Presidential Campaign

Sarah Palin v. CPAC

“ … the she bear moves the masses.” — prophecy carved in stone in Bollingen, Switzerland

The Tea Partiers come to speak next week at CPAC with the traditionalists. Ron Paul, Rand Paul. Sen. John Thune (S.D.) will be there. Rick Perry, governor of Texas, will be there, and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.). Front and center in the middle of their promo is that Glenn Beck: suffering striver for John Bunyan’s “world which is to come.”

But Sarah Palin will not be there. Is she finished? Have the bipartisan Unfriends of Sarah — Tina Fey, Barbara Bush, Letterman, Katie Couric, half of the Republican Party and all of the Democrats — successfully wished her away? I doubt it. The question now is: Who is stronger, CPAC or Sarah Palin?

Palin phobia still stalks the republic. It is the sign of an archetypal figure: Something comes from nature, something new. It is terrifying because it changes everything. Jefferson, Victoria and the Beatles were archetypal; but so is Swamp Thing. They are figures for which there is no turning back, figures for whom there will be no compromise. They are autonomous and whole within themselves. They sometimes get animal nicknames (thus the Beatles). Like Mama Grizzly. There is something in them that turns the heart and liberates it, but terrifies those already invested as they are overnight rendered (to use that ubiquitous word from the archetypal ’60s) “irrelevant.”

Mitt Romney understands this better than anyone, possibly. Rick Perry likes her and in many ways is like her. I doubt Romney would want to hang with her and Todd. But he is not — and I think this is from his strong Mormon upbringing — not threatened by those unlike himself, and he does not feel the alienation the others do from this woman of the woods. The winter Olympics he ran was a hippie paradise complete with Robbie Robertson of Woodstock fame and a celestial tribute on ice to the White Buffalo; indicator of aeon Aquarius. He seemed to enjoy it. And in recommending that Palin run in 2012 he appears to understand that she has a good chance of winning. And suggesting also that he can work with her.

The outlanders who want to converge now at CPAC with the traditional burghers owe their existence to Sarah Palin. Had there been no Sarah Palin there would be no Tea Party. Had there been no Sarah Palin Judge Andrew Napolitano would still be one hour on Saturday morning preaching Jefferson in competition with Johnny Bravo and the Powder Puff Girls instead of five nights a week on prime time. Nikki Haley would be selling real estate. Sarah Palin enabled much of this and metabolized these themes on an acceptable national forum. That she would turn this all over now to Karl Rove or Newt Gingrich misunderstands the aggressive level of management Palin brought to Alaska. Misunderstands Sarah Palin.

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Tags John Thune Michele Bachmann Rand Paul
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