Andrew Sullivan continues to savage Sarah Palin. He erred in republishing the transparent lie that she wasn’t Trig’s mother, which proved to be the most effective libel of the 2008 campaign. As recently as election day, he was keeping the lie alive. So he is fully vested in her political demise.
The GOP must nonetheless ask itself if Palin, as we know her today, is its phoenix. Sullivan and other proponents of classical conservatism are right that Republicans must use their wilderness time to decide what they believe, what makes them indispensable, and how they’ll win. Angry and sure of themselves today, they need to find their way to curiosity and even self-criticism. One of the study questions is whether their rootedness in social issues is a help or hindrance.
So if Palin and her advisers really envision her as the new Reagan, I’m not so sure. But the new Nixon…?