Thursday, September 29, 2011

Run, Sarah, Run!

If Dick Cheney can try to lure Hillary Clinton into the presidential race, why can't we progressives have a go at Sarah?  Jonathan Bernstein:
Could Palin launch an independent bid for the presidency? Why not? What bridges would she be burning with Republicans that she hasn’t burned already? And if she did go that route, she certainly wouldn’t have problems raising a fair amount of money, and she would be able to mobilize enough volunteers to get her name on the ballot in quite a few states.
This starburst-stimulating prospect made me realize: I want a third party in U.S. politics. Not a Washington-consensus, Barack-Obama-with-a-touch-more-deficit-reducing-zeal third party, but a hard-right, real-America, manifest-destiny-for-Israel, bomb-bomb-Iran, roll-back-the-New-Deal party.  Instead of primary challenges that push conservative incumbent GOP Senators and MCs to the right, let's have third-party challenges that push them to the center. Let those who dream of reducing a deficit by trillions with no new taxes or of a foreign policy driven entirely by a right wing Israeli government's perceived self-interest spin free on their own exuberance and in a fit of absent-mindedness cut the GOP loose from their tight embrace.  Let Boehner be Boehner, I mean Baker (James).

I used to shake my head and indulge in a foreigner's mild anxiety when I read about nativist-to-fascist right wing parties in various European countries surging in times of stress to capture, say, 15-20% of the vote. Now I think that those parties are an important safety valve. Here at home, better that the fundamentalists, nativists, authoritarians and Randians should have a few seats and a loud voice than capture one of two parties in a two-party system.

Of course, Sarah Palin is no institution builder. But let's start with her campaign and let her ideological soulmates take it from there.


  1. Sarah Palin would do this not because she thinks she could win, but because it would provide her the maximum public exposure which will provide her the most income.

    The worst thing that could happen to Palin's relevance would be Rick Perry being elected president.

  2. Andrew,

    I expect you will be leading the charge, going door to door in retirement communities in Florida to collect signatures for the Oct 31st deadline?

    Please post pics of you in shorts in front of Del Boca Vista Senior Living Homes..

    On another note: while Europe seems to have the safety valve you speak of, America's two party system tends to co-opt third-party threats and work some of the positive elements into the fold (as Clinton did with Perot's debt-concern) while diluting some of the more extreme ones (how serious an effort did GWB expend to get a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage?).

  3. What percentage of the republican party would be left if the tea party/fundamentalist/xenophobes/strict constitutionalists had their own party? They have been so loud and ascendant for 3 years, I can't get a read on the numbers of any other group in the party. Of course, Boehner is the uncomfortable face of what would be left, but how many?