Palin Last Nail in Republican Coffin?

Quite a few reports came out yesterday buttressing rumors that there were tensions between John McCain and Sarah Palin which caused a feud within the campaign team.   It’s only fitting, I suppose, since the selection of Palin has highlighted and exacerbated a growing fissure within the Republican Party itself.

Fox New’s Carl Cameron dished last night about rumors that Palin was even more unprepared than we thought, like not knowing that Africa was a continent rather than a country or being clueless about which countries were in NAFTA:

Cameron continued the assault on Bill O’Reilly’s show, continuing to use the word “knowledgability” to describe what she lacked:

In “Internal Battles Divided McCain and Palin Camps,” NYT corespondent Elisabeth Bumiller details some of the petty squabbles and disputes over such things as the prank Sarkozy call and the wardrobe brouhaha but this section puts it all into perspective:

Finger-pointing at the end of a losing campaign is traditional and to a large degree predictable, as Mr. McCain himself acknowledged in a prescient interview in July.

“Every book I’ve read about a campaign is that the one that won, it was a perfect and beautifully run campaign with geniuses running it and incredible messaging, etcetera,” Mr. McCain said then. “And always the one that lost, ‘Oh, completely screwed up, too much infighting, bad people, etcetera.’ So if I win, I believe that historians will say, ‘Way to go, he fine-tuned that campaign, and he got the right people in the right place and as the campaign grew, he gave them more responsibility.’ If I lose,” people will say, “ ‘That campaign, always in disarray.’ ”

Quite right.  Had McCain somehow managed to win, we’d be hearing about all the Obama staffers who couldn’t believe Joe Biden was so boneheaded as to promise a grave national security crisis if his guy won and Biden staffers complaining about Obama’s ill-considered remarks to Joe the Plumber or Obama’s diva qualities being demonstrated by his penchant for giant outdoor rallies with Greek columns.  Since they won, however, the mistakes are minimized.

Regardless, these revelations about Palin are embarrassing, if true, and seem petty at this juncture.   Michelle Malkin and Ace are absolutely right that it’s cowardly for these rumormongers to be dishing anonymously.

Palin, for her part, is being extraordinarily gracious, at least in public, saying all the right things about McCain and about letting president-elect Obama have his moment.

RedState honcho Erick Erickson says his team is “tracking down all the people from the McCain campaign now whispering smears against Governor Palin to Carl Cameron and others.” Fair enough. He then goes on:

We intend to constantly remind the base about these people, monitor who they are working for, and, when 2012 rolls around, see which candidates hire them. Naturally then, you’ll see us go to war against those candidates.

It is our expressed intention to make these few people political lepers.

[…]

Don’t make us add you to our list. Do you really want to be next to Kathleen Parker in the leper colony?

I was about halfway through a draft of this post which decried a New McCarthyism and a witch hunt against those Republicans who dared speak out against Palin when it occurred to me that I’ve had more than one adult beverage with Erick and that he couldn’t possibly mean that.  Either this was a late night rant that he’d walk back in the morning or I was reading too much into the whole thing.

So I emailed him asking, “Is it your intention to sabotage candidates you’d otherwise support for hiring staffers who say mean things about Sarah Palin?  And perhaps anyone else who says anything mean about Palin?   Not sure how else to take Don’t make us add you to our list.”  He assured me that, “We’re just trying to rattle cages.  It’s pretty clear there are four staffers and one former staffer in the McCain camp who are out to save their own reputations by throwing Palin under the bus.  Just trying to get them to back off.  I’m positive, because i have my own campaign sources, that the vast majority of what they are saying is B.S.”

Fair enough.

The whole Palin thing, though, worries me.  I take people like George Will and Christopher Buckley and Colin Powell at their word when they say the selection of Palin was very troubling to them.   And, to the extent Palin did lack “knowledgability,” it’s not her fault that she was jumped directly from Rookie League ball to the World Series.   Michelle Malkin is absolutely right here:

Let’s assume the rumor-mongers are telling the truth for a moment. Who does it damn more: Sarah Palin or McCain and his vetters who green-lighted her for the vice presidential nomination? Don’t need an Ivy League degree to figure that one out.

Indeed not.

