A day after Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA)’s shocking primary win over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said amnesty, which was the signature that led to Cantor’s downfall, resonates with American workers because of the impact it will have on their livelihoods.
Appearing on Fox News’ Hannity, Palin said “amnesty will decimate Main Street” because the “flooding ” of “foreign citizens into the country competing for American jobs will flatline our economy” and cause “more unemployment for American workers.” Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office has determined that the Senate’s amnesty bill will lower the wages of American workers. And Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has hammered that point home whenever he gets a chance, declaring that that massive amnesty legislation hurts American workers of every background and ethnicity, especially those on the lower end of the economic ladder.
Palin said those who did not understand Brat’s appeal do not have a “thumb on the pulse of what many Americans are thinking” and underestimated the “wisdom of the people.”
Brat’s victory was a referendum against amnesty. But Brat also used the amnesty issue to more broadly indict Wall Street cronyism that leaves working Americans holding the bag.
Those are the signature themes that have defined Palin, who has blasted the political establishment on both sides of the aisle since she first ran for office. And Palin echoed those themes again in a landmark speech in Indianola, Iowa in 2011 (the permanent political class was fawning over Mitt Romney at the time) that slowly injected “crony capitalism” and the “permanent political class” into the broader political bloodstream. In that 2011 speech that defined an enemy for American free-market populists, Palin blasted crony capitalism and clearly differentiated between being pro-free markets and pro-big business. The former reflects a level playing field while the latter often colludes with government to tilt the playing field against Main Street. Palin said in Iowa in 2011:
Yeah, the permanent political class – they’re doing just fine. Ever notice how so many of them arrive in Washington, D.C. of modest means and then miraculously throughout the years they end up becoming very, very wealthy? Well, it’s because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money – to taxpayer dollars. They use it to bail out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies, and to reward campaign contributors, and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. And there is a name for this: It’s called corporate crony capitalism. This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies. 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% of the jobs in America, it’s you who own these small businesses, you’re the economic engine, but you don’t grease the wheels of government power.
So, do you want to know why the permanent political class doesn’t really want to cut any spending? Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done? It’s because there’s nothing in it for them. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed – a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along.
It doesn’t surprise me. I’ve seen this kind of crony capitalism before. It’s is the same good old boy politics-as-usual that I fought and we defeated in my home state. I took on a corrupt and compromised political class and their backroom dealings with Big Oil. And I can tell you from experience that sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power-brokers. So, please you must vet a candidate’s record. You must know their ability to successfully reform and actually fix problems that they’re going to claim that they inherited.
Real reform never sits well with the entrenched special interests, and that’s why the true voices of reform are so quickly demonized. Look what they say about you. You are concerned civilized citizens and look what they say about you. And just look what happened during the debt-ceiling debate. We’d been given warning after warning that our credit rating would be downgraded if politicians didn’t get serious about tackling the debt and deficit problem. But instead of making the real cuts that are necessary, they used Enron-like accounting gimmicks, and they promised that if they were just allowed to spend trillions more today, they’d cut billions ten years from now. By some magical thinking, they figured they could run up trillion dollar deficits year after year, yet still somehow avoid the unforgiving mathematics that led to the downgrade. Well, they got a rude awakening from the rest of the world, and that’s that even America isn’t “too big to fail.”
When we finally did get slapped with that inevitable downgraded, the politicians and the pundits turned around and blamed us – independent commonsense conservatives. We got blamed! They called us un-American and terrorists and suicide bombers and…hobbits…couldn’t understand that one.
Speaking about Cantor’s loss, Dr. Bob Holsworth, the top Virginia politics analyst, told Breitbart News that rank-and-file “Republican populists viewed him as a corporate-oriented, Brooks Brothers elitist who represented what they increasingly disliked about career politicians.”
“I think that last night demonstrated to every GOP member of the General Assembly the ongoing clout of Tea Party populism in Virginia,” Holsworth said.
After his win, Brat said amnesty is the biggest issue that divides Wall Street from Main Street.
Palin has spent her career calling out the permanent political class. And even Republicans like Bill Kristol and Rich Lowry are sounding like her in recent months in defending American workers and realizing they view amnesty as everything that is wrong with a Washington elite that is becoming more removed from them and the lives of everyday Americans. Other pundits who mocked Palin now are suddenly seeing the light, praising Brat for using amnesty to attack the collusion between big government and big business.
The same mainstream media journalists who neglected the biggest political upset of their lifetimes in a district that was 95 miles away from them and the “Brooks Brothers” pundits, consultants, and D.C. sycophants that make up the permanent political class and often whisper to them have mocked Palin for her relentless attacks against cronyism and defense of free markets. Out-of-touch writers have declared that the “Tea Party” is dead or is only as good as the groups that represent them without realizing that the Tea Party is a state of mind just like being a part of the establishment is.
As technology has made the country more interconnected, consultants who live in California and Austin, Texas can be just as much a part of the permanent political class as those who reside in D.C. That permanent political class of operatives, media figures, and politicians across the nation hate Palin because she is against them, which means, by definition, she is for the the overwhelming majority of Americans who have nothing but contempt for “Boomtown” and the people in it who are essentially extracting wealth from Americans. And that is why “Boomtown” opponents who have do not have a “This Town” state of mind have always been drawn to Palin’s words.
And the American people whom the mainstream media talks over and the permanent political class views as a nuisance to be treated with nothing but disdain have been hearing Palin’s message loudly and clearly.
And Brat’s victory was another way for them to tell the permanent political class, “Game On.”