The making of a new American revolution or 'a wolf in sheep’s clothing'

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Within Positioning Theory (Harré and van Landenhove 1999; Harré and Moghaddam 2003), it has been stated that “conversations have storylines and the positions people take in a conversation will be linked to these storylines” (van Langenhove and Harré 1999: 17). Focusing on Sarah Palin’s speeches delivered at Tea Party assemblies, the polarizing discourse creates a populist storyline by positioning others outside the discourse. Referring to contentious political issues – those related to the very discontent that led to the Tea Party’s formation – her third order positioning reflects a form of contextualization where the talk reinforces a perceived reality (Berlin 2007b).Using the Multilayered Model of Context (Berlin 2007b, 2011b) within a critical discourse analysis to examine her speeches, signifiers are identified to indicate the appeal Palin has for Tea Party adherents. Simultaneously, while Palin establishes and strengthens her own political standing, the lack of substance and direction in her political discourse is unveiled through the use of various forms of redundancy Orwell 1946 and violations of the Cooperative Principle (Grice 1975).


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