Fred Kaplan has an article about Sarah Palin up today at Slate.com. In the subhead he asks, "Why haven't responsible Republicans spoken out against her?"As a Republican who has criticized Palin, I can't resist answering. His points about Palin are all highly debatable at best, so I'm just going to respond to the main question.
First and foremost, even those of us on the right who are not Palin fans do not want to associate ourselves with the deranged leftist hatred focused upon her. With the lunatic ravings of people like Andrew Sullivan directed against Palin on an almost daily basis, many people probably feel that Palin receives more than enough attacks, and doesn't need Republicans to pile on. I know that's how I look at it. I'll criticize Palin on specific points, and other Republicans do the same.
Second, Kaplan -- as usual with liberals-- pretends that his own assumptions about Palin are facts. Palin-haters have built up their own caricature of her, and they are apparently incapable of understanding that not everyone shares their overall outlook and assessment of the former governor. A significant reason that many on the right are not leaping to attack Palin is that we agree with her on certain points, and don't view her through a lens of hysterical fear and loathing.
Finally, and this goes in conjunction with the second point, much of Kaplan's critique of Palin has zero credibility. His reasoning behind why Republicans should rise up against Palin is overly dramatic silliness. Here's an example:
someone in the audience asked her about the prospects for what he called the "two words that scare liberals—President Palin."
Let's be clear on why those words should terrify anyone with a thinking brain.
It's impossible not to laugh at such nonsense when it comes from someone who voted for Obama. Here we have a president elected with minimal experience, who shows every indication of not having the slightest idea what he is doing. The incompetence of his governance so far exceeds that of George W. Bush -- and that's saying a lot. Obama isn't even capable of getting a cherished piece of legislation passed with a massive Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. Yet in Kaplan's world we are supposed to be terrified by the thought of Sarah Palin as president.
Most of Palin's policy positions fall well within the GOP mainstream. I'm not a fan of hers, and I would not be happy to see her as the Republican nominee for president. I was not impressed with her performance in 2008, and have other problems with her as well. But she isn't in any way terrifying, or some horrific threat that "responsible" Republicans have an obligation to oppose. Kaplan's argument, like most attacks on Palin from the left, is simply laughable.