Let’s be clear: The thought of Palin as president quite frankly terrifies me – even more so than the thought of another term of Dubya. Her lack of coherence (in speech and in thoughts) along with a knee-jerk reactionary streak would be disastrous. But I seriously think that the “powers that be” in the GOP want her to run. At the very least, they’re going to do nothing to dissuade her.
They want her to lose.
While Mrs. Palin has very ferverent supporters, they are a small sliver of the populace. Those supporters have a huge overlap with the most immoderate portions of the GOP – a group that has been effectively embarrassing the Republican party for the last 11 months. She is a woman. And perhaps most importantly, she will be running against a foreseeably well-liked incumbent.
If she wins, then great. They’ve got another Dubya (and probably have a naescent new Karl Rove and Cheney waiting in the wings to be the real power players). But all this adds up to a better-than-average chance that she’ll lose in a presidential contest against Obama. If she loses, the GOP still wins. Mrs. Palin – like the other “wedge” issues like abortion, GLBT rights, and immigration that the GOP has used in the past – will increase turnout and give the congressional and state candidates a boost. At the same time, they will have effectively neutralized both the most radical elements of their own party (and Mrs. Palin herself) as well as getting another bit of “evidence” that women make non-viable candidates. 
So brace yourself. And for the love of your liver, do NOT play a drinking game where you drink every time she says a sentence that doesn’t make sense.
 That last bit is a true shame. Every time someone says that she’s a good candidate because she’s a woman, it makes my inner feminist flinch. Anyone espousing that inherently is saying that she’s the best example of HALF the population… and that all other women are less qualified. Were I a woman, I’d be dreadfully insulted by that.