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.