The abuse being heaped on Sarah Palin is such a cheap shot.
The complaint against the Alaska governor, at its most basic, is
that she doesn’t qualify for admission to the national political
Boy, that’s rich.
Behold the American political system, circa 2008.
Sarah Palin didn’t create the conditions that have led to a U.S.
Congress with the lowest approval rating ever registered in the history
of polling. She isn’t the reason opinion polls are showing people want
the entire Congress fired, with many telling pollsters they themselves
could do a better job.
Sarah Palin didn’t design a system of presidential primaries whose
length and cost ensures that only the most obsessional personalities
will run the gauntlet, while a long list of effective governors don’t
These rules have wasted the electorate’s time the past three
presidential elections by filling the debates with such zero-support
candidates as Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, Al Sharpton, Duncan Hunter,
Chris Dodd, Joe Biden (8,000 total votes), Wesley Clark and Alan Keyes.
Out of this process has fallen a Democratic nominee who entered the
U.S. Senate in 2005 fresh off a stint in the Illinois state
legislature, with next to no record of political accomplishment. He may
be elected mainly because, in Colin Powell’s word, he is
"transformational." One may hope so.
By not bothering to look very deeply at the details beneath either
candidate’s governing proposals, the media has created a lot of free
time to take free kicks at Gov. Palin. My former colleague, Tunku
Varadarajan, has helpfully compiled a glossary of Palin invective, and
I have added a few: "Republican blow-up doll," "idiot," "Jesus freak,"
"Caribou Barbie," "a dope," "a fatal cancer to the Republican Party,"
"liar," "disabled," and "her pretense that she is a woman."
If American politics is at low ebb, it may in large part be because
so many of its observers are at their personal best working in its
The primary discomfort with Gov. Palin is the notion that she
doesn’t have enough experience to be president, that Sen. McCain should
have picked a more seasoned figure. Really? Let’s try an opinion poll
If as Joe Biden suggests the U.S. is likely to be tested by a
foreign enemy next year, who of the following would you rather have
making decisions in the Oval Office: Nancy (of Damascus) Pelosi, John
Edwards, Harry Reid, Joe (the U.S. drove Hezbollah out of Lebanon)
Biden, Mike Huckabee, Geraldine Ferraro, Tom DeLay, Jimmy Carter or
My pick? It would be Palin, surely the most grounded, common-sense person on that list of credentialed U.S. politicians…
I hope Sarah Palin stays in the game. She has exposed enough
cultural fissures in American politics to occupy strategists full-time
We know from what happened to her that there is now a left-to-right
elite centered in New York, Washington, Hollywood and Silicon Valley
whose worldview is defined by their shared point on the Bell Curve. It
seems only yesterday that the most critical skill in presidential
politics was being able to connect to and talk to people in places like
Bronko’s Bar or Saddleback Church. That’s a skill I suspect Barack
Obama will never learn. As to representing America’s vital interests in
London, Paris, Tehran or Moscow, Sen. Obama and Gov. Palin appear to be
at more or less the same starting point.
Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of "Saturday Night Live" who
lives on the forward wave of American life, gave his view of Sarah
Palin this week to EW.com: "I think Palin will continue to be
underestimated for a while. I watched the way she connected with
people, and she’s powerful. Her politics aren’t my politics. But you
can see that she’s a very powerful, very disciplined, incredibly
gracious woman. This was her first time out and she’s had a huge
impact. People connect to her." (emphasis mine)