The Palin phenomenon is an exercise in manufacturing consent. It is happening before our eyes. The GOP media machine is tunneling under the democratic ramparts and allowing the gravity of doubt to bring the walls crashing down.
While the conservatives are beavering away underground in the muck, the eternally frenzied media is handing the conservatives exactly what they want- air time on the talking points of their choosing. Since media people view the world as an everlasting stream of dramatic sequences, they are naturally drawn to the Palin freakshow like flies to a steaming road apple.
An electorate that put GW Bush in office twice is certainly an electorate that could be moved to put Palin in office. A President Palin wouldn’t be the end of the world, 2012 allusions aside, but it would definitely be emblematic of US culture. And that’s an emblem I would rather not wear.