Among the various fallacies of irrelevance is the "ignoratio elenchi." This often has the very unhelpful and imprecise role of being a catch-all category for any relevance problem not covered by another more precise description (It's other more usual role covers arguments whose extreme conclusions are unwarranted by the evidence). Along these lines, Ross Douthat considers the following evidence:
This ideal has had a tough 10 months. It’s been tarnished by Palin herself, obviously. With her missteps, scandals, dreadful interviews and self-pitying monologues, she’s botched an essential democratic role — the ordinary citizen who takes on the elites, the up-by-your-bootstraps role embodied by politicians from Andrew Jackson down to Harry Truman.
But Sarah Palin represents the democratic ideal — that anyone can grow up to be a great success story without graduating from Columbia and Harvard.
What's the success story now? Sheleft Wasilia in financial ruin, lost in a national election, and quit the governorship of Alaska after 30 months for reasons no one can decipher.
But here's another round of complete nincompoopery from the author of this piece:
Here are lessons of the Sarah Palin experience, for any aspiring politician who shares her background and her sex. Your children will go through the tabloid wringer. Your religion will be mocked and misrepresented. Your political record will be distorted, to better parody your family and your faith. (And no, gentle reader, Palin did not insist on abstinence-only sex education, slash funds for special-needs children or inject creationism into public schools.)
This was also not the lesson of the Obama experience? Only Obama's political record (and by obvious implication his citizenship, patriotism, political record, etc.) was gleefully distorted by Palin.