Sarah Palin surfaced to say something intelligent and wise and fresh about the present American condition, many of us would fail to hear it.
That is not how we’re primed to see Ms. Palin. A pugnacious Tea Partyer?
Sure. A woman of the people?
Yup. A Mama Grizzly? You betcha.
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.
The next day, the “lamestream” media, as she calls it, played into her
fantasy of it by ignoring the ideas she unfurled and dwelling almost
entirely on the will-she-won’t-she question of her presidential
So here is something I never thought I would write: a column about Sarah Palin’s ideas.
There was plenty of the usual Palin schtick — words that make clear that
she is not speaking to everyone but to a particular strain of American:
“The working men and women of this country, you got up off your couch,
you came down from the deer stand, you came out of the duck blind, you
got off the John Deere, and we took to the streets, and we took to the
town halls, and we ended up at the ballot box.”
But when her throat was cleared at last, Ms. Palin had something considerably more substantive to say.
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). (Continues here at NYT)