From The Wilson Quarterly, what’s wrong with American democracy? Larry Bartels on the irrational electorate; Denis MacShane on an admirable folly; Gil Troy on burying the hatchet; and Scott Keeter on poll power. From NYRB, Colm Toibin on James Baldwin and Barack Obama. From TNR, David Samuels on how Ralph Ellison explains Barack Obama. From Time, a cover story on The Limits of Race: As the economy falters, race is receding. From The Root, it's racism: Hate-fueled campaigning cannot be covered as mere political hardball; and the MILFy Way: How the GOP is using this low-grade obscenity to sell Sarah Palin. Naomi Wolfe on the Palin charade. An article on Tina Fey and the ten funniest political impressions of all time. From The Village Voice, an article on The Book of Sarah (Palin): Strafing the Palin record. Michael Kinsley on how Senator McCain lost it at a Puerto Rican casino. Form Radar, an interview with pop maven John McCain. Why talk shows like “The View” are showcasing some of the most sophisticated (and mind-numbingly stupid) conversations about the presidential race. Major shock: Two NSA linguists disclose that hundreds of Americans had their private, intimate telephone calls recorded and transcribed by Bush's illegal spying program. Nat Hentoff on The Next American Revolution: When it becomes necessary to bring King George to justice.