Washington, however stuffy it may once have been, is no longer in need of "a little bit of reality from Wasilla Main Street." Washington is in need of expertise, management experience, long-term thinking and more political courage -- from wherever in the country it happens to come. More to the point, Washington needs people who think like national politicians and not like spokesmen for the local business executives who fill their reelection coffers and the local party hacks who plan their campaigns. Let's be frank: The "bailout" bill was passed last week not because members of Congress decided it would work but because it was stuffed with the pork, perks and tax breaks without which no piece of legislation, however important to the nation as a whole, can now pass. Maybe it's unfair to call that "small-town" thinking, but it sure is small-minded. And small-mindedness, not snobbery, is the dominant mind-set of 21st-century Washington.
Don't get me wrong; populism can be a fine thing: It's healthy for a democracy to renew itself. It's also absolutely true that many of our greatest leaders have had obscure origins, and many of our worst have had Ivy League educations. But Sarah Palin, though she may be an arresting and compelling cultural phenomenon, seems to rail against a nonexistent "Washington" because it's easier than making any actual arguments. Her phony, made-for-TV populism is a terrible distraction in a time of genuine crisis.
Anne Applebaum. Read the whole thing.