Mel Gibson in ‘The Patriot”‘ outfoxes the Redcoat.,” we captioned this image in our April 2010 post “Obama as George III, a ‘clueless foreign ruler from central casting“: “Their mindset hobbled by top-down regimentation, the Brits were no match for the nimble, leaderless rabble in arms, whose bottom-up — aka grassroots — tactics resonate in today’s Tea Party movement that has old-think politicians and their media allies scrambling for cover.”
By Sissy Willis of sisu
“While Palin might never be the rockstar Obama is, her vision may be greater,” Richard Fernandez writes in a perceptive if flawed analysis of two “Competing Visions.” Citing Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen and other members of Angelo Codevilla’s “Ruling Class” who fell hard for the purple prose of Barack Obama’s snake-oil sales pitch in the heady days of election 2008 even as they suffered the throes of Palin Derangement Syndrome, Fernandez gets it almost right. Here’s Cohen reflexively reciting the legacy-media liturgy:
The fierce stupidity of this woman is hard to comprehend. It is the well from which she draws her political sustenance. … Katie Couric’s CBS, the network she thinks so unfairly skewered her by asking, for instance, what newspapers she reads. … The polls say she can’t win. I betcha Palin thinks she can’t lose.
Fernandez delves deeper for a stunning insight:
Cohen thinks it is all about winning the presidency. Putting a Her in place of the Him. It never occurs to Cohen that Palin might think more in terms of helping her country “win” than in personally occupying the Oval Office …
Palin has the ability to generate leaders other than herself. That quality was in evidence in the recent campaign when she successfully encouraged others, some of whom had never been in public life before, to throw their hats in the ring and run for office..
… then falls back upon the inevitable Palin disclaimer:
It would be odious to compare Sarah Palin to George Washington but less of a stretch to liken Cohen to George III.
Odious to compare Palin with George Washington? Tunku Varadarajan’s patroniziing words of the other day come to mind:
The best — the only — way to “manage” Palin would be for the Republican establishment to treat her with respect, and to avoid any hint at all of a patronizing attitude.
Even our own ever thoughtful and astute Elizabeth Scalia flirts with condescension in her must-read “Tea Party Candidates Must Learn the Art of Fencing“:
This is something Sarah Palin (and for that matter, the Tea Partiers) may wish to keep in mind for 2012. Palin is perfectly capable of deft bladework, but too often chooses to attack when a parry-and-feint will do. Her methods may please her press-hating base but — as we see with Angle and O’Donnell — one needs more than principles and an echo-chamber-emboldened base in order to win an election. One needs to be able to demonstrate skill with a keen-edged sword, so that when one lifts it above the noise and the babble, a majority will want to follow it to victory.
Admittedly a Mama Grizzly fan from day one because of Sarah’s charisma, common-sense intelligence and authenticity, we guess that makes us part of her “echo-chamber-emboldened base,” and according to professional pollsters her “popularity still lags.” But Sarah’s calling out of the “lamestream media” resonates. As we wrote in Scalia’s comments:
[Sarah’s] energetic embrace of the full panoply of media, old and new — from Twitter and Facebook to Fox News, Entertainment TV, her forthcoming TLC “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” series and even her daughter Bristol’s appearances on Dancing with the Stars — allows her to disintermediate the gateway media and reach the hearts and minds of the Country Class on her own terms. PLUS, unlike the President’s unpresidential attacks on us “folks” he calls “enemies,” her colorful, targeted attacks on the legacy media have the ring of truth.
We predict that over time, as the authentic Palin “brand” becomes better known amongst our fellow Americans, her “numbers” will rise. Presidential candidate or kingmaker, time will tell. Cinnamon Stillwell described the “Palin Effect” way back in September of 2008:
What her detractors don’t seem to realize is that the process of insulting Palin, they are insulting the majority of the country. If being a self-made success story, a working mother, a church-going member of a small-town community and a believer in moderate to conservative political viewpoints disqualifies Palin, what does that say about mainstream America? The inherent condescension at the heart of the anti-Palin campaign is coming across loud and clear, and it may actually be boosting her popularity.
Update: For the latest on the “Palin Effect,” be sure to read Melissa Clouthier’s rousing “I Am Sarah Palin, See Me Roar: Reclaiminng America With New Leaders.” Is Marco Rubio on Sarah’s short list?