I like McCain’s new Vice President in Waiting a lot. I’d love to go drinking or snomobiling with her. She seems tough, accomplished, and geeky as hell. She actually lives the Western Republican life (the one Bush fakes so shamelessly). She’s a hockey fan, and has possibly killed a bear.
Palin’s also a baffling pick for the White House, because she’s younger than Obama and has done only very local politics.
But Warthog, none of that matters.
Sarah Palin matters, and may decide this election, because she’s a white fertile Church Lady. The perfect fetish object for cable news, which makes its fortune selling reassuring social balm to the Politics Casual crowd in outer suburbia. Whose primary voting influence is … cable news.
Hell, compared to this, bringing the fetus warriors back to the polls is a small bonus. She’ll be written on by those people too. Held up as an example not of leadership or independence, but of stagnant Marianism. A fantasy of resistance to icky things like modern medicine, poverty and free will. The infantcy cult that makes up white religion is always looking for examples.
And Barack Obama is black.
I’m sorry. He’s "Arabish." Or … Indoarbanmuslimese. He’s frighteningly foreign in ways that have absolutely nothing to do with the taboo bigorty that no respectable person feels because he is American and also black.
Who Palin is and what she can be made to embody exist at the crossroads of a TON of this year’s social pressures. And those influences are all aimed square at middle-high income whites who are, by any name, the swing voters in crucial states.
She can relieve these people’s complex anxieties. She can be their life-by-proxy. And not for any reason nobler than that, Sarah Palin can be a game changer this fall.
Here’s hoping I’m wrong.