Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Palin Pundit Peace Prize

Those Hard-Boiled Eggheads
Published: October 14, 2008

As noted here, fellow NYT columnist Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize for Economics and Maureen Dowd is not happy.

I’m not sending Paul Krugman Champagne.

He won the Nobel prize in economics this week, and while I’m sure that’s delightful for him, it has raised the bar to an impossible height for his fellow columnists at The Times. We used to strive for Pulitzers, or simply regional awards, or even just try to top each other on the paper’s most e-mailed list.

Now we’re supposed to compete for Nobels?
Her idea to top that and regain cock of the walk status? A Nobel of her own! But which one?
A Nobel in economics is out. I didn’t take economics in college because all the classes started at 8 a.m. Physics, chemistry and medicine are out. Literature? They’ve given up giving it to Americans. So it’s going to have to be the Nobel Peace Prize.
As a plan she settles on trying to get disgruntled conservatives to rally around Palin. Here's how it goes:

On Tuesday, Matthew Dowd (seen here in an exclusive photo kibbutzing with Maureen following a "This Week" appearance), the former Bush strategist who offered a famous apologia for helping get W. re-elected, offered a scorching assessment of Palin’s not being ready, saying that McCain “knows that in his gut. And when this race is over, that is something he will have to live with. ... He put somebody unqualified on that ballot, and he put the country at risk.”

Christopher Hitchens endorsed Barack Obama on Slate on Monday, calling Palin’s conduct “a national disgrace” and writing: “Given the nasty and lowly task of stirring up the whack-job fringe of the party’s right wing and of recycling patent falsehoods about Obama’s position on Afghanistan, she has drawn upon the only talent that she apparently possesses.”

Christopher Buckley endorsed Obama on The Daily Beast, writing of McCain’s embrace of Palin: “What on earth can he have been thinking?” (The endorsement led to Buckley’s resigning from The National Review, founded by his father.)

On “The Colbert Report” on Monday, the conservative columnist Kathleen Parker stuck by her assertion, which she said caused the base to treat her like a traitor, that Palin should have bowed out. She said she’d gotten some secret e-mails from Republicans in the White House agreeing with her.

William Kristol, a Palin fan who thinks she has been horribly managed, wrote in The Times on Monday that McCain should fire his campaign for malpractice.
I called Kristol and asked him if he thought Palin could grow into the next Reagan, reminding him that he was outnumbered by conservatives recoiling from her.

“Conservative eggheads are my friends,” he said, “but politically they’re a contrarian indicator. If they’re down on Palin, things are looking up for her. With all due respect for my fellow eggheads, they are underestimating the importance of a natural political gift or star quality. It matters a lot.”

David Brooks, speaking at an Atlantic Magazine event, called Palin “a fatal cancer to the Republican Party,” bemoaning the fact that she did not fit in with the late William Buckley’s desire to have a party that celebrated ideas and learning.
I called Brooks, who conceded: “Her political delivery skills are incredible.”

So you agree with Kristol that she might be a star in the party? Could Palin be the nominee in 2012?

“The short answer is no,” Brooks said. “She has reinforced the worst of talk-radio culture. The party will need a leader to strike out in a new direction, a fiscally conservative president more like a high-tech Teddy Roosevelt. Someone with gravitas.”
Her hopes dashed, Maureen concedes defeat.
So much for brokering a peace accord. I’ll have to leave the eggheads boiling.
Perhaps she would have better luck brokering peace with the Palestinians than the Palinistas.

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