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A George Wallace for the 21st Century

The ever-insightful Jonathan Rauch has some intelligent things to say about Sarah Palin in the National Journal.  While some have compared her to Barry Goldwater, the more useful analogy might be George Wallace.  Although, unlike Wallace, Palin is no racist ("Nothing in this article," Rauch is careful to add, "implies that the GOP is a racist party."), the nationalism, anti-intellectualism, and provincialism of her rhetoric bear striking similarity to that of the Alabama governor.  As Rauch points out, her brand of populism isn't really conservatism, let alone any sort of libertarianism.  Moreover, it's incapable of winning at the national level.
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"As Rauch points out, her brand of populism isn't really conservatism, let alone any sort of libertarianism."

Right - she's no true Scotsman! (She's really like a Democrat!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

Here's Bill Kristol (who's on the Ashbrook Board of Advisors), Sept. 8, 2008:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/500wrhjq.asp

"A spectre is haunting the liberal elites of New York and Washington--the spectre of a young, attractive, unapologetic conservatism, rising out of the American countryside, free of the taint (fair or unfair) of the Bush administration and the recent Republican Congress, able to invigorate a McCain administration and to govern beyond it.

That spectre has a name--Sarah Palin, the 44-year-old governor of Alaska chosen by John McCain on Friday to be his running mate. There she is: a working woman who's a proud wife and mother; a traditionalist in important matters who's broken through all kinds of barriers; a reformer who's a Republican; a challenger of a corrupt good-old-boy establishment who's a conservative; a successful woman whose life is unapologetically grounded in religious belief; a lady who's a leader.

So what we will see in the next days and weeks--what we have already seen in the hours after her nomination--is an effort by all the powers of the old liberalism, both in the Democratic party and the mainstream media, to exorcise this spectre."

Who's doing the exorcising now?

Craig, as soon as you stop thinking in terms of Garry Trudeau cartoon caricatures, you may discover that most people on the right side of the political spectrum are not of one mind on Sarah Palin.

I know that, and the variety of conservative views on Palin has increased as her poll numbers have declined.

The article is a discussion of Wallace which morphs into a discussion of some of the failings of the Republican caucus in Congress. The only reference to Gov. Palin concerns her use of tropes similar to those Wallace used. Dr. Moser's extensive education has left him with subpar reading comprehension, alas.

Are you certain it isn't the other way around? I'm not.

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