This week has seen a tsunami of coverage because of Going Rogue, her new autobio, and the crush that right wingnuts have with her despite the fact that she has huge negative polling numbers (among women in particular) and would unite Democrats like no one else in the (unlikely) event that she grabs the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.
Herewith some of the chatter:
Michelle Cottle in The New Republic:
This is clearly a woman who has neither forgotten nor forgiven the many injuries she feels were unfairly visited on her last year by the media, the Democrats, the McCain campaign, and other "haters." It's possible she realizes that she made some significant mistakes, but that realization is clearly buried under a massive glacier of resentment and irritation at others.Allahpundit at Hot Air:
[A]s things stand, [Palin is] a threat to win the GOP nomination but an almost certain loser in the general election unless economic conditions have deteriorated to the point where any Republican would be a threat to knock off Obama. . . . . The more beatable Obama looks, the greater the temptation will be to nominate an inoffensive "electable" candidate like Romney and make the election a referendum on The One's record; the less beatable Obama looks, the greater the temptation to roll the dice and nominate a lightning rod like Palin who can draw media attention away from Obama.Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight:
Although I doubt that Palin can clear the conservative half of the GOP field, someone like a Huckabee could very well decide to go ahead and let Palin run her course, re-entering the field in a 2016 climate that is liable to be more favorable to Republicans.Damon Linker in The New Republic:
Criticism has its place, of course. And yet, on Palin I've come to favor a different approach—one that refuses to collude with the media-driven farce. To respond to an opponent, even harshly, even rudely, is to accord her a certain respect—to treat her as worthy of a response. But Palin is worthy of no such thing. She stands for nothing beyond her own self-promotion. She craves attention, and negative attention is a form of attention. Even ridicule can be a form of flattery. Better to bow out, to decline the provocation, since responding to her perpetuates and legitimates the illusion that she’s a serious player in our nation’s politics.Richard Cohen in The Washington Post:
The Institute for the Study of Sarah Palin might conclude that she represents the exact moment important Republicans gave up on democracy. She was clearly seen as an empty vessel who could be controlled by her intellectual betters. These include the editorial boards of the Weekly Standard and the Wall Street Journal, neither of which would hire Palin to make an editorial judgment but both of which would be thrilled to see her as president of the United States. It does not bother these people in the least that the woman is a demagogue -- remember "death panels"? -- and not, on the face of it, very responsible. If she quit as governor of Alaska in the noble pursuit of money, might she quit as, say, vice president or president for the same reason? From what I hear, one can never be too rich.Steve Chapman in the Chicago Tribune:
Who needs policy? In her world -- and the world of legions of conservatives who revere her -- the persona is the policy. Palin is beloved because she's (supposedly) just like ordinary people, which (supposedly) gives her a profound understanding of their needs.Daniel Larison at The American Conservative:
That attitude used to be associated with the left, which claimed to speak for the ordinary folks who get shafted by the system.
An American right led by or identified with Palin is one that [Democrats] can very easily ridicule and discredit, and at the same time they can be confident that a Palinized GOP poses no threat to anything they value. Palin is not going to bring the party out of the minority, and were she to lead the party it would more or less guarantee continued Democratic ascendancy for many years to come. Her content-free pseudo-populism ensures that the legitimate political concerns of her constituency remain irrelevant to real policy debates. Media outlets also thrive on controversy and conflict, both real and manufactured, and Palin continues to give them plenty of opportunities for both.Greg Sargent at Who Runs Gov:
Palin and her ghostwriters have successfully resorted to the most harsh and lurid attacks on Obama to break through into the national conversation (the death panels being only the most prominent example). But those same tactics are severely complicating her ability to broaden her appeal, to the degree that she even wants to do this in the first place.Jessica Valenti at Comment Is Free America:
When the magazine ran an extreme close-up picture of the former governor last year, conservatives criticised the publication for not airbrushing out Palin's flaws. Newsweek pointed out that Photoshopping pictures are for fashion spreads, not political cover stories, and that the picture represented the candidate as she was. And this presents the general problem with Palin today -- she's upset that people won't airbrush away who she really is, and that no one believes her when she tries to do the same.Marc Ambinder on CBS News:
The key to making a political comeback is to have somewhere to come back from -- and somewhere to return to. Sarah Palin can't make a comeback because she didn't go anywhere. Not up, not down. Not sideways. Aside from a brief and totally artificial post selection bounce last year, Palin remains a fixed political commodity.Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic:
There are times, in this business, when I am incredibly aware that I'm the black dude in the room. One of those moments is whenever I hear conservative writers announcing that Sarah Palin has been persecuted, or that one of her virtues is that she annoys liberals. You see that sort of thing and it occurs to you that Palin attachment, has little to do with Palin, and a lot to do with intellectual insecurity.And finally, Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish:
[T]he book is emblematic of late degenerate Republicanism, which is based not on actual policies, but on slogans now so exhausted by over-use they retain no real meaning: free enterprise is great, God loves us all, America is fabulous, foreigners are suspect, we need to be tough, we can't dither, we must always cut taxes, government is bad, liberals are socialists, the media hates you, etc etc. . . .
Move on and forget about her? If only. Not just because she is a vital figure in this country's politics right now and one of the most dangerous demagogues this country has seen in a long time, but because I just want to know. I want to know what really lies under that facade.