In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin blasted the Republican establishment’s contempt for and destructive behavior toward the Tea Party during the current budget showdown with the Obama administration.
Palin told Breitbart News that these establishment financiers cannot relate to the average American worker and are throwing a “fit” because Wall Street knows they are in a whole new ballgame where their influence is diminishing.
Palin was responding to an article by David Freedlander in Thursday’s Daily Beast in which prominent Republican establishment financiers showed disdain for the conservative grassroots while being unable to identify exactly what a “precinct captain” is.
Palin, who started her political career on the local level as an outsider before eventually challenging the GOP establishment in Alaska to become governor, said that the “GOP high roller machine can’t win elections with their cash anymore.”
“If they could, all the money they threw at Romney would have paid off,” Palin said, referring to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s inability to galvanize the blue-collar conservative base during the 2012 presidential election. “It’s the average American – the grassroots Tea Party patriot with enthusiasm and boots on the ground – who wins elections”:
So I say call these guys out and expose the fact that they no longer control any conservative movement because they’re not the voice of the people. See, some of these Wall Street guys basically want to use the GOP for three things: They want low taxes for themselves; they want lots of cheap foreign labor (aka blanket amnesty); and they want to be safe (though most won’t send their own kids to fight our wars, they don’t want anyone blowing up buildings in Manhattan; so they’re all for sending our sons and daughters to whatever foreign hell hole beckons to make sure the bad guys stay off our soil).
Palin, the avatar of the Tea Party movement whom the Republican establishment has tried to eviscerate and whose endorsement former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint (R) said had the most influence in Republican primaries, was not finished excoriating the establishment financiers who were berating the Tea Party:
Ask yourself if most of them really care about America’s industrial base or can even relate to the American worker and our values. The particular fat cats who are so often used as anonymous sources to trash the grassroots see this latest Tea Party effort to keep essential government open as just a distraction. They’re throwing a bit of a fit because this is a whole new, needed ballgame where their money can’t buy elections anymore.
According to a Daily Beast report, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, met with top GOP donors for lunch last month at Le Cirque, a fancy restaurant on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.
The donors, described as “a youngish collection of financial industry types and lawyers” and “banker types who occupy the upper reaches of Wall Street’s towers,” were frustrated at what they saw as conservative recalcitrance on the budget and could not understand why Republican politicians had to listen to their constituents and the grassroots who sent them to Washington. Walden told them, “Listen … we have to do this because of the Tea Party. If we don’t, these guys are going to get primaried and they are going to lose their primary.”
The financiers, though, may not have understood what Walden was talking about because they were oblivious to former Democrat and House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s axiom that “all politics is local.” Most of the moneymen in the room reportedly did not even know what a “precinct captain” was, according to the Daily Beast:
Walden asked how many of those seated around the table were precinct captains. These were money men, though, not the types to spend night after night knocking on doors and slipping palm cards into mailboxes.
“A lot of the people there didn’t even know what a precinct captain was,” said one attendee.
Not a single hand went up.
“I hear this complaint all the time,” Walden said. “But no one gets involved at the local level. The Tea Party gets involved at the local level.”
During his 21-hour speech on the Senate floor in support of defunding Obamacare, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has said he would not be in the U.S. Senate had it not been for Palin’s endorsement during the 2012 Texas Republican primary, said that the ruling class in Washington, D.C. was not listening to the people. He said his purpose was to “#MakeDCListen.”
Precinct captains symbolize politics at the local level; they epitomize the country’s democratic ideals. These “precinct captains” and millions like them knock on doors, make phone calls, put up signs, give small-dollar donations through direct mail and the internet, volunteer on election day, recruit volunteers, and persuade neighbors to vote for candidates. They do this in their spare time, often after five or six days of work and while raising families in flyover country far from the political, financial, and entertainment epicenters on the coasts. On the Republican side, they stand for conservative causes through thick and thin.
The financial elite and the political establishment, though, often treat these grassroots voters the way Democrats have been accused of treating African American voters–using them for their votes during election season and running as far away from them as possible once they come to Washington. The Daily Beast writes that “a number of GOP donors are wondering if it is time for a little outside counter-pressure to sap the Tea Party of some of its energy,” to “stand up and not be afraid of the Tea Party.”
The conservatives these donors so disdain revolted in part because of the big-government domestic policies of former President George W. Bush last decade, especially No Child Left Behind and the TARP bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis caused by the reckless behavior from the industries that employ these donors on Wall Street.
