Sarah Palin's brand of populism is dangerous and deceptive.
It beats me why such a disgusting character is still received in polite circles, except that now at least he's back doing the sort of task to which he is best-suited. He has found an unscrupulous and uncultured political neophyte who will happily act as a megaphone for any kind of libel and insinuation—Obama's "palling around with terrorists" was, I suppose, the money shot of the last campaign—and then later revise and extend her remarks. Nasty work if you can get it. Malek, now so near old age, must be pinching himself at his good fortune.
At least Richard Nixon had the ill fortune to look like what he was: a haunted scoundrel and repressed psychopath. Whereas the usefulness of Sarah Palin to the right-wing party managers is that she combines a certain knowingness with a feigned innocence and a still-palpable blush of sex. But she should take care to read her Alexander Pope: That bloom will soon enough fade, and it will fade really quickly if she uses it to prostitute herself to the Nixonites on one day and then to cock-tease the rabble on the next.
Correction, Dec. 7, 2009: This article originally misspelled the Virginia suburb of McLean. (Return to the corrected sentence.)
Correction, Dec. 8, 2009: This article originally misstated that Sarah Palin attended the University of Hawaii. (Return to the corrected sentence.)
Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was a columnist for Vanity Fair and the author, most recently, of Arguably, a collection of essays.
Photograph of Sarah Palin by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images.