“Democrats would be foolish to write off her visceral power.

“As Judith Doctor, a 69-year-old spiritual therapist, told The Washington Post’s Jason Horowitz at Palin’s book signing in Grand Rapids, Mich., ‘She’s alive inside, and that radiates energy, and people who are not psychologically alive inside are fascinated by that.’…

“[Obama] struggles to transcend identity politics while she wallows in them. As he builds an emotional moat around himself, she exuberantly pushes whatever she has, warts and all — the good looks, the tabloid-perfect family, the Alaska quirkiness, the kids with the weird names.

“Just like the disastrous and anti-intellectual W., this Visceral One never doubts herself. The Cerebral One welcomes doubt.”

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“Palin — and there’s just no way to deny this — is a supremely gifted politician. She has staked out, as her own personal political turf, the entire landscape of incoherent white American resentment. In this area she leaves even Rush Limbaugh in the dust…

“Most normal people cannot connect on an emotional level with Rush’s meanderings on how Harry Reid is buying off Mary Landrieu with pork in the health care bill. They can, however, connect with stories about how top McCain strategist and Karl Rove acolyte Steve Schmidt told poor Sarah to shut her pie-hole on election day, or how her supposed allies in the McCain campaign stabbed her in the back by leaking gossip about her to reporters, how Schmidt used the word ‘f**k’ in front of her daughter, or even with the strange tales about Schmidt ordering Sarah to consult with a nutritionist to improve her campaign endurance when she herself knew she just needed to get out in the fresh air and run (If there’s one thing Sarah Palin knows, it’s herself!)…

“She is the country’s first WWE politician — a cartoon combatant who inspires stadiums full of frustrated middle American followers who will cheer for her against whichever villain they trot out, be it Newsweek, Barack Obama, Katie Couric, Steve Schmidt, the Mad Russian, Randy Orton or whoever. Her followers will not know that she is the perfect patsy for our system, designed as it is to channel popular anger in any direction but a useful one, and to keep the public tied up endlessly in pointless media melees over meaningless nonsense (melees of the sort that develop organically around Palin everywhere she goes). Like George W. Bush, even Palin herself doesn’t know this, another reason she’s such a perfect political tool.”

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“By attacking the former governor of a state smaller by population than Westchester County, a woman whose chances of being the next president are about the same as Nancy Pelosi’s, Democrats aren’t wasting their time at all. They are distracting conservatives and changing the subject

“Last week, Obama looked exceptionally weak, naive and disingenuous, even for him: He got a knee in the face when he bowed to China; he admitted his promise to close Gitmo by January was the bloviation conservatives have always said it was; his attorney general invited terrorists to bring their Cirque du Jihad to New York so they can put the US national security apparatus on trial (and added that Obama wasn’t even part of the decision); the claims about stimulus-provided jobs turned out to involve lots of fictitious work in nonexistent congressional districts; a second Democratic senator threatened to help filibuster the health bill; and Afghanistan and Iran grew more dire as each hour brought the president inching ever closer to thinking about meeting to discuss the possibility of suggesting the next half-hearted response.

“So what preoccupied the nation? Bill Belichick’s 4th and two call. And the book tour of an unemployed former governor of a very small state…

“Republicans know all of this deep down, but we keep talking up her candidacy, looking for glimmers of hope in the polls, giving her attention and even sending her money when we should be refusing to take the bait. We never took Andrew Sullivan seriously before; why get aggravated by him now?”

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