Getting Dirty

From an objective observer: the Democrats are getting brutal with this Sarah Palin stuff.

I can understand calling her a country bumpkin and bringing attention to her obvious inexperience [which, ironically, draws attention to Obama's inexperience] but this stuff about her family is getting dirty. A widely-read pro-Dem blog [no link] published that the youngest Palin child was not actually Sarah's but the child of her eldest daughter. This eventually brought forth news of the daughter's unplanned pregnancy, but many are still not backing off. Politics is a full-contact sport, but this is downright hateful.

As I wondered why Obama supporters are going pit-bull on Palin, I couldn't get it. Was it the woman fact— that Hillary supporters can't stand that someone like Palin will beat her to an historic moment? Is it that they now have to wave the banner of family values, claiming Palin is ignoring her family for professional accolades? Is it her conservative stance, especially when compared to McCain, something they can't stomach?

While all this may exacerbate the situation, I think the motivating factor is much more simple: fear.

As I've written before, a Democratic presidency in 2008 should have been a slam dunk. The bitter primary battle between Hillary and Obama derailed this somewhat. But McCain's image as a prototypical Republican [old, wealthy, white guy] still should have made this contest rather easy. And remember that, until this past week, many G.O.P.'ers didn't even like McCain. But with the announcement of Palin, the Republican base is solidifying. And this has made the Democrats fearful. And [forgive the metaphor] when you corner a frightened wild animal, it starts to bite.*

The Dems understand the importance of this election to their party. If they can't win with the most charismatic American politician in twenty years, following up a two-term administration with abysmal approval ratings, then you're in bad shape. For many, this isn't just AN election, this is THE election. And facing an opponent who has absolutely nothing to lose [why else does McCain chose Palin] the playbook is out the window. But it's a catch-22 because the more that the Dems spur the mainstream media to get personal with Palin, the more likely a backlash will develop. And even though it's the 21st century, I'm not sure you can get away with playing that kind of hardball with a lady.

I do have to give it up to Obama for saying that candidate's family lives should be off-limits, but I would be more impressed if he more vociferously publicly scolded those people for their stances.

Regardless, this thing will play out like the last two Presidential elections: neck and neck to the finish line.

*I can't believe I'm finally admitting this but, as a result of the Palin pick, the only way for a clear Dem victory would've been with Hillary on the ticket. You have to wonder how things would have gone down if McCain had to pick his running mate before Obama.