But here’s the thing: As Stacy McCain has argued eloquently for some time, the grassroots of the party love Sarah Palin.  His sentiment that, “We need more grass-roots activists and fewer intellectual elites” is surely widespread.   It’s also a path to permanent minority party status.

My political awakening occured in late 1979, with the Iran Hostage Crisis, and grew steadily over the next year as Ronald Reagan battled Jimmy Carter for the presidency.  At that point in time, the Republican Party was said to have an “Electoral College lock” on the White House — California was a solid GOP state at the time — and it took extraordinary things like the combination of Watergate, an energy crisis, and runaway stagflation to get a Democrat elected.  At the same time, though, the Democrats were overwhelmingly the dominant party.  They had majorities in most state legislatures, held most of the governorships, had been in control of the House of Representatives for decades, and were ensconsed as the majority party in the Senate.

Reagan changed all that.  He managed to build a coalition of anti-communists, fiscal conservatives, and social conservativesthat swept Carter off to build houses for the poor, brought in a wave of Republicans on his coattails, and started a national realignment that culminated in the 1994 Republican revolution.

The social conservatives, mostly Southern evangelicals, took over the party, starting with the school boards and county commissions and eventually the state legislatures, the breeding ground for future Congressmen and governors.   The result, for a time, was a majority party or, at least, one on par with the Democrats in party ID and more easily mobilized on election day.

The coalition has long been an uneasy one, with the social conservatives disdained by the Rockefeller Republicans and vice versa.  The demise of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War made it harder to keep the coalition together but it has more-or-less held together.   All the while, though, moderate and liberal Republicans have gradually been driven from power.  Olympia Snowe is all that’s left of them in the New England states, now a one-party region.

The frontrunners for the 2012 nomination are Palin and Mike Huckabee.  I don’t see how either gets beyond 40 percent of the national popular vote, let alone takes back any state that Obama won this go-round.   Not only will they not appeal to independent voters, they’d both alienate the Crunchy Cons, South Park Republicans, Goldwater Republicans, Rockefeller Republicans, and essentially everyone else outside the hard core evangelical base.

There’s got to be a better way.

UPDATE: Along these same lines, Steve Benen reminds us of Jim Nuzzo‘s recent remarks that,

There’s going to be a bloodbath. A lot of people are going to be excommunicated. David Brooks and David Frum and Peggy Noonan are dead people in the Republican Party. The litmus test will be: where did you stand on Palin?

Matt Yglesias‘ response at the time is apt:

I’m actually one who thinks that the occasional ideological purge can strengthen a movement, but this would be a seriously odd basis for conducting such a cleansing exercise. Nuzzo is talking about a blind test of loyalty, not any kind of substantive demarcation of conservatism.

A GOP where the likes of Brooks and Noonan aren’t welcome would be a fringe party, indeed.

UPDATE II:   George Will makes similar arguments in his column today, although his view of what’s happening is a bit more, well, conservative.

As this is being written, Republicans seem to have lost a total of 55 House and 11 Senate seats in the past two elections. These are the worst Republican results in consecutive elections since the Depression-era elections of 1930 and 1932 (153 and 22), which presaged exile from the presidency until 1953. If, as seems likely at this writing, in January congressional Republicans have 177 representatives and 44 senators, they will be weaker than at any time since after the 1976 elections, when they were outnumbered in the House 292 to 143 and the Senate 61 to 38.

After the 1936 election, when the Republican nominee against FDR, Kansas Gov. Alf Landon, carried only two states, both in New England (hence the jest, “As Maine goes, so goes Vermont”), there were 29 congressional seats in New England and Republicans still held 15. With Tuesday’s defeat of Connecticut Republican Chris Shays, Democrats hold all 22 New England seats. As recently as 1996, when New York had 31 House seats, Republicans held 14; after Tuesday, they have just three of 29. With the loss of the seat on Staten Island, Republicans will hold at most one urban seat.

Since John Kennedy was elected from Massachusetts in 1960, all of the elected presidents (leaving aside Gerald Ford), before Tuesday, came from Georgia, Arkansas, Texas and Southern California. In 1960, there were no Republican senators from the South. (In 1961, John Tower of Texas became the first since Reconstruction.) But when the next Congress convenes, 19 of the probable 44 Republican senators — 43 percent of them — will be from the South, understood as including Oklahoma and Kentucky. The South is beginning to look less like the firm foundation of a national party than the embattled redoubt of a regional one.

