Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The battle for the GOP future

A Wall Street Journal report:
Key pieces of the longstanding Republican coalition of economic and social conservatives, culture-war soldiers and national-security hawks showed severe stress fractures during the long election, and leaders from different wings are now vying for party leadership.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin carries the mantle of economic populism and blue-collar voters, many of whom are committed social conservatives. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has emerged as a spokesman for economic conservatives focused on small government and low taxes. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal remain popular as rising stars.
Complicating the coming fight is a widening gap between the party's grass-roots activists and its intellectual elite. Gov. Palin sits squarely in the center of the debate. Embraced by many social conservatives in the party's base, she was dismissed by some party leaders, including some former government officials who endorsed Democrat Barack Obama. Activists see her as the party's future, others as a novice whose at-times shaky performance has doomed her prospects -- a split reflected in polls that showed her popularity dropping during the general election, but her supporters' enthusiasm high.
I'm with the hockey mom. We need more grass-roots activists and fewer intellectual elites. Were I consulted, I'd advise Palin to stick to a basic free-enterprise/limited-government message. Her Christian conservative credentials are impeccable, and she's got a son serving in Iraq, so nobody can say she's not invested in national security.

By sticking to the basic Republican economic freedom message, and not allowing herself to get drawn into discussions of peripheral issues, Palin will avoid making enemies. She's got plenty of friends, but if she goes wandering off into the tall grass of debating, e.g., stem cell research, she risks cutting herself off from potential supporters over policy matters that aren't central to the political difficulties now facing the conservative movement.


  1. Reagan wrote his own radio and newspaper commentary pieces during the 70s. These demonstrated the quality of his thinking and research skills, illustrated his beliefs, helped further his own knowledge and introduced him to serious thinkers in a variety of fields.

    These are all things that would benefit Governor Palin in her career. Assuming she isn't happy to just stay in Alaska. She would be a natural on the internets.

  2. It's amazing to see the Right rally behind the biggest political joke since Bush flew onto the aircraft carrier to claim victory.
    What the hell was she talking about in that video?
    She wants to reform journalism?!
    Ruffle some feathers?
    Seriously guys. The joke is over.
    Check out Fox dishing the dirt, O'Reilly and Cameron...
    Palin Conservatives are getting buried.

  3. 4-eyes, put down the Kool-aid and step away from the keyboard. Seems to me that Obama's nutroots legions took Palin as more than a joke, considering that they threw everything at her including the kitchen sink. It was worse than the media harassment of Dan Quayle, which you probably aren't old enough to remember.

    GTFO and leave us conservatives to rebuild the party.