One of the hardest things for any orator to do is to give a successful stump speech before a hostile audience, and that is just what Sarah Palin did on Saturday, April 16, 2011, in Madison, Wisconsin at a tea party rally. Union rent-a-mobs were out in force, drawn like flies to sugar by the presence of Palin, always a mesmerizing target for the denizens of the Left. During her speech you can hear constantly in the background their continual attempts to shout her down. Go here to Ann Althouse’s blog to see some of the charming signs carried by the Union mob and her comments on their attempts to drown out Palin. (The height of courage was shown when the Union thugs attempted to drown out a 14 year old girl who was speaking.) Palin did not back down an inch, giving a pugnacious, fighting speech, that not only took on Obama and the spend-us-into-bankruptcy-Union leadership, but also the clueless Gop establishment. It was a bravura performance, and the best stump speech I have seen since Reagan rode off into the sunset. Here is the text of her speech with my comments:
Hello Madison, Wisconsin! You look good. I feel like I’m at home. This is beautiful. Madison, I am proud to get to be with you today. Madison, these are the frontlines in the battle for the future of our country. This is where the line has been drawn in the sand. And I am proud to stand with you today in solidarity.
Note the use of the term solidarity, and it will not be the only time she uses it. Palin wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth, and her family members belong to unions.
I am here today as a patriot, as a taxpayer, as a former union member, and as the wife of a union member. What I have to say today I say it to our good patriotic brothers and sisters who are in unions. I say this, too, proudly standing here as the daughter of a family full of school teachers. My parents, my grandparents, aunt, cousins, brother, sister – so many of these good folks are living on teachers’ pensions, having worked or are still working in education.
Not us versus them, but just us. Palin is talking to union members over the heads of their union bosses.
A pension is a promise that must be kept. Now, your Governor Scott Walker understands this. He understands that states must be solvent in order to keep their promises. And that’s what he’s trying to do. He’s not trying to hurt union members. Hey, folks, he’s trying to save your jobs and your pensions! But unfortunately some of your union bosses don’t understand this, and they don’t care if union members have to be laid off. No, they want to protect their own power, and if that means forcing a governor to lay off union workers, then so be it; they’ve proven that that is fine with them. But that’s not real solidarity! Real solidarity means coming together for the common good. This Tea Party movement is real solidarity!
The Tea Party as representative of true solidarity. Her use of that term I think is deliberate and echoes Solidarity in Poland in the eighties, which was primarily a political movement with roots as a union. She is also telling the truth as to pensions. Unless there is radical change, public employees around the country will not be paid their pensions. A glide path to state bankruptcies will take out public employee pensions, and anyone who denies that simply isn’t dealing with reality.
Well, I am in Madison today because this is where real courage and real integrity can be found. Courage is your governor and your legislators standing strong in the face of death threats and thug tactics. Courage is you all standing strong with them! You saw the forces aligned against fiscal reform. You saw the obstruction and the destruction. You saw these violent rent-a-mobs trash your capital and vandalize businesses.
No mincing of words here. Honest union members were very ill-served by the non-stop thuggery done in their name in Madison.
Madison, you held your ground. Your governor did the right thing. And you won. Your beautiful state won. And you know what – people still have their jobs because of it! That’s courage. And that’s integrity. And that’s something that’s sorely missing in the Beltway today.
Scott Walker a possible Palin Veep? She holds him up as a model and then blasts the DC Beltway.
Because let me tell you what isn’t courageous: It’s politicians promising the American voters that, as we drown in $14.5 trillion debt, that they’re going to cut $100 billion out of this year’s budget. But then they cave on that and they reduce it down to $61 billion after they get elected. Then they get in there and they strike a deal and decide, nah, they will reduce that down to $38 billion. And then after some politics-as-usual and accounting gimmicks, we find out it’s not $38 billion in cuts. You know that $38 billion – we don’t have it; we’re borrowing it. We borrow from foreign countries to give to foreign countries, and that’s insanity. We find out it’s not even $38 billion; it’s less than $1 billion in real cuts. Folks, that $352 million in real cuts – that’s no more than the federal government is going to spend in the time it takes us to hold this rally today! That is not courage; that’s capitulation!
Note here that Palin isn’t blasting the Democrats but turns her fire on the GOP establishment in Congress, and rightly so. Assuming she runs, one of her main targets will be a GOP establishment that often seems to specialize in disappointing Republican rank and file. This will be dynamite in GOP primaries, and is clearly a foretaste of the type of insurgency campaign Palin plans on running.
Now, there’s a lesson here for the Beltway politicos, something they need to understand; the lesson comes from here in Madison. So, our lesson is to the GOP establishment first. And yeah, I’ll take on the GOP establishment. What more can they say about us, you know?
The GOP establishment has always been an enemy of Palin from her days running against an entrenched and corrupt Republican party leadership in Alaska, to the savage backbiting by GOP insiders during and after the campaign of 2008 against her. Tea Party conservatives are just as opposed to the GOP leadership as Palin is, and she thus joins them in a crusade against a common foe. Brilliant!
