I have posts on the metaphysics of perfection, on where is-ought unity obtains, and on sense-of-life defects in Atlas Shrugged in the queue, and yet I've gotta spend my valuable fucking time addressing something else here.
Sarah Palin is a dingbat. She exercises poor judgment on matters political. She couldn't hack it for more than half a term as governor of Alaska. She's proudly ignorant. She's proudly anti-intellectual. She's incompetent at basic grammar and spelling ("refudiate"). She's unqualified to be president of the United States. She was unqualified two years ago when she ran, and she's unqualified now. Nothing has changed in this regard. It's the same old Sarah Palin. She's demonstrated amply that she refuses or is simply unable to do the work necessary to get or be ready for such a job. She's nothing more than a celebrity these days, riding her name-recognition for all it's worth. She's a phony and a fraud, which alone is enough to disqualify her from the office. She refuses outright to answer any hardball questions from the media. Whenever she is caught off guard with a question from someone and stoops to answer, she makes an ass of herself all over again.
So why in the fuck is Sarah Palin still even a prominent figure in American politics? And why does the GOP establishment run around like panicked pragmatistic cowards trying to contain the Palin Phenomenon? Since political operatives tend to be so anti-ideas (it's essentially not about ideas but about strategy - basically, Machiavellianism and narcissism), they have no clue at all how to contain it. To those embroiled in the political cesspool, the Palin Phenomenon is a given, something that simply cannot be beaten down because her following is so rabid and willing to believe pretty much anything.
Given that context, the political establishment cannot even wrap its puny intellectual capacities around the glaringly obvious fact that she is unqualified to be president. What's the upshot of the intellectual mess here? A concern that she is unelectable. They are apparently incapable or unwilling to address the core fundamental problem, which is her lack of qualifications. Almost no one in the lamestream media seems able or willing to address this very point in the necessary bold and clear terms. The only name that comes to mind is Keith Olbermann, and he has a "boy who cries wolf" problem anyway, while his ratings and audience are disgruntled-left-focused. The only other place you get a rational Palin-is-unqualified analysis is Sullivan's Daily Dish.
Sullivan specializes in shooting GOP fish in a barrel, see. He's really good at that, seeing as he's a political wonk and in a similar trap of confronting Palin as a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut of sorts. Sullivan, being ignorant of Ayn Rand, hasn't the faintest how to deal with this phenomenon at a deeper, wider and long-term level. But at least he identifies Palin as thoroughly unqualified and thoroughly lacking in any credibility whatsoever. That part he's obsessively gotten right for two years and counting.
So why won't anyone but a couple lone voices in the media-political establishment call out this fucking farce for what it is? I mean, it's a plainly obvious fact to anyone capable of even semi-principled integration that she's way out of her depth qualifications-wise. Then again, it should be plainly obvious to anyone capable of even semi-principled integration that the whole political scene today is a circus of insanity, or that Ayn Rand offers the appropriate long-term intellectual solutions to what ails Americans individually and collectively. Only a small minority of people - mostly those deeply familiar with Ayn Rand's ideas - seem able to recognize the problem and the solution.
Absent such an engine of cognitive integration, you're at the mercy of the outside forces that are a seeming given. Just the very idea of Palin having a roughly 20% shot at the 2012 nomination is a kind of uncertainty that a rational polity shouldn't and wouldn't be subject to. So the conclusion to draw here is that we simply don't have a rational polity right now. Not rational in any deep and fundamental sense. Maybe at some superficial social-scientific pragmatistic "rational irrationality" level, what we do have is a rational polity. What democratic polity isn't rational by such a standard?
Back to the fucking Republicans. Their chief concern seems to be her electability, as no prominent Republican has the guts to call it like it is concerning her being unqualified. Everyone with a lick of common sense knows that the GOP would be all over a Democrat candidate so lacking in qualifications. Say it's not even a matter of guts, but plain old intellectual recognition. Are they so lacking in that? They may very well be. Politics today is so extremely cynical and anti-intellectual as it is (this comes from a pragmatistic orientation towards life), so such a lack of recognition would not be surprising in the least. Whatever the causes, we're left with a totally pathetic GOP reduced to the complaint that she is unelectable, and what's more - anti-concept alert! - she's "polarizing" and "extreme." Ayn Rand is so prescient on these things. This is also to say that the reason for, scratch that, the cause of Palin's popularity is intellectual disintegration. A polity incapable of recognizing the more fundamental underlying problem - not just that she is patently unqualified, but how someone patently unqualified has any place of prominence in the world's most significant polity - has much bigger problems than whether some dingbat is electable or too "polarizing" or "extreme."
At this point, there's really nothing further to be said. An unqualified dingbat has prominence of place in our insane politics because our insane politics is the product of intellectual disintegration. Perhaps the intellectual elements in our society had better get past their issues/phobias and consider a paradigm shift by seriously considering Ayn Rand's consistently-reason-based, pro-integration alternative. Just maybe?