During the 2012 campaign. Republicans had a grand old time mocking "You didn't build that" -- President Obama's nod to the infrastructure of the American Dream -- but in an apparently accidental irony, Sarah Palin has adopted the slogan in the wake of the Republicans' 2014 midterm wave. In a Facebook post that's the toast of the liberal blogosphere, Palin appropriated the phrase in completely unironic fashion, presenting the Republican victories as the result of the groundwork laid by others:
The Democrats got mauled today, deservedly so. To prohibit that from happening to the GOP in 2016, it must learn the lesson from the last time Republicans held the Senate majority. This time they must not retreat, and it's our responsibility to hold them accountable. Will they fight for reform that aligns with the limited government planks of the Republican platform, or will they return to the big government cronyism and status quo favored by the permanent political class? Will they drain the swamp or decide the D.C. cesspool is really just a jacuzzi they can't wait to jump on into and shake us off?
If GOP leadership returns to business as usual, then this majority will be short lived, for We the People say, “once bitten, twice shy.”
So, establishment types, remember that you didn’t build this! This majority that swept you into power tonight is thanks to the rank and file commonsense conservative grassroots. That’s who built it. And they expect results. They deserve the best for America.
That Palin used the catchphrase isn't really the ironic part. Using buzzwords that resonate with the conservative masses even when they don't make sense (especially when they don't make sense) is a feature, not a bug, on the right. Besides, Palin is half-right: The Republican establishment didn't build their huge majority, they created it, the way Frankenstein created his monster. Palin is, in fact, the perfect bolt-necked spokesperson for the creature, and she's right, they are going to expect something. Can you guess what?
No, the ironic part is who Palin thanks in her "You didn't build this" message:
Thank you, SarahPAC supporters. Congratulations, USA! God, please bless our future.
- Sarah Palin
The irony is that those SarahPAC supporters she's thanking didn't build this, either, at least not with the money they gave Palin. SarahPAC spent a whole pile of dough on free copies of Sarah Palin books, but less than 3% of their money went to Republican candidates in the midterms. Palin and her supporters, literally didn't build that.
As a matter of fact, Palin didn't even build her "thank you" note for not building the midterm result, at least not from scratch:
GOP Beltway Boys, yeah, GOP Beltway Boys, you know that 2010 victory that swept you into power? You didn’t build that, the TEA Party did,
That's right. For their millions of dollars, SarahPAC supporters got a thank you post that was re-gifted from a CPAC speech.
And all we got was this lousy Congress.