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Archive for the ‘Caffeinated Thoughts’ Category

Sarah Palin’s Potential Candidacy Doesn’t Rise and Fall on One Event

Posted by Shane Vander Hart on September 3, 2011

palin-Iowa-GOP-5Having read Craig Robinson’s piece on Sarah Palin’s supposed inability to run a national campaign based off the what transpired on Wednesday regarding her upcoming speech on Saturday has left me wondering. If it rains tomorrow, like forecasters predict it will, I suppose Robinson think that’s her fault as well? She’s just not ready for primetime because, heaven forbid, she didn’t have the foresight to have it indoors.  Perhaps she didn’t pray enough to have God shut up the heavens so it would not rain on this blessed event.  She should have had some staff out there ahead of time to coordinate having rain slickers passed out to the huddled masses.

Obviously I’m being just a *little* snarky, and Robinson wouldn’t do such a thing, but I find it amazing how her potential candidacy is being judged by one event which she did not have control of.

I had my own thoughts on Wednesday’s fiasco with Ken Crowe and the Tea Party of America.  I know Robinson will probably dismiss me as a Palin lackey, but you could substitute Palin’s name with Mitt Romney and I would feel the same way.

The simple fact is this.  This wasn’t her event, she was an invited guest.  Could she do her own event?  Sure, I suppose, but why?  If this was a campaign announcement then that would make sense, but who drove that narrative?  I suspected that she was running, and as an Iowan blogger it would have been great to witness an announcement speech, but nobody in her camp said it was going to be an announcement speech.  Sure the organizers of the event eluded to that, but they are not her staff, they aren’t working for her and perhaps they thought it would draw more people.  No, who I saw drive the narrative that she’s announcing on September 3rd were beltway politicos – Karl Rove and Dick Morris.  It was nothing, but speculation.

Robinson wrote:

In many respects, the drama surrounding the event doesn’t have anything to do with Palin herself. Palin’s people were not the ones inviting, disinviting, reinviting, and redisinviting speakers. That was the organizers of the event. However, it didn’t help when Palin’s participation at the event was put on hold for five hours on Wednesday.

Robinson continued, “Palin may have an inner circle that advises her, but what she needs are loyal professionals who will look out for her best interests in everything she is involved with.”

I agree that she needs paid staff if she’s going to run, but not to manage somebody else’s event but not before she’s a candidate.  I also agree that if she canceled then it would have made her look bad which is why I didn’t think she would.  Robinson’s straining gnats and thinking like an establishment politico.  Looking at what she is going to be speaking about on Saturday it has me thinking that she’s preparing for a run and establishing a narrative/messaging – you know something you need to do before you announce.

Cross-posted at Caffeinated Thoughts.

Shane Vander Hart is the editor of Caffeinated Thoughts and Caffeinated Theology and lives near Des Moines, IA with his wife and three kids.  Feel free to follow him on Twitter and friend him on Facebook.

Posted in 2012, Caffeinated Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Palin Camp Movement & Straw Poll Results

Posted by Shane Vander Hart on April 23, 2011

palin0419Sarah Palin has been making some news and I was too busy with stuff happening in Iowa to cover it, but I do want to give it some attention now.  There is movement on the Palin front, and a couple of things that make me go, hmmm….. even if I’m not seeing anything on the ground in Iowa.

Anyway, I’ve made a couple of observations over at Caffeinated Thoughts.  I encourage you to check it out.

P.S.  I’d also like to thank all of you who voted in the first ever Caffeinated Thoughts Straw Poll.  Sarah didn’t win it, but she did come in second.  With Ron Paul linking to the straw poll he pretty much had it won on day one, but you guys put in a valiant effort.  You can see the results over at Caffeinated Thoughts’ Facebook page.  We had some kinks that need to be worked out.  We’ll be doing it again this fall when the candidate pool has been paired down some.

Posted in 2012, Caffeinated Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Caffeinated Thoughts 2012 GOP Straw Poll

Posted by Shane Vander Hart on April 13, 2011


It’s been up since Friday night, but it is open until midnight on April 22nd.  You can vote here.  There is a question for your first choice and for your second.

