Monday, September 01, 2008

The Palin Post I No Longer Need to Write














I know, I know...where in the world have I been? Obama picks a V.P. The Democratic National Convention. McCain picks a V.P. And nary a word from me.

I've simply been too busy. Work. Screenings. Heck, I haven't even had a decent night's sleep in nearly a month. Between two weeks of the Olympics, the Dems in Denver and now McCain and Co. kicking it off in the Twin Cities, I've been lucky to go to bed before 2am since the Opening Ceremonies!

Which is not to say I don't have anything to say. With each milestone I've wanted to offer my two cents but have been too ensconced in other details to get around to it.

Perhaps a few quick and dirty summarizations are in order.

Biden: Not exactly the most inspirational choice but certainly the wisest. And he's been growing on me. I don't feel Biden's insider status undercuts Obama's sense of change. After all, the President sets the direction and the Vice President tacks that line. (Present administration excluded). Biden is yet another example of Obama surrounding himself with the smartest people in the room, and the senator from Delaware certainly fits the bill. Now if he can only keep his big mouth shut!

The Democratic National Convention: Sure, it's a week long infomercial, political theatrics at their best, one part official business and nine parts circus, but Denver was easily the best convention I've ever seen staged. Michelle was poised and graceful, Hillary was passionate and resolute, Bill was surprising and dynamic, Biden was ferocious and authentic, and Obama's acceptance speech was simply sublime. It had the perfect balance of soaring rhetoric and nitty gritty details. It had the swell of history and the spice of future promise. And it just plain looked amazing set amongst 80,000 people in Mile High. That the first African-American nominee of any major political party was confirmed on the anniversary of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech is a piece of delicious fate. Truly, we must never turn back.

The Republican National Convention: Big surprise that the Republicans have curtailed much of their convention for the next day or so. They say it is so all attention can be focused on the potential destruction hurricane Gustav may bring, but, in reality, the last thing they want are New Orleans' residents evoking images from three years ago when Bush was helping McCain blow out the forrest of candles on his birthday cake while Katrina surged ashore. Rumor has it both Bush and Cheney will skip the convention alltogether to manage relief efforts. I'm sure McCain is all broken up about that.

So that just leaves Sarah "I'm pro-life unless you're a polar bear" Palin. McCain's pick is shameless pandering to Hillary's disenfranchised (good luck getting more than a handful given her staunchly anti-abortion stance). And it shows a staggering lack of judgement and shameful willingness to win at absolutely all costs. McCain picked Palin to help him win an election, not lead a country.

As I was getting ready to write something on the choice of the Alaska governor, a dear friend posted a commentary that sums up everything I feel and then some. I've copied and pasted his post below, or you can read it in it's original location here.

And so without further ado:

"Senator McCain's choice for his running mate is not first a political issue for me, it angers me as an American. Let's break it down, shall we?

Sarah Palin will enter the race with a high school basketball championship, a victory in the Wasilla, Alaska Beauty Contest, a University of Idaho journalism degree, a one-year-old passport, two terms as the mayor of a village, and 20 months on the job as the governor of the fourth smallest and arguably least typical state in the country. I know what you just did. I did it too. You just thought, "I could have done that." Okay, maybe most of us couldn't have, but it's not a huge leap. Yeah, yeah, the beauty contest thing would be an absolute impossibility for some of us.

What's the big deal? Don't we want someone in the White House that's a lot like us? No! Not me. I want someone very, very different from me! Someone much better than me should occupy the most important chair in the world. Palin is probably a pretty impressive person, but she doesn't get in the same arena with the people running for this office. Dan Quayle was an impressive nominee next to this.

So why am I mad? Because John McCain gave such little thought to the well-being of his country when he made this decision. A colleague who may prefer to remain anonymous gave me a boost on this analysis. Currently, there is about a 50/50 chance that 72-year-old McCain will be elected the oldest president in our history at the beginning of his term. I'm no medical doctor, but add his multiple bouts with cancer into the mix and he couldn't have more than a 50 percent chance of surviving his first administration. Charlie Black, one of McCain's top advisers, said that "most doctors think that he will be around at least that long." Most? There are some doctors who think otherwise? Perhaps we should get a second opinion. Let me finish crunching the numbers. This means that there is a 25-30 percent chance Sarah Palin will be President of the United States. Soon. Black goes on to say Palin is "going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years." So, she's going to be taking the train home to Wilmington, Delaware to Joe Biden's house each night? No, seriously. Seriously? What if she doesn't have four years to study? They don't have a GED for president, do they?

Are you kidding me? This is scary. We could have a president in a matter of months who has no demonstrable knowledge of world affairs, no national security experience whatsoever, no experience with broad domestic policies or economic issues, but who has shot a moose.

Let's ignore for the moment that Palin is a strident culture warrior on life issues, a supporter of mandated creationism in public schools, and does not believe human activity is the cause for global warming, this is just a terrible management decision. One that was so bad, everyone (Republicans included) was in stunned silence at first. Of course the GOP has fallen in line, what else are they going to do?

Is John McCain's judgment that bad, or does he just have no regard for us (his country) at all?

Pundits say that at the very least it nullifies the experience argument, since Obama is inexperienced too. Again, are you kidding me? Pay attention to this one, because this is the analysis you'll only get here.

Even if you believe that Senator Obama's Ivy League degrees, Harvard Law Review, years as a community organizer, multiple terms as an Illinois state senator from Chicago, and four years as a U.S. Senator still leave his resume thin, consider that he has served for nearly two years as the CEO of the largest and arguably most disciplined and successful grassroots campaign in our history winning support of tens of millions of voters along the way. He went on to pass the experience test when world leader after world leader parroted his ideas, and nearly a quarter of a million people came out to hear him speak in Germany. He passed the experience test when dozens of decorated generals publicly endorsed him and supported his views on national security, and when economic experts across the country in academia and political administrations certified his economic plans as sound. He passed all those tests, then in his first real presidential decision he selected a running mate whose experience far surpasses John McCain's.

Sarah Palin does not meet the experience test and she was not vetted by election, she was appointed. I'm sure she is a great person. People testify to her plain-spokenness and her maverick style. She's a member of the NRA for gosh sakes. I'm sure she's a hoot. A spitfire. A veritable ring-tailed tooter. She's a pistol, for sure. Unfortunately, we're not auditioning for Annie Get Your Gun. This is the real deal. And it's important, damn it.

