Establishment Republicans are enjoying McCain-like treatment from the mainstream media as they rush to the microphones to excoriate Sarah Palin for costing them hypothetical control of the Senate.

It is this kind of backward thinking that cost Republicans control of the Senate in the first place.

Sarah Palin did not cast a single vote in Delaware, Kentucky, Florida, Utah, Colorado or Nevada. Republican voters in those states did. The fact that the candidates “chosen” by the professional Republican class in D.C. failed to impress Republican Party voters enough to win their respective nominations should be a wake-up call for the D.C. Republican know-it-alls, who think they should choose the “right” candidate and the rest of America should just accept their omniscient judgment.

The “chosen” candidate in Florida, whom Palin opposed, decided not only to pack up his ball and go home, but to completely abandon the Republican Party and effectively run as a Democrat. Perhaps that is why the voters who knew Charlie Crist best did not trust him, in spite of all the advantages of his governorship, name ID and money.

The “chosen” candidate in Delaware lost to Christine O’Donnell, because the Republican base decided that while Mike Castle could get elected, it was a career-topping victory lap for him, and he was just a placeholder for Beau Biden. The voters who knew Mike Castle best decided that they did not want him.

This rebellion by the masses against the Republican establishment is borne out by poll after poll showing that Republicans (read — establishment Republicans) are not held in particularly high esteem by the voters, even those who identify themselves as Republicans.

Sarah Palin has captured this sentiment, and helped provide voters with choices through her endorsement of alternative candidates.

Palin, who has personally felt the barbs and snickers of the Republican establishment, has given hope to Republicans across the nation that they don’t have to settle for Democrat-lite candidates who represent their values in party affiliation only.

Unfortunately, those who want to blame Palin are missing the basic fact that if they identified and supported candidates who were strong advocates of the free-enterprise system rather than hollowed-out cores running in Republican suits, their candidates would have won.

Personally, I am proud of Republican, independent and conservative Democrat voters across the nation. They have taken the first step toward bringing our nation back from the economic brink. This new class of Republicans will give John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerGOP revolts multiply against retiring Ryan Can Jim Jordan become top House Republican? Tensions on immigration erupt in the House GOP MORE and Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenators near deal on sexual harassment policy change Blankenship third-party bid worries Senate GOP Overnight Finance: Trump signs repeal of auto-loan policy | Justices uphold contracts that bar employee class-action suits | US, China trade war 'on hold' MORE the firepower they need to not only stop the fiscal insanity, but begin the job of repairing our damaged economy.

Our nation owes Sarah Palin and all of those who stepped out to change the status-quo Republican culture a gigantic thank-you. It took radical actions to beat the establishment, and it will take the same kind of boldness to get us out of the hole that we have dug for ourselves. The kind of boldness and freedom you find in elected representatives who don’t owe official Washington anything.

Thank you, Sarah.

Rick Manning is the communications director of Americans for Limited Government. These comments reflect his views and not those of any organization.