Note to Internet Explorer users, for some reason it isn’t loading properly.  It has been tested using Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari though.  I’m at a loss as to what the problem is (other than IE is a crappy web browser).

Shane Vander Hart is the editor of Caffeinated Thoughts.  Feel free to follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.  He’d love to connect.

Posted in 2012, Caffeinated Thoughts | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Regarding My Sarah Palin Fanaticism

Posted by Shane Vander Hart on March 4, 2011

palin-Iowa-GOP-5I think I touched a nerve…

Craig Robinson responded to my post yesterday regarding the focus group that The Iowa Republican pulled together.  He wrote:

This group of Palin fanatics includes by (sic) friend Shane Vander Hart.  Shane finds it necessary to try and discredit anything that might be construed as being negative towards the former Alaskan Governor.

I admire Shane’s steadfast support and fascination with everything Palin, but his insistence that the recent group of Iowa caucus goers that assembled for David Lightman of McClatchy newspapers is some sort of conspiracy against Palin is complete nonsense.

I’ve been pretty up front that I’m a supporter, but to call me a fanatic?  Gee I love being labeled.  As far as finding it necessary to try and discredit anything that might be construed as being negative?  Anything?  There are tons of stories, polls, speeches, interviews both positive and negative that I could cover, but I don’t.  I don’t because I have plenty of other interests as well.  The Register poll and TIR were on my turf so I addressed them.  Yes I went after Jonathan Martin’s story about “anonymous sources in Iowa” complaining about her visit to Iowa last fall.  I did so because it was false.  I also have zero tolerance for “anonymous sources” who want to behave like teenage girls leaking gossip to the press.

I love backhanded compliment about admiring “my support and fascination with everything Palin.”  I give the snark two thumbs up, but I have to confess something to Craig and you my readers.  I never watched Dancing With The Stars with Bristol Palin, so I’m not quite sure I’ve earned the fanatic label.

But yes if I critique a couple of items in the news in Iowa about Sarah Palin, go ahead and call me a fanatic if it makes you feel better.

Regarding McClatchy I pointed to a narrative that I believe is being put forth.  Here is what I wrote:

The Iowa Republican was asked to pull this focus group together for McClatchy Newspapers who happens to own Anchorage Daily News.  I’m sure there’s no agenda whatsoever!  Because they *certainly didn’t* demonstrate any type of agenda or bias while Governor Palin was in office.  While Kevin Hall and Craig Robinson may not have planned to contribute to a narrative, but McClatchy won’t mind running with it.

McClatchy has a public record of liberal bias and if you don’t believe there is a larger narrative about Sarah Palin going on in the media, well then you haven’t been paying attention.  Here is one such example at McClatchy owned Anchorage Daily News.  Do I think Craig Robinson has an agenda?  No, and you know what?  I also don’t think he is an establishment Republican hack as I have seen some call him.  I can even recall coming to his defense.

I do agree with Craig on this.  If Sarah Palin is going to run she does need to play in Iowa.  I’ve said so on numerous occasions.  I also agree that she has a ton of work to do in Iowa if she does run.  I also believe that she can’t bypass the press (at least not completely) if she does run.  I also think that she has a ton of organizational work to do if she does run.  I’m not completely convinced that she is going to run, but I think that she will.  While she can’t wait too much longer, I don’t believe that Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin absolutely need to get into the race before this summer.  I do believe she (and any other candidate) needs to participate in the Iowa Straw Poll.

So while I foresee backing her if she does decide to run (that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who is a regular reader here); I believe the road to winning the nomination will be very difficult with a crowded field.  I just don’t buy the meme that she’ll be the end of the party or that she is unelectable.  She hasn’t even started campaigning yet.  The voters will decide and if she runs and wins the nomination I believe she’ll have just as good of a shot as anyone of beating President Obama.  It’ll be difficult, but if we are really looking at $5.00/gallon gas and if unemployment is still high in 2012 he’s vulnerable regardless who runs against him.

But hey, don’t listen to me because I’m just a Palin fanatic.

