Tuesday, November 06, 2012

(if Obama wins) Waiting for Rick Perry, Palin and Patraeus

Waiting for 2016: Elizabeth Warren, Sarah Palin, Perry, Christie, Bush and David Petraeus

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill, 11/7/12

"To win, Obama and Romney seemed willing to say anything." Robert Samuelson, Washington Post, 11/5/12, Guy Fawkes Day

This is a good day for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who so hoped for an Obama win that he embarrassed himself during the tragic storm in New Jersey by virtually endorsing Obama. And it would then be a good day for Jeb Bush who sees himself as Christie's number two in 2016. A Romney victory would have prevented that future for the Bush Dynasty. And it is a bad day for Bill Clinton’s wistful and unlikely dynasty as his hopes are dashed now for Hillary in 2016. No question, the Dem nomination in 2016, the party threadbare after eight years of Obama, will go to that charming Okie grandmother, Elizabeth Warren, the anti-Palin who brought corn pones and countrification from the hardscrabble heartland to Harvard. But it is a very good day for Sarah Palin too who will now, as she said clearly last month, challenge the very existence of the Republican Party and the eastern establishment as she has been doing from the first.

It is she who will advance the real themes beyond the insurgent cracker uprising that is the Tea Party: States rights, sound money and constitutional government. But Texas Governor Rick Perry could bring them to the mainstream. Jeb Bush is too close to the establishment, Palin too close to the hillbilly fringe.

WHY THE REPUBLICANS LOST: To paraphrase the Divine Miss M, when it is 3am in LA, it is still 1957 in the Republican Party. The recent Republican primary proved one thing: Republicans are provincial. They hope to hold on to a dead past and it has prevented them from moving forward. My daughter, in high school then, said in watching one of the Republican debates that “they don’t seem normal.” The Beatles have landed and the Republicans are still trying to promote the surefire and steady Perry Como list. They have fallen under the malevolent influence of the few and the strange; the few who work at The Weekly Standard and its tailings with their freakish and nihilist assertions like, “Jesus told his followers to carry swords.” And most in the lineup – Romney in particular -  are to culture and politics as Lawrence Welk is to music and dance. Provincialism is a way of saying, "go away, we don't like you" and voters get the message: And the Confederate subset which decries itself to be "Christian" with signs following - nationalizing the rebel cry of George Wallace and Jerry Falwell  in hopes of a return to the 1800s carries an odious suggestion.

A third party, for the first time since the 1830s, now has two wings, the one conservative with Ron Paul, the other liberal with Gary Johnson. These are birth pains. But we do not need a new political party. Conservatism needs to build a new party within the framework of the existing Republican Party, just as the Democrats did between the age of Eleanor Roosevelt and Adlai Stevenson and the age of Jack Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. The time is getting right for this and the shoe fits Palin, Rick Perry and potentially David Petraeus to bring maturity here in 2016 and for Chris Christie and Jeb Bush to bring opposition.

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