Still, the Republican Party retains a remarkably strong pulse, considering that McCain’s often chaotic campaign earned 46 percent of the popular vote while tacking into terrible winds. Conservatives can take some solace from the fact that four years after Goldwater won just 38.5 percent of the popular vote, a Republican president was elected.

True that.  But it took some extraordinarily bad governing and an unpopular war to do it.  And it would be another three decades before the GOP won a majority in the House of Representatives.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Campaign 2012, Politics 101, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. James Joyner on the backlash against the backlash against Palin, or, the GOP eats itself. http://tinyurl.com/588fxv

  2. Alex Knapp says:

    Traditionally in American history, this would be the time that a large segment breaks off from the Republican Party and forms a large third party. However, election laws as they are now have pretty much locked in the two party system, so that’s a no go. I don’t know what will happen next.

  3. Anthony says:

    Speaking as a Brit, these people really do need to beware the danger of going down the same route as the Tory Party post-1997, when it spent several years busily turning itself from a national political party (indeed, generally seen as the “natural party of government”) into a peculiar ideological sect that could reliably capture the intense passions of around a third of the British (or, more accurately, English) population and absolutely nobody else. Some of the stuff that has been floating about the internet in the last 48 hours – not least over at places like the NRO Corner – is pretty blood curdling for anyone who remembers that particular experience. One hopes prudent heads will prevail.

  4. (Not) Hardcore Evangelical Voter says:

    HEY! Don’t you know we evangelical social conservatives do EVERYTHING for the GOP?! If we don’t get our candidate, we’ll stay home!!! You take us for granted all the time! You’ll never see a Republican elected if we aren’t around!

    (rolls eyes)

  5. Bithead says:

    But here’s the thing: As Stacy McCain has argued eloquently for some time, the grassroots of the party love Sarah Palin.

    And therein lies the problem for McCain loyalists. They’re about discrediting her so as to protect their cushy jobs.

    As for the rift among Republicans…We’re going to see over the next weeks and months a strong lurch to the right ala Reagan folowing the disaster known as Jimmy Carter… which Obama seems a perfect copy of. Some lessons, apparently, need to be releaerned each generation.

  6. DL says:

    Just more rats deserting the sinking ship. They must destroy the surviving conservative – lest she someday come back from the Yukon exile and lead the revolution. Like the Jews who chose liberaism over Israel and the Catholics (54%) who voted for the party of sexual devancy and infanticide, the last of the media acknowledges its leftist baptism in hopes of being saved from Obama’s goon squads. What whores!

  7. G.A.Phillips says:

    HEY! Don’t you know we evangelical social conservatives do EVERYTHING for the GOP?! If we don’t get our candidate, we’ll stay home!!! You take us for granted all the time! You’ll never see a Republican elected if we aren’t around!

    Exactly, you might be able to find a new way, but if you don’t start with the hard core evangelical base your wasting your time.

  8. Bobbert says:

    His sentiment that, “We need more grass-roots activists and fewer intellectual elites” is surely widespread. It’s also a path to permanent minority party status.

    The frontrunners for the 2012 nomination are Palin and Mike Huckabee. I don’t see how either gets beyond 40 percent of the national popular vote, let alone takes back any state that Obama won this go-round. Not only will they not appeal to independent voters, they’d both alienate the Crunchy Cons, South Park Republicans, Goldwater Republicans, Rockefeller Republicans, and essentially everyone else outside the hard core evangelical base.

    Why does a ‘grass-roots activist’ who isn’t an ‘ intellectual elite’ have to be an evangelical?

  9. Beth says:

    Well said, Anthony. That’s exactly what they (or rather, we Republicans) are doing. Principles are fine, but they mean nothing if they can’t win any elections.

    Well, the ideological purists got what they wanted this time – some time in the political wilderness so a new Reagan would super-magically appear to save us all, and the best interests of the country be damned in the meantime.

