The establishment Republican Party leaders and their sometime abettors in the establishment media would like to forget that the Tea Party uprising of 2009 and 2010 was as much a revolt against the entrenched GOP leadership as it was a rebellion against Barack Obama and his liberal agenda.
Tea Partiers and grassroots conservatives frustrated by the slow pace of change in the GOP or its tendency to equate change with lurching to the left were therefore delighted when former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin took to the stage at CPAC and delivered a stinging rebuke to the advocates of big government Republicanism and the abandonment of the Republican Party’s support for traditional marriage and other elements of the traditional values agenda.
Most of the media coverage of Sarah Palin’s CPAC speech centered on her humorous tweaking of Karl Rove and America’s nanny-in-chief New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. However, those who stop there in their analysis of Governor Palin’s remarks are missing the most important element of her CPAC speech: her celebration of the populist elements of the Tea Party agenda and a call for the Republican Party to embrace them.
In the first of two key points in the speech, Palin invoked the wisdom of Lady Margaret Thatcher to remind Republicans that the way forward after the 2012 election disaster was not to be more like the Democrats, saying, “The permanent political class is in permanent political mode so where do we go from here? One of my idols, Lady Margaret Thatcher, she offered this advice after her party lost at the polls. She told fellow conservatives not to get lost in abstract debates and green-eye-shade accounting. Mrs. Thatcher advised conservatives to focus their concerns first and foremost on the people. She said; look at every problem from the grassroots, not from the top down. She also cautioned Conservatives not to go wobbly on their beliefs…”
Governor Palin also gave a good analysis of the disaster Obamanomics has wreaked upon America’s middle class. These facts are important, and should get more media coverage whenever the White House says the economy is improving and the recession is over -- but pointing them out is not unique to Sarah Palin. What is unique and important is her analysis of how they relate to the growth of government and the growing divide between Washington and “heartland country” as Palin calls it.
“…[J]ust think about it,” said Palin. “[A]t a time when Washington is so powerful that seven of the ten highest income counties in the country ring the city, allow yourself to imagine leadership that deems to understand us little people, us clinging to our God, our Guns our Constitution and our grassroots – imagine leadership that actually takes seriously the idea of government of the people, by the people, for the people, and then imagine leadership that knows how to prioritize to ensure national security and to stop government waste. That’s leadership that would have as its guiding light, its great North Star, our U.S. Constitution.”
Sarah Palin, almost alone among national political figures regularly points out that the Obama presidency has promoted not just a cultural divide, but a growing economic divide between the urban elite who are running the country and citizens outside the Beltway in real America.
And Obama’s beggaring of Americans in the heartland has real electoral consequences as more and more Americans -- desperate for a job, health insurance, food stamps and mere survival -- become more willing to look to the government to provide them.
In her call for the rebuilding of America and the Republican Party, Palin was invoking pure Ronald Reagan who said in summing-up how he had rebuilt the Republican Party into a winning national Party: “Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: 'We the People.' 'We the People' tell the government what to do; it doesn't tell us.”
Today’s Republican Party doesn’t need to “rebrand” or try to outbid the Democratic Party for the votes of grievance-based minority groups. What it needs to do is recapture the revolutionary spirit of Ronald Reagan by listening to Sarah Palin and the millions of disillusioned grassroots conservatives in fly-over country that she represents, when she says, “let’s be clear about one thing, we’re not here to rebrand a party, we’re here to rebuild a country… “.
To sign our letter to Karl Rove telling him we are outraged by the disrespect he has shown Governor Sarah Palin and her supporters go to http://www.conservativehq.com/article/12638-petition-support-governor-sarah-palin
CHQ editor George Rasley served as lead advance representative for Governor Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign.