Sarah Palin’s Resignation and the Moderate Reaper Theory


I touched on this yesterday, but I wanted to take a deeper look into the idea that Sarah Palin’s shocking resignation might be connected with the recent scandals involving Senator John Ensign and Governor Mark Sanford.

The common thread, besides the timing, is that all three examples involve very conservative Republican Presidential hopefuls, all voluntarily self-destructing.  Ensign and Sanford each, in turn, announced an affair at a press conference.  Palin committed political sepukku for no discernable reason.

The Moderate Reaper Theory holds that, in each case, some behind-the-scenes player issued a “You do it, or I do it” ultimatum as a way of clearing the 2012 field for more moderate candidates, and a more moderate Republican Party.

In Palin’s case, it needn’t be something salacious.  Perhaps Wednesday’s email leak was a warning shot, a signal that all bets were off with regard to internal emails.  We’ve all written scores of private emails that would sound really bad in public.

What really cracks me up are the people who are still cluelessly wondering what this resignation might do to her chances in 2012.  Yeah, and what are all those flames going to do for the Hindenburgh’s chances?

The identity of the Moderate Reaper is another matter.  Where Palin is concerned, much of the pressure has come from former McCain staffers.  John McCain, however, doesn’t stand to gain much directly from Palin’s exit.  Voters were becoming concerned about McCain’s age during the 2008 campaign.  By 2012, this would only get worse.  He would, however, be an excellent pick for VP, especially for a younger candidate like Bobby Jindal.

Former McCain staffers, you should note, are also future somebody else staffers.

So, who’s left?  The list of moderate Republican Presidential hopefuls is a short one.  Mitt Romney springs immediately to mind, and he and Palin did mix it up not long ago.  The amount of time and money Romney spent on a lost cause in ’08 indicate that he really, really wants the Presidency, and has a hard time feeling the fork.

Not only that, ever since I came up with this theory, I keep hearing “Who Let the Dogs Out?” on the radio.  Coincidence? You tell me.

Of course, the complete implosion of 3 conservative GOP Presidential hopefuls within 2 weeks of each other could also be a coincidence.  Or, it could be the work of moderates who want to drag their party, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.



  1. If there is a moderate reaper, they are a moron. Creating Democrat light is the probably the most ridiculously humorous strategy out there these days. Such a move would split the Republican party in two and only benefit the Democrats … yep sounds like the genius of a beltway insider. The fact that Meghan McCain is one of its loudest proponents says a great deal about the wisdom of such a move. I of course say this as a political junkie who has studied voter behavior, party shifts, and partisanship. If Meg Mac could describe rational voter theory, as well as prospective and retrospective voting theories, to me without opening a book I might take her seriously.

  2. I’m going to agree with stickeenotes somewhat. What this points out is the huge space left in this country for a far right wing party as well as a moderate real conservative one. Scary, but it would split the right which I would like, but man, this creates a dangerous situation.
    The Republicans brought this on when they co-opted George Wallaces’ far right segregationist movement in ’68. It’s really kind of funny, for now. Later, maybe not so much.

  3. I really hate typographical errors. It’s the price I pay for trying to edit mid sentence. Corrected: [If there is a moderate reaper, they are a moron. Creating Democrat light is probably the most ridiculously humorous strategy out there these days.]

  4. I think there’s a very good chance someone’s trying to finger Palin. Whaterver it is, expect it to break late in the week after MJ’s funeral. Thursday or Friday. However, I think this is mostly a money grab with Harper, speaking tours, a gig on Fox or some shit, and part she is disturbed psychologically. Her speech patterns have all the signs of someone suffering from some pathology and if that were true, that would explain awya her irrational behavior. I don’t think she’s bright, but, she can see enough to know how to make the money. She’s also been blinded by celebrity. Bizarre behavior as a result of being thrust into national celebrity is a common thing. Vanity Fair gets into postpartum from what I hear, and, I don’t know, but I think mental illness plays a part in this. In the end, this is a move to make as much money as she can. Her reasons and new explanations are such crap, but, play with people who pay for that crap. Plenty of crap eaters. Someone’s putting heat on her. Vanity Fair will reveal some more things. She’s done politically. If she thinks by abandoning her post she can survive she must be mentally ill. But, she can play that chord on tour for a large sum of money whether there is an unknown scandal looming or not. Plenty of people have plenty to gain (Republican or Democrat) to run her under a bus.

    The best explanation is she’s an idiot, but, an idiot who will make more money than all of us. F her.

  5. If I had to bet, I’d say no reaper. I’m sticking with the money period.

  6. […] who’s the beneficiary of this sudden purge? Tommy Christopher speculates half-jokingly on a moderate GOP hopeful waiting in the wings, annihilating the opposition with carefully […]

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