Joe Klein is on a road trip to ostensibly get an on the ground view of what America is thinking-I would imagine, as an lib "Ultra" he is getting an earful and not what he would want to hear in this mid-term election year. Nevertheless I am sure he will find a way to spin it to the Dem's advantage in his subsequent columns.
On his stop prior to attending Sarah Palin's address to the Ronald Reagan Day dinner for Republican activists in Des Moines Iowa, when in Kansas City Missouri Klein encountered his first example of outright anger and noted;
" I'm grateful for that honest blast of incivility. It adds to the picture--and I'm sure I'll be seeing more of it tonight, when we pitch up in Des Moines for Sarah Palin's speech to the Iowa Republican Party."
Thus the very basic impulse he has to seeing her, and meeting them, is that he would encounter incivility. From the left, yes, that would be a valid instinctive reaction. But from middle American conservatives and Sarah Palin herself (who is described as the very model of politeness) why so Mr.Klein?
Has the experience of the 100,000 or so entirely peaceful and civil Tea Party supporters who gathered in Washington not spoken volumes to you or is your inherent prejudice so strongly embedded that nothing will overcome it?
This speaks volumes about Klein's, and the MSM's, inherent blind prejudice against Sarah Palin. Making no pretense at journolistic (sic) impartiality he goes straight to the jugular with gut hate "It's not enough to merely disagree with the President; you have to make him sound unAmerican in Palin's twisted little world."
On to his professional "unprejudiced analysis" of Palin's address; "She didn't exactly lose the audience; she disappointed it--there were few roars, there was a perfunctory standing ovations at the end."but last night's performance was weird and underwhelming, especially given an atmosphere". Since his eyes seem to have failed him it is instructive to consider how does that contrast with the reactions from the people who actually do count-the Republicans who attended?
This from The Des Moines Register "“She gave the crowd lots of red meat, lots of enthusiasm. She dropped all the right names, and hit all the hot buttons. I think she did a great job of motivating. It was an opportunity for her to tell us who Sarah Palin is, what her positions are." Texas4Palin has a round up of numerous other, very positive reactions- in fact I have not seen one negative report from any media outlet or commentator other than Mr.Klein.Here is-even further to the left MSNBC's report on Palin's address ("She got a raucous welcome") and Chris Mathews comments which are in direct contrast to Klein's.
There were actually some serious, non-prejudicial commentators who accurately advised about the nature of Palin's audience. They listened intently and politely, having heard thousands of speeches, being courted as they are in Iowa, and were there to listen (in unprecedented numbers) and were not the sort to holler and hoop.
That is not to say that the crowd was unenthusiastic-far from it as the reports advise and especially, as anyone watching CSPAN would have seen after the speech, when Palin was descended upon by a mass of joyous attendees.
Moving on to his, somewhat more substantive, but still perfunctory, analysis of the content of Palin's speech, after another crack at her style
which only he seems to have found wanting. Frankly I would think if Cicero and Demosthenes themselves had taken turns speaking through Palin he still would have found fault "Palin seemed testy, her delivery rushed". Mr.Klein's hearing seems to have temporarily deserted him (Testy?? who was he listening to?) at that point as other commentators noted her speech was wide ranging across numerous policy areas.
After a brief few words pooh poohing the entire speech "There was also not much of substance" Klein took issue with her foreign policy statements-as a Jewish liberal Democrat he of course found fault with her support of Israel-that's a given. Further, he doubted that her words were even her own "There was also a brief, hilariously simplistic section on foreign policy, provided, no doubt, by her neoconservative puppeteers. "There's a distinct pattern here--reaching out to our enemies, slighting our friends," she said, attempting to sound ominous, a quality that eludes her flat, chirpy voice. Obama had sent a letter to the Supreme Leader of Iran (no mention of the crippling sanctions he had also sent). Imagine that!"
What I am trying to imagine is exactly what Klein's "crippling sanctions" are? Are they the ones which have stopped Iran from building their nuclear reactors? That have stopped them enriching uranium in deeply hidden bunkers? Have stopped them from launching "Ambassador of Death" robot planes? That have brought the Iranian economy to a halt, creating massive unrest and threatening to bring down the entire regime?
Frankly the whole exercise was a waste of Klein's time, there are none so blind as those who will not see, and the time of anyone who disagrees with him. He went in to the room with a closed mind and left it with his prejudices intact-his readers, I mean the occasional conservative who accidentally strays into his column from time to time would have had their suspicions, that both he and Time are unrepentantly left wing propaganda outlets, confirmed.