I mentioned previously that the Republicans seem to have updated “San Francisco values” with “community organizer” as snide cultural referent. Giuliani got the most laughter of the night out of it–it worked, at least for the audience.

Why? My favorite blogger, Billmon, an experienced political and financial journalist and one of the world’s most astute pessimists, thinks it was code for “poverty pimp.” I disagree somewhat–it’s more likely, or better yet also, code for hippie. Billmon writes: “When it comes to playing the dog whistle, these guys are Mozarts.” He’s right, it’s a masterpiece of loaded compression. Roland Martin is pissed.

Initial reaction among some of the more reflective left-wing observers about Palin’s speech–i.e. not those who are calling her Tracy Flick, please stop underestimating her kthx–is mixed. I’m not ready to walk back my take yet, but if there’s a consensus it’s that it is so fucking on. If you were hoping Election 2008 would turn into Death Race, stay tuned.

[There was one thing about the speech that honestly made me happy: after her party flacks spent a couple days painting her as a victim, that storyline is DOA, and I think we’re all a little better off for it.]