Levin took issue with much of the common criticisms of Palin, particularly those concerning whether or not she can win the 2012 election and how she left her governorship post early, which is normal for presidential candidates, Levin says.
“So what is it? What’s the problem?” he said. “She’s solid on social issues. She’s solid on fiscal issues. She’s solid against these subsidies against big companies – in other words, she is not a corporatist. She’s not a crony or a believer in that. She’s solid on taxes and spending. I’m just confused. She’s solid on Israel. She’s solid on the military. She’s solid with respect to our allies. Is there some big issue that’s disqualifying? What – because the liberals don’t like her? …
“I’m getting sick and tired, as I said yesterday, last week and I’ve said over the months – I’m getting sick and tired of these smears by Krauthammer against her,” Levin said. “He’s a thoroughly decent man, I understand, but he doesn’t seem very decent in this regard and I don’t know why. He’s certainly owes us a column or a better explanation, doesn’t he? He wants to influence the outcome.”
Levin is spot-on. Krauthammer is not the only one — and Sarah Palin isn’t the only object of his disdain. Krauthammer, Karl Rove and other conservative strategists have derided Herman Cain and Donald Trump, as well. Maybe it’s in the nature of punditry to point out the “flaws” in a politician’s pedigree, and it’s certainly within the scope of commentary to poke holes in a candidate’s policy positions, but, when thoughtful criticism becomes insistent censure-for-the-sake-of-censure, it reveals little more than the pundit’s superior view of himself.
But what I like best about Levin’s comments are not his criticisms of Krauthammer. What I like best are his affirmations of Palin — not so much because of any personal affinity for her, but because of a personal affinity for positivity. I’ve thought this repeatedly, as pundit after pundit and columnist after columnist has pointed out all that’s wrong with the GOP field. It seems to me a more productive approach might be first to enumerate each candidate’s qualifications — and then pick whichever candidate out-qualifies the rest. Build on the positive, in other words, rather than merely point out the negative. If conservative critics just have to criticize somebody, let it be Obama.