As GOP pundits flee

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The McCain/Palin ticket, it's worth separating the group into two camps; those who came out forcefully and somewhat early against the ticket for philosophical and intellectual reasons, and those who waited until the polls went south on McCain/Palin before making public their reservations about the duo.

We touched on this regarding Peggy Noonan, but with the New York Times raising the larger issue with a Sunday Week in Review piece, "In the Conservative Commentariat, Unease," it's worth stressing again.

The Times was too polite tho suggest that any of the conservative pundits broke with McCain/Palin because they didn't want to be associated with a loser. (And by loser we don't just mean a candidate who might not win, but a candidate who might lose convincingly.) But we think that possibility remains strong among Beltway pundits.

For instance, did it really take David Brooks and Peggy Noonan and Christopher Buckley six weeks to arrive at the conclusion that Sarah Palin was not qualified to be vice president? Or that her pick reflected poorly on McCain, as they now concede?

Note that the morning after Palin's vice presidential debate performance, Brooks cheered her in the Times. Three days later when it became clear that the debate had had no impact on the national polling, Brooks suddenly announced Palin represented a "cancer" on the Republican Party.

In that regard, pundits such as George Will, Charles Krauthammer, David Frum, Kathleen Parker, and Ross Douthat deserve a bit more credit for not waiting so long to jump on the conservative's anti-Palin/McCain bandwagon.

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