03/16/2011 08:15 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Late Returns: Pushing Away From Palin

After two years of offering hesitant, qualified praise for Sarah Palin and her place in the GOP movement, conservatives are starting the process of putting daylight between themselves and their post-modern populist Prometheus. But Daniel Larison, writing in his blog at the American Conservative, says, hold up now, no one gets to walk away clean from this:

It's true that Palin relies on shallow talking points, but where do these come from? They come from the institutions and leaders of the movement that is supposedly so concerned with ideas. Palin is uninterested in ideas, and she has flourished in the conservative media for years. She does rely on shallow talking points, and legions of conservative pundits have repeatedly defended her against charges that she is ignorant and incurious. Everything about her public persona since she received the VP nomination has been built up around tapping into resentment, grievance, and identity politics, all of which are in one way or another antithetical to critical thinking and substantive discussion of policy, and for a while most of her new detractors said nothing or gushed about how wonderful she was.

"Now that Palin may represent a political threat to Republican chances of regaining the White House," Larison says, "they are suddenly very concerned about her impact on the quality of conservative argument. Their concern would be interesting if it weren't so belated and narrowly focused on Palin."

Larison follows up, here.


Megan Carpentier rummages through the latest Rummy-leaks and tells the story of the role Newt Gingrich played in the run-up to War in Iraq. Recalling that Gingrich excoriated the State Department for being insufficient to the task of providing war-justifying intelligence, Carpentier notes: "In May 2003, when Gingrich was writing, 79 percent of Americans thought that war was justified. By August 2004, two-thirds believed we went to war based on faulty assumptions -- i.e., the intelligence that Gringrich wanted but didn't get from State (and got from the CIA)." [Raw Story]

Spencer Ackerman unloads on the Obama White House in the wake of P.J. Crowley's dismissal: "This is the decadent phase of executive arrogance: the enforcement of euphemism to avoid responsibility for the injustices the executive commits." This could be tough sledding for Obama's second campaign, should the media bother to even pursue this issue. [Attackerman]

Trump quotes! Charlie Sheen! Collective bargaining! Woo! [Dave Weigel]

The good news is that some states actually would rather push their primaries back, rather than move them up, to the annoyance of the RNC (and Iowa and New Hampshire). The bad news is they want to do this because they're skint. [AP]

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