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Friday, September 9, 2011

Sarah "TR" Palin? A welcome shift in her rhetoric

The New York Times has a fascinating piece detailing a significant new addition to the Palin stump speech and opening a window onto someting significant. According to the report, Palin had a very new line of reasoning in a speech this week, much different than what other Republicans are saying in the primary, and more Progressive in its bent. She is evoking the Reformer, anti-corporate side of the Teddy Roosevelt wing of the party and she is saying things that would be surely be said if there were an opponent of Obama in a Democratic primary. This is more in keeping with the Sarah Palin that had originally interested Ross Douthat back when she was governor of Alaska and is the Palin that Joshua Green has been writing about for months at The Atlantic. Of course, what is still missing from her critique is an explicit linking of the military industrial complex to the broader point about "unaccountable institutions"--that is what you would be hearing more of it were Bernie Sanders instead of Palin making the argument, but this is nonetheless significant. Here is the key part of the Times' article:

Ms. Palin’s third point was more striking still: in contrast to the sweeping paeans to capitalism and the free market delivered by the Republican presidential candidates whose ranks she has yet to join, she sought to make a distinction between good capitalists and bad ones. The good ones, in her telling, are those small businesses that take risks and sink and swim in the churning market; the bad ones are well-connected megacorporations that live off bailouts, dodge taxes and profit terrifically while creating no jobs.
Strangely, she was saying things that liberals might like, if not for Ms. Palin’s having said them.
“This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk,” she said of the crony variety. She added: “It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest — to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners — the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70 percent of the jobs in America.”

Andrew Sullivan's take on this new Palin is here.

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