TAILGUNNER GIDGET ISN'T BEING RACIST -- SO FAR
It's quite possible that sooner or later Sarah Palin will toss out a coded racist Obama attack or two, but I don't see how her Ayers smear qualifies, as Douglass Daniel of AP alleges:
... Palin's words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee "palling around" with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn't see their America?
In a post-Sept. 11 America, terrorists are envisioned as dark-skinned radical Muslims, not the homegrown anarchists of Ayers' day 40 years ago. With Obama a relative unknown when he began his campaign, the Internet hummed with false e-mails about ties to radical Islam of a foreign-born candidate.
Whether intended or not by the McCain campaign, portraying Obama as "not like us" is another potential appeal to racism. It suggests that the Hawaiian-born Christian is, at heart, un-American....
Nahhh. Here's what she said, at least the first time, in her own inimitable syntax:
"This is not a man who sees America as you see it, and how I see America," Ms. Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, said in Colorado, according to a pool report. "We see America as the greatest force for good in this world. If we can be that beacon of light and hope for others who seek freedom and democracy and can live in a country that would allow intolerance in the equal rights that again our military men and women fight for and die for all of us.
"Our opponent though, is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."
That's an attack on scary weird sandal-wearing hippie college professor radical bomb-throwing ... well, you get the picture. It's bizarre: Here's a woman who was four years old in 1968 trying to hang sixties radicalism around the neck of a guy who was seven in 1968. But, of course, when movement conservatives talk about Democrats and liberals, it's always 1968 -- right now.
I'm reading Rick Perlstein's Nixonland. It's clear from Nixonland that what unsettled a lot of middle-class, straight-arrow whites forty years ago was a combination of inner-city and campus unrest. But the principal bogeyman for contemporary GOP culture warriors is the white 1960s college radical, along with that radical's contemporary successors (defined as anybody with politics that are even remotely progressive). This is presumably because most culture warriors resented the fact that lefties were considered cooler on campus when they were in college.
I don't know what to make of these attacks. The worrywart in me wants to scream, Barack, do something! Answer the charges! Give a speech about Ayers! But I've learned over the past few weeks that Obama and his people are smarter than I am -- they didn't go after Sarah Palin, they kept the focus on John McCain, they ran the campaign they intended to run, and, judging from the polls, it's working. So I'm just going to trust that they know what they're doing
Meanwhile, Tailgunner Gidget took a few moments out of an appearance in Omaha this evening to do what she does best -- nurse grievances. Here's some liveblogging from the Omaha World-Herald:
7:46 p.m.: Palin took a swipe at the mainstream media for not questioning Obama about his plan to cut taxes.
She also described a "less than successful interview" with "someone in the mainstream media," to a chorus of audience boos.
She then said she wanted to give Tina Fey "more material."
"Job security for Saturday Night Live," she said, referencing the former SNL writer and Emmy-winning star.
She referenced the Katie Couric question: "What do you read?"
When Palin said she was reading yesterday's New York Times, the people shouted "Boo!"
What was Obama saying a few months ago about "bitter" people? I think we just found one.