Anand Giridharadas at the NY Times has discovered something novel: Sarah Palin has ideas. Writing from the point of view of someone obviously conditioned to dismiss her as irrelevant, begins with a confession:
Let us begin by confessing that, if many of us would fail to hear it.
surfaced to say something intelligent and wise and fresh about the present American condition,
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.
Then comes the epiphany:
But something curious happened when Ms. Palin strode onto the stage last weekend at a . Along with her familiar and predictable swipes at President Barack Obama and the “far left,” event in Indianola, Iowashe 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.
Then comes the contradictory characterization that Palin has been paranoid about the media’s treatment of her.
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 ambitions.
The writer admits the media did exactly what Palin said they do, but its still her “fantasy.” We can forgive that. After all PDS is a terrible addiction and one that is not shake easily.
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).
Strangely, she was saying things that liberals might like, if not for Ms. Palin’s having said them.
“This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk,” she said of the crony variety. She added: “It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest — to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners — the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70 percent of the jobs in America.”
Is there a hint of a political breakthrough hiding in there?
Although Ms. Palin’s message and political philosophy has changed little since the beginning of her political career in Wasilla, the writer appears to be hearing it for the first time. I guess you could call that a “political breakthrough.” A breakthrough that goes to the heart of her unconventional campaign style. She will not need the media to bless her or confer gravitas for her to be effective. She will continue to take her message to the people one at a time. No gatekeepers necessary. Will others be so bold as to hear her with an open mind?
Prof Jacobsen is cautiously optimistic:
This probably will not signal a sea change in media coverage of Palin, or among conservative pundits. Liberals and conservatives alike have been played for fools by their media and their parties.
But hopefully it is a starting point of the recognition that Palin stands alone among major political figures in the United States seeking a transformation of the country consistent with its founding principles, not against them, principles which used to appeal to liberals. Palin’s anti-statist anti-crony capitalism message has the power to reach across parties, which is why that message gets buried in Palin Derangement Syndrome.