"I could understand if Ross were hostile to certain structural elements of meritocracy (e.g. credentialism or an overly rigid hierarchy), but Ross goes further and exhibits a general hostility to merit itself. The case against Sarah Palin really emphatically is not that she failed to go to the right schools or summer in the right coastal hamlets. Rather, the case against Sarah Palin is that she has proven herself to be a deeply ignorant, incurious and dishonest person.

If Ross disagrees, he should rebut that case rather than gesture vaguely at some inchoate dream of having a president who went to a junior college. He needs to show us that Sarah Palin has some merit at her core, then we can maybe go back to explaining away the deficiencies, if any, in her credentials," - a commenter at the American Scene.

Ross's passivity in the face of the Palin outrage is related to a fantasy, a dream of a Nixon party that can finally destroy all those liberal elites who allegedly look down on Palin, and all those allegedly pseudo-meritocrats who despise her. But Nixonianism with starbursts is still Nixonianism: an attitude disguised as a politics. And it is the enemy of intelligent governing conservatism - it invariably leads to bigger and bigger government to placate a class and identity-based coalition. It is the mirror image of the corrupt identity-politics liberalism of the 1970s and 1980s. Stoking resentment even further won't work.

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