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Benjy Sarlin at TPMDC has a post up about the fascinating effort by movement conservatives to spin the idea that the presidency is actually beneath Sarah Palin and being elected would be a waste of her time. This is a remarkable idea and it's being floated by conservative media figures like Andrew Breitbart and Ann Coulter. Somehow appearing with fringe Republican groups, nodding along on Fox News and posting the occasional Facebook rant is more important than being the leader of the free world. On the one hand, this spin clearly seems to be an effort to proactively protect Palin's relevance in the event that she either fails to win the GOP nomination or fails to win the White House. It can't be such a loss if it'd be a step down for someone as iconic as Palin...right guys? Right?

But on the other hand, this narrative demonstrates a sickening lack of regard for the institution of the presidency and the American project. This goes well beyond conservatives wanting to shrink government to a size where it can be drowned in a bathtub. Breitbart and Coulter are pushing a narrative that says the office of the President of the United States of America is not worthy of a fellow Fox News contributor's time. It is a public assault on patriotism and national service (what would Reagan say?). It is an attack on the Constitution and the vision of the Founding Fathers for three coequal branches of government (what will the tri-corner hat wearing, Gadsden flag-carrying Tea Partiers say?). That this spin is being put forth in order to hedge the relevance of a marginal political intellect who poses a limited grasp of anything beyond the politics of resentment just makes it even more reprehensible.

Cross posted at AMERICAblog Elections: The Right's Field

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