While the GOP struggles to find someone -- anyone -- to be the leader who'll get them out of the political wilderness, their current leader, and the m
May 6, 2009

While the GOP struggles to find someone -- anyone -- to be the leader who'll get them out of the political wilderness, their current leader, and the man who did more to lead them into that wilderness, is starting to make it clear he's chosen the figurehead to replace George W. Bush:

Sarah Palin.

On Monday's Rush broadcast, he dissed the GOP's current "reconnect" efforts, and said they were all missing the boat -- because Palin wasn't there:

If Jeb wants to run around and say that they've got something and we don't have anything -- I mean, the Democrats got something. We have to admit it. If we don't have something, it's the fault of the people that Jeb is meeting with in Arlington, Virginia, not conservatives and not conservatism and not the grass roots!

Ah, the -- what's -- I have to laugh. Specter and all these people talk about how far right the party's moving? It's the exact opposite. This party has muddled its identity to the point that they have to do this tour to come up with a new brand, that they're rebrand the Republican -- why? Because in many places, you can't distinguish it from the Democratic Party.

Something else you have to understand. These people hate Palin, too. They despise Sarah Palin. They fear Sarah Palin. They don't like her, either. She's -- according to them, she's embarrassing. A lot of this is aimed at Sarah Palin. When you -- when you -- when you strip all the talk that the Reagan era is over and we got to stop all this nostalgia and stuff, clearly, in last year's campaign, the most prominent, articulate voice for standard run-of-the-mill good old-fashioned American conservatism was Sarah Palin.

Now, everybody on this "speak to America" tour has presidential perspirations. Mitt Romney's out there. He wants to be president again. Jeb may some day. Eric Cantor, some of the others, McCain -- I don't think he does, but you never know. So this is -- this is -- this is an early campaign event, 2012 presidential campaign, primary campaign, with everybody there but Sarah Palin.

And then, yesterday, he was even more explicit:

You know what's more confusing to me is why the people that don't like her don't like her. That's what gets me scratching my head. The people on our side, not the left. I understand -- the left is scared to death of her. The left is still out there trying to destroy Sarah Palin. She's up in Alaska, they're filing ethics complaints against her every week, forcing her to have to have a legal-defense fund. They're trying to break her! They're trying to make her go broke so she won't be able to have a political future. They're scared to death of her. If they weren't, they'd leave her alone, they'd let her go moose hunting! And that would be it!

Why -- you see how easy the conventional wisdom is? The conventional wisdom is that Palin is a dork, that Palin is an idiot, that Palin's unsophisticated, or Palin's this or that, she doesn't know the lingo or she has a bad wardrobe, all this irrelevant stuff! To try to destroy her, to destroy her credibility with people, to impugn her. I just listened to what she said, I liked what she said, and I liked the way she said it. It's no more complicated than that.

And so we start to see the pieces fall into place. It's clear that Palin is one of the conservative movement's leading right-wing populists -- and with the GOP's open embrace of its tea-bagging right-wing populist wing, along with the increasing influence of Ron Paul (the party's other major populist figure), it makes sense that Sarah Peron Palin would become their next Great White Hope.

Of course, if I were Republican -- and boy am I glad I'm not -- I'm not sure I'd be getting my advice for future direction from the very people who guided me into this mess in the first place. But hey, maybe that's why I'm not a Republican.

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