The Campaign Spot

Diagnosing Symptoms of a Sick Political Culture

Yesterday, Jay Nordlinger wrote that, based on the fact that a surprising number of Americans’ views of Sarah Palin went from knowing nothing about her to seething hate, “I’m sorry, this is, in many ways, a sick country.”

(Examples of people who have no qualms telling the world about their self-described “violent, nay, murderous, rage” towards Sarah Palin here.)
I would add two more recent news items to the pile.
One, apparently a new innovation in politics is that we now hack into the e-mails of political figures we don’t like. Bad enough that the national media has decided that anything unsavory ever done by members of your family is worthy of front-page treatment; now your e-mails are fair game. If you wanted to set up a system so that no one in their right mind ever ran for office, and that only individuals of inhuman ambition and an inability to feel shame sought to serve in elected office, this is how you would do it.
Two,  the Council of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations disinviting Sarah Palin from an anti-Ahmadinejad rally because they couldn’t get Joe Biden to show up… How many votes would be swayed by Palin’s presence? Few, if any. Apparently to the Democrats who objected and pressured the group, the most important thing was not the presence of a Democrat but ensuring that Palin not be allowed to speak.
Even when there’s no significant political advantage at stake — not that that is a particularly noble motivation — they still don’t want to let the other side speak their mind. And obviously, they’re exerting more effort in opposing Palin than Ahmadinejad.
I don’t know if “Country First” is the slogan that will put McCain over the top. But right now, it feels like you have to look far and wide to find somebody who puts the national interest ahead of partisan interest.
Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,”; I’m wondering how long this house will stand when so many within it can summon a fury of hatred towards someone overnight because they disagree with her.