The Palin Backlash

It is fascinating how Sarah Palin’s nomination has turned conservative columnists and commentators against John McCain.  They echo what many others (like me) were saying immediately after McCain announced her selection: she is too inexperienced, she knows nothing of substance about the most important domestic and foreign policy issues, and her selection was a cynical move that calls McCain’s judgment into question.  This avalanche of apostasy includes Peggy Noonan’s recent Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece.  (Subscription required)  Noonan’s conservative credentials are impeccable.  Among other things she served as advisor to President Reagan and speechwriter for Bush senior.  Here is some of what she has to say about Palin:

[W]e have seen Mrs. Palin on the national stage for seven weeks now, and there is little sign that she has the tools, the equipment, the knowledge or the philosophical grounding one hopes for, and expects, in a holder of high office. She is a person of great ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the ambition? She wants to rise, but what for? For seven weeks I’ve listened to her, trying to understand if she is Bushian or Reaganite . . . But it’s unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. She doesn’t think aloud. She just . . . says things.

. . .

This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine. She could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn’t seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.

Sarah Palin represents all that is mean-spirited, coarse, and reactionary about our political process.  That she could be one breath away from the presidency should keep everone awake at night from worry.