Just when you thought it was safe to get back into politics, dead movements arise carrying pie charts and speaking in homespun analogies about complex fiscal matters.
Rich Lowry of National Review writes “If you watch this video of a man confronting Arlen Specter and his “damn cronies,” what you’re seeing is the return a Ross Perot-style revolt against all of Washington.”
Except this time the Perotistas likely won’t harm Republican electoral chances but actually help them.
Recall that in 1992 Bill Clinton won the presidency with 43% of the vote due to Ross Perot winning about 19%. Whether the Perotistas would’ve have gone for Bush is debatable but I think it’s safe to assume their fiscal responsibility ethos and reformist approach would fit well within the GOP platform (if not in the reality.)
Perot tapped into an anti-Washington anger very well in 1992 hammering home an idea of fiscal sanity especially concerning the deficit. It’s now up to Republicans to do the same. To do so, Republicans will have to fully renounce their former spendthrift ways and embrace a small government ethos which many of them abandoned when in power.
The GOP has paid a price for their broken promises and the country continues to pay a steeper price with the rapid expansion of government. If the GOP fails to tap into this reform minded movement a third party will surely arise that would likely last just long enough to harm the GOP in 2010 and 2012.
The Democrats certainly seem to be on their heels a little bit right now but are still firmly in control of all three branches of government and the media. (If you doubt that they’re in control of the media just check out the weekend news programs which all but ignored the details of Obama’s massive healthcare agenda and focused almost to exclusion on whether the protesters had gone too far.)
The GOP needs to have the Perotistas in their camp. I just hope they don’t bring their pie charts.
But this brings me to my next point. The GOP needs to manage once again marrying the fiscal outrage and reform minded citizens to the social conservative base.
So let’s just say we’re remaking a Ross Perot GOP Model. We’d have to add in a touch of reform minded politician, a tad of fiscal sanity, a dash of outsider-ness, and throw in a strong helping of un-Perot like social conservatism. Hmmmm….sound like anyone?
Remember Sarah Palin who was picked by John McCain because of her reform agenda and taking on the big boys in Alaska and winning. Remember the whole “two Mavericks” mantra? She’s been out front and outspoken against the “immorality” of overspending. And she can speak to the issue as a D.C. outsider which helps greatly in an anti-incumbent mood. And her social conservative ideals would suit the base perfectly.
Come on, couldn’t you just imagine Palin trotting out some of those golden oldie Perot-isms like: “If you see a snake, just kill it – don’t appoint a committee on snakes” or this one: “If we did not have such a thing as an airplane today, we would probably create something the size of NASA to make one. It’s good thing the Wright Brothers didn’t know any better when they made the machine fly.”
The GOP needs a leader. Not just for 2012 but for 2010. Mid-term elections are base fights. You don’t typically get a whole lot of moderates coming out to vote. Palin is very popular among the base. Fundraising has begun for 2010. Palin, you might have read somewhere is unemployed. If Palin bounces about the country raising money for GOP legislators and challengers she could create an awful lot of goodwill in the Party and keep herself in the national spotlight as someone on the side of the people against the government leviathan and transforming the Perotistas into Palinistas making her a force in 2012.