Give Peggy Noonan credit – she’s not “going with the flow” when it comes to Sarah Palin. Noonan cares about the future of the GOP, and she dishes out some tough love for the party.
Sarah Palin’s resignation gives Republicans a new opportunity to see her plain—to review the bidding, see her strengths, acknowledge her limits, and let go of her drama. It is an opportunity they should take. They mean to rebuild a great party. They need to do it on solid ground.
Noonan gets to the essence of Sarah Palin by looking at her with open eyes, and without all the drama surrounding the current state of politics.
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.
She goes on to destroy all the arguments being thrown around in her defense. This one is priceless.
“She makes the Republican Party look inclusive.” She makes the party look stupid, a party of the easily manipulated.
Here’s her closing argument.
The era we face, that is soon upon us, will require a great deal from our leaders. They had better be sturdy. They will have to be gifted. There will be many who cannot, and should not, make the cut. Now is the time to look for those who can. And so the Republican Party should get serious, as serious as the age, because that is what a grown-up, responsible party—a party that deserves to lead—would do.
It’s not a time to be frivolous, or to feel the temptation of resentment, or the temptation of thinking next year will be more or less like last year, and the assumptions of our childhoods will more or less reign in our future. It won’t be that way.
We are going to need the best.
She’s right – we need the best. As a strong supporter of Barack Obama, I think we have the best, and Sarah Palin makes Obama’s job easier in one sense. She’s a disaster for the GOP, a party that keeps sinking lower with clowns like Ensign and Sanford after the party seemed to hit rock bottom in the fall. From a purely political point of view, the current GOP, and any future GOP that features Sarah Palin, gives Obama some breathing room. He’s going to make some mistakes, and he’s tackling some very difficult and controversial issues at a time when our economy is in the ditch. If he takes a political hit from time to time, he can feel comfortable that the GOP doesn’t pose a serious threat.
On the other hand, we are facing serious problems, and one political party is offering next-to-nothing when it comes to providing solutions. The GOP has become a bad joke, when we could use some tough Republicans to help us on spending and engage in real negotiations over the budget and entitlements. The GOP has to do better than this, and Sarah Palin is holding them back.