People like to do comedy bits about Charlie Brown and the Peanuts¬†gang as adults. Now John McCain has joined the fun and presented us with Sarah Palin, who is plainly Lucy Van Pelt with childbearing capabilities and flunky aides. To crystallize the resemblance, let me quote a description of Lucy and Linus by the right-wing journalist Christopher Caldwell. I’ll use quote marks because Blogger’s block-quote function has gone sick. We begin with Lucy:

“She’s an American nightmare, a combination of zero brains, infinite appetites and infinite self-esteem, who is (for that reason) able to run roughshod over all her playmates. … Lucy is a moron, of course, and an aggressive, insistent one. … Linus, meanwhile, is both the smartest character in the strip and its most naive. He hopes that working a problem through mentally — or theologically — will offer him some protection. … Lucy associates his thinking with ‘weakness,’ and in this she is right. She exercises such power over Linus that he is left with nothing of himself, not even his unquestionable intellectual superiority.”
I know what you’re thinking: Linus is Obama or the Democrats or (in a very real sense) all of us. Maybe, but he’s not Charlie Gibson. To put it differently, comic strip characters shrink a bit when they’re taken off the page and made into people. The real Lucy would have sliced off Charlie Gibson’s head and handed it to him in a security blanket: “‘Doctrine’? Why would President Bush need a woman doctor? In this time of war I just don’t feel right second-guessing the president’s choice of,” etc., etc.

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