Sarah Palin, Really? The Media's Desperate Hunt for Post-Partisanship Goes Horribly Awry

I know that Beltway journalists and pundits are desperate for signs of a post-partisan Moses who will lead us out of our political wilderness, but really, New York Times -- Sarah Palin?

Some of Sarah Palin's Ideas Cross the Political Divide

Let us begin by confessing that, if Sarah Palin surfaced to say something intelligent and wise and fresh about the present American condition, many of us would fail to hear it....

But something curious happened when Ms. Palin strode onto the stage last weekend at a Tea Party event in Indianola, Iowa. Along with her familiar and predictable swipes at President Barack Obama and the "far left," she delivered a devastating indictment of the entire U.S. political establishment -- left, right and center -- and pointed toward a way of transcending the presently unbridgeable political divide....

She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a "permanent political class," drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called "corporate crony capitalism." Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private)....

Ms. Palin may be hinting at a new political alignment that would pit a vigorous localism against a kind of national-global institutionalism....

Oh, please. Isn't this exactly what a lot of naive journalists, pundits, and bloggers said about the tea party movement -- until it became obvious (though it was obvious to a lot of us from the start) that what motivates teabaggers above all is their bone-deep hatred of Democrats and liberals, while they criticize Republicans only for not being right-wing enough?

If what Palin says is based on "interlocking" ideas, I'd say there are two. The first is that Democrats and liberals are guilty of being both radical capitalism-haters and devious elitists. In both forms -- dangerous radicals and internationalist pullers of the world's levers -- we Dems and libs are remote from "regular Americans" who wear work boots and listen to country music. (This is basically the message of Palin's great pal Glenn Beck, who regards Barack Obama as the love child of George Soros and Malcolm X, and it's not very different from old-fashioned conspiracy theories about Jews as "international bankers" who also foist jazz and miscegenation on lily-white America.)

The second idea is that Republicans lost their way before the dawn of the tea party Golden Age because they spent like crazy -- in the right-wing critics' view, they spent like liberals. This was an after-the-fact right-wing rationalization of Republican electoral losses in 2008 and (especially) 2006; Republicans told themselves that their candidates lost as a result of "losing their way" on spending because they couldn't bear to acknowledge public disgust with the botched and unnecessary Iraq War, the botched Katrina response, the attempt at privatizing Social Securityand other Bush failures. Conservatism couldn't possibly have been rejected by the voters, they told themselves.

So Palin's just cobbled together a few empty talking points out of these ingredients. Now, if she meant what she says about "crony capitalism," she'd be denouncing Citizens United and the Koch brothers. Is she? Of course not. So these words of hers are meaningless, and this Times analysis is a joke.

No More Mister Nice Blog / By Steve M. | Sourced from

Posted at September 10, 2011, 5:20am

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