Finally, the Republican National Convention is underway. Leftists protesters have attacked buses carrying Cub Scouts and dropped sand bags on buses carrying delegates. Fred Thompson gave a fine speech in support of John McCain, as did Joe Lieberman. Meanwhile, liberals find new ways to embarrass themselves in attacking Sarah Palin. The Wall Street Journal today editorializes that it’s because she’s exactly what Barack Obama falsely claims to be: an agent of change.
There is nothing more dangerous to entrenched Washington power than a populist conservative who looks unlikely to buy into Washington’s creature comforts. Take a close look at Governor Palin’s record on ethics and energy in Alaska, and it becomes clear what this Beltway outburst is actually about. The irony is that while Senator Obama is running on change, his acceptance speech made explicit that he’s promising only more power and money for Washington. Sarah Palin’s history of taking on the career politicians of a corrupt Alaskan GOP machine — her own party — shows that she’s the more authentic change agent.
John Hawkins lists nine reasons why Obama hasn’t been able to pull ahead. I’ll add a tenth: Obama is the most left-wing candidate the Democrats have fielded in a generation. Bill Clinton had spent years developing the Democratic Leadership Council to push the Democrats toward the center, earning a reputation as a moderate there and as governor of Arkansas. Jimmy Carter was (incorrectly) seen as a moderate, Southern governor. The Democrats haven’t succeeded in electing anyone widely perceived as a liberal. And there’s a serious argument to be made that Obama isn’t just very liberal, but truly radical.