Andrew says that the apparent conservative hope that Sarah Palin “comes off as minimally competent” during her debate tonight is an example of the Republican establishment’s “sexism”, but of course it has nothing to do with that at all. Any candidate who had stumbled this badly through his or her first few attempts at unscripted exposure and was the near-universal subject of media ridicule and open revolt among conservative pundits would be a candidate for whom a standard of “minimal competence” would be challenging enough, and the state of the polling on Palin’s readiness for office certainly suggests that even the slightest modicum of apparent competence will likely be enough to give the poor woman a boost. If it were Bobby Jindal or Tim Pawlenty who had performed so craptastically during the past three weeks month, would keeping one’s fingers crossed for something less than a Thursday evening trainwreck be evidence of Republican bias against the children of immigrants or formerly mulleted Minnesotans?