Shane Vander Hart is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Caffeinated Communications Network (Caffeinated Thoughts, Caffeinated Theology and Caffeinated TV).  He keeps his eye on the 2012 Presidential Race from his home near Des Moines, IA where they are already starting to trip over candidates.  Feel free to friend him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

Posted in 2012, Caffeinated Thoughts, Iowa caucuses, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sarah Palin – Beware of the Iowa Focus Group

Posted by Shane Vander Hart on March 2, 2011

imageFormer Governor Sarah Palin hasn’t even decided to run.  We haven’t even have had one vote cast, and we already have some writing the narrative that she is unelectable.  This isn’t anything new for Governor Palin or for presidential politics for that matter.  We have seen a journalist spin a poll, and now we have a focus group.  Oh the dreaded focus group, they are such worthwhile sources of information.

Say I convened a sample group of six people – one farmer, one lawyer, one college student, one factory worker, one auto mechanic, and one doctor.  There were three guys and three girls.  They each liked different brands of pop (or soda if you are a friend from the south).  One liked Mountain Dew, one liked Dr. Pepper, one liked Sprite, another liked Sunkist, one liked Pepsi and yet another liked Coke because “it’s the real thing” and she really would like to buy the world a Coke.

They were unanimous in their belief that Mr. Pibb tasted like carbonated prune juice.

Does that mean that a majority of people believe that Mr. Pibb tastes like carbonated prune juice?  No (I actually think it does, but I digress).  Is it newsworthy?  Hardly – it is just six people!

My hypothetical focus group is just as worthless as this focus group on the Iowa Caucus is.  You might have an interesting discussion, but do you really have worthwhile information?

Time will tell.  The only thing it tells me is that six people whom The Iowa Republican selected (I have no criteria on how they made their selection or who is considered an “activist”) say she is unelectable.  Well I do know they said they were conservative activists and then they identify Connie Schmett as one of the members of the group.  While I wouldn’t consider Connie and Kim Schmett flaming liberals I’m not sure conservative is the right word.  Republican certainly, conservative… well Kim Schmett didn’t strike me as particularly conservative when he ran for Congress in 2008.  The couple since haven’t done much to change my opinion.  Connie Schmett is an excellent fundraiser though.

The group also said that Mitt Romney is in trouble because of RomneyCare.  I happen to agree with this, but again it proves nothing.  It is the opinion of the six people in the room, some of whom may have never liked Palin (or Romney) anyway.  The Iowa Republican was asked to pull this focus group together for McClatchy Newspapers who happens to own Anchorage Daily News.  I’m sure there’s no agenda whatsoever!  Because they *certainly didn’t* demonstrate any type of agenda or bias while Governor Palin was in office.  While Kevin Hall and Craig Robinson may not have planned to contribute to a narrative, but McClatchy won’t mind running with it.

Shane Vander Hart is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Caffeinated Communications Network (Caffeinated Thoughts, Caffeinated Theology and Caffeinated TV).  He keeps his eye on the 2012 Presidential Race from his home near Des Moines, IA where they are already starting to trip over candidates.  Feel free to friend him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

Posted in 2012, Caffeinated Thoughts, Iowa caucuses, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Three Problems With the Iowa Poll & Story About Sarah Palin’s Favorability

Posted by Shane Vander Hart on March 1, 2011

Palin-Iowa-GOP-3Sarah Palin’s favorability ratings are slipping!  Her favorability ratings are slipping!  That’s what you hear from The Des Moines Register today in their latest release of the Iowa Poll.

Tom Beaumont reports a drop from 71% to 65% in the last 15 months.

Three problems with this poll and story.

  1. The sample size – 189 people.  Not exactly the standard used in scientific polls.
  2. The margin of error of 7.1% +/- since the decline falls within the margin of error.
  3. Josh Painter points out that Beaumont fails to mention the last time this was polled was actually back in June.  Her favorability rating then was 58% with a 4.4% +/- margin of error.  So her favorability has actually increased by 6 points since June.

Why not report that?

