Categorized | Opinion

Joel Pollak: Sarah Palin, Leader of the Opposition

Joel Pollak, former Republican nominee for the 9th Congressional district seat in Illinois in 2010, has written a great piece at Big Government about Governor Palin’s influence on the national political landscape:

Sarah Palin will have a strong impact on the 2012 race, whether she runs for president or not. She will continue to rally conservatives, and Democrats and journalists will continue to target her as a proxy for Republicans as a whole.

A new film, The Undefeated, will highlight Palin’s achievements as governor of Alaska–which are often overlooked in the media, where the focus has been on her departure from office.

It’s also important to acknowledge the role Palin has played over the past two years. She rallied the opposition to President Barack Obama during a time when opposition seemed impossible, when even conservatives wondered if Obama’s election marked “the end of a conservative era” and the beginning of a “revived liberalism.”

She did more than support candidates, provide new ideas, and comment on TV. She led a revival.

Sarah Palin served, unofficially, as the “Leader of the Opposition”–a powerful position in many parliamentary democracies, even enjoying constitutional status in some of them.

If the United States had an electoral system based on proportional representation, Palin would undoubtedly hold federal office today. Instead, she resigned her state position and began to play a more active national role. Our democracy is healthier as a result.


Leader of the Opposition is a tough job. It is–by its very nature–a polarizing position. Some opposition leaders eventually win the highest office. And some of the most effective opposition leaders–like South Africa’s Tony Leon, for whom I worked–are only truly appreciated once they have left politics.

It’s too early to know whether Palin will turn her unofficial opposition into an official campaign. But it is not too early for even her opponents to concede that she has done her job well.

Read the whole thing here.

H/T Stacy

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  • AmsterdamExpat

    Joel Pollak is a smart perspicuous guy who’s actually put himself at risk (taking on that appalling Jan Schakowsky last year) — I’ll take one of him over thousands of the likes of Ace (at Ace of Spades — just have a look if you’re up to it at his latest SP screed) who are more pathetic with each passing day, not to mention all the hyperventilating basement dwellers who populate his comment threads.

    • Whitney Pitcher

      Indeed. Schakowsky’s one of the several corruptocratic Congresspeople we have here in Illinois, and for running in a heavily Democratic district, Pollak did well.

      He, as a Jew, defended Governor Palin during the whole "blood libel" thing as well:

    • $3069072

      AmsterdamExpat, right you are about Joel. We here in IL were amazed at his depth of knowledge of the issues and his solutions to all that plagues our troubled state.  A candidate of his caliber is difficult to find.

  • Rogue2012andbeyond

    PALIN 2012!!!!    I cannot wait to see Sarah on Sunday on her first bus tour stop in D.C..  Sarah will be hopping on the back of a Harley!!! (So I heard) – I hope all is live on TV to see Sarah!!!!

    PALIN 2012!!!!

  • Leroy Whitby

    Palin has indeed been the leader of the opposition. I was blown away when I looked at the list of her endorsements (Sarah’s Picks) at .

    What I loved the most about her endorsements were the one’s like Pam Bondi in Florida for Attorney General. That was not a no brainer and she had a good solid competitor for the nomination. But it seems like it was the right pick — Bondi has been a strong AG so far and been a Tea Party type so far in office as well — and Bondi won against the Lt. Governor of the State. Most hack politicians would have just automatically picked the Lt. Governor, Kottkamp, instead of Bondi and that would have been that but Palin looked at the race and made a surprising (and good) choice, nothing against Kottkamp.

  • pgroup

    Good Lord, what is it going to take to get our side to STOP CALLING OUR COUNTRY A DEMOCRACY?!?!?

    Sorry for yelling but this is a fundamental problem for me. How can we possibly expect to win a fight that we appear to not even know what it is we are fighting for?

    Democracy = mob rule. We are not a democracy. 

    • Firelight

      There are many forms of democracy and many forms of republics.  We are not a general "republic".  We have a republican form of government but by such a general definition, China is a Republic, however, our governments could not be more different.  Our framers gave us the best of both worlds in our constitution.  

      We have a Democratic Republic or a Representative Democracy or a Liberal Democracy (sounds bad but is correct).  All of these definitions are correct.