So, to the GOP establishment: if you stand on the platform, if you stand by your pledges, we will stand with you. We will fight with you, GOP. We have your back. Together we will win because America will win!
If the GOP wants to govern as conservatives everything is fine.
We didn’t elect you just to re-arrange the deck chairs on a sinking Titanic. We didn’t elect you to just stand back and watch Obama re-distribute those deck chairs. What we need is for you to stand up, GOP, and fight. Maybe I should ask some of the Badger women’s hockey team—those champions—maybe I should ask them if we should be suggesting to GOP leaders they need to learn how to fight like a girl!
“Fight like a girl!”, an instant classic tagline. Palin would get my vote as the only “real man” in the current flock of GOP hopefuls for 2012! She serves notice on the Republican leadership that the Tea Party and rank and file Republicans are not going to settle for the usual Democrat-Lite act of many elected Repbulicans.
And speaking of President Obama, I think we ought to pay tribute to him today at this Tax Day Tea Party because really he’s the inspiration for why we’re here today.
Obama, the father of the resurgent Conservative movement!
That’s right. The Tea Party Movement wouldn’t exist without Barack Obama.
Absolutely corrent. Obama has raised up more opponents to the Democrat Party than any president since Andrew Jackson.
You see, Candidate Obama didn’t have a record while he was in office; but President Obama certainly has a record, and that’s why we’re here. And hey, media, it’s not inciting violence and it’s not hateful rhetoric to call someone out on their record, so that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to do it to be clear. That’s right: we’re here, we’re clear, get used to it!
Obama has a record now to be attacked, unlike 2008, and the media in 2012 is not going to be able to run protection for him again without being called out on it by Palin, time and time again.
Candidate Obama promised to be fiscally responsible. He promised to cut the deficit; but President Obama tripled it!
Yeah. I do recall Morning’s Minion’s endorsement of Obama as the fiscally responsible candidate at Vox Nova in 2008. Of course he was only echoing what was being said by the unpaid Obama press agents in the mainstream media. Does anyone doubt that in regard to budgetary issues Obama is the worst president in our nation’s history?
Candidate Obama promised that fiscal responsibility; but President Obama flushed a trillion dollars down the drain on a useless “stimulus” package and then he bragged about the jobs he “created” in congressional districts that don’t even exist! That’s right; on this, White House, you lie. The only thing that trillion-dollar travesty stimulated was a debt-crisis and a Tea Party!
Money down a rat hole. I doubt if anyone who is not on the Obama payroll or a blind partisan shill can argue with a straight face that the “stimulus” succeeded in doing anything positive for the economy. There would have been more of a positive impact if Obama had gone from city to city tossing money out of car windows to onlookers.
Now, the left’s irresponsible and radical policies awakened a sleeping America so that we understood finally what it was that we were about to lose. We were about to lose the blessings of liberty and prosperity. They caused the working men and women of this country to get up off their sofas, to come down from the deer stand, get out of the duck blind, and hit the streets, come to the town halls, and finally to the ballot box. And Tea Party Americans won an electoral victory of historic proportions last November. We the people, we rose up and we decisively rejected the left’s big government agenda. We don’t want it. We can’t afford it. And we are unwilling to pay for it.
Translation: Obama has messed things up so badly that he has altered the political landscape for the foreseeable future by causing a great many apolitical people to become active in fervent opposition to Obama and his administration. 2012 is not going to be a repeat of 2008.
But what was the president’s reaction to this mandate for fiscal sanity?
A theme of a Palin campaign will be that Obama ran as a moderate in 2008 and governed as a Leftist.
Less than 90 days after the election, in his State of the Union address, President Obama told us, nah, the era of big government is here to stay, and we’re going to pay for it whether we want to or not. Instead of reducing spending, they’re going to “Win The Future” by “investing” more of your hard-earned money in some cockamamie harebrained ideas like more solar shingles, more really fast trains – some things that venture capitalists will tell you are non-starters. We’re flat broke, but he thinks these solar shingles and really fast trains will magically save us. So now he’s shouting “all aboard” his bullet train to bankruptcy. “Win The Future”? W.T.F. is about right.
“Bullet train to bankruptcy”, another instant classic tagline. Obama is interested solely in big government liberal policies and really does not care about fixing the economy. I wish that Palin hadn’t used “WTF” but I agree with the sentiment if not the expression of it, and I suspect that is how many apolitical Americans have felt in observing the antics of the Obama administration.
And when Wisconsin’s own Paul Ryan presented a plan for fiscal reform, what was Obama’s response? He demonized the voices of responsibility with class warfare and with fearmongering. And I say personally to our president: Hey, parent to parent, Barack Obama, for shame for you to suggest that the heart of the commonsense conservative movement would do anything to harm our esteemed elders, to harm our children with Down syndrome, to harm those most in need. No, see, in our book, you prioritize appropriately and those who need the help will get the help. The only way we do that is to be wise and prudent and to budget according to the right priorities.
