Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

Nick Gillespie’s Dishonest Daily Beast Article Discredits Him – Update

Tuesday, Nick Gillespie took to the pages of The Daily Beast, to show the world that he doesn’t know much about Governor Palin. First of all, if what Gillespie wrote were true, I wouldn’t be here, and that’s a fact. Not to turn this post into a piece about myself but to prove a point, please note that I am a registered independent with a large libertarian streak. So much so that I voted for Gary Johnson in the last presidential election… Oh, yes I did.

That stated, lets dig into Gillespie’s article so I can prove (with facts) where he has it wrong. He begins:

Are you ready for the great Sarah Palin Revival of 2013? The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate is back from her exile at Fox News and, like the former child star played by Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, the self-described Mama Grizzly is ready for a big comeback. But to be blunt, she seems more like a relic of a bygone, little-missed era in showbiz-cum-politics. Indeed, she no more represents a viable future for the GOP than her 76-year-old “angry bird” running mate, John McCain.

Baby Jane?…  If I may be blunt as well, the reference is asinine and purposefully demeaning. Nonetheless, the only thing the first paragraph proves is that Gillespie doesn’t like Governor Palin, and that he can be a jerk to people he doesn’t like. He also joins a long list of leftwingers and BIG government republican’s with his disdain.

He goes on:

To give her full credit, Palin is talking what sounds like a whole new game. Specifically, Palin is aiming to channel the ascendant libertarian elements of the Grand Old Party. Back in April, for Time’s list of the “most influential people in the world,” she wrote the entry for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who rightly topped the list of political leaders. “His brand of libertarian-leaning conservatism attracts young voters, and recently he inspired the nation with his Capraesque filibuster demanding basic answers about our use of drones,” she enthused, before pulling the conversation back to her favorite subject, herself. “I sent him some caribou jerky from Alaska to help keep up his strength on the Senate floor.”

Yep, he’s a hater. Only a hater could interpret a lighthearted comment about caribou jerky as a self-serving act. But the thing that sticks out in that paragraph is that Gillespie seems to believe that this whole libertarian-leaning thing is somehow new to Governor Palin. Anyone who knows who she is, where she’s from, her record, and what she stands for knows that isn’t true.

Governor Palin isn’t a large "L" Libertarian, sure. She’s a Conservative and a reformer registered with the Republican Party, who just so happens to hold views that don’t conflict very often with libertarians. She believes in Constitutional government and clearly displayed that many times during her time in office. For instance, back in the year 2008, she vetoed a bill that would have prohibited the commissioner of the department of administration from adopting same-sex regulations, stating at the time:

“HB4001, is unconstitutional given the recent Court order of December 19th, mandating same-sex benefits. With that in mind, signing this bill would be in direct violation of my oath of office.”

She supported the Alaska State Constitution and the United States Constitution throughout her tenure. All one has to do is look at her record, under the "Support for Constitutional Rights" section to see.

Don’t believe me, just ask David Harsanyi. In an article he wrote back in 2008, titled "The Libertarian Case for Palin," he wrote (emphasis):

Though there is plenty to ponder, one thing is certain: libertarian-inclined voters should be encouraged. No, I’m not suggesting that your little Molly will be bringing home "The Road to Serfdom" from her (distinctly non-public) elementary school. But in contrast to any national candidate in recent memory, Palin is the one that exudes the economic and cultural sensibilities of a genuine Western-style libertarian

Palin, for example, vetoed 300 pork projects in Alaska in her first year in office. She made a habit of knocking out big-government Republicans in her brief political career. For this, the 44-year-old mother of five enjoys a sterling approval rating in a state with arguably the nation’s most libertarian-minded populace.

When it comes to healthcare, Palin says she wants to "allow free-market competition and reduce onerous government regulation." These days, any mention of the "free market" that’s not framed as a crass pejorative is a sign of progress.

