Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Via Rumproast, Zandar, and The Hill, there's thisabout 2012, from The Fix at The Washington Post:

An astute Fixista flagged a fascinating interview that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin gave to conservative talk radio host Lars Larson last Friday in which she appears to leave the door open to a third party bid for president in 2012. Asked by Larson whether she would consider running as a third party candidate, Palin said: "That depends on how things go in the next couple of years." Larson told the 2008 vice presidential nominee that answer "sounds like a yes" to which she responded: "If the Republican party gets back to that [conservative] base, I think our party is going to be stronger and there's not going to be a need for a third party, but I'll play that by ear in these coming months, coming years." Which, to the Fix's delicate ears, sounds like Palin leaving the door wide open....

I don't see this happening.

My first reaction to the story was that if Palin tries to pull anything like this, she's going to be fragged so brutally by her own side -- and I mean the big guns, including the Murdoch media and Limbaugh -- that she's going to start feeling nostalgia for the days when Couric and Sullivan and Schmidt and Fey were her biggest problems. Quite possibly, like Rudy Giuliani in 2008, she'll be attacked from the right -- say, for appointing a pro-choice state Supreme Court justice (as Amy Siskind never tires of reminding us), and for other reasons. Think McCain in South Carolina in 2000.

The other possibility, though, is that, if she's the favorite of Republicans as a third-party candidate, and if the GOP's own nominee is uninspiring and unlikely to have coattails, the big guns on the right may throw in with Palin and sandbag their own choice. Why not? They did it in the '06 Connecticut Senate race, didn't they? They did it in NY-23 and nearly won. If she's the least bad option, I think they'll back her.

But none of this is going to happen, really. The GOP presidential aspirants in 2012 are going to fall all over themselves to be teabaggier-than-thou, and the answer to the question of whether the party has managed to get "back to that [conservative] base" will be a resounding "You betcha."

Palin and other Republicans talk this way partly as a way of implying that the Republican Party didn't actually lose in 2006 and 2008 -- what really happened was that an evil, fake, non-"true conservative" counterfeit of the Republican Party lost, because the real Republican Party is inerrant and can't possibly lose. It's silly, but it's a hell of a lot less self-destructive than the Democrats' usual response to defeat, which is a collective cry of "Why do we suck so much? Kick our asses -- go ahead, kick them. Really, really hard."

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