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Palin Permission

It seems to me that Sarah Barracuda Palin’s biggest contribution to this year’s presidential race has been to lead by example and grant permission to the far right of dear GOP to speak publicly what they have probably been saying to the faithful for a very long time. The Bachman anti-American rant and more are probably nothing new to the base. But when you have someone running for the 2nd highest office in the land who feels free to characterize whole swaths of the country as less patriotic and less real American, why wouldn’t you think it is fine to voice your long held concerns that there are legions of Anti-Americans among us, even in the Congress?

People like Rush Limbaugh and his brothers at Fox have been at it for too long, but it is only now that members of Congress feel enabled to share in the hate again. I don’t remember another campaign so full of venom and divisiveness. It does remind me of the bad old days of the southern racial slurring. Why has this country moved backwards? Can we blame Bush and Cheney? Probably. And now McCain and Palin are furthering this us and them agenda. I really don’t know what they get from it. Except for the fear factor.

When Rep. John Lewis compared the McCain campaign with George Wallace, I and probably most people in the US, thought he was merely saying that they were fanning the flames of racism and culture war. But a great article in the the New York Times yesterday, explained the analogy in an entirely different and correct light. It seems Wallace was not the racist we all remember. He only became one to appeal to his base. Those of us not active in the Civil Rights Movement or aware of Wallace in his earlier years would not know it, but he turned down an endorsement from the KKK and accepted one from the NAACP. It was only when he lost his first race for governor that he turned into the racist he is remembered as.

I think Lewis was saying that the McCain he knew was like Wallace in that respect — willing to turn into whatever it takes to win, no matter what might result of his tactics. I know it is sad to see McCain now. I would not be so afraid of his presidency if he were the same man who ran in 2000. But he has sold his soul to the devil and by choosing Palin as his running mate he conceded that winning is more important to him than principles. Sure, the VP candidate is usually given the attack dog role in the campaign, but Palin with McCain’s permission has gone above and beyond. She seems to relish the role and he is just “so proud of her.”

And just for fun, I do love Letterman:

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