Someone may be tempted to make gender bias my issue. Sorry. I have two beautiful daughters, and I desperately hope for a woman president. No sexism here, latent or otherwise.

This is about judgment. John McCain has failed this test so miserably, he deserves disqualification on this ground alone.

I guess there is one positive thing to come from the Palin selection. Once again, in this country, we can believe that anyone can be president. And I mean, anyone."

47 Comments:

Anonymous POD said...

I can see this post becoming a really long discourse (i.e. pissing contest) on the experience litmus for Governor Palin; however, with that being said, I would tread very lightly on belittling the fact that she is an elected governor of a state, and has done very well from a governor approval standpoint. She has well documented and deep history of challenging special interests in Alaska, as well challenging the political status quo.

Her nomination has electrified the conservative base and now millions of voters that may have otherwise stayed at home will flock to the voter booths. The latest poll that I read shows the race neck and neck (49-48 Obama) - and that the Sen Obama's post convention "bounce" has virtually been eliminated - and this is prior to the Republican convention...

IMHO, Sen McCain has chosen brilliantly, and simply surprised the hell out of everyone. The execution of the leak couldn't have been timed better... the McCain campaign has been successful in defining itself as "maverick" and is now seen less and less as the campaign of "four more years of Bush". That is their real accomplishment over the last few weeks. McCain's choice has been interpreted as a "Hail Mary" and as an act of desperation; however, it is perfectly in line and consistent with his know persona. Thus his choice was made from a vantage of self-confidence, and not as an act of a desperation.

Don't underestimate the capabilities of this woman... so far she has yet to really prove herself on the national campaign trail, so the potential is that she may end up surprising us all. I wait in anticipation for the debate between her and Sen Biden (who despite his foreign policy credentials, has revealed to be more incorrect about his ideas (specifically on the issue of splitting Iraq into ethnic factions) than correct, especially when the events of the last 20 months (the apparent success of the surge) have been taken into consideration.

In closing, I will say again: don't underestimate Governor Palin...

10:11 AM  
Blogger Rhonda said...

I can't decide which is my favorite part:
"Dan Quayle was an impressive nominee next to this" or "She's a pistol, for sure. Unfortunately, we're not auditioning for Annie Get Your Gun."

10:18 AM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Biden is yet another example of Obama surrounding himself with the smartest people in the room, and the senator from Delaware certainly fits the bill. Now if he can only keep his big mouth shut!

So Obama has excellent judgment in choosing people who keep displaying poor judgment (i.e. people like Jeremiah Wright and Joe Biden who keep saying embarrassing things)?

And come to think of it, that applies to Obama's campaign staff, too. Seriously, "disciplined"? All through this campaign -- including their reaction to Palin's appointment as McCain's VP -- the Obama campaign has been saying and doing nasty, extremist and/or undisciplined things, only to have Obama himself come out and say that no, no, they didn't really mean it, or they didn't speak for him, or whatever.

The good cop / bad cop routine that Obama and his team have been playing on the country these last several months does not bode well for what an actual Obama administration would look like.

And is "I'm pro-life unless you're a polar bear" supposed to be a criticism of some sort? Animals don't have human rights. That's because they're not, y'know, humans. And next to Obama's track record of defending de facto infanticide and lying about it afterwards, Palin's pro-life credentials are looking pretty good.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

By the way, do we really want to go after Sarah Palin for governing the 4th-smallest state in the union, when Joe Biden has been merely representing the 6th-smallest state in the union? Alaska may have only 683,478 people, according to Wikipedia, but Delaware has only 864,764. So, yeah, Palin's state is smaller than the metropolitan area that I live in, but so is Biden's state. Big deal.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous POD said...

Here is my version "The Palin Post I No Longer Need to Write":

(note that remarks made within brackets [] are from me and not from the writer of this article...)

September 01, 2008
"Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama"

By Gerard Baker (the US Editor and Assistant Editor of The Times of London)

Democrats, between sniggers of derision and snorts of disgust, contend that Sarah Palin, John McCain's vice-presidential pick is ridiculously unqualified to be president.

It's a reasonable objection on its face except for this small objection: it surely needs to be weighed against the Democrats' claim that their own candidate for president is self-evidently ready to assume the role of most powerful person on the planet.

At first blush, here's what we know about the relative experience of the two candidates. Both are in their mid-forties and have held statewide elective office for less than four years. Both have admitted to taking illegal drugs in their youth.

So much for the similarities. How about the differences?

Political experience

Obama: Worked his way to the top by cultivating, pandering to and stroking the most powerful interest groups in the all-pervasive Chicago political machine, ensuring his views were aligned with the power brokers there.

Palin: Worked her way to the top by challenging, attacking and actively undermining the Republican party establishment in her native Alaska. She ran against incumbent Republicans as a candidate willing and able to clean the Augean Stables of her state's government.

Political Biography

Obama: A classic, if unusually talented, greasy-pole climber. Held a succession of jobs that constitute the standard route to the top in his party's internal politics: "community organizer", law professor, state senator.

Palin:A woman with a wide range of interests in a well-variegated life. Held a succession of jobs - sports journalist, commercial fisherwoman, state oil and gas commissioner, before entering local politics. A resume that suggests something other than burning political ambition from the cradle but rather the sort of experience that enables her to understand the concerns of most Americans..


Political history

Obama: Elected to statewide office only after a disastrous first run for a congressional seat and after his Republican opponent was exposed in a sexual scandal. Won seat eventually in contest against a candidate who didn't even live in the state.


Palin: Elected to statewide office by challenging a long-serving Republican incumbent governor despite intense opposition from the party.


Appeal


Obama: A very attractive speaker whose celebrity has been compared to that of Britney Spears and who sends thrills up Chris Matthews' leg

Palin: A very attractive woman, much better-looking than Britney Spears who speaks rather well too. She sends thrills up the leg of Rush Limbaugh (and me).


Executive experience

Obama: Makes executive decisions every day that affect the lives of his campaign staff and a vast crowd of traveling journalists [here's the shout out to your post, Brandon]

Palin:Makes executive decisions every day that affect the lives of 500,000 people in her state, and that impact crucial issues of national economic interest such as the supply and cost of energy to the United States.

Religious influences

Obama: Regards people who "cling" to religion and guns as "bitter" . Spent 20 years being mentored and led spiritually by a man who proclaimed "God damn America" from his pulpit. Mysteriously, this mentor completely disappeared from public sight about four months ago.

