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    A chemical reason / If reason’s your game

    To judge from the guy in the orange tie against the green background talking on television last night, I’m guessing…there’s a Protestant Leperchaun running for president of the Irish Republic? How nice.

    Of course, that wasn’t it. It was McCain halting through another speech, yet again flogging the Incumbent Protection Act of 2002 as a victory for the people, extolling the virtues of service (as defined by him and his ideological allies), thirsting for the dreaded “bipartisan cooperation” (more profitably understood in practice as “mutual enrichment through horse-trading”), and nattering moronically about “independence from foreign oil” (perhaps one of those nice free trade types in the GOP could explain to him and Palin, using Tinkertoys if necessary, the rudiments of the global economy). Since it’s de rigueur to say this to avoid seeming like an ingrate, I’ll say it: I admire the man for not buckling under torture as a POW. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make him any less of an all-around jerk.

    The jerk recognizes that we’re at war, doesn’t want to march us further toward nationalized health care, and doesn’t lust after the esteem of officials in E.U. member countries, so I’m still voting for him anyway. (Bonus factor: the press has gone even further off the groupie deep end than it was for him before. It’s not good to have an executive that the supposed watchdogs are so bent on insulating.)

    Of course, Palin’s turning out to be the wild card. Regarding her nomination itself, I agree with Connie:

    I do not yet know how entrenched she is in her social conservatism–if her social conservative beliefs are personal or if she intends to make them into political issues. Since Alaska is a social conservative state (and if socially conservative legislation is passed, it may only be done at the state level), it is difficult to know if she respects the difference at the national level.

    Yes. My hope–and as a classical liberal/free market libertarian, I’m used to having my hopes dashed, so it’s a rather wan hope–is that Palin will turn out to be the right choice for the wrong reasons. The Democrats went ga-ga for Obama despite his thin record as an executive and frantic policy zig-zagging because they loved his hope-change-healing routine and the self-righteous rush of being able to vote for a black candidate; foolishly, they didn’t see that they were giving the Republicans an engraved invitation to show that two can play at that game. I’m not going to claim that I predicted the Palin selection, but I find it amusing that people on the left are so flabbergasted that the GOP dredged up a woman politician (to provide a PC club with which to hit back at critics) with an earthy, family-oriented persona (to make her easy for Middle America to identify with) and pro-life, social-con beliefs (to appeal to pro-life social cons). If the election results see the Democrats getting rope-a-doped, well, they’ll just be getting what they bought.

    We’ll be seeing soon whether she’s able to capitalize on her own momentum. As Eric says, if she doesn’t start screwing up, the wisest way to go after her is probably going to be to paint her as a far-right ideologue, someone who not only has off-beat beliefs–Americans can be pretty forgiving of weirdos who are as polished and media-genic as Palin–but wants to impose them on Americans from on high. We’ll have to watch closely to see whether she actually does.

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