You could very well greet the title of this post with laughter. A left-leaning blog endorsing Sarah Palin! On its face that’s funny due to its irony. It’s also apparently a tongue-in-cheek statement of self interest in that we want the GOP to lose so badly we want their worst candidate. All of these were intended, but there is a serious point here too.
FIrst, I don’t believe that Sarah Palin is the GOP’s worst candidate from the point of view of electability. She is marginally less electable than Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, but, if we’re being honest, would probably score more votes than Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Michelle Bachmann. That’s how bad this field is. Palin not only has a decent chance of winning the GOP primary, but she would probably get more votes than many of the other candidates in the field. At the end of the day, she might actually be their best candidate. She has name recognition and celebrity. Better yet, she has believers.
Second, and this is the real point: she’s the only honest candidate. Not that she is honest, but that she is the only candidate that accurately and truly reflects the values of today’s Republican party.
Herman Cain is black. The GOP has spent the last three years dogwhistling against blacks. Newt Gingrich appears to be willing to say something contradictory to the dissonant religious hybrid of Ayn Rand and Evangelical Christianity. Ron Paul’s crew—he has believers too—obviously spooks the industrialist wing of the party, not to mention the military-industrial wing of the party. Michelle Bachmann is obviously just a clone of Sarah, plus Bachmann is a lawyer. That’s two college degrees too many to really represent the GOP.
Palin, again, is neither honest nor authentic. But she is an honest representation of the ever-changing tribal Republican views. Republican views are neither libertarian nor industrialist, neither Christian nor Constitutionalist. They are whatever ad hoc mishmash of rhetoric is needed to accomplish their goals, which are not ideological at all. When Sarah speaks, she isn’t advancing some academic agenda; she is saying “fuck you” to her enemies. She is always punching hippies.
Palin is also an authentic representation of what the party has become. Her white trash family life—teenage pregnancy, wolf killing, talking-in-tongue quasi-cultish Evangelical, NASCAResque existence—with all of its People magazine appeal is a more accurate reflection of her base than any of the others as well. (Newt was a college history professor ffs.)
If you had to hang a label on these folks, I like anti-technocrats. Any complex solution to a problem is a priori incorrect. Values are a priori correct, even if they fuck up the world in practice. (It isn’t that Obama’s solutions are too liberal, or that he is copping their more conservative solutions like individual mandate and so on—it’s that he wants to solve things at all.)
If GOP voters have any honor, they must nominate Sarah Palin for President in 2012 and let the day of reckoning come and let the American people have a true referendum on the two parties: an ideologically weak technocratic party of at least partial solutions, or the anti-technocratic party of the post-industrial wasteland.
Hopefully though, America will be able to say in November 2012 what Sarah Palin said when Obama won the nomination over Hillary Clinton: “So, Sambo beat the bitch.”