Why the Tea Party is not like the Reform Party

And Sarah Palin is not Ross Perot. Writing in the Washington Post, Democratic strategist  Paul Goldman makes an interesting point: Sarah Palin & company have divided the GOP, but they also served to keep the party intact:

“…contrary to conventional wisdom, the 2008 vice presidential nominee has kept the party strong. How? She has kept the Tea Party faithful inside the GOP tent. Had she instead encouraged these disillusioned voters to mount third-party challenges across the 2010 general-election ballot, dozens of Democratic incumbents, not to mention challengers, would be smiling like Woodrow Wilson in 1912…”

“…she has become a bridge between the old Republican guard and the growing right-wing dissatisfaction with not just Democrats but also Republican officeholders. Palin’s ability to advocate for using the GOP, not a third party, to channel this angst has allowed Republican voter anger to boil, yet not boil over.”Should Republicans run up the score in November, Sarah Palin will deserve a lot of credit she will never get.”

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