Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sarah Palin v. the bipartisan Anti-Palin coalition

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 11/18/10

Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski is the champion that establishment Republicans like Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, George H. W. Bush and Karen Hughes as a proxy for W. hoped for when they backed Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson as their champion against Rick Perry, who had only Sarah Palin’s support in the Texas governor’s primary. Why would they do such a thing when it was clear that Perry would win big? Because they saw Sarah Palin as an existential threat to their vision of America. It was said here in the first hours of Palin’s appearance that she would find city vs. country bipartisan opposition exactly like that which Andrew Jackson found in 1831. One like that which send such a shutter to the refined colonials of the East that Adams and Jefferson would forget their long contempt for one another. That moment has come today as liberal columnist Gail Collins, the doyenne of eloi sensibility at our nation’s flagship newspaper, declares Murkowski to be the official Anti-Palin. As she writes today, “All of these developments make the Senate results in Alaska important for those Americans who find sunshine in any day that goes badly for the former Republican vice presidential candidate.”

Close enough to this: “I had never any doubts of the stability of our institutions, till the subject given to Andrew Jackson in 1824 for President of the United States,” wrote Jefferson. “- a man who in every situation he has filled, either civil or military, has made it a rule to DISOBEY ORDERS and SUBSTITUTE HIS OWN WILL FOR LAW.” (His caps.)

We are at a major turning in America similar to that of the 1830s when the rural frontier out by the Mississippi was coming into its own. It would not be welcome back east. It must demand its place at the table and Jackson demanded and took it. A situation well suggested again today in liberal titles like “What’s wrong with Kansas?” a few years back and the title yesterday from Huffington Post, “What’s the matter with Alaska?” By which we mean what is wrong with the parts of America that are not NY, Washington, D.C., Chapel Hill, LA and occasional other pockets like Jefferson’s own Charlottesville today.

But it is a good day for Sarah Palin when opposition targets you as public enemy: it frames them as the anti-karma; the dark wing. The darkest moment so far in this shadow coalition of the willing was when the eastern liberal establishment became the coat carriers of the South’s rural antebellum, conservative establishment last spring, standing in sullen and accommodating silence as it rose again in South Carolina to destroy the life and family of Nikki Haley, soon to be inaugurated as the first young, female, dark-skinned governor of this former slave state. She was only saved from the political equivalence of blood on the tracks when Mitt Romney came to her aid. And Sarah Palin.

Probably the most mature and steady hand here is Mitt Romney. He is the champion of the Bipartisan Anti-Palins (BAPs), crusty old Cheneys now hand-in-hand in anti-Palinism with eastern liberals, but he has consistently come to Palin’s support and he hovers above them. And Sarah Palin hovers above them as well.

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