I wanted to make one comment about Sarah's point that Community Organizing is somehow not a job with responsibilities (like being mayor) and that it is not worth putting on a resume of service to the country.
I was reading along at a political blog site where a woman called "Homeschool marm" made the remark that community organizing might be a worthwhile resume item if running for dog catcher, but not president of the United States. Her comment stunned me even more than Palin's weak snipe.
Any of the movements that the right cares about have been fostered and advanced through community action. Homeschooling as a free and clear right in all 50 states came through grassroots, jail time, trials and activism. My goodness - homeschoolmarm wouldn't even have the moniker she bears online without community organizing. The pro-life movement (pregnancy crisis centers, Operation Rescue, abstinence only movement) all owe their existence to community organizing. Campaigning for McCain requires community organizing - that's all campaigns are!
We don't even need to cite women's suffrage, the Civil Rights movement, unions and both sides of the gay marriage debate.
I find it utterly incredible that someone wanting to lead the country would caricature and put down Obama's choice (after being editor of the Harvard law Review) to give his first years of adulthood to serving the needs of inner city poor through community organizing as though that was somehow small potatoes compared to the noble service of being a mayor in Wasilla. Why must these compete for merit?
Meanwhile, Obama refuses to attack her family, asks his campaign to leave them in peace and has yet to make a single snide remark about her speech. I think he's still waiting to hear where she stands on issues, like the rest of us.
Update: Aha, apparently I'm not the only one wanting to defend the value of community organizing.