The argument is being made that the Palin grandchild shifts the election from the economy and the war, two grounds on which Republicans are losing in public polls, to cultural issues, the one ground on which the Republicans are winning.

Maybe—though surely it’s an odd moment when an out-of-wedlock pregnancy becomes a symbol of conservative cultural values, but chalk it all up as yet another way in which abortion has skewed the natural divisions of American politics.

Still, I find the level of vituperation in this election cycle inexplicable. Events—even the war—are not making people angry, as far as I can tell. It seems, rather, that anger exists, a being in itself, and events are merely the excuses, plausible or not, by which it expresses itself.