The XX Factor

I Quit You, Sarah Palin

Dear Sarah,

I’ve written about my mixed feelings for you since you joined the McCain ticket. I’ve always liked your energy and your toughness. I liked that you rose from small-town mayor to the national stage. The Katie Couric interview? That bizarre whirlwind tour-slash-photo op where you met all the foreign leaders? Not so much. I won’t go through the laundry list of my ups and downs here. Not enough time.

But I’d like to thank you for ending all that angst and hand-wringing. You’ve brought my thoughts into perfect clarity today with your statement that questioning President Obama’s birth certificate is fair game . I quit reading Andrew Sullivan because I couldn’t stand the way he hyperventilated about your pregnancy with Trig. It’s silly for people to say that Trig isn’t your son, and it’s silly for people to say that President Obama was born in Kenya.

Of all the things your critics harped on, the charge that you were “unserious” nagged at me the most. Was it just elitist condescension? Or was it real? I think now you’re showing that it’s genuine. With all the challenges facing our country right now-and all the rehabilitating the GOP still needs-neither the country nor the party need leaders who indulge conspiracy theorists and other time-wasting issues.

I realize now that what I most liked about you was an idealized image of you that I created. I like that a woman can have a political career while raising a bunch of kids, that one could succeed without having the right pedigree or giving those kids country club names, that you were unabashedly pro-life. From now on I’ll be looking for those qualities in someone else rather than trying to reconcile your positive attributes with all the wackiness.

Photograph of Sarah Palin by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images.