The Corner

My Letter To Sarah Palin

As I expected, the e-mail in response to my column is all over the place this morning, but there’s a heavy dose of sophomoric name-calling. Here’s a smattering (all asterisks are mine):


How about you go back to your basement apartment and shut the f**k up. Maybe study up on the fact the nobody gives a rats a** what you think about Palin.

What a bandwagon rider you are. You write nothing new in this recent little spewing that wasn’t spat out by the Vanity Fair article. If anyone is tarnishing their reputations by opening their mouths it is pompous pieces of s**t like yourself.

You and the rest of the “elite” may have a problem with her defending herself from …well…from people like you, but the rest of us have tired of the Grin and Bear it technique which has done nothing but failed. …and sorry someone, even a comedian comes out and makes Jokes about my kids on National TV, I am going to have something to say about it…If people from my campaign start leaking innuendo to the media about me and the campaign…I am going to have something to say about it.

Where is your letter to Huckabee? Romney? You are dickhead.

Bottom line you article wreaks of sexism, elitism, and arrogance. You may have your panties in a bundle but luckily the only weight you carry is also held by those same panties.

Okay, before I proceed. Just a few quick points, because I think this e-mail represents, in its purest form, everything I was talking about in my column. Lots of others make similar, some less vitriolic, arguments about “blue bloods” like me ruining the party. Others insist she has perfect political instincts and doesn’t need any advice at all.

If Sarah Palin follows the advice of readers like them, she’s doomed on the national political stage. She’ll make a great Joan of Arc for a certain segment of the public, but she’ll never go beyond that. And I think that would be a shame. The upshot of a lot of e-mail is that she hasn’t done a single thing wrong — at least nothing that warrants criticism. The idea that she’s, in effect, done everything right, baffles me. Palin has lost a huge chunk of her popularity over the last six months. Some readers say that’s because the media has been unfair to her. And that’s true! The press has been unfair. But guess what? The press isn’t going away and successful politicians learn to deal with the reality of liberal media bias. You don’t get extra points or extra votes because the press slimes you. What Palin needs to do is figure out how to win back the people she lost, not elicit more cheers from the folks she already has. That’s how politics works.

What baffles me even more is the idea that politicians — any politician — doesn’t need advisors or advice. Reagan had fantastic political instincts. He also had some of the savviest and most sophisticated political advisors in modern political history. Good politicians know how to take serious advice. Now, maybe my advice is wrong. It’s been wrong before, to be sure.

But the idea that a political columnist shouldn’t offer advice and observations is just silly and to suggest otherwise bespeaks of a certain thin-skinnedness on the part of some of the fans shouting at me.

Still, the question: “Where is your letter to Huckabee? Romney?” is a good one.

What this reader, and many others, fail to understand is that I haven’t written columns like this about other candidates is because I either don’t think they need the advice (Romney) or because I have no interest in seeing them succeed (Huckabee). The retreat to charges of sexism is as absurd as it is convenient. As is all of this knee-jerk junk about elitism and snobbery. If I was an elitist and snob of the sort these people claim I am, then why did I ever support her in the first place? Why did I tout her for the job? Is it all part of some elaborate ruse?

Again: If Sarah Palin becomes nothing more than expression of populist resentments of a certain portion of the base she will lose the ability to persuade anybody who isn’t already a diehard fan. That is not the route to success.

Anyhow, some more e-mail:


You and Krauthammer are two of my favorite commentators but I have a bone to pick with both of your recent critiques of Palin.

You both essentially say that one cannot get elected POTUS by just peddling platitudes, cliches and truisms. Call me crazy but didn’t we just elect a man who did just that!!??

Deep down inside you are probably correct in much of your assessment but you and the great Krauthammer (and a few others at NRO) should guard gainst drifting into snobbery and esotericism.

Perhaps we conservatives need to learn what the Schumers, Durbins, Leahy’s, Kennedy’s etc etc have learned so well. Never give an inch!! ATTACK, ATTACK toujour ATTACK!!