The thrust of Beaumont’s article seems to have more to do with a lack of political activity in Iowa:

However, Palin has done very little to cultivate political good will in a state where face-to-face meetings with influential activists, officials and organizers are common. Palin held no private political meetings during any of her four visits. She met briefly with about 50 influential Republican officials and donors during a reception before the fundraiser she headlined in September, but did not discuss mounting an Iowa campaign.

Some Iowa Republicans have said privately they do not expect Palin to run, considering her low profile in the state.

A reason for the dimmed enthusiasm for Palin could be her national exposure combined with her lack of Iowa activity, Geller said.

"She hasn’t been active in the state. And Iowans have that expectation and a feeling of responsibility to see these people up close," Geller said. "But it might also be a little Sarah Palin fatigue. They are familiar with her and yet they are not necessarily embracing her. Sixty-five percent is not a very high favorable rating."

But it isn’t a bad favorability rating either.  I agree that if she runs she needs to come to the state, however there are a number of prospective candidates who have not spent much time here…. yet.  I also suspect that her favorability rating will go up if she does start campaigning her because she is extremely good at retail politicking.

As far as the “some Iowa Republicans” who have said privately they don’t expect her to run based on fewer visits to Iowa.  So what?  Frankly I don’t give much credence to people who can’t attach their names to comments made.  It seems like political backbiting from people who support other candidates.  She may not run, but so far we are off to a slow start.  She has made a few visits, but she isn’t camped out here.  There has been some outreach done, but not a ton yet.  You can’t quite compare her activity to Rick Santorum’s or Tim Pawlenty’s for instance because she does have more name recognition, media exposure, and still has a lot of grassroots support.  Her campaign and candidacy will look different, but that doesn’t mean none of the rules apply

I still think she needs to participate in the Iowa Straw Poll and not wait too much longer, but I’m not writing off a candidacy yet.  It’s too early especially since no one has formally announced yet.

Anyway putting forth a narrative that her favorability is in decline based on the problems inherit with the poll and story seems to be to be a bunch of spin.

Photo by Dave Davidson

Shane Vander Hart is the editor-in-chief of the Caffeinated Communications Network which includes Caffeinated Thoughts, Caffeinated Theology and Caffeinated TV.  Feel free to friend Shane on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

Posted in Caffeinated Thoughts, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sarah Palin’s America By Heart: A Primer for Commonsense Constitutional Conservatism

Posted by Shane Vander Hart on January 3, 2011

imageI purchased Sarah Palin’s second book, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag, when it was first released.  I attended the book signing in West Des Moines, IA the following weekend.  I ended up not getting the same book back that I came with, so my apologies to the person who got my book with the first four chapters having bracket symbols and sentences underlined.

I’ve finished with the book rather quickly, but due to time constraints I haven’t been able to sit down to write out my thoughts about the book.  For starters this book should satisfy the critics who said Going Rogue: An American Life didn’t touch on her positions and policies enough.  While America By Heart is not a wonkish book it does lay out a framework for what “commonsense constitutional conservatism” (a term she used at the end of Going Rogue).  She offers a quick synopsis in the introduction of the book:

What I’ve come to realize is that, as a country, our true north is the values and principles on which we were founded – those values that are under attack today.  When times are uncertain – when we’re worried about the direction our country is headed in, as we are today – we can always turn to these fundamental principles.  Truth be told, they’re old ideas, not just the notion that our government should be limited, but also that all men and women are created equal before the law; that life is sacred; and that God is the source of our rights, not government, (pg. xvii-xviii).

She fleshes that out throughout the book.  In the first chapter of the book, “We The People,” as an Iowan I read with interest her thoughts on judicial activism.

The Supreme Court, along with the rest of the federal judiciary, has tremendous power over our lives today.  Their rulings mean the difference between free political speech and censored political speech, property rights that are protected by government and property rights that are routinely violated by government, and the survival of innocent life and the state-sanctioned killing of innocent life.  The reason this is the case is because so many of the people who appoint and approve our judges and justices erroneously believe the courts’ duty isn’t to interpret the law but to make the law.  In cases where their agenda can’t prevail among the people’s representatives in Congress, they have turned to the courts to make policy.  That means having judges and justices no longer guided by the Constitution and the law, but by their personal opinions.  President Obama himself has said that, in the really difficult, consequential cases, justices shouldn’t go with the law but with their hearts.  “That last mile can only be determined on the basis of one’s deepest values, one’s core concerns, one’s broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one’s empathy,” the president said.

