Richard Coen convenes a meeting:

The Institute for the Study of Sarah Palin might conclude that she represents the exact moment important Republicans gave up on democracy. She was clearly seen as an empty vessel who could be controlled by her intellectual betters. These include the editorial boards of the Weekly Standard and the Wall Street Journal, neither of which would hire Palin to make an editorial judgment but both of which would be thrilled to see her as president of the United States. It does not bother these people in the least that the woman is a demagogue -- remember "death panels"? -- and not, on the face of it, very responsible. If she quit as governor of Alaska in the noble pursuit of money, might she quit as, say, vice president or president for the same reason? From what I hear, one can never be too rich.

The WSJ and TWS have long ago lost any intellectual credibility. They use sophism to maintain power. Their cynicism and/or denial mechanisms are deeper than most mortals can imagine.

We knew that about a charlatan like Kristol and a nihilist like Rove. But what I didn't fully come to terms with, until the Palin farce, was the full extent of John McCain's recklessness and cynicism. This is worth keeping in mind through all this. The only reason we even know about Sarah Palin is John McCain.

He picked her so carelessly, and his thought process was so cynical, that he should stand in the dock of public opinion before Palin does. Her vanity led her to say yes to his crazy offer. But he gave her that chance. And in the end, she is his responsibility.

And that's why in fact the pushback has been almost milquetoast. How do Steve Schmidt and John McCain reveal the truth about Palin when that truth only further proves their fantastic incompetence, nihilism and unseriousness with respect to government? And what's truly telling about Washington is that a man like McCain, who perpetrated this nonsense and even now refuses to take an ounce of responsibility for it, is nonetheless invited on countless talk shows and treated like the hero he always was. And no one demands he account for this train-wreck outside his tested cant about Palin "exciting the base."

If he had any sense of responsibility, he would resign. And if the Washington media had any sense of responsibility, it would never invite him on TV again without demanding he take responsibility for what he nearly did to the national security of this country. No one who put this person near the nuclear button should have a future in public life.

But this is Washington. And they protect their own.