I've been fairly critical of McCain's VP pick on this blog, but it pales compared to the maliciousness with which those on the left are attacking Palin. If you're a McCain supporter, this should not worry you, however, because ultimately it helps McCain.
If Obama is going to win, he will need blue-collar Democrats and independents from swing states like Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan to vote for him. If you look at the attacks on Palin, many of them are attacking Palin for being like these same voters. Here are three examples:
1. This editorial cartoon by Pat Oliphant recently appeared in the Washington Post:
As you can see, it mocks Palin's charismatic background. So, how does mocking the fastest growing segment of Christianity in the US (and the world) help the Democrats? Additionally, the charismatic movement has been particularly strong among the politically important Latino population. (To its credit, the Washington Post later condemned the cartoon and it no longer appears on its website.)
2. Maureen Dowd's September 16 editorial in the New York Times, "Barbies for War!," makes fun of hunters, Wal-Mart shoppers, and Pentecostals. She writes about her experience of walking through a Wal-Mart in Wassilla, AK as if she were visiting a zoo and describing the strange things she discovered there. So, how is she helping Obama win over those rural middle-class voters in places like central Pennsylvania?
3. And then there was this odd little tirade by Matt Damon:
There were nearly 3 million views of this video on Youtube. Ultimately, I think that if Damon has had any impact with his remarks, it is to energize McCain's base. Think about it this way: what undecided voter is going to be swayed by Matt Damon? Particularly, when his argument is as incoherent as this one?
If liberals really want Obama to win, they should stop talking about Palin. Whenever they do, it helps McCain. There are essentially two reasons for this. First, it energizes his base. The base of the Republican Party was never excited about McCain. But every time Palin is attacked it energizes them to help defeat Obama.
Secondly, when the question of Palin's experience is raised, it puts the issue of experience in the heads of voters. Voters vote for the top of the ticket, however, not the VP. So if they head to the polls with the issue of experience on their minds (even if it was put there by liberals attacking Palin) it will help McCain and hurt Obama.