The XX Factor

Palin Endorses Sharron Angle

It’s somewhat surprising that Sarah Palin, who has really taken to fashioning herself a king (queen?) maker, has waited until now to endorse Sharron Angle . Or maybe not: Maybe Palin was holding out on the endorsement and the inevitable media blitz until Angle’s special brand of right-wing nuttery caused her to fall behind incumbent Harry Reid . Palin and Angle should be a perfect fit for each other; as I noted in this article about the influence of Christian Reconstructionism on Angle , both Palin and Angle are prone to shooting off fringe right-wing ideas in public.

That’s far from the only similarity between Palin and Angle. There’s also the fact that both of them have been associated with state branches of the far-right, Reconstructionist-founded Constitution Party, though Palin had an easier time shaking off this history than Angle has. The two also work the same political schtick as libertarian culture warriors. You’d think Palin would be right by Angle’s side, instead of relegating the endorsement to the Daily Caller through an e-mail to her brother that he forwarded on.

Maybe Palin’s jealous. After all, Palin sees herself as the standard-bearer for a specific narrative that allows conservative women to compete politically without seeming unladylike. The implication of the Mama Grizzly narrative is that they’re humble housewives at heart, but have been pushed into the dirty political world because, for some reason, they feel their cubs are threatened. Angle actually does Palin one better working this particular narrative, since she has an actual incident involving her son failing kindergarten to excuse her participation in politics, despite her stated objection to women having jobs outside of the home. Plus, Angle does a better job with the shy, not-ready-for-prime-time act than Palin could ever imagine, since Palin gets excited and nakedly exposes her ambitions. I can see how they might not get on that well, but you’d think Palin’s ambition would be enough to get her to devote more resources to outing Harry Reid.

Angle does need all the help she can get. The clean-up act the Republican party is doing on her is working to some degree, but there’s just so much ground to make up before they can pass her off as more moderate than she is. They’re watching her hopes go down the drain that she can quietly ride Nevada’s outrageous unemployment rate to a victory that is nothing more than an angry ousting of Harry Reid.