"Sarah Palin represents an America this is absolutely, definitionally white, that's very much rural America."
That's how The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan summed up the former Alaska governor in his appearance on the November 7 BBC Radio 4 "Americana" program.
Echoing Peter Jennings' infamous description of the 1994 midterms, the liberal British-born blogger added of 2010 voters that they had "had a panic, a tantrum."
For his part, Washington-based "Americana" host Matt Frei reinforced Sullivan's analysis, labeling Palin the "Evita of the North" and generally failed to question Sullivan's analysis.
"Despite all the kind of hullabaloo about the Tea Party, and they did have a very energetic campaign, and we were all fascinated by them, they didn't do that well, not as well as they thought they would," Frei helpfully offered Sullivan. The Atlantic blogger agreed, adding, "Without [the Tea Party candidates] the Republicans would have won the Senate. I think that's quite clear."
Sullivan rebuked both liberals and conservatives for having "misjudged" Obama.
"The Left wanted him to be this iconic transformational figure, and the right needed a bogeyman, so, he's stuck in the middle," Sullivan protested.
Of course in doing so, Sullivan completely neglected the fact that Obama and his campaign surrogates sold the then-candidateto the 2008 electorate as precisely an "iconic transformational figure" and that conservatives have legitimate grievances over his policies, such as ObamaCare and stimulus spending.
Sullivan, however, did predict a silver lining to the midterm shellacking that Obama and the Democrats suffered:
I happen to think that in the long run, the middle will work, and the more tempestuous American politics becomes -- especially when it's gridlocked -- the more people seek some sort of calm guy in the middle of it all.
Perhaps Sullivan thinks an Obama figure is needed for America's long-term decline, which he also predicted:
MATT FREI: Do you think the American people are aware of the power of India and China and what this could mean to the supremacy of this country?
ANDREW SULLIVAN: I think they are at a nervous, subliminal level. I don't think they've really faced up to it and addressed it, which is hence this, what I would call almost neurosis about continuing to say America is number one when America may not be number one anymore. I'm just not sure that this isn't cyclical, this isn't the new normal, this isn't the recessionary economy we're always going to live in and that's a hard thing for Americans to adjust to. They do not want to ackowledge that their elevator up has stalled.