A couple of years ago, when people started mentioning the idea of the Tea Party becoming its own stand-alone political party, I immediately thought it was a bad idea, one that would guarantee victory to the Democrats. But lately, thanks to the establishment trying to ram Democrat-lite Mitt Romney down our throats, I've started thinking it might not actually be a bad idea and might actually increase the chance of a conservative taking the White House. Right now, the establishment of the GOP has a laser focus on appealing to moderates, the thought being that the base of the party is going to fall in line and then with independents, they can win the election, their sole ultimate goal (it's pretty clear now they don't actually care what the GOP candidate actually believes in just as long as he wins the election and then repays them with favors, political appointments, access etc.). Unfortunately, this religious belief in "moderation" is making many conservatives feel a bit disenfrachised, so much so that many are talking about staying home in November despite their hatred for Barack Obama. And if the GOP loses its base, it really has no chance of winning, neither the Presidency nor the Congress.
Now imagine if their were also a Conservative Party in the mix (or a Tea Party or an American Freedom Party, the name doesn't really matter, just the principles behind the name), one that could either choose to back the GOP nominee or field their own candidate in an election. Suddenly, the establishment would have to start actually appealing to the conservative movement with a candidate who actually believes in conservatism and doesn't just pay lip service occasionally. In such a system, people like Mitt Romney, George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole would have zero chance of getting the support of both the rump GOP AND the new Conservative Party at the same time, which they will need to have for any hope of winning the Presidency. In the end, we will start getting actual conservatives who believe in conservative principles as the nominee, exciting the base and giving voters a real choice.
I realize that forming another political party is a drastic and potentially risky move (the Conservative Party will have to be prepared to field a third party candidate for any chance of the establishment taking the threat seriously). But given the GOP's poor history of nominating candidates who believe in small government and conservative principles (there was a 52 year gap between Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan!) and the dangerous times that we live in, I think it is time to start thinking about doing something drastic.