Republicans – and not so much Democrats – believe in competition among its members, said Sarah Palin Wednesday. But recent history provides a few examples of Democratic scuffling.
“You know ... we don’t have just the fighting instincts of a bunch of sheep, like I think a lot of Democrats do,” said Palin.
So the Dems are too ovine, are they? What about that scuffle awhile back where White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told the “professional left” to cut their carping about President Obama moving to the center? And wasn’t it Joe Manchin, newly elected Democratic senator of West Virginia, who actually shot a rifle at Mr. Obama’s energy bill in a campaign ad? Sheep have hoofs – so we don’t think they can pull triggers.
They might if they could, though. Sheep can be pretty aggressive. At least rams can. According to a recent article in Sheep! magazine, which bills itself as “the voice of the independent flockmaster,” rams often act, well, rammish, especially during mating season.
“This is normal and natural and the way it should be. Rams often don’t get the respect they deserve,” the piece says.
The author also recommends carrying a big stick and/or a spray bottle filled with a 50-50 mixture of water and vinegar if you’re working near an angry ram. Hmm. Which do you think would work better on the professional left – the stick or the vinegar?
Getting back to Palin, the context in which she made the sheep comment was interesting, too. At the time she was talking about Michele Bachmann, the GOP Minnesota lawmaker who gave a tea party response to Obama’s State of the Union address. Did Representative Bachmann’s speech take anything away from the official Republican SOTU reply, which was given by Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan? Palin didn’t think so.
Bachmann and Representative Ryan delivered complementary messages of fiscal restraint and the need for small government, said Palin. Both were necessary to counter Obama’s SOTU message, which, according to Palin, was “big government is here as long as I am, and I’m going to find a way to make you pay."
But what about that subtle competition between Palin and Bachmann herself for leadership of the northern female, tea party wing of the GOP? Meghan McCain just called Bachmann a “poor man’s Sarah Palin,” after all.
Well, Palin didn’t rise to that bait. She even gave Bachmann an “attagirl.”
“I love it when anybody goes rogue for the right reasons,” Palin said.
Republicans believe in internal competition, added Palin. Healthy debate makes members tough as mama grizzlies. Unlike those woolly Dems.