Why the GOP Fears Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin is old enough and experiencedenough to have a mature voice as a writer and thinker on present day affairs ofstate.  Of course, any published itemwill be polished to death, unlike my scribblings in this somewhat personalintellectual daybook.  And these items doreflect her opinions and direction and it is pretty well as good as we could reasonablyexpect.

The GOP problem is that a lot of folksthink that they own the rarified heights of the party’s influence.  Sarah Palin is a party crasher who hasstrategically allied herself with the tea party and has enabled and assistedthe tea party in setting the GOP agenda. However loyal to the GOP you may be, your own fantasies of influence arenaturally diminished in the wake of a tyro who is not too famous for listeningto the good old boys.

The GOP is been reinvented in the form ofSarah Palin’s populous tea party.  Wewill soon learn if this is a winning strategy, but the only comparable that I canthink of is Teddy Roosevelt who was the male version of Sarah.  I seriously do not think that anyone can stopher from grabbing the GOP nomination.

As I posted two years ago, the media has thrownevery possible stone at her to the point that they are completely out ofammunition.  This has served to hardenher support and make everyone else form an opinion on her prematurely.  She is now through reality shows, shootinggame, and opinion pieces confounding those opinions made in haste.

She has reached that point in the mediauniverse were she has become coated with Teflon.  It all slides off now.

The GOP has a great populist leader who isseen to be truly one of the people and seen to be an American actionfigure.  Obama is in deep trouble becausehis record is a litany of failure to take any action when it was calledfor.  Palin will be able to beat him withthis record.

Whythe GOP Fears Sarah Palin

2010 DECEMBER 13

One way or the other, Sarah Palin will havethe biggest impact on the GOP’s chances to win the presidency  in 2012. Her recent editorial in the WallStreet Journal supporting Rep. Paul Ryan’s economic deficitreduction and economic growth plan is simply her latest in a seriesof comments on the important issues for America. Her astuteness in thesematters is apparent. No, I don’t care if she actually writes these, althoughthere is no reason to believe she does not. Whether she does or not, it isapparent she understands their importance and meaning.  
The two areas where the FederalGovernment can do the most damage domestically are: 1) the fiscal issuesof tax and spending policy, i.e., too much of both; and, 2) regulatorynihilism—-in particular relating to the ad hoc restriction of property rightsunilaterally by the executive branch. This happens when the Governmentimplements and interprets vaguely written laws with “unintended” consequences.Examples include the recentChrysler and GM bailouts, unfunded mandates ofall kinds; defining CO2 as a pollutant; the already unchecked power of the EPAoverall; and the upcoming Big Kahuna, “Obamacare”.

Ryan’s proposal, A Roadmap for America’sFuture, addresses the first issue most directly and parts of the second issueindirectly (for example, his proposals to change Obamacare). I think his plan isa good plan. It is good primarily because it exists at all. If it were upto me the plan would be more simple. About 2/3rds of the forwardfederal budget are entitlements. Basically, the way our entitlement system works isas follows. It taxes 1 dollar from one group of people and promises 2 dollarsto another group of people. All of us are in both groups, although at differenttimes in our lives and for different forms of entitlements.

This is not hyperbole, just a simple statementof what the Government does in fact. The ratio of 1 to 2 may be different, butyou get the point. What does this mean? It means as a nation we are lesswealthy than our officialbalance sheet says we are. Think of your ownassets and liabilities. If you are like me there is one liability you ignore,the debt of the federal (and state) government, which can only bepaid with your taxes, (which is what politics is about, i.e., “who gets and whopays?”). On average, a family of four owes about $140,000 using the mostfavorable accounting in federal debt. It is really a multiple ofthat when one factors in the growth path of entitlements, as they are growingfar faster than our economy can support.

Any individual today can go on the SocialSecurity website and it will actually show you your personal socialsecurity account as if it were a brokerage statement. But unlikea brokerage statement, there are no assets—just a promise to pay.What they will not show you are your personal liabilities owed to thegovernment, because we pretend individuals don’t owe it. If it were therehonestly, you would find you owe more money than you will receive, if we hadactual transparency. Our entitlement system is not a mere transfer payment system,which by comparison would be almost harmless; it is a true Ponzi scheme, andtherefore not sustainable. All economists know this of course. I honestlybelieve most politicians really do not understand this.

Ryan’s proposal at least transparently addressesthe problem of entitlements for all to see. Yet it sits out there in no man’sland within the GOP, with no visible alternative in sight. Entitlements arecalled the third rail in politics for a reason. I believe the reason the GOPfears this issue, as all past politicians have, is there is genuine concernthat the so called tea party movement, which put the GOP back in power, is notreally the vanguard of a fiscal restoration movement. Rather, they fear it is amore traditional “don’t gourd my Ox” movement. Maybe it is; if so then wereally are at the beginning of the end for the American Empire.

Next: What does it mean that Palin is the first 2012 hopeful to endorse aspecific plan?

Sarah Palin is the first presidential “hopeful” to comeout aggressively in support of Ryan, while recognizing it is not a “perfect plan”.Implicitly and explicitly, therefore, she is the first candidate to support anactual existingplan to reduce entitlements in exchange for a more free market based savings and healthcare system.This is different than supporting a non-existent or incoherent plan spoutingplatitudes. This is significant in my opinion. The GOP candidate that can carrythis message forward without alienating the people, who must elect them, will have achieved ahistorically significant accomplishment. It is very hard to be the bearer ofbad news such as; “we are not taking anything away from you because you alreadydon’t have it. Rather, we are creating a system where your savings and health care consumption are not empty promises”. Ido not pretend this is politically easy. But, as a nation, we need to do this.

Of course, as has been obvious for 2 years, the GOP hasno respect for Palin. It even borders on hate or disdain. They disdain herbecause they believe she won a lotto ticket when McCain put her in thespotlight, (which she did). They hate her because she is popular anduncontrollable, also true. They disdain her because they believe she is vainand self absorbed —I disagree—but certainly no more so than other candidates.They hate her because they think she is stupid. This implies those who say soare smart. To quote Steely Dan from “Reelin’ in the Years”—“you’vebeen telling me you were a genius since you were seventeen, and all this timeI’ve known you, I still don’t know what you mean”. This obsessionwith “smart” and politics is theultimate misunderstood red herring. Finally, and most of all, they hate herbecause they think she will lose—which only an election can determine.

Consequently, and most recently, we see the spectacle ofmy home state (and town) governor, Chris Christie, yukkin’ it up with JimmyFallon on the dopiness which is Palin. I like Christie a lot, but now less so.We see the shocking gracelessness of Big Barb Bush wishing Palin would just goback to Alaska.We see Karl Rove invoking the empty concept of missing gravitas as Palin doesan AlaskaCulture and Travelogue show on TLC. Gravitas in politics? Is he kidding? Whichpolitician had an 11th commandment?I forget.

As Palin said after the disgraceful comments of Christieand Ms. Bush, “let’s have the competitive process determine who will be bothcandidate and president”. I believe the person who will be chosen for both isthe one who can, among other issues, best articulate our fiscal problems andactual solutions, in a way which persuadespeople truthfully. Such a person also has thepotential to be an historic figure. I don’t know if this person is Palin ornot, nor does she. But her support of Ryan’s plan,despite its weaknesses, is a step in the right direction.

So far, Jumpin’ Joe Biden said it best, even if partiallyin jest; “It is a mistake to underestimate Sarah Palin”.

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