How Palin Might Win A Presidential Nomination

John Ellis lays out a scary scenario:

As the Republican avalanche of 2010 builds — and I saw a poll the other day of a Democratic-leaning state Senate district on Long Island where the “right track” (8%)/”wrong direction” (83%) was unlike anything I had ever seen — Palin has smartly positioned herself as the champion of the conservative counter-revolution. By December, she will almost certainly be the de facto front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination.

By the time the Establishment GOP wakes up to this reality, it may be too late for them to do anything about it. Their view of Palin is that she’s useful to the party because she can help keep “the Tea Party types inside the tent.” And maybe she can serve coffee while she’s at it. Palin’s view is that (1) “the Tea Party types” are the party, (2) she is their standard bearer and (3) anyone who thinks “the Tea Party types” are there to lick envelopes and knock on doors should think again. They’re there, she asserts, to take back their party and to take back their country.

“She’s too stupid” is what the Establishment GOP really thinks about Sarah Palin. “Good-looking,” but a “ditz.” This is unfertile ground, since Palin can turn the argument on a dime and say: “They drive the country into bankruptcy, they underwrite Fannie and Freddie, they bail out Goldman Sachs, they fight wars they don’t want to win, they say enforcing the immigration laws is silly and they call me stupid! I’ll give you a choice: you can have their smarts or my stupidity, which one do you want?” A large number of GOP presidential primary voters will take Palin’s “stupidity” in a heartbeat.

via Andrew Sullivan.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • The Vicar

    Two thoughts:

    1. When this sort of possibility is raised, a lot of Democrats say things like “good, because she’s far too stupid to be able to win; even Republicans must be able to see that she would be a disaster and thus will fail to support her even if they don’t support her opponent”. Be careful what you wish for: in 1999, that’s what those same Democrats were saying about Bush.

    2. On the other hand, I think Palin would not run. Like Bush, she isn’t as stupid as she acts, and I think she has grasped a few facts:

    A. Her past is filled with scandals which would allow her opponents to derail the anti-incumbent rage by turning the race into a referendum on her past. (As with Sharon Angle; any establishment Republican would win against Harry Reid right now without breaking a sweat, but Angle is continuously so batsh!t insane that she may well lose despite the huge resentment against her opponent.)

    B. Holding an elected office requires occasionally not screwing things up, something which her term in Alaska showed she is incapable of doing. (Furthermore, once you lose an election in the U.S. it is almost impossible to come back successfully, or even make as good of a showing as you did on your debut. Look at Ross Perot, for example. The Teabaggers may not care about that, but you can bet the big Republican donors know it.)

    C. There is no background check to be a modern right-wing pundit as there effectively is for elected officials; if there were, all the current ones would have to withdraw. Palin’s terrible performance as governor was possibly leading to an indictment as governor. As pundit, it’s magically irrelevant.

    D. Pundits can be hugely powerful and make a lot of money off the pool of suckers which is the modern Republican party without actually running for office. (Look at Limbaugh and Beck!)

    I think she’s going to stay a pundit, continue to rake in the cash, and become a sort of equivalent to Rush Limbaugh for people who are too stupid for even Limbaugh to touch. But it would aid her in this goal to keep pretending that she might possibly run if properly approached, like Mario Cuomo a few decades back, so in a way this analysis is moot, because if it is true she’ll keep flirting with the nomination even if she won’t take it.


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