Triggering the article was the speech delivered by Palin during Labor Day weekend at a Tea Party event in Indianola, Iowa. Along with her familiar and predictable swipes at President Barack Obama and the far left, she delivered a devastating indictment of the entire U.S. political establishment — left, right and center — and pointed toward a way of transcending the presently unbridgeable political divide. The speech conveyed the impression that Palin may be hinting at a new political alignment that would pit a vigorous localism against a kind of national-global institutionalism. Whether she'll do it as a Republican -- or perhaps as the political leader of a third force -- has yet to be announced, and we'll have to wait until the end of September when Palin has promised that she will finally reveal her presidential intentions once and for all.
A further explanation of this "localism vs. globalism" is provided in the article. On one side are Americans who believe in the power of vast, well-developed institutions like Goldman Sachs, the Teamsters Union, General Electric, Google and the U.S. Department of Education to make the world better. On the other side are Americans who believe that power becomes corrupt and unresponsive the more remote and more anonymous it becomes; they prefer to live in more self-contained, self-governing enclaves that bear the burden of their own prosperity. Economically, this analysis pits Wall Street against Main Street.
Anand Giridharadas cites three interlocking points Palin made during her speech to support his analysis:
First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).
Based upon Palin's political past, this analysis is on target. Although she sought elective office under the Republican label, she confronted Republican and Democratic corruption alike. During her two terms as mayor of Wasilla, she confronted the Valley royalty who sought to continue ruling Wasilla as their own private fiefdom. In between her service as mayor and governor, she confronted Republican establishment politicos such as Alaska Republican Chairman Randy Ruedrich. And as governor, she attempted to tighten the leash on Big Oil through ACES and AGIA, drawing sustained criticism from corporate Republicans such as Andrew Halcro, Paul Jenkins, Andree McLeod, and, occasionally, Dan Fagan.
The question now is, will Sarah Palin announce her candidacy, and, if so, will she run as a Republican or as a third-party candidate. If she runs, I think it much more likely that she'll run as a Republican, since she has sought to reform the Republican Party from within in the past. Palinistas insist that the real reason for her delay is to allow the current candidates to shoot their wad before she gets in, making it easier for her to score immediate traction. Two possible short term effects of a Palin candidacy:
-- Finish off Michele Bachmann once and for all. The Bachmann campaign is already subsiding; who wants a pale imitation when the real deal is available?
-- Blunt Rick Perry's rise to the top. This is of paramount importance; the monumental push and buzz behind Rick Perry is inherently suspicious. Perry is being subliminally marketed as "Romney without the Mormonism"; while the anti-Mormon bigotry directed against Romney in 2008 is subsiding, there are still those who would prefer a non-Mormon version of Mitt Romney. Perry is positioning himself to fill the bill.
Additional reaction to the Times article is posted on Conservatives4Palin.