Rolling Stone | Political News, Matt Taibbi, Politics, Issues and More

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/23318320/mad_dog_palin/print

Forgive me one last, late election-era article. I like to remember Sarah Palin’s candidacy in the same way that I remember the Hypercolor tshirts, sideways ponytails and multiple-Swatches of an earlier posting: As a bullet-dodged, “what were they thinking?” kind of nostalgia.

The great insight of the Palin VP choice is that huge chunks of American voters no longer even demand that their candidates actually have policy positions; they simply consume them as media entertainment, rooting for or against them according to the reflexive prejudices of their demographic, as they would for reality-show contestants or sitcom characters. Hicks root for hicks, moms for moms, born-agains for born-agains. Sure, there was politics in the Palin speech, but it was all either silly lies or merely incidental fluffery buttressing the theatrical performance. A classic example of what was at work here came when Palin proudly introduced her Down-syndrome baby, Trig, then stared into the camera and somberly promised parents of special-needs kids that they would “have a friend and advocate in the White House.” This was about a half-hour before she raised her hands in triumph with McCain, a man who voted against increasing funding for special-needs education.

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