The slings and arrows of an outrageous election.

One of the more entertaining sideshows of this remarkably entertaining election (seriously, I sat through ’00 and ’04 as a fully alert, news-addicted political junkie, and next to this one they were like watching toast burn) has been watching erstwhile Bush supporters twist themselves into a rhetorical tizzy over the spectacle of Sarah Palin being, well, Sarah Palin. Here’s my two favorites so far:

Andrew Sullivan: I don’t think Palin is dumb; she is just proudly ignorant, a cynical opportunist and a pathological liar.

Christopher Hitchens: “A deceiving and unscrupulous woman utterly unversed in any of the needful political discourses but easily trained to utter preposterous lies and to appeal to the basest element of her audience.”

Then, of course, there’s the unclassifiable crackpot:

Camille Paglia: Even if she disappears from the scene forever after a McCain defeat, Palin will still have made an enormous and lasting contribution to feminism. As I said in my last column, Palin has made the biggest step forward in reshaping the persona of female authority since Madonna danced her dominatrix way through the shattered puritan barricades of the feminist establishment.

You can’t make this stuff up. Of course, you might argue that it’s hard to tell what sort of person Palin actually is, since the McCain campaign’s scrupulously shielded her from any dangerous question-askers, to the point of all but trying to rig the vice presidential debate in her favor. Not that it matters too much, since this election’s pretty much in the bag, but it was nice to see see a lot of media types actually get pissed about Palin’s gutless Agnewing about the mean liberal press.

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