How Sarah Palin Is Like George McGovern

Extremist opposition candidates are bound to lose
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2010 6:44 PM CDT
Former U.S. senator George McGovern speaks in Columbus, Neb., Saturday, July 24, 2010.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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(Newser) – Sarah Palin and the Tea Party seem to have unrivaled influence in the GOP right now, but Palin better watch out: Pulling her party way to the right may yield short-term triumphs, but it will delay the Republicans' return to power, writes Peter Beinart in the Daily Beast. To understand why, he manages to draw a parallel between Palin and the ultra-liberal George McGovern, loser of the 1972 election as the Democratic nominee.

When parties lose the presidency, their ideological purists tend to emerge and push it toward the extremes, writes Beinart. So when the centrist Hubert Humphrey lost in 1968, Democrats turned left and picked McGovern next. Tea Partiers are doing the same with Palin. Whether it's her or someone else, the 2012 GOP candidate will likely be to the right of Bush and McCain. The problem is that most Americans—especially the fast-growing number of Hispanics and Millennials—have no interest in that extreme. Republicans will likely get "crushed" in 2012. So hang in there, GOP moderates: 2016 looks pretty good.

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