Well here's something you don't see everyday: a piece associated with the Washington Post that praises Sarah Palin. The article itself actually brings up a point that should not be overlooked by the Republican establishment that loathes Palin: they owe her a debt of gratitude.
How is that possible, you ask? How can the very woman who is driving the establishment nuts by unconventionally touring the country, swooping down into districts and throwing her support and golden endorsements to upstart conservative candidates who are challenging the well entrenched Republican elites? How can someone bringing a wave of new blood into the Republican Party deserve gratitude from the old blood?
The answer is quite simple: Palin has kept the Republican Party from fracturing:
There has been a lot of carping about Republicans' prospects for November since Palin-backed candidate Christine O'Donnell defeated longtime Delaware officeholder Mike Castle for the Republican Senate nomination Tuesday. But contrary to conventional wisdom, the 2008 vice presidential nominee has kept the party strong. How? She has kept the Tea Party faithful inside the GOP tent. Had she instead encouraged these disillusioned voters to mount third-party challenges across the 2010 general-election ballot, dozens of Democratic incumbents, not to mention challengers, would be smiling like Woodrow Wilson in 1912.
1912 was the year when the Republicans split between Progressive Teddy Roosevelt and the incumbent William Taft. The result was one of the most disastrous presidencies in American history.
When given the chance to go either way, Palin chose to keep the Tea Party faithful operating within the Republican Party rather than bolting it and guaranteeing years of Democrat Party governance.
Sparing us from the potential of a second coming of Woodrow Wilson, the truth is that far more than just Republicans should be thanking Palin...we all should be.