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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Political Scorched Earth Strategy

Conservatives are frustrated right now. The Republican presidential nomination has been one twist and turn after another, to the point that we are now looking at an unpalatable potential nominee in John McCain. In this disappointing environment, I've seen various people bring up strategies that I call political scorched earth strategies. These strategies include sitting out the election, writing in candidates who have no hope of winning, and voting for whichever candidate wins the Democratic nomination. That's fine. I think that is a conversation worth having, and I've pondered the potential benefits of scorched earth myself. I'm just hoping that everyone who is discussing such strategies is seriously thinking about the potential consequences and not doing so flippantly. In such a strategy, you are hurting your side, but you are doing so in a way that will overextend or weaken the opposition while your side regathers, recoups, and can come back stronger. Note that it is a two part deal. If the opposition is not overextended or weakened, your regrouping won't matter because they'll steam roll you. And that's what everyone who is considering a political scorched earth policy had better be taking into account. It is only worthwhile if it is going to weaken the progressives politically while conservatism regroups. I personally haven't yet decided if that would be the case.