We are now in the LAST weekend of the presidential campaign season and something extraordinarily corrosive to our democracy has occurred: Sarah Palin, despite the gravity of the office that she is running for, has managed to avoid giving a press conference or appearing on any of the Sunday morning press shows.
It will be an extraordinary fact that, should McCain-Palin win on Tuesday, it will not be clear that Palin is even capable of competently fielding spontaneous questions from the national press corps—or thinking on her feet (without resort to notes, talking points, scripts, or teleprompters).
We vote on Tuesday, and we don’t know if the person behind her campaign curtain actually has an intelligible grasp of domestic and foreign policy and can offer reasonable responses to questions that skeptics have about her.
The very integrity of the role of a free press in a functioning democracy is at stake here.
It is the role of a free press to, like Toto in the Wizard of Oz, ferret out humbugs—and keep power honest.
But the McCain campaign has subverted that process by dramatically limiting access to its VP candidate.
The contempt for democracy that this represents is truly breathtaking. The McCain campaign is literally attempting to shield an apparent humbug (Sarah Palin) from full evaluative exposure: