Has America ever had a national political party whose undisputed leader -- and let's face it, that's what Sarah Palin is right now -- held that status while working as an employee of a massive media empire? A media empire that's also hijacked the ostensibly "grassroots" political movement that increasingly controls the political party in question, and that now dominates national politics?
That's where we are right now. The wing of the tea party movement that created the Nashville convention, and that seeks very close links with the GOP, has bigfooted its way to the front of the line and is now the most important wing by far. Palin is now that wing's (and therefore the entire movement's) de facto leader, as well as (in all likelihood after this weekend) the top candidate for the GOP's presidential nomination in 2012. And, of course, she said in late January -- on Fox News, while drawing a Fox News paycheck -- that the tea party movement and the GOP should merge.
Given the haplessness of the Democrats and the likelihood of a total takeover of D.C. by Republicans in 2010 and 2012, this is a consolidation of political power in Rupert Murdoch's hands that would make Silvio Berlusconi green with envy.