There's something which, if you've ever been in the business of trying to sell consulting services, you've probably grown accustomed to. It's what I call the "consulting paradox". Namely, it's the idea that the people who are most in need of help are often the least aware of it. Indeed, the range of potential clients who (i) aren't smart enough to solve all their own problems and (ii) are smart enough to know it ... is generally very narrow.But Steve M. argues that it's working:
Sarah Palin needs help. So does almost every politician -- but Palin needs it more than most. She is young. She is inexperienced. She's not especially well connected. She's strong-willed and a little impulsive.
The "mainstream" (???) media operation for which Palin works, along with the rest of the tea party movement and GOP noise machine, has utterly rewritten the narrative. Almost nothing done by a right-winger now is considered "extreme" or amateurish, because the entire political spectrum, except for lefties/liberals, now accepts the notion that tea party activism is in the American grain and is therefore a good thing, a necessary corrective to the real "extremism" -- which is what's coming out of the Obama White House. Obama's agenda, deficits, bailouts, etc., are "extreme" and therefore everything his critics do is not extreme, no matter how many racist signs are waved, how many guns are wielded, how many conspiracy theories and lies are bandied about.
And as for amateurism, that's not bad, it's charming. Palin's non-slickness may grate on our ears, but that's because we're overeducated urban slicksters, just like those Chicagoans in the Obama White House. The tea parties are wall-to-wall patriotic kitsch and incoherent hokum, but incoherent hokum is new and hip. It's even OK that Palin chose to be an amateur after being a political pro -- she dropped out inarticulately and in a clumsy way, which makes it genuine, and thus very much in keeping with the tea party spirit, which is now generally conceded to be wonderful.