It would be restful if, along with Joe the Plumber, John McCain's running mate just went off into a disposable-celebrity waste basket along with the other used Kleenex of the campaign, but Sarah Palin and the idea of her are still with us, as Andrew Sullivan so cogently points out today:
"That the Palin absurdity should follow the two-term presidency of another individual utterly out of his depth in national government is particularly troubling; 46 percent of Americans voted for the possibility of this blank slate as president because she somehow echoed their own sense of religious or cultural 'identity'. Until we figure out how this happened, we will not be able to prevent it from happening again."
Promoting an over-aged cheerleader with no political substance whatsoever for 2012, as William Kristol and others are doing, is a sign that the diaper division of the Republican Party has no interest in going back to its Goldwater-William F. Buckley roots and offering principled opposition to the new Democratic majority.
Palin's ascension is highlighted by the decline and fall of Ron Paul who, in his own idiosyncratic way, identified some of the issues that his party should be considering and debating. As Paul now writes:
"In the rise and fall of the recent Republican reign of power these past decades, the goal of the party had grown to be only that of gaining and maintaining power--with total sacrifice of the original Republican belief in shrinking the size of government."
Instead, the GOP focus is on Palin's "star quality" and her media blitz this week to make GOP true believers forget how her vast emptiness and arrogance helped bring down John McCain's campaign.