    Meanwhile, they’re busy grousing about how we lost because we weren’t purist enough. God, I’m so sick of these selfish, short-sighted amateurs driving the train. Politics is about addition, not subtraction!

  10. Derrick says:

    As for the rift among Republicans…We’re going to see over the next weeks and months a strong lurch to the right ala Reagan folowing the disaster known as Jimmy Carter.

    If I take what you say in the first part as true, Bithead, the hole in your analysis is that Huckabee and Palin aren’t good stand-in’s for Reagan. Maybe Obama and Congress lurch to the left, but it isn’t going to help Republicans if the “Wasilla Hillbilly’s”, as called by a McCain staffer, are the alternative. Palin and Huckabee aren’t going to win over moderate Republicans or Independents so there doomed to failure against an incumbent President. Carter created an opening but Reagan was positioned to walk through it.

  11. G.A.Phillips says:

    Why does a ‘grass-roots activist’ who isn’t an ‘ intellectual elite’ have to be an evangelical?

    you don’t, but we need to work from the base not against it.

  12. Drew says:

    Thank you for the use of the word “petty,” for it is apropos.

    As soon as it was clear on Tuesday night that Obama had won (which means when Pennsy fell) I was on the phone with a buddy musing as to whether the post mortem analysis would conclude the party had gone “too far right” (that is, religiously) or for losing their way on spending. (would that be pitting “the right” vs “East Coast Republicans?” )

    I personally am a bit at sea on the issue. But a drift back to a more libertarian pose for the party sounds correct to me.

  13. Beth says:

    if you don’t start with the hard core evangelical base your wasting your time.

    Fat lot of good that did two days ago.

    Sorry, but I don’t get how the “hardcore evangelicals” are “the base,” when they’re always threatening to sit out elections. If you ask me, I’m the base. I’m a conservative Republican, I always vote Republican, and I send money to candidates I don’t particularly like (I even donated to Lincoln Chafee a few years ago – gag me) just to try to keep/gain majorities in Congress. I don’t believe in losing, because I get nothing I want when Democrats are elected. Better to get 75% than zero percent, and suck it up on the 25%. I’m not a child; I don’t expect to get everything MY WAY all the time, and I don’t ever feel like I’m “compromising my principles.” I know where I stand and I make my views known to my elected leaders – what’s their problem? Their “my way or the highway” approach sounds something like blackmail politics to me.

    I guess doing things Reagan’s way (the man who agrees with me 75% of the time is not my enemy”)is asking too much for some people, though.

  14. G.A.Phillips says:

    Meanwhile, they’re busy grousing about how we lost because we weren’t purist enough. God, I’m so sick of these selfish, short-sighted amateurs driving the train. Politics is about addition, not subtraction!

    I would ask you addition of what? sometimes addition will cause subtraction.

  15. Beth says:

    And for the record, I like Sarah Palin, and I am disgusted by this backstabbing from people in the campaign. But like James said, this is to be expected – if Zero had lost, we’d be hearing all this stuff from them about Biden/Obama/Michelle Obama/whomever.
    The sad thing for her is that this will stick, because people are still paying attention. People won’t notice the next few years if (when) she proves the backstabbers are full of crap through what she does. In 2012, people will think “dumb Sarah,” no matter what she does between now and then.
    I don’t like witch hunts, but Erick Erickson is right – staffers who do this stuff ought not be working in this business. They aren’t doing anyone on our side any favors at all. If they don’t want her to run in 2012, why? If she is clueless, don’t they think people would figure that out? Idiots.

  16. G.A.Phillips says:

    Fat lot of good that did two days ago.

    I don’t understand your anger It was not my idea to chose a liberal in wolfs clothing to be our choice, I dint vote for him, and then I had to, you guys keep leaving out the base and we keep losing, simple math.

  17. grisjuan says:

    And, to the extent Palin did lack “knowledgability,” it’s not her fault that she was jumped directly from Rookie League ball to the World Series.

    How is it not her fault? Was she forced to accept the job?

    I was recently offered a job I knew I was unqualified for. I turned it down because I could not have done it well with my current skill set. I am studying hard to get qualified though and when I’m ready I’ll jump in.

