I think that the Armadillo is what I have in mind as a fitting mascot for a new political party.
Have you ever dealt with an armadillo?
Possibly, you've startled one and seen it do its famous defense move by curling into the biological equivalent of a bowling ball. You may have dealt with one, but they rarely pay much attention to "dealing with" you. They're mostly a live-and-let-live critter. Unless you're a noisome little insect. I think that makes them Free Market, Small Government, States' Rights supporters.
Curling up into a defensive little fortress of armored plates just makes good sense when the Media is out to play gotcha, make you answer questions that are patently stupid, or generally try to get you to talk. Who needs talk? Who needs answers? Why explain anything? Being physically unavailable and hiding the soft underbelly isn't a cowardly act, but a brilliant tactic. The ADHD Media simply skulks away looking for livelier prey. Like... a possum playing dead.
The times I've ever encountered an armadillo, and here where I live you do, they have jumped straight up into the air and then taken off for parts unknown. I remember once, as a girl, my brother grabbing hold of an armadillo's tail. It was pretty pointless, as the varmint completely ignored my brother, kept his forward progress by digging in the enormous claws and kept moving towards his only escape route: the river. It really didn't matter how we tried to torment to little guy, he just had a goal in mind and pretty much was unmoved by our efforts.
We finally let him go and watched as he paced himself evenly in his haste. He jumped into the water from the seawall and proceeded to swim with great alacrity and aplomb. (Armadillos are good with words that begin with "A" apparently.)
I remember watching the old Wild Kingdom series. Marlin Perkins' sidekick (Jim?) once tried to capture a giant armadillo, the kind found in South America. The damn beast pulled him along and began to dig a burrow and pull poor Jim into it. Quickly.
You gotta admire that kinda focus and determination. "You keep bugging me and I'm taking you down with me, sucker! You'll never see the sun again!"
Plus, an armadillo is Jeff Goldstein's muse and "printer's devil, " moving about Jeff's blog and generally drinking his weight in tequila, only to stubbornly remain irascible and curmudgeonly. A mean drunk. The 'dillo perfectly reflects Jeff's fine sensibilities and rock-steady reluctance to give a flying 'eff about what others think.
It's shown itself to be a sturdy, unchanging creature throughout the millennia. If you can just keep it from crossing the aisle to look for grubs and hormigas, it can easily avoid becoming political roadkill.
(That little leprosy problem is totally curable these days, too. Honest! I read that in People Magazine, I think, just last week. In the doctor's office. Yeah, that's right... )