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Sarah Palin nails the diagnosis: "Crony capitalism"

I mean, how else do you diagnose taking campaign contributions from criminal banksters, whipping for TARP, handing those same criminals $16 trillion, no strings attached, no questions asked, and then trying to stop the perps from going to jail? And all because "I know these guys [cronies]. They're savvy businessmen. [looting class capitalists]" . What do you call that but crony capitalism? Business as usual?

So, here's the best excerpt I can find of Palin's speech [DCOW] (no full text anywhere, apparently):

PALIN: "So many of them [of both legacy parties], they arrive in Washington, DC of modest means and then miraculously throughout the years they end up becoming very, very wealthy. [true] Well, it's because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money, to taxpayer dollars." [true. They sell rental streams to the highest bidder.]

"They use it to bail out their friends on Wall Street [true]*. And their corporate cronies [true]. And to reward contributors [true]. And to buy votes via earmarks [true]. There is so much waste [true]. And there is a name for this. It's called 'corporate crony capitalism." [true]

“Like you, I’m not for sale [false]**. I believe in the free market [hilarity] and that is why I detest crony capitalism [fair enough, given the assumptions]. And Barack Obama has shown us cronyism on steroids [true]. It will lead to our downfall [true] if we don’t stop it now.” [true diagnosis. It's the cure that's at issue]

Of course, I would never vote for Palin, any more than I'd vote for Obama. Anyhow, Palin's not running, even if she did give this speech in IA. And is going to NH next. Ha. But and so although Palin gets the diagnosis right, her "free markets" cure might as well be medieval: "Black bile? More leeches!" In particular, Palin says elsewhere in the speech that debt is the problem, thereby reinforcing the very rentier class she claims is the problem. Since the Ds believe exactly the same thing, they've painted themselves into a corner and have nothing to say. And since Obama's rump Ds threw the base out of the party, they have no populists to fire back with. Obama, in any case, destroyed any populist possibilities personally when, after that quickly forgotten famous victory in NY where the Ds ran on protecting Medicare and won, he quickly set up the Joint Select Committee on Human Sacrifice precisely to cut Medicare.*** So there's an opening. Palin's smart to take it.

DCBlogger says that 2012 is a distraction. She's right. But I just can't forego the Sunday morning pleasure of watching delusional Obama Fans try to counter Palin:

But ya know what? There seems to be almost complete silence. Booman's got nothing (2011-09-04 11:21AM EST). The less trivial John Cole's only got "Yeah, but what about Rick Perry?", which misses the point that Palin's speech is a coded assault on Perry. WKJM's got nothing. FDL, nothing. Kos, nothing. Really scraping the bottom of the barrel Pandagon: Nothing. It's almost like, ya know, there's some kinda news blackout going on.... Which is pretty amazing, come to think about it. I guess it's really a tell: It's perfectly fine with the access bloggers and Obama shills if Palin goes populist, because that's not the kind of campaign Obama or the Ds are going to run. Shocker.****

* * *

So, here's some commentary from ground zero in IA. From Kathie Obradovich
of the Des Moines Register:

In other ways, [Palin] sounded more like a third-party contender [i.e. outside the official discourse]. She focused most of her scorching review of “crony capitalism” [true] and the “permanent political class” [true] on the Obama administration. But, she said, some GOP candidates are also raising “mammoth” amounts of money. “We need to ask them, too what, if anything, do their donors expect in return for their investments,” [true] she said. I’m guessing she’s not pointing the finger at Rick Santorum. ...

One of the big question-marks about Palin when she first started flirting with running was her tolerance for grass-roots campaigning and the accompanying mobs of media. She went a long way toward banishing those with her Iowa State Fair appearance last month, where she signed countless autographs and shook hands for hours. She’s not holding press conferences, but she’ll take a question or two from reporters.

Bob Aschoff of Ankeny said he’s met Palin several times and is a big admirer of her retail-politics skills. She makes eye contact and takes her time when she works the crowd, he said. “It’s just something on a real personal level that you connect with right away,” he said.

It’s easy to mistake rock-star popularity for genuine support for a presidential candidate. Palin had plenty of fans in the audience, but the rally sponsored by the American Tea Party didn’t look much like an Iowa caucus crowd. I met Palin supporters from St. Louis, Nashville and Kansas City before I picked out Aschoff, who had the good sense to be wearing a Hawkeye shirt.

A couple from Carlisle, standing in pouring rain with no umbrellas or raincoats, seemed like the epitome of die-hard tea partiers or Palin fans. Not exactly, Ruth Hammerstrum said. They just came over to see what the tea party is all about. “I’m probably not a Republican, not a Democrat, kind of independent. I just want to make sure I vote for the right person,” she said.

