This morning, reflecting on David Frum’s much-discussed attack on Sarah Palin, I found myself pondering the question, “What is this really all about?” And finally I concluded it’s about Bush:
That born-again, down-to-earth, drawling Texas thing — somehow, it had once made Bush seem like Gary Cooper in High Noon. But as the disasters mounted and the poll numbers headed southward, that Gary Cooper glow faded and these conservative intellectuals turned on their TVs to behold, with unspeakable horror, President Jethro Bodine.
Thus their reaction to Sarah Palin. While the Republican Party grassroots looked at Palin and saw an American Margaret Thatcher (except much sexier), the conservative intellectuals looked at her and saw . . . Vice President Ellie Mae Clampett.
Shootin’ her some vittles! Takin’ care of young ‘uns. Let’s go a-swimmin’ in the ce-ment pond!
You see? The fear and loathing of Sarah Palin among (some) conservative intellectuals is a subconscious reaction to their belated recognition of Bush’s weaknesses.
There’s more, if you’re interested. In the end, the question becomes, “To whom does the Republican Party belong? To the intellectuals, or to the people?” Perhaps you can guess my allegiance in this proprietary dispute.