Here's ECRI's Lakshman Acuthan with a doom and gloom forecast which he says is especially valid as they are not a chicken little firm and have a track record of calling it right.
For the more hysterical doom and gloom scenario The Market Oracle has an endless list of recent articles which range from the analytical to the BUY GOLD to the conspiratorial.
If they are correct and there is a double dip recession with headline unemployment in double figures (with real unemployment at 20%+ then whomever is elected in 2012 is going to inherit a crap sandwich. History shows that when this happens, whether conservatives like Hoover or socialists like the Weimar revolutionary government, the initial euphoria soon wears off and whomever is in power gets thrown out in a landslide in due course.
The sorrow and the pity for the Tea Party would be that, in a scenario where the economy is in such bad shape in November 2012, that even if a genuine conservative like (but not) Palin wins the nomination and election, the dynamics in congress will not have changed enough for a truly revolutionary conservative agenda to be implemented.
Enough of the old guard Beltway Republicans and progressive Democrats will have survived to ensure that a radical agenda would not get passed-plus the remaining leftist media would act as a blocking force as well. The end result would be, that apart from some palliative measures, the basic structure now in place would stay in place. It takes an earthquake for a paradigm shift to occur and the 2012 election is unlikely to move beyond the non-Palin candidates suggestions of addressing the economy with more of the same, especially from the Obama administration which has run out of ideas/options.
A Palin type candidacy would give a much sharper focus on what needs to be done but, short of a massive Tea Party landslide, there would be little chance of effecting it. That is not to say of course that such an outcome would be infinitely preferable to the status quo as represented by Obama and Romney however. At the very least there would be an upsurge in spirits and a renewal of American values as represented by the main streams mores.
Failing the necessary congressional landslide that would be needed to accompany a true conservatives presidential victory, and the possibly of such a candidate owning an inherited economic mess which would tar them with the brush of failure even though it would not be their fault, it might be a better long term solution if the revolution came in 2016, accompanied by the landslide to effect it.
It would be a bitter pill for conservatives to have to wait out another four years, but the promise of total change would be worth it, and the campaign could start on February 2013.
It might just happen that in November 2012 the economy is in such bad shape that the electoral landslide might be large enough to give a president of courage, who can clearly state her platform of necessary change, no matter how bitter the pill is short term, to have so much of public opinion on her side that the program could be put in place.
Barring that, the passage of four years, during which the economy would continue its downwards slope under the present economic mechanism, may be enough time, with the right leader, to get everything in place for the next American revolution, which would be, in effect, a return to the spirit of the original one.
Palin not running in 2012, may be the very best thing that could happen for the republic, as she could have the four years to prepare to the required healing and leading role in 2016.