Former Bush Adviser Continues Crusade Against Palin, Conservatives

Former Bush Adviser Continues Crusade Against Palin, Conservatives

Former George W. Bush chief political strategist Matt Dowd continued to try to diminish Sarah Palin and conservatives by once again making false claims about the former Alaska governor.

On Sunday’s “ABC’s This Week,” Dowd assailed CPAC for, in his mind, lessening its credibility by inviting conservatives like Palin and not liberal Republicans favored by the northeastern elite like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. 

“CPAC, to me, has totally diminished its credibility as an organization,” Dowd said. “And you invite Sarah Palin, who wasn’t competent enough to keep a Fox News contract? But she’s invited to the CPAC meeting?”

Dowd falsely claimed that Palin was not competent enough to be on Fox, whereas Palin turned down Fox’s offer to renew her contract. His remark was not only a dig at Palin but also a shot at Fox, implying the news network that has dominated the cable news ratings employs people with subpar levels of intelligence who do not meet  the lofty standards of the Aspen Institute or Harvard’s Institute of Politics. His comments also imply that he feels the conservatives who came out in droves to elect Bush twice–which is the only reason he has his media perch and anyone has even heard of him–are dumb as well.

Other writers purporting to represent the right, like Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post‘s token conservative, also have chimed in, writing any gathering that includes Palin while not inviting GOProud and Christie “isn’t worth attending.”

Conservative writer Jeffrey Lord assailed these elitist Republicans who feel entitled to make CPAC “a big tent” instead of the “conservative tent” that it is supposed to be.  

Since Bush left office, his top advisers have begun to show their true–and not-so-conservative–colors. Mark McKinnon, the scarf-wearing, No Labels-founding former Bush media maven, has actively courted the approval of the media elite and made himself a featured attraction at elitist seminars. Karl Rove has slammed conservative candidates and now has created as super PAC that will arm itself to wage war against Tea Party candidates in GOP primaries.

As BizPacReview notes, in 2010, Palin, in response to talk radio host Laura Ingraham’s claim that the Bush family was trying to “kneecap” a potential Palin presidential campaign, referred to the Bush family as “blue bloods” who make up the Republican establishment. 

As the publication notes, many pundits attribute the lack of enthusiasm on the right over Mitt Romney’s candidacy to Romney’s and the Republican establishment’s snub of Palin and the Tea Party that won the GOP its House majority in 2010. The Republican establishment advisers were fearful of what their mainstream media bettors would think of them if they embraced the vice presidential candidate who has galvanized the Tea Party and the conservative base more than any other figure on the right over the last four years. 

Having not learned their lesson, establishment Republicans, BizPacReview notes, “continue to attack Palin for no apparent reason.”

But there is a deeper reason why establishment Republicans disdain Palin the reformer. 

When Palin made her first appearance at CPAC last year, she blistered Washington’s crony capitalism and permanent political class, which Stephen K. Bannon and the non-partisan Government Accountability Institute’s Peter Schweizer would later document in “Boomtown.”

At CPAC 2012, journalists and observers noted that no speaker galvanized the conservative base–with conservative words and ideas–like Palin. 

And that is why establishment Republicans like Dowd, who helped enable D.C.’s “Boomtown,” would rather anoint moderates like Christie and Romney as leaders on the right instead of conservatives like Palin, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)–both of whom Palin endorsed in their respective primaries–who are unafraid to challenge Republicans as well as Democrats.


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