It’s so exciting. Colin Powell has made another hasty decision. He likes to be rolled over. Or self-rolled. A profile in courage and all the rest. And it has nothing to do with race — human, presidential, or otherwise. Rather, it’s all those board memberships that threaten to go the way of the insider economy. And he’s a man of deep conscience and unrivaled integrity. Just don’t try any pro-life stuff on him. He thinks he and Obama deserve each other. You’ll hear no argument here.
Among the good general’s other honorable excuses is that the Republican Party, at whose conventions he has deigned to speak on several historic occasions — provided no conservatives were in the building when he did so and all photographs of Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater were removed from the walls ahead of time — has become too right-wing. And then there’s that woman Palin. Like a true officer and gentleman, he patronized her, saying she’s “very distinguished” and “someone to be admired” — try saying that about Joe Biden without doubling over in giddy laughter — yet sniffed she’s just not ready to be vice president let along president. I’d say she’s no less ready than Powell is, and don’t take our word for it. We’re relying on Bill Kristol’s assessment, and he’s someone who in his time has endorsed both Powell and Palin.
Besides, who would you rather see on Saturday Night Live? Palin this past Saturday was a revelation. Simply stunning. So much so that every SNL regular stayed off drugs and couldn’t have been nicer or more humble. So good was she she induced Alec Baldwin to turn in a civilized performance. So much for her lack of diplomatic skills. In the normal scheme of things, Alec makes Vladimir Putin seem like a teddy bear. Heck, even Rasputin. Yet Sarah didn’t even have to use a taser on him.
If John McCain wants to win, he lets Palin do a nightly show every day from today to November 4. She has already won, and if worse comes to worst she can have Katie Couric’s job.
It is interesting that the meanest anti-Palinites have been women, and we’re not speaking of the left. Peggy Noonan comes to mind, She disliked Palin at first sight. But she never liked Nancy Reagan either. (In that case she felt inferior.) Kathleen Parker soon followed, and made her name as a result. Whatever her motives, we don’t think she has the experience to comment on matters of high politics. But now it’s turned out she has connections. One of them is her hero, Christopher Buckley. They have emerged as the smart set conscience of the conservative movement, the Republican Party, and the East Coast’s provincials. But after one look at Palin, the question answers itself: Who be they?
There are grungier Palin dismissers. Christopher Hitchens comes to mind. He calls her a “national disgrace.” Typically, though, he shies from confronting her directly and instead heaps all blame and abuse on McCain for noticing her in the first place. He agrees with Mr. Obama that McCain is becoming “erratic,” though he considers that term a “euphemism” for an increasingly growing and embarrassing “cognitive” deficit on McCain’s part. Not bad for someone who’s never written a sentence in a sober cognitive state.
A different sort of blackguard is the sculpture-jawed Josh Brolin, the boy actor who is playing George W. Bush in Oliver Stone’s latest movie cartoon. Young Brolin hosted Saturday Night Live the other night, yet made sure to avoid any contact with Sarah Palin. It’s not so much he was afraid of her as terrified of what his stepmother might do if he did meet her. Better to be an Enemy of the Week than in Barbra Streisand’s bad graces, evidently.