I agree that the left fears Sarah aplin, but no less than the Establishment, which includes people like Eric Cantor, John Boehner and the Washington permanent punditocracy.
The Establishment fears and hates Palin because she does not need them, in the same way that Andrew Jackson and Ronald Reagan did not need them. Jackson and Reagan were populists but not the pro-government socialist variety (like Huey Long) who wanted to redistribute wealth. Both Jackson and Reagan saw the central government as the problem and they sought to pare it back and return power to the states and to the people.
Like Jackson and Reagan, Palin’s appeal is to the common people whom the elites in Washington and New York do not understand and in fact despise. Her popularity does not depend on elite approval, and the elites hold her in the highest contempt as they did Jackson and Reagan. For a peek into the Establishment groupthink on Reagan, see the excerpt from a taped conversation of President Nixon and Henry Kissinger on Reagan in 1971 (when he was in his second term as Governor of California):
“President Nixon: What’s your evaluation of Reagan after meeting him several times now.
Kissinger: Well, I think he’s a—actually I think he’s a pretty decent guy.
President Nixon: Oh, decent, no question, but his brains
Kissinger: Well, his brains, are negligible. I—
President Nixon: He’s really pretty shallow, Henry.
Kissinger: He’s shallow. He’s got no...he’s an actor. He—When he gets a line he does it very well. He said, “Hell, people are remembered not for what they do, but for what they say. Can’t you find a few good lines?” [Chuckles.] That’s really an actor’s approach to foreign policy—to substantive....
President Nixon: I’ve said a lot of good things, too, you know damn well.
Kissinger: Well, that too.”
Later in the 24-minute-long discussion, the two discussed the possibility of Reagan running for president:
“President Nixon: Can you think though, Henry, can you think, though, that Reagan with certain forces running in the direction could be sitting right here?
So much for Kissinger’s powers of prognostication. As they were finishing up—after discussing other matters—Nixon slammed Reagan again:
“President Nixon: Back to Reagan though. It shows you how a man of limited mental capacity simply doesn’t know what the _______ is going on in the foreign area. He’s got to know that on defense—doesn’t he know these battles we fight and fight and fight? G-——n it, Henry, we’ve been at—
Kissinger: And I told him—he said, “Why don’t you fire the bureaucracy?” I said, “Because there are only so many battles we can fight. We take on the bureaucracy now, they’re going to leak us to death. Name me one thing that we have done that the bureaucracy made us do.”
President Nixon: The bureaucracy has had nothing to do with anything.
Kissinger: No, no. They’ve made our lives harder. They’ve driven us crazy. But that doesn’t affect him.”
Shallow, negligible brains, limited mental capacity? These are the cuss words the Establishment has applied to Jackson, Reagan and now to Palin. And it stems mainly from the fact that she will not kiss their ring and that she does not need to. She is building an electoral coalition of committed conservatives such as those who pushed Goldwater to the fore fused with working class voters who admire her for non ideological, often intangible, reasons such as her courage, her decency, her ability to connect with them as an average person and her firecracker hot charisma.
That electoral coalition is poised to propel her into the White House at a relatively young age and to secure her place not only in history but on the American political scene for perhaps the next three decades.
Hat tip to Al.B for the excellent research in locating the Kissinger Nixon dialogue on Reagan.
I lived in Reagan's CA when he was Gov. I well remember the arguments in my household (when my older sister would come home for the weekend from college) with my dad over Reagan.
My first exposure to the mind-altering hypnotism of the college profs! DAD WAS RIGHT and now my sister agrees!