Palin: The Republicans' Snooki
Razib Khan thinks GOP elites gunning for Palin need to tread carefully because "Sarah Palin’s intensity of following may be inversely correlated with the the nakedness of antipathy toward her from elites":
Republican elites have been waiting for Palin to fumble to the point where she loses much of her core support. But this seems a case where the more she “fumbles” the more her core followers are reinforced in the righteousness of adhering to her cause, as she shows her humanity. On the other hand a Sarah Palin run for the highest office is probably one of the best ways for Democrats to guarantee massive turnout among their base in 2012.
This is the genius. If her campaign is simply the O'Donnell one - "I'm You" - then how does an elite hurt her without actually helping her? Even if someone found out some amazing new fact about her - the story would not be the fact, but that the liberal elitist media was out to get her. That's what happens when you have a paranoid personality cult dominating a political party.
I saw this early on when I dared to ask questions about the Trig story. Heads she wins; tails you lose. And so any actual investigation never happens, and you have pure reality television politics. The more Palin says "crap" on Fox, the wackier her Discovery Channel escapades, the sleazier Bristol's dance routines ... the more Karl Rove worries and her base rallies to her as "one of them". The worse Snooki behaves, the more famous she is, the more people decry her ... the bigger her audience.
I believe the press should relentlessly hammer Palin on her lies, policy vacuity and rhetorical meanness and excess. But they refuse even to find out if a 3,000 mile "motor-home" trip happened or didn't - for fear of losing market share, or seeming to be anti-Palin. (I emailed both John Heilemann and Adam Moss about their decision not to find out if a story Palin has been telling they reported as "possibly fictitious" was "actually fictitious", and have received no response from either.)
And now the press has another story, guaranteed to spike pageviews and ratings: the GOP establishment vs Palin. This one will run and run. How many old, white guys can take her on at once? And who, after all, benefited most from Politico's story? Palin or Politico? Tough call, no?
Palin is a political version of Snooki. The only thing that can destroy her is ignoring her. And it's way too late for that.
(Photo: TV personality Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi attends the 2010 CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 9, 2010 in Nashville, TennesseeB. y Rick Diamond/Getty Images.)