Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And so it begins...

As the post-RNC hoopla ("Sar-ah! Sar-ah! Sar-ah!") fades away like the summer sunshine and cold hard reality takes hold, the McCain-Palin ticket is inexorably losing its lustre with some conservatives. In yesterday's New York Times, David Brooks wrote:
"The issue starts with an evaluation of Palin, but does not end there. This argument also is over what qualities the country needs in a leader and what are the ultimate sources of wisdom."

"Look at the condescension and snobbery oozing from elite quarters, her backers say. Look at the endless string of vicious, one-sided attacks in the news media. This is what elites produce. This is why regular people need to take control.

And there’s a serious argument here. In the current Weekly Standard, Steven Hayward argues that the nation’s founders wanted uncertified citizens to hold the highest offices in the land. They did not believe in a separate class of professional executives. They wanted rough and rooted people like Palin.

I would have more sympathy for this view if I hadn’t just lived through the last eight years. For if the Bush administration was anything, it was the anti-establishment attitude put into executive practice."

Palin is nothing if not George W in a dress, and her nomination was reckless and craven opportunism of the worst kind. It galvanized the base, to whom geopolitical and economic considerations come second to abortion, and it was no doubt exciting to be back in the race again after trailing for months. But it was inevitable that thinking conservatives would have to see this for the disaster that it is, and now, one by one they're having second thoughts. "Buy the ticket, take the ride", as HST would say. But having bought this ticket, some are realizing it's a train to nowhere.

UPDATE: Palin's favourability numbers are falling. Some alarming Electoral College projections there, but a few days ago it was the other way around. And as Josh Marshall said at the time:
"Don't be fooled. Every electoral college count you see is by definition a lagging indicator simply because individual state polls don't come in anywhere near as frequently as national polls. So when you point to an electoral counter, you're referring to a composite picture that is a few weeks old. If the race remains a statistical tie as it is as of today, with a hair's breadth of a McCain lead, the electoral map will soon rebalance to a rough tie as well."