The (Tea) Party is Over for Sarah Palin

In the aftermath of the 2008 election, there were two clear winners: President Barack Obama, and Sarah Palin. To her credit, Palin did energize the conservative masses in the run-up to the election that year, and that energy continued all the way into this most recent election.

But now, many prominent people in the GOP are denouncing her. Recently, former First Lady Barbara Bush expressed her sentiment that the Mama Grizzly “stay in Alaska” in a segment on Larry King Live, due to be aired Monday night, Nov. 22.

This advice comes on the heels of a disappointing election for both Democrats and the Tea Party. Where Democrats lost the House and their super-majority in the Senate, the Tea Party candidates had few major successes. Granted, Rand Paul was elected in Kentucky, but he already flip-flopped on his stance on congressional earmarking. Major defeats for the Tea Party occurred in the states of Nevada and Alaska. Sharron Angle’s defeat to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was a major blow to the Tea Party’s quest to upset the Democratic majority in Washington. In the northern tier, Joe Miller still refuses to concede to Lisa Murkowski in Sarah Palin’s own backyard.

Why is it that the GOP establishment is distancing themselves from Palin and her acolytes? The answer may be easier than one would think. When Palin energized the conservative base in 2009 with the emerging prominence of the Tea Party, the GOP was quick to associate themselves with her star power. When she started endorsing candidates whose abilities to be elected were questionable (See Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle), the GOP mainstream started to become concerned. The stunning inability for Palin to pick a winning candidate shocked the GOP into reality: the woman who quit her job as governor of Alaska might not know how to hold a position of importance in a national party.

On November 3rd, the 2012 Presidential election began. The Republicans have a tough choice to make concerning which direction they want to take their party in. The model of the extreme right characterized by Palin and her Tea Party has proven itself ineffective on the national stage.

When considering who they want to nominate for a run against President Obama, the GOP would like need a sure thing. Palin does not represent that. Were she to win the nomination, it would be difficult to keep many of the more moderate elements of the Republican Party in line, thus giving the Democrats the greatest gift they could: another four years.

With this in mind, I fully support Sarah Palin in all her endeavors. With every endorsement and campaign stump speech she gives, the more likely it will be that President Obama will be re-elected in 2012.