THE BLOG

Democrats, Stop Your Worrying

10/16/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Dear Democrats,

Please, stop your worrying. More important, please stop telling people how worried you are about whether Senator Obama is blowing it or not, that only serves to raise everyone's anxieties.

Yes, many Americans like Sarah Palin right now, and a good portion thinks that the media has been unfair to her. But America liked the Ford Pinto and Chevy Corvair, too, until we found out how dangerous they were.

Already cracks are showing in her veneer. As Salman Rushdie noted on this week's Real Time With Bill Maher, "Smugness is an unattractive characteristic," and typified by her remark that Obama "now" regrets not choosing Hillary Clinton, presumably because it opened the door Gov. Palin then walked through, Palin has smugness in spades.

Many Clinton supporters, myself among them, became over time to recognize that a Clinton candidacy would compromise Obama's interest in bringing the country together. Senator McCain's vice-presidential choice only proves that out: already Sarah Palin shows the potential of being a more polarizing political figure than either Hillary Clinton or George Bush.

It's not her attractiveness, but the Alaskan Governor's views on abortion and gun control - against both - that are the biggest rationales for her current popularity. However, the odds are virtually zero that more Americans will become enamored with a vice-presidential candidate with no relevant experience on the issues of national security, urban blight, global economics, health care, climate change, foreign affairs or diplomacy. So, take heart Democrats, Gov. Palin's current polling numbers are the best she can ever hope for; they are bound to wane.

Take heart in that the Republicans attacks on the 'liberal bias' of the media is perhaps greater than any time since Spiro Agnew and the Nixon administration. Over time, those attacks only served to empower the media to speak more frankly about that pair's shortcomings; the same is sure to happen again.

Even better, it is still almost two months out and the Republicans are firing their heaviest artillery. But Democrats have their own woman of mass persuasion (WMP), Oprah Winfrey, poised to make inroads at the most important swing group in this election: women. Just as important: we have yet to see the candidates share the stage, which should offer a bigger contrast in choices since the Kennedy-Nixon debates.

Here's what I think: as November 4th gets closer, more and more people will see this election as a way to shape the future of our country instead of seeing our country's social policies and world view become unbearably antique.

I think that as Election Day nears, more Americans will consider Gov. Palin's notion that America needs to eliminate extremist religious thought is itself an extremist and dangerous policy and a view that must be rejected.

And I think in an election that is clearly now about change, in the end America's voters will actually embrace change; accepting the choice of a statesman over a military hawk with the same win or lose view that caused so much war and unnecessary deaths over the last hundred years.

Not everyone will make this choice, mind you, just enough of us. And enough is all we need. So instead of asking Senator Obama to sling the mud at his opponent, or as Bill Maher said on his show this week, "Get mid-evil" on him, remember why Democrats gravitated to Obama in the first place: his willingness to stand above that fray.