I survived my month without Dana Milbank

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has been hoping for a month without Sarah Palin: “I admit there were doubts in those early days about whether I could make it through all of February without invoking her name. The tremors and sweats were manageable.” (Irony!)

The others had backed down; the "Saturday Night Live" late-night comics (they still have that?) and Katie Couric, that incredible disappearing woman; New York Times columnist Frank Rich has quit, Letterman in a world of hurt, internally eviscerated by Vengeance Demons. Kathleen Parker, the first to call Palin “out of her league,” won a Pulitzer Prize for defending the old temple, then got “revised” out of her big new gig with Eliot Spitzer. And Keith Olbermann has been sent to the neverwhere with Al Gore.

Those who shrieked in pain and apoplexy into my phone on the day Palin was nominated for VP have not been heard from again. Hopefully they have gotten back on their meds.

There is really nothing to worry about, Milbank tells us: At most she was “going to make noise,” but “Palin was not going to make real news in February, or, more likely, at any other time.” Like William Hughes Mearns’s Man Upon the Stair, she wasn’t there again today. (Oh how I wish she’d go away!)

The Palin neurosis suggests two things: First, the passing of an age. Second, the rise of another age. The neurosis manifests in venues of the MSM which have seen better days; the government-appointed television networks, with their constant feel-good-about-myself mush, and the two big-deal newspapers as relevant to our day as the Union Pacific railroad, in contrast now to the soaring creativity of free television on the cable stations and a vast network of Internet users who have brought an army of new congressmen to Washington and a horde of new governors to the states of a brand we have never seen before.

This will change America entirely. This is post-9/11 America waiting for its first generation, and America will never be the same. No single individual is more responsible for this than Ron Paul and Sarah Palin. It is killing the Republicans, although they have everything to gain from it. It is killing the Democrats as well, and they could well be left behind as a new party rises in their place. One day there will be no Rand Paul and no Utah and no Idaho; no Butch Otter, no Joe Miller; no 10th Amendment, no Judge Napolitano, no pesky Thomas Woods and no insurgent Jeffersonians; no Sarah and Todd and no Dana Milbank too, but not today.

In 1965, Bob Dylan penned possibly his most piercing, exquisite lines in “Ballad of a Thin Man”: “You know something is happening, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?” Said to be about a Time reporter confused and disenfranchised when the known world shifted under his feet. The MSM is always the last to know. Obsequious and vain, nervously self-assured like Tolstoy’s aristocratic five families even as Napoleon was crossing into the Russian hinterlands, it is their role to guard the old temples; to stop the future, not awaken it.

It shifts again. Paul, Palin and the Tea Party have changed our world forever. Somebody tell Charlie Sheen. Somebody tell Dana Milbank.