These independent-minded Americans are supporting the third-party of “good guys” that Palin recently referenced in speaking of senators like Cruz and Mike Lee (R-UT). They see that the so-called Bipartisan Establishment Party, or “BEP,” really did not differ that much from Democrats when it came to growing the size of government and supporting policies like comprehensive immigration reform that benefit themselves and their cronies while harming working class Americans.
Because politicians on both sides have colluded to make Washington the wealthiest Boomtown in the country, veteran Washington Post congressional reporter Paul Kane was actually befuddled, as Breitbart News reported, that a politician like Cruz would not be co-opted by the permanent political class.
Cruz told him that every day in the Senate he tries to remember “to whom I am accountable; and it is not elected officials in Washington.” He also said, “with all respect,” it is not the mainstream media either.
“The people to whom I believe I am accountable are the men and women in Texas… who knocked on doors, who made phone calls, who stood up and said ‘Please, help turn this country around,'” Cruz told him.
Kane commented on Twitter that he found it “interesting” that Cruz “views people ‘who knocked on doors, made phone calls’ for him as who he answers to.” They would be the same precinct captains that the establishment donors at the fundraisers were not even aware of.
In a landmark 2011 speech in Indianola, Iowa, Palin blistered Washington’s crony capitalism and permanent political class when she put down her marker to fight against the bipartisan political establishment. She was ahead of the curve. Americans in 2012 viscerally reacted to a Boomtown expose that exposed the racket that went on in Washington during the last decade in which the permanent political class extracted wealth from the rest of the country and spread it around to themselves and their cronies.
The permanent political class cannot control the political process, thanks in large part to the rise of technology and new media, which Palin saw before nearly everyone else when she took to Twitter and Facebook in 2009 to confront the mainstream media’s distortions, make news, and challenge President Barack Obama. She was resoundingly mocked by the mainstream media and these establishment donors who are unaware of what precinct captains do then, but Twitter and Facebook have been ingrained in everyday political discourse six years after Palin, “the great CommuniTweeter,” first tweeted.
Technology not only allows grassroots conservatives like Palin to get their message across without the mainstream media’s filter and become a “force multiplier,” it also helps them topple candidates financially backed by the establishment. In a moment of candor, former Republican Mississippi governor and legendary moneyman Haley Barbour, who is said to have purchased the bullhorn Newt Gingrich used to take back the House for Republicans in 1994, said Palin would be able to raise enough money to “burn a wet mule” (translation: tons).
That is why the establishment disdains Palin and Cruz, who do not need them for support because they enjoy the approval of the grassroots. Palin’s credentials as a corruption fighting political outsider, free market populist, and champion of “the little guy” against the powerful ruling class have made her a beloved figure among the grassroots. Ted Cruz is now earning that same respect by holding firm to the conservative principles that got him elected and not seeing the proverbial Washington cesspool as a jacuzzi. Recently, over 100,000 people turned out for a tele-town hall with Cruz, whom Republican primary voters now see as their leader in Congress.
Cruz mentioned a “paradigm shift” is occurring in which the grassroots is rising up and challenging the ruling class and, in many cases, making the permanent political establishment irrelevant. So when establishment donors indicated to the Daily Beast that they did not want to give checks to the National Republican Congressional Committee, they may just be unknowingly doing Republican candidates a favor.
In this new era, establishment money now buys candidates more scorn than love in Republican primaries, and candidates backed by the political establishment are instantly distrusted by the conservative grassroots.
For instance, after spending over $100 million in the 2012 election cycle without having anything to show for it, groups like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads have been losing influence.
And the same can be said for the establishment’s influence on issues like comprehensive immigration reform. Despite millions of dollars spent to advance amnesty by the groups associated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and FWD.us, the political group founded by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, immigration reform advocates like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who wrote the Senate’s immigration bill along with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and six others, have conceded they are losing the public opinion battle.
Commenting to the Daily Beast, Bobbie Kilberg, a prominent establishment Republican fundraiser, said, “This may be a turning point” for the establishment to combat the Tea Party. She said establishment Republicans may say, “Enough already.”
Kilberg was describing what she hoped would happen with the moneyed establishment, but the Tea Party has already said “enough already” to the Republican establishment whose preferred “pale pastel” candidates can never differentiate themselves from Democrats and end up losing election after election. Yet, the Republican establishment–on and off the record–continue to disparage politicians like Palin and Cruz who make more people want to be precinct captains at the local level and help build movements and foundations conservatives can use to win national elections.
Palin told Breitbart News that “the day the GOP machine abandons the grassroots patriot – the heart and soul of the party who actually gets people elected – is the day the GOP elephant is extinct.”
“This keeps up and I’m not sticking around to watch it happen,” Palin said.