Or - is it in part that liberalism changed (from classical liberalism to....???)
At least on the topic of Sarah Palin, many of reformed liberal Harry Stein's thoughts echo my own.
I suppose I’d half expected a female Dan Quayle, the unknown sprung upon us as George H.W. Bush’s unexpected choice (presumably to appeal to younger voters) in 1988. But the moment she strode on stage, accompanied by her fisherman/oil worker husband and a gaggle of kids with strange names, it was apparent that she was different. No deer in the headlights, this was obviously a confident woman.
More to the point, there’s what she is confident—and forceful—about: fighting for energy independence and against earmarks; cutting property taxes and otherwise taking on even those special interests which generally have a hold on her own party. Then there was the personal stuff: the son in the army, en route to Iraq; the Down’s Syndrome child who has so clearly enriched her family’s life; her history as a high school basketball star, including, (as we later learned) the time she played in a championship game, Kerri Strug-like, with a fractured ankle.
If, as one commentator observed, McCain’s pick was a classic fighter pilot’s move, as risky as it was daring, the plain-spoken, gun-toting Palin is the kind of strong and independent woman who, a few short generations back, helped conquer the West. Lots of liberal women politicians call themselves strong and independent—and spend their careers relentlessly working for programs that increase people’s dependence on government. Palin could hardly be more different. She is the anti-Barbara Boxer.