21 October, 2008

It's fun to dream...

Marc Ambinder does and says a lot of things that annoy me. But occasionally he says something interesting:

Here's a thought: the wave of establishment Republican-types endorsing obama is going to lead to a massive, massive anti-elite backlash in the 2012 GOP primary. think about the Democrats' anti-establishment feelings in 2003 -- Howard Dean, the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party,, and then gin up the outrage by factor of ten.

Whether the nominee ends up being [P]alin or [H]uckabee or someone else, that nominee is going to have to cater to these feelings of anger and betrayal in order to get the nod.
This is an interesting thought. Though it's nigh on impossible to make predictions at this stage of the game, something like this scenario is pretty plausible. An angry, Christian, nationalist people's candidate vs. incumbent Obama? I think it's a common notion that in times of broad consensus (think FDR, Reagan), political discourse is less incendiary and more charitable. But the opposite is in fact true. The minority party has to start by appealing to the 40th percentile voter, not the median voter, and the 40th percentile voter is a hell of a lot more extreme than the median voter. So you get a situation where there is a broad, calm, mainstream consensus among most of the population, and a loud, angry, extreme minority. In the 60s, it was Barry Goldwater. In the 70s and 80s we had McGovern and Gary Hart (not exactly loud, but far to the left of where the country was.) The GOP over the next 8-10 is going to consist mostly of hicks, xenophobes, racists, and know-nothing nationalists. So why not a Huckabee-Palin ticket in 2012? The best reporting on the future of the GOP comes from The Tonic That Heals All Wounds:

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