Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Sunday, September 07, 2008

No Free Lunch On VP Pick for McCain

When ever a politician, party or campaign makes a decision, adopts a new policy or appoints a new person to a leadership position they hope they will gain more votes than they scare off.  By picking, Sarah Palin, a religious extremist with populist rhetoric, McCain hoped he would shore up his weak support with the Guns, Gays and God crowd while simultaneously appealing to independents with Palin's "maverick tax cutter" image.

But as soon as he appointed a religious fundamentalist with minimal experience with policy making, I suspected he would further alienate the Ron Paul/Libertarian wing of the party.  Evidence of cracks have already appeared.  First, several anti-war activists, one of whom I heard on the radio was a Ron Paul delegate, disrupted McCain's speech at the RNC on Thursday.  Then there is this story in the Wall Street Journal about Sarah Palin's disastrous "legacy" as mayor of Wasilla.  And this report from the CATO institute about similar offenses against Libertarian ideology/preferences by Palin when she was governor.  And there is this complaint about Palin's flip, partisan populism regarding community service and civil liberties from a blogger at American Conservative quoting activists who supported Ron Paul in the primaries. 

None of these stories are new.  The liberal blogasphere has been hammering away on these issues for days.  The big deal here is the that these stories are being reported - with obvious disapproval - by two bastions of the fiscally conservative/libertarian wing of the Republican Party and a conservative blogger talking to alienated Paulistas.  I don't know any Republicans with a college degree who don't read the Wall Street Journal regularly.  The CATO institute is the guardian of libertarian orthodoxy.  American Conservative can hardly be equated with Daily Kos.  

Are these indications of a brooding split in the Republican party?  It is possible that McCain has alienated the suburban Republicans for the sake of pandering to the rural and exurban ones.  We'll see how this plays out but this would be like the New York Times, the NAACP, and Daily Kos going after Biden for some offense against a deeply held tenant of Democratic Party self image.


Bert Q. Slushbrow, Sr. said...

I guess they are rolling the dice and taking a chance that gains on the funamentalist christian front will more than offset losses from the libertarian contingent.

Let's face it. We both know perfectly intelligent republicans who do not support Palin one bit, are even turned off by her, who will nonetheless still vote for McCain.

Raised By Republicans said...

The other thing to think about is that if the Ron Paul crowd get pissed at McCain-Palin they'll probably still vote but just leave the Presidential part of the ballot blank. But the GOP depends heavily on the Church going fundies for their "get out the vote" efforts on election day. If your McCain and you have to piss off one or the other, it's a no brainer.

But in such a close election it could prove to be a "hobson's choice."

Anonymous said...

Sounds like wishful thinking on your part, to me. Just reporting it doesn't make it so, as one might thing the Obama campaign would have figured out by now.

Raised By Republicans said...

It was just announced that Ron Paul is going to be on the ballot in Montana as the nominee of the oddly named, theocratic American Constitution Party. Of course this is a tiny state from an electoral perspective and the effect of his presence on the ballot are unclear, but this is a bona fide, tangible bit of evidence of Paulista dissatisfaction with the Palin pick.

If some cranks get Ron Paul on the ballot in Nevada this could turn into something serious.