Nov 02 2009

Palin Is Not Far Right – More Likely A Centrist Surprise

Published by at 10:55 am under All General Discussions

The liberal media is pretty savvy, and knows that to derail Sarah Palin in 2012 they need to brand her a far right zealot. As I noted before, everyone is blowing the NY-23 debacle out of all proportions. The Scozzafava selection was a dumb back room decision by GOP party elites to try and catch the Obama wave. In this all conservatives can agree. She fails two key tenets of conservatism and the most basic level: pro abortion and pro failed stimulus packaged.

However, I tend to believe it is better to help people understand why these are mistaken positions and bring them into the fold than pillory them and create enemies. That’s centrist thinking,  versus far right rage against reality. But Hoffman is not indicative of anything than what can come from political mistakes. He is not the harbinger of the far right rising to power, and he is not Sarah Palin.

Palin is right to define what is too far left and what is not. She is also right (and has a history of this) of opposing political machinery making decisions for We The People. This is common ground we can all agree on. It should not be a shock that conservatives agree on more than they disagree (Duh, that’s why we claim to be conservatives). But Palin has been a voice of moderate and respectful opposition. I don’t think (and I hope) she does not become a ‘true’ conservative, because that will cost her the legions of centrists who support her for being an average American taking on the corruption and decay of DC.

The far right would love to ‘own’ her, so they could make sure she doesn’t poison the GOP with any filthy centrists – like her 2008 running mate who made brought her onto the national stage. So the far right agrees when the far left media tries to tag her as a darling of the far right.

Soon Sarah will have to decide who she is and who she wants to fight for. Will it be for the far right, or will it be for the center-right to far right (where there is common ground). It can be nice to be wanted, but it can also be a royal pain.

28 responses so far

28 Responses to “Palin Is Not Far Right – More Likely A Centrist Surprise”

  1. Grrrr…

    That 2006 PDF link seems to have aged out.

    Try this link:

    Which appears to be an earlier version of that study:

    In this paper we estimate ADA (Americans for Democratic Action) scores for major media outlets such as the New York Times, USA Today, Fox News’ Special Report, and all three network television news shows. Our estimates allow us to answer such questions as “Is the average article in the New York Times more liberal than the average speech by Tom Daschle?” or “Is the average story on Fox News more conservative than the average speech by Bill Frist?”

    To compute our measure, we count the times that a media outlet cites various think tanks and other policy groups. We compare this with the times that members of Congress cite the same think tanks in their speeches on the floor of the House and Senate.

    By comparing the citation patterns we construct an ADA score. As a simplified example, imagine that there were only two think tanks, one liberal and one conservative. Suppose that the New York Times cited the liberal think tank twice as often as the conservative one.

    Our method asks: What is the typical ADA score of members of Congress who exhibit the same frequency (2:1) in their speeches? This is the score that we would assign to the New York Times. Our results show a strong liberal bias.

    All of the news outlets except Fox News’ Special Report and the Washington Times received a score to the left of the average member of Congress.

    Consistent with many conservative critics, CBS Evening News and the New York Times received a score far left of center.

    Outlets such as the Washington Post, USA Today, NPR’s Morning Edition, NBC’s Nightly News and ABC’s World News Tonight were moderately left.

    The most centrist outlets (but still left-leaning) by our measure were the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, CNN’s NewsNight with Aaron Brown, and ABC’s Good Morning America.

    Fox News’ Special Report, while right of center, was closer to the center than any of the three major networks’ evening news broadcasts.

    All of our findings refer strictly to the news stories of the outlets. That is, we omitted editorials, book reviews, and letters to the editor from our sample.

  2. Redteam says:

    anyone that thinks Hannity is far right must not watch him. I watch him about once or twice a week and have never seen anything ‘far right’. Laura Ingraham, I would put center right.
    I’m beginning to believe the term ‘far right’ means wanting the best for America. That’s all I see in Hannity and Ingraham.

    I watch Beck and O’Reilly every day and Beck is definitely right, but not republican and O’Reilly is straight down the middle.

    Stevevvs: Ronald Reagan did NOTHING to cultivate anyone in the middle or left. Cultivating centrists and lefties were not his cup of tea.

    Ronald Reagan did not stand for compromise. He took what he could get and fought another day.

  3. […] Palin Is Not Far Right – More Likely A Centrist Surprise […]

  4. lurker9876 says:

    Sigh…looks to me that none of us agree on the definitions…

    We sure don’t understand what “far right” means. I think “far right” is conservative.

    What is wrong with “far right”, especially if there were a small exceptions of those that throw insults to everyone.

    Where does Rush Limbaugh fit on your scale, AJ?

    Can you draw up a scale and describe where you think the dims, Reps, conservatives, centrists, moderates, and far right fall? Also, name people where you think they fall on this same scale. Also, define “far right”.

  5. Redteam says:

    lurker, easy, Ronald Reagan was ‘far right’ as I now understand the term
    so is Rush, Hannity, Ingraham, Beck, all those people we have been calling ‘conservative’.

    wait, I have it: anyone right of Obama.

  6. NewEnglandDevil says:

    If I may, I believe I understand AJ’s classification of ‘far right’, or how he classifies ‘far right’. He can correct me if he so chooses.

    From what I can tell, it isn’t specifically about positions; rather, it is about a) unwillingness to compromise, or, making the perfect solution the enemy of improvement; and, b) the language used when criticizing people willing to compromise.

    My perception is that it takes both elements to make a person ‘far right’ or ‘far left’. Someone respectfully disagreeing because they have a particular principle that they will not compromise on could still be considered somewhat moderate.

    In that way, I believe that what AJ is primarily objecting to is language and attitude that denigrates others and that is used to rile up supporters. The language is also used to keep people divided and prevent people from recognizing what we generally have in common and can appreciate about one another.

    Or maybe not. 🙂

    The primary example I’m thinking of is the immigration question. AJ favored a compromise approach and felt vilified by those who considered the question a matter of principle. Also, because of the language used in the ‘debate’, real issues and understanding of the proposed legislation was not debated on its face. People were calling ‘amnesty’ something that required fines and fees for the illegals to become legalized. It wasn’t amnesty. Did the ‘punishment’ fit the crime? Maybe not, but that wasn’t debated. (For their part, people who proposed the reform called the opponents racists.) Both extremes used language to redefine/characterize their opponents’ positions and invigorate their base, raising their political prestige (active, committed supporters) and power (money). And the middle got played and no improvements resulted.

  7. AJStrata says:


    You nailed it.


  8. stevevvs says:

    Why the references to Hannity, Ingram, and telling people they aren’t Reagan, when no one braught any of that up?

    Who cares about Hannity et all, and who could be Reagan other than…Reagan?