A new party for a new century

This conservative agrees with the notion that Palin is not qualified to be vice-president but thinks, for the sake of the party, she has to stay on the ticket

Conor Friedersdorf has joined the small but hardy band of conservatives (now holding steady at two) who are calling for Palin to be removed or to resign from the ticket.  Conor will get no argument from me when he says that she is not qualified, but I think he misjudges things when he thinks that there would not be a significant revolt.  I could see this leading to a very healthy outcome of conservative alienation from the GOP so intense that it might lead to some significant changes either in the priorities of the party or in the emergence of an alternative movement on the right.  More likely, though, things would revert to what they were before Palin was picked as suddenly energized evangelicals and activists lose interest and remember all the reasons why they dislike McCain.

FTR, his two conservatives is only accurate if you buy into the notion that people who don’t fall into the party line are, by definition, not conservatives.

He is concerned though, not about the presidential ticket, but about the down-ticket casualties.

Personally, I do not find this prospect all that disturbing at the presidential level, but it could be a problem if the GOP minority in the House loses many more seats in a wipeout election.

He quotes Conor as asking

Can conservatism survive as an intellectually viable political movement if its adherents privilege the electoral chances of the GOP above averting the installation of an unkown and by all outward appearances woefully unqualified person in the White House?

but

I reply: Conservatism is an intellectually viable political movement?  Has something changed recently?  I am only partly joking.  My point would be that the same conservative movement that has welcomed Palin as a conquering hero cannot now throw her out into the cold on the grounds of some supposed intellectual rigor and the defense of venerable tradition.

But above all, he is concerned how the Palin fans would take the perceived betrayal.

It is always a revelation to conservatives who find themselves on the other side of an issue just how much a majority of their fellows defines conservatism as lockstep agreement with whatever the GOP line happens to be.  Denunciation, if not necessarily death threats, is the usual response.  The GOP is against nation-building?  So are they.  The GOP is in favor of nation-building?  They couldn’t be happier, and anyone who is against it probably hates America.  More important, even if they don’t change their beliefs as dramatically as this they are usually quite willing to support the pols who do.

Welcome to the Republican party of the 21st century. Maybe McCain will be able to reign them in? Maybe he’ll get help from the Rovelings who are running his campaign?

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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