A reader writes:

Let me get this straight. Governor Palin squandered Alaska's budget surplus in $1,200 checks to each Alaskan at a time when the conservative move would have been to wait and see what the energy market did (it's tanking) and in the same breath asked for Federal earmarks?  That's the change we need?

Deference, please.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.