[name withheld]



I am a HUGE fan of Sarah Palin and as such I want to thank you for the advice you’re giving her. It was hard to admit at first but you are spot on. I think you’re right that she has “it” but I also think that the Republican party does need someone who is serious because we do not elect lightweights like Obama and feel proud of it. She needs to study, get serious and don’t engage the haters. I was happy that she made Letterman apologize because there’s just so much abuse one can take. President Bush was very good at staying above the fray but it cost him a great deal. So, that fine line of standing up for your family and beliefs and ignoring the small minds is a tough one, especially when they are set on destroying you. But, she does have a lot in common with another “commoner” and that’s Margaret Thatcher IF and only IF she gets serious and starts studying and, like Dr. Krauthammer said, stop talking in platitudes and bumper stickers. I hope she will follow your advice and come back and show “them” that she can be a serious contender. It would be wonderful to have our first woman President be a Republican because it would mean she has earned it and not simply because she’s a woman married to a good politician.


You are probably going to get a lot of angry emails from Palin supporters. Just wanted to write and say I agree with your article and it was well argued. Conservatives must be honest with ourselves.

Keep up the good work!


me thinks thou doth protest too much jonah…therein lies the “IRONY” of your column…sounds to me like you and the rest of the media elite crowd are the ones who are doing the whining…palin is only defending herself…and stating fact…that is not whining…it’s getting the real story out…you dufus…wah, wah, wah…what in the hell is the media elite’s obsession with constantly harangueing this woman?..oh..i forgot..this will get you some pats on the back from your friends in the media, some real “atta boys”…you self serving jerk…this is how it works…media elites like yourself whine and whine, blah, blah, blah, about how palin “whines” in a commentary…then, at the next cocktail party you will get all kinds of bravo’s jonah, from the rest of the members of the “club”…and you do not even see the riony in the fact you are the real whiners jonah…just stop and think about it for a minute…really think about it…and that’s what is so don’t recognize yourselves as the real “WHINERS”…we’re on to you…what a joke you and the rest of the media have become..i got news for ya JG…here’s a big 411…the laughin’ stock in case you haven’t noticed is you guys…not palin..narcissistic, whining, pompous, arrogant, condescending, self rightetoeus phony indignation… yep, that’s pretty much sums up the traits of the media….


Well what a piece of s**t that uninformed letter was. You’ve just humiliated yourself beyond repair. You have no f**king idea what you’re talking about. How embarrasing that letter must be for you. Perhaps you should stay home and do you homework.

I’m not going to do your homework for you (I’ve done mine) and fisk your out of touch with reality letter, but I will tell you one thing I know. Sarah Palin will be the next President. That is almost a certainty. Why? Because that is what the base wants. You remember the base? Yeah, that’s correct…those people in “fly over country” who actually choose who they want to run. I’m one of those and let me be clear: We want Sarah. Not Mittens. Not Huckster. SARAH,SARAH, SARAH. Didn’t you listen to the chants?

If you continue on the path you have chosen, then Barry the Con Artist gets eight years. If you do your homework and research Sarah Palin’s accomplisments and get with the program, then you will know that Sarah is the only republican who can beat Obie.

It might be too late for you. Fly Over does’t care what you have to say after that shitty commentary that just came from your apparently small brain. You might just be talking out of your ass to your elitist colleagues at this point. I suggest you stop reading the biased media and watching the edited tv and get out in the real world and do actual research on Sarah Palin. Jesus Christ…what a lazy piece of s**t you are.

You can begin your research at You dumb f**ker!!