Palin: Head of her high school Fellowship of Christian Athletes and for many years a member of the Assemblies of God congregation whose preachers have never been known to accuse the United States of deliberately spreading the AIDS virus. They remain in full public sight and can be seen every Sunday in churches across Alaska. A proud gun owner who has been known to cling only to the carcasses of dead caribou felled by her own aim.


Record of bipartisan achievement

Obama: Speaks movingly of the bipartisanship needed to end the destructive politics of "Red America" and "Blue America", but votes in the Senate as a down-the-line Democrat, with one of the most liberal voting records in congress.


Palin: Ridiculed by liberals such as John Kerry as a crazed, barely human, Dick Cheney-type conservative but worked wit Democrats in the state legislature to secure landmark anti-corruption legislation.

Former state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz - a Democrat - said. "Gov. Palin has made her name fighting corruption within her own party, and I was honored when she stepped across party lines and asked me to co-author her ethics white paper."


On Human Life

Obama: Devoutly pro-choice. Voted against a bill in the Illinois state senate that would have required doctors to save the lives of babies who survived abortion procedures. The implication of this position is that babies born prematurely during abortions would be left alone, unnourished and unmedicated, until they died. [I don't understand how ANYONE can be "pro-life" and pro-Obama, despite his "nuanced" view on this subject]

Palin: Devoutly pro-life. Exercised the choice proclaimed by liberals to bring to full term a baby that had been diagnosed in utero with Down Syndrome. [a true judgement of character in the face of adversity and prevailing opinion - mind you, this is also a McCain trait as well]

Now it's true there are other crucial differences. Sen Obama has appeared on Meet The Press every other week for the last four years. He has been the subject of hundreds of adoring articles in papers and newsweeklies and TV shows and has written two Emmy-award winning books.

Gov Palin has never appeared on Meet the Press, never been on the cover of Newsweek. She presumably feels that, as a mother of five children married to a snowmobile champion, who also happens to be the first woman and the youngest person ever to be elected governor of her state, she has not really done enough yet to merit an autobiography.

Then again, I'm willing to bet that if she had authored The Grapes of Wrath, sung like Edith Piaf and composed La Traviata , she still wouldn't have won an Emmy. [because she is a conservative and does not hold "Hollywood" values]

Fortunately, it will be up to the American people and not their self-appointed leaders in Hollywood and New York to determine who really has the better experience to be president.

[end of article]

11:35 AM  
Anonymous robyn said...

it's a ridiculous choice and women should be offended. not only is she not experienced but she's about the least experienced republican woman for the job. If McCain was actually interested in making history for women their are plenty of conservative women who have earned their stripes. This is insulting because this is a beauty queen who's policies belie her own disdain for other women. He's counting on the sexist dittoheads of his party to fall in line behind a cute, and non-threatening woman and expecting former Hillary supporters to ignore her politics and be dazzled by the fact that she has breasts too! The comparison of Palin and Obama's experience is insulting. She is also currently under investigation for hiring corruption in her native state. McCain is old an it is the worst, most cynical type of identity politics that will make this woman possibly the first female president. I would rather have 20 years of white liberal men running this country than one term of an anti-choice, reactionary woman. Unfortunately, people don't vote on the issues in this country so this pick just might work and then, honestly, we deserve whatever we get.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Reacher said...

You're right, POD, we can piss on each other all day long about the value of the Palin pick. There's no question it could prove to be politically successful. No one disputes that. And, comparisons to Obama are not completely unfair, even though how we fall on that will almost certainly be predetermined by the ground we've already staked out. For instance, POD and Chattaway appear prepared to defend her no matter what (unlike many members of the Alaskan GOP). I'm interested what the threshold of inexperience and poor judgment is for them. Who would be too inexperienced? Or, is no one too inexperienced as long as they go to church, shoot a gun, and oppose all abortions everywhere?

Here's the issue that's missed: The man who stands a statistically greater chance of not living through his first term than perhaps any past president has picked the most inexperienced running mate in modern history (that is indisputable). Under normal conditions, 1 in 3 VPs end up taking over the office. That makes it almost as likely as not that Palin will be president soon. Maverick, pro-life culture warrior, executive experience, etc., not withstanding, McCain placed politics and his own arrogance above our country.

She may prove to be the greatest president we've ever had, but based on what he knew at the time this choice was reckless and irresponsible. Conservatives everywhere are snickering and smirking at this choice. I, for one, don't think history ends in November. And I don't think it's funny.

By the way, if Obama played games like McCain did in this choice, he would have picked Hillary and the GOP might as well have packed up and gone home, but he didn't. He made some calculations, sure, but mostly he selected a statesman who no one questions, except on partisan grounds.

By the way, the Delaware/Alaska comparisons are a red herring. Biden doesn't simply make decisions for Delaware, he makes decisions that directly effect the nation and the world.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

For instance, POD and Chattaway appear prepared to defend her no matter what (unlike many members of the Alaskan GOP).

Oh, hardly. I learned long ago not to treat any politician as the Messiah. And while I've been feeling pretty good about Palin so far, I am also deeply skeptical of emotions in general, including my own. So, no worries there.

And I thought the fact that Palin had enemies in the Alaskan GOP establishment was supposed to be one of her selling points. It is, at any rate, part of her narrative. So I don't see how bringing that up is supposed to constitute some sort of criticism against Palin, unless you want to argue that she is more corrupt than they are.

I'm interested what the threshold of inexperience and poor judgment is for them.

Trust me, the possibility that she might turn out to be another Stockwell Day is never far from my mind. But I'm prepared to wait and see how the next few months pan out. I certainly know that experience, itself, is no guarantee of anything.

And if you want to argue that Palin has shown poor judgment in some important way, and that her lapses in judgment are worse than Obama's many known lapses of judgment, then by all means, do so.

Here's the issue that's missed: The man who stands a statistically greater chance of not living through his first term than perhaps any past president . . .

Statistics based on what? Mere age? Isn't this why McCain has released over a thousand pages of medical records?

FWIW, I believe only two presidents have died within months of beginning their first term: William Henry Harrison (1841, aged 68) caught a cold three weeks after his inauguration and died nine days later, and James Garfield (1881, aged 49) was shot by an assassin a few months after his inauguration and died two-and-a-half months later. With 21st century medicine, presumably these 19th century men would have survived.

Under normal conditions, 1 in 3 VPs end up taking over the office.

But not the day after the president's inauguration. There is, arguably, time to learn on the job.

McCain placed politics and his own arrogance above our country.

