A few weeks ago, when the unvetted Sarah Palin was announced as John McCain's running mate, I said she was a "base pick". Some of my readers on the right disagreed with me, arguing that Palin would appeal to independents, and even the McCain campaign seemed to believe that the intellectually uncurious Sarah Palin would appeal to disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters.
As events have played out, it turns out I was right. Sarah Palin exists on the Republican ticket to get conservatives riled up. She acts something like a wind-up version of the Fox News Channel, railing at the "liberal media", whipping up right-wing radio style frenzies about the scary, strange black world of Barack Obama. Palin is the walking and talking symbol of the 20-something percent of people who still think Bush is a good president.
The upside for Democrats is that Palin is precisely the sort of person who turns off independents and motivates Democrats. If some had been lured into a false sense of security that John McCain would run an honest, moderate campaign as he once promised, Palin tells us that that John McCain died a long time ago. McCain/Palin is a promise that the slash and burn politics of the George Bush era, the era in which the president of the United States has taken an unprecedented role as the divider of the nation, would get worse. For the right Bush/Cheney is now the standard.
Thats a heck of a motivator for the rest of us in normal America.