...[S]he was not thoughtful. She was a gifted retail politician who displayed the disadvantages of being born into a point of view (in her case a form of conservatism; elsewhere and in other circumstances, it could have been a form of liberalism) and swallowing it whole: She never learned how the other sides think, or why.
In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them. She couldn't say what she read because she didn't read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it: It was evidence of her authenticity. She experienced criticism as both partisan and cruel because she could see no truth in any of it. She wasn't thoughtful enough to know she wasn't thoughtful enough. Her presentation up to the end has been scattered, illogical, manipulative and self-referential to the point of self-reverence. "I'm not wired that way," "I'm not a quitter," "I'm standing up for our values." I'm, I'm, I'm.
In another age it might not have been terrible, but here and now it was actually rather horrifying [Peggy Noonan, "A Farewell to Harms," Wall Street Journal, 2009.07.10].
Noonan follows with a classic debate-style point-by-point debunking of every bit of Palinmaniac mythology (Among the best: The elites don't hate Palin. "The elites made her."). So for all of you Palin fans who like to deflect the argument by portraying liberals as "afraid" of Palin, I suggest you do better to ask why good conservatives are so afraid of Palin... and then read Noonan's very cogent explanation:
Here's why all this matters. The world is a dangerous place. It has never been more so, or more complicated, more straining of the reasoning powers of those with actual genius and true judgment. This is a time for conservative leaders who know how to think [Noonan, 2009.07.10].
Update: For some hard-core blogging, see Mel Green's freelance analysis of some double-counting on Alaska's state spreadsheets that appears to exaggerate the costs of the ethics investigations of Alaska's departing governor. Green's blog work is good enough to get attention in the Anchorage Daily News.
Meanwhile, Donald Craig Mitchell compares Palin's gubernatorial resignation to her bailing from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and finds both instances revealing Palin as a self-absorbed quitter who knows she can't handle the job.
Republicans, if any of you are still desinging Palin-2012 posters, get serious. Back Pawlenty, Thune, or Huckabee. Draft Rounds. Push an amendment to allow foreign-born presidents and run Schwarzenegger. But listen to Noonan: put Palin behind you.