Heh. It's fascinating to see Obama's defenders suddenly using all the anti-Obama arguments against McCain. So the arguments themselves do have merit, then?

She may prove to be the greatest president we've ever had, but based on what he knew at the time . . .

Um, how do you know what he knew at the time?

Conservatives everywhere are snickering and smirking at this choice.

I dunno, based on what I've been reading and hearing lately, I'd say conservatives have been more surprised by joy than inclined to snicker. If any VP choice has had conservatives snickering lately, it was Obama's selection of Biden. They're just sitting back and waiting for the next few months of entertaining gaffes to roll on by.

Obama . . . made some calculations, sure, but mostly he selected a statesman who no one questions, except on partisan grounds.

Well, even Brandon admits above that Biden's mouth tends to run off a little longer than it should. More substantially, you surely don't have to be a Republican to think that some of his ideas are spectacularly ill-advised, such as his suggestion that Iraq be divided into separate territories (because, as the partition of India and Pakistan showed us, dividing nations and creating new borders for countries to fight over is always soooooo helpful...).

By the way, the Delaware/Alaska comparisons are a red herring. Biden doesn't simply make decisions for Delaware, he makes decisions that directly effect the nation and the world.

Well, no, as one legislator among many, he merely votes on decisions that affect the nation and the world. But yes, we should be paying close attention to how he votes, and what sorts of ideas he tries to impose on the world.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

BTW, regarding foreign relations experience, etc.:

Alaska borders two nations: Canada and Russia.

Delaware borders ... how many?

I'm vague on the details, but I hear that Palin negotiated some sort of pipeline with the Canadian side of the border. Meanwhile, I can't forget that wonderful moment when Obama said he would phone "the President of Canada" and get him to agree to changes in NAFTA, or else he'd rip up the deal. You'd almost think Canada wasn't Illinois's biggest trading partner, or something.

Oh, but I forget. Obama was just one of Illinois's many legislators. It's not like he was the governor or anything.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Reacher said...

Wow. You seem to be pretty smart...or at least willing to spend countless hours on the Internet finding prooftexts for your arguments. So, the fact that you would raise the Russia and Canada argument is mind-blowing. Proximity does not a foreign policy expert make. Seriously, you're going to, by extension, suggest that Palin is better positioned than Biden or Obama on foreign policy, when she admitted to knowing nothing much about the situation in Iraq, except what she'd seen on TV. And, if she is so well-known by Russia, why do you suppose no one consulted her on the Russia-Georgia situation? Of course, no one consulted the Democrats eith...oh, wait, Georgia specifically invited Biden to come help them solve their problems.

I believe you when you say you don't treat candidates as Messiahs, but you seem to be quite comfortable treating some as Satans. Then, the bifurcating language you use advocates the other as a messiah, without you having to actually stake out that ground and be held accountable for it. It's an age-old rhetorical device: traffic in dichotomizing attacks and let the force of your negatives seem to supply positive arguments in silence.

Witness your argument that Alaskan GOPs opposing her boosts her maverick cred. These are people who are unflinching McCain supporters. They are the ones taking a maverick stance, questioning a decision in a way that harms their overall cause.

You make the absurb proposal that we suspend judgment on Palin and that we should wait and see how things go. That would be great, if this were January. And, to your suggestion that we stack up her judgment to Obama's? Please, let's do. I can't imagine it being possible, since she doesn't have enough publicly tested positions to make them stackable.

I must say it's interesting what we're finding out hour by hour about her (things McCain clearly did not know), like her support for Sen. Stevens and the bridge to nowhere. She was for it and him, until she was against it and him. Real maverick.

You argue that she would have time to learn in office. Granted, no one is ready for that job on day one (except Hillary), but to suggest that Palin is anywhere close to as ready as, say, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Tom Ridge, Mitt Romney, Huckabee, Rice, etc. is nonsense. No way you win that argument, which leaves you with the unmistakable fact that her selection was purely political, about winning an election, not about governing the country in the most responsible manner.

"Heh. It's fascinating to see Obama's defenders suddenly using all the anti-Obama arguments against McCain. So the arguments themselves do have merit, then?"

I don't even know what this means. Republicans argue Obama is arrogant when hundreds of thousands of people clamor to hear him, and he is confident in his voice. It might strike one as stylistically arrogant, but not harmful to the country. McCain is known for having a temper and for making decision he deems in the interest of the "country first," will little regard for whether anyone else (like the country) thinks so. I know that's considered strong, and collaboration and compromise are considered weak, but give me a president who knows how to listen and attack last, rather than a "maverick" who doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks. We already have one of those.

And, sure some conservatives are filled with joy, because they see a culture warrior like them and the chance that this could work. The people you are describing have always cared more about winning than responsible government. They are the people who do not flinch at the news of innocent lives lost in the Iraq misadventure. They are the people, who even if there was proof that twice as many people would die if we overturned Roe (not making that claim, just an example), they wouldn't back down; because it's about being right and winning, not serving the least of these. For instance, many of them would focus on the moral superiority of their teenage daughter marrying and carrying her baby to term, rather than question whether they should have insisted on abstinence-only sex ed, instead of giving their daughter the knowledge and support she needed as a sexually-active young person.

Your critique of Biden: occasional gaffes, and his thoughts on partitioning Iraq. Really? This makes him a worse choice than Palin? What are her thoughts on Iraq? Or, on anything beyond Alaska? Whatever they are they will be recent concoctions to satisfy the campaign. She has never been in a situation where her ideas have been tested on such issues. Before you escape the Biden issue by saying, "What about Obama?", all it takes is a quick search to find time after time Obama's ideas have been confirmed and supported by world leaders and experts in the field. (I know it seems arrogant when he points to the likelihood of his restoring our moral standing in the world, but when most of the world seems to really like what you say, it's hard to not mention the possibilities.) Palin may get there too, and I agree that waiting several months to see how she addressed the issues wouldn't be bad, but a VP selection at this late date doesn't give us that option.

Well, it's been fun, but I have a job I've been neglecting. Maybe I'll drop in again. I'm sure the chatter won't stop any time soon.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Wow. You seem to be pretty smart...or at least willing to spend countless hours on the Internet finding prooftexts for your arguments.

No, I'm just a voracious reader with a decent memory. :)

So, the fact that you would raise the Russia and Canada argument is mind-blowing. Proximity does not a foreign policy expert make.

Never said it did, so that's obviously a straw man. I'm simply saying that some experience -- as exemplified, for example, by negotiating deals with foreign countries -- is better than none.

