Politics & Media
Jun 08, 2011, 09:09AM

Sarah Palin For President (Please!)

Palin is the ultimate embarassment in a series of Republican disappointments.

Sarah palin 2008.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

As Sarah Palin backs her bus over Paul Revere in order to alert the British, it’s hard as a progressive not to indulge in a kind of awe-struck, maniacal glee. The Republicans, it seems, are doing it again. Obama fails to get the country out of economic neutral, invades Libya, and leads the Democrats to a brutal midterm defeat—and then leans back as the Republicans noisily and embarrassingly immolate themselves. All that’s left is for Michele Bachmann to beat Newt Gingrich to death with Paul Ryan’s earnest eyeballs live on Fox.

So, yes, the syrup is flowing thicker than Santorum. Which utterly unelectable loon will the GOP pick? Bachmann? Cain? If they scorn Palin, will she (oh please! oh please!) run as an independent? Could we really be witnessing the final, spectacular implosion of the Republican Party?

Through the enthusiasm though, there shines a pale glimmer of doubt. Don’t get me wrong; the Republicans and their collective obstructionist homophobic asses richly deserve eradication. But I’m a little worried about the fallout. The worst scenario, of course, is that the Republicans nominate Palin—and the economy tanks, and she actually wins. The odds of this are quite small. Say what you will about the American electorate, it has stated in poll after poll that it wants nothing to do with Sarah or her reality show. Still, any chance of a Palin presidency is too much of a chance. And the same goes for a Bachmann presidency, a Santorum presidency, a Cain presidency, or a Gingrich presidency. These are all radical, vicious, and/or unqualified people who I want nowhere near a nuclear button. Having a major party flirt with any of them, however idly, is terrifying.

Even getting past the doomsday scenarios, though, it’s just not ideal, from a progressive standpoint—or, hell, from an American standpoint—to have the right wing party go completely batshit. Oh, sure, you may win an election or two. You may see policies you dislike  (like invading Iraq, say) discredited, and some policies you like (such as health care reform) implemented.

But the downside is that, with the Republican Party spiraling into the hole in its own skull, sane people only have one choice at the polls. Which means that when the Democrats hand you shit, as is their wont, you have to eat it.

This isn’t to particularly condemn Obama, who, as far as politicians go, I like well enough. He gives a good speech, does not appear to be corrupt, and shares at least some of my broad policy goals. But while I generally support him, he’s still done a lot of things I don’t like. He invaded Libya. His civil liberties record is dreadful. His drug war policy has gotten steadily worse. His approach to the economy has been way too timid.

Too bad we don’t have a functional Republican Party that does what opposition parties are supposed to do and actually, say, challenge controversial and stupid policies put forward by the incumbent. Perhaps this fictional, non-crazy Republican Party could express mildly effective dissent when the President goes to war without notifying Congress. Maybe it could make Obama’s paranoid centralization of power a campaign issue. Maybe it could make a good faith effort to debate the implementation and functioning of the Affordable Care Act, which could certainly stand to see some good faith debate and adjustment.

Instead, though, what have we had so far? Birth certificates, Paul Revere, and Mitt Romney pretending he don’t know nothin’ bout health care. The chance that Palin will get elected is negligible; the chance that Obama will get re-elected without having to actually substantively defend his record is much, much higher.

Maybe I’m being too gloomy. Maybe the Republicans will get their act together and nominate Romney or Pawlenty or (dare to dream) Gary Johnson, and Obama will actually be forced to talk about something other than the fact that his opponent is a dangerous lunatic. Anything is possible. But if there’s one thing the Republicans have proved over the last few years, it’s that, whatever the adversity, whatever the incentive, whatever the circumstances, they are always ready to stand tall, salute the flag, and disappoint.

  • Could we really be witnessing the final, spectacular implosion of the Republican Party?

    Responses to this comment
  • Worse, we're witnessing the explosion of the republic. Loons to elected office, infotainment amok, autocannibalistic government and business sectors? It's not "them" that's fucking it up for everyone. It's us.

    Responses to this comment
  • There's help for you, bhameans: it's a sedative that you've probably seen advertised on TV and it's called Ambien. Clearly, you're hysterical, not quite unlike the Rapture crowd. According the Left Wing intelligentsia, the GOP was destroyed in '08. Politics works in cycles, and will continue to do so in the future.

    Responses to this comment
  • Deep sigh...I am a Republican/Independent leaning voter that has been increasingly concerned about the lack of a viable, rational or competent Republican party. I campaigned for President Obama in the hopes that a) he seemed like the most competent choice, and b) that a sound electoral thrashing might shake some of the crazy off of the GOP. Well, that hasn't worked yet. As weird as it must seem from the left, from inside the rational right it seems thoroughly disheartening. It's going to be a long, cold season for heretic conservatives: friends turning into zombies, witch trials, inquisitions. Liberals and Dems, please be competent and take care of the Republic while we Republicans have our dangerous little psychotic episode.

    Responses to this comment
  • Looks like a "None of the Above" year to me. I still hold out a little hope for Huntsman but fear he doomed himself in the general (obviously a primary win is more difficult for him)with his avid support for Ryan's plan. Why have you ignored him Noah?

    Responses to this comment
  • Hunstman: doomed in the general for supporting RyanCare, doomed in the primary for supporting civil unions.

    Responses to this comment
  • Texan, I don't have anything against Huntsman; he just seems like he doesn't have a prayer, and my preferred doesn't-have-a-prayer candidate is Gary Johnson. jss, it makes perfect sense that reasonable conservatives would despair.

    Responses to this comment
  • Maybe the Republicans will ... nominate Romney or Pawlenty or (dare to dream) Gary Johnson, and Obama will actually be forced to talk about something other than the fact that his opponent is a dangerous lunatic.

    Responses to this comment
  • Pawlenty's economic plan is nuts, even by supply-side standards. If he does somehow get nominated, he'll be in too deep w/ the crazies to break loose.

    Responses to this comment
  • Yep; barely finished writing the thing before they gratuitously underwhelm....

    Responses to this comment

Register or Login to leave a comment