Matt Labash’s review of Sarah Palin’s new television show is worth reading, and not only because everything by Matt Labash is worth reading.
The review is worth reading as a marker of an important trend: the Republican establishment’s increasingly frantic search for ways to stop the Palin for President campaign.
Most of the search is happening below the surface of things. You see it in the flow of big-dollar money in every other direction but Palin’s. You catch echoes of it in the anti-Palin murmurs of Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie. And even at Fox, you can watch it in the amusedly disrespectful way that Palin is treated by Bill O’Reilly.
Now here is the Weekly Standard – Palin’s first big media promoter – giving space to a writer who has this to say:
Sarah Palin’s Alaska is really about: self-love. …. Karl Rove, one of several conservative non-lamestream media Palin critics who’ve reared their heads of late … has a point when suggesting that the American people might expect a ‘certain level of gravitas’ in someone who’s considering running for president, and that starring in your own reality show might not be the ticket. .. [A]s the Daily Caller‘s Jon Ward just reported after speaking to nearly two dozen key Tea Party activists who universally adore her, even her own supporters have reservations about her becoming president.
And so on.
Politicians love to present a narrative in which they and their band of outsiders battle an entrenched party establishment. In most cases, the stories are self-serving myths: party establishments are far less entrenched than they used to be, and the insurgents usually hold paid-up memberships in the party establishment themselves. See eg Howard Dean, career of.
But in Palin’s case, the myth rings true. There really is a GOP party establishment. That establishment took up Palin as a useful tool in 2008, deployed Palin as an edged anti-Obama weapon in 2009 – and is now horrified to see that they may have set in motion a force possibly too powerful to halt when its time has ended. The story of the behind-the-scenes struggle to squelch Palin – and her ferocious determination not to be squelched – will be the big GOP-side story of the coming year.