Obviously there are more countries in the world than Russia and Canada. And of course, it is McCain and not Palin who would be determining foreign policy. But if you're going to insinuate that she has no experience at all, then you are simply wrong.

I believe you when you say you don't treat candidates as Messiahs, but you seem to be quite comfortable treating some as Satans.

Example, please.

It's an age-old rhetorical device: traffic in dichotomizing attacks and let the force of your negatives seem to supply positive arguments in silence.

If you mean to say that I regard some evils as lesser than others, then yes, I do. Don't you?

Witness your argument that Alaskan GOPs opposing her boosts her maverick cred.

That's not an argument, it's simply a fact that Palin was introduced to us as someone who challenged the Alaska GOP and won, as someone who had earned her status as a "maverick" and a "reformer" by challenging the party establishment in her state (which is, of course, the exact opposite of Obama's narrative when it comes to the Chicago Democrats). If you think you have new facts that have not been included in her narrative -- indeed, facts that compromise her narrative -- then by all means, spell them out. But to simply say "many people in her party oppose her" warrants nothing more than a "Well, duh."

You make the absurb proposal that we suspend judgment on Palin and that we should wait and see how things go.

No, I didn't say that that was what you should do. I said that that is what I will do. It's not up to me to prove that Palin does or doesn't have what it takes; that's up to her, and it's up to McCain, and I for one am prepared to be disappointed.

And, to your suggestion that we stack up her judgment to Obama's? Please, let's do. I can't imagine it being possible, since she doesn't have enough publicly tested positions to make them stackable.

I'll take Palin's honest ignorance on the Iraq question over Obama's since-discredited assertion that the surge would make things worse in Iraq, sure. And as far as I know, Palin has not cozied up to any unrepentant terrorists or race-baiting preachers. But if you can produce any evidence that she has, then by all means, do.

I must say it's interesting what we're finding out hour by hour about her (things McCain clearly did not know) . . .

Again you make assertions about McCain's knowledge or lack thereof -- based, I ask again, on what?

You argue that she would have time to learn in office. Granted, no one is ready for that job on day one (except Hillary), but to suggest that Palin is anywhere close to as ready as, say, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Tom Ridge, Mitt Romney, Huckabee, Rice, etc. is nonsense. No way you win that argument . . .

Good thing I'm not making it, then. You really should learn to pay attention to the arguments that people are making before you try to rebutt them.

. . . which leaves you with the unmistakable fact that her selection was purely political, about winning an election, not about governing the country in the most responsible manner.

Oh please. When has a vice-presidential pick not been political? The whole point of picking a vice-president is to curry favour with some demographic that hasn't been won over yet, or to bolster the campaign persona of the existing presidential candidate. McCain is no different from Obama in this regard -- except for the possibility that Palin might affirm McCain's message, whereas Biden compromised Obama's.

I don't even know what this means. Republicans argue Obama is arrogant when hundreds of thousands of people clamor to hear him, and he is confident in his voice.

Ha! No, there are other reasons.

. . . give me a president who knows how to listen and attack last . . .

You mean Obama? The guy who is constantly putting out fires started by his staff and supporters? The guy whose team is constantly attacking first, and thereby giving Obama the opportunity to position himself as The Reasonable One who can rise above the fray?

They are the people who do not flinch at the news of innocent lives lost in the Iraq misadventure.

Of course they flinch. But at least they're doing something about it -- unlike Obama, who was quite happy to let Iraqis suffer in similar numbers under Saddam, and who has apparently been quite happy to abandon Iraqis to the slaughterhouse ever since. Out of sight, out of mind, and all that.

They are the people, who even if there was proof that twice as many people would die if we overturned Roe (not making that claim, just an example), they wouldn't back down; because it's about being right and winning, not serving the least of these.

If you mean "because it's about the ends not justifying the means", then I don't see the problem with that.

Except, of course, that the obvious exception to that rule is the waging of warfare. So unless you're prepared to be a pacifist -- and there is absolutely no way that anyone running for Commander-in-Chief can be a pacifist -- you obviously have to accept that some ends do justify some means.

But there is still a world of difference between the accidental killing of innocent civilians in pursuit of a noble cause and the deliberate killing of innocent people for the sake of personal convenience.

Your critique of Biden: occasional gaffes, and his thoughts on partitioning Iraq. Really? This makes him a worse choice than Palin?

I don't believe I said that. Again, you might want to pay attention and think a little before posting your replies. I do, however, think that his gaffes will make for an entertaining campaign, and that his ideas on Iraq were so spectacularly bad that I have difficulty imagining anyone else's will be worse. (And of course, it is McCain, not Palin, who will be setting the policy here.)

What are her thoughts on Iraq? Or, on anything beyond Alaska? Whatever they are they will be recent concoctions to satisfy the campaign.

So long as they're good, who cares how "recent" they are?

. . . all it takes is a quick search to find time after time Obama's ideas have been confirmed and supported by world leaders and experts in the field.

Then you should have no trouble producing a for-instance or two.

I know it seems arrogant when he points to the likelihood of his restoring our moral standing in the world, but when most of the world seems to really like what you say, it's hard to not mention the possibilities.

Are you seriously insinuating that popularity equals moral standing? (And popularity with whom, exactly?)

6:37 PM  
Blogger Reacher said...

YOU: No, I'm just a voracious reader with a decent memory. :)

ME: Now who’s arrogant. Sheesh. And, besides, it’s not “decent” memory, it’s “selective” memory. In fact, at times it acts like a memory that was downloaded from the James Dobson mainframe. Sorry. That was low.

M: So, the fact that you would raise the Russia and Canada argument is mind-blowing. Proximity does not a foreign policy expert make.

Y: Never said it did, so that's obviously a straw man. I'm simply saying that some experience -- as exemplified, for example, by negotiating deals with foreign countries -- is better than none.

M: A straw man would be a misrepresentation used as a warrant for an inaccurate response. You set Palin’s proximity against Biden’s residence as a clear enthymeme, where the unspoken premise was that being governor in Alaska trumps being a Delaware senator. You were not arguing that some experience is better than none, you were directly putting Palin against Biden. If you would like to make that argument now, I suppose we can allow it. But, don’t be making a habit of it, it makes ol’ Reacher tired to backtrack.

Y: Obviously there are more countries in the world than Russia and Canada. And of course, it is McCain and not Palin who would be determining foreign policy. But if you're going to insinuate that she has no experience at all, then you are simply wrong.