Gillespie’s article continued to talk about some of the points she made during her speech. He noted that she was with religious Republicans, then he went on to say:

Yet there’s every reason to believe that Palin’s newfound libertarianism is deeply misinformed, cynically superficial, or some mix of both. At the Road to Majority Conference, she invoked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as her model legislator. Congress, she averred, should put itself on “cruise control—Ted Cruz control—just for a week.” She’s also voiced similar sentiments since going back to Fox News.

While Cruz may be a reliable fiscal conservative, he’s nobody’s idea of a libertarian, with his McCarthyite denunciations of Harvard professors he claims are dedicated to the overthrow of the government and anxieties about creeping “Sharia law.” Despite being an immigrant and Hispanic himself, he has long staked out a hardline position against opening the southern border of the U.S. to more immigrants. That puts him at odds with not only GOP moderates such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and former governor Jeb Bush (R-FL), but also figures like Rand Paul, who has told currently illegal immigrants who have come to work, “We will find a place for you.” Palin herself has sneered at immigration reform, dismissing pending Senate legislation as “a pandering, rewarding-the-rule-breakers, still-no-border-security, special-interest-written amnesty bill.”

So, Gillespie thinks Governor Palin’s "newfound libertarianism" which isn’t (as I just proved), is "misinformed" and "cynically superficial" because she supports Ted Cruz? Unreal. Ted Cruz is a hero to many libertarian-minded people around the country. He stood with Rand Paul during the anti-drone filibuster, and you usually see his name next to Rand Paul and Mike Lee in support of the Constitution in the Senate. And speaking of Rand Paul and illegal immigrants, Tuesday the senator said the immigration bill is ‘fatally flawed‘:

So much for Rand finding a place for those illegals.

Gillespie continues:

Palin also voiced an embrace not just of religion in the public square, but of a very specific Christianity. You know, she told her audience, “this land was dedicated to our Lord God, and he has blessed it, and we do well to rededicate it at this time to our one, true, heavenly Father.” Faced with so many problems, she continued, “we need that divine inspiration. We need to ask that hand of protection and blessings of our Father again to fall upon our nation. Not that we are a deserving people, but that’s what God is all about: grace and mercy and forgiveness. And if we do rededicate our land to our Lord, things will turn around.”

The proper term for this sort of rhetoric is populist, not libertarian. It is long on laying blame on out-groups and evoking feelings of persecution and appeals to divine or great-man intervention.

What is that supposed to mean? "It is long on laying blame on out-groups?" Who is blaming out-groups? This is a conversation between people of faith. Nobody is blaming "out-groups" and trying to make other people feel persecuted. If you don’t understand Christianity, don’t talk about it because you look foolish doing so.

He goes on:

Despite talking about the need for a positive program of action—Republicans cannot simply point out Democrats’ failure, she said—she offered little past clichéd invocations of “restoring” America. Her short record as governor of Alaska offers scant insight into what she really believes in, but it is worth noting that state spending increased 16 percent between 2007 and 2009, belying her claims now about being a budget hawk.


I checked Gillespie’s source for those numbers and I got a grayed-out page at Reason asking me to create an account. No thank you, but I will supply some real numbers that anybody can read without disclosing their personal information.

Between 2007 and 2010, Governor Palin cut state spending in Alaska by 9.5%. From the late Kathy Carpenter in 2009:

Governor Murkowski’s last budget FY2007: $11,697,400,000

Governor Palin’s latest budget FY2010: $10,570,000,000

Total reduction in spending between 2007 and 2010: a whopping 9.5% or $1,127,400,000

A general rule of thumb for both liberal and conservative administrations is to claim that they may reasonably increase spending every year at a rate of 2% to 3% because of inflation and that should not count against them as increased spending. Even if we use the low end of inflation at 2%, Governor Palin’s budget could have been (without calling it a spending increase): $12,413,374,459.20

Of course, the budget is not $12.4 billion; it is actually $10.57 billion. In other words, she cut spending.

