Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Palin Effect on conservatives

Talking Points Memo has a great graphic highlighting just how many prominent conservatives - individuals and newspapers - have bailed on the McCain campaign because of Sarah Palin.

This will be important post-election because many Republicans and conservatives (I try to remember that there is a difference between the two) will be making excuses for why McCain lost, and it will be useful to have something like this to make them face reality. There will be people who argue that McCain was never really a true conservative; that the McCain campaign didn't let Sarah Palin loose; that ACORN stole the election; that the liberal media is biased; that Wall Street is in league with the Democratic party, etc., etc.

There will be many possible responses from Democrats: McCain may or may not be a conservative, but he's been a Republican all his life; of course he's a real conservative; the liberal media is countered by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News; many conservative, small-town newspapers endorsed Obama; ACORN did not steal the election, they just registered voters; Wall Streeters have lots of money, which traditionally makes them Republican.

This graphic collects the responses of individuals, and presents their reasoning. The response from conservatives will be that some of them are not real Republicans or conservatives - watch to see how conservatives define Colin Powell. But some of them cannot be defined as anything other than rock-hard conservative Republicans. Peggy Noonan? She was a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan who now writes a column for the Wall Street Journal. Ken Adelman? He was head fo the Arms Control Agency under Reagan - which means that if Reagan won the Cold War, Adelman was one of his key lieutenants. George Will is one of the original movement conservatives.

Some conservatives are going to try every which way to deny that losing this election was a repudiation of their ideology. Liberals are well-armed to deny that attempt.

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