[B]y November 4, the day of the election, Sarah Palin had been transformed into one of the most divisive figures in recent American history. There was almost no middle ground between those who had come to adore her and those who believed she(Via Conservatives4Palin.)
represented just about every dark and dangerous element of contemporary American politics. In choosing Palin, McCain had hoped to shake up the race; but the fault lines exposed by the Palin earthquake were not the ones he had thought they might be. He had wanted to run against the Washington status quo as a reformer with an independent streak. He believed he was picking a fellow reformist politician with a history of taking on the leadership of her own party, and that Palin would prove acceptable to the Republican base because of her social conservatism. Instead, Palin became an instant cultural and political magnet, attracting some and repelling others and dragging a helpless McCain into a culture war for which he had little stomach. Indeed, the overheated response to Palin's presence on the national stage, from both friend and foe, was oddly disconnected from Palin's actual actions, statements, and record. It was a turn of events no one could have anticipated, and one that has much to teach us about American political life in our day. . . .
UPDATE: From Allahpundit's Quote of the Day:
[T]hese members of the intellectual elite . . . see lower-middle-class populists like Palin and their supporters as profoundly ill-suited for governance, because they lack the accoutrements required for its employment -- especially in foreign policy, which, even more than domestic affairs, is thought to be an intellectual exercise.Exactly. Foreign policy is, and always has been, more of an elite enterprise. Harvard, Yale, Princeton -- the striped-pants crowd, the well-bred wussies at Foggy Bottom, who cannot imagine that the Ordinary American's basic instincts about foreign policy are as valid as the elite's sophisticated, nuanced understanding.
Algier Hiss was part of that elite. Richard Nixon was not. Dean Acheson was part of that elite. Joe McCarthy was not. It isn't just left-right, it's up-down. If a yokel governor from Alaska is as fit to conduct U.S. foreign policy as a graduate of Georgetown School of International Affairs, you see, then the value of the elite's credentials is undermined. Sarah Palin's very existence as a national candidate was a challenge to their prerogative, and they had to counter-attack to validate their authority. "We are in charge, and not you."
And what gets me is their arrogance in thinking that we're too stupid to comprehend all this -- that we don't understand their motives.