After Barack Obama wins the election in two weeks (assuming that planned attempts to prevent Democrats from voting aren't successful), credit will be due several people.
But a special thanks will be due to William Kristol, who, according to a must-read article by Jane Mayer in the current New Yorker, fell under Palin's spell during a cruise to Alaska last year, and lobbied mightily for her inclusion on the McCain ticket. Let's face it: the choice of Palin will be long remembered as the single most significant move that sunk McCain's boat. Palin's total ignorance of anything outside of the state of Alaska vitiated the "national security" argument against Obama, raised serious questions about McCain's judgment, and caused the most serious defection of conservative writers from the Republic ticket in years. Just read the devastating criticisms of Palin made by Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, Chris Buckley, Matthew Dowd, George F. Will, and even Charles Krauthammer. Polls show that Palin is now a liability to the ticket. What was McCain thinking? The base Palin energized would have turned out to vote against Obama even if the Anti-Christ (or Bill Clinton) were the Republican presidential nominee.
In a recent op-ed, Kristol sneered at Peggy Noonan's remark that "the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics." According to Kristol,
Politics in a democracy are always "vulgar" — since democracy is rule by the "vulgus," the common people, the crowd.
Excuse me, Bill? Read the Constitution lately? Since when has democracy in this country meant rule by the mob? Apparently, Kristol is not content to strike against the liberal media elites; he also doesn't like conservatives with brains.
Joe Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber…[is] the latest ordinary American to do a star turn in our vulgar democratic circus. He seems like a sensible man to me.
In the match between the intelligent conservatives listed above, and Samuel Wurzelbacher, an unlicensed plumber who owes back taxes and hasn't yet figured out that he would get a tax credit under Obama's economic plan, Kristol goes with the latter.
I wouldn't spend so much time on Kristol if I didn't think that his writing is indicative of a wider phenomenon. Call it the Jewish intellectual's "Fanfare for the Common Man." Ever since Russian intellectuals glorified the serfs as the true Russians, their Russia Jewish imitators glorified the simply laborers and farmers. Labor Zionism, of course, was built on this form of intellectual self-hate. In embracing the mythical "Joe the Plumber" Kristol shows that he stands with the redneck, the common man, the Real American. Kristol may not look like Rush Limbaugh, but the message is the same: Those guys are real.
Kristol wasn't the only conservative pundit smitten by Governor Palin. After the Weekly Standard's cruise set sail from Juneau, the National Review's cruise dropped its anchor. Rich Lowry, the editor, Jack Fowler, the publisher, Jay Nordlinger, a senior editor, the historian Victor Davis Hanson, and a bunch of others fell under Palin's spell. In the New Yorker article, several made remarks about Palin's good looks. (Has anybody heard of a female conservative pundit praise Palin's looks?)
In short, what we had here was a bunch of middle-aged white males going gah-gah for Sarah. And Kristol, apparently, fell for her the hardest:
The most ardent promoter, however, was Kristol, and his enthusiasm became the talk of Alaska's political circles. According to [Paulette] Simpson, Senator [Ted] Stevens told her that "Kristol was really pushing Palin" in Washington before McCain picked her. Indeed, as early as June 29th, two months before McCain chose her, Kristol predicted on "Fox News Sunday" that "McCain's going to put Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, on the ticket." He described her as "fantastic," saying that she could go one-on-one against Obama in basketball, and possibly siphon off Hillary Clinton's supporters. He pointed out that she was a "mother of five" and a reformer. "Go for the gold here with Sarah Palin," he said. The moderator, Chris Wallace, finally had to ask Kristol, "Can we please get off Sarah Palin?"
Of course, the short Jew with the statuesque shikse on his arms is a familiar image: Irving Berlin had his Ellen McKay; Henry Kissinger had his Nancy Maginnes; Woody Allen had his Diane Keaton. In his fawning over Sarah Palin, Kristol has managed combine the glorification of the real American with something akin to shikse worship.
Which just goes to show you that you can take a Jew out of Russia, but you can't take Russia out of the Jew – especially a "tough Jew" like Kristol.