Though I’m not ready to roll out the "welcome back" banner for the perpetually clueless Dave Weigel, Jennifer Rubin’s stint at the Washington Post has become such an embarrassment that she has forced me to defend Democrat Party stooge Ezra Klein.
Jennifer Rubin is upset that Ezra Klein claimed that "[t]he closest thing that the GOP has to a Bob Dole or Newt Gingrich – both of whom were credible national voices in 1994 – is Sarah Palin." Rubin claims that Klein cited no empirical or anecdotal data to support his assertion.
First of all, anecdotal evidence is probably the most useless type of evidence. There are people on this blog who can cite contrary anecdotal evidence and it wouldn’t be any less credible than Rubin’s anecdotal evidence. Rubin is just using the old Dave Weigel trick of relying upon anecdotal evidence to sound authoritative on the subject.
Unfortunately for Rubin, Klein did cite empirical evidence to support his assertion. He cited a recent Gallup poll. Is Rubin actually claiming that Gallup’s polling doesn’t count as empirical evidence?
The Gallup poll that Klein cited shows that nearly the same percentage of Republicans deem Governor Palin to be the woman they most admire as the percentage of Democrats who deem Hillary Clinton as the woman they most admire. Any reasonable person would concede that Gallup’s data provides strong support for Klein’s assertion that Palin’s stature in the party today is similar to, if not greater than, the stature that Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich held in the party in 1994.
I suspect Rubin would claim in response that the Republicans in the Gallup poll don’t admire Palin for the same reasons that people who identify with the Democrat Party admire Clinton. Rubin will claim that they don’t admire Palin as an "ideas" person but rather admire her because she agitates the Democrat Party and Barack Obama. The biggest problem with such an argument is that Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck would have performed better in the Gallup poll if that were the case. Beck and Limbaugh were rarely cited by Republicans as the men they most admire. What that means is that barely any of the Republicans who deemed Palin to the woman they most admire felt that Beck or Limbaugh was the man they most admire. If Republicans really only admired Palin because she was an agitator, then Beck and Limbaugh would have gotten more support in the poll.
It’s absolutely stunning that it has gotten so bad at the Washington Post that a Democrat Party stooge like Ezra Klein comes off as more reasonable than the person who is supposed to hold insight about the Republican Party.