Before I answer Mel's great essay, posted directly below, I'm going to talk to my mom. She's 91, listens to Thom Hartmann (who wished her a happy 90th) every day, and is a wonderful, wise, liberal Christian.
Last summer, during the period between Palin's abdication speech and the end of her term, mom asked me to pass on to my Alaska blogging friends, "You tell them thanks for chasing her down here, so she can destroy the Republican Party for the next 20 years."
Well, in the wake of TeabaggerFest 2010, we may or may not be seeing some evidence of mom's vision:
Part of what is fascinating to me about Ms. McCain's statements on The View, is that, even in their somewhat shallow colloquialism, they rang true, were focused and resonated. Beck's (and his radio partners' responses) were no deeper, were unfocused, rang hollow, and had to be what they were. Why did they have to be that? Because Beck's audience is the demographic McCain sees for the political dead-end it is. At least in the long run.
What this FOX News and Teabagger-based alliance is looking like more and more, is a new, ultra-right-wing version of what Jane Hamsher has described from the leftist viewpoint as The Veal Pen. Only, this is GOP Veal Pen Version 2. From the time of Reagan's alliance with the Moral Majority in 1982, especially during the presidency of GHW Bush, and in the younger Bush's terms, the religious right has almost always felt similarly aggrieved to ways the American progressive left now feels in 2010.
Unfortunately, Sarah Palin and her increasingly professional backstage managers (sorry, Nate) is the only major figure in national American politics who actually seems to be drawing more than a few of the young people Meghan McCain understands a major political party actually needs, as older, politically active Democrats and Republicans die off.
With Palin drawing in not only the racists, end-timers, Libertarians who are tired of voting for people who cannot win, and some young people, she is the rightwing side of the same backstage corporatist coin that forged the Obama coalition.
Should Palin actually win in 2012 - not very likely - the Palin coalition will be abandoned at least as quickly as Obama abandoned his.