The Washington Times seems to be functioning as a GOP house organ the last couple weeks, and is tacitly acknowledging that the Republican brand is so badly damaged that the only way to elect conservatives is to... run them as Democrats?
In an Exclusive with Sarah Palin, the soon to be former says:
"I will go around the country on behalf of candidates who believe in the right things, regardless of their party label or affiliation," she said over lunch in her downtown office, 40 miles from her now-famous hometown of Wasilla — population 7,000 — where she began her political career.
"People are so tired of the partisan stuff — even my own son is not a Republican," said Mrs. Palin, who stunned the political world earlier this month with her decision to step down as governor July 26 with 18 months left in her term.
Both her son, Track, 20, an enlisted soldier serving in Iraq, and her husband, Todd, are registered as "nonpartisan" in Alaska.
This glosses over the First Dude's time in the secessionist Alaskan Independence Party. But one interesting point is that while the headline says Palin to stump for conservative Democrats, the Palin quotes say only regardless of their party label or affiliation."
Could she really mean independent or third party candidates? Is her "new calling" a new party? I'm just idly speculating here, but I'm not alone.
This story of cross-party conservatism follows by a week a Times interview with Newt Gingrich, where he says, "I would urge conservatives in California to find a Democrat to run in every Assembly and Senate seat in California that can't be contested by Republicans, and then to run a Republican in every seat they could possibly win, and then have an overt goal of creating a bipartisan conservative coalition." Note that Gingrich explicity says "Democrat" and "bipartisan."
Either way, these superstar conservatives are both acknowledging the damage to the GOP brand in the post-W era. We've had a lot of realignments since the 1850's, but it's been that long since a major party actually died. Perhaps the GOP will wither and the new Know-Nothings will emerge?