The Palin nomination is a good litmus test to separate the grown-ups within the Republican Party and the conservative movement from the overgrown adolescents. David Brooks has chosen his side, and makes the Oakeshottian case against choosing our governors on the basis of authenticity rather than prudence.
Steven Hayward of the Weekly Standard (cited by Brooks) comes down equally firmly in the adolescent camp, and makes a childish argument from history, in which Jefferson’s preference for natural aristocracy over hereditary aristocracy somehow becomes a preference for ignorance over education.
Really and truly, John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin over tens of better qualified men and women tells us all we need to know about his capacity for the Presidency. First-rate people hire first-rate people; second-rate people hire third-rate people.