Ralph Reed’s Slow, Sad Decline

Once upon a time, Ralph Reed was known as “The Right Hand of God,” a man whose political genius was unmatched and whose power and influence was unquestioned. 

Then he left the Christian Coalition to strike out on his own, only to see his former organization collapse and his own political aspirations go up in smoke thanks to his deep ties to corruption [PDF].

But he’s still around and active in right-wing politics via his Faith and Freedom Coalition, from where he continues to dispense pathetically cliched political analysis such as this about Sarah Palin … or, as he calls her, “The Palinator“:

This may be Palin’s unique strength. She understands the fiscal and values agendas of conservatism are reinforcing, not mutually exclusive. A nation that relies on God and family for its strength does not seek to expand the federal government to meet every need. Fiscal responsibility and small government are not merely economic principles, they speak to the moral character of a people that believes government has an important but limited function. In this sense, Palin is a fusionist who weaves the various strands of conservatism into a coherent whole.

This is why Palin can act as a bridge between Tea Party activists and the Republican Party and have credibility with both. For now the media is fascinated with whether she will run in 2012. They hope she does, if only because it will make for the most interesting political story since the Obama-Hillary rumble in the 2008 Democratic primaries. That decision is probably a year away. Meanwhile, the MSM is missing the bigger story, at least in the short-term: Palin, who they tried to drive out of respectable political discourse, is re-energizing the grassroots of a Republican Party that they dismissed as dead. Their attacks against her—and the values she symbolizes—not only backfired, they are now working in her and the GOP’s favor.

What ultimately drives the media crazy is they know instinctively they are co-conspirators in her rise. From the Katie Couric interview to the over-the-top attacks by the likes of Shrum, by overplaying their hand they made Palin a bigger force than they ever intended. Had they simply been fair to Palin when she ran for vice president and treated her with decency, she would not be viewed now by so many grassroots conservatives as a victim of irrational elitist hatred. As much as John McCain in selecting her as his running mate in 2008, the MSM made her a force, and she is proving she can use that platform very effectively indeed.

Apparently, providing expert conservative analysis now consists primarily of regurgitating nonsensical right-wing fantasies about how Sarah Palin “is a fusionist who weaves the various strands of conservatism into a coherent whole” who symbolizes everything great about America and will rise of to save this nation.