As the year winds down, we students of conservative populism will make one prediction for 2010: we’ll all be hearing a lot more from Sarah Palin.
While Politco notes that she’s the second-most admired woman in America, the New York Review of Books makes an excellent case for her relevance, and her genius for prompting conservative backlash. Here’s a brief excerpt. The entire article is a lively read.
Going Rogue is stuffed with dubious quotations from Famous Authors, among them one often attributed, but never reliably sourced, to Pascal: “the God-shaped vacuum in every human heart.” Unfortunately, there does seem to be a Palin-shaped vacuum in the heart of the American electorate, and it’s not hard to see why. After the ritual brandishing of the flag and her shout-outs to her fellow Christian fundamentalists, Palin’s core message is, as it always has been, about fiscal policy.
In our present neo-Keynesian moment, economics has never seemed more bewildering and arcane, or more the exclusive preserve of hated “experts” from the “East Coast elites.” Most people I know, myself included, can’t readily follow the algebraic equations that explain the “Keynesian multiplier,” which, in its turn, is needed to explain TARP and the stimulus package. Belonging to a tribe different from Palin’s, I simply take it on trust as a matter of faith that Paul Krugman, in his columns for TheNew York Times, is more likely to be right about such things than, say, Lou Dobbs or Senator John Thune, but I share in the general apprehensive fogginess about what’s happening.
For Palin, it’s simple. The national economy is a straightforward macrocosm of the domestic economy of the average god-fearing family of four. What’s good for the family is good for the nation, and vice versa; and the idea that the family should spend its way out of recession is an affront to common sense, conservative or otherwise.
You can read the rest here and let us know what you think about the coming year in American politics.