Rich correctly prescribes the Daschle fiasco as representing Obama's fundamental misreading of the times and failure to seize the zeitgeist: that Americans in general (party affiliation really doesn't matter) are growing increasingly disgusted by the scandals on Wall Street and their mirror images in DC, and no longer want to hear about how some guy they have never heard of is "indispensable" in the effort to save American capitalism, especially when the "indispensable man" turns out to have been a featured player at the center of the behaviors that brought us to the crisis point.
But, Rich can't stand the fact that "his" party is now the one in charge and making a hash of things, so he has to find some GOP boogeymen to shoulder the blame and distract the reader from the true state of affairs, all of which leads to the following:
"Voters turned on Sarah Palin not just because of her manifest unfitness for office but because her claims of being a regular hockey mom were contradicted by her Evita shopping sprees."
That makes sense! Sarah Palin = Evita Peron! What insight! How long did that take you think up? Almost as long as the Iraq = Viet Nam analogy so beloved of progressives?
I will not address the business about Gov. Palin's wardrobe during the late campaign. Go here, if you have any interest in learning the dull reality of the "wardrobe scandal." But I would like to get something off my chest.
Frank Rich, on behalf of myself, the GOP, conservatives, and people of good faith everywhere (but not on behalf of Gov. Palin, who is perfectly capable of taking care of herself); I would like to say:
Yes, Frank, F--- You. Because the troubles in America goes beyond a bunch of corrupt bankers and their enablers in the so-called Party of the Common Man. There is a worse problem and it is this: there is a moral corrosion in the hearts of our intellectual and artistic elite that sees no problem with combining historic illiteracy with mendacious lies and calling it "analysis." Michael Moore is the worst (and wealthiest) exemplar of this, but Frank you are in the Top 10.
You say Sarah Palin is an "Evita." Well, Frank, I think spending all those years going to the "thea-tuh" and hanging out with Andrew Lloyd Weber has warped any historical perspective you may have once had. The real Eva Peron ("Evita" was her nickname; but, you knew that, right?) had two things in common with Gov. Palin: she was a woman; and she was pretty.
The real Evita was poor, beautiful, and ambitious. So, she followed the traditional career path for such women in countries like Argentina and Manhattan; she married a powerful, much older man and insinuated her way into wealth and power on his coattails. She was famously popular with slum dwellers and other urban poor, mostly because she would deign to visit them in their tenements to distribute shoes, baby clothes, or what have you. Such behavior is typical of the queenly among us; an ostentatious show of concern for the poor while shuttling around in one's limousine. Marie Antoinette, the wife of the governor of Arkansas, or the daughter of the mayor of Baltimore would all be familiar with this.
People like you delight in calling the Perons "fascists." That's because you have convinced yourselves that "fascist" is synonymous with "conservative Republicanism." It is not. Fascism is all about corporate statism, and the Perons were major leaguers in that arena (and the closest they ever got to being true fascists). You know who were the Peron's base of support? It wasn't the Argentine middle class (such as it was). It was the trade unions, and the urban poor. Sound familiar?
And, you know something Frank? All the noises your side keeps making about directing banks to lend? Or ordering auto manufacturers to build "green" cars? Or using the courts to rewrite mortgages? All of that walks right up to the line of corporate statism, even if you don't really intend it to. And, if there really does come a day when Barack Obama or (God, help us) Nancy Pelosi is telling GM what type of cars it should build, then that line will have been crossed, and fatally so for this country. As late as 1929, Argentina had the 4th highest GDP in the world. Look at it now. After decades of heavy state interference in every aspect of the economy, it is a perennial basket case. That will always be so, no matter how many glamorous "progressive" lady presidents the Argentines vote into office.
Sarah Palin has never said word one about doing anything that would result in such a dangerous combination of political and corporate power. Her public statements are all about individual responsibility, entrepreneurship, and cutting spending and taxes. Her life is about her husband, her state, her children, her state, and her career. She may not have gone to an Ivy League school, but when I hear the sort of lock step analysis and policy prescriptions that issue from our so-called elites, I have to wonder if they have acquired any knowledge about how the world works AS IT EXISTS, rather than as they would like it to exist.
Sarah Palin has raised 5 children. She hunts. She fishes. She has gone out to sea in a commercial fishing boat. She has lived throughout America's rugged mountain states. She has looked the governor of her state in the eye and told him he was a corrupt old fool (or words to that effect). She knows more about life, death, and what lies in the hearts of men than the entire graduating class at Yale for any year of the last 40 that you would care to name, except the year Clarence Thomas graduated.
And I am willing to bet that she has more charity and goodness in her heart as well. I know that you always say government should take a strong role in alleviating poverty and sickness. But, what are you personally doing to accomplish this? I don't know you Frank, and I don't know Gov. Palin. But, I am willing to bet that she donates a bigger percentage of her income and time to charitable works than you do. Actually, I am not sure that a bet will be necessary because we both know without looking what the answer will be.
(I will also say parenthetically that your attempt to work "Slumdog Millionaire" into this is beyond parody. Frank, you are a well off, well educated urban liberal who writes for the NY Times and has appeared on Oprah! You have absolutely nothing in common with a poor kid living in a Mumbai/Bombay slum. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Less than nothing, actually. In the same paragraph where you falsely diss Sarah Palin, you also manage to mention Joe the Plumber's tax lien. Yep, you're a real friend of the workin' man Frank.)
Frankly, Frank (heh), I am not sure you are worth all of this. It could be that Sarah Palin will never become president. But, she will become something because she is bigger and better than you and all of your "Evita" cracks. So, I think I will simply leave you with one final thought:
F--- You very much
*sorry this is a family blog