White male Republicans, of course, are guilty of being white and male. Anybody else though, must be treated as some exotic creature to be probed, dissected, and ultimately destroyed -- like cattle mutilated by extraterrestrials.
I stopped reading the Vanity Fair piece after this, found in the third paragraph:
What does it say about the nature of modern American politics that a public official who often seems proud of what she does not know is not only accepted but applauded? What does her prominence say about the importance of having (or lacking) a record of achievement in public life? Why did so many skilled veterans of the Republican Party—long regarded as the more adroit team in presidential politics—keep loyally working for her election even after they privately realized she was casual about the truth and totally unfit for the vice-presidency? Perhaps most painful, how could John McCain, one of the cagiest survivors in contemporary politics—with a fine appreciation of life’s injustices and absurdities, a love for the sweep of history, and an overdeveloped sense of his own integrity and honor—ever have picked a person whose utter shortage of qualification for her proposed job all but disqualified him for his?
Though I stopped after this, others didn't, and from what I've read second-hand it seems I chose wisely.
I don't even know where to start on that, so I won't bother. It's not worth my effort. There's just no rational reason for this level of vile, feverish hatred to be displayed so prominently nearly eight months post-election. (Five months and some days, Anno Obama.)
My take-away is that the prevalence of such naked character assassination like that found in VF and elsewhere sends a message to anybody who isn't a white male -- Don't be a Republican, you traitorous garbage, and particularly not a conservative one.
Clarence Thomas anyone?
How much flak did Chuck Schumer catch for saying that Miguel Estrada was, "like a stealth missile — with a nose cone — coming out of the right wing’s deepest silo"? Schumer's vehemence surely had nothing to do with the observation by Senate Democratic Judiciary Staff that "he is Latino".
Let the message be sent to all women and minorities -- your life will be ruined if you dare gain prominence as a conservative Republican.
Addendum: Jim Gerhaghty has the "low-lights" --
[T]here’s room in this world for a profile that is critical of Palin, but that preferably didn’t begin with the supposition that she is the root of all evil in the political world.