Why Palin matters

Andrew Sullivan has a pretty compelling justification for why he's been so obsessive about Sarah Palin. (And let's take a minute to concede that Sully has been very, very obsessive.) It's not so much about her, and her flagrant inability to communicate a single idea of what it means to govern. It's about the GOP.
McCain knew full well that Palin was unqualified to be commander-in-chief at this period of time; and he knew there was no way she could ever learn enough to do the job. So his decision to pick her was pure cynicism and irresponsibility. The MSM knew full well that there were very serious questions about this unknown person's background, lies, mental stability, and secrecy - but they were so terrified of being called biased they refused to do the proper vetting.


The reason we need to get to the truth of what happened is that these people nearly took this country off a cliff. They need to be held accountable. They need to be removed from their positions of power. We cannot move on until they are. And John McCain should retire from public life. After that decision, nothing he says can be taken seriously on the national or international stage.
I think he is dead right.

For all of my criticism of the Republican Party, I absolutely do not think the the Democrats or the President are just wonderful, angelic, unicorn-riding heroes. I think that they are politicians whose stated policy goals are generally in line with what I would like. But they frequently fail to live up to their promises, as the President has done with a few issues that are very, very important to me. (For example, in addition to his very sluggish pace on gay issues, I am also appalled that he is continuing the Bush administration's policies regarding indefinite detention of suspected terrorists.)

Admittedly, I feel that Obama's actions are insufficiently progressive, and so recourse to a more conservative party isn't really an option. But the GOP has lost essentially all of its credibility across the board, with the Palin nomination the apotheosis of its pandering, cynical, anti-intellectual, nativist slide into insanity. When I read the reports about the lunatics, demagogues, blow-hards, hypocrites and theocrats the GOP comprises, I simply cannot ever imagine voting for a party that not only tolerates them, but has no other sane-seeming iteration at present. (When I find myself thinking almost fondly about how normal Mitt Romney seems, I know it's both a telling statement about the cretins in his party and a sign that I need to take a break from reading the news.)

We need a sane two-party system, because no party should become so powerful and comfortable that they need not be responsive to their constituents. What does Obama have to fear from me if he continues to disappoint me? I may not feel much like voting for him in four years, but I cannot conceive of voting for anyone on the other side.

Update: Peggy Noonan says essentially the same thing, but better.


  1. As I believe you know, I consider myself a moderate, more moderate than you. And I wouldn't dream of voting for a Republican at this point. Not a good way for a party to be.

  2. As I said before, this is why Obama can afford to jerk around the left. I don't think it is his intention, I think he thinks he has more important issues like health care to resolve first, but I understand your feelings.

    by the way, at the state level there are plenty of decent repubs. (Pa.)


  3. Decent Republicans? Is that not an oxymoron?


  4. For the record, I think both of our GOP Senators from Maine are relatively sane, all things considered.

  5. Dan, Suggest you attend an "R" gathering when Ms. Snow is speaking. It will serve to show you exactly how she is. I did attend one of the R's dinners some years ago as a guest. I was shocked and dismayed at her volatile attack on anything & anyone even remotely connected to the Democratic Party and its principles.

  6. Goes to show you never can tell, I suppose.