The XX Factor

Sarah Palin Makes Me Crazy. Not for the Usual Reasons.

When it comes to Sarah Palin, I admit I’m a little jealous of my liberal friends and colleagues. Sure, Palin drives you crazy, but it’s an easy, simple kind of crazy. She drives you mad because she herself seems crazy. She rants incoherently on Facebook? Crazy! She gets a reality TV show? Crazy! She’s bandied about as a GOP candidate for 2012? Hah hah hah hah! But when you’re a conservative, like me, who finds Palin more cringe-inducing than inspiring, well, it’s a whole ‘nother story. Because all of those things make me crazy, too, but then once in a while she’ll go and do something that makes me remember why, for a brief glorious moment in the fall of 2008, she excited me.

Last weekend, as David Weigel has noted in his blog, Palin gave an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network in which she tiptoed around the controversy of some social conservatives being cranky that GOProud, the gay conservative group, was taking part in CPAC this weekend.

Should conservatives not reach out to others, not participate in events or forums that perhaps arising within those forums are issues that maybe we don’t personally agree with? And I say no. It’s like you being on a panel, shoot, with a bunch of the liberal folks whom you have been on, and you provide good information and balance, and you allow for healthy debate, which is needed in order for people to gather information and make up their own minds about issues.

In an appearance on FoxNews yesterday, she made a more thorough defense of GOProud.

“People are losing their jobs; they’re losing homes. We’re still engaged in a war,” she said. “There are so many life-changing, life-and-death issues out there in front of us. You know, we’d better be concentrating on what is really important here and not going kind of tit-for-tat as people are positioning themselves for 2012.”

Sarah Palin, voice of reason. There’s no doubt that younger conservatives are more tolerant on gay issues and gay marriage. Barbara Bush just made headlines for speaking out in support of marriage rights. But it’s not an attitude professed by more prominent figures in the party, and almost never by people who are considered candidates for 2012.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean as much coming from Palin because so much else of what she says is nutty.