A Post Of A Comment From TNR By WilliamYard

The New Republic has 2 worthy posters (well, one is a commenter):
Why Palin Scares Me

Before I get to that, let me explain what I'm not scared of, which is that Palin has somehow altered the demographics of the race. I have a hard time believing that female Hillary supporters, or Rust Belt men, are suddenly racing to support McCain because of Palin. For one thing, vice presidential nominees almost never attract demographic groups that the nominee can't attract on his own. People vote for the top of the ticket, not the bottom. More importantly, if that historical pattern somehow broke down this year, it would probably hurt the GOP ticket more than it would help. People may love Sarah Palin, but they don't think she's ready to be president.

The reason Palin scares me has more to do with mechanics than demographics: Palin is such a sensation, and draws such large crowds, that anything she says--particularly attacks on Obama--immediately become part of the campaign conversation. On the other hand, both because she has a knack for delivering barbs with a smile, and because voters don't quite see her as presidential material, McCain suffers less blowback than he would if a more traditional running mate were saying the same things. Simply put, Palin has a much bigger megaphone than traditional running mates, but gets held to a lower standard.

That's a huge problem for the Obama campaign. Among other things, it really complicates the question of how to respond. You'd normally want to ignore your opponent's running mate in these situations, but it's hard to because of her reach. And when you do respond--say, when Obama points out that she's been making stuff up--there's very little impact, because no one's conditioning their support for McCain on Palin. Call her the phantom menace.

Obama's best hope is that Palin's novelty wears off soon, at which point we can go back to ignoring running mates the way we've been ignoring Joe Biden the last week or so. I'm honestly not sure what he does in the meantime.

--Noam Scheiber

In response to this post above,

williamyard said:

Palin doesn't scare me; rather, she confirms what I believe about democracies.

Democracies are doomed to self-destruct because the people who run them (the electorate) eventually find themselves, collectively, on the defensive. When that happens, they'll hire (i.e. vote for) the person who best ignore the rising waters while promising to order the Titanic's band to keep playing. Voters do not want to know what is really going on. That's the scary part. Otherwise the messenger gets killed.

Thus we have a nation (the United States of America) that is shipping over $1.5 billion a day in oil money alone overseas, mostly to people who loathe us and our way of life. To give one example: we enrich Venezuela, which now gives five times what the United States does in foreign aid to Latin America, with plenty of anti-American propaganda to go along with the aid. In other words, we are paying people to tell other people we're assholes. Just like we fund the madrassas in Pakistan and elsewhere, like we recently paid for the Cossacks to plunder Georgia.

We will not stop doing this, no matter what any candidate says. We can't, because we lack the will.

We live on a planet whose biosphere we are seriously fucking with. We will not stop doing this, either. We don't want to. It's not in our character to do so. Any candidate who will tell us, straight up, what we have to do to fix things (i.e. sacrifice) will get slaughtered at the polls.

Health care? Entitlements? Balanced budget? Hahahahaha, oh, y'all crack me up!

Nice piece in Bloomberg the other day about the fact that our taxes will be going up, big time, over the next decade or so, regardless of who's elected. And yet both Obama and McCain are promising tax cuts. Give me a fucking break.

Like any great nation in steep decline, we seek those who will sing us their lullabies--hush little babies don't you cry, Sarah's gonna sing you a lullabye. Why the hell should Palin tell us the truth about anything? We can't handle the truth, like the man said.

Barack Obama has got to realize he won't win the Lying Game or the Blaming Game. He has to go on the offensive by attacking the one group he's been afraid to attack before: the people whose votes he wants. He needs to say, straight up, "Get what, folks? We're fucked. It's either gonna be bad or it's gonna be worse. With me it's gonna be bad, and here's how: I'm gonna raise your taxes and you'll get little in return. You're gonna continue to shoot up millions of barrels of oil before I can get you into detox. Iran, Russia, Venezuela et al. are gonna yank your chains and there's not a God damned thing you or me or anybody else can do about it. In fact, the only thing I'll promise you under an Obama Administration is that a hell of a lot of America's families will get sober, truly sober, for the first time since the late 1800s when we started getting high on cheap energy."

"Any questions? Okay, line up in alpha order, drop your pants, bend over and wait for the body cavity search. And shut the fuck up."

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