Palin and the two Republican Parties

There are, in fact, two Republican Parties.

One can be called the “Establishment Republican Party.” This includes most of the elected Republicans, the Republican Party organization, their corporate (crony) supporters and that (small) proportion of the media who are not full-blown collectivists. They are The Republican Party as we have come to know and not-so-love today.

The other might be called the “Main Street Republican Party.” This includes most of the people who actually vote for Republicans, in the hopes that the Establishment Republicans actually, this time, will come through on their campaign rhetoric of trying to return government to its proper Constitutional boundaries, and generally getting the government off of their backs. If you remember the old “Peanuts” comic strip, the Main Street Republicans play Charlie Brown to the Establishment Republican’s Lucy, who always pulled the football away at the very last second after holding it for Charlie Brown to kick.

Sarah Palin is one of the few prominent Republicans on the national scene who, when elected, did not defect from the Main Street Republicans to the Establishment. This earned her the scorn and enmity of the Establishment Republicans that, if anything, exceeded the vitriol she attracted from her natural enemies, the collectivists of the Democrat Party.

It is the Establishment Republicans who are now dancing joyously upon Sarah Palin’s political grave, after her announcement that she will not pursue the GOP Presidential nomination in 2012. Among the most vigorous of those dancers was Eric Erickson, an Establishment Republican operative who runs the web site

Stacy McCain has a post[*1] and an article[*2] up about Palin’s announcement.

This is the comment I posted on his blog:

I wonder how many people Erickson and the rest of the mindless knee-jerk snarkmeister Palin-haters sent away from the effort to unseat Obama, install a liberty-oriented Congress, and restore the Constitutional Republic?

Granted there were a lot of people who were engaged in Palin hero worship, but unlike most politicians, Palin herself wasn’t doing anything to encourage that. As far as I could tell, all of her public comments re-directed the attention back to the public policy issues and the problems faced by this country. Whenever she was asked if she was running, her response was consistently a variation on the theme of “I’m praying about it and talking to my family.” And surprise! her decision was based on prayer and what she thought was best for her family. What a tease! She’s obviously just in it for the money!

The Palin-haters of the right made the basic mistake of conflating the over-enthusiastic Palinistas with Palin herself. That’s the thing I found most frustrating and appalling. In the process, they may very well have successfully taken a sizable chunk of the liberty coalition and sent them to the sidelines. And the grave-dancing I’ve seen in various places in response to Palin’s announcement will keep a lot of people on the sidelines.

Everyone needs to remember that politics is people. People have feelings, and people have memories. You don’t burn sources if you’re a professional journalist, and you don’t burn political allies if you’re really interested in winning elections. Some Palinistas forgot this, but a whole bunch of Palin-haters on the right forgot it, too.

I hope we don’t all pay for decades for their self-indulgent juvenile spite.

The people who supported Palin now will decide who, if anyone, they will get behind for President in 2012. The antics of the Establishment Republicans both before and after Palin’s announcement will be a factor in that decision.

Actions, and words, have consequences.