Skip to comments.Careful what you wish for, progressives [Nutroots for Palin in straw poll, think she's weak]
Posted on 07/27/2010 12:15:40 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Sarah Palin may be more unpopular than ever before, but if she chooses to run for the Republican nomination in the 2012 presidential race, she can at least count on bipartisan support. In fact, according to a straw poll at this years Netroots Nation -- the massive progressive bacchanal held last weekend in Las Vegas -- a substantial plurality of conference attendees wants the half-term Alaskan governor to be President Obamas general election opponent.
Its not hard to figure out why: Even Obamas harshest critics on the left almost unanimously favor him against any possible Republican challenger, and Palins candidacy would make 2012 look less like an election than a massacre. Its not just Obama who would profit, either; his opponent would be such a drag on down-ticket Republican candidates that one could say she represents the Democratic Partys best hope of undoing the damage theyre sure to incur this November.
Palin allies such as Rush Limbaugh often claim that liberals vilify Palin because theyre afraid of her, but theres really no way to reconcile that assertion with the outcome of the N.N. straw poll. If anything, the numbers tell us, liberals aren't afraid enough.
I dont mean to suggest that liberals underestimate Palins electoral fortunes; they are, truly, quite grim. The true danger is not that Palin would ever seize the White House, but rather what her nomination would mean for political discourse and basic stability in this country.
A democracy, after all, must be founded on broad consensus regarding certain social norms. That does not mean there is no room for disagreement over policy and philosophy within that broad framework -- indeed, that is an obvious feature, not a bug, of representative democracy -- but that these disagreements, no matter how fervent and profound they may become, must take place between parties that share a mutual commitment to the liberal democratic system (as in the system stemming from the philosophical tradition of classical liberalism, not modern political liberalism).
To try to enforce this sort of ideological commitment through law would, paradoxically, undermine liberal democracy itself, which is why enforcement is instead left to social taboo and the electoral process itself. So candidates for office who hold distinctly illiberal, anti-democratic views -- such as those who, for example, call for armed overthrow of their government, or the assassination of their political opponents -- are expected to be voted into unemployment, thereby providing a strong incentive for career politicians to all behave more or less like reasonable adults, regardless of their differences.
This is the sort of ideal theory thats never functioned perfectly, but recently its been particularly bad. The tendency of the Republican Party under President Bush (and sadly, more recently, the DNC under Obama) to equate reasonable criticism of the administrations war effort with treason pales in comparison with the remarks of Sharron Angle, Republican nominee from Nevada in this cycles most prominent Senate race: This is a woman who was nominated by a major party to run for the upper chamber of Congress despite having winked heavily and repeatedly at the possibility of armed insurrection and the assassination of her opponent.
Of course, if Angle loses (and she probably will), no one thinks shes going to follow through on her violent rhetoric. Thats not really the point; rather, the true fear here is that someone else might. When veiled incitements to violence become mainstream, its statistically inevitable that a handful of unhinged loners will attempt to follow through on them. There is, after all, a reason why right-wing violence trended upward after Obamas election.
But if you think its bad now, wait until you see what happens if the plurality of N.N. attendees see their wish granted. Palin has already demonstrated a disturbing willingness to frame even minor political squabbles in terms of "tyranny" versus "liberty," and to make her a major partys presidential candidate would only do more to throw the spotlight on that sort of incitement. Perhaps, as Kevin Drum prays, the GOP would then "go down to such an epic defeat that they finally get some sense knocked into them." But in the meantime, we would be facing a long, protracted campaign in which both a major political party and the mainstream press would treat violently anti-democratic positions as existing within the confines of reasonable political discourse. Weve already had quite a bit of that over the past few years; accommodating and encouraging it could potentially make things much, much worse.
Ned Resnikoff is a blogger and NYU student. He lives in New York City.
Reminds me of republicans who were begging for Obama to win, even voted for him in the primary because they thought he would be the easiest to beat..how did that work out..yeah exactly my point.
I will pray that the Nutroots will get their wish. Palin will eat these fools alive.
Independents will not vote for Obama again, at least very few anyway. Little of what brought out the youth and minority vote for Obama in such massive numbers will still be applicable. We will have already had the first black candidate, Obama isn’t hip anymore in any way, he has shown himself to be a massive failure with the economy, and he has really blown it in a spectacular way with the BP spill. Finally, he has not brought the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama will get his arse handed to him by Palin.
