What Sarah Palin doesn't know

Mrs. Palin now has, she reports, a team of Washington policy advisers who provide her with daily briefings on domestic and foreign affairs. None of them have, it appears, provided her with intelligence on the impact of certain of her central themes.

On, for instance, the unsavory echoes of her regular references to “the real America” as opposed to those shadowy “elites,” now charged with threats to the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of all real Americans. Neither does she seem to have any idea of how that low soap-box oratory—embracing one kind of American as the real kind, those builders in the towns and cities across America—rings in the ear today. It is not new.

So entrenched a place does this thinking occupy in Mrs. Palin’s bag of references that it can pop up anytime on any subject. Challenged in Mr. Wallace’s interview on alleged irregularities in her husband’s direct contacts with Alaska state officials—on judicial appointments, labor issues, and the like—Mrs. Palin countered that he was her “soul mate,” her “best friend.” The one she could trust while she was off traveling—and he busy working on “issues that meant a lot to him and to people, yes, out there in the real world with steel-toed boots and hard hats trying to build this country.”…

Mrs. Palin regularly invokes the name of the most revered of her heroes, Ronald Reagan—among the sunniest stars ever to mount the political stage, and a leader who spoke to all of America. He did not appeal to the aggrieved. Nor did he see in the oratory of grievance, or talk of real Americans and those who were not, a political platform.