What’s the difference between Andrew Sullivan’s obsession “about Palin’s bizarre story about her fifth campaign prop during the campaign,” and Sean Hannity’s nutty insistence that Vince Foster didn’t commit suicide? And what’s The Atlantic’s responsibility for continuing to allow Sullivan’s coverage that implies there’s something worth investigating when nothing is ever offered to advance the story? It leaves the legitimate questions and criticisms about Sarah Palin to second, letting the weird and wacky posts percolating on Palin trump truth.

One part is easy; Foster was never in line to run for president and wasn’t seen as “dangerous” if he did, because he was a private citizen. As for Sullivan’s insistence that Palin is ducking reporters and getting away without the needed scrutiny and discourse between a press whose job it is to vet politicians, that’s a fair point. Joe Gandelman agrees, yet Joe ignores the main avenue of Sullivan’s obsessive campaign, completely letting it pass. It’s hard to give anyone credit for a point well made when the foundation is a charge that has not been advanced, but actually proven wrong. In fact, Andrew Sullivan has gone so far out on a limb that even irony has been lost on him.

If you construct a sealed media cocoon, and false narrative, and a massive money-machine, you can get further than most people imagine. And remember, presidents have been elected with 43 percent of the vote before.

To whom is he referring? It was William Jefferson Clinton who received 43% of the vote, but with Sullivan’s Clinton hatred you hardly needed to know that fact. As for the section before the statistic, well, it could apply to many people in politics. Dare I say, even Pres. Obama. However, since Hillary is out of the political game, with Sullivan entranced with Mr. Obama, it can only be pointed at Sarah Palin. After all, she is Sullivan’s obsession.

Sullivan’s worry that we might end up with another president who received 43% of the vote, equating Palin to Bill Clinton, proof of inadequate mental agility to analyze basic political aptitude and sheer intellectual prowess when it’s presented, which no one of a serious mind can deny.

Mr. Sullivan remains wrapped in his cocoon of conspiracy about Sarah Palin’s pregnancy. Writing “I haven’t given up on this line of inquiry. Trust me. I have not given up.”

That Andrew Sullivan wrote his latest ramblings on Trig’s birthday is noted.

Being someone who thinks Palin’s power is real, her stances on issues worth investigating, I’ve been covering her on every level, challenging Mrs. Palin when it’s deserved, giving her credit as well, though it’s done in a vacuum. But how Palin paranoia like Sullivan’s is going to stop her from rising further, when it’s done by floating and supporting ridiculous rumors that can’t be proven, because they’ve actually been disproven, is exactly how we end up with people like George W. Bush.

It would be interesting to see if anyone cared about this ongoing conversation Sullivan is having with himself, but he doesn’t deign to accept comments.

Now, I’d be all eyes and ears if there was any proof at all that Sullivan was on to something regarding Palin. However, there is nothing, as has been proven and run down by Eric Boehlert and others. Meanwhile, the Republican right blamed “the left” for the Trig rumors, when in fact it was a DK diarist “Inky99” followed by “ArcXIX” who started it all (both diaries now deleted), though the biggest pusher of this internet fable is Andrew Sullivan who simply won’t let it go. The diarists scoffed at, while Sullivan retains credibility, though his stature is nowhere near where it once was and for good reasons.

Even today, not even the Red Pen photo (seen above) can deter him. “The Filter That Protects Palin From Scrutiny” an important subject, but why anyone should listen to Sullivan as he simultaneously continues to float the fake pregnancy fable he’s been running with since Palin came on the scene is an equally important question.

And what about The Atlantic, who publishes Sullivan and hosts him on the web? Why does this esteemed publication support such fantastic whoppers month after month, with their no evidence of a real investigation beyond fishing emails lobbed into the ether by Sullivan, which either don’t get returned, according to reports, including Matthew Continetti’s book, “The Persecution of Sarah Palin,” or are met with guffaws and silence?

