Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Coming Storm—Sarah Palin Versus the Establishment…What Kind of Campaign Will She Run?

Brices Crossroads weighs in with an insightful piece about a potential Palin campaign. She has stated often it would not be a conventional campaign. I believe we, her supporters, are legion, and will rise up as soon as she makes her announcement to propel her to the nomination.  ~ teledude

Free Republic
by Brices Crossroads

As even the pundits are beginning to acknowledge, their two year long campaign to keep Sarah Palin out of the 2012 Presidential election has failed. She is going to run. Even the likes of Karl Rove acknowledge it at this point. Their strategy for stopping her will now shift in focus, but it will remain essentially the same. Smear and distract. The Establishment of both parties will continue the relentless ad hominems against her that have so far fallen like spent bullets at her feet. And they will try to distract her in any way possible by raising issues of their choosing and framing every issue through their leftist/politically correct prism. Their collective lack of imagination and creativity is, and always has been (at least as far back as 1976), their Achilles heel. Bound tightly to the conventional wisdom it produces, the Establishment is a mass of lummoxes, thinking and acting with a single, addled brain. The Beltway hive is essentially, and collectively, dead from the neck up. But enough about them.

What kind of campaign can we expect from Governor Palin? No doubt it will be unconventional. She has said as much. She does not operate by consulting a playbook or according to the conventional wisdom. Her campaign will likely be a slash and burn operation against her opponents, replete with driving raids against sacred cows long held inviolable by the hive, with the Establishment moving its slow thighs in a vain effort to keep up. But these generalities aside, has Governor Palin, in her recent pronouncements, provided anything more specific? Do we have any ideas how she will operate both strategically and tactically? Having read and re-read some of her recent statements, I believe we do.

With regard to her strategic approach, I think a window into her strategy can be gleaned from her very well received speech at the Reagan ranch, on the occasion of the Gipper’s 100th birthday in February. Her warm embrace of Ronald Reagan, which was so appropriate to this occasion, somewhat obscured the clues she very clearly delivered about the kind of campaign she intends to run. I myself believe that she intends to run not just against Barack Obama’s domestic policies, but against all of the domestic policies, especially fiscal ones, since Reagan’s term ended in 1989.

And while there was no direct reference to the two Bush Administrations or to the Clinton Administration (which was spawned by the missteps of the first Bush), Palin very adroitly took them both to task and, at the same time, defended the Gipper. Noting that, by the time he left office, President Reagan had defeated the expansionist ideology of the [big government] Great Society, she lamented that: "If history teaches us anything, it is that bad ideas are never gone for good. FOR THE LAST TWO DECADES, WE HAVE SEEN BIG GOVERNMENT SLOWLY ENCROACH ON US. IT WAS SUBTLE AT FIRST, COUCHED IN THE LANGUAGE OF PROGRESS AND COMPASSION. But when the financial crisis erupted in 2008, big government rose up and presumptuously declared itself the answer to our problems...."

Palin deftly juxtaposed Reagan's success in defeating the expansionist ideology of big government with the current failures of the same big government ideology, which BEGAN under the guise of "compassion" (whether "kinder and gentler" or "compassionate conservatism") during the first Bush Administration. In labeling this so-called "kinder and gentler" euphemism for what it is: the old "big government" bad idea dressed up in drag, Palin at once mounted a long overdue defense of Reagan's real legacy and separated herself not only from the crescendo of this ideology, personified in Barack Obama, but from the "two decades" of its "subtle encroachment" by Bush-Clinton-Bush, without which Obama would never have been possible in the first place.

As far as her tactical approach is concerned, I believe that her recent comments concerning Newt Gingrich’s latest case of “foot in mouth disease” on Meet the Press provide some answers as well. By “tactical approach” I mean her approach to the forensic art of politics: debates, interviews, reactions to unexpected events, etc. Her responses on Sean Hannity’s May 18, 2011 program confirm what most of us already know about her. She has a firm, fixed set of beliefs (as did Reagan) and so is able to answer questions directly and avoid the foot faults of politicians who are always trying to please some crowd rather than just “saying what they mean and meaning what they say”. She will be the first serious candidate since Reagan who is not “focus testing” a message. She is not trying to please the crowd. She is trying to LEAD the crowd. And like any great future President, she realizes that the President’s power is preeminently to PERSUADE and then to LEAD, not principally to PLEASE.

She gave a hint of her tactical approach as well in the manner in which she critiqued Gingrich for allowing the NBC newsreader to frame the issues. This is a typical affliction of the garden variety politician who essentially believes in nothing and, instead of listening to the question posed, is neurotically trying to frame an answer that will please or at least not offend. Palin, supremely confident in her beliefs, does not suffer from such neuroses, and she is able to focus entirely on the question and to edit it or correct its premise as needed. Sarah Palin will not be led down the primrose path by the likes of Tim Pawlenty or Mitt Romney or Obama. She will be rocking them back on their heels from the jump.

This campaign, strategically, may bear some resemblance to the great Reagan insurgencies of 1976 and 1980, but it will not be encumbered with the Establishment baggage of a John Sears (whose mistakes sank the Reagan’s 1976 campaign and very nearly did the same in 1980 before Reagan marginalized, and then fired him). The 2008 campaign taught Palin a lesson, which she probably already knew, but which she---as McCain’s loyal number 2, was not free to embrace: With most politicians, there is less there than meets the eye. With so-called campaign gurus (are you listening Rove and Schmidt?), there is less there than that. Hers will be a Reagan style insurgency without the “guru generated” foot faults of 1976 and 1980.

There is another reason I believe that her campaign will be strategically similar to the Reagan insurgencies. Governor Palin is the first major GOP figure since Reagan left office to step forward and defend President Reagan and his administration, albeit subtly, from the “kinder and gentler” dig at his Administration delivered by his Vice President, George H.W. Bush, at the 1988 Convention and repeated only two years ago by Jeb Bush, who advised the GOP to move past its “nostalgia” for Reagan.

In defending Reagan’s real legacy, she separates herself from the Establishment that always reviled Reagan and now reviles her. At the Ranch, she noted that the conservative movement, which Reagan birthed and to which she belongs: "has never been more engaged... and more willing to put up with what it takes to serve." Observing that Reagan was unique, she freely conceded that: "No. There is not one replacement for Reagan, but rather an army of patriotic Davids who are not afraid to stand up and speak out in defense of liberty. These Davids aren't afraid to tell Goliath, 'Don't tread on me.'"

The battle lines are drawn, and the Governor has drawn them, aligning herself firmly with the successful ideas of Reagan and against the carnage wrought by his successors' expansionist Great Society ideology of the last two decades. In 2012, it will not just be Sarah Palin versus Barack Obama, but Palin versus the Establishment-sponsored, Bush-Clinton-Obama "hydra of big government" that has grown at a gallop since the Gipper left the scene in 1989.

David versus Goliath, huh? Looks like she is reaching into her pouch for a smooth stone...


  1. Sarah Palin buys a house in north Scottsdale?

    The Arizona Republic

  2. To me that is another sure sign she is getting ready to launch her campaign.

    Close to the airport, she can get around the lower 48 with ease from that location. Looks like a nice house too!

  3. Dear Lord, God of all Creation, Raise up leaders in every land dedicated to Your standards of order, equity, and justice. Amen.

  4. 1st: She shall not do any mainstream interviews.
    2nd: (I await her move)