Well it turns out that the quirkily conservative blogger, Andrew Sullivan, pretty much came to the same conclusions I have, and in much the same langugage.
Some patent piffle from Ross. He's trying to argue that because I haven't swooned over the chance of a female vice-president who didn't get there by marriage, like Clinton, I'm somehow being inconsistent. Please. I do admire someone who's risen the way Palin has, and I've said lots of nice things about her. But let's be honest: Palin is now where she is - not as Alaska governor but as vice-presidential nominee - because an old white guy decided to play some identity politics, and felt he had to shake up his campaign, not because she has fought her way to the top of the national greasy pole. It's great that by a combination of a decrepit and degenerate political establishment in Alaska, and her own personality and tenacity, she has just become governor of Alaska. But McCain's choice of her - as is impossible to miss - is a cynical ploy to exploit Democratic divisions over gender. I mean: how many Republican vice-presidential picks have lauded Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro in their acceptance speech? It wasn't even subtle. I find this kind of attitude to be about condescension, not feminism, about tokenism, not post-gender meritocracy.
And, please, there is nothing sexist in being amused by the names of someone's kids; I found the Romney gaggle hilarious. She was a beauty queen, for Pete's sake. She has been presented to the nation like a trophy candidate. And some women do indeed find her running for vice-president with a four-month-old disabled child somewhat incongruous. These are the big leagues. These issues are worth airing.
My sense is that this pick is insulting to voters, especially women voters, and terribly condescending to Palin. It's as much about countering sexism as picking Clarence Thomas was about countering racism.