Governor Palin also reduced federal earmark requests by more than 80%:

In FY2007, Gov. Frank Murkowski requested $350 million in federal appropriations, which Gov. Palin reduced to $256 million in FY2008, $198 million in FY2009, and $69 million in FY2010.

So yeah, she was a "budget hawk" while serving the residents of Alaska, and would be again if she held public office in the future.

Gillespie’s article continues:

Fortunately for libertarian-minded voters, Palin and Cruz are hardly the only fishes in the sea. As the recent report on young voters from the College Republican National Committee pointed out, the GOP is flush with next-generation leaders, among them Chris Christie, Rubio, and Bobby Jindal. None is more popular than the leader of what John McCain pathetically called “the wacko bird” caucus, Rand Paul, who has not only emerged as the public face of a more libertarian Republican Party, but is working to create a cadre of like-minded legislators, not just a one-man band.

I get that he likes Rand Paul, I do too on most days, but that has to be the first time I have ever witnessed a Libertarian praising Chris Christie or Marco Rubio. Neither are trusted by libertarians-minded people, and for many good reasons.

Gillespie then goes on to state:

But to reach younger voters—and libertarian-minded independents—the GOP will need spokespeople categorically different from Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz. As Vanderbilt political scientist John Geer put it to CNN, “Youth wants to see more tolerance and more inclusion. While the youth has been favoring the Democrats in the past few years, neither (party) should see the partisan leanings of this group as set." The college Republicans found that young voters also insist on intelligence and credibility in their politicians and policy proposals.

How demeaning. He just did the same thing I knocked Max Boot for yesterday… Recycling and regurgitating phony leftist memes. Ah, but first he notes that the youth want "to see more tolerance and more inclusion." Yet, he somehow finds a Hispanic man and a woman at odds with that. Instead, he offers up a bunch of white libertarian guys (all of which I like, by the way) as his solution to feed the youth’s need for "inclusion."

I don’t really understand why Gillespie wrote this horrible, inaccurate article. I suppose I could try to guess the reasons, but I don’t really care at this point. I’m just ticked that I had to spend time correcting his mountain of misinformation, and I’m even more ticked that he discredited himself in the process. I used to enjoy reading his articles, but now I don’t trust a word he writes.

Update: Nick Gillespie sent Brian and I this link to try and back up his claim that under Governor Palin, the State of Alaska increased spending by 16 percent between 2007 and 2009. Our numbers used the actual Office of Management and Budget records for each fiscal year, from the State of Alaska. The link Gillespie provided goes to some website called "" There are tables there to fill out and then it gives the viewer a set of data in return. The data Gillespie used is labeled "State & Local" so it may be that the numbers he used reflect state spending plus local. As in city, town, and borough. If that’s the case, he either doesn’t realize that that local spending had nothing to do with Governor Palin, or he doesn’t care because it fits the narrative he was selling. It could also be that the website he’s using just isn’t accurate because their numbers do not reflect the numbers from the Office of Management and Budget. Whatever the case, the numbers he’s using to argue that Governor Palin really isn’t a fiscal Conservative are not correct. Hence the title of the piece.

Update II: Gillespie responded to this post here. My response to that here.


Tags: , , ,

Comment Policy: The Editors reserve the right to delete any comments which in their sole discretion are deemed false or misleading, profane, pornographic, defamatory, harassment, name calling, libelous, threatening, or otherwise inappropriate. Additionally, the Editors reserve the right to ban any registered poster who, in their sole discretion, violates the terms of use. Do not post any information about yourself reasonably construed as private or confidential. Conservatives4Palin and its contributors are not liable if users allow others to contact them offsite.

  • daeghrefn

    "I don’t really understand why Gillespie wrote this horrible, inaccurate article."

    I don’t understand why he doesn’t put up that stupid leather jacket. Does he have a Fonzie complex?

    • cbenoistd

      His inner Ralph Malph came out. His outer one, too.

    • socon

      I hate that jacket. I wonder if he’s had it cleaned in the last 5 years. Very skeezy.

