Scott H. Payne takes me to task:

Watching Andrew’s efforts, one is compelled to conclude that in Andrew’s mind the focus of attention ought to be placed upon who Sarah Palin is and how the answers there attained render her unfit for office. This approach is deeply flawed on two counts.
The first count was eloquently delineated by E.D. in his criticism of David Brooks’ commentary around Barack Obama, namely: that we ought to fashion our political discourse around an analysis of ideas, not an appreciation (or lack thereof) of particular personality traits. It is consistently astonishing to me how little one sees a serious discussion of ideas present in any number of political foray. Perhaps I’m just waxing naive, but isn’t it just a given that a thorough debate about the merits of the ideas presented by differing viewpoints renders us better off within the context of democratic machinations? So why does it seems as though one has to dig so deeply and widely to hit upon just such a debate within the analysis of different political actors?
The second count that makes this seeming quagmire of personality politics even more disturbing is that the cult of personality isn’t just a normative function of the much dreaded “mainstream media”, but seems to be an increasingly permanent fixture of the so-called alternative terrain of the new media.

The problem with Palin is that there are no discernible policies to analyze. There is nothing but platitudes and catch-phrases attached to an identity-politics candidacy.

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