M: On most of this you are correct, even though they are new arguments raised in rebuttals (tsk-tsk) that unethically represent my original arguments. Who’s slinging straw now, huh? However, it is probably accurate to say that I insinuated she had no foreign policy experience. In this context, I concede you are right. There, that’s not impossible to say is it? But, if by foreign policy we are talking about U.S. foreign policy, then I would be right.

M: I believe you when you say you don't treat candidates as Messiahs, but you seem to be quite comfortable treating some as Satans.

Y: Example, please.

M: Really? I’m assuming we’re speaking in metaphorical terms and that no one was actually talking about prophecy-fulfilling saviors or fallen angels with near godlike powers? I assume we’re talking about god terms and devil terms. If so, I would say accusing someone of supporting infanticide and cozying up to unrepentant terrorists and race-baiting preachers as The Reasonable One (the uppercase letters can be a messianic or a mephistophelian device, depending on their context) is to cast them as The Bad Guy. Don’t for a minute suggest that you have been objective and detached about Obama.

M: It's an age-old rhetorical device: traffic in dichotomizing attacks and let the force of your negatives seem to supply positive arguments in silence.

Y: If you mean to say that I regard some evils as lesser than others, then yes, I do. Don't you?

M: No, no. I didn’t make myself clear. My bad…or, My Bad. When you put most of the force of your argument into the critique of your opponent’s, you can engage in a sleight of hand that seems to make the arguments for you seem stronger, when in fact, you have only weakened your opponent, not strengthened yourself. It’s like the absolutists who critique the relativists by saying that claims of relativity are absolutes. It’s a nice logic trick, and it usually works to get the absolutist out of the uncomfortable position of having to detail, with clarity, all the absolutes. “If my opponent appears to have made a weak argument, then I must be right by default.” Of course I believe there are lesser evils, otherwise how could I be involved in politics?

M: Witness your argument that Alaskan GOPs opposing her boosts her maverick cred.

Y: That's not an argument, it's simply a fact that Palin was introduced to us as someone who challenged the Alaska GOP and won, as someone who had earned her status as a "maverick" and a "reformer" by challenging the party establishment in her state (which is, of course, the exact opposite of Obama's narrative when it comes to the Chicago Democrats). If you think you have new facts that have not been included in her narrative -- indeed, facts that compromise her narrative -- then by all means, spell them out. But to simply say "many people in her party oppose her" warrants nothing more than a "Well, duh."

M: Again, you miss my argument. I take full responsibility for obfuscating the issue so much as to lead you into error. My Bad. You used the maverick/reformer argument to describe the fact that a number of Alaskan Republicans have publicly questioned the VP selection. I pointed out that this does not demonstrate her maverick character, it actually brings out evidence from reluctant witnesses (people who would presumably support a McCain presidency over an Obama presidency), which is one of the strongest forms of evidence. I would add that Palin’s mother-in-law and some Palin-friendly newspapers also questioned the wisdom of the choice. You say, my noting she is opposed by many in her own party warrants a “well, duh”? It should warrant far more than that. Of course there are some Democrats not supporting Obama, but I don’t think they are in his state or family.

M: You make the absurb proposal that we suspend judgment on Palin and that we should wait and see how things go.

Y: No, I didn't say that that was what you should do. I said that that is what I will do. It's not up to me to prove that Palin does or doesn't have what it takes; that's up to her, and it's up to McCain, and I for one am prepared to be disappointed.

M: I assumed that when you say what you are doing that it serves as a recommendation for the rest of us. You don’t seem to be strong on humility. Again, My Bad. Here’s where we differ deeply. I think it needs to be proven pretty clearly that she has what it takes before she’s chosen. Finding out you are disappointed won’t come until it’s too late. Of course, this is not a science, but as I said before, this selection flew in the face of many other better qualified candidates.


M: And, to your suggestion that we stack up her judgment to Obama's? Please, let's do. I can't imagine it being possible, since she doesn't have enough publicly tested positions to make them stackable.

Y: I'll take Palin's honest ignorance on the Iraq question over Obama's since-discredited assertion that the surge would make things worse in Iraq, sure. And as far as I know, Palin has not cozied up to any unrepentant terrorists or race-baiting preachers. But if you can produce any evidence that she has, then by all means, do.

M: "Honest ignorance." Cute slogan, but hardly what we should be looking for in a VP for Grandpa. I will expect Obama to explain more fully his position on the surge, when McCain (or Palin...don't know what her position was at the time) admits he got it wrong on the war in the first place. The Ayres quotes are demonstrably false, and cozying seems a little calm compared to what the Bush (and by extension, McCain) plan has done to create far more terrorists. But, again, we don't know where Palin lies in all this. Oh, and I'm certain her pastors' sermons are being pored over as we speak.

M: I must say it's interesting what we're finding out hour by hour about her (things McCain clearly did not know) . . .

Y: Again you make assertions about McCain's knowledge or lack thereof -- based, I ask again, on what?

M: Glad you asked. The McCain campaign did not check clippings from Palin’s hometown newspaper, according to Palin’s hometown newspaper (most of the archives are not available online). They did not contact Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, the central figure in the Troopergate issue, according to Public Safety Commissioner Monegan. Alaska’s Speaker of the House (GOP) confirmed that no McCain advance team came to Alaska to meet with the governor, according to the Speaker of the House. McCain’s own aides seemed surprised by the decision. The FBI has now confirmed that McCain did not perform an FBI background check. Republican lawyers are just now beginning a vetting process. Need more? This is an unreal illustration of irresponsible decision-making that was clearly designed, not to advance a serious candidate able to sit in the chair, but to engage in pure political gamesmanship.

M: You argue that she would have time to learn in office. Granted, no one is ready for that job on day one (except Hillary), but to suggest that Palin is anywhere close to as ready as, say, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Tom Ridge, Mitt Romney, Huckabee, Rice, etc. is nonsense. No way you win that argument . . .

Y: Good thing I'm not making it, then. You really should learn to pay attention to the arguments that people are making before you try to rebutt them.

M: Here we go again. You clearly argue for the wisdom of the pick. You are the worst kind of disingenuous if that’s not what you’re arguing. Again, the old rhetorical device: argue and negative then avoid all responsibility for the the implied assertion. I know I really should pay better attention (it’s a troublesome trait of mine), but you should try taking your hits when you do make an argument. But, thanks for the lecture, Mommy. Sorry, didn’t mean to imply anything with the uppercase M. By the way, I don’t “rebutt.” I only “butt.” Oh, and I “rebut.”