  • INCubbie

    Good job countering Gillespie, Stacy, and kudos to you on voting for Gary Johnson last November (from a fellow Gary Johnson voter).

  • Terry Malpass

    Gillespie is a fraud. His own article proves it.

    Palin exposes these frauds because her very presence is a threat to their own agendas. They reveal themselves because of their fear and panic.

    Very good shredding of a pitiful article.

    • Reynolds88

      Poor Nick, Sarah Palin will just not sit down! Nick Gillespie is a fraud and he seems to be livid when Sarah Palin takes the stage. You said it right, they reveal and beclown themselves because of their own fear and panic.

  • John_Frank

    Thank you Stacy for this strong rebuttal.

    For those who are interested, I posted the following comment under the article on Reason Magazine’s FB page:

    "Nick Gillespie’s Dishonest Daily Beast Article Discredits Him

    Sir, your piece about Sarah Palin is an absolute disgrace.

    Just in case you missed it, Sarah Palin endorsed Rand Paul in his contested
    primary. Not only did Dr. Paul thank the Governor for the endorsement, but proudly displayed it on his website.

    She also wrote a glowing introduction for him, after he received a recent award from Time Magazine.

    During the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary, Sarah Palin spoke out in support of Dr. Ron Paul on a number of occasions. Her remarks were featured on Dr. Ron Paul’s campaign website. When asked about her, Dr. Ron Paul called her "a wise woman". She also strongly urged Republicans to embrace his supporters, which the Republican Party failed to do with their shameful manoeuvrings, to the detriment of their Presidential nominee.

    The reality is that Sarah Palin:

    – was a budget hawk as Mayor and Governor;

    – has always had a strong libertarian streak; and,

    – throughout her public career has fought corruption and crony capitalism.

    But, hey, those of who actually know Sarah Palin have sadly come to expect
    that those she supported in the past will subsequently lie about her and back stab her.

    Welcome to the world of journalist hackery Mr. Gillespie; and in dishonestly attacking Sarah Palin, you have done a great disservice to the Liberty Movement.

    Instead, you have shown your true colors as an honorary member of the PDS gang; and henceforth will be treated accordingly."

    I also posted similar comments on the FB wall for Reason Magazine.

    P.S. What Gillespie’s article tells us is that Senator Paul’s team considers Governor Palin a potential threat; and so the back stabbing begins.

  • angeleno

    How does liar Nick Gillespie feel about Islam in the American public square, where Barack Hussein Obama has installed it as the official religion of America?
    Palin mentioning religion casually as an American with the human right of freedom of speech is a crime to Gillespie, but the Democrat Party forcing Islam on us–a phony "religion" of hate, war, genocide, slavery and abuse–tha’s a blessing to an imbecile like Gillespie.

  • heshtesh

    but now I don’t trust a word he writes.In a "nutshell" right there.

  • ZH100

    Excellent rebuttal . Thanks you, Stacy.

  • DeadBuffalo Podcast

    Typical lib-a-terrian. Too much hemp smoke on the brain for little Nicky.

  • Chris

    Great job…thanks for correcting the morons…and I don’t use that world lightly…but with all the correct info just a couple clicks away…moron fits…actually dishonest moron fits even better…

  • CitizenEgg

    I have had many ‘discussions’ with people who are anti-Palin. After disassembling their arguments down to the factual level (and removing most of them from the board), they invariably fall back on the fact that they just don’t like the way she sounds and label her a quitter. Walking them through her decision to quit has no influence, because that is a fact that they can (bitterly?) cling to. They don’t know her true political history and aren’t interested, which is consistent at least, since most never dug into Obama’s politics too closely before awarding him the Presidential Idol award. She had the most executive experience of anyone on the 2008 ticket, but was derided as not ready for the VP role. Again, look who got elected and trace his failures to achieve back to his lack of experience and aptitude for the actual job, as opposed to the ‘act’ of campaigning.

    Okay, I’m done. Great job fisking Gillespie’s tripe Stacy.