What makes it okay for an obsessed male blogger to run on and on about a woman’s pregnancy accusing her of faking it, when he has not produced a single piece of evidence to prove it; while Sullivan’s “Trust me. I have not given up” rants continue to roll without anyone at The Atlantic caring?

Does The Atlantic have any ethical obligation here? Is Sullivan providing his editors with proof he’s on to something, thus inducing them to allow his continued yarn spinning? Or is it all about bringing eyes to the page for The Atlantic no matter how scurrilous the story?

We picture Sullivan just sitting in front of his computer floating questions and promises he makes in posts between emails he sends into the void to his “sources,” never advancing his Trig theory an inch.

You know, because it doesn’t matter what’s said about a woman, because after all we are talking about Sarah Palin. She’s “dangerous.” She’s protected by a filter than prevents scrutiny. She’s –fill in the blank–, but more importantly, she’s hated.

The conservative American Spectator weighs in on issues that actually matter:

… Which is all well and good, but did it never occur to her that less than two years as a big-spending governor of an unpopulous but wealthy state might not be adequate training for dealing with al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Red China? Plenty of smart people did indeed conclude that she was up to the task, but even the most avid fan would be dishonest if he denied it was at best a close call. Palin, though, merely described the idea as “comfortable…like a natural progression.”

Natural? Heavens, no. Her ascension was no more “natural” than it would be for an amateur city tennis champion to think she could immediately conquer Wimbledon. This is the attitude of innocence undimmed by adequate perspective. Perhaps, just perhaps, Sarah Palin might be that rare bird who can handle any new and higher league without missing a beat. Even if she were, she should still understand just how unusual — how much of an unnatural progression — it really would be.

(Requests to interview Palin for this article, specifically about her experiences in the 2008 campaign, were turned down. Her former communications aide Meghan Stapleton explained that “with her Fox exclusivity, we are denying requests for articles and stories right now.”)

[…] As it was, her move to the big leagues was anything but smooth. And some of her mistakes were rookie mistakes — the sort that makes one think that if she couldn’t handle big-league campaigning, there is good reason to doubt she is ready for governing under a national microscope.

Take the infamous interview with Katie Couric. “I couldn’t have known it then,” she wrote, “but what transpired during the series of interviews and what CBS actually aired were two different breeds of cat….Editing footage is nothing new, of course…[b]ut responsible editing means you keep substance and context, and trim out fat.” CBS, she complained, “had sought out the bad moments, and systematically sliced out material that would convey my message.”

To be surprised by those practices of CBS, though, is to be naïve beyond belief. Any Capitol Hill press secretary — not to mention any congressman with half a brain-learns after no more than a year that what the major networks videotape and what they finally air is likely to be not just two breeds of cat, but two entire genuses of animal, like a wombat and a gorilla. Again, at issue is the importance of experience: if experience didn’t prepare Palin for Katie Couric, how could she be prepared for the next Comrade Castro?

ALL OF WHICH IS NOT TO SAY that Sarah Palin lacks the right stuff — the right values, the right determination, the right gumption, the right toughness — to serve our nation in high office. She certainly has abundant and admirable amounts and quality of all those virtues, no matter how viciously the left tries to smear her.

[…] The undeniable fact for conservatives is that when it comes to broad principles, Sarah Palin “gets it.” And when it comes to pluck, she’s overflowing. But with, at this writing, 71 percent of the country thinking she is unqualified for the presidency, she arguably should be working on her deficiencies of policy and political experience. Instead, she’s further burnishing her “media personality” proclivities, staying within her comfort zone rather than expanding it, playing for headlines rather than improving her expertise. …

Again, I’m always for knowing the facts, however damaging against someone, while also believing that a politician has a responsibility to answer to the American press and the public. However, right now Palin is a public citizen, with polls showing she isn’t taken seriously as a presidential candidate, though that could all change one day. But people need to separate legitimate criticism and scrutiny from the nut job haters, rumor mongers and out right liars.

Sullivan can complain about Palin’s refusing the press access, which is a legitimate beef, but because his tin foil hat is the only thing people see, he’s now reduced himself to being taken less seriously than Sarah.