Three nights after the big debate, Bill Kristol and his GOP colleagues remain delusional. Nothing new in that, but for once this is a very good thing.
You might understand Republicans immediately claiming victory for Sarah Palin in last Thursday's debate. It's the thing to do nowadays and, really, what else do they have to hope for? So: Why not. Good try, and all that.
Now, sane partisans and operatives, you would think, would sober up when all of the post-debate polls found that not only had Palin lost, in the minds of viewers/voters, she had lost badly. Yet still they kept pushing the line that she had produced, maybe, a game-changer (as I blogged here a few days ago).
That's fine for argument's sake: Again, what's to lose? This: Carried away by their enthused (and why not?) base, top GOP pundits and strategists have gone on to advise Team McCain, Let Sarah be Sarah! She did so great in the debate, unleash her! Give her more rope! Hell, turn it into a Palin/McCain ticket, as Stephen Colbert advised weeks ago.
That's where it gets humorous for us, and dangerous for the GOP: Team McCain seems to be taking that advice.
Yet, it gets even more insane. Bill Kristol, besides goading Palin into going even MORE negative, ends his column today with: "Hockey Mom knows best." This in the face of all the evidence that virtually from the end of her post-convention bounce (which was purely base- and media-driven), her ticket has lost points in national and most state polls almost by the day -- seemingly by the hour in some cases. Palin's favorable ratings have sunk like a stone, with no Arctic ice underneath.
Of course, Kristol is the same "fella" (as Palin might say) who proposed Clarence Thomas for the McCain veep spot, calling him "the most impressive conservative in American public life." You betcha!
Now there are new polls just out tonight, showing an ever-widening margin for Obama in CNN and NBC surveys, and almost unfathomable leads in states like Virginia and Minnesota. Palin is in Florida today. Watch for Obama to get a five-point bounce there tomorrow.
In other words, the public has disliked her more and more the more and more she is being Palin. The more they see and hear, the less they like. Yet the call goes forth: Give the voters more of her! Starbursts to the rescue!
To which I say to Kristol and the others, in the immortal words of former hero George W. Bush: Bring her on! Que Sarah, Sarah.