Apparently Keith Olbermann of MSNBC also noticed Sarah Palin's resemblance to Dolores Umbridge last night. I can't speak for Olbermann, of course, but I can explain why I made the connection.
Dolores Umbridge is a character in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She also appears in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. When Cornelius Fudge, the paranoid and inept Minister of Magic, becomes convinced that Albus Dumbledore is plotting to overthrow his ministry, he uses Dolores Umbridge to control the goings-on at Hogwarts. Umbridge starts out as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, but Fudge soon promotes her to "High Inquisitor" of Hogwarts, and eventually she replaces Dumbledore and becomes Headmistress.
Dolores Umbridge enforces a failing administration's desperate and unscrupulous attempts to silence dissent and retain power. Hateful and sadistic tendencies lurk below her thin veneer of cloying sweetness. She fires, or threatens to fire, anyone who does not obey her without question, as well as anyone she simply dislikes on a personal level. She is hungry for power, and she cruelly punishes anyone who opposes her. She is also a bigot, demonstrating extreme prejudice against anyone dissimilar to herself, including non-wizards, Muggle-borns, and non-human or semi-human magical creatures.
Why did Sarah Palin's speech last night bring Dolores Umbridge to mind? Because, like the fictional Fudge and Umbridge, McCain and Palin do not and cannot offer effective solutions to our problems. Because they attack those who do offer potential solutions. Because they sarcastically mock their opponents with pointed yet meaningless jabs. Because their rhetoric is full of hate and negativity. Because they are mean, and they seem to enjoy being mean. Because they lash out at anyone who disagrees. Because they would rather control people and restrict their choices than offer them greater freedom or improve their lives. Because they are deeply and desperately afraid of change.
I would rather be on Dumbledore's side, wouldn't you?