Yep, it’s come to that. So a couple items:
Item the First: Palin Girls Live! Live! Live! The Baltimore/Washington Examiner, a reliable if right-wing free daily, ran some photos of Bristol Palin from TMZ today. Among others:
Begs the obvious question: Was she drinking when she was pregnant? (And, if not, then this means she was likely 16 rather than 17 when she boarded the Captain’s ship. The full set of photos is available here. The Christian Right appears prepared to forgive the baby, (it just shows she doesn’t use Godless condoms!) but the Myspace-type tonguing another girl might not come off so harmless.
Item the Second: Executive Experience: Americans haven’t elected a Senator since Jack Kennedy. Obviously that will change this year, but it does reflect the public’s greater comfort with executive-level candidates as opposed to legislative ones. So just a bit of trivia to consider: FY 07 – 08 budget for Wasilla, Alaska: $13 million. Barack Obama July 2008 fundraising (just July): $51 million.
Consider just how effective the entire campaign has been: no major leaks, no really preventable scandals [Wright included,] effective responses to problems when they do arise, a strong VP choice, dynamic outreach, epic fundraising, and a bouncy convention.) Eighteen months of running such a tight campaign, that alone has to be some kind of credit to the Democratic ticket. Especially since, as Hillary showed us, the inmates always want to run the asylum.
Item the Third: Biblioclasm: There’s your SAT word. As Mayor of the aforementioned small town, the Right Reverend Palin decided to cleanse the naughty from the local library. Time magazine recalls:
“…Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. “She asked the library how she could go about banning books,” he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. “The librarian was aghast.” That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn’t be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving “full support” to the mayor.”
Is the Mayor even capable of firing a town librarian? More important question, are we seriously discussing a small-town Mayor’s proclivity for book-banning in the context of a national election? Justice Potter Stewart wrote: “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.” See, we’re not supposed to do that in America. Now, maybe in Free Alaska…
Item the Fourth: Will she quit? I don’t know if I trust the political prediction markets. They seemed to get Biden, but missed with Palin. Anyway, all they do is essentially trade on composite public information, rather than offering special insight. That said, InTrade had odds on a Palin withdrawal set originally around 3%. However, they rose as high as 18% today before settling around 12%. It’s not just the baby mama drama – Palin is also facing impeachment back at home.
Quick and unsupportable prediction is, no. As bad as the pick has been, it’s too late for second-guessing. She followed a process in which Rove wanted Romney, McCain wanted Lieberman, and Palin won out. Replacing her with ex-Dem Lieberman or pro-choice Ridge would be a big fat “fuck you” to the far-rightists who just ponied up, and McCain plain old hates Field Marshal Turkmenromney. With the convention passing, it’s too late to introduce a no-name like Pawlenty or Portman. Newt Gingrich? There’s just no Plan B at this stage, so get used to Palin.