Marylee Vanderpool of Indianola also said it was concern for the country that brought her out to the rally. She doesn’t have a favorite presidential candidate yet. Asked whether Palin should run for president, Vanderpool said, “If that’s where she feels like she needs to go, I’m for it. I think the guys have had a chance – I think it’s time for a woman to step up.” [heh]

Aschoff, the Palin supporter from Ankeny, said he believes there is a base of support for Palin in Iowa. It’s just dormant, waiting for her to decide whether to run.

After today’s speech, it seems like they won’t have much longer to wait.

Interesting. Desmoinesdem seems on the fence, seeing the same operational issues as Obradavich. The lead:

Count me among the Iowans who didn't care about former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's speech to yesterday's tea party rally in Indianola. She doesn't appear to be running for president this cycle, having laid no groundwork for a successful campaign. She wasn't likely to have anything new to say about public policy.

But the conclusion:

If Palin's game plan is to endorse Perry, though, I am stumped as to why she would make such a high-profile statement against "crony capitalism" this weekend.

I can't imagine why Palin would give such a speech and not run. To me, the fact that "crony capitalism" isn't resonating in our famously free press or in the permanent political class means that Palin is on to something (not the reverse). And I'm not so sure that Palin, as a "post-modern," meta-candidate, needs the same sort of organization that Obama or Perry or Romney need. Millennium Challenge 2012, doncha know, with Palin as (wouldn't you know it) Team Red.

To put this another way: Is it possible for a woman, highly skilled at retail politics, and bearing a populist message, to run and win the popular vote in a primary campaign, even if our famously free press, the party establishment, and the access bloggers are vehemently opposed to her? Why, yes*****. Yes, it is.

And now, I await the cries of "PUMA!" from the usual suspects. Not to mention "racist," "purist," and so on and so forth. Exciting!

NOTE * Let it be remembered that it was the Ds who passed the bailouts. The Rs could not have done it alone, and many of them were vehemently opposed to them, along with well over 90% of those who called their elected representatives offices to make their useless and irrelevant peasant-like views known to their betters.

NOTE ** Pravda:

Though Obama was the only person she criticized by name, she called for a thorough vetting of those seeking the White House to determine whether they are real reformers. She also said Republican candidates “who raise mammoth amounts of cash” should be asked what their donors “expect in return for their investments.” [true]

I don't know if raising money from appearances and turning one's life into a reality TV show is any more dishonorable than other ways of raising campaign cash; probably less so.

NOTE *** I imagine Obama will say that they're saving Medicare, and the way he'll do that is by trying the get the elders to betray the youth with some sort of tiered system. Pardon my cynicism.

NOTE **** Wait 'til August 2012, when the new, and highly kinetic, product gets rolled out. Perhaps something domestic?

NOTE ***** When the votes of all states are counted.

No votes yet


votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

"My plan is a working man's plan." She is definitely running.

She now has a 5 point economic plan in addition to her previously released 5 point foreign policy plan and she hasn't even declared yet. The contrast to Obama, who 3 years after getting elected, still can't show a plan, cannot be greater.

jjmtacoma's picture
Submitted by jjmtacoma on

because the obama campain hasn't released the official reaction talking points - holiday weekend plus important fundraising meetings... Any minute the A-list will all have similar commentary containing exactly the same buzzwords.

Submitted by Hugh on

If you remember back to the hearings on FinReg, some of the most nutcase Republicans, like Jim Bunning, asked the best questions. I think it is because they are so nutcase that they sometimes forget whom they serve. However, Bunning's questions did not keep him from trying to kill extension of unemployment benefits.

Of course, Palin acquired most of her wealth after she arrived on the national political scene so there is a lot of the pot calling the kettle black in her remarks. But the one thing she does show, and it is something some of us have been trying to get across for a couple of years now, is that if you go populist you don't need the big corporate bucks and you can effectively short circuit the corporate party political duopoly. Sites like fdl and others throw up their hands, clutch their pearls, and say it can't be done. But it can. They just have never tried. Some of us would say that their mission is not to try, and to make sure no one else tries either.

Jessica Yogini's picture
Submitted by Jessica Yogini on

"I can't imagine why Palin would give such a speech and not run."
One possibility is that her money making depends on the possibility that she will run and with others stealing her thunder, she needs to make enough noise to seem like a possible contender for a few more months. For the speaking fees and whatever.
I have no idea one way or the other, but her actions are consistent with both.

Submitted by cg.eye on

she has a chance now to triangulate: Not as gay-hatin' as Bachmann, not as indebted to Big Texas power as Perry.

If she keeps this up, she'll appear moderate simply because she's been around for four years without blowing anyone up -- and she can afford to tack to the populist right, merely due to having this time to hide where her cash is coming from. In a way, she's learning from McCain -- be a 'maverick', by appearing contrarian by (really, really tiny) degrees.