It's a fight between talk radio right and the Washington punditariat. On one side, we have Will, Krauthammer, Frum, Wehner. On the other, we have Rush and now Levin. On his Facebook page, Levin has posted a lengthy defense of Sarah Palin that includes the favorite trick of noting that Ronald Reagan was also widely criticized before he ran for president:
As a Reaganite pre-dating Reagan's 1976 candidacy, the contempt for Palin does, in fact, remind me of the contempt some had for Reagan, especially from the media and Republican establishment, although no comparison is exact.
It's the high-water mark of absurd Reagan nostalgia: the way people criticize you reminds me of how different people criticized him more than 30 years ago. Ergo, you must be worth defending! Even more shoddy than the logic is the absurdity of a self-described foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution eliding the manifold differences between that president and the failed vice-presidential candidate from Alaska. As noted by Jaime at Federalist Paupers, Reagan gave this speech in 1964:
How you react to that speech probably depends on your larger opinion of Reagan, but it should be plain to everyone that 16 years before he ran for president, he was giving speeches many times more substantive and intellectually serious than any speech Palin has ever given. Equally obvious is that he served two successful terms as the governor of the most populous state in the nation, as opposed to a half-term running Alaska.