September 9, 2011

Well dog my cats!

Some of Sarah Palin's Ideas Cross the Political Divide -

An NYT liberal digging Sarah Palin! Can the apocalypse be long in coming? Well, perhaps this will give pause to those of you who think I'm a bit over-the-top in my admiration for this woman...

...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." [Actually, Mr Anand, in America we traditionally "identify" with farmers and workers. They are us. In fact, and this will astonish you, the Democrat Party, and liberals like you, used to identify with farmers and workers! Yes, it's true. You can look it up.]

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).

In supporting her first point, about the permanent political class, she attacked both parties' tendency to talk of spending cuts while spending more and more; to stoke public anxiety about a credit downgrade, but take a vacation anyway; to arrive in Washington of modest means and then somehow ride the gravy train to fabulous wealth. She observed that 7 of the 10 wealthiest counties in the United States happen to be suburbs of the nation's capital.

Her second point, about money in politics, helped to explain the first. The permanent class stays in power because it positions itself between two deep troughs: the money spent by the government and the money spent by big companies to secure decisions from government that help them make more money.

"Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done?" she said, referring to politicians. "It's because there's nothing in it for them. They've got a lot of mouths to feed — a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along."

Because her party has agitated for the wholesale deregulation of money in politics and the unshackling of lobbyists, these will be heard in some quarters as sacrilegious words. [The "regulation" of money in politics currently is a fraud and a farce. For instance the NYT can tout candidates all it wants, but I can't run an ad for a candidate in the NYT right before the election, because that would be **ahem** "money corrupting politics." I doubt if it is possible to find an honest way of limiting money in politics, but I bet lots of Republicans would be for such a thing.]

Ms. Palin's third point was more striking still: in contrast to the sweeping paeans to capitalism and the free market delivered by the Republican presidential candidates whose ranks she has yet to join, she sought to make a distinction between good capitalists and bad ones. The good ones, in her telling, are those small businesses that take risks and sink and swim in the churning market; the bad ones are well-connected megacorporations that live off bailouts, dodge taxes and profit terrifically while creating no jobs.

Strangely, she was saying things that liberals might like, if not for Ms. Palin's having said them....

If liberals were still liberals, they very well might. In fact it was the mere suspicion that she might be thinking such thoughts that caused our fake-liberals (and lots of fake-Republicans) to try to destroy her before she can gain power.

What Sarah, and the Tea Parties, are expressing is actually an ancient Christian doctrine, called "Subsidiarity." Which can be pretty well boiled-down to the words on the bumper sticker on my car: "The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen."

It should also be mentioned, that this thinking has always been a Palin trademark, and for the NYT to just notice it now shows them to be morons. But you knew that.

Posted by John Weidner at September 9, 2011 6:44 PM
Weblog by John Weidner