Thursday, November 19, 2009

I had a difficult conversation with a conservative co-worker this morning about Sarah Palin's new book. I'm getting kind of tired of the Alaskan merry-go-round. The over-educated fools freak out about her, she goes tabloid on them, they freak out some more, the soc-cons dump on the fools, the fools freak out at *them*, and then the populist right rallies 'round the flag & everyone gets dragged into a cult-of-celebrity policy-free zone.

The thing is, I like most of Palin's principles. Her heart seems to be in the right place, and she has the right policy instincts. But she keeps *engaging* with her detractors. There's too much of the reality-show about her whole scene. I want a politician who can talk like a statesman while spending most of her time in the trenches, working like a dog. The Alaska success story was a big selling point for me - until that appalling July 4th melodramatic resignation display. I worry about Palin being all short-winded flash and surface and cheerful pugnacity.

Worse, I worry about her propensity for opening up fissures, for whittling away at potential governing coalitions. There's a positive blizzard of shavings floating around these days. What we need is coalitional glue - the sort of figures who can get people who honestly can't stand each other to slouch sullenly in close enough proximity to build an approximation of a winning majority.

In short, we need someone who can lure all of you overbred, arrogant twits on the Main Line and in New England back to the GOP. Someone who won't bring out your class resentments and can calm your irrational status anxieties. I'm almost positive that ain't Sarah, and it should now be blindingly obvious it won't be me or anyone who thinks *like* me.

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