I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it.
Modern American Conservatives have sunk to the intellectual and emotional level of the guy who thinks the stripper really likes him.
Palin terrifies me. She is Warren Ellis' Smiler, in a way Bush never was. I cannot sense any core beliefs except ... well except nothing. All I can see is the winking, giggling folksy void. They tell her to spew some bullshit, and she salutes smartly and sells the hell out of it. Asked to go forth and spread old canards about Senator Obama being a "friend of terrorists", something she never seemed to show any interest in before, she does so not just efficiently but with a perky glee. The proper human response, when asked to say things like this about a political opponent and Senator of the United States is so fundamentally "fuck no" that it is the unheard test question immediately following "You're in the desert, you see a tortoise lying on its back, struggling, and you're not helping -- why is that?"
There's no shame, no consideration, no apparent native curiousity ... but even more creepily no resentment at being treated like a prop, no chafing at her handlers assuming she'll say absolutely anything they put in front of her. How can a human exist so fueled by hubris but without an ego? My lizard brain is screaming.
I understand how people can differ on tax policy, the proper balance between military action and diplomacy in world affairs, national health care, regulation ... but we must draw the line somewhere. Without some basic, fundamental standard of reality, even arbitraily selected, a man cannot walk the earth.
Now those people who are voting against Obama, or even for McCain and pretend to themselves that Palin isn't relevant, I kind of get that, and can respect it. But entertaining the idea that Governor Palin is either remotely qualifed or intellectually suited to be President requires an indulgence that in this complicated and dangerous world, we cannot as a society allow. It has crossed to an active harm, like peeing in the village water supply.
(Note for the metaphor impaired: I am not being sexist and saying Plain is a stripper. I'm saying Lowry is the kind of idiot who believes the stripper really likes him. If you feel that reflects poorly on strippers, go ask one,)