So, after doing some real work last night, I watched, again on C-Span, the speech by Senator McCain's V-P pick, Alaska Governor (and Alaska Taliban mamber) Sarah Palin. I'm sorry to report that she was an effective presenter of the speech written for her, and kept her ignorant yahoo credentials completely under wraps: no gaffes about creationism, the Founding Fathers' commitment to the Pledge of Allegiance, the need to ban books from libraries, or God's support for the American war of aggression against Iraq. Maybe this spells trouble, maybe it doesn't, for the prudent wing of the Republocrat Party. Hopefully, in actual interview settings, where she doesn't have a prepared script, the real soul of this Alaska Talibaner will shine forth and the so-called 'independent' voters--the ones who can't tell night from day, and who actually decide elections in America--will run for the hills. It's just too soon to tell.
Amusingly, though, when Senator McCain appeared on stage with Governor Palin after her speech, he looked extremely uncomfortable, as though he didn't quite know what to do with a woman not as his wife or secretary, but his running mate. This ticket is still rich with potential for self-destruction. And for the sake of humanity, let's hope it happens sooner rather than later.
UPDATE: Too bad the Obama campaign probably isn't going to put out an anti-Palin ad this rough.
ANOTHER: A hopeful sign that independent voters are not taking to Palin.
ANOTHER ONE: A philosophy graduate student writes with some interesting observations:
There is one Palin-theory, pushed by the media, that I find particularly galling. It is that Obama is some strange exotic creature whose odd qualities make us justifiably suspicious of him, while Sarah Palin is a very normal, familiar mom with whom we all grew up. David Brooks pushes this idea at every opportunity. Obama "does not fit into the categories we know." I spent my formative years in Pennsylvania, in a pretty-much rural town, where people farmed and hunted and rode dirt bikes. And had you presented Sarah Palin to me at age 15, with her talk of moose-burgers, her "snow-machine" champion husband, and kids with names like "Track" and "Willow", I would have assumed she had been dropped here from another planet.
Can't we just admit that Obama is black, and that this makes a lot of people uncomfortable? And his community organizing- which, apparently we have determined, is now worthy of ridicule- makes people uncomfortable because it was aimed at empowering poor blacks? Maybe we could have bought the "unfamiliar" explanation until people began to embrace a candidate from one of the most atypical states in the nation.