  18. Billy says:

    I for one welcome former Rockefeller- and other libertarian inclined-Republicans into the big tent that is the modern Democratic party. If its the rest of the country vs. the evangelicals, perhaps there can finally be governance from a free-market, socially progressive standpoint.

    Because of the G.A.Phillips of the world, such a prospect will never be a possibility so long as the “base” is part of the coalition. Let’s be honest – those who don’t think the rapture is coming in a few years who have also chosen to remain under the mouldering Republican banner should be very uneasy about who remains with them today.

    There is a better way – join those of us libertarian Democrats who chafe at the notion of over-regulation, but who have stomached it rather than get in bed with the insanity of the religious right. We could make the party, and the country, a better place.

  19. Beth says:

    I would ask you addition of what? sometimes addition will cause subtraction.

    Addition of VOTERS. You know, what you need to actually get anything done. Remember?

    So what you’re saying is you’d leave if moderates voted for Republicans? Give me a break.

    I hope you enjoy President Obama and his Supreme Court appointees (which the Democrat Congress will rubberstamp through, possibly with a filibuster-proof majority). Justices Stevens and Ginsburg are probably scouting retirement property in Arizona or Florida right about now.

    So, how about that Freedom of “Choice” Act? I hear that’s a hot one on the Democrats’ list. Also abolition of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    And of course, let’s not forget the troops – although I suppose their lives aren’t as important as your “principles.”

  20. G.A.Phillips says:

    There is a better way – join those of us libertarian Democrats who chafe at the notion of over-regulation, but who have stomached it rather than get in bed with the insanity of the religious right. We could make the party, and the country, a better place.

    Well now you have a solution, I just hope it’s not a final one.

    Soon billy had his masters will try to pass laws to silence me and my friends and put us in jail so I’m gonna do what I can with the time I have left before. U.S.A. R.I.P. 04/11/08.

  21. Heather says:

    Conservatism needs to stand for something not just against the Democrats. And we need to come together on what we stand for. Which mean both sides need to stop trying to sabotaging the other. Our enemy is those who believe America is the problem and should be torn down. The enemy is those who believe that the people needed to be governed for their own good. We are for individual liberty and freedom to live our lives as we see fit.

    The truth is we need both, we need both the organization and the support of the Christian groups. I’ve read that we need to get rid of the “Red neck bigots” way too much in the last two days.

    Some of our intellectuals have gotten stale, they have been in DC and NY too long and have gotten lazy. I write this as someone who was turned into a conservative by George Will’s writings and it saddens me. We have Jonah Goldberg and other National Review writers and thinkers. We do need to refill our think tanks keeping that fresh with new talent. Some of that talent needs to come from the grass roots because without them the think tanks are simply a theoretical exercise.

    Palin is not Huckabee. While she is a personally a religious person and lives her life as one she has not tried to govern Alaska from that perspective. She governs Alaska from a libertarian perspective which is why I do think her standard should be the standard Republicans should watch.

  22. Beth says:

    you guys keep leaving out the base and we keep losing, simple math.

    I repeat, you aren’t “the base.”

    Even so, how has Bush left you out?? If anything, far more people are leaving the GOP because of the excessive demands of the hardcore social conservatives. I won’t, because my interests are not just in social issues, but for many, the rhetoric and exclusivity of the socons is simply too unpalatable. You won’t gain ANYONE to your side by demonizing (literally!) those with whom you have relatively few disagreements.

    By the way, you should look at the current fad of God-bashing for a good example of how evangelicals in the party have done more damage than good – and that is something that’s more important than mere politics. They/you aren’t just running good people out of the party, you’re making people think Christians are harsh, judgemental people. I’m absolutely, 100% certain that isn’t what your/our job is as a good Christian – and I resent that at least as much as I resent the political sabotage. Mike Huckabee had his ideological faults as a candidate, but he could have been a good face for religious Republicans. But in these times? There’s NO WAY he’d be elected, not with the backlash against Christians in politics that exists today, no matter how much of an engaging guy he is. The Dems would have caricatured him far worse than they did to even Sarah Palin, and Christianity would have taken another hit in the process. Think about it.

  23. Beth says:

    Well said, Heather.

  24. Heather says:

    Left has been Christian bashing forever.

