Patrick Richardson

Managing Editor

Proving that the Republican Establishment still just Doesn’t Get It any more than the Democrats seem to, they are, according to a story by after Sarah Palin.

The elite old guard of the Republican party are scared spitless by the woman, and have gone on the attack.

Unsourced stories where no one is willing to go on the record or insist on speaking “on background” are the bread and butter of this kind of so-called journalism.

Don’t get me wrong. There are times when you have to grant anonymity.

This is not one of them.

Saying “we hate Sarah Palin,” or “my boss doesn’t think she’s electable and will destroy the Republican party,” are not reasons to grant anonymity.

There’s only one reason to do so in that situation — so that you can attack someone with impunity and not have to worry about the truth.

Now, Love Palin or hate her — and in the interests of full disclosure I happen to be one of the people who loves her — you cannot deny she’s been a force in American Politics for the last couple of years.

However, this attack by the Country Club Wing of the Republican party illustrates a larger issue they’re missing. Namely, Palin is popular not for her looks or charm, but for her message.

The Tea Parties are shaping this election for precisely the same reason. Yes the voters are angry. Yes, they’re upset with the direction of this nation. But you don’t get candidates elected simply on anger. The Tea Party candidates are gaining traction because of the message.

It’s really a simple message. And maybe that’s why the blue-blood, country club Republicans and the NPR listening, Prius drivers in the Democratic party are running scared.

They’ve spent decades telling us that governing and government are complicated. Too complicated for us peasants.

Except now the peasants are revolting (so tell them to take a bath! Yes yes old joke, but I still like it,) and they’ve discovered that there are some simple principles they like:

• Limited government — after years of increasing regulations, laws telling us we have to wear seat belts, can’t smoke in our cars, can’t eat this, can’t drink that, and a new health care bill that promises unprecedented interference in our lives the idea that Uncle Sam needs to get out of our bedroom is most attractive to the serfs.

• Free enterprise — simple enough. Most of us don’t work for the government. Most of us realize the guy who owns the small business we work for has to make a living too. Moreover most of us would like to own our own business someday and work for ourselves. We’d like that to be possible and understand that the more regulations there are, the harder it is for that to happen. We also don’t hate rich people. We’d like to be them.

• Lower Taxes — This one is easy for us po’ folks to understand. We’d like to keep more of our own money. We even get that if you let rich people keep more of their money sooner or later it gets back down to the commoners.

• Return to Constitutional principles — This is the one that scares the bejeebers out of Establishment types in both parties. They really don’t want us to read the Constitution. It’s really very simple to read and understand. They’d just rather we didn’t know that. A return to limited government means a reduction of their power — the last thing any of them want.

And there’s the rub. Politicians on both sides are scared to death they’re going to lose their power today. Democrats in once safe districts are in deep trouble — and many Republicans who thought their seats were safe for the rest of their lives found themselves out on their ear after the primaries. Their solution to the “problem” is to try to destroy the people they perceive as responsible — instead of moving to where their constituents are.

The only way this country is going to return to greatness is for its people to reclaim the power we lent to the politicians. This election is a good start. Get out and vote today. Whichever candidate you vote for, get out and vote.

Make the Establishment tremble in fear.

All IMHO, of course.

(Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Columbus Advocate and the Baxter Springs News. He can be emailed at