M: . . . which leaves you with the unmistakable fact that her selection was purely political, about winning an election, not about governing the country in the most responsible manner.

Y: Oh please. When has a vice-presidential pick not been political? The whole point of picking a vice-president is to curry favour with some demographic that hasn't been won over yet, or to bolster the campaign persona of the existing presidential candidate. McCain is no different from Obama in this regard -- except for the possibility that Palin might affirm McCain's message, whereas Biden compromised Obama's.

M: VP picks are political. Granted. The trick is to pick someone who helps the ticket AND would not put the country into jeopardy if they had to take the seat. Just because your man chose 100% politics, don’t paint Obama with that brush.Oh, and Palin affirms McCain where Biden compromises Obama? So, when she said (at least twice) that the war in Iraq was a war for oil, did she agree with McCain? When she was a glad recipient of millions of dollars of earmarks in Wasilla and as governor, was she in agreement with McCain? When she supported the “bridge to nowhere” in 2006, then changed her position…which time was she in agreement with McCain? When she had the slimmest resume of any VP in modern history, how did she support McCain’s constant arguments about experience? Are they in agreement on artic drilling? I’m not sure what McCain’s position is these days. I also don’t know if McCain agrees with her when she says that if the “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for her. Since “under God” was added when McCain was, like, six years old…. Oh, and does she confirm McCain’s core message—Country First—when her selection as VP clearly did not consider that creed.

M: I don't even know what this means. Republicans argue Obama is arrogant when hundreds of thousands of people clamor to hear him, and he is confident in his voice.

Y: Ha! No, there are other reasons.

M: Okay, Mr. Evidence. Name them. But, while we’re on the topic, when did it become a liability to speak and move millions? I’ll tell you when. When the Rove-driven attack machine figured out how to take a strength and make it a weakness. Genius strategy, but damaging to democracy. Obama has single-handedly inspired millions of new voters to engage the process. How could that be a bad thing? Unless, all those new voters are voting the wrong way.

M: . . . give me a president who knows how to listen and attack last . . .

Y: You mean Obama? The guy who is constantly putting out fires started by his staff and supporters? The guy whose team is constantly attacking first, and thereby giving Obama the opportunity to position himself as The Reasonable One who can rise above the fray?

M: Is McCain prepared to accept the entire attack machine as his staff and supporters? Nobody does it uglier than the GOP. So, you don’t want to talk about the Democrats and Republicans who regularly testify to Obama’s uncanny ability to get people to work together? I know you’re going to crucify me on this, but I’m too tired to look up their names. Surely you’ve read these stories before. Please don’t make me do the research. I want to go to bed.

M: They are the people who do not flinch at the news of innocent lives lost in the Iraq misadventure.

Y: Of course they flinch. But at least they're doing something about it -- unlike Obama, who was quite happy to let Iraqis suffer in similar numbers under Saddam, and who has apparently been quite happy to abandon Iraqis to the slaughterhouse ever since. Out of sight, out of mind, and all that.

M: Yeah. We’re definitely not going to resolve this one, since you still labor under a completely perverse notion that since an evil existed (which, of course bore no resemblance to what we claimed as provocation), we were responsible for eradicating it. What about Darfur? I’m not even going to do this. There are whole books written by people far smarter than both of us that would reveal this comment as pure, unadulterated partisan bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, I dish out my own. And, when I do, it’s…My Bad. Sorry, I just can’t leave this alone, though. Your logic distills to this: As long as we are killing bad people, we are justified in killing. It should just be assumed that we should be killing, because we’re bigger and meaner than everyone else. And, we have a tremendous jones for vengeance, even if it’s not just. Oh, and God is on our side.

M: They are the people, who even if there was proof that twice as many people would die if we overturned Roe (not making that claim, just an example), they wouldn't back down; because it's about being right and winning, not serving the least of these.

Y: If you mean "because it's about the ends not justifying the means", then I don't see the problem with that.

M: Whoa. So you would support illegalizing abortion, even if there was proof that deaths would double? This might help explain why many on the Right keep voting on that single issue, even though 23 years of Republican presidents since Roe have done squat. Got to win the means at all cost. To hell with peace, and the poor, and the sick, and the elderly, and children (you know, the list Jesus talked about), we have to be right on abortion. Right?

Y: Except, of course, that the obvious exception to that rule is the waging of warfare. So unless you're prepared to be a pacifist -- and there is absolutely no way that anyone running for Commander-in-Chief can be a pacifist -- you obviously have to accept that some ends do justify some means.

M: I'm not even sure what you mean by this.

Y: But there is still a world of difference between the accidental killing of innocent civilians in pursuit of a noble cause and the deliberate killing of innocent people for the sake of personal convenience.

M: I’m with you on the last statement. I’m no fan of abortion. We can get into that issue at a much later date…please. But, “accidental?” A “noble cause?” Go ahead and make that case, if you feel the need. Pretty sure you’ll only find an audience among your fellow Kool-Aid drinkers. Again, ain’t got time to lay out the Project for a New American Century, neo-con driven, Fukayama-rationalized, “end of history,” millenial calling, admininstration groupthinked, joke of a pretext that went in to justifying this war. You go ahead and do your little dance, though. It’ll be fun.

M: Your critique of Biden: occasional gaffes, and his thoughts on partitioning Iraq. Really? This makes him a worse choice than Palin?

Y: I don't believe I said that. Again, you might want to pay attention and think a little before posting your replies. I do, however, think that his gaffes will make for an entertaining campaign, and that his ideas on Iraq were so spectacularly bad that I have difficulty imagining anyone else's will be worse. (And of course, it is McCain, not Palin, who will be setting the policy here.)

M: Thanks again for the recommendation to think before I post. I ALWAYS forget that. I need to wear a rubberband or something. Again, you’re spectacularly disingenuous with the rhetorical sleight of hand. You make the negative argument that Biden’s not good, and at least imply, if not outright claim, that Palin is better. Then, when called on it, you deflect it back to McCain and/or lecture me for not putting on my thinking cap.

M: What are her thoughts on Iraq? Or, on anything beyond Alaska? Whatever they are they will be recent concoctions to satisfy the campaign.

Y: So long as they're good, who cares how "recent" they are?

M: I care. Don’t I matter? Hmm? When we hear her foreign policy positions for the first time, no one is going to believe that they were not written by McCain’s people. We are not in position to judge her ideas, because she hasn’t had many in public, and time and hierarchy prevent us from ever finding out.

