From Frank Rich’s column in todays NYT:
…[Palin’s] test-marketed dishonesty has now become the template for her peers in the G.O.P. “populist” putsch.
…the party is exploiting the Tea Party movement to rebrand itself as un-Washington…
Pasted from <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/opinion/14rich.html?em>
Sarah Palin seems to have struck a strong chord and offered the GOP a paradigm for reconfiguring itself and latching on to a resonant narrative, albeit through the vapid rhetoric of a particularly hollow populism.
The GOP has been in a desperate search for a new post McCain narrative, and it looks like the party is increasingly swaying toward the Palin example. Which would be both good for the Dems, but bad for the country. Bad, because besides besides further galvanizing of politics, tea-party dumbsense offers only empty talking points to address real problems (drill baby drill!); good for the Democrats though because there to my mind too many smart Republicans and centrists who will feel alienated, and who will splinter to some extent the Republicans in the long run as the party coalesces around the extreme right form of populism (Palin teabaggers) and the centrist form (McCain style). There is bound to be some sort of supple rift on the horizon as presidential election politics begin to loom closer.