It’s time for a break up.
If you haven’t already seen, Sarah Palin has endorsed Bill Walker and Byron Mallott’s Independent-Democrat “Unity” ticket in the Alaska gubernatorial race over Republican incumbent Sean Parnell. She endorses the Independent-Democrat ticket over the man who was her own lieutenant governor.
Because of this, as far as Republican politics are concerned, I’m finished with Sarah Palin. I have nothing but respect for her has a wife, mother, and grandmother. I pray that, should I ever be faced with the prospect of having to raise a child with Down Syndrome or any other disability, I would have the wisdom to make the kind of decision she made with Trig and that I could bear that cross so gracefully. I must also add, in light of recent events, that I find the media’s treatment of the family brawl despicable, and unlike Carroll Costello, I find assault no laughing matter.
However, this isn’t about Palin’s family life. This is about her political decisions, both in and out of elected politics.
I admit it: I was rather enthralled with Palin as [mc_name name=’Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000303′ ]’s Vice Presidential nominee, and I considered myself a huge fan of hers even after the defeat. However, when she resigned as governor of Alaska, I began having qualms about supporting her in a run for President in 2012, which she wisely declined to do. In the months following, I became repulsed by her most ardent followers, who interpreted even the mildest criticisms that came from outside their group as personal attacks on them and on Palin herself.
Through all of this, I still managed to value Palin’s input as a commentator and quasi-kingmaker. Her endorsements of people like [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ], [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ], [mc_name name=’Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’F000463′ ], and Nikki Haley gave them much needed support against both establishment Republicans and Democrats, but I found her talk of possibly forming a third party disconcerting. I am a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, but I will fight my battles in and through the Republican Party. As RedState’s Labor Union Report put it:
While many conservatives are fed up with the GOP, to think that a third party will do anything more than ensure a permanent majority on the Left is nothing more that wishful thinking.
Why Sarah Palin (or anyone else) believes that starting a third party is a good idea is anyone’s guess. However, what would be more beneficial is for celebrities like Palin to instruct people on how to take over the GOP from the bottom up.
Instead of people like Sarah Palin (or Rush Limbaugh, or Mark Levin, for that matter)–all of whom I admire–throwing out the idea of a third party to their conservative audiences, what would be more usefulis for them to take the 30 seconds to explain how to take over the Republican Party–just as the Left did with the Democratic Party.
There are ways to take over the Republican Party beyond electing the right candidates, the Precinct Project is one of them, but that’s a discussion for another time. What’s important is that, like the rest of my fellow RedState Front Pagers, I am a firm believer that the Republican Party is the best vehicle for conservatives to enact their agenda in modern American politics.
So, I suppose Palin’s talk of splitting off from the Republicans should be taken as something of a precursor to her endorsement decision in the Alaska governor’s race. It’s her way of saying that Republicans can’t take her support for granted. I understand that, but by making this announcement, she is also inserting herself into the race as an issue when there were plenty of much more important things to discuss that are much more substantial than an endorsement.
I am well aware that Bill Walker is a former Republican. That doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that he decided he could not win in a primary and decided to forge his own way. My suspicions of him are deepened by the fact that he chose a Democrat as his running mate. That’s the single most consequential decision a candidate for an executive office can make prior to his or her election. Moreover, he didn’t just choose any Democrat. He chose the Democrat that the state party had nominated to run against Parnell. If that’s how he exercises his judgment in choosing a second-in-command, then how can we trust him to be a reliable conservative?
I understand that Palin has some problems with Parnell. As the National Journal piece I linked to at the beginning explains:
Parnell’s 2013 restructuring of the state’s oil and gas taxes dismantled a prior, Palin-championed program that she considered to be one of the greatest achievements of her tenure. That difference of opinion is at the heart of Palin’s conflict with Parnell, which resulted in the two campaigning on opposite sides of a ballot measure in this year’s primary.
Parnell dismantled Palin’s oil-tax increase, called ACES (short for Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share), by signing a repeal of some oil taxes in 2013 that was intended to curb the state’s production decline.
Even so, she could have opted to stay out of the race and decline to endorse Parnell, or she could have employed the classic tactic of damning with faint praise. I’m sure she must have had plenty of problems with John McCain, both politically and personally, but she still endorsed him when he was up for reelection as a Senator in 2010. However, with Parnell, she broke ranks and endorsed his opponent. She felt she had to inject herself into the race, and she chose the wrong side. That’s why, politically, I am through with her.
I reject the Left’s reprehensible attacks on her character and family, including the latest round of mockery involving a family brawl, but in light of decisions like this, I see no reason to trust her political judgment anymore. The best thing Sarah Palin can do for us right now is to stay out of politics for a while. It will be good for all of us.