Via David Sirota:
On the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal — aka the biggest altar of corporate worship in the entire capitalist cathedral — none other than Sarah Palin has published a scathing manifesto that could be Xeroxed and handed out at any Occupy demonstration across the country.
As loyal readers may recall, when the Palace last visited the subject of Ms. Palin, it was to report on a remarkable speech she had given in Iowa in which she emphasized three points with which we wholeheartedly agree:
- First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people.
- Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.”
- Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).
I noted that in Palin’s case it is quite possible that her statements are nothing more than a political calculation, and she means not a word of it. David Sirota puts it this way:
Palin, of course, is as big of an opportunist as our political culture produces. But then, every politician on the national stage is an opportunist. As a rule, you don’t get to be a U.S. congressman, Senator or president without being a narcissistic, self-focused, would-fleece-your-own-mother-to-get-elected opportunist.
But that’s precisely what makes Palin’s Op-Ed all the more interesting. Here is what she said:
The corruption isn’t confined to one political party or just a few bad apples. It’s an endemic problem encompassing leadership on both sides of the aisle. It’s an entire system of public servants feathering their own nests…
What are the solutions? We need reform that provides real transparency. Congress should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act like everyone else. We need more detailed financial disclosure reports, and members should submit reports much more often than once a year. All stock transactions above $5,000 should be disclosed within five days.
We need equality under the law. From now on, laws that apply to the private sector must apply to Congress, including whistleblower, conflict-of-interest and insider-trading laws. Trading on nonpublic government information should be illegal both for those who pass on the information and those who trade on it…
No more sweetheart land deals with campaign contributors. No gifts of IPO shares. No trading of stocks related to committee assignments. No earmarks where the congressman receives a direct benefit. No accepting campaign contributions while Congress is in session. No lobbyists as family members, and no transitioning into a lobbying career after leaving office. No more revolving door, ever.
This call for real reform must transcend political parties. The grass-roots movements of the right and the left should embrace this…
One way to know whether she means any of it is to see who supports her if she decides to run for national office: there is no way in hell America’s Owners or their servants in D.C. would let her anywhere near the levers of power if she does. On the other hand, if the Koch Brothers, Wall Street and Karl Rove started pouring money into her campaign, we’d know she was full of shit. And who would be surprised? She is, after all, a Christofascist conservative, and an exceptionally amoral and calculating one at that.
But Sirota makes a very good point:
So the fact that Palin (or Limbaugh or Coburn or any other conservative) is an opportunist is actually the most important and encouraging point of all — she shows how one of the conservative movement’s leading icons now sees a major political opportunity in these kinds of progressive/populist proposals. That is, she exemplifies how the perception of political self-interest and opportunity is now shifting so fast toward the Occupy Wall Street sentiment, that even some icons of the right are seeing a bigger opportunity in championing that sentiment than in remaining rhetorically loyal to the corporate establishment. And the fact that Palin has now gone a step further than Limbaugh and matched the rhetoric with a series of substantive policy proposals — and then branded those proposals as transpartisan — is a good sign that this shift is bringing us closer to true legislative change.
Maybe I was thinking too small when I mused that if she keeps it up with this kind of rhetoric, Palin will be helping to elect Elizabeth Warren to the U.S. Senate. And maybe even Grayson to the House. But regardless of whether a couple of liberal firebrands get elected or not, the OWS message that the system itself is broken and corrupt is such an undeniably transcendent and powerful one that despite the corporate media’s best efforts to dehumanize, minimize and de-legitimize it, it is gaining traction among a broad range of people. In New Hampshire on Thursday, Herman Cain accused the Occupiers of “trying to destroy the greatest nation in the world.” In a sense, he’s exactly right — although not in the way he undoubtedly means it. The U.S. is the “greatest nation in the world” for only a tiny fraction of its citizens, and the OWS movement seeks to destroy that paradigm. That people from across the political spectrum would agree with that goal is not surprising. That we may have Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Tom Coburn to thank for spreading the message is a little disorienting, to say the least — more like vertigo-inducing. But maybe I could get used to it.