9.46 pm. There is no question in my mind that Palin is the leader of the opposition in this country. And there is no question in my mind that she is the leader of the Tea Party movement. Listening to her completely content-free rehash of every Fox News truism, underlined with the classic claim that Obama is on the side of the terrorists and is incapable of being commander-in-chief. Cheneyism is behind her.
9.45 pm. She's for the people against the government! Shes against Washington! They love her!
9.42 pm. Now the resentment. "Considering a candidate's children fair game." She's railing against the "elitists". Her invocation of Ronald Reagan is, to me, sickening.And in the peroration, the key proof of her being a genuine person: her son, Trig, and people with special needs. That has gotten the biggest applause of the night. It will be code for banning abortion. And she will be its talisman.
9.40 pm. Now she's saying things in the abstract that I completely believe in. But it is so lacking in any specifics, so devoid of any actual proposals to deal with any of our problems, so packed with cliches and tested bromides. And now she's claiming that we should stop "apologizing" for the troops. Who has been apologizing for the troops?
9.37 pm. She calls for more cuts in spending than just the spending freeze - but absolutely no specifics. And she endorses tax cuts! The Tea Party keynote speaker wants more tax cuts and no specified spending cuts. This is what created the deficits!
9.36 pm. In foreign policy, this is a campaign for return of Cheneyism. On energy, she wants non-carbon energy, but no government action to foster it except "projects" for non-carbon energy.
9.33 pm. Again, she's reprising fantasies of her alleged record in Alaska as fiscally conservative and reformist. "Get government out of the way." On healthcare, she favors meaningful "market reforms." The same old "across state lines purchases" and tort reform. That's it. Nothing else.
9.31 pm. "Big new programs with giant price tabs." She is now giving the fiscal conservative critique of the Bush years - but not of Bush. And so far, no actual policies proposed. I'm still waiting.
9.30 pm. The first mention of the debt after half an hour. This is a brutal, take-no-prisoner attack on Obama. She's running for president.
9.28 pm. Again, coopting all the populist themes of transparency, of anti-lobbyists.
9.26 pm. The governor who set up private email accounts for state business is now campaigning for transparency. And then a litany of every tiny little petite scandale in the stimulus. But notice how there isn't an actual attack on the stimulus itself.
9.23 pm. Now she's attacking Wall Street. "Where are the consequences for their getting us into the worst situation since the Great Depression?" This is a kind of left-wing populism, built in implicit rejection of TARP and the notion that the "stimulus" was a way for the federal government to take control of the people in the states.
9.22 pm. Obama is the enemy of the constitution.
9.19 pm. I'm struck by how much of this speech is now about national security, and how president Obama is anti-democracy around the world. She's also channeling Scheuneman on Iran. This is a speech to restore the Cheney vision of foreign policy: friends versus enemies. She claims Obama is "courting our adversaries." She's tired of hearing "talk, talk, talk."
9.17 pm. She's now claiming that he was asked no questions after the first fifty minutes - denied by the FBI. "We need a commander-in-chief not a professor of law." This is Cheneyism from a fembot. She's impugning the idea that Obama is commander-in-chief.
9.13 pm. So far not a single policy endorsement - but she's pivoting toward the Dolchstoss card. "We can't spin our way out of this threat." She's using the undie-bomber ... and here we come with the Miranda rights argument. If you think the tea-party movement is just about fiscal issues, you're wrong. It's also about restoring the Cheney protectorate.
9.10 pm. Again she says she wants to challenge both parties. It's the "people" versus both parties.
9.09 pm. The Obama-Reid-Pelosi coalition is responsible for the entire mess we're in. George Bush is the past; the left "own this now." She's tired of looking backward, and wants to look forward. And the reason to be excited about the future is that the GOP is winning off-year elections.
She's really good at this - joking, playing brilliantly to the crowd, and endorsing "contested primaries" in the future.
9.08 pm. She's co-opting Scott Brown for the Tea Party revolution.
9.07 pm. "America is ready for another revolution."
9.05 pm. Gosh she's so proud to be an American.