John McCain probably didn't know the horrors he was unleashing when he made his running mate selection in the 2008 presidential race. He couldn't predict that his mistake would cost him an election and a lot of respect in the eyes of his peers and the American electorate. McCain also didn't know that he would have to make countless media appearances to defend his choice even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it was a flop.
McCain also couldn't have predicted that the nobody from Wasilla, Alaska that he thought should be vice president of this country would become one of the most toxic elements to is own Republican Party.
I don't think the presence of Sarah Palin on the national political scene has done anyone any sort of good. To her credit, she seems to have drawn her own loud and outspoken contingent of devoted fans, but so has pro-wrestling and Vanilla Ice. Palin seems to equate her noisy fan base with political clout, evident in the fact that she still weighs in to make political endorsements in districts far from her Alaska home (NY - 23, anyone? Fine, how 'bout Kentucky?) despite the fact that she has left public office far behind.
Her welcome in her Republican Party should have worn thin on Nov 5, 2008, the day after the election. Public reports from those who have been close to her suggest that she present a poor representation of the values the party claims to represent. Furthermore, from her own public statements it is clear that she lacks the intellectual fortitude to effectively argue for Republican positions. There is no evidence that she has the capability to make good decisions and follow up on them with good executive policy. She can't even keep her own stories straight.
Instead, Palin seems to be a talking-point generator with a multi-million dollar smile. Her newly published bestseller and continued presence in the news are examples of her fame. The large contingent of conservatives continue to support her is caused by two types of American political behavior: Major party players that seek to exploit what they see as the lowest common denominator and those from the left side of the bell curve, the exploited lowest-common denominator. The idea is that if you put a carefully constructed aesthetically pleasing facade in front of the electorate, they will vote against their own interests. Idiocracy at work.
That is what Palin represents. Idiocracy: The dumbing down of America. Not only does she appeal to the lowest common denominator of the electorate through her background, but her message is one that attacks the intellectual, critical mind and upholds simplicity and apathy. She is a dark product of this epoch of the information age - where people like Newt Gingrich and Al Franken use media and technology to appeal to voter's reason, Sarah Palin goes for the gonads. If the rest of the political arena is "Inside the Actor's Guild", Sarah Palin is a Jerry Springer re-run.
The media, liberal, conservative, and otherwise does nothing to help the situation. The sooner we let the spotlight fade on the political Paris Hilton, the sooner we can leave this sideshow behind and focus on rebuilding the economy. Unfortunately, it looks like the thrilla from Wasilla intends to stick around for a while.