But if you look at the oath of office that every Supreme Court justice takes, you see that it commits them to a very different standard.  They pledge not to pick winners and losers based on their hearts or their “empathy,” but to impartially apply the Constitution and the law, (pg. 15).

She emphasized the fact that our rights, our inalienable rights that are given by God, are sacred and that “government can’t legitimately violate them or add to them,” (pg. 20).  She discussed in the context of of the health care debate where Congress tried manufacture a new “right” which is something they clearly can not and should not do.

She also states clearly and believes unlike our current President, that America is indeed an exceptional country.  “We are the only country in the history of the world that was founded not on a particular territory or culture or people, but on an idea.  That ides is that all human beings have a God-given right to be free,” (pg. 37).  She says that we should be able to talk about America that demonstrates our pride in her greatness, but also recognizes her faults, (pg. 63).  We should be able to see that America has largely been a force for good in the world, (pg. 67).  She notes that one of the keys to American exceptionalism is the 10th Amendment. 

The federal government’s powers are limited to those listed in the Constitution.  Everything else belongs to the states and the people.  We give you the power; you don’t give us the power.  We are sovereign, (pg. 72).

She notes the Constitution’s relationship to the family:

What the Founders focused their energy on, then wasn’t a government that sought to control or shape families, but a government that could capitalize on the virtues of trust and self-restraint that families create – a government that could respect and honor good citizens by allowing them to live and prosper in freedom.  The Constitution’s relationship to the family, then, was meant to be reciprocal: to depend upon the virtues of family life  to make its system of government work, while protecting the freedom of families to create self-governing citizens, (pg. 112).

Making her case before she quotes John Adams who wrote, “the foundation of national morality must be laid in private families.”  He later wrote… “public virtue is the only Foundation of the Republics.  There must be a positive Passion for the public good, the public interest, Honor, Power and Glory, established in the Mind of the People, or there can be no Republican Government, nor any real Liberty.”

The founding fathers didn’t address families much only that it was assumed on their part, Palin notes, “that a republic relies on informed and virtuous citizens, and that informed and virtuous citizens are created in turn by strong families,” (pg. 109).  She then goes on to say that our leadership in Washington, “have completely abandoned the idea of a government that relies on strong families at the same that it respects the liberty and rights of these families,” (pg. 113).  She notes later on how this is played out on how families are defined:

The left wants us to believe that any grouping we choose to call a family is worthy of the name, that it doesn’t matter if children are raised by two loving parents or are shipped off to virtual full-time day care, and that divorce has no effect on children’s quality of life.  But we now know that commonsense objections to these radical ideas are not based on close-minded prejudice.  When it comes to raising good citizens, all “lifestyle choices” are not equal, (pg. 117)….

…What’s more, liberals often seek to blur the distinctions between our own and other people’s children.  I have heard liberals claim that we “have to start thinking and believing that there isn’t any such thing as someone else’s child.” But this is madness.  How can we know what it means to care about any children until we first fulfill our obligations to our own?  To be responsible to “all children” is to be responsible for none; instead, it is to call for the creation of a suffocating state that erases all freedom and human attachment in the name of caring for “the children,” (pg. 124).

She addresses “Mama Grizzlies” – conservative females leaders who are working to redefine (actually remind) what feminism represents.

Some people are calling the emergences of these successful conservative females a new phenomenon in America – as if we’d just invented smart, capable women who also believe in the Constitution, the sanctity of life, and American exceptionalism.   Truth is, mama grizzlies have been with us for a long time.  These are the same women who settled the frontier, drove the wagons, ploughed the fields, ran cattle, taught their kids, raised their families – and fought for women’s rights.  These women are like America itself: strong and self-sufficient.  Not bound by what society says they should do and be, but determined to create their own destinies, (pg. 129).

