Today in Iowa, home of that all-important Caucus (hint-hint?), Governor Palin spoke as clearly as she ever has on a subject near and dear to my heart and one I've been waiting to hear from a serious GOP contender. Palin calls it, quite appropriately, "crony capitalism," where the moneyed and powerful receive preferential treatment from our political class in exchange for the financial support that puts and keeps the political class in charge of the rest of us.
This is the vicious circle currently tanking our economy and Palin's own words sum it up best:
"Corporate welfare is just socialism for the very wealthy."
And while Governor Palin rightfully trained most of her rhetorical fire on President Obama (the most corporatist president of my lifetime), she also took on Republican members of that "permanent political class" who selfishly dole out our hard-earned money to those who keep them in power.
This is nothing more than a racket and it's a disgusting one at that that explains why deficits and wasteful spending occurs regardless of which party is in charge -- it is, as the Governor made clear, the disease that's killing our free market economy. But she has a cure that will both cut these insidious ties and create jobs: end loopholes, end corporate welfare, end bailouts (amen) AND end the corporate income tax. In other words: Corporate America -- we'll get out of your way but you are now on your own.
When you see Obama cozying up to General Electric and in turn see GE embracing Obama and his stupid "green solutions," what you're witnessing is a scheme designed to snuff competition. GE isn’t stupid, they know "green energy" is nonsense, but they also know they're "too big to fail" and that they can afford to pay for burdensome taxes (if they pay taxes at all) and environmental regulations. But do you want to know who can't? Up and coming companies, upstarts who might someday put GE out of business. If you know the government's going to bail you out and snuff your competition, where's the downside in "going green"?
(As a movie guy who speaks that language best, if you want to know of what I speak, rent "Tucker: The Man and His Dream
What I'm saying is that Big Business can be every bit as corrupt and harmful to our economy as Big Government and Sarah Palin not only understands this, but while she was Alaska's governor, she fought and beat Big Oil and the political cronies who gave them the upper hand over what was best for her State and its people. This isn't a folk tale and it's not political legend. It's a fact and it's what sets her apart from way too many on our side.
There were a number of other specifics in today's speech, including the repeal of ObamaCare, cancelling all that unused money from Obama's epically failed stimulus, open the floodgates to our domestic energy resources, fix our deficit on our own terms before some foreign country forces us to on theirs, and make America the most attractive country in the world to do business in with the aforementioned tax reform and the reining in of regulations.
But what we really heard was a thematic speech that laid out a governing philosophy, a bold approach to issues and problems in a way that focuses as strongly on our corrupted political culture as it does on the problems themselves -- a root cause approach that helps to explain why the GOP establishment currently sitting comfortably in their own feathered nests are so afraid of this woman.
Should Palin run for president (and I hope she does), the debate about what needs to be done to get this economy back on track will no longer pussyfoot around the edges of "entitlements" and "pork." She will drag it again and again back to where it needs to be, at the feet of our bipartisan crony capitalism problem -- our diseased and selfish political culture that lurks on both sides of the aisle.
Should she choose not to run, however, hopefully today she at least rang a bell that can't be un-rung.
According to Palin, we'll know by the end of this month as to whether or not she'll be throwing her hat into the 2012 presidential ring. But whatever her ultimate decision, what we're seeing now is a savvy game of chess. Should she choose to run, by holding her fire and patiently waiting (while the Smart GOP Set criticizes her for not letting them open their presents early), she's giving herself and her team time to put their pieces in place and watch the enemy's tactics -- the enemy primarily being a corrupt media too invested in Obama to let him lose. Should the Governor choose not run, she'll have used these last few months to affect the GOP debate, especially on behalf of the millions of everyday Americans who make up the Tea Party.
Palin represents my kind of populism, the sincere kind borne of faith in the ability of everyday Americans to govern themselves in a system of government that only works when its primary function is to get the hell out of our way. That's what I want to hear from a candidate.
As far as an announcement, we're months away from the Iowa Caucus and 400-plus days away from the election. I like the patience I'm seeing from the Governor and she doesn't need me to tell her that if you look close enough you'll see that most of those carping about her waiting to make a decision are doing so from a feathered nest.