Nicolle Wallace on Palin:

"No one's gonna cut her off at the legs. Only Sarah Palin can beat Sarah Palin, and let me tell you why no one will take her on. Her defenders and supporters, the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity -- people I admire -- are so powerful on the Right that nobody wants to anger any of those people, nobody wants to end up in the crosshairs, and nobody wants to look like they are unwilling to let her do her thing... Just let her do her thing, she is going to be exposed enough to the American public that she will reveal what her nature is. I think her nature has been revealed lately as very prickly, very cynical."

(PS: How much do you believe her when she says she admires Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity? Sometimes on the right, it sounds like you're reading minor functionaries in the North Korean bureaucracy.)

My fear, by the way, is Bob Reich's. The fundamental reason for Palin's strength is the despair of the white working class - a despair certainly merited given the economic forces of the past couple of decades. Their jobs aren't coming back - they've gone to India and China for ever - and their wages have barely risen in a generation. And their response is to blame cultural, not economic elites - as is usually the case in America:

According to the right-wing narrative, the calamity that’s befallen the white working class is due to the global and intellectual elites who run the mainstream media, direct the government, dispense benefits to the undeserving, and dominate popular culture. (The story and targets are not substantially different from those that have fueled right-wing and fascist movements during times of economic stress for more than a century, here and abroad.)

Sarah Palin has special appeal because she wraps the story in an upbeat message. She avoids the bilious rants of Rush, Sean Hannity, and their ilk. But her cheerfulness isn’t sunny; she doesn’t promise Morning in America. She offers pure snark, and promises revenge. Over and over again she tells the same snide, sarcastic, inside joke, but in different words: “They think they can keep screwing us, but (wink, wink), we know something they don’t. We’re gonna take over and screw them.”

And by "screw them", she means putting them in a tank and knocking them senseless over the head  like a halibut until our small, still-beating hearts are held in the hands of Bristol.

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