Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Faultlines in the American political landscape

As exemplified in this photo-shopped image seized upon (and most probably created) by her political enemies, Alaska governor Sarah Palin instantly became an American icon from the moment John McCain introduced to the public last summer. I found her to be a charming and decent human being, as well as a compelling and remarkable campaigner. Most interesting to me, however, was observing the panoply of bizarre reactions to her from both the left and right sides of the political spectrum. As Yuval Levin begins in his excellent analysis of the meaning of her meteoric rise:
Two political figures dominated the final months of the 2008 presidential campaign. One was the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama. The other had been unknown to all but 670,000 Americans only a few minutes before she was first introduced by the Republican nominee, John McCain, at a rally in Ohio on the Friday before the Republican National Convention, only 66 days before the November election.
This fascinating, if somewhat long, (not a criticism by the way, just a heads-up) exposition of Levin's on the meaning of Sarah Palin's place in American politics is essential reading for any political junkie. From the February 2009 edition of Commentary magazine, you can read Yuval Levin's incisive article here.