She notes that today’s feminists’ idea of what a “real” woman should be “isn’t so much a woman as a liberal,” (pg. 135).  “In the name of liberating women, modern feminism has wrapped us in a one-size-fits-all strait-jacket of political correctness.”  She notes that modern feminism has in reality given women victimhood status (which isn’t empowering) and paint men as being brutes.  Looking at the early suffragists Palin writes:

These courageous women spoke of our God-given rights because they believed they were given equally, by God, to men and women.  They didn’t believe that men were oppressors, women were victims, and unborn children merely “personal choices.”  They believed that we were children of God, and, as such, we were all – men, women, our littlest sisters in the womb, everyone – entitled to love and respect, (pg. 141).

Noting how America has shifted to a majority being “pro-life” she writes:

Despite the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling, American women and men haven’t been able to get over the stirrings of their consciences or move on from an issue that cuts to the heart of who we are as a people.  Affirming the dignity and worth of every innocent human life and defending the defenseless are fundamental American values, (pg. 150-151).

…In sharp contrast to (Margaret) Sanger and her present-day admirers, the pro-life movement is strongly pro-women, and pro-woman Americans are increasingly pro-life.  These women and men of conscience are the rightful heirs to the foremothers who fought for our rights at the turn of the last century.  These warrior souls show their dedication not only to women, but the weakest among us: those with special needs, women without anyone to turn to, and children without a voice.  They run the pregnancy resource centers, the counseling hotlines, the foster care facilities, the adoptions services, and countless other outreach programs that offer compassionate assistance and friendship to women who are struggling, (pg. 157).

She discusses “digging deep,” working hard – “nothing worthwhile comes without effort,” (pg. 161).  She notes that this work ethic is one of the things that made America great.  With the next generation she is concerned about this value not being passed down.

Sometimes I think we try too hard with kids these days to substitute this inner strength with empty praise.  Everyone’s into building their kids’ self-esteem by telling them they’re all “winners,” assuring them that every scribbled picture is a work of art and every chaotic soccer game is a triumph.  I understand the good intentions behind this, but I also worry that we’re not giving our kids the chance to discover what they’re made of.  Kids know the difference between real praise and empty praise.  When we don’t let them fail, when we tell them every average effort is superlative, we’re keeping them from discovering that hidden strength.  We may think we’re helping them, but really we’re holding them back.

In fact, we may be creating a generation of entitled little whiners, (pg. 165-166).

This entitlement culture, in my estimation, has been growing for quite some time and has led to a larger welfare mentality and the belief that government is there to take care of us.  Palin notes, “Everything that is worthwhile comes through effort.  There is no free lunch.  Anybody who tries to tell you otherwise is selling something – usually something paid for by your tax dollars,” (pg. 179).

Regarding the role of faith in public life she notes:

…the faith of our Founding Fathers shaped our nation in critical ways.  They created a country that, in George Washington’s words, relies on faith as an “indispensible support.”  They explicitly disavowed government establishment any particular religion, but they unmistakably relied on religion to produce the kinds of citizens that could live successfully in a state of political freedom.  And this, I firmly believe, is one of the things that has always made us an exceptional nation, (pg. 183).

She says also that there is no government of man that can claim to represent the word of God.  Also no government in the United States can compel its citizens to respect such a claim, (pg. 203).  One the other hand she notes that any type of public religious expression is under attack.

Today’s secular elites don’t agree with appeals to religion because they generally don’t support the reasons for these appeals.  Americans typically invoke faith in the public debate to support the sanctity of life, the preservation of marriage, and the nature of our freedom.  Many liberals don’t support these things, so they regard bringing faith into the argument as somehow unfair or intolerant – or just beside the point.  Of course, they’re happy to talk the God talk (if not walk the God walk) when it’s for a cause they believe in, (pg. 216). (giving examples of Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry)

…The question for so-called progressives, then, is: Which is it?  Is it enlightened to talk about religion in the pursuit of liberal causes but constitutionally suspect when traditional American values are being defended.  The fact is that religious faith has been invoked in every American movement of conscience, from the abolition of slavery to the prohibition of alcohol to the civil rights movement.  Why is bringing faith into the argument good for thee, but not for me?

