A lot of Obama supporters are breathing sighs of relief that the polls, reflecting concerns about the bungled economy, are swinging back towards Obama after lurching heavily towards McCain-Palin in the weeks after the Republican convention. But I think we have to stop and think about what this really means. People who are clear in their heads about where they stand politically have known who they are supporting for many months now. The swings in poll numbers reflect the so-called "undecided" voters.
But who are the undecided voters in this election? I hate to say this, but I suspect that in large part they are the stupid, the confused, the gullible, and the ignorant. As I argued in an earlier post, entitled "It's the stupidity, stupid," stupidity is actually a choice in life rather than an inherent quality. Of course, that means it is a choice that can be changed, and the swing to Obama could reflect many people finally getting smart at last. But don't count on it. As Frank Rich points out in an important column in today's New York Times, there are still many ways that McCain-Palin could win. Obama needs a huge lead going into voting day; if the poll numbers are still very close the week before, I would be very worried indeed--not only because of the stupidity factor, but because there are still just too many voters looking for an excuse not to vote for a Black man (the so-called Bradley Effect.)
As I have said before, this election is about the economy, Iraq, women's rights, and a whole host of other issues, but most fundamentally it is about whether Americans are going to get in touch with their inner smart persons at long last.
Things turning frosty for Palin. In Alaska, that is, where many citizens are wondering why the McCain campaign is taking over the state, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The surge won't work in Afghanistan (it didn't work in Iraq either.) These issues are explored by Fred Kaplan in Slate.