I wasn't going to blog at all this week, but the conversation has been too great. It's wonderful; fresh air and water. Here's Gemma's most recent post: Palin(g) in Comparison, Part the Second
Here are my thoughts:
Okay, I think that I understand what you're saying a bit better now, and I'm behind now... I'm going to watch these speeches, but I'm going to spend my first vacation since last Christmas watching them! :)
Anyway, I still am skeptical of Palin's chances to propel McCain to success... as the New York Times pointed out (oops, there go my liberal media tendencies, although the media as a whole has been far from liberal for quite some time) that was a Republican audience and that was a speech that Palin delivered after having been secluded from the press for days.
Ultimately I feel that she may have been an effective governor, or at least have had the background and skills commensurate with the demands of that position. During the first half of the primary, when I was leaning toward Clinton, it was Obama's lack of experience that concerned me most... as it turns out, Obama's experience is comparable to plenty of our less-experiences presidents, some who have gone on to be our truly great presidents. So experience is not the great equalizer. But there is a threshold of concern. I'm a smart guy, but I wouldn't make a great president, and many of us will willingly acknowledge this fact about ourselves. If Obama's slow and steady progress from community activism through the state senate through the U.S. senate has subjected him to justified scrutiny, concern is absolutely warranted for someone with political experience that is practically transparent at this point. The town Palin governed is smaller than the suburb where I went to high school; the population of Alaska is scarcely larger than Greater Flint.
The thing that encourages me in this election is the tone of the campaigns; which party is playing into its stereotypes and which is transcending them. Four years ago we saw a democratic party that, for all the narrowness of the race, seemed destined to lose: it was a passive, quiet, submissive party that seemed to collapse under the pressure it felt from an angry and untractable America. But this year we are confronted by images of Republicans in a big and dark room, a party that looks smaller and less diverse - less vigorous - than it did before, and still as angry. Still just shouting and insulting as if that was their only technique.
It's a party on the defensive.
In pretty much every election I've ever seen, whoever is on the defensive at this point is going to have a hard time winning.
It isn't that the McCain campaign is or isn't taking a risk. It's that the political ground has shifted. The risks that would have worked four years ago are not working now.
I think you're making very good points, and there is good cause for concern. But I also think that the concerns of America are very different from those at the Republican Convention right now, and are, at least at once and finally, more closely aligned with those of the Democratic party.