It’s bad enough when she is mercilessly bashed from the left. But it really stings when Republicans lay into her.

As one of Sarah Palin’s more clueless (but libertarian) fans, it was with great anticipation that I clicked on the link to John Hawkins’ from-the-heart analysis (“Why Sarah Palin Fans Feel Betrayed”) of why her more, um, I guess that would be non-libertarianish fans feel especially betrayed when others on the right attack her.
For starters, they already feel regularly betrayed by the left:

To be conservative is to be betrayed on a regular basis. You send your kids to a school that tries to slyly indoctrinate them into liberalism, you come home to watch an “unbiased” news show that covers almost every story differently based on whether a Republican or Democrat is involved, and then you try to unwind by watching TV shows that take guarded shots at the values you cherish.

I don’t like left-wing advocacy, period, and I especially don’t like seeing it sneaked into TV programming. That’s why I hardly watch any television, as if I did, it would not make me unwind; it would incline me to yell and scream impotently at the television set.
Unfortunately, I hang out with leftists, and because I have defended Sarah Palin many times in this blog (a thankless task for a libertarian, BTW…) I find their attacks on Sarah Palin more personally humiliating and intolerable than attacks from the right. That’s because I think the latter are more likely to listen to (and maybe even be influenced by) my libertarian spin on Sarah than leftists I know, who at most might allow a sort of eyeball-rolling agreement to disagree.
Hawkins mentions the double standard (which allows Ted Kennedy to drown girls but won’t tolerate so much as a gaffe from Sarah Palin), and of course there’s her failure to be part of the Ivy League elite, and the bizarre, twisted, and in many ways politically unprecedented attacks on her children. For the record, these are not new topics here. Nor is the post election smear campaign against her.
The reason I’m sounding a tad put-upon is that for some reason I don’t think Palin’s more vociferous culturally conservative supporters would especially welcome support coming from someone like me. (If I took pieces like these too seriously I’d be more inclined to feel betrayed by Palin supporters than by her opponents.) Not that I’m wanting to sound like a martyr. I certainly don’t feel betrayed, because after all, social conservatives cannot “betray” libertarians, any more than libertarians can “betray” social conservatives. I guess I might call myself slightly peeved — (and probably irrationally paranoid). I mean, if I’m not welcomed by everyone in the Palin tent, I’m old enough to be a big boy and dry my eyes.
Hawkins notes an unspoken assumption by conservatives that Palin is like them, but that her enemies on the right are not, and that in this respect, she was like Reagan:

An unspoken assumption was made by many conservatives: Palin is like me and the real problem that Palin’s enemies on the right have with her is that they’re snobs and they don’t accept common people like me in their leadership.
Given the way that conservatives are regularly betrayed and the contempt for them that some Republicans have shown over the last few years, that assessment is probably correct more often than not.
That’s why a lot of conservatives react to criticism of Palin from the right the same way that they react to criticism of Reagan. Granted, Sarah Palin is no Ronald Reagan. But one of the seldom discussed reasons conservatives love Reagan so much is because he was the personification of their principles. This was the man who put what conservatives believed in to the test in the real world and proved the worth of their ideas. An attack on Reagan from the right was not just considered to be a slap at a politician, politician, but was also treated like an assault on the value system of “Reagan conservatives.”

Well, there is one notable cultural difference between Reagan and Palin. Reagan ramped up (and to be fair, largely began) the modern “Drug War.”
Palin smoked pot!
(Yay!)
Or do I get kicked out of the tent for saying that?
It’s only my gentle way of saying that I prefer her to Reagan, whose Culture War side I regarded as unfortunate and unnecessarily divisive. (A consequence of this was that too many bohemian types like me found themselves relegated to the left, and by both sides.)
Of course, while she lacked Reagan’s vital Hollywood connection, like Reagan, Palin was anything but Ivy League:

The same principle applies to Palin except the assault is considered to be primarily on people’s identity, not their values. The thinking goes, “If the snobs on the right don’t like Palin because she’s a conservative with an accent who isn’t rich, didn’t go to an Ivy League school, and wouldn’t be welcome at their cocktail parties, then they wouldn’t like me for the exact same reasons.”
That doesn’t mean Sarah Palin can’t be criticized from the right or that all of her critics have bad motives. Palin certainly can and should be knocked, if and when she deserves it.

I find it refreshing that Sarah Palin is a down-to-earth real person, and not an Ivy League snot. I can’t stand the fact that a degree from Harvard conveys a quasi divine right to tell people what to do and how to live their lives, and I like the fact that Sarah Palin very definitely does not want to do that. However, if I thought she did want to run people’s lives, where she went to college would be a secondary issue. Similarly, if a hands-off libertarian type had gone to Harvard, I’d be be very quick to forgive. These things should not matter. Just as an Ivy League education should convey no right to rule, unless we’re going to use a neo-Maoist litmus test, neither should the lack thereof.

Her well-meaning critics on the right should just be aware of the dynamic at work here and should tailor their criticism accordingly.
There’s only one Sarah Palin and there’s not another soul on the national stage who can even come close to filling her high heels. At a time when the Republican Party has lost so many seats in Congress that it’s teetering on the brink of irrelevancy, Palin’s detractors on the right should ask themselves how much sense it makes to help the liberal media try to tear down the biggest star in the conservative movement.

My biggest problem with Palin is not with Palin, but with some of her supporters. However, over the years I have learned to hold my nose, hold my tongue, and grit my teeth. I spent eight years defending George W. Bush from attacks that remind me of those against Sarah Palin. (Both, of course, are seen as hopeless, intractable morons.) It’s a thankless task and it got — and gets — a litte tedious. No one pays me to do it — least of all the Palin supporters who’d probably be delighted to have me stomp petulantly out of their tent.
But this will all settle down as the election approaches, right? So maybe I should relax! And enjoy.
Why is it that something three years away has to feel so gol-durned imminent?