THE BIGGEST issue separating Keyes from the Constitution Party is the Iraq war. Keyes has said that he would not have picked Iraq as the next target in the war on terror, but supported the president's policy in debates with Obama four years ago and would not withdraw U.S. troops today. His new party, however favors a noninterventionist foreign policy and opposes the war. This is not an insignificant difference of opinion.Well, when you're competing for that one percent of the vote, you've got to expect some opposition.
Ricardo Davis, the state party chairman for Georgia, says any attempt to abandon the antiwar stance will go over about as well as the New Coke. "What if I was the new CEO of a midsized company and decided embark on a strategy to sell a 'me too' product that negates the company's unique sales proposition?" he asks. "What if that sales proposition is held dear by most of the sales and marketing management in the company? What do you think will happen to that company as I try to change the company's direction? A train wreck would look prettier!"
Some of the people Keyes might bring with him into the Constitution Party aren't budging in their support for the war, either. A poster on Keyes's web forum argues that "the CP expresses the same naive view as my long time congressional hero Ron Paul did" and questions why a Christian political party wouldn't "understand the nature of the enemy."
Is Keyes cooked? "What you run into are a lot of single-issue pro-lifers who view Alan Keyes as a positive name," says Red Phillips, a paleoconservative who opposes Keyes's nomination. Phillips also worries that other party members will want a well known presidential candidate. "There's talk about us crossing the million vote threshold if we nominate Keyes," he says. "I don't think that's very realistic, since not even Pat Buchanan got a million votes [as the Reform Party nominee] in 2000."
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
A look inside the weird world of third parties shows why even they might not welcome Alan What's-His-Name with open arms.