Too bad it wasn’t Huckabee who tossed this rhetorical grenade, as we could have spent a fun afternoon ripping on him in the comments for such a heavy-handed populist pander. (Huck would have thrown in a reference to Beltway cocktail parties too for good measure, but then he’s a longstanding master of class resentment politics on the right.) Since it’s Sarah, though, it’ll be lauded as a case of grassroots truth being spoken to RINO establishment power. A few points then. First, with respect to the Bushes supposedly opposing competition in the primaries, remember that Romney’s wasn’t the only name they mentioned. He was their favorite, but George also touted the famously middle-class Tim Pawlenty; meanwhile, blue-blood Barbara named self-described “redneck” Haley Barbour and Bobby Jindal, the country’s first Indian-American governor, as top prospects. She did say that she doesn’t want Palin competing in the primaries, but a Romney/Pawlenty/Barbour/Jindal race would presumably qualify as competitive. Toss in Huck and, say, Mike Pence and you’d have a pretty comprehensive cross-section of various factions within the GOP, even without Sarah running.
Second, I’m not sure what she means when she says we can see the blue blood mentality at work in some of “the economic policies that were in place that got us into these economic woeful times.” Slublog tweeted me to suggest that she was taking a Huckabee-esque dig at fatcats laying off workers, but I don’t think that’s it. She’s making a point, rather, about elitist anticompetitive tendencies, which presumably means she’s referring to TARP and the feds’ habit of propping up banks that can’t survive without taxpayer assistance. Except, of course, that McCain also supported the bank bailout in 2008 and Palin, being a good soldier, defended him for it in her interview with Katie Couric. That’s fine — being VP means you’ve got to parrot the nominee most of the time — but there were some issues, like ANWR and the Federal Marriage Amendment, about which she felt strongly enough to break from the McCain campaign party line. Michelle made that same observation at the time vis-a-vis Palin’s rhetoric about a path to citizenship. Had it been Huck, I’m not so sure the “good soldier” excuse would fly at this point.
Finally, to Ingraham’s credit, she presses Palin on what Chris Christie said about her last night on Jimmy Fallon’s show. It’s great radio, especially when Sarahcuda gamely tries to spin it away and Ingraham refuses to let it drop. Where Ingraham loses me is when she accuses Christie (among others) of trying to take Palin out of contention by sneering at her. For one thing, we already know that Christie doesn’t have that power; if he did, Mike Castle would have won the Delaware primary. For another thing, I thought one of the virtues of both Christie and Palin (and Barbara Bush?) is that they’re willing to speak their minds and show you where they stand. So here’s Christie on national television, daring to do what no other prominent Republican will in making his lack of enthusiasm for a Palin candidacy clear, and suddenly he’s being knocked for … speaking his mind. He surely knows the risks in doing so — criticizing Palin is the quickest path to official RINO status that one can take — and he did it anyway, and now he’ll have to be a big boy and deal with the pushback. And before anyone says “11th Commandment,” no one had much of a problem violating that when social cons ripped Mitch Daniels for suggesting a truce on social issues or when libertarians ripped Jim DeMint for saying you can’t be fiscally conservative without being socially conservative or when umpteen thousand Republican commentators ripped Romney for RomneyCare. In fact, when it comes to Mitt or Huck or virtually any other major presidential contender besides Palin and Christie, our comments section is one big exercise in breaking the 11th Commandment. So what’s really the problem with what Christie said? Is it that he’d dare to speak ill of a fellow Republican, or that he’d dare to speak ill of her specifically?