Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sarah Palin Still Matters

We don't find ourselves agreeing with a lot of what Andrew Sullivan writes, but on this he's absolutely right. Sarah Palin is a demonstrably stupid, incurious, incompetent individual. And she lost.

But she still matters. Think of her as the canary in the coal mine of our electoral democracy:
The impulsive, unvetted selection of a total unknown, with no knowledge of or interest in the wider world, as a replacement president remains one of the most disturbing events in modern American history. That the press felt required to maintain a facade of normalcy for two months -- and not to declare the whole thing a farce from start to finish -- is a sign of their total loss of nerve. That the Palin absurdity should follow the two-term presidency of another individual utterly out of his depth in national government is particularly troubling. 46 percent of Americans voted for the possibility of this blank slate as president because she somehow echoed their own sense of religious or cultural "identity".
We know a number of people around town -- many of them smart and capable, some not so much -- who deliberately cast a vote to make Sarah Palin the vice president of the United States. This, even though nary a one of them -- not one! -- would have tolerated having her assigned to tutor their own elementary school child or grandchild.

Sarah Palin -- or, more precisely, the phenomenon of the millions who voted for her -- matters even now. And, it will continue to matter because, as Sullivan says, "Until we figure out how this happened, we will not be able to prevent it from happening again. And we have to find a way to prevent this from recurring."

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