Thanks for the e-mails. Feel free to write if you have something to add. Here's one response:

I don't think you're wrong regarding anything you wrote, but, in focusing on Palin (Vice Presidential candidate), we run the risk of missing the real point: this is about McCain. Palin represents a massive flaw in McCain's judgment and executive capabilities, and ignoring this in favor of playing rhetorical whack-a-mole with a know-nothing is neither robust nor inquisitive on the part of the media.

I am utterly convinced now that McCain picked Palin solely to act as a lightning rod for the media, to dodge responsibility for his smears and gaffes. In that respect alone, he demonstrated good sense. Continuing to give him what he wants here is no better than showing "deference" to Palin in order to score interviews.

I take the point. McCain's lies are now as frequent and as obvious as Palin's, and I will focus, as I have, on McCain's dreadful cynicism, dishonor, and dishonesty. But I do think Palin's record in its totality, including her family, is relevant in one very important respect. She is McCain's first presidential-level decision. If he did not vet her in any real way, and if the vetting missed a critical fact about her, or if she was asked, as every vetted candidate is asked, whether there is anything potentially embarrassing out there about her and she said no, and that is not true, then the questions about her family life and public record matter.

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