A reader writes:
Word on the street, courtesy of McClatchy, is that Obama is planning on sending 34,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan. In light of this possibility, and on behalf of all Americans who want some semblance of sane government, can I respectfully request that you lay off of Sarah Palin, including withholding, for the time being, any kind of bombshell that you're putting together? If escalation in Afghanistan is a reality, I am concerned that Obama's base - which has already been battered through the health care fight, the failure to deliver on promises of homosexual rights, the failure to effectively address the financial crisis and a general sense that Obama has 'sold them out' - is going to collapse.
I think that the left can tolerate a less than ideal health care plan, the postponement (we hope) of a push for homosexual rights, and a crappy attempt at putting a band-aid over the financial giants, but the left really found its voice during the last Administration around the Iraq War. Support for that war was the litmus test that drove many to Obama over Hillary in the first place. If Obama is to truly own the Afghan War, and to do so through escalation, I can't see how he holds his base together. And without his base, without Bush, and with the worst economy any of us can remember, I don't think that Obama or vulnerable Democrats in Congress get re-elected.
This is why we need Palin. It's cynical, it's political, it is devoid of any intellectual integrity. But that's politics, you can't get to the stuff you really want to do if you don't have the power to achieve it. We need Palin to win the Republican nomination. We need the tea baggers to continue rolling. The Republicans are not in any shape to be a viable alternative, and so even though the Democrats for all their electoral success have completely and utterly refused to govern (including Obama) they are still preferable. The only thing I can think of, in the face of the complete abandonment by Democrats of the things they told the American people they were going to deliver, that brings the base home is the specter of a Palin presidency. We need the Republicans to think that she's viable. So please, lay off of Palin. Or, if you are despised by the right, continue to attack her so that she can build up much needed cred.