“But the pre-mortem is now a well-established political ritual and Republicans, for so long used to arguing in victory, are diving in, like frenzied fans into a mosh pit. Some anonymously, getting their retaliation in first by telling Obama supporters in the media (sorry, that was tautologous) what’s gone wrong. Some, such as Colin Powell, and less predictably, Ken Adelman, one of the most enthusiastic backers of the Iraq war and one-time acolyte of Donald Rumsfeld, breaking publicly and endorsing the Democratic candidate.
The ferocity of the current fighting will be nothing though, compared with what comes after the inevitable defeat. John McCain and his campaign will be the initial targets, and will deserve some of the blame they get. How they contrived to turn one of America’s most attractive and independent-minded figures into a sputtering partisan and oddly ineffective jackal will be a tale worth hearing. But the retrospective McCain Mutiny will be just the opening salvo in the war for the soul of America’s Right. The fighting will be so furious and so multidirectional it will be hard to know what’s going on at times.
It’s hard to know what to make of this Palintology. It’s hard to make a reasoned and fair judgment about the Alaska Governor because she has been the victim of one of the nastiest, most sustained and comprehensive slime-jobs ever performed by a hyper-partisan national and global media.
The latest piece of nonsense to hit the media’s fan this week is a fine example: the news that the Republicans paid $150,000 to kit out her and her family for the election campaign. Forget for a moment the special and ridiculous sartorial demands made of a woman and her family over three months on the campaign trail, or that the party has said it will donate the clothes to charity afterwards (she can’t keep them, in any case, under tax law). Just think how we would have scoffed if she had shown up for her television appearances in an off-the-rack dress from the Anchorage Dress Barn or if she had been spotted wearing the same jacket twice in a week.
So, the Palinphobia is so shot through with condescension and ideological incomprehension on the media’s part that trying to cut through to the reality of her political message is not easy. “
Gerard Baker, no Times.