Sunday, February 12, 2012


I see that Sarah Palin gave the best-received speech at CPAC:

If Sarah Palin had been on the ballot for the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, there is little doubt she would have won.

The former Alaska governor received far-and-away the most spirited and enthusiastic reception at this convention of about 10,000 conservative activists.

She drew the audience to its feet more than a dozen times during her keynote address on Saturday....

This happened hours after Palin told an interviewer that a brokered Republican convention wouldn't be a bad thing.

Now, I know this isn't going to happen, but let me daydream for a while: Wouldn't it be delightful if, first, the Republican nominating process degenerated into chaos because the party establishment sought the destroy the candidacies of everyone the crazy base liked (Cain, Gingrich, etc.) ... and then we got to a brokered convention and that degenerated into chaos, with the establishment trying to sandbag the crazy base's choice -- Sarah Palin?

C'mon, a feller can dream, can't he?


It occurs to me that Palin has now become more or less what she wanted to be: the Hillary Clinton of the right. Hillary's popularity these days is sky-high. Why? To a great extent it's because she's not running for anything, and is thus not a target of criticism. Palin isn't running for anything, either, and recently she's kept a low profile (at least by her standards). Think she'd be this much of a conquering heroine if she were in the race and the opposition research staffs of Mitt Romney and Karl Rove were hard at work generating attack ads and leaks to the press about her, given their awareness of how astonishingly unpopular she is in the eyes of the general population?

So enjoy this for now, Sarah. Just don't try offering yourself as a candidate if the nominating process breaks down, unless you want to be a target of folks who are way nastier than David Letterman


And a note to Andrew Metcalf of Crooks and Liars: with all due respect, Andrew, please, just stop:

Sarah Palin and Occupy Could Be Friends

... After three days at CPAC my senses had dulled to the attacks on Obama. But, my ears perked when Palin made a point that wasn't divisive about crony capitalism. She said "crony capitalism" had infected Washington....

Palin made a similar point in Iowa on September 3, 2011, two weeks before protesters occupied Zuccotti Park. She said, "It's not the capitalism of free men and free markets of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and risk. No this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts... and influence peddling and corporate welfare," according to an article about the speech in the Washington Post.

... just the brief mention of crony capitalism was important. Even her restraint to not criticize the [Occupy] protesters [who heckled her] ... meant she might understand her Tea Party and their Occupy share similar populist ideas. The roots of the real Tea Party lie in a backlash against the bailouts.

If there's going to be dramatic change in the political system it's going to take more than one side screaming at the other, clinging to their guns or to their tents. And while it's easy for Democrats to belittle the Tea Party as an astroturfing movement and for the Republicans to belittle Occupy as stinky vandals, it's far more difficult to build coalitions behind common causes....

Oh, please. Let me remind you that Palin's prattle about "crony capitalism" goes at least as far back as this Facebook post ("Institutionalizing Crony Capitalism") in April 2010. How'd that work out for progressives at the polls the following November?

Palin's trick in that Facebook post was to attack Obama seemingly from the left in the service of a right-wing agenda. First she argued that Dodd-Frank would be gamed by lobbyists, including President Obama's Wall Street pals -- true enough -- but then she asserted that "government should not burden the market with unnecessary bureaucracy" Yes, she also argued that the law shouldn't "make a dangerous 'too-big-to-fail' mentality the law of the land." But her audience heard that as noise and the anti-regulation pitch as signal -- or did I somehow miss the election in 2010 of a large cohort of Republican freshmen who favor curbs on Wall Street excess?

Forget it -- these folks may say they resent "too big to fail," but they absolutely don't resent "too big (and too reckless) to crash the economy." They may hate bailouts, but they don't hate the reckless financial endangerment that leads to bailouts. (They don't even believe catastrophic bubbles are the result of capitalism; they blame the current crash exclusively on Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act.) They'll never try to lift a finger to stop Wall Street recklessness -- not as long as they're listening to people like Palin.


c u n d gulag said...

A Palin/Gingrich ticket would sure piss-off us Liberals!

I recommend that that be the ticket that comes out if there's a brokered convention.
It's a WINNER, Conservatives!

Or a Perry/Bachmann ticket!
Or, a Ladies Day Special - Palin/Bachmann!

Boy, Obama and us Liberals sure pray to our Atheist Gods and Godesses that you Conservatives never figure this out!

Oh, Lordy, Lordy, what WIIIIIIIIIILL we do if you do?

Anonymous said...

They hate "bailouts" because it's the government's money, not because it benefits Wall Street or big banks. For Occupy it's totally the reverse. It's an accidental and only apparent point of agreement.

Batocchio said...

C&L is one of my favorite sites, but that title reeked of Slate contrarianism, and the commenters called Metcalf on his bullshit thesis. (I'm going to assume he can do better, though.) Next up: someone argues that the tea party is an independent, populist movement radicalized by Obama!