The McCain-Palin campaign stumbles across what Steve Schmidt really wants to say to Obama:

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.'

The ethos of Palinism - its contempt for elites, its hatred of a free press, its pathological secrecy, its demonization of "the other", its bullying of anyone in its way, and its cult-of-personality - is authoritarian. And somewhat chilling.

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