When CPAC organizers invited Sarah Palin to give the keynote speech at the conference, they must have been aware of the former Alaska governor’s desire to lead the charge against inside the Beltway Republican establishmentarians and what she considers their insufficient zeal in fighting the Obama administration’s policies.
To that end, Palin brought her conservative Inquisition to CPAC and didn’t disappoint the crowd. She railed against GOP “Beltway Boys,” accusing them of joining “the lapdogs in the lame-stream to trash the foot soldiers who fought for America.”
Palin is referring to the effort by Ted Cruz to defund Obamacare and the criticism of the senator by the Republican leadership for making such a futile gesture. Cruz’s gambit shut the government for 16 days, and despite attempts at trying to place the blame solely on Cruz and Republicans, the public ended up blaming both sides for the mess.
Palin stopped short of endorsing Cruz for president. After all, she may want to take the plunge herself, although she received only 2% in the CPAC straw poll. But it’s clear that she sees Cruz as a soul mate and ally in an effort to purge the Republican Party of those they consider weak-willed and insufficiently committed to stopping the president’s agenda.
“I do believe that the eyes of America are open. Unfortunately though, some would want you to hit the snooze button and roll back over. Like ‘Hush America, go back to sleep little lambs,’” Palin said. “Some of these folks are in the GOP establishment.”
Palin shared particular praise for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, whom she endorsed during the Texas Senate primary in 2012 over the establishment-backed candidate.
“Thank you, Texas because liberty needs a Congress on Cruz control,” Palin said. “The awakening began, and Sen. Ted Cruz helped keep them awake. His filibuster, it worked in waking people up to the folly of a government takeover.
“He told his colleagues it was time, time to stand up, time to use the tools of the Constitution, the power of the purse and to fulfill their campaign promises and to stop Obamacare,” she said. “But our army balked. We hoped that they were just reloading, but instead they retreated, and worse, worse, they joined the lapdogs in the lamestream to trash the foot soldiers who had fought for America.”
Cruz’s Kamikaze tactics no doubt energized much of the right. But as far as an “awakening” of the electorate, Cruz’s gambit actually delayed the public’s realization of just how bad Obamacare was when, predictably, the press concentrated their fire on Republicans for causing the government shutdown just at the moment that the rollout of Obamacare was becoming a monumental disaster. It wasn’t until after the shutdown that the full import of Obamacare’s follies began to be noticed.
Lumping Republicans who don’t agree with Cruz’s tactics in with the enemy is pretty raw. She can’t seriously entertain the notion that these Republicans actually want Obamacare to succeed. Applying that kind of hyperbole and exaggeration when talking about the opposition is to be expected, but one wonders what good it does to train your big guns on your own side when the stakes are so high. Electing more Democrats is not going to get Obamacare repealed or stop the rest of President Obama’s agenda.
The high point of Palin’s address may have been her parody of Green Eggs and Ham, which reminded her audience of the Ted Cruz anti-Obamacare filibuster last September when he read from the Dr. Seuss book:
“I do not like this Uncle Sam. I do not like his healthcare scam,” Palin said. “I do not like these dirty crooks or how they lie and cook the books. I do not like when Congress stills. I do not like their crony deals. I do not like the spying man. I do not like ‘Oh yes we can.’ I do not like this spending spree. We’re smart we know there’s nothing free. I do not like reporters’ smug replies when I complain about their lies. I do not like this kind of hope. And we won’t take it, nope, nope, nope. Hat tip the Internet.”
Palin’s speech can be seen as a success only by those who care more about ideology than governance. Given the fact that so many of Palin’s supporters claim to want to consign Obamacare to the ash heap of history, their tactics to achieve that goal leave much to be desired. Ultimately the fate of Obamacare will be decided not by those who are sufficiently imbued with ideological fervor, but those who care about exactly how to go about accomplishing that task.