"But when her throat was cleared at last, Ms. Palin had something considerably more substantive to say.
"She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now
governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties,
that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people.
Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big
business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony
capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States
may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between
friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both
public and private).
"In supporting her first point, about the permanent political class, she
attacked both parties’ tendency to talk of spending cuts while spending
more and more; to stoke public anxiety about a credit downgrade, but
take a vacation anyway; to arrive in Washington of modest means and then
somehow ride the gravy train to fabulous wealth. She observed that 7 of
the 10 wealthiest counties in the United States happen to be suburbs of
the nation’s capital.
"Her second point, about money in politics, helped to explain the first.
The permanent class stays in power because it positions itself between
two deep troughs: the money spent by the government and the money spent
by big companies to secure decisions from government that help them make
“Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done?” she said,
referring to politicians. “It’s because there’s nothing in it for them.
They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed — a lot of corporate lobbyists and a
lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good
times and the money rolling along.
"Because her party has agitated for the wholesale deregulation of money
in politics and the unshackling of lobbyists, these will be heard in
some quarters as sacrilegious words.
Ms. Palin’s third point was more striking still: in contrast to the
sweeping paeans to capitalism and the free market delivered by the
Republican presidential candidates whose ranks she has yet to join, she
sought to make a distinction between good capitalists and bad ones. The
good ones, in her telling, are those small businesses that take risks
and sink and swim in the churning market; the bad ones are
well-connected megacorporations that live off bailouts, dodge taxes and
profit terrifically while creating no jobs.
"Strangely, she was saying things that liberals might like, if not for Ms. Palin’s having said them.
“'This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation
and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk,” she said of the
crony variety. She added: “It’s the collusion of big government and big
business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest — to the
little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners — the
true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70 percent of the
jobs in America.'”
Never thought I would find anything Sarah Palin said interesting, but I do. Of course there is a permanent class that stays in power and they govern to stay in power. Whatever they do for the people is merely a concession they make because they have to, because they are forced to make them to avoid an insurrection that would cost them their power, insurrections like that which cost LBJ the presidency or that cost the Republicans the control of Congress in 2006. Of course, this permanent class is able, even after such insurrections, to maintain control. This is what the Democrats did to Jimmy Carter, undermining his presidency with the help of Ted Kennedy. And then they fell into step with Ronald Reagan, with Tip O'Neill leading the way. Whether Palin means any of this is a question. But at least she said it. And that is something.