Ambers has a devastating and brilliant post on why Palin – "a blend of Nixon and Buchanan", with boobs and a Christianism now fused into Republicanism – is a lethal force in the land. I keep remembering the election of 2004, when people were shocked that the polls were wrong as millions of previously unknown voters flocked to the voting booths to put Bush back into power. But Palin is so, so much more than Bush – so much more charismatic, so much more shameless, so much more prepared to use proto-fascist memes to demonize elites and run rings around a tepid media unable to confront her with her lies. In normal times, she would be a joke. In depression times, as debt mounts, and wars against "the other" at home and abroad fester, as one party openly advocates using the military to snatch "enemy combatants" off the streets and dispatch them to detention and torture sites, such as Gitmo … well, she is a force to be reckoned with, as I've said from the very start. Money quote:
In Searching for Whitopia, Rich Benjamin defines of a geo-racial balkanization that gives Palin-like candidates a natural base: towns like Coeur d'Alene Idaho, with a "diversified economic base," a pro-business regulatory environment, a commitment to "quality of life" issues, and — a 95% ethnic homogeneity. Coeur D'Aleners were migrants from the California of the 1990s; they live now in Colorado and the suburbs of Phoenix and are slowly pushing their way around the Sunbelt.
Benjamin notes the "cultural, ancestral and implicitly racial" bond to their communities. The new residents come looking for land and living space; the long-time residents just want as little disruption as possible. Right now, there is enormous disruption. It is the same disruption that Democrats believe redounds to their benefit; depressed wages, exotic financial deals, government spending cuts (which feeds the disruption), what one Palin watcher calls the "downstream effects" of a country that has lived beyond its means for 60 years.
George W. Bush never spoke this language. He was an evangelical convert, more influenced by his advisers' Catholicism than by, say, Palin's Assembly of God charismatics. She is pure in ways the rich son of Connecticut could never dream of.
A racially and religiously pure mother figure, able to communicate sub-rationally and rationally in Twitter-length sound-bites, able to construct a series of soundbites without real scrutiny, a person who has so framed the debate that any media criticism strengthens rather than exposes her among the folk she connects with.