According to a New York Sun editorial Friday, Gov. Palin's success in helping the 2010 candidates she endrsed get elected, although impressive, is not her most important achievement:
The fact is that Mrs. Palin has spied and branded the most relevant, the most inclusive, and the most uplifting theme for the Republicans in the coming contest — the idea of what she calls constitutional conservatism.- JP
This is an idea for our times, if there ever was one, and it was shrewd of Mrs. Palin to seize on it, as early as she did. It is certainly true that others have gotten the message, and may have gotten it independently of Mrs. Palin.
The clarity of the idea comes into focus at a time when the Democratic administration is lunging for expanded powers, and she has emerged in a remarkable position. She has written two books. One is a kind of autobiography and declaration of her breakout from what might be called hidebound Republicanism, the other — to be issued this month — a meditation on faith, flag, and country. This sets her up for a third book on the idea of constitutional conservatism. If she goes ahead and writes it, we predict it will have an even greater impact than her first two — and just in time for 2012.
Even if the Alaskan doesn’t turn the idea of constitutional conservatism into a book, Mrs. Palin has marked the idea as her theme. Its great power is that it sets up a methodology for dealing with everything from — to name but a few issues — foreign policy and the war to the dollar, nationalized health care, same gender marriage, taxation, and gun control.
So let the pundits puzzle over which of Mrs. Palin's candidates prospered and which lost. The better count is which contenders for the national ticket can lay any better claim than Mrs. Palin to an idea as unifying, uplifting, and inclusive as the idea of constitutional conservatism that she has made her platform.