Sullivan quotes this email from an Alaskan:
What the Republicans missed about Sarah Palin then--and what the Democrats seem poised to miss now--is that she is a true political savant; a candidate with a knack for identifying the key gripes of the populace and packaging herself as the solution. That keen political nose has enabled her to routinely outperform her resume. Nearly two years into her administration, she still racks up approval ratings of 80 per cent or better.
One might reasonably ask to what extent her local popularity is buoyed by the high price of oil (and thus, a budget surplus, and thus, the ability to carry a stick into meetings with big oil). One might speculate about the durability of her anti-corruption stance in light of her conflict of interest in the dismissal of her director of public safety. And only the truly feckless would not concern themselves about her dearth of foreign policy experience. But in probing this candidate, it would behoove the Democrats and the pundits to shed the notion that they are dealing with some dimwitted bumpkin (Dan Quayle seems to come up a lot lately) who’s going to start crying when they ask her to name the president of Azerbaijan; or that Palin is the townie who was brought into the Skull & Bones initiation night for the amusement of all; or that somehow the prom queen ballots got mixed up with the Alaska gubernatorial poll. Trivialize her at your own peril.
Sarah Palin is a living reminder that the ultimate source of political power in this country is not the Kennedy School or the Davos Summit or an Ariana Huffington salon; even now, power emanates from the electorate itself. More precisely, power in 2008 emanates from the working class electorates of Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Sooner or later, the Obama camp will realize that the beauty pageant queen is an enormously talented populist in a year that is ripe for populism. For their own sake, it had better be sooner.
There can be little doubt that the viciousness of the attacks on Palin (Sullivan is a prime example) are motivated by fear, not confidence. Sarah is a threat to the Obama coronation, particularly inasmuch as she is the living refutation of his disdain for "bitter people who cling to their guns and religion." Palin's happy warrior visage shows that guns and religion and the values of small town America are the sources of satisfaction and joy, not what people console themselves with when they don't decamp to New York or L.A. Her very existence shines a bright white light on the underlying assumptions of "false consciousness" that the Democratic elite attribute to the working class. Nothing could be more offensive to their therapeutic worldview, and because of that, she must be crushed - feminism be damned.