A reader writes:

I respectfully disagree with your reader who spells out what they describe as the cynical and political thought process behind the argument in very honest fashion. But that's why I disagree. Palin's entire entree onto the political stage was cynical and poltical. John McCain was a cynical old politician - sure. (And should be drummed from office for risking the country to his jaded ambitions in my personal opinion.) But it was an easy move because Palin herself is a cynical and political stunt who thinks she's a real politician.

But the dangers now are the cynical and political powers that keep her narrative going. The neocon interests, the Armeys and Murdochs, the moneybags who control the MSM, who probably believe that McCain's mistake wasn't in fact his choosing this hackneyed hack - but in not using her effectively. I'd venture from comments she's made that Palin believes that herself. She and they long for a chance to really pull out the stops and get down to dirty business.

If the Democrats need a straw woman or an eejit for the Republicans to throw away their electoral capital on - let them get stuck with someone else. Because with their limitless ability to destroy the democratic process - we could get stuck. With her.

Another writes:

It seems to me that everything that the emailer highlights--Afghanistan, health care, gay rights, the financial crisis--would fall into the basic categories of complex, difficult realities with which the Obama administration is, I believe, trying very hard to grapple with a parallel degree of complexity and nuance. To my mind, the single biggest difference between the modern Democratic and Republican parties--and I'm not trying to make this into a difference between liberalism and conservatism more broadly, necessarily--is the difference between such an attempt to grapple with reality and, quite honestly, a willingness to over-simplify and distort and, yes, lie about it on a consistent basis. For me that's why Sarah Palin is (along with Fox News and esp. Glenn Beck therein) probably the best single representative of that party and movement, and why Obama is her opposite number (literally and figuratively) in every way in these terms.

Even when I disagree with his administration's decisions and policies--and that has, I'll admit, happened more than I would like, which I suppose puts me in that unhappy base that the emailer was referencing; although my unhappinesses have more been with the terrorism and detainee and secrecy/transparency policies than the ones highlighted in that email--I try to keep this basic distinction in mind. Not only because of how much more preferable the reality-grappling is to the over-simplifying and distorting and lying, but also and even more relevantly because the reality-grappling is, by its very nature, going to be messier and trickier and more give-and-take than the kinds of (untenable and destructive but often more attractive on the surface) policies and positions for which the other perspective allows.

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