New York Daily News
Call it the Sarah Syndrome, a metaphorical manifestation of a rare medical condition called Palinopsia.
The name of this visual disturbance is derived not from the Alaskan governor, but from Greek, "Palin" meaning "again," and "opsia" meaning "seeing."
The sufferers see afterimages, sometimes fleetingly "positive" ones true to the original, often protracted "negative" ones that invert what is actually there. The afterimages are usually accompanied by "visual snow."
The Palin from the land of actual snow seems to suffer from much the same syndrome in her political vision.
Palin starts with a fragment of truth, such as Obama having fleeting contact with a one-time radical who had since become a prominent professor.
Via the Sarah Syndrome, Obama becomes a big buddy of domestic terrorists.
And, without her ever having to say it, this stirs up the old stuff about him really being a Muslim.
"No, maam," McCain said. "He's a decent family man, citizen that I happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about."
That from the McCain, who approves scurrilous TV campaign ads, who chose Palin as his running mate, who lets her continue stirring up justifications for people who do not own up to the real reason they dislike Obama.
That woman in Lakeville was not about to get up and say Obama, "is, uh, uh, he's black."
Not that all or even most supporters of McCain or Palin are racists. Some firefighters and cops whom I respect as much as anybody alive are big Palin fans, seeing her as a true representative of America's working people.
Obama's remark about people clinging to their guns and religion did not make it any easier for a liberal puke such as myself who finds much better company in a firehouse than a Manhattan cocktail party.
Obama is not the pal of terrorists that the Sarah Syndrome would have you believe.
I was originally alerted to the aptly named disorder by a researcher friend who cannot forgive the Bush administration for cutting funding to the point of driving a whole generation of researchers from science.
The future of science as well as the economy and health care and our two wars truly are fundamental issues of prime importance to all of us.
McCain is shaky on the economy in particular. And money trumps even race among enough voters to make the difference.
What the campaign is really all about for McCain is winning. Witness his choice of Sarah Palin in the first place.
Tina Fey made it seem hilarious. But, even Fey stops seeing the joke at the prospect of Palin becoming one aging heartbeat from the presidency.
Let's hope we do not get a hard lesson in Palin-ooops-ia!