I think we all saw this one coming. Our favorite GOP Governor, former beauty queen, sportscaster, airborne wolf hunter, and current GOP VP nominee Sarah Palin is going off-script as the McCain campaign lurches towards the finish line. Rumor is that she has a strong image within the Republican Party (even though she couldn't even get an Anchorage-based newspaper's endorsement), and will likely be the most-liked Republican after this election. She's evidently focused on distancing herself from McCain, simultaneously stabbing him in the back and fleeing for political safeground, like a rat fleeing a sinking ship. So much for "Country First," right Sarah? Especially when you're ambitious.
My first thought is that if you didn't think Obama had a strong chance to win on Nov. 4th before today, you should think so now. She's clearly pulling a John Edwards (in the political sense, not the sexual), and that's not a good sign for the McCain folks. My second thought is that if she's about to become the standard-bearer for the Republican Party, I feel very, very sorry for the GOP. As much as I can anyway. As Bill Maher said this weekend, the GOP used to be a bunch of old, white guys who were just interested in managing your money, and that was okay. I can be fine with patricians. Now, it's the party of anti-intellectualism, rightist evangelical Christianity, and hawkish global intervention. It's sad, really.
What this might me in the long run is rather interesting. US politics don't translate easily to a multi-party system. Third parties work short-term, but have never had long-term viability. What will happen to the GOP after this election? Will the various factions fight about the future of the party, or will they fragment into two distinct brand of American conservatism? I foresee one version modeled after the UK conservative party and another that is a wholly American social conservative-only brand.
What do you think? Does anyone care?