After twenty years of stupidity and cowardice, Peggy Noonan finally tells the truth about something:
Declarations: There has never been a second's debate among liberals... over Mrs. Palin: She was a dope and unqualified.... Conservatives and Republicans, on the other hand, continue to battle it out.... Here is a fact of life that is also a fact of politics: You have to hold open the possibility of magic.... But we 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?... She doesn't think aloud. She just... says things.
Her supporters accuse her critics of snobbery: Maybe she's not a big "egghead" but she has brilliant instincts and inner toughness. But what instincts?... She is not as thoughtful or persuasive as Joe the Plumber.... 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....
No news conferences? Interviews now only with friendly journalists? You can't be president or vice president and govern in that style, as a sequestered figure. This has been Mr. Bush's style the past few years, and see where it got us.... [T]he Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.
I gather this week from conservative publications that those whose thoughts lead them to criticism in this area are to be shunned, and accused of the lowest motives. In one now-famous case, Christopher Buckley was shooed from the great magazine his father invented. In all this, the conservative intelligentsia are doing what they have done for five years. They bitterly attacked those who came to stand against the Bush administration. This was destructive. If they had stood for conservative principle and the full expression of views, instead of attempting to silence those who opposed mere party, their movement, and the party, would be in a better, and healthier, position.
At any rate, come and get me, copper.