In all honesty, I can’t watch this without wanting to punch my computer screen in. Everything about this woman is loathsome: her pitiful ignorance, her open anti-Muslim bigotry, and perhaps most infuriatingly, her unabashed smugness. …
Why does the world hate us? Because of people like this, and the arrogant “know-nothingism” they represent.
I empathize with dude. This proudly anti-intellectual vein of American conservatism has taken its toll on the country, of course, but its also come at a huge cost to the Republican party. Even moreso than Bush, Sarah Palin represents the apotheosis of this phenomenon, because her selection marked the moment that religious conservatives stopped being a group Republicans were good at speaking to and instead became the only part of their bloc that mattered. A lot of libertarians and paleoconservatives were probably relieved that Huckabee lost steam so quickly after Iowa (I know Huck’s a stand-up, cool dude, but his policy positions are crazy), but they must have been livid when McCain plucked Palin out of the woods.
But this kind of anti-intellectualism is bad for progressives, too. It’s easy to dismiss this lady, or the true believers over at NRO who speak in talking points and defend Palin for having “great political instincts and experience” absent any evidence to back it up. It’s too easy. I think good liberalism requires a thoughtful, reasonable conservatism. And there are plenty of those voices out there (Douthat, Larison, the folks at the Confabulum , and the Next Right, for starters), even if we disagree with them on a lot of stuff. Let’s hope that if the Republicans are tossed from the Senate and the House and Washington’s expected liberal realignment begins, it’s voices like those that move to the fore in the Republican party.