This became, perhaps even more than the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency, Sullivan’s driving motivation during the 2008 campaign, if the quantity of his writings are any indication of his drive. While others were intimidated by photos of Mrs. Palin in late-stage pregnancy looking like a woman in late-stage pregnancy, the biological impossibility of a seventeen year-old girl giving birth to two non-fraternal children less than eleven months apart, and other indicia of what the rest of us take for ordinary reality, that laser-like mind knew no fear. Without a blow by blow of those two months of Herculean effort, it’s impossible to fully capture the way in which the Atlantic rivaled the New England Journal of Medicine in pushing the edge of medical consensus; a sampling will have to suffice. (Note that I’m not delving into the way Sullivan immediately leaped into the breach on the news that McCain had selected Palin to inform us that a woman about whom he had heard virtually nothing was unqualified to hold the sinecure of the Vice Presidency, and stayed on-message while he revealed his understanding of gynecology — I don’t want any readers to think I’m spinning his acumen from thin air.)
Read the whole thing.