Palin and the GOP's uncertain trumpeters

The great foes of Sarah Palin now are the people who made her a national figure in 2008, defended her and attacked her critics. It is the GOP establishment that now most furiously disses and denigrates her. Everything has switched around in the GOP the past eight years. It is a world turned upside down.

In the short term her endorsement is said to help in Iowa. It would have helped Ted Cruz if she’d chosen him, because for the first time it would have drawn a line, for some people, between real conservatives and Mr. Trump. So it’s good for Mr. Trump she’s off the table and on his side. But in the long run it’s probably a wash. Mrs. Palin brings her own mad excitement, but at this point she sort of helps you with people who already like you and hurts you with people who already don’t.

She may become a distraction from Mr. Trump’s daily appearances and statements, which will probably get on his nerves. I wonder if his people are already telling her: Thanks, you’ve done exactly what we wanted and you can go home now. She won’t want to—this is her comeback tour. If she stays on the stump Mr. Trump’s people may ask her to stay on message. She’s heard that before. She was invented by an establishment playing Dr. Frankenstein; the monster could turn on Dr. Trumpenstein too.

The clever thing she did in her remarks was to bring up Phyllis Schlafly, still a generally uncredited force in the making of modern conservatism and a brave woman. Mrs. Schlafly supports Mr. Trump because she believes the conservative thing to do about a rotting edifice—the Washington political establishment—is to tear it down. Mr. Trump will “defeat the king-makers,” Mrs. Schlafly told