  25. G.A.Phillips says:

    Beth I’m sorry, but if you want to blame me go ahead everyone else does. what I am saying is start with the base it works, moving to the left don’t.

    hope you enjoy President Obama and his Supreme Court appointees (which the Democrat Congress will rubberstamp through, possibly with a filibuster-proof majority). Justices Stevens and Ginsburg are probably scouting retirement property in Arizona or Florida right about now.

    So, how about that Freedom of “Choice” Act? I hear that’s a hot one on the Democrats’ list. Also abolition of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    And of course, let’s not forget the troops – although I suppose their lives aren’t as important as your “principles.”

    and I could say the same to you but I wont.
    I think the comments are still loading slowly, and you have a right to mad but man blaming the base for what the liberals do and have accomplished, I don’t get it.

  26. Billy says:

    Beth, I think you make some very good points, but there is a misconstruction that criticizing the religious right is “Christian bashing.” Many of us who cannot stand the rhetoric from the Pat Robertsons and the Fred Phelpses of the world stand firmly rooted in Christian doctrine in so doing, and it’s just as much of a fallacy to paint all those on the “left” as godless Christian-bashers as it is to portray all Christians as belonging to Westboro Baptist.

    And I for one think Huck is a great guy. Totally disagree with most of his politics (economic and social), but I’d love to jam with him sometime.

  27. G.A.Phillips says:

    I repeat, you aren’t “the base.”

    OK then.

    By the way, you should look at the current fad of God-bashing for a good example of how evangelicals in the party have done more damage than good – and that is something that’s more important than mere politics. They/you aren’t just running good people out of the party, you’re making people think Christians are harsh, judgemental people. I’m absolutely, 100% certain that isn’t what your/our job is as a good Christian

    you think think it’s the Christians fault that most of this county hates them/us in one way or another, Our job is to bring the gospel to the rest of the world thank you very much regardless of what people think of us/you, it’ also is the foundation of this country and what it should be restored to, siding and supporting the theory of the enemy helps us not. Why Christan bashing is up, Hmmmmmmm, I give you the fanatical religion of Evolution and the people who don’t call it what it is.

  28. sam says:

    Right this way, ladies and gents. Step right up! Come see the civil war in the leper colony formerly known as the Republican Party. Watch as they eat their own. See astounding feats, such as removing a knife from the back single-handedly. Come hear infinite variations of “I never said ____________.” See a trailer for the soon-to-be released blockbuster, Jindal-Palin Death Match, the thrilla in Wasilla. As a bonus, get your Conservative/Libertarian Purity test kits on the way out. False identities and passports, extra.

  29. G.A.Phillips says:

    Beth, I think you make some very good points, but there is a misconstruction that criticizing the religious right is “Christian bashing.” Many of us who cannot stand the rhetoric from the Pat Robertsons and the Fred Phelpses of the world stand firmly rooted in Christian doctrine in so doing, and it’s just as much of a fallacy to paint all those on the “left” as godless Christian-bashers as it is to portray all Christians as belonging to Westboro Baptist.

    lol what, two questions Billy, do you believe in evolution and do you support abortion?

    Remember now words like Christian have meaning.

  30. Billy says:

    I’ll answer your questions G.A. when you answer mine:

    Do you support the death penalty?

    Do you oppose the redistribution of wealth to the poor?

  31. G.A.Phillips says:

    1) yes, even if your dear leader gives it to me because I’m a believer.
    2)no, I believe in charity not stealing.

    Oh, and Hail gimprad sam, you join us for breakfast, we a have one ration of red eggs and coolaid left if you would like it.

  32. Jim Henley says:

    I fairly weep for the beauty.

  33. Billy says:

    G.A., please reconcile your beliefs with Christ’s teaching. No quoting from Paul or the Old Testament – just the words in red please.

    And for the record, yes (and the Pope agrees with me) and no (but I am smart enough to recognize that criminalization doesn’t eliminate, or even provide the most practical solution to actually reducing, the problem).

  34. Grewgills says:

    I was about halfway through a draft of this post which decried a New McCarthyism and a witchhunt against those Republicans who dared speak out against Palin when it occured to me that I’ve had more than one adult beverage with Erick and that he couldn’t possibly mean that.