      What we are not is:

      Classical Republic
      Parliamentary Republic
      Federal Republic (confederation)
      People’s Republic (Socialist Republic)
      Islamic Republic
      Commonwealth Republic
      Crowned Republic
      Islamic Democracy
      Parliamentary Democracy
      Direct Democracy
      Parpolity Democracy
      Inclusive Democracy
      Social Democracy
      Workplace Democracy
      Consensus Democracy
      Athenian Democracy
      Cosmopolitan or Global Democracy

      To say that the definition of democracy is mob rule is far too simplistic just as saying a republic is institutional rule.  There are vast differences in types of republics and democracy that make a world of difference.

      • AmsterdamExpat

        Yes, and as the terms were first defined, mob rule (ochlocracy) represent the vicious deformation of a democratic constitution — and O and his minions would be overjoyed to bring about this corruption throughout the country (just recall what they they attempted to orchestrate in Wisconsin).

      • pgroup

        I guess those old white guys like Jefferson didn’t really know what they were doing. They sure didn’t say what you just said.

        "… and to the democratic republic for which it stands …" just doesn’t quite ring true for me.

        My mind is made up – don’t try to confuse me with extraneous facts. 

  • Harrison Woodard

    Unfortunately, our opposition is not only Democrats, but ivy league nitwits, the media, celebrities, RINOs, DIABLOs and the establishment types that think Americans want compromise with the leftists. Listen, if my choice is between sudden death versus a lingering, painful death, I would still want to be healed and live an abundant life!

    Long Live the Conservative Opposition!!

    The Path to True Prosperity and Freedom!!

    • Leroy Whitby

      Hey, I’m an Ivy League nitwit and I’m for Sarah.

      There’s just as many lefties in the rest of academia . . . they just don’t add arrogance to ignorance and mis-education in as great a degree. Yes, we Ivy Leaguers are a special breed. We overspent and understudied to gain overconfidence . . . : )

      Go Sarah!

      • angeleno

        Here’s to Sarah from another Ivy Leaguer. There are plenty of us out here. True, the elite
        universities have been infiltrated by stupid socialists for decades like the rest of America,
        but there are always patriots in every walk of life. If there weren’t, America would have been gone by now. This little woman (in size) has the courage that can stop the Obamas of this world.

      • Harrison Woodard

        I meant no disrespect. I know there are good people that come out of the ivy league. It just seems some of the wackiest liberals come from there and end up in politics making everything worse. Hey, I overpaid myself for education, but enjoyed every minute of it.

        • Leroy Whitby

          Oh, I know you didn’t mean anything by it; I’m just having fun. The reality is we should kick the Ivy League because they don’t have conservative professors. So they are a force, politically, for evil and are the active enemies of regular people and families. Combine that with the arrogance of their alleged expertise and they are a particularly galling brick in the wall of ignorance and corruption.

  • Guest

    I can’t post on the open thread. Please don’t mind me posting this here:

    Don’t let the the enemy sink his teeth in you, use the best weapon, Prayer!. Enjoy "the ride" and happy memorial day! 

    "A COSMIC philosophy is not constructed to fit a man; a cosmic philosophy is constructed to fit a cosmos. A man can no more possess a private religion than he can possess a private sun and moon." ~GKC: ‘Introduction to ‘Book of Job.’

  • MarkRNY

    "Sarah Palin will have a strong impact on the 2012 race, whether she runs for president or not."
    She’s the leader of the opposition precisely because of her potential (now reality) to run for POTUS. The second she says that she’s not a candidate, that influence is gone. She could become another Breitbart, Rush or Levin I guess which ain’t too shabby, but it’s a far cry from leader of the free world. If I know this, she sure as hell does. 
    No more qualifiers! You have to be an imbecile (or worse) to think that she’s not running at this point.
    Sarah-12-deal with it. 

    • Carmelo Junior

      Sarah will be a strong impact whether she runs or just be a cheerleader for RomneyCare or Backstabmann

      • grizzlyrising

        LOL.  Or a "Kingmaker" for Gary Johnson.  Ha ha. 

  • jeffo1

    LONG LIVE SARAH: America’s Most Loved Contemporary Patriot

    White House Bound 2012-2016

  • VADMCollingwood

    Stand against the machines. 

    If you can read   then you are the resistance. 

    Stand for freedom.  Stand with Sarah.   Come join our cause. 

  • Carmelo Junior

    They are still saying "wether she runs or not" lol

  • jerseymark

    I just came across a great term used in the title of an article in Investor’s Business Daily that we should make our own when talking about the current state of our economy and our country – wait for it 


    Takes us back to the Carter malaise.

