Paleocon blogger Daniel Larison doesn’t think much of the “anti-establishment” credentials of candidates (in this instance, Sarah Palin and Barack Obama) who belong to, brazenly court, and are eagerly championed by establishment parties:
[T]his entire debate about the anti-establishment populism Palin supposedly represents and its similarity or lack of it to Bush’s style simply reproduces McCain campaign propaganda that presents Palin as an anti-establishment reforming champion. Challenging and throwing out incumbents are not enough–if that constituted being anti-establishment, Macbeth would be one of the great anti-establishment heroes of all time.
Something that seems to elude these discussions is the recognition that ambitious, new pols are not anti-establishment–they want to be the establishment, or a part of it, or else they are bound for long, disappointing, stagnant careers in the backbenches or the backwoods. The basic truth about anyone competing at this level for high office is that they may not yet be of the establishment, but they are very much in favor of the establishment provided that they are an important player in it. The real anti-establishment candidates are known by their marginalization. Washington pols and their allies who run against Washington are having us on in the same way that the branches of the federal government con us by pretending to check one another while constantly aggrandizing more power for the central state as a whole. Every wave of reform is stymied because Washington pols will never of their own volition yield power that Washington possesses, which gives the citizens less and less leverage over each succeeding generation of so-called reformers. No one in the major parties calling for reform or change intends to alter this structure in any meaningful way.