Effects of the Stimulus Package: in Which the Usually Sharp-Eyed Felix Salmon Is Wrong!

Atlantic Monthly Crashed-and-Burned Watch (Clive Crook "Sarah Palin Must Be Respected!" Department)

Republican Charles Krauthammer on Sarah Palin:

Krauthammer: Krauthammer: Now, as to Palin, I agree entirely with what Mara [Liasson] said -- she is, she has star power without any doubt, she has an extremely devoted following, but she is not a serious candidate for the presidency. She had to go home and study and spend a lot of the time on issues with which she was not adept last year. And she hasn't. She has to stop speaking in cliches and platitudes. It won't work. It could work for eight weeks if you're the No. 2 candidate, as she was last year. But even so, she got singed a lot in that campaign. You cannot sustain a campaign of platitudes and clichés over a year and a half if you’re running for the presidency...

Republican Peggy Noonan on Sarah Palin:

A Farewell to Harms - [Palin] demonstrated... that she was not ready to go national and in fact never would be. She was hungry, loved politics, had charm and energy, loved walking onto the stage, waving and doing the stump speech. All good. But she was not thoughtful. She was a gifted retail politician who displayed the disadvantages of being born into a point of view (in her case a form of conservatism; elsewhere and in other circumstances, it could have been a form of liberalism) and swallowing it whole: She never learned how the other sides think, or why. In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them. She couldn't say what she read because she didn't read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it: It was evidence of her authenticity. She experienced criticism as both partisan and cruel because she could see no truth in any of it. She wasn't thoughtful enough to know she wasn't thoughtful enough. Her presentation up to the end has been scattered, illogical, manipulative and self-referential to the point of self-reverence. "I'm not wired that way," "I'm not a quitter," "I'm standing up for our values." I'm, I'm, I'm. In another age it might not have been terrible, but here and now it was actually rather horrifying...

Republican--well, conservative--Mr. McMegan-to-be on Sarah Palin:

Hit & Run > Sarah Palin: Ambition, Incoherence, and Paranoia: It's been more than a week since Sarah Palin announced that she was resigning from the governorship of Alaska, and we still don't really know why.... [W]e have to accept the possibility that Palin's decision to resign will remain somewhat inscrutable. That said, I think her brief history on the national stage has given us a handful of useful clues.... Incoherence: As Slate's Dahlia Lithwick points out, Palin has never been coherent except when scripted or interpreted by someone else.... Ambition: Palin seems to have a genuine connection with the weird, frontier-like culture of Alaska, but she's also renowned for her ambition, and governing the state has limited her opportunities to both to live in the public eye and to make money off of doing so.... Paranoia: Perhaps there isn't actually a serious scandal brewing, but instead, Palin quit out of an undue, hypersensitive fear of negative coverage combined with an extreme victim mentality. She's exhibited such paranoia before: A few weeks ago, CBS News published emails from the campaign trail depicting a fight between Palin and the McCain's chief strategist, Steve Schmidt.... In other words, there isn't a firm "answer" perfectly explaining why she decided to step down. But there are some telling behavioral patterns, all of which seem to have been at play in her decision to resign.  Palin's time on the national stage has been short, but a few common threads have emerged: paranoia, poor reasoning, and an outsize sense of self-importance. I can't help but think that those are the same factors that drove her to quit...

Clive Crook on the Democrats on Sarah Palin:

Democrats must learn some respect: Ms Palin is a small-town American. It is said that she has only recently acquired a passport. Her husband is a fisherman and production worker. She represents a great slice of the country that the Democrats say they care about - yet her selection induced an apoplectic fit. For days, the derision poured down from Democratic party talking heads and much of the media too. The idea that "this woman" might be vice-president or even president was literally incomprehensible.... Voters in small towns and suburbs, forever mocked and condescended to by metropolitan liberals, are attuned to this disdain. Every four years, many take their revenge.... The problem in my view is less Mr Obama and more the attitudes of the claque of official and unofficial supporters that surrounds him.... If only the Democrats could contain their sense of entitlement to govern in a rational world... they might gain the unshakeable grip on power they feel they deserve.... But the fathomless cultural complacency of the metropolitan liberal rules this out...

Krauthammer and Noonan were last week. Crook was last September.

I would say I eagerly look forward to Clive Crook's column about how "Republicans must learn some respect" for small-town politicians married to fishermen who won't read their briefing books and memorize their talking points. I could point out that what Krauthammer and Noonan are saying now in public is exactly what they--and the other Republicans--were saying then in private (except for when Noonan got caught on an open microphone). I could point out that Crook knew that the opinions of Palin for which he was lambasting Democrats last fall were also the opinions of Republicans--but somehow Crook did not think it fit to say so. And I could point out that Crook knew last fall that the opinions of Palin for which he was lambasting Democrats last fall were accurate judgments--but that somehow Crook did not think it frt to say so.

But I will save my breath, and not say any of these things. I will, however, say that the extent to which our elite media say one thing in private and something very different in public is plain damned annoying.

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?