I leave the intertubes for a week and the whole world goes crazy. Even the Guardian saw fit to discuss the fact that Palin winked at the camera during the veep debate. The woman fails to blink adequately and apparently the Democrats have to enter crisis sessions. Plus we get treated to another round of "gosh, she's so plain-spoken and average, that's exactly the kind of earthy common sense we want from the person who gets to decide if we reduce Russia and then ourselves to a nuclear wasteland".
I think it may be time to admit the truth to ourselves. The GOP are so intent on turning this election into American Idol that they're freely admitting it to the press. Just two days ago, McCain's campaign said it was going to go back to "comparing" their candidate's character with Obama's. Anything to avoid dirtying their hands with anything so icky as policy.
Maybe we should give up entirely on the idea of the people of the US voting for the person they feel more qualified to deal with the country's myriad problems. It was never that likely anyway. Instead, I suggest we embrace the politics-as-entertainment in its entirety and commission The Crystal Maze: Presidential Race Edition.
Think about it! Why put up with Jim Lehrer droning on when we can have Richard O'Brien prancing around in leopard skins? Let's see Palin wink at the camera halfway through wading through sludge whilst our host plays a blistering harmonica solo! She only has three minutes to drill for oil in Anwar, and if more than two caribou herds get their migration patterns disrupted then it's an automatic lock-in! Looks like McCain picked the wrong team member for a skill game in Post-Iraq-Oil-Crisis Zone!
Then the week after, it's Obama's turn. Can he grab a dangling crystal whilst simultanously crafting the New Deal in the face of the Wall Street Crash in Great Depression Zone? Will Biden have what it takes to travel to Civil War Zone and single-handedly break the chains of three dozen slaves in under two and a half minutes? And which of the two teams will do best in the giant transparent representation of Abraham Lincoln's head, which silently cries glassy tears for the death of the country he worked so hard to keep together and make greater, as they grab for the golden actual votes and try to separate them from the silver fraudulent votes? Will McCain even realise the difference?
This is the only fair way to choose. We can even build the set in a folksy town hall, if McCain won't stop bleating about it. Then we'll make all the votes out to look like they're from Florida. All of America's proud political history, contemporary political apathy, and endless political corruption, all in two one-hour specials that are easy for Chris Matthews and his hideous synapse-free zombie-bobblehead minions of idiocy to digest. Kinda sends a thrill up the leg, don't it?
UPDATE: Oh, and my e-mail is now fixed, for those as have it.