Sarah Palin has gone out of her way over the last year to display for everyone who is willing to acknowledge what their senses are telling them just how totally and completely unsuited she is to hold high office. She is a complete mediocrity, quite possibly the most superficial, ignorant, joke of a politician ever to have achieved such political prominence.
It is nothing short of astonishing what Palin has been able to get away with while still being taken seriously. During the presidential campaign, she was kept completely away from the media for nearly a month after being selected--something that is completely unprecedented. When she was finally permitted to be interviewed, she flamed out in spectacular fashion, displaying a profound lack of policy knowledge and a near total inability to express her thoughts coherently or logically. Her stump speech was riddled with easily falsifiable claims about her record, claims that she continued to repeat even after they had been repeatedly and exhaustively debunked. She never held a press conference or appeared on any of the Sunday news shows. Toward the end of the campaign, polls were conclusively showing that she was a drag on the ticket and her own staff was trashing her in the media. Rather than send her to contested states, the McCain campaign began shipping her off to reliably red states, a clear acknowledgment that she was doing more harm than good in the states that mattered.
Yet despite all of this, many within the media continued to treat Palin as if she was a serious presidential candidate in her own right. They continued to pretend that the Emperor's new suit was, if not spectacular, at least well-tailored.
[In regard to a Ross Douthat column defending Palin]:
This last line from Ross's column also bothers me:
Sarah Palin is beloved by millions because her rise suggested, however temporarily, that the old American aphorism about how anyone can grow up to be president might actually be true.
This is a ridiculous statement. If you want evidence that anyone can grow up to be president, how about looking at the current President. It's hard to imagine a more unlikely future president than the biracial son of a teenage mother in Hawaii who was given the name of his absentee Muslim father. But Obama did well in school, worked hard, impressed everyone he met with his intellect and managed to put himself in a position to become president.
Palin stands for a very different proposition, that if you have the right backers, anyone, no matter how unqualified or unsuited for the job, can potentially become president. That's scary. While I very much want to believe that a smart kid who works hard and plays her cards right can become president someday, no matter where she comes from, I don't want to believe that any random schmuck can become president. The president shouldn't be an average person. The president should be someone who is most decidedly above average in most respects. Pedigree doesn't matter to me, but capability does. And it should to all Americans.