    I don’t know about that. Their recent posts about George Will, Noonan, and others lead me to believe that is exactly what they mean. I don’t remember who authored the other articles threatening pariah status to pundits who publicly endorsed Obama, but this sounds like more of the same.* It looks like RS is moving even further into fringe territory and taking on more of a Moe tone.

    * I can’t find the articles now as redstate doesn’t have a search tool (at least not for non-members).

  35. Bithead says:

    If I take what you say in the first part as true, Bithead, the hole in your analysis is that Huckabee and Palin aren’t good stand-in’s for Reagan.

    Perhaps true, and you’ll notice I didn’t link either directly to that. There are certainly others in the party who in four years may well be ready to take that mantle. Jindal sees one such case.

    Yet, whatever else she may be, she seems to me to represent the person farthest to the right in the top teir of the GOP today… and it’s thereby she’s getting all this discrediting from the Rockefeller wing on the party.

    To the rest of the room, I remind you, Reagan wasn’t a success because he tried to become a demorat, as Bush, Buch and Mccain did. rather, he was a solid conservative, and won the center over. The strength of positive reaction from GOP rank and file shows that formuale still holds power.

    The reaction of the isiots in the Bush McCain wing of the party tells us they think so, too.

  36. sam says:

    There are certainly others in the party who in four years may well be ready to take that mantle. Jindal sees one such case.

    But, Bit, what about the Jindal-Palin Death Match I mentioned above? I’m afraid Sarah Barracuda will have Smilin’ Bobby for lunch.

  37. Bithead says:

    Oh, I don’t know. certainly, if turned loose, she would make chowder out of Biden, and likely, out of Obama as well. Jindal, perhaps not.How effective she is, you see, depends on what crowd you’re comparing her to.

    “But Bit…”, I hear you say…”Obama/Biden WON”.
    True. Fly in that ointment of course has always been that Obama’s support cannot be explained using facts and logic… and thereby could not be defeated by use of them, either. Most of his supporters have been operating on pure emotion.

    I suspect that emotion will change shortly, once they remember The Who….

    “Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss”

    … as all these Clintonista retreads and Chicago party bosses move in.

  38. andrew says:

    “A GOP where the likes of Brooks and Noonan aren’t welcome would be a fringe party, indeed.”

    How would it be a fringe party, what size of the electorate consists of yuppie/country club/Left-wing media Republicans? At most 1%, not that it’s entirely unimportant because every bit helps but these people just saw what way the wind was blowing and went along for the ride. Palin just happened to be the excuse they needed.

  39. Machiavelli says:

    Do you really think an honor student, college graduate, daughter of two teachers, and a governor didn’t know that Africa was a country?

    Or that someone who negotiated with Canada didn’t know that Canada was part of NAFTA?

    And as to the Couric question regarding Supreme Court cases, I have a Masters in Political Science and to be honest, I couldn’t name one recent case without cracking a book (Marbury, Brown, Dred Scott of course…).

    All this is a bunch of hooey.

    And one more thing, with 5 kids, she probably has helped her children study for tests, she knows where freaking Africa is.

    I just think that some McCain staffers are bitter that Palin was popular that their horrible campaign went down in flames.

  40. Greg Q says:

    On what grounds do you say Sarah Palin won’t get past 40%? Because you don’t like her?

    She didn’t get an 80% – 90% popularity level in Alaska by being an idiot, and ignoramus, or a polarizing figure, She has consistently worked with Democrats in order to get her plans accomplished.

    That wasn’t her job as McCain’s VP. That’s doesn’t mean she can’t do it.

    Do you even know anything about Gov. Palin other than what the MSM has fed you? Or are you just so in awe of the MSM that you don’t think anyone could ever possibly get past them, connect with the American people, and prove the MSM wrong?

  41. SpreadEagle says:

    Republicans need to realize that a lot of moderate Republicans and independents are totally turned against the party by the right wing talk radio blather. Some of the stuff being said by Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly, Cunningham, etc. was just embarrassing. For example, Beck’s constant “Obama is a Socialist” rants WHILE Republicans including McCain voted for a Socialist bailout for which the argument is not whether it is Socialist, but whether it is Communist!