I have not been able to hit on every topic covered in this book in one blog post.  She sums up in the conclusion what she discussed throughout the book –commonsense constitutional conservatism.  She notes that Americans of all stripes “are awakening to two firm sources of unity: our founding Characters of Liberty, and the virtues necessary to live up to them.”

Maintaining a healthy republic requires a populace that adheres to those old-fashioned values of hard work, honesty, integrity, thrift, and courage.  It is entirely right for us as a society to discuss the best way to foster those values.  And after a half century of liberal social experimentation, we know what does this.  It’s family (when we talk about limited government, it means the state knows better than the feds, the city knows better than the state, and the family knows better than the city).  It’s faith (be it through religion or the moral values transmitted in our secular culture).  And it’s flag (the understanding that we are an exceptional nation with an exceptional message for the world), (pg. 268).

She notes that “commonsense constitutional conservatism is about rediscovering our founding ideals and striving to be a nation that does justice to them,” (pg. 169). 

The book doesn’t answer every question that the electorate will likely want answered if she decides to run in 2012, and it certainly won’t convert those suffering from PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome).  However, if you want to gain a better understanding of Sarah Palin’s core values and principles then America By Heart delivers.   What America By Heart does provide is a vision for “commonsense constitutional conservatism,” matter of fact you can consider it a primer.

Shane Vander Hart is the editor of Caffeinated Thoughts and Caffeinated Theology.  Feel free to friend him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

Posted in Caffeinated Thoughts, Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Help Sarah Palin Win the Caffeinated Conservative Award

Posted by Shane Vander Hart on December 28, 2010


Caffeinated Thoughts is presenting its 3rd Annual Caffeinated Conservative Award. Governor Palin who won in 2008 and 2009 has been nominated again. You can help her win the 2010 award by voting at Caffeinated Thoughts or directly on the Sodahead poll.  Ron Paul right now is ahead by a sizeable margin, but voting is open until 11:00p (CST) on 12/30/10.

Shane Vander Hart is the editor of Caffeinated Thoughts and Caffeinated Theology.  Feel free to follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook, he loves connecting with fellow rogues.

Posted in Caffeinated Thoughts, Governor Sarah Palin | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Sarah Palin’s American History Challenge: Are You Smarter Than a Liberal? What Happened in 1773?

Posted by Shane Vander Hart on October 20, 2010

Oh my the left exploded on Twitter with hysteria when Sarah Palin at the Reno Tea Party Express rally said to supporters not to party like it is 1773 yet.  Cuffy Meigs caught their hysteria via screen shots for posterity:


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Hmmm…. what party could she be talking about, at a Tea Party event…. that happened in 1773… I wonder….


Oh yes that would be the Boston Tea Party which happened in… you guessed it – 1773.  I learned that in elementary school, and I even went to public school.  Go figure.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one who knew this.

Shane Vander Hart is the editor of Caffeinated Thoughts and Caffeinated Theology.  He loves connecting with fellow Rogues so feel free to follow him on Twitter and friend him on Facebook.

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About Governor Palin’s Speaking Fee for the Iowa GOP Reagan Dinner

Posted by Shane Vander Hart on September 18, 2010

There was none.  I hate being a killjoy for Politico’s Jonathan Martin, I really do.  I also feel dirty about citing an anonymous source since that practice was pretty well slammed tonight, but the person didn’t want to go on the record.  The person I spoke with said that Sarah Palin did not take a speaker’s fee for the Republican Party of Iowa’s Ronald Reagan Dinner tonight in Des Moines.  I confirmed that with Danielle Plogmann, the Iowa GOP’s Communications Director.  Plogmann said, “She did not take a speaker’s fee, we were happy to have her come out to support our party and our candidates.”

They had 135 tables with each table producing $1000 (some were discounted for candidates).  So they took in at least $100K tonight, minus room rental and meals.  Not too shabby.

Now let the 2012 speculation begin… she spoke for the Iowa GOP… for FREE?!?!?!

Shane Vander Hart is the editor of Caffeinated Thoughts.  Feel free to follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

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