Palin positions herself as a populist, but her populism is entirely cultural. She never misses an opportunity to tell us how weepy she gets when she thinks about our country and its military. She fires the governor’s mansion chef, who is bored because her kids won’t eat his fancypants food. She swoons over a meal of homemade blueberry pie from “hardworking, unpretentious, patriotic” Alaskans — unlike, one presumes, those uppity Berkeley snobs who prefer tarte Tatin at Chez Panisse.

A little of that goes a long way, and I wouldn’t begrudge Palin a bit of it if her populism had any economic substance. Early in Going Rogue she talks in detail about how Exxon exploited the people of Alaska in the Exxon Valdez disaster. And her experience tangling with oil companies taught Palin about how big business colludes with government to create a crony capitalism that harms the common good.

And yet, she’s incapable of understanding how the uncritically pro-business economic agenda she touts makes this possible.

… This is the Republican Party’s great populist hope?

Sarah Palin is selling a personality, not a platform. … She’s doing the best she can with what she has to work with.

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  1. Caleb, that’s just an excellent critique of the shapely former governor. I would just love to see you and her get together and you could sit her down and do a little FPR preachin’. I just wonder if she’d get it and if she’d pee in the GOP punchbowl.
    There’s a reason why the Leftist Marxists go berserk when the lovely Ms. Palin shows up.
    BTW, she’s smarter than BO,…way smarter!

  2. Gee, and here I thought that is always what the American Voter does, swallow a personality hook, line and sinker before being boated and gutted by the Swells who run the place for our own good. After all, Lloyd assures us they are doing “God’s work” and he did apologize and pledge 3% of their profits to small business education. Classroom time shouldn’t be a problem for American Small Business seeing there is nothing to occupy their time out in the harpooned national economy.

    I always enjoy the spectacle of someone who babbles on about their love of Alaska while resigning the Governor’s office in order to write a book in 90 days before embarking upon a lower 40 bus dragnet with giant glorious mural, telling everyone how much she detests government while yearning so hard to get in the captains seat of said government , she verily squeaks like a pair of bad new shoes. This woman is not a candidate, she’s a pathology but the place has gone amply septic and so perhaps it is only right.

    Reality America, hooboy….donchyaknow, click click wink wink.

  3. “She’s selling a personality, not a platform.” — well said.

    Truth to tell, the woman is all brass and no class. I cannot believe for the life of me why the GOP would even consider nominating for the presidency someone like this, a hybrid of shallowness and brazen arrogance in one shrill package.

    As for that familiar trope about “driving liberals wild,” the fact is liberals are too busy laughing their heads off at her to be bothered with getting angry. And frankly, I can’t blame them. This woman is making all genuine conservatives look ridiculous.

  4. D.W. Sabin: “…telling everyone how much she detests government while yearning so hard to get in the captains seat of said government…

    There is not much I like about Palin… not much at all. But it is simply not inconsistent to decry what our government has become while at the same time seeking an office in that government. If it were, such an inconsistency would be equally applicable to nearly all candidates, as they tend to campaign by suggestion what is wrong with the government and by suggesting what they would change.

    I’m all for pointing out why Palin would be a ridiculous presidential candidate, but it does no good to attack her gratuitously.

  5. Tom, point well taken, its a good one…however, there is the compulsion to enter government to serve the Republic and then there is the current compulsion….enter the government to self-aggrandize and enrich and to do so in a kind of spectacle of resentiment…..while stating oppositional positions that oddly seem to be contradicted, sometimes brazenly by one’s own actions.

  6. It’s interesting- I hear the “driving liberals wild” trope from every single Republican I know who likes Sarah Palin, usually within the first three or four sentences of explaining her appeal to me. I can’t think of who on the left might be described that way, glowingly, by Democrats: “s/he really drives conservatives crazy!” Perhaps Michael Moore.

  7. Rufus, dude, in the rather embarrassing circus that is American politics, Ms. Palin is an intellectual giant. In any rational comparison with, for example, our undocumented president, BO, she clearly is head and shoulders brighter…you betcha!
    As far as a commie-Dem that fires my aging, republican sympathies…I just don’t know. Algore strikes me as the kid in class who was slow, Bubba as the kid caught chokin’ his chicken in the boy’s rest room, and Mikie Moore as the kid that bathed infrequently.
    Sadly, I must admit that Ms. Palin appears to be a neocon/rino so, in the end, I’ll probably not be very enthused. But, as I was saying to Caleb I’d sure like to have him sit down and talk a little sense to her!
    BTW, how’s that Obama thing working for you?

  8. Bob,
    This is all funny stuff, but why ruin it with the lazy overused snark line at the end? I live in Canada. Have for seven years now. I don’t vote in American elections, and if I was inclined to send off for an absentee ballot, I’d have rather written in Mickey Mouse than vote for either Mr. Hopey-Change or Senior Suspended Campaign and Governor Moosejaw. So, sure, as a Canadian resident who didn’t vote for or support the Obama thing, I guess it’s working out fine for me. How’s Stephen Harper working out for you?

    As for Palin being an intellectual giant in American politics, it’s a bit like being named prettiest girl in the leper colony, isn’t it?

  9. Rufus, “lazy..snark” well I’ve always been fond of that line and have yet to get a straight answer from my socialist friends..but I try!

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