, not hers. And Sarah has something the intellectuals don’t have — an army. Brother, I’ve seen that army.

So you can take your David Frums and your David Brookses, and let Sarah take that army and, by God, we’ll see whose Republican Party this is.

On another note… I like Mel’s idea of sending bagels to the dingies in the Alaska legislature. Hey, anything to keep the children happy while Gov. Palin runs their state…

And while we’re at it, let’s make some C4P ordinary barbarian t-shirts with the motto "Buy your own damn bagels!"

Do we have any graphics artists among our readership? Drop us a line.



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