We’ve got our Conor Friedersdorfs and Kathleen Parkers shooting at Sarah Palin and Erick Ericksons defending her. The defenders wonder what team the critics are on. The critics appeal to intellectual honesty.
I appeal to the concept of edificiation. Do the words we write or say actually contribute anything to the election and to the civic discussion? Are they adequately considered after time to look at all the evidence? If I look at it in those terms, I have to side with the defenders.
The only possible way the critics could be in the right is if the writer really believes Palin is unfit to serve. I have a hard time believing that a bad interview demonstrates that. The situation is simple. A person with a career in state and local government, so greatly cherished by conservatives who love federalism, needs a little time to adjust to the national frame. I think it is really that easy. Patience is a virtue, friends.
I think the problem is endemic to the pundit class. We feel a need to produce a product, which is opinions, and so any thought that might have any possibility of generating a little action or emotion is vomited into the ether. When it comes to punditry, the idea of holding one’s tongue (or pen or keystroke) is counter to the entire business as it has evolved in the internet era. Words are free and readers are checking for updates constantly.