My cringe reflex is exhausted

Adding to my previous list of conservative cheerleaders whose early enthusiasm has turned to disappointment, here’s Kathleen Parker at NRO:

It was fun while it lasted.

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there’s not much content there. Here’s but one example of many from her interview with Hannity: “Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we’re talking about today. And that’s something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this.”

When Couric pointed to polls showing that the financial crisis had boosted Obama’s numbers, Palin blustered wordily: “I’m not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who’s more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who’s actually done it?”

If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

If Palin were a man, we’d all be guffawing, just as we do every time Joe Biden tickles the back of his throat with his toes. But because she’s a woman — and the first ever on a Republican presidential ticket — we are reluctant to say what is painfully true.

Kathleen’s recommendation?

Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.

Do it for your country.

KLo, also at the conservative NRO, thinks Palin just needs to be set free. Whether she sinks or swims – at least we’d know.

If Sarah Palin is John McCain’s secret weapon, let her go, whoever is holding her back. And, frankly, if it turns out that the “authentic” Palin of rallies and the Republican convention is just good speech delivery in a woman with some good spirit, I want to know that sooner rather than later. (Mitt’s still available. Someone in Washington who can actually run a business and knows something about the economy will come in handy once the federal government owns the U.S. banking system.) But if the Palin we know and love and have projected our hopes for sanity in American politics is the real Sarah Palin — then come out from the shadows, woman. You’re the one who is going to win this election. Be yourself. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Matt Lowry thinks she should be walled off for the good of the campaign [but presumably not for the country? – ed]

McCain’s challenge at every juncture has been to shake up the campaign. He’s like a Democrat trying to win the White House in the middle of the Civil War after Sherman took Atlanta. Or like a Republican running in the Great Depression. That means making moves that mark him as different, but can be seen as risky or gimmicky, whether choosing Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential nominee or canceling the first day of the Republican Convention during Hurricane Gustav. And never looking back, in a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust mentality.

Does Palin know enough to be a national candidate right now? No, but she can be mostly walled off from the press. Will attacking Obama on Fannie and Freddie open McCain to attack because one of his top aides lobbied for the organizations? Yes, but he can bulldog through it. Is going to Washington going to help much of anything? Probably not, but the symbolism matters. All the unconventional moves risk eroding McCain’s reputation as a steady hand, but the alternative is simply being overwhelmed by the gravitational pull of the public’s desire for change.

Obama, on the other hand, owns change, but has to seem reliable and trustworthy. So he displays cool equanimity to McCain’s heated turbulence. He has ice in his veins to McCain’s Tabasco. McCain says stop everything to deal with the financial crisis; Obama says the campaign can go on even as a bailout bill is written in Washington. McCain wants to rip up the debate process as long established by the sainted bipartisan debate commission; Obama wants to stick to established procedure.

Ross Douthat casts another vote for ‘a plague on both their houses’

I’d also like to add that I’m really tired of Barack Obama and John McCain. Seriously. No more. I was telling my persuasive conservative friend the other day that I really wish this election pitted Vladimir Putin against Alvaro Uribe. Because let me tell you: I’m for Uribe all the way. Uribe ’08! Given that we’re in a state of national emergency, I see no reason not to suspend the constitutional provisions that would keep a sitting foreign head of state from becoming president.

which state? you might wonder…

Is there some way the United States can be made an Emirate of the United Arab Emirates? I’m pretty sure this plan will only work if we drill here and drill now. I know what you’re thinking: “Yes, this is a pretty plausible plan in broad outline, and declaring Islam the state religion should do down pretty smoothly, not least with civil libertarians. But who will be Emir?”

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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