After telling members of the inaugural national Tea Party convention what they wanted to hear in a speech Saturday night in Memphis, the dining hall roared with chants of "Run, Sarah, Run" when a moderator during a question period asked Sarah Palin if she planned to run for President in 2012.
Palin, the former governor of Alaska, avoided an answer. She did say her first action as president was reduce government spending in an effort to bring the national debt under control. She also said efforts at bipartisanship were worthy but at the same time meaningless if the other party was disingenuous.
During her appearance, televised nationally by C-Span and all the major cable news channels, she summed up her national security goal as "We win. You lose," a phrase first stipulated by late President Reagan whose 99th birthday she honored on several occasions.
Her domestic policy was best summed up by her assertion that the U.S. Constitution required limited government.
She scolded President Obama to "stop lecturing and start listening."
Referring to Obama's presidential campaign based on hope, she asked her audience "How's that hopey changey thing working out for you?"
Those were notes I scribbled during her speech and question follow-up session.
What struck me was the complete absence of any specifics to cut federal spending. She said Obama's proposal to freeze spending except for military and entitlement programs was not enough. Her solution seemed to be to allow an unencumbered market place to drive the economy.
Yet, she did not acknowledge that out-of-control risk takers on Wall Street drove the economy off the cliff in 2008. Nor did she allude to lack of regulations caused the housing market to collapse a year earlier when lenders approved loans to people who couldn't afford to buy homes.
At the beginning of her speech on national security issues, she slammed the Obama administration for treating the Nigerian underwear bomber of Christmas Day fame as a criminal suspect by reading him his Miranda rights as any U.S. citizen would have received. She failed to mention that the young Muslim later provided the FBI ciritical information about al-qaeda in Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula.
It is these half-truths and complete lack of specific alternatives to our domestic policies that drive me nuts. It is one thing to criticize. It is quite another to simplify complex problems with simple solutions which in the days of Huey Long we called demagoguery.
Palin and the Tea Party people are rightfully upset with the direction they see the Obama administration taking America. They implement God and the Constitution to their own means and always create a strawman to rally against. To wit: The Democrats have stolen the freedoms of our future generations by creating an unsustainable debt.
If Palin and the Tea Partyists can prove their assertion that only low taxes and limited government are the answers to all which beset us, I will join them. Unfortunately, history is not on their side and am too old to see that day come true.