As we've seen time and again over this year, the fantasy of a post-racial election (held by many across the political spectrum) has been predictably obliterated as the fears and prejudices of way too many of our fellow Americans has bubbled up, first just beneath the surface, and now powerfully breaking the waves.
Isn't it interesting that Barracuda Bible Spice, deemed the "portrait of Christian motherhood and womanhood" by James Dobson, draws out The Base in a way that makes them feel free to express their inner bigot. She's ready to go there.
McCain had said that racially explosive attacks related to Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, are off limits. But Palin told New York Times columnist Bill Kristol in an interview published Monday: "I don't know why that association isn't discussed more."
Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."
And at another rally, a supporter yelled out "Kill him!" in reference to Obama, who Palin had just riled up the crowd talking about his "association" with Bill Ayers. In neither case did Palin say anything. But let's give her the benefit of the doubt, perhaps she didn't hear it.
Palin was put on the ticket to solidify this voter bloc. The Republican Party embraces them, and clearly knows they cannot win without them. What does it say about the GOP base that is turning out to listen to her (and to John McCain) and the level of vitriol and potential racial violence that is clearly out there?
If McCain and Palin had any true sense of "Country First," after seeing the reports of this kind of behavior going on at their rallies, they would make declarations at these events that racial animus has no place in their campaigns, and given this historic election, has no place in the public sphere.
I won't hold my breath.
Here's just a sampling of what has gone on this cycle (never mind all the noose hangings):