Joe Scarborough Hits Sarah Palin In Op-Ed

Former Republican Congressman and current MSNBC host Joe Scarborough is out with a scathing new post encouraging Republicans to "man up" and take Sarah Palin down a peg. As if trying to get the ball rolling, he precedes this suggestion with a few choice volleys of his own.

"Republicans have a problem," Scarborough writes at Politico. "The most-talked-about figure in the GOP is a reality show star who cannot be elected."

Scarborough's main beef with Palin seems to be that, in his view, she just is not serious enough to be considered a viable GOP candidate for president in 2012, and despite the supposed general acceptance of this as fact, Republicans sit idly, afraid to speak out, while Palin basks in the pre-campaign limelight.

To make matters worse, Scarborough prods, Palin does all of this while demeaning the legacies of GOP standard-bearers that many hold dear, people such as former presidents Reagan, whom she casually downplayed as "an actor," as well as George H.W. and Barbara Bush, whom she deemed "blue bloods."

In a particularly caustic passage, Scarborough seeks to draw a comparison between the accomplishments of H.W. Bush and Palin.

I suppose Palin's harsh dismissal of this great man is more understandable after one reads her biography and realizes that, like Bush, she accomplished a great deal in her early 20s. Who wouldn't agree that finishing third in the Miss Alaska beauty contest is every bit as treacherous as risking your life in military combat? Maybe the beauty contestant who would one day be a reality star and former governor didn't win the Distinguished Flying Cross, but the half-termer was selected as Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants.

While Scarborough is clearly much harsher in his criticism of the former Alaska Governor and potential presidential contender than others have been before, Palin will likely find the contention that she has remained largely insulated from GOP attacks ridiculous.

As Scarborough mentions, former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan didn't take kindly to Palin's reduction of the Gipper's legacy, going as far as to call her a "nincompoop," but that stands as one of many lumps taken by the former vice presidential candidate.

Republican strategist Karl Rove questioned Palin's presidential "gravitas" in October and wondered how helpful her new reality TV show on TLC would be at proving her value as a potential head-of-state.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, still embroiled in a frigid recount battle, took a moment away from her campaign recently to publicly question Palin's "leadership qualities" and "intellectual curiosity" for becoming president.

It's all part of a larger trend that Politico reported in October, a supposed understanding that Republicans cannot allow Sarah Palin to win the GOP presidential nomination. Reporters Mike Allen and Jim VaneHei later characterized the basis of their piece as the worst kept GOP secret, a commonly accepted mission that Republicans were afraid to publicly admit for fear of backlash amongst Palin's adamant and enthusiastic following.

Scarborough, however, apparently believes that the GOP's "stop Palin" assignment should be clear, and he, for one, is seemingly willing to announce himself as one of its proud champions. Read his whole piece here.