Sarah Palin, the Republican Party's Untethered Evita of Alaska

The Republican Party needs grown-ups to step in and restore order, and Palin just won't do.

By + More

By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

I suppose that Vanity Fair gets the scalp, in that Sarah Palin announced she would step down as governor and withdraw from... who knows?... after Todd Purdum's article was published with all those juicy anonymous quotes.

But if you really want a sense of why John McCain owes America an apology—and why Palin doesn't dare run for re-election—read this article from Portfolio by author and journalist Joe McGinnis. It shows how untethered Palin really is; examines her claim to fame in Alaska, and gets the Alaskans who know her to speak out on the record.

Well into the piece, Joe suggests that Sarah is our own budding Eva Peron. And, indeed, her rise has suggestive earmarks.

Here is this unknown from the provinces, with an appealing face and no record, who takes advantage in troubling economic times of a desperate and sensation-addicted media to skip past the usual gatekeepers and rise to national prominence. Because she is beloved by that portion of the citizenry that spends much of its time gnawing on grievances, Palin can turn most criticism around. When they beat up on me, she says, the elites are putting the screws to you.

I'm not saying that Sarah is our Mussolini, and certainly not suggesting that the Republican Party's way out of its current troubles is to move toward a benign, native fascism. I will leave that to Ross Douthat. No, the GOP needs grown-ups to step in and restore order. Too many Republicans, who should know better, believe all the silly stuff they tell each other. They might actually support Palin, to keep the base happy and intact.

Run, Jeb, run.

  • Check out our political cartoons.
  • Become a political insider: Subscribe to U.S. News Weekly, our new digital magazine.
  • On Facebook? Become a fan of the Thomas Jefferson Street blog.