The Palin-ization of Dan Forest kicks into gear

El Rushbo often says you can tell who  The Left fears the most by looking at who they attack with the most ferocity.  Look at the reaction to John McCain’s unveiling of Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008.  Palin was a successful grassroots leader, with a rapidly growing national following,  who had been elected governor of the State of Alaska.  Leftists and their media allies saw the excitement she generated in “flyover country” and went into panic mode.  They HAD to discredit this woman QUICK.

SNL mocked her accent.  She talks “funny”, so she must be an idiot — Just like George W. Bush.  You know, THAT guy from Texas with the degrees from Harvard and Yale.  Bill Clinton talks “funny” too, but he’s OK because (1) he agrees with us and (2) he’s married to our hero Butch Rodham.

The media went after the church Palin attended with her family.  Of course, they had no time for Barry Obama’s church.  You know, the one with the preacher who said moderate and rational things like “G– D— America.”

According to the media and their leftist allies, Palin was an idiot just like Dan Quayle, Ronald Reagan, and W.  Of course, they showed little concern about Congressman Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) who seriously fretted that increasing our military presence in Guam might cause the island to “tip over and capsize.”   

Fast forward to 2012 and the North Carolina elections.  Dan Forest, a conservative rookie candidate, runs a hard-fought grassroots campaign to get elected lieutenant governor.  During his GOP runoff with establishment favorite Tony Gurley, the term “religious kook”  spread through establishment gossip circles at a rapid-fire rate.  Forest won the runoff and entered into the general election against SEIU-backed Democrat Linda Coleman.   The SEIU’s pro-Coleman advertising barrage attempted to make the word “extreme” Forest’s middle name.  Don’t believe me? Run a Google search.

SEIU’s past president Andy Stern has spoken lovingly about Marxism-Leninism.  SEIU thugs have threatened and assaulted Tea Party activists across the country.  Why isn’t Coleman — backed by these people — called “extreme”? 

Pat McCrory — running far ahead of his Democrat opponent — did next to nothing to aid his ticketmate Forest.  Forest spent a lot of time tagging along behind McCrory and hoping for a shout-out from the podium at McCrory campaign events.

You can look at the November 6 totals to see that A LOT of folks who voted for Pat McCrory didn’t do the same for Forest.   (NCGOP’s  PR efforts made you think Pat McCrory, Mitt Romney, Richard Hudson, David Rouzer, and Chad Barefoot were the only Republicans on the ballot.)

The silence from the GOP  establishment was also deafening post-election when Coleman and her team were publicly mulling a recount.  After the recount effort faded, and the reality of a Lt. Gov. Dan Forest began to set it, Chris Fitzsimon, Rob Schofield and their team kicked into gear with rational, even handed analysis like “Just How Extreme is North Carolina’s new Lt. Governor?”

What has Fitzsimon and Schofield so concerned?  Apparently it’s Forest’s ties to something called “The Faith Driven Consumer” and his presidency of what appears to be a men’s Bible study group.  They also show concern over his desire to abolish some state taxes and kill ObamaCare.   Never mind that polls show Forest’s line of thinking to be on the same side of a majority of North Carolinians.  Chris and the boys worked hard against the marriage amendment to the state constitution, while Forest championed it.  The amendment was approved by voters by a 2-1 margin.   Fitzsimon & co.’s position was on the losing end of a 2-1 vote, and THEY are calling Forest “extreme.”

One of my political mentors once said: “Make sure you define yourself to the public FIRST, because your opponents are out there ready and willing to do it for you.”

The GOP establishment is concerned about Forest because (1) he has the potential to upstage their beloved Pat, and (2) he appeals to “the great unwashed” outside the Raleigh beltline and  Charlotte city limits.

The Democrats and their media allies see him as a threat to (1) keep the executive mansion in GOP hands for eight years beyond Pat McCrory, (2) show folks that real conservatism isn’t really all that scary, and (3)  successfully climb the ladder to higher offices.

Team Forest needs to learn some lessons from the Sarah Palin experience.  Their guy needs to step up and define himself as a serious, principled conservative leader.  If Team Forest keeps proceeding as they are, they are opening up a large window of opportunity for Chris, Rob & the McClatchy gang in Charlotte and Raleigh.