Kathryn Lopez

It was a silly distraction of a story in some ways -- only to get sillier when it eventually started a fight on "The View," after co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck appeared with Palin at a weekend rally. But it also previewed the direction the blame game might be headed should the Republicans lose the presidential election. And in this way, the diva story should serve as a cautionary note.

There are all sorts of reasons not to blame Palin for the down-to-the-wire nature of this close election, but to thank her. Without her, all may have been lost for the Republicans weeks ago. She has, by McCain's own admission, energized the campaign. She has presented America with an entirely new type of feminism, one that conservative women and the Catholic Church, can finally understand and identify with. She should not be faulted for providing the campaign and the election with a breath of fresh air. She's clearly not a creature of Washington; she's a citizen-legislator. She's an ambitious, honest woman who tries to make it all work without playing victim or sacrificing her family. She's not perfect, but who among us is? If the McCain campaign tries to make her responsible for any defeat or close call, Republicans ought to repudiate such tawdry efforts with due haste. In many ways, Sarah Palin is a step in the right direction. Don't you dare blame her.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.