Why the GOP is falling out of love with gun-toting, churchgoing, working-class whites.
By Rick Perlstein | NEWSWEEK
Published Jul 10, 2009
From the magazine issue dated Jul 20, 2009
The conservative opinion elite is divided — irreconcilably so — about Sarah Palin’s decision to quit the Alaska governorship. One faction says good riddance: The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer had already judged her unfit for national office 24 hours before her announcement, and The New York Times’s Ross Douthat now refers to her “brief sojourn on the national stage” in the past tense. On the other side, the Post’s William Kristol called Palin’s quitting a “high-risk move” designed to catapult her to greater public prominence. Taking the longer view, though, the clash is symptomatic of the deepest strategic debate in Republican circles since the disciples of the Reagan revolution captured Congress in 1994.