It's often said that a liberal is someone so reasonable he won't take his own side in an argument. At a time when we hear a lot about "the extremes on both sides," Gallup has some interesting poll results to show (via Jon Chait):
During the 2008 campaign, Mike Huckabee used to describe himself this way: "I'm a conservative, but I'm not angry about it." That wouldn't be an inaccurate description of Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor now ramping up his presidential campaign. The problem is that the conservative base is angry, and winning the Republican nomination may require channeling and playing to that anger.
Yesterday, I, along with plenty of others, noted how poorly Sarah Palin was handling the aftermath of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting and the criticism she (Palin) has received in the aftermath. She had an opportunity to act presidential, to reach out to those who don't already agree with her, to rise above her usual pettiness. But the thinnest-skinned American politician since Richard Nixon just couldn't do it.
One of the criticisms progressives often make of Barack Obama is that he spends far too much time trying to make his opponents like him and not enough time worrying about what his supporters think of him. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, has the opposite problem: She spends all her time speaking to those who are already within her bubble of support, and no time thinking about how she can persuade those who aren't already on her side.