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How Sarah Palin Is Like Marion Barry

Ta-Nehisi Coates, reacting to Marc Fisher's column on Palin's "everywoman" appeal, makes a smart point:

As Fisher points out in his column, this is an extension of this idea that expertise, intelligence, and considered opinion are overrated. I'd take it even further--this is about Rocky as God, and the limits of a culture-hero, who in his latest incarnation asked us to believe that a 60-year old man could go toe to toe with championship-caliber boxer.

I don't want to lean to hard on this point, mostly because it bears an eerie resemblance to the way blacks supported Marion Barry and Sharpe James. But this idea that the person who has the means to end civilization should be like "like me" has got to end. This is not the time.

Exactly. Of course, demographics being what they are, the damage Barry and James could do was relatively limited. Alas, that wouldn't be the case with Palin. You've got to hand it to us white folks. When we screw up, we sure can do it on a massive scale.

--Jason Zengerle