Palin and a Third Party.
Look, I have been an ardent defender of Sarah Palin and her right to get into the race for the GOP nomination by the deadlines set out by the party. I still think she has the right to get in when she sees fit as long as she meets the deadlines set out by the Republican Party. But the latest post over at Conservatives4Palin has disturbed me a little bit. Look, People have the right to support whomever they would like in whatever party or lack thereof they wish. But recent history has shown that third party presidential bids by populist right-wingers who have a flair for the more “showy” aspects of politics have not been successful and has guaranteed the re-election of the Democrat who, in this case, is simultaneously the most far left wing statist president we’ve ever had and the most corporatist president we’ve had. If that is not a lethal combination for America, I don’t know what is.
I did not get that Palin is considering a third party bid from that interview, but the people at C4P have got to wake up and smell the coffee if that’s the case: Conservatives have to be united. I’m not saying that there isn’t a circumstance where I couldn’t support a Palin third party bid. If the choice is Obama, Romney or Palin, I’d seriously consider supporting Palin and work my butt off to try and peel off some conservative Democrats to support her. That said, we have great candidates right now who I believe can defeat Romney. In the break down of conservatives, independents and liberals that 40% of the country who calls themselves conservatives contains Democrats and some of the most conservative constituencies of the Democratic Party are people who are President Obama’s most loyal supporters (African-Americans, Latinos), it’s going to be VERY difficult for Palin to win support in a third party bid. Not to mention that even if she were elected she’d only likely receive 35-40% of the popular vote, giving her absolutely 0 political capital and no mandate to courageously take on Washington the way I know she would.
Speaking of courage, part of what makes Palin so great to me is that she has courageously taken on the GOP WITHIN the GOP time and time again. It would seriously disappoint me if she ran as a third party candidate because she’d be running away from the establishment rather than taking it on. It also re-fringises the conservative movement. Let’s say Romney is the Republican nominee, by today’s standard he’s a moderate to liberal Republican. If Palin were to run as a third party candidate, she would take nearly ALL of the energy of the conservative movement with her. I’m not saying she’d take all the conservative votes, but let’s be honest if Romney were the nominee any vote for him from a conservative would simply be a vote against Obama. There would be no energy in his campaign, it would be a repeat of 2008. Palin would take all of that energy we’ve built up over the last 3 years and immediately make it fringe by running as a third party candidate.
I like Sarah Palin. She’s still my top choice for the nomination and until she announces she’s not entering the race for the GOP nomination, she’s who I’ll be supporting. But if she’s thinking about running as a third party candidate, she’s not doing herself or her country any favors. She can help by doing one of two things: take on the GOP establishment by running in the Republican primary or endorse a true conservative fighter currently in the GOP field. I have an idea of someone who could use the high profile help of someone like Palin.