My all-time favorite online essayist, Bill Whittle, has a knack for conveying my own impressions better than I ever could:
Sarah Palin has done more than unify and electrify the base. She’s done something I would not have thought possible, were it not happening in front of my nose: Sarah Palin has stolen Barack Obama’s glamour. She’s stolen his excitement, robbed his electricity, burgled his charisma, purloined his star power, and taken his Hope and Change mantra, woven it into a cold-weather fashion accessory, and wrapped it around her neck.
A candidate who is young, funny, well-spoken, intelligent, charming, drop-dead gorgeous — and one of ours? Is this actually happening?
I have personally seen hundreds of crusty, old-school paleocons who despised McCain now saying “He finally listened to us.” By picking Palin — instead of Lieberman, who we all know he wanted — he has told conservatives that he gets it. They’re not holding their noses and voting any more. They want yard signs and bumper stickers — they can’t wait to vote GOP. And the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, folks: they are writing checks.
I’ve seen post after post on Hillary forums about how much they love Sarah, how they are energized and lifted out of depression by her (and the sight of an actual Roll Call made some of them weep). They gush about how she reminds them of their hero, how tough and savvy and unafraid she is. And I have seen these women, hard-core, feminist Democrats for 30 years and more, sit in slack-jawed amazement at Palin and at how fiercely Republicans — Republicans! — are defending her, backing her, and cheering her to the rafters. These Clinton supporters say they don’t know what to think any more: The Republicans are behaving like Democrats and the Democrats are behaving like Republicans!
If you think that’s an insult, you’ve got it exactly backwards. That is not only a huge compliment from these abandoned, centrist Democrats who bemoan the loss of their party to the radicals, it is an early rumbling of a tectonic shift in American politics which we are only dimly beginning to grasp. Who are the real feminists? A significant portion of our former hard-core opposition is now rethinking in a fundamental way who it is that actually does what their former allies only talk about.
The Democrat leadership just doesn’t get it. When Sarah’s sworn in as Vice President, they’ll redouble their venomous vein-popping Bush-hating fury and aim it all at her. Sad.