...if the GOP became, more explicitly than it already is, the party of working-class America, and wove a pro-family thread through its economic as well as its cultural agenda - nobody in the media would end up calling the result "moderate" or "centrist." The chattering classes are already inclined to treat the Republican Party as a gathering of gun-toting yahoos with too many damn kids; if the GOP made its working-class populism more explicit, adding economic as well as socio-cultural elements, and found standard-bearers who embody the background and aspirations of the Sam's Club demographic more completely than a son of privilege like George W. Bush, the results would lend themselves to even greater hysteria, condescension and demonization than the Republican Party's current incarnation.
I think the coverage of Sarah Palin to date - by colleagues I used to respect and publications I normally admire - at least partially vindicates this theory about the reception that would greet the kind of GOP I'd like to see. Which is a sobering thought, to say the least.
Not to be mean about this, but if you're (from now on, generically meant) surprised by the way that the Online Left and the media have sunk to a moral level normally associated with abysmal trenches... wow. I don't know whether to be appalled at, or envious of, your childlike innocence. This has been happening for years to conservative women; it's just that now Sarah Palin doesn't have sufficient negative personality traits (whether real or merely perceived) to give you an excuse to not feel bad about it.
I certainly hope that those of you who might self-identify as the "Decent Left" find that that statement offends you. I'm equally offended by your general attitude on this subject, and I have considerably more legitimate personal reasons to feel that way.