By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 8/1/12
Establishment Republicans rally today to debunk Sarah Palin much as Letterman, Couric, Tina Fey and the vast info/entertainment culture did at the beginning. It is a measure to her success and the fear Grizzly Mama strikes in the heart of the timid. The Ted Cruz victory in the Texas Senate race brings substantive political change and Sarah Palin is behind the paradigm shift. It is, as the Washington Post called it, “a victory for tea party.” Today, “the establishment” pushes further away from the main pulse of America and Sarah Palin holds the pulse.
The paradigm shift can best be seen in Texas Governor Rick Perry’s last primary race for Governor. The entire Eastern Conservative Establishment including George H.W. Bush, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Karen Hughes –as proxy for W – lined up behind Kay Bailey Hutchison who had challenged Perry for the Governorship. Perry had in his corner Sarah Palin. Perry was then to be seen as the front man on the rising Tea Party. Yesterday, Governor Perry brought his support to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Palin back Cruz. So Perry, in Texas has been marginalized as a Tea Party figure and wrapped in with “the establishment,” a phrase now used in mainstream publications like the Post.
The Cruz victory brings Tea Party to a higher level of maturity and engagement. And it pushes “the establishment” in Texas and the heartland closer to the margins.