So the Palin era appears to be over. She's had to give back the clothes, the per diem, and the travel expenses; the Alaska miracle turns out to have been built on inflated oil prices; and Bristol and Levi, teenage mom and dumb-as-dirt Lothario, dragooned into playing the role of an "Our Town" romance, are just a couple of high school kids who screwed up. These "small town" people who were briefly so much better than the "urban elites" have, it would certainly seem, lost both their packaging and their moral superiority.
The Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston break-up plays out in a predictable, nearly sub-verbal, set of explanations. "It kind of just happened," said a source connected to Sarah Palin. "I thought they would stick it out." And a weary or obligatory: "But I think they can work together to raise Tripp"--the product of this American romance.
Bristol and Levi and their story of teenage sex and family dysfunction defined Sarah Palin, making her as large a star as any failed vice-presidential candidate has ever been, and helped doom the McCain campaign. Palin obviously slipped her daughter's pregnancy past the McCain people, who, looking foolish and incompetent for being unaware, then had to embrace the whole mess as grand political strategy. This, however, fooled almost nobody and made McCain look ever-older and more out of it--and, conversely, made Palin all the more heroic to the right-wingers who never liked McCain in the first place.
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