Over at Pinocchio Theory Steve Shaviro has written an excellent account of Republican Vice President candidate Palin. In it Shaviro writes:

Just watching five minutes of YouTube clips is enough to show that Palin is one of the most charismatic and telegenic politicians in the US today. She radiates a combination of spunky energy, cool authority, and down-home reassurance. There is no question that she will be powerfully appealing to mainstream voters. She is yet another example of the right wing’s brilliance, over the last thirty years, in manipulating affect — in getting voters to feel good about candidates, and therefore to vote for them even against their own actual conscious interests. [read full entry here]

It is here that Shaviro, correctly, reminds us that concentrating on ideological positions is not enough. I am tempted to say that ideology is almost a non-entity in today’s politics. What is more important is how candidates can function as percepts to affect their potential voters. If we only focus on what they say or their beliefs then we miss the politics of affect. Hopefully, with Obama, the Democrats can now compete at this level.

In conjunction, politics is also post-ideological in the sense that beliefs get replaced with soundbites. Something that fox news have mastered. See this video for their latest ‘John Kerry’ attacks on Obama.

*Update, Recording Surfaces has also written a short blog entry that concentrates on understand Republican Politics without (only) focusing on their discourse/ideology, read it here.