Jonah: I have great respect for the points of view and clear writing that I see daily on NRO. However, many of you at NRO (Rich Lowry, Ramesh Ponnuru and you) talk rather condescendingly to us plain-old folks out here who have no connection to D.C. Sarah Palin does not travel the country whining about her press coverage. /[For starters, every time I see you on TV, you’re whining about unfair press coverage] /Your exaggeration does not help make your point. / / She also rarely leaves Alaska and seems to be running her state just fine.. As a matter of fact, recent press coverage has noted just that. She and her family have been subjected to the most vile media coverage I have seen in my 55 years of life on this planet. How in the world can you say she’s been playing the victim when you have no frame of reference for a politician taking the shots she has? If she had remained silent about the David Letterman “jokes” I would have lost a great deal of respect as most people would have. She garnered very little support from NRO after those abhorrent remarks. For you to pick this time and place to decide that Ms. Palin needs an open letter of advice on NRO reflects an odd disconnect that your publication has with outside the beltway Republicans. She has again been attacked, anonymously throughout the national press in the last week because the inside-the-beltway – RINOs – are afraid of her. That is why they are tearing her down. She has done nothing to deserve it and the recent press stories are not based on recent events but are recycled garbage. Your letter should be targeted at the McCain and RINO crowd – they are trying to bring Ms. Palin down. Some of your advice is solid regarding honing her knowledge in certain areas but your tone remains condescending and ill-timed when this good woman has been attacked in the last 3 weeks more viciously than you and I – or any D.C. politician – can imagine. Poor time to join the chorus from within the D.C. echo chamber, Jonah.

Thanks for your time,



I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciated your article on Sarah Palin. You gave her some wonderful advice. I just hope that she reads it and follows it.

And, last but not least:

Well said Jonah.


She needs to keep Alaska’s house in order, and prepare for the ugly, ugly fight in 2012.  I hope that she does.  I feel strongly that she would be an excellent President, but she has to earn it.


I have a theory about Mrs. Palin – that I can tell just about all I need to know about a person’ character by how they voice their opinion about her.


If they resort to calling her unqualified (as opposed to who, exactly?), stupid (because she is not a graduate of an approved college, as an Alaskan politician she was not instantly an expert on every area of potential interest to a hostile national media, or believes things all self proclaimed intelligent people quit believing in 1968, etc, etc) or a crazed religious fundamentalist, I know the person I am dealing with is an ass.


If they disagree with her policies or question her judgment on particular issues, fine, that is why there are different political parties.  If they disagree with her politics without belittling her life, family, intelligence, clothes, fact that she is from Alaska, etc, then I can say that person is a Democrat (i.e., ignorant of how the world works but at least potentially reasonably intelligent and well mannered).


I first became familiar with Governor Palin on a series of trips to Alaska in the winter /spring of 2007.  I was browsing a hotel book shop when I saw a strikingly beautiful woman on the cover of a magazine, and to my surprise the magazine was “Alaska Business Monthly”, and to my further surprise the lady was the Governor of Alaska.  My respect for Alaska instantly went up.  I read the article and interview, and was greatly impressed by the Governor’s attitude, accomplishments, and expressed political philosophy.


She was not prepared in 08, and some very poor decisions exacerbated that fact.  She is ultimately responsible for what happened and she needs to do better in the coming years.


Just think of it, a politician and potential President who is not a lawyer or Ivy League graduate-someone who actually worked for a living without the benefit of a powerful family.  It has been a long time.  What a great day for the country that will be!  Something to look forward to in 2012.


Happy Independence Day!



One last thing: It’s a holiday weekend. I don’t plan on posting Palin-related e-mail all weekend. Feel free to send your thoughts, but I don’t expect to run a Palin seminar all weekend.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Blackface Party

I must have missed something: Was there some kind of all-hands white-people meeting at which we voted to kick the Democrats out? Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal, Beto O’Rourke — what’s up with all the ethnic play-acting? Isn’t cultural appropriation supposed to be a bad thing among progressives? Isn’t ... Read More
Film & TV

A Right-Wing Halloween

‘The world is not a dark and evil place,” insists an exasperated woman played by Judy Greer in Halloween. “It’s full of love and understanding!” I put the question to the class: Is she right? In the new film (not a reboot but a sequel that occurs 40 years after the events in the 1978 original and ... Read More