Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Conservatives Sour on Palin

I'd not previously heard of Rod Dreher until I saw him earlier this evening on CNN's "Larry King Live." I was impressed by how civil, thoughtful, and articulate he is. In case you're not familiar with him, it helps to know that Dreher is a columnist for The Dallas Morning News, a contributor to The American Conservative and to National Review, and a BeliefNet blogger who was initially fired up by McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his VP running mate (saying he shared her conservative social and religious values).

But Dreher made it very clear on Larry King's show tonight that his support has changed - big time. A few of the reasons why are spelled out in his BeliefNet piece entitled "Palin Debacle on CBS Evening News," and also in his piece entitled, "The 'Let Palin be Palin' dodge." While going sour on Palin hasn't converted Dreher to voting for Obama, he told Larry King that he can no longer vote for McCain.

Dreher isn't the only conservative who has defected on this (or who is at least raising troubling questions, even if he/she may still vote McCain/Palin). For a sample of conservatives questioning or openly castigating the Palin pick, see David Brooks, Ross Douthat, Richard Cohen, Kathleen Parker, and David Frum. There's also this YouTube video showing Newt Gingrich and George Will weighing in (Will calls the choice of Palin "an avoidable gamble").

Setting aside some of the snide remarks about religion, it's fascinating to see some social and religious conservatives essentially in agreement with a hardcore atheist like Sam Harris on the Palin pick.

October 1 update: In a rather testy interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board, John McCain characterized conservative Republicans who are uneasy with his choice for VP as "Georgetown cocktail party" people, suggesting that they are (a) out of touch with real Americans, and (b) that they merely call themselves conservatives.

October 8 update: In an interview today, David Brooks said that Sarah Palin "represents a fatal cancer to the Republican Party" and he decried her anti-intellectual populism.

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