Bristol Palin’s dancing politics

Finally, though, there is the hypothetical reason why so many people supported Palin, and the answer may be that it was not despite her leaden feet but because of them. The conventional wisdom is that Palin’s voters came to see her as a victim — of superior talent, apparently — and rallied to her cause.

But the more likely reason is that Palin, like her mother, was seen less as a victim of talent than of condescension. In voting for her, viewers were taking revenge, on her behalf, on those who saw themselves as her social betters.

In effect, “Dancing With the Stars” played out one of the central themes of American life and American politics: resentment against a sense of superiority.

As Palin herself remarked, in an astute analysis of her appeal, a victory for her would be like “giving a big middle finger to the people who hate my mom and hate me.” All she needed to add was: “and hate you, too.”