    The party needs to distance itself from the hate-talkers, or it is doomed to the dustbin of political history.

  42. G.A.Phillips says:

    And for the record, yes (and the Pope agrees with me) and no (but I am smart enough to recognize that criminalization doesn’t eliminate, or even provide the most practical solution to actually reducing, the problem).

    My friend you show me your heart when I had thought you had none, good for you.

    In the first place the pope who is called Christ on earth has a bad place in the word of God, it’s called the unforgivable sin, and if he believes in evolution and teaches such he has committed another blasphemy against the word of God and against the holy spirit. Those who profess to know the word and lead those who come to them for ministry and testimony astray are going to a place they can not come back from.

    In the second part, I understand the illusion that has been put upon you by the world, it is not your fault. I will ask you this, how do you make criminal what is not just or rational without falseness from the beginning, you shalt not murder, what you do to the Little children you also do to me. It’s is mans part in the new convent and the old to rule justly under the law of God the father, not to give heed to the folly of the thinking man.

    ask yourself why when someone tells you of the murder of 50 million creations who never had and will never know the life that was meant for them, means little to most if not far to many, ask yourself why it means what it means to you.

    And alway remember that no matter what I show as laking as a Christian, that I am a true believer because I have understanding from the wisdom of the Holy spirit by way of it guiding me through the word of God, and that I TRULY LOVE AND PRAY FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU EVEN THAT I STILL MOSTLY TALK LIKE A FOOL, AS I HAVE SAID MY EVOLUTION AS A CHRISTIAN IS FAR FROM COMPLETE IN MAINLY ONE AREA.

    I hope you will think on this with more then your intellect, I know you have a good one but it hardly matters in the grand plan of things.

  43. andrew says:

    “Republicans need to realize that a lot of moderate Republicans and independents are totally turned against the party by the right wing talk radio blather.”

    Are these “moderate” Republicans and independents disturbed by the MSM blitzkrieg against Sarah Palin and her family and Ohio state officials illegaly looking into Joe the Plumber’s background? How about Jack Murtha using enemy propaganda to falsely accuse Marines of murdering civilians in cold blood. Are they disturbed by that?

  44. Daniel C. says:

    The Republicans lost the election not because their ideas don’t resonate, but because they haven’t governed well. The solution isn’t more or less ideological purity, but learning to govern better. Better fiscal discipline – more attentiveness to all segments of the electorate – less reckless foreign policy. Most Americans vote out of practical considerations, so we need to be able to show competence, not just the right ideas and values.

    Sarah Palin is to be admired for her social conservatism and her compassion for people with traditional values. But that is not enough to earn the electorate’s trust. You also need to demonstrate a high level of competence, and there are many strong social conservatives who are much more conversant in national policy. A presidential candidate shouldn’t have to “cram” a bunch of facts. You need to have a real understanding of the issues and be able to formulate your own complex ideas about them. I didn’t see that with Palin, and more importantly, neither did most of America.

  45. Bithead says:

    It’s also a path to permanent minority party status.

    Not if the Reagan experience gives us any indication.

  46. mckimmey says:

    Now rank Carl Cameron with Rachel M and Keith O of MSNBC and Dana Dash at CNN for their reporting skills and their integrity.

    Cambell Brown rates an honorable mention for her “no Bull – No Bias” claim, alongside O’Reilly for “No Spin.”

    Got to a least respect Rachel M and Keith O for their honesty. They admit the truth will never get in the way of their opinion.

    Tho she doesn’t cover all the news, if Greta Reports it then chances are 90% sure it truth not fabrication.

  47. mckimmey says:

    CORRECTION TO POST:

    Now rank Carl Cameron with Rachel M and Keith O of MSNBC and Dana Dash at CNN for their reporting skills and their integrity.

    Cambell Brown is ranked almost equally with Carl, Rachel and Keith for her “no Bull – No Bias” claim, alongside O’Reilly for his “No Spin.”, where Carl Cameron is a regular contributor.

    Got to a least respect Rachel M and Keith O for their honesty. They openly admit the truth will never get in the way of a good story or their opinion.

    Tho she doesn’t cover all the news, if Greta Reports it then chances are it’s truth not fabrication.