Friday, August 29, 2008

Who Needs to Attack Palin?

Ed Kilgore sees danger for the Dems in launching attacks on Sarah Palin:
If I'm wrong and other Democrats are right, then Palin's obvious and laughable lack of gravitas and preparation for the vice presidency under a 72-year-old president will become apparent soon enough. But if I'm right and others are wrong, then focusing criticism of the choice of Palin on her qualifications could be a very large mistake, particularly in terms of women who might otherwise have little reason to support her, but who are sensitive to gender-based double standards. Credentials aside, Palin is very vulnerable because, like McCain, he's mainly "above party" because she dissents from Republican orthodoxy in Alaska from the Right. Both cultural and economic wingnuts love her passionately. And as I said in my last post, she crucially reinforces McCain's phony "maverick" image with her own phony maverick image.

Ignoring all that in favor of mocking her for what many Democrats are privately calling her "obvious" lack of credentials for the White House is a big and unnecessary gamble, and quite possibly a trap. We should all take pains to avoid it.
But who is going to waste energy attacking Palin? Really?

The minor scandal that is dogging her seems unlikely to take her down, and she'll prove for herself whether or not she has the gravitas to be a credible candidate for national office. As for the number of voters likely to be influenced away from McCain by Democratic Party attacks on her, no matter how well-founded? My guess is it's too small to matter. As for her thin record? I suspect it's enough that she defangs McCain's attacks on Obama. What more needs to be said?

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