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Matthews: 'Don't underestimate Sarah Palin'

Let me finish tonight with Sarah Palin. She made the news this weekend.She was here in Washington riding a motorcycle with the Rolling Thunder crowd.

Let me finish tonight with Sarah Palin. She made the news this weekend.

She was here in Washington riding a motorcycle with the Rolling Thunder crowd. Great pictures. Great statement, too. She's one of the renegades, those Americans out there who think GIs were purposely left behind in Vietnam. Whatever the facts, that issue still has potency with folks. It's a way of saying "Don't trust the government; they're not on your side; they're not on the side of America."

Sarah Palin is running, as I've been saying, not for president of the United States, not to be the country's chief executive - I don't think she even liked the mini-sized version of the job up in Alaska - don't you remember? She quit it!

What she wants to be and is in the saddle of getting is to be head of the anti-government of the United States - the people who are "in the battle" right now - who let it be known in dress or in protests that they aren't part of that crowd running the country - the government, the media, the people who seem happy with America these days: who are not among the protesters.

Palin’s head of the people who "aren't" happy. They love America, of course, but not the America they see day to day. They don't "like" what they see. They're pledging allegiance to a country they believe either once was or is what they want it to be, not the noisy, diverse place that elected a fellow named Barack Hussein Obama president, not the country that lets gay people serve in the military, not the country that thinks George W. got us into a war that cost us too many good people.

Palin doesn't believe in a country where you're not required to read the King James version of the Bible in public schools. That's the country she likes, the one the Supreme Court got rid of, the country of officially-decreed prayers for our kids. The country she loves doesn't love the Supreme Court period.

Let's get that straight.

The country Palin loves believes the government of the United States, not just the courts but the whole shebang is the enemy, that it sold out the soldiers held captive in Vietnam, that he sells us out every day. It's the enemy. Got it?

And Palin is the leader of the people who don't like what they see America becoming, don't like "today" really. They don't understand it and they're worried, deep down, why everyone else isn't as mad as they are.

She's not running for president. She's running to lead a counter-culture of the angry, one that will be in a position within six months to tell the Republican party candidate what he should do, whom he must pick as a running mate, what he should promise to do if elected on a whole range of things: intelligent design, denial of climate change, abortion, gay rights, taxes, spending, the role of federal government, our position on the Middle East. She will hold a power that will rival the nominee for the basic reason that she will have the power to hold back her support.

Sarah Palin will not be the nominee when the Republicans meets September 2012 in Tampa, but she will be there - and what she says will carry real power over what the GOP presidential candidate says and does.

Don't underestimate Sarah Palin. She may have as much power not running as the guy who gets the nomination. If it's a non-Tea Partier like Mitt or Pawlenty, she'll tell him to pick Rick Perry of Texas as his running mate. She'll just "do" it! You watch.