Tuesday, September 16, 2008


David Brooks has a revelation.

Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she’d be your woman. But the constructive act of governance is another matter. She has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness.

This is Mr. Brooks’ considered way of, as Josh Marshall calls it, jumping off the tire swing. It’s not a wholesale abandonment of the GOP ticket — he manages, as always, to get in his shots at the mythical “smug elites” that he sees under every bed the way Joe McCarthy saw Reds everywhere — but he is saying that all the talk about the “small-town renegade rising from the frontier to do battle with the corrupt establishment” doesn’t make up for the need for experience and, more importantly, prudence. And he finally realizes something that a lot of people have been saying all along: “Democracy is not average people selecting average leaders. It is average people with the wisdom to select the best prepared.”

As my former boss and friend Pete says, “BTYFO” — ‘Bout Time You Found Out.