Larison doesn't approve of Republicans comparing Palin and Reagan:
Another response is to make excuses steeped in anti-intellectualism: “Palin may not know much, but she has good instincts.” Why are the two always set in opposition to each other? Why is it that the people with good instincts are invariably uninterested in knowledge?
How can they have good instincts if they do not have an instinct for wanting to learn more at all times? It is undoubtedly true that Palin has practical knowledge about a number of things, but what we do not see from her defenders is any kind of argument that her practical knowledge is applicable in the position she is trying to obtain. The argument that Palinites keep coming back to is that Palin and Reagan are the same and are being treated the same way by journalists who are supposed to be imputing stupidity to anyone who espouses a right-leaning point of view, which has the effect of diminishing Reagan rather than building up Palin. McCain has adopted a similar argument as a way of defending his decision, and this is that many people said Reagan had no foreign policy experience (even though he understood the relevant issues in some depth) and people say the same thing about Palin, so they must therefore be wrong about Palin’s readiness. We heard the argumentum ad Reaganum when Bush was criticized for his lack of foreign policy understanding and his lack of readiness, but using Reagan to cover Bush’s weaknesses was absolutely wrong then, and it is wrong again in this case.
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