  • MJUdall

    I do not understand how someone who calls himself a libertarian would like Christie or Rubio too. Like his article, he makes no sense. I’m also left to wonder after reading his article if Gillesipe is suggesting that Justin Amash and Tom Massie as candidates for president? If so, then he’s one toke over the line if you ask me. Those men are unknown to about 98% of Americans. They are not national figures.

    • socon

      I was surprised that Greg Gutfeld (Gutless) argued stridently for the spying of the NSA program. He’s not Libertarian–he’s Libertine.

  • Quiet_Righty

    Nick Gillespie is the smartest guy in the room, but only when the room is the set of Red Eye at Fox News.

    • socon

      True. So much stupid in one room. Gutfeld should be Gutless.

  • DocBarry1

    Another fraud, either a conservative or libertarian, uncovered by their own words – can’t stand him

  • blueniner

    I see this Gillispie in his "Man in Black" on Red Eye quite a bit. He is a snobby, elite, smarter than everybody else kind of guy. He was very lazy in writing this innacurate column. The word "Libertarian" needs to be examined because there are many translations of that word. There are Leftist Libertarians (Bill Maher) there are Conservative Libertarians, and then there are some that are all over the map, and many of them dont even agree with each other. Libertarian is a word up for interpretation and it is all over the map with its definition. Gillespie is just another misogynist snob that doesnt like Sarah Palin and never has. Gillispie is a lazy guy who wrote a lazy column, because he heard a dog whistle when he heard Sarah Palin use the word Libertarian, and his ear tilted like dog ears tilt when they hear a certain pitched sound, and found an opening to take a shot at Sarah Palin.

    • carmtom13

      he is part of the Hollywood crowd. I don’t remember who his father is but I’m pretty sure his father is a lib. This guy has absolutely no class! The left keep proving the comment Rush has made on his program a while ago and i quote the left will let you know who they fear. I include the DC GOP establishment, the Bush’s and their mouth piece Rove.Sarah Palin drives them all bat crap crazy and I love it.

  • cudaforever

    I’ve never liked this guy.. A$$Clown for sure !!! Elvis-wannabe..

  • Vicki

    I think you could say some things about Governor Palin, but saying her favorite subject to talk about is herself is just patently untrue. She talks about Alaska a good bit, and her family, but she really doesn’t talk about herself much at all.

  • misterlogic0013

    Sarah Palin = separates the men from the boys 24/ 7 .. oh well / life goes on / Sarah goes on ..

  • nkthgreek

    ‘Occasionally he stumbled over the truth, but he always picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened."

    —Winston Churchill

  • viewfromalaska

    Stacey, great job with the financial data and such. Libs probably go nuts trying to divert attention away from "reality". One of my favorite figures is that because of Palin’s frugality, at the end of 2.5 years she had a budget surplus of $5 billion and put it in rainy-day account for the state. Because of her fiscal approach it is now the highest in the country at $18 billion. The next highest is Texas with $8 billion (about 15% of their annual budget). Alaska’s is about 240% of it’s annual budget. You can’t explain that to a lib. They don’t have the intellect to grasp real-life. They also can’t contrive any arguments to dispute this data. It just leaves them red-faced and sputtering.

  • CBDenver

    The quoted section about Palin’s Time entry for Rand Paul tells the whole story. Gillespie is a Ron/Rand Paul supporter and see Sarah Palin as a threat to his guy.

    The complaint about Sarah’s brand of Christianity is also quite laughable. Asking for the Father’s blessing and hand of protection is a far cry from the activist leftist so-called Christians who believe that God demands we build a massive social-welfare state. But alas, haters like Gillespie certainly don’t see those distinctions.

    The online magazine for libertarians is Occasionally I read an article on their site. What always amuses me is the most unreasonable commentators are hard-core libertarians found at I guess that is why libertarians will always be a small political force — too many adherents are just silly, angry, rebellious albeit intelligent children who like to act out rather than participate effectively in the political and civic system.

Open Thread

Governor Palin’s Tweets