Sarah Palin Explodes

| Tue Sep. 2, 2008 1:52 AM EDT

SARAH PALIN EXPLODES....This is ridiculous. I was only away from the computer for a few hours to watch the UCLA-Tennessee game (helluva second half, by the way) and all hell breaks loose. After only three days, the mainstream media now appears to be in full shark-circling mode over Sarah Palin. Pretty much any piece in today's newspapers would tell the story, but here's the New York Times:

A series of disclosures about Gov. Sarah Palin, Senator John McCain's choice as running mate, called into question on Monday how thoroughly Mr. McCain had examined her background before putting her on the Republican presidential ticket.

On Monday morning, Ms. Palin and her husband, Todd, issued a statement saying that their 17-year-old unmarried daughter, Bristol, was five months pregnant and that she intended to marry the father.

Among other less attention-grabbing news of the day: it was learned that Ms. Palin now has a private lawyer in a legislative ethics investigation in Alaska into whether she abused her power in dismissing the state's public safety commissioner; that she was a member for two years in the 1990s of the Alaska Independence Party, which has at times sought a vote on whether the state should secede [more here on that –ed.]; and that Mr. Palin was arrested 22 years ago on a drunken-driving charge.

Aides to Mr. McCain said they had a team on the ground in Alaska now to look more thoroughly into Ms. Palin's background.

It's now plainly obvious that neither McCain himself nor anyone on the McCain team knew the first thing about Palin before they put her on the ticket. Among other things, they're refusing to say precisely how McCain found out about Bristol's pregnancy; the Washington Post has discovered that the supposedly pork-fighting Palin was actually a grand champion at hoovering up federal pork when she was mayor of Wasilla; and Edge of the American West has dug up a bunch of local dirt on Palin's, um, rather personal management style as mayor. Greg Sargent rounds up the whole thing here. As he says, it's a pretty remarkable performance for a mere few hours on a holiday weekend.

And hell, as long as we're on the subject, here's another thing I find puzzling. The New York Times piece confirms something we already knew, namely that up until the middle of last week McCain's top choice for running mate was either Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge. And he would have picked one of them except that word came back that the base would be furious if he chose a pro-choice veep. So he pulled a 180 and chose Palin instead. And the base has reacted rapturously.

But seriously: are they really that easy to sucker? It's plain where McCain's true sentiments lie: he would have chosen a pro-choice partner if he could possibly have gotten away with it. He only picked Palin out of absolute political necessity. And yet the Christian right reacted as giddily as if he had genuinely seen the light.

So I guess the answer is: yes, they really are that easy to sucker. Pretty amazing.

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