Her resignation from the governorship, which was mostly condemned by the pundits, was dead-on shrewd. Why let herself be tied down defending perjured ethics charges from people with infinite money, whose only desire is to shut her up or bankrupt her? Her willingness to be herself and pursue her own ideas without regard to whether or not they could lead to future office is a source of great political strength. Her public pronouncements, such as the Hong Kong speech, are serious and adult, unlike most of the vapidity produced by politicians, especially Obama. And Palin is mastering the art of short, sharp statements.

None of this is winning over the political class. Indeed, Palin’s refusal to fulfill their desires that she be a clown or take a proper role in the kabuki theater of Washington is making them angrier than ever and more determined to marginalize her. But the disillusionment with government among the tea-partying middle class is so great that every attack on her builds her stature on Main Street.