    • free4now

      Current job market salary requests:

      “Lettuce have a raisin celery with a dab of Øbamalaise”. :)

    • AmsterdamExpat

      Oh that’s good!

  • John Norton

    Im listening to rush right now and hes got a rare hair on this morning ben talking SP for the last hr. about her upcoming bus tour ect…Rush just said that Sarah dosnt need to sit in the back of the bus cause ITS HER BUS …!.

    • $3069072

      Heard Rush say that (in only the way Rush can) and it had me laughing out loud!

      (but i thought he said something like "She doesn’t need to sit in the back of the bus, cuz she’s got HER OWN DARN BUS!")

  • WilliamShipley

    That’s really the big difference between Snow White and the 7 (or more) dwarves.  The dwarves have been busy talking to the insiders, trying to line up support to get permission to lead.  Sarah Palin has been actually leading all this time.  She has set the agenda, she has done a fine (not perfect) job of getting her candidates elected, she IS the Republican leader (quick: what issue is Romney leading on?)

    I’m a big believer that you promote someone to a position who is already doing a good deal of the job rather than someone who simply wants a promotion.  By that standard, there is only one Republican candidate.

  • angeleno

    She damned well is! Not only the leader of the opposition but the defender of American liberty against the refuse of the Left and the cowards on the right. You can’t count all the media who are still saying she was "silent" or "barely noticeable" in the past few months, until this week. Sure, anyone seems silent when you boycott them, the way the media boycotted the best political speech of the past quarter-century–by Sarah Palin at Madison, Wisconsin, a month or so ago. Or when they get amnesia about how she’s put the brakes on Obama so many times, and especially how she led the overturn of the Dems in Congress last November.
    Now the Romney and Pawlenty boys are sounding pitifully desperate as they honk yesterday and today: "She’s not running, she’s just an entertainer."
    Yeah, she’s damned entertaining, guys, especially the way she’s going to breeze past your wimpy candidates for the nomination and then knock the stuffing out of the BS pinata known as Obama.

  • David

    She’s been the leader since her electrifying speech in 2008 at the RNC. She also been the target of the marxists and the worthless republican establishment ever since.

    • Guest


  • ripcurl2121

    what is this "on the back of a harley stuff"  i want to see her riding her OWN harley.  im sure she can handle it.


    HI ALL i am sorry that i have to write this but this feels like a new store with a nice big grand opening sign but when you get there d gates are closed …… my car is full of gas my ezpass is loaded we have packet up the ice box with all the goodies ….. why is there not posted a schedule where and when she will be. i will say it bluntly this way will not work we need to have big crowds out there but they must inform us all the stops so could have our ground game in gear.
     please who ever has power in the pac please get rolling ………..
    in honor of our great boys and gals lets make them proud and our country back………

    GO SARAH…….

    • $10089747

      Go to

  • Guest

    Of course SArah was the leader of the Opposition while the GOP was out of power, and she gets more credit than any other single person for their return to power, imho.

    But here’s the problem:  now that the GOP has returned to power, they don’t need an unofficial leader, they have an official leader, the haplessly incompetent and pliable John Boehner.  And look where the GOP is less than a year later–arguably far worse off than it was a year ago, even though they now hold the House.  The GOP official leadership is that bad.

    Sarah needs to transition from unofficial leader to offiicial leader, and let Boehner and crew go back to ….well, whatever it is they do in the real world.

  • blackbird

    "…She rallied the opposition to President Barack Obama during a time when opposition seemed impossible…" that’s the God Honest Truth, I remember clearly the bullying and intimidation narrative sit down and shut up, you lost, you are the party of no… Sarah Stood up with a Steel Conviction and proclaimed no we are not the party of no rather the party of hell NO, now tell me something, in those early days after the 2008 election when the Republican Party was in the wilderness who was there? Sarah Palin. You are correct Mr. Pollak, thanks for standing up.

  • nate30709

    Yes!  This is what Sarah needs.  More people in the press and blogospheres pointing out her TRUE record.  Yeah, the one the LSM tries so hard to distract people from.  Because anyone, ANYONE, who truly examines her record and what she has stood for and fought for then and now will be thoroughly enthused at Sarah Palin becoming president.  It’s all a matter of highlighting what she has done and, by that examination, predict what she will do.  For our country’s sake God Bless Sarah Palin and may God’s will be done.  I hope is will is for her to become President.  I will vote for her.  I stand with Sarah Palin 100%.

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