Last night, Sarah Palin's statement -- and her breaking news interview with Mark Levin -- stressed some extremely important ideas. As such, her not running might well be among the least important topics she touched on. Yes, I know that's the news that everybody was waiting for -- but what interested me most was what Palin said about her vision for America and how she said it. It was crafted very intentionally --and it was simply pitch-perfect.
Palin spoke of ideas and priorities. These were above and beyond what particular position she -- or anyone else -- might play in our arena of ideas. That she's still very much in the arena -- and planning on making a difference -- is obvious.
In her written statement -- and her immediate follow-up interview with Levin -- she made it clear what was important. Saving the country is all that matters, and the first step required for that task is to totally reverse our current course. Of course, that includes removal of the current occupant in the White House. Consider Palin's first action step:
We need to continue to actively and aggressively help those who will stop the "fundamental transformation" of our nation and instead seek the restoration of our greatness, our goodness and our constitutional republic based on the rule of law.
Her message is transparent. Obviously, fundamental transformation refers to an idea of Barack Obama, and stopping this idea requires defeating Obama. If we don't accomplish this, nothing else matters. Stopping this fundamental transformation is more important than Palin's running...and more important than any particular person...and more important than any particular issue. Plugging the hole in the Titanic means changing presidents, and if this is not accomplished, anything and everything else is merely rearranging the deck chairs.
Thus -- with apologies to the many on the internet message boards who have been assuring us that she had a master plan to swoop in with a whole new movement -- Palin very directly asserted to Levin that a third-party run (by her or anyone else) would merely guarantee the reelection of Barack Obama. This is a fate that must be avoided at all costs. And by all costs, Palin means all costs.
On this count, Palin's choosing Levin's show for her initial interview post-announcement could not have been an accident. Levin is a classic Reagan conservative, and as such, he is an instinctively pro-Palin figure. Moreover, he is an "anybody but Obama" advocate, and while he will likely criticize certain Republicans (like he did McCain in '08) during the primary process, he will be violently opposed to any third-party or independent movement even if he's not thrilled with the GOP choice. Palin made it clear she is of the same mind on that issue. Read her lips: no third party.
As a note, this message was missed by some in the pundit class -- including A.B. Stoddard on last night's Fox All Star Panel. Stoddard confidently snarked that the use of the term "GOP nomination" in Palin's statement about not running was a clear signal that she intends to go independent. Sorry to disappoint, A.B. You should have listened to the tape.
What else struck me was Palin's next order of business: energy as the key to our free-market economy. And by struck, I mean profoundly pleased. I totally agree with Palin's emphasis:
I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets, including in the race for President where our candidates must embrace immediate action toward energy independence through domestic resource developments of conventional energy sources, along with renewables.
What the former governor of an energy rich-state knows is that without more reliable and less expensive energy, our free market economy cannot reach its potential. It just cannot happen. She also knows that we cannot have a nominee this time around as naïve on domestic energy as was John McCain. The energy emphasis was a profound statement and a perfect segue to the more traditionally obvious Tea Party issues -- which are, of course, still near to Palin's heart:
We must reduce tax burdens and onerous regulations that kill American industry, and our candidates must always push to minimize government to strengthen the economy and allow the private sector to create jobs. Those will be our priorities so Americans can be confident that a smaller, smarter government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people can better serve this most exceptional nation.
Obviously, many of the tax burdens and onerous regulations that are killing our economy are part of Obamacare -- not to mention the NLRB's attack on Boeing and the EPA's attack on just about everybody. These bureaucracies are just part and parcel of a government ever-growing in its size, scope, cost, and intrusion into our lives -- and threatening to bankrupt us for generations as well.
This message is not merely an "it's the economy, stupid" message, but instead a message that demonstrates what is important about the secular role of government -- even to devout Christians who bathe their political decisions in prayer. And what is important is that said government stays limited and allows for maximum liberty. The fundamental transformation Palin opposes maximizes government and minimizes liberty.
If that fundamental transformation is not stopped, America will cease to exist as the Founders envisioned it and as we have known it. That America, more than anything else, is an idea -- a huge idea. It's bigger than any issue. It's bigger than any person. And Sarah Palin, unlike many who denigrate her, has a mind great enough to understand that. We all need to. Pitch-perfect, indeed.
The author has written about Sarah Palin since before she was picked as VP nominee in 2008.