Guess I Was Ahead of the Curve on This One.

Here’s an excerpt from an article about the 10/19 episode of Family Guy:

But I beat them to the punch by a couple weeks.

How to Steal an Election.

From the upcoming 11/2 episode of The Simpsons:

It Could Happen Here.

I didn’t want to go this far before, because I didn’t think it was necessary, but I do think that if our country sees a Hitler, he’s not going to be a guy with a funny mustache. He just might arrive in a package called Sarah Palin.

She is mesmerizing. Hitler derived his power from his ability to mesmerize. In both cases the power may be primarily sexual. Hitler in his addresses to crowds had the ability, it is well documented, to make German women swoon.

Sarah Palin doesn’t even know that she’s the next Hitler. I’m sure it would come as a surprise to her. That doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen.

I used to think her mesmerizing power was something only the Democrats needed to worry about. But now that she’s making speeches attacking Obama not for what he says but as the dangerous-other, and referring to “those East Coast people” in a thinly-veiled attempt to make middle Americans think “Jew,” her power is something the whole country ought to worry about. I’ve said from the beginning that Sarah Palin was not to be underestimated. Her ability to galvanize an enormous portion of the population who are susceptible to her divisive message is a talent to be dismissed at our peril.

Those who have thought the danger of Sarah Palin is that she is unqualified to be president have had it all backwards. The danger has never been that she’s unqualified, but that she is supremely effective — in the service of some very un-American ideas. The liberal/left bloggers who think she made a poor showing in the debate because she refused to answer questions are missing the point. She spoke exactly as she wanted to. And those who were listening most closely heard exactly what they were waiting to hear.

Unwitting Aid.

I heard on the radio that the Palin-Biden debate was the second-most watched debate in presidential election history. Not the second-highest rated vice-presidential debate; the second-most watched debate on either the presidential or vice-presidential level since televised debates began in 1960. Seventy million Americans watched it. Why do you think that was? Hint: It wasn’t Joe Biden.

But Biden was the beneficiary. Palin drew about 65 million of those people in, but once in, they saw Joe Biden make an excellent case for his ticket. They wouldn’t have seen that, had it not been for the magnetic force named Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin may be a gift to the Obama campaign not because she’s bad, but because she’s good.

Biden Didn’t Lose, But…

Sarah Palin waiting in the wings before last night's debate.

Sarah Palin waiting in the wings.

The best that can be said, from a Democrat’s point of view, is that Joe Biden was fine in last night’s debate. And by not losing, he helped Obama.

But while he was fine, Sarah Palin was busy being mesmerizing. Biden gave detailed, thoughtful answers that mostly lacked one cogent take-away. (Though he got better towards the end.) Palin’s answers were all about the take-away. Even if she avoided answering some of the questions, and even though some of her answers were incoherent, most of her answers boiled down to one believable, memorable idea: I am a real person with smarts, common sense and traditional values, who is like you, America. Biden made an excellent impression. Palin made a vivid impression. That was the difference. With her appearance, her stance, her shapely calves, her plain-American voice, her winks, her confidence, her confidence-giving, her smile, her completely immediate (in its original sense of “without mediation”) eye contact with the television audience, she owned the camera. An hour after the debate, most of what Biden said had disappeared in a haze, but Palin’s after-image was indelible.

Click here for an article on Franz Mesmer (1734-1815), the German physician who first propounded the idea of animal magnetism and contributed mesmerize to the language.

Best Moment in the Debate (For Me).

…when John McCain lectured Obama on the dangers of imprudent speech in delicate matters of foreign policy, and Obama replied, “That’s funny, coming from the guy who sang ‘Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.’ ”

Lest we forget:

Remember How Alfalfa Tried to Get Out of Boxing Butch? That’s Like John McCain Trying to Get Out of Friday Night’s Debate.

God Help Us. No, Seriously, God? Please Help Us.

Charles Gibson tries not to look condescending as Sarah Palin looks on.

Charles Gibson tries not to appear condescending as Sarah Palin looks on.

Sarah Palin didn’t do as poorly in her Charlie Gibson interview as I hoped she would. In advance of the airing, when I saw her “Bush Doctrine moment” excerpted on YouTube, I took comfort from her obvious vamping, stalling, squirming and general b-s-ing. She didn’t look strong at all then, and I had the giddy feeling that America just might be on the cusp of switching into just-not-into-her mode. But, in the context of the whole interview, that moment was atypical. Mostly Charlie Gibson came off as a pretentious jerk, someone who obviously believed he knew a lot more about everything than the woman he was interviewing. The fact that he does know a lot more about everything than the woman he was interviewing is irrelevant. Nobody likes a smart ass. The more Gibson did the “oh please, spare me” look, the more America sat up and said, “You know, we like that she doesn’t know very much!”

Ironically (and I’m not saying I knew this in advance), Gibson would have damaged Palin more if he had appeared to be on her side — if he’d found a way to ask the same questions while treating her as a “friendly witness” rather than a hostile one. In casting himself as an adversary, he helped her. Because in the public’s mind, nine times out of ten, a likability contest between a regular person and the media is no contest.

So now I’m putting my faith in Divine Providence.

More Free Advice for Obama.

Obama shouldn’t be talking about the McCain campaign’s lies as if he needs to defend himself against them. He needs to hit home that McCain’s and Palin’s lies are a giant red flag for us. Every lie they tell is a lie told to the American people. Make it be about us, about the brazen disrespect they show us every time they lie to us. And ask us to imagine the next 4 years based on what they’ve been willing to stoop to so far. Obama should be asking, every single day, “If they’re willing to lie to you so baldfacedly now, how will you ever expect them to tell you the truth once they get in office? What do you imagine that administration is going to be like, people?!?”

Why am I so generous with my consulting advice? I must be a saint.