White House political strategists have concludedregretfullythat Ronald Reagan is fading and will have little chance of winning the Republican presidential nomination in 1980. Why the regrets? Because Carter's aides are convinced that the conservative, 68-year-old former California governor is an easy target. (April 2, 1979)Historic Whispers: Ronald Reagan Had Little Chance of Winning the Primary
What I think is that for all the love for Palin, I’m looking for actual evidence that she can win a presidential race.
I’m not even sure what kind of evidence there CAN be at this point. Old articles that show someone thought Reagan would lose doesn’t cut it—one can find such articles about every presidential candidate who ever ran.
So what do people see as indicators that she can win—I don’t mean just that one LIKES her, but that she can win?
Look at it this way: About 60% of Americans call themselves conservative vs. 20% liberal in polls. Do you really think that the economy will heal by 2012? Many facets of ObamaCare and FinReg will kick in between now and then. Whoever gets the GOP nomination will be in the catbird seat.
Do you have any suggestions?
More so than Dole-McCain-Romney-Huckabee-Gengrich.
Do you have any suggestions?
That's not an answer to my question, though I understand your point.
Do you have any suggestions?
I'm looking for an answer to this question, I don't have any answers--I support her because she's the only one possibly running who I could vote for, period. But I am looking for evidence she can win--just because I support her doesn't mean I believe she can win.
It's alarming to me that people can't answer this question (not just you). I'm not a Superfan the way some are, she's basically a fallback choice for me. I hear a lot of support, but see little evidence she can win.
I get what you’re seeing, but I recall much of the same reasoning going on before Clinton and Obama won, too—”too liberal!”
How many times have we been sure there was no way libs would win?
Again, you’re talking about an abstract theory—not saying you’re wrong, but what indicators are there that Palin can win. If it’s just that anyone can win against Obama, I fear Romney will get the “acceptable” vote like Dole and McCain, and I have my own theories as to why Romney can’t win.
“So what do people see as indicators that she can winI dont mean just that one LIKES her, but that she can win?”
She has consistently scored high unfavorables. Not good.
On another forum a smart guy opined that he had no doubt she could get the GOP nomination, but was equally sure she would not win the general.
Simple---just look at the sheer size of the crowds she draws EVERYWHERE she goes...even out in the desert on a blustery day.
I don’t see drawing crowds as evidence she can win a national election.
Here's the way I look at it. Right now, I believe she's the singular person on the conservative side (perhaps more than anyone else right now) that is presenting a genuine challenge and alternative to Obama. She's done something that I didn't think was possible from anyone even related to the GOP and that's use the Internet (specifically social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter) to her advantage and really to the conservative cause's advantage. Yes, others on the right have done this and we can look no further than FR as evidence of that. But I don't think that's something to completely discount. John McCain from what I remember had mentioned that he didn't know how to use the internet himself and his running mate seems to have been the complete opposite, in that aspect and others.
Further, I don't think that any of the other candidates rumored to be in the ring are setting the world on fire. Palin might still be the worst candidate, except for all the others (to paraphrase Churchill). But I'm not going to hitch my wagon to anyone else...yet.
1. She was Alaska’s governor and has conservative recored.
2. She was a mayor of an Alaskan town and has a conservative record.
3. She cleaned Biden’s clock in the vice presidential debate.
4. She’s the only conservative leader with national recognition.
5. She’s the only conservative leader who has mastered the sound bite game the Demrats play so well.
6. She’s the only conservative leader who explains her positions and the Constitution in clear and terse English.
7. She’s the only avowed Conservative leader whose position I can predict on any given issue.
8. It is undeniable that Juan McBipartisan has embraced conservative positions since Palin’s endorsement.
I know it’s chic to pretend this woman just dropped into the world when McCain picked her her for VEEP. But she had a recorded political life long before that.
Great post, and you’ve summed up my feelings, too. I think it’s great that she’s far more nimble than any other GOP candidate and has led the way for others to use 21st-century communications technology. Which is why some of her jaw-droppingly bad TV appearances shock the heck out of me.
But your last comment says it all. She’s all I’ve got.
Just look at Obama's crowds from 2008...that was clear evidence of his National "electability" (a word I detest!).
So what other Republican besides Palin can generate the same level of intensity in their respective voting bases?