Watching the "Fascism Now!" button-pushers make all the right moves and come up in the polls has been frustrating, but hey, that's what they do. Sarah Palin is the political equivalent of a black leather miniskirt. Lots of people stop thinking and don't spot a tramp right away. Fortunately the McCain Muppeteers tried to piss off the punditry, who've been showing signs of doing something radical, called "Their Job." I heard live NPR coverage of a McCain/Palin rally Tuesday night, and while supporters in Virginia cheered USA! USA! in the background, the reporter drily said, "Sarah Palin touted her stand against the Bridge to Nowhere, as she will continue to do, despite all evidence to the contrary." Worthy sentiments from Wonkette:
Political Sages Tell Democrats To Quit Freaking Out
No sooner had frontierswoman Sarah Palin finished her nasty little attack on elite community organizers last Wednesday than panic began to sweep the hallowed Chardonnay cellars of America’s liberals. Above plaintive wails of “What is happening to Our Barry?” and “We’ve got to FIGHT!” we heard the rending of garments, gnashing of teeth, and furious swilling of Two-Buck Chuck. Everyone was freaking out. Well here are some remarks from various writers who would like Democrats to unknot their panties for a moment and relax.
First: David Broder, that guy who earned a reputation as a Washington Wise Man by always saying the most blandly obvious thing.
[I]nstead of reserving judgment, many of the Republicans I talked to in Washington have started a premature celebration, while their Democratic counterparts have panicked and called for Obama to “start fighting.”
The two reactions were based on suspiciously large shifts the Post poll and others reported among some voter groups — especially white women — and on some issues. McCain vaulted past Obama among those women and scored big gains on the economy and on the capacity to change Washington. I call those shifts “suspiciously large,” not because I doubt the accuracy or the methodology on the surveys but because the years have taught me that such swerves in voter opinion are likely to be temporary.
What we know is that the American people take the choice of a new president very seriously — especially when their nation is at war and the economy is behaving in a way that causes real concern.
Next: Gail Collins, the not-insane person’s Maureen Dowd.
If the Obama brain trust seems relatively serene compared with its seething base, it’s because they live in the Electoral College world, where the presidential race only takes place in a third of the country. They don’t care about national polls — a concept as quaint as measuring one’s wealth by caribou pelts. They worry about the undecided vote in Minnesota and Ohio and run their TV ads (about the economy) in places like Colorado and Michigan and Florida. If you live in California or New York or Texas, you don’t really have much of a feel for their level of effort because as far as they’re concerned, you’ve already voted.
Ha ha, and because we need three quotes to make this a “trend,” let’s throw in Andrew Sullivan, who has returned from his space odyssey to dispense a mantra that could only be delivered with a straight face by David Caruso:
"Obama mustn’t let these schoolyard tactics unbalance him. He hasn’t in the slightest, so far, mind you, a feat of astonishing mental and psychological calm. My advice for what it’s worth: Hang in. The facts are on your side and the issues are overwhelmingly in your favor. They’re trying to force you to blink. Don’t. Hysteria will end at some point."
Patience and steel.
Not so sure about hysteria ending anytime soon, but the Obama campaign has shown deliberation throughout, and an awesome ability to plan a good response and stick to it. The McCains pulled a long pass out of their ass, but Obama has the better ground game and a sound defense.