Beinart calls Palin the second coming of McGovern:
Between 2000 and 2008, George W. Bush pushed American politics sharply to the right: cutting taxes, appointing highly conservative judges, and shredding government regulation. But the Tea Partiers aren’t inclined toward gratitude. In their minds, Bush was an accomodationist, a big spender. Like the McGovernites in the Vietnam-era Democratic Party, the Tea Partiers are taking over the GOP, state by state. And in all likelihood, they will select a party nominee who runs substantially to the right of both Bush in 2000 and 2004 and John McCain in 2008.
That candidate, whether it be Palin herself or a Palin wannabe, will, I suspect, be crushed in the general election. The one major advantage today’s Republicans have over the Democrats of the early 1970s is the economy: If it is actually worse in 2012 than it is today, all bets are off. But if it improves, even modestly, Republicans are likely in for the kind of rude awakening that Democrats experienced in 1972.