Mark Steyn has a good take on the Palin resignation. And I'm inclined to think he has the right reasoning.
I liked Palin as McCain's Vice -president... mostly because I wasn't thrilled with McCain, felt like he was TRYING to lose, and I figured the conservative shiny-factor might give him a boost against Obama, the shiniest politician in history.
(I swear most voters are like magpies, just going after whoever seems shiniest without ever looking at records or histories or beliefs. And it's not a question of intelligence or how informed a person is. Althouse and McArdle both went for Obama, and they're bright. They're also SHOCKED by what he's doing in office, even though this is the direction his resume pointed. Anyone can be taken in by shininess, if they spend too much time on appearances and not enough on the actual WORDS. But anyway....)
Palin was not my first choice for 2012 (Go Jindal! Or Even Romney!), because even though she's a social conservative, she has that nasty "punish the evil corporations and rich people--you know, the ones who actually MAKE money and employ people and finance innovation!" streak that puts me off.
But I've always liked the fact that, for a politician, she seems surprisingly normal---it always seemed like she hadn't PLANNED to run for president from the time she became mayor.... She wasn't in permanent campaign mode. So of course the media HAD to savage her and her family, because our nation will only tolerate one kind of politician --the crazy kind. Lunatics make better TV after all, and it's all about good television these days, especially if you're one of those neanderthal conservative types.
On the one hand, then, I'm relieved. I had favorites for 2012, Palin wasn't one of them, and it's good to know my preferred candidates will get a shot, and maybe be able to work to make the government less intrusive and regulatory, rather than more. (I mean seriously--if Waxman passes the Senate, I'll have to pay 30K to retrofit my 65K house before I can sell it! Why should the Feds care about the state of my home? That should be a local rule, not a national one...)
But on the other hand, I'm sad. Palin's scourging by the media, and her resignation, prove that the days of "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" are forever behind us. Normal people with good ideas are automatically shut out of the political process, because normal people won't live like we expect politicians to live. So we're left with a bunch of crazy career politicians who care more about their images and bank accounts than what's right or what's best for the country. I'm pretty sure that means the death of the Republic.
No more do we have the farmer-turned president, who serves his time and then joyfully returns to the plow. Instead, we have the celebrity president, who sees the office as a stepping stone to more lucrative speaking engagements, Nobel prizes, and maybe even the Secretary Generalship of the UN. And the more centralized and powerful our government becomes, the more the president will become some sort of god-king and less of a citizen serving his fellow citizens.
Palin's resignation highlights what we, and our children have chosen to lose. We've traded in consuls for emperors. We've traded freedom and ingenuity for lax lives on the government's teat. We've traded our birthright for a mess of pottage.
Happy Fourth of July.