Palin points out the obvious: Obama is clueless as to how to deal with out of control spending and has nothing to offer but raw demagogery.
Now, our president isn’t leading, he’s punting on this debt crisis. The only future Barack Obama is trying to win is his own re-election! He’s willing to mortgage your children’s future to ensure his own. And that is not the audacity of hope. That’s cynicism!
I think that is a very good summary of Obama. A deeply cynical politician whose only vision is for his own career. Après moi le déluge, (after me the deluge), might as well be the motto of Obama as well as for Louis XV.
Piling more debt onto our children and grandchildren is not courage. No, that’s cowardice!
Debt that will never be paid without a bout of bad inflation lasting years, or depreciation of the currency.
But did you notice when he gave that polarizing speech last week there was a little gem in the speech. Maybe you missed it. But he spoke about the social contract and the “social compact.” Well, Mr. President, the most basic tenet in that social compact is adhering to the consent of the governed. That would be “We the People.” President Obama, you do not have our consent. You didn’t have it in November. And you certainly don’t have it now. You willfully ignored the will of the American people.
Palin is here making the argument that Obama, in effect, is a lameduck since the 2010 elections.
You ignored it when you rammed through Obamacare.
Still vastly unpopular more than a year after its passage.
You ignored it when you drove up the debt to $14.5 trillion.
We are rapidly reaching the point when government by infinite credit card is simply no longer possible.
You ignored it when you misrepresented your deficit spending.
There I disagree with Palin. I do not think Obama really sees a problem with deficit spending and assumes that we can continue to conjure money out of thin air forever.
You ignored it when you proposed massive tax increases on the middle class and our job creators.
Obama made a critical error by coming out in favor of tax increases. Most Americans think, I believe, that the more money Washington gets in, the more will simply be sent down newfound rat holes.
You ignored it when you went to bat for government-funded abortions and yet you threw our brave men and women in uniform under the bus, Mr. Commander in Chief.
A great shot! Obama and the Democrats used the troops as human shields in the budget debate, refusing to go along with a Republican bill to guarantee funding of the troops, and demonstrated quite clearly that the one thing they will never sacrifice is Planned Parenthood and its sacred role in Holy Abortion.
You ignored it when you got us into a third war for fuzzy and inconsistent reasons, a third war that we cannot afford.
Obama frittered away an opportunity to squash Quaddaffi quickly, and now the Libya War has quagmire written all over it.
You ignore it when you apologize for America while you bow and kowtow to our enemies, and you snub our allies like Israel.
With Obama our foreign enemies need not be concerned and our foreign allies are learning that he can only be relied upon not to be reliable.
And you ignore when you manipulate the U.S. oil supply. You cut off oil development here and then you hypocritically praise foreign countries for their drilling.
The reference is to the Obama administration’s funding support for Brazilian oil drilling and its opposition to US oil drilling. Incredible, but absolutely true.
And when hardworking families are hit with $4 and $5 a gallon gas and your skyrocketing energy and food prices as you set out to fundamentally transform America, you ignore our concerns and you tell us we just better get used to it.
Obama’s popularity is already swinging down as gas prices go up. The expected $5.00 a gallon gasoline will be devastating to him.
Well, Mr. President, we’re not going to get used to it. Not now. Not ever. You ignored us in 2010. But you cannot ignore us in 2012.
The clearest sign yet I think that Palin is looking to 2012.
Mr. President, you and your cohorts threw all the hatred and all the violence you could at these good folks in Madison, Wisconsin. But you lost here.
Palin realizes that the 2012 campaign will be conducted in white hot heat, but she is prepared for it.
And Madison, you defended the 2010 electoral mandate. You are heroes, you are patriots, and when the history of this Tea Party Movement is written, what you accomplished here will not be forgotten.
Scott Walker took the worst the Left could toss at him and triumphed. What he did on the state level, Palin plans to do nationally, if she runs.
Your historic stand brought down the curtain on the last election. And the 2012 election begins here.
Once again, a clear signal I think that she is running.
We will take the courage and the integrity that you showed all of America. We will take it and we will win back our country!
An insurgent campaign against Obama in the general, and against the GOP establishment in the primaries.
God has shed His grace on thee, America. We will not squander what we have.
As opposed to the Obama administration that has done nothing but squander what we have.
We will fight for America! And it starts here in Madison, Wisconsin!
Once again, another clear sign that she is tossing her moose hunting cap into the ring.
It starts here! It starts now! What better place than the state that hosts the Super Bowl champs, to call out the liberal left and let them know: Mr. President, game on!
The gauntlet has been tossed down to Obama.
God bless you, Wisconsin, and God bless America!
In 2008 a deeply frustrated Palin was forced to campaign according to a strategy not of her choosing. In 2012, and I do believe she will run, she intends to force her opponents to respond to her strategy, and it will not be a conventional campaign. 2012 is shaping up to be a very interesting year indeed.