M: . . . all it takes is a quick search to find time after time Obama's ideas have been confirmed and supported by world leaders and experts in the field.

Y: Then you should have no trouble producing a for-instance or two.

M: Okay, here’s one: George W. Bush seems to be warming to an Iraq withdrawal plan that looks more like Obama’s plan every day. Dozens of top generals and admirals have endorsed Obama, on grounds that his judgment has proven to be sound. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Obama’s withdrawal plan was good. Former Fed Chair under 5 presidents (I think), Volcker. Nobel-winning economists Stiglitz and Phelps. Conservatives and socialists in France. Europe in general. Need more? Now, of course you’ll tell us why none of these matter.

M: I know it seems arrogant when he points to the likelihood of his restoring our moral standing in the world, but when most of the world seems to really like what you say, it's hard to not mention the possibilities.

Y: Are you seriously insinuating that popularity equals moral standing? (And popularity with whom, exactly?)

M: Um, since people tend to think more highly of those they are less likely to consider immoral, then, yeah. I wasn’t suggesting that Obama promises to balance all our cosmological scales and make us right with God. Only you can do that, my friend. But, on the topic of popularity…When fewer people hate us and more of our citizens are engaged in the process, I think popularity can serve us in a powerful way. It’s called democracy. But, of course I'm not telling you anything. I'm not sure anyone could.

You realize no one's reading this anymore, except you and me. Right?

12:12 AM  
Anonymous POD said...

Man, if the banter of this post rings true this should be a very close election...

Keep the good points up Mr. Chattaway, because WE know which candidate gets a free pass on this blog...

Time will tell if Governor Palin is the right choice - the smear campains have begun to skew her character, but that is part of being in the big leagues.

How ironic that after 3 days since her announcement as a candidate that more is commonly known about her past rather than Obama's... makes you think, huh?

(Maybe there is only three of us reading this post.)

1:42 AM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Now who’s arrogant. Sheesh.

Well, it's not like I said I had a "great" or "fantastic" or "photographic" memory.

In fact, at times it acts like a memory that was downloaded from the James Dobson mainframe. Sorry. That was low.

Yes, it was. Quite frankly, one of the first things that quasi-dampened my enthusiasm over Palin was Dobson's endorsement.

A straw man would be a misrepresentation used as a warrant for an inaccurate response. You set Palin’s proximity against Biden’s residence as a clear enthymeme, where the unspoken premise was that being governor in Alaska trumps being a Delaware senator. You were not arguing that some experience is better than none, you were directly putting Palin against Biden.

Yes, as far as executive experience in dealing with foreign nations goes. But I repeat: I never said that being the governor of a state that borders two foreign nations makes Palin or anyone else a "foreign policy expert". I do not for one second believe that experience automatically leads to expertise; if that were the case, then George W. Bush being the governor of a state (i.e. Texas) that borders on a foreign nation (i.e. Mexico) would make him an expert on, say, immigration, which he clearly isn't. So, those are your words, not mine, and thus it is your straw man, not me, that you are responding to there.

However, it is probably accurate to say that I insinuated she had no foreign policy experience. In this context, I concede you are right. There, that’s not impossible to say is it?

No, it isn't, there's a good lad. Keep trying and it'll come even more naturally to you next time. Have a cookie.

But, if by foreign policy we are talking about U.S. foreign policy, then I would be right.

Alaska is part of the U.S., so Alaskan foreign-policy concerns are American foreign-policy concerns, are they not? Granted, the U.S. as a whole has many foreign-policy concerns beyond its relationships with Canada and Russia, but it does not have less. And one of the first major stumbles of Obama's primary campaign, you may recall, was his handling of the Canada file. Apparently Palin has had more success on that front; that's all I'm saying.

Really? I’m assuming we’re speaking in metaphorical terms and that no one was actually talking about prophecy-fulfilling saviors or fallen angels with near godlike powers?

Well, in the immediate term, we're speaking about whether or not I am prepared to defend anyone "no matter what". So for your analogy to work, you would have to demonstrate that I am prepared to attack people "no matter what". Can you do that? I doubt it.

I would say accusing someone of supporting infanticide and cozying up to unrepentant terrorists and race-baiting preachers as The Reasonable One (the uppercase letters can be a messianic or a mephistophelian device, depending on their context) is to cast them as The Bad Guy.

Well, yeah. Because those are Bad Things. But do I attack Obama all the time? No. Do I have nothing good to say about him? In fact, I do have good things to say about him, from time to time. I just happen to think that the bad facts about him outweigh the good facts about him, when it comes to his qualifications for the leadership of your nation.

Of course I believe there are lesser evils, otherwise how could I be involved in politics?

Well there you go, then.

You used the maverick/reformer argument to describe the fact that a number of Alaskan Republicans have publicly questioned the VP selection. I pointed out that this does not demonstrate her maverick character, it actually brings out evidence from reluctant witnesses (people who would presumably support a McCain presidency over an Obama presidency), which is one of the strongest forms of evidence.

Again, you seem to know so much about people's inner thoughts and motivations. Why "presumably"? Were not a large number of Republicans thinking of staying home on election day this year? Is this not indeed one of the reasons that McCain is thought to have picked Palin in the first place, rather than various other candidates who might have encouraged them to stay home even more firmly?

I assumed that when you say what you are doing that it serves as a recommendation for the rest of us. You don’t seem to be strong on humility.

Funny how you always seem to think the lapses in your own assumptions about other people reflect badly on them, and not on you.

I think it needs to be proven pretty clearly that she has what it takes before she’s chosen.

Quite so. And the time for McCain to make his choice was now. The time for the rest of you to make your choice is two months from now.

Of course, this is not a science, but as I said before, this selection flew in the face of many other better qualified candidates.

Virtually all of whom carried a heck of a lot of baggage themselves.

I will expect Obama to explain more fully his position on the surge, when McCain . . . admits he got it wrong on the war in the first place.

Did he? He told Bush right off the bat that they needed more troops in Iraq. Bush didn't heed him. McCain was right and Bush was wrong.

In any case, this is 2008, not 2003.

The Ayres quotes are demonstrably false . . .

Funny, I don't remember actually quoting him here. Or even mentioning him by name. Of course, he is the main person I had in mind. But since I offered no specific quotes for you to rebut, how can you rebut them?

. . . and cozying seems a little calm compared to what the Bush (