I must say that I’m not terribly surprised to read that the Romney Campaign seems not to have invited former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for a speaking opportunity at the convention, as Newsweek reports via C4P. After all, if you were Mitt Romney, or his genius advisers, would you let Sarah Palin speak at the RNC convention in Tampa? Of course you would not, because you’d be at least savvy enough to know that you shouldn’t have the presumptive nominee upstaged at his own convention. I don’t think Gov. Palin would be out to upstage him either, so much as by the sheer energy she brings to events, along with the invigorating effect she has on crowds where she speaks, it’s perfectly understandable that the Mittsters would seek to exclude her from participation. If you ever needed any evidence of what is wrong with the Republican Party, this is it, because when a party benches its best player in the World Series, at some point, people in the stands are going to ask in hushed, recriminating tones if November brings a defeat: “How serious had we been about winning?”
That’s a great question, and it’s one we should begin to ask now, before the convention, and before the entire spectacle of the servile media trying to drag Barack Obama across the finish line in November. The matter at hand is the future of the country, and it has always seemed to me that with so much at stake, you don’t want to send a crowd of bench-warmers in as pinch-hitters when it’s for all the marbles. Instead, it would seem the time to pull out your best, biggest guns and let it all fly, giving it everything you are able. Hot-Air is suggesting that there is no snub, but I wonder if that matters. Many are likely to perceive it as such, and that’s not going to help Gov. Romney obtain the support he needs to win in November. Mr. Morrisey’s stance seems to be that it’s a tempest in a teapot, but there may well be more to it than he suspects.
Part of the problem is that Sarah Palin became the scapegoat for the 2008 McCain campaign’s failures. In fact, any honest analysis of the 2008 campaign clearly demonstrates that McCain would have garnered still fewer votes without Palin on the ticket. I don’t mean to re-hash this point, because it’s been well-covered here, however there is an element within the Republican party that views Sarah Palin and the sort of independent conservatives to whom she appeals as a bunch of bumpkins, embarrassments to the party proper, and it is their view that predominates among establishment DC Republicans. The permanent political class is fully satisfied to snub Palin, and those who will be offended by such a turn are simply an added bonus. That sort of Republican sneers at so-called ‘bumpkins’ like me. Their view of “fly-over country” is barely distinguishable from the left’s.
In the view of the establishment, we conservatives are obstacles. One can almost hear it in their tone as they seem to wish to agree publicly with the statists that the so-called “hard right” is “reactionary” and “extremist,” but the simpler truth is that they like the power arrangements in Washington DC, and they can’t imagine sharing any part of it with somebody who had been so overwhelmingly popular in far-away Alaska. They sneer, and they point out that there are more than twenty cities in the United States more populous than Alaska, implying that the governor of such a remote state couldn’t possibly have any real understanding of national politics. Theirs is a sort of “misunderestimation” born of a malice toward those who are not DC insiders, and others they consider to be “movers and shakers.” What they’ve never understood about Palin is her ability to move people, and shake things up.
Whether the Romney campaign ultimately invites Governor Palin, it’s clear that between his campaign’s antics, and its almost complete ineffectiveness, he’s not doing himself any favors with the base of the Republican party if he chooses to exclude Palin. They’re anxious to see a candidate fighting with Obama, and what they’re getting from Romney and his campaign is Milquetoast. Romney has exhibited a tendency to leave the “dirty work” to others, particularly in the early primary states, and now he desperately needs to gather up the support of some who his earlier tactics may have seriously offended. It’s really not a smart play to re-offend a segment of the electorate among which some were beginning to accept grudgingly that Romney would be their only option in 2012. For others, the matter will be mere confirmation of what they already guessed: They’re not welcome to Romney’s party. Many are now making other plans accordingly.