Sunday, September 14, 2008

It seems as if Sarah Palin is the only thing that matters in the presidential campaign.

It’s very bizarre, as I noted earlier. When has a vice-presidential candidate upstaged not only her opponents but also her presidential running mate? The fight on both sides now is concentrated on her. You can see what kind of impact she has made by looking at some blogs and seeing how much material is devoted to a discussion about Palin, in one form or another. Last week, at Huffington Post, at least half of the blog column entries for that day were about her. For whatever reason, she is now the central battlefront of this election.

I think that is what is really upsetting to most Democrats, liberals and progressives that are dedicated to electing Obama. Once again, the Republicans are making the election about an issue about people. I hesitate to call this a “personality issue”, since Palin could very easily be the president in very short order if the Republicans win in November. But the issues being discussed are not about terrorism, the dual wars that are draining our military and monetary budget, not about climate change, not about the crappy economy or our dependence upon foreign oil. It’s not about any of these pressing issues that this country faces. No, the Republicans have succeeded in making this about a person, yet again.

I am very depressed that, once again, this tactic is working for the Republicans. If there ever were an election the Democrats should have a cakewalk, this would seem to be it. Yet, there is a very real possibility that the Dems will lose. Many likely voters seem to be going for Princess Palin, she who shoots wolves from helicopters and lies through her teeth on just about everything. And it’s still working. The electorate has been polarized, and the election will come down do a few thousand votes in a few key states that will ultimately decide the electoral college count. For Democrats, Palin has become yet one more, albeit powerful, symbol of what is wrong with the Republican party these days. For Republicans, she has become the standard bearer of Republican beliefs. But what is even more important, I would guess, is that the presence of Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket pisses off Democrats and liberals, and THAT is what is really important to the Republicans these days.

George Bernard Shaw was truly correct when he said, “Democracy is a device that ensures that we shall be governed no better than we deserve.” If the Republicans win this election in the midst of all the chaos and wreckage they have caused this country over the past eight years, then we shall truly deserve what we get.

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