Sarah Palin has already acquired a reputation as an empty-headed slogan-chanting air-head who was run as the Republican candidate for Vice President in a desperate and bizarre move by John McCain as his campaign seemed destined for defeat. In her 15 minutes in the spotlight, it became clear that Palin was painfully unqualified for national public office. Then, like any middle-schooler who suddenly garnered some attention, she became full of herself and began using her popularity to promote herself, based on broad Republican slogans, popular catch-phrases and her taste for smear campaigns and demagoguery.
At this point the kooks, the malcontents, and the mentally unbalanced have gravitated to her. But the vast majority of Americans now see her for what she is, and have dismissed her. She is looked at more for the type of goofy behavior displayed on reality shows. It looks petty, mean, immature and contrived.
Sarah Palin has increasingly become an embarrassment and an albatross around the neck of the Republicans, the party that created this Frankenstein monster. She is hurting the party, no doubt about it. But how much? Will she single-handedly lose credibility for the entire Republican party in the 2010 elections, causing another round of GOP defeats?
The latest problem she has caused the party are her appearances with the "Tea Party", which for all intents and purposes is the more extreme element of the Republicans party. It has also increasing become the popular face of the Republican party. This damages the Republicans because mainstream Americans want leaders who are qualified, balanced... and sane. She caused a problem this past week by seeming to cross the line by associating the crosshairs of rifles with the home toewn of Democratic Congressmen, in a thinly veiled attempt to actually coax unbalance Tea Party followers to physically attack Democrats.
How much damage will this cause the Republican party? Will we see efforts by the GOP to distance themselves from Palin? How long will it be until mainstream Republicans rebel against having their party hijacked by the kooks in the tea party? Or have the lunatics taken over the asylum?