Spirit-of-generosity Dep’t

We should defend Our Sarah from the McCainites’ attacks. We owe her. And as the weakest possible Republican candidate for 2012, she’s too valuable to give up without a fight.

Michelle Malkin’s defense of Sarah Palin from backbiting by McCain loyalists deserves support from all good liberals.

Partly, this is just good incentive management. When someone does you a big favor, you ought to do what you can to show that you’re grateful. And Sarah Palin just did us a huge favor, at considerable cost not only to her career but to her dignity. Without the Katie Couric interview, the result might have been much closer. Not only did she drive grown-up conservatives into the Obama camp, she solved the “Jewish problem” all by herself. Folks, we owe her.

More than owing her, we need her. I’m confident that the Obama Administration will have a record that will allow him to coast to re-election even against a serious opponent. Still, why gamble? Personally, I’d much rather have Palin to run against in 2012 than Huckabee.

So when anonymous Republican sources talk about Our Sarah’s innocent clothing-acquisition spree as “the Wasilla Hillbillies looting Nieman Marcus from coast to coast,” we should stifle our laughter, remark on the low-rent bigotry of the word “hillbilly,” and try to figure out some sort of excuse for her insensate greed.

For example:

As Commander-in-Chief of the Alaska National Guard, Palin needed those clothes, including the tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of stuff for the First Dude, as a matter of national security. You wouldn’t want an inappropriately high waistline to tempt Putin into trying to take Alaska back, would you?

All right, all right, I admit it’s not very convincing. But we shouldn’t give up. Sarah Palin matters too much to let her go without a struggle.

Footnote It has come to my attention that someone has hacked into the RBC and posted a bunch of anti-Palin items under my by-line, some of them dated as far back as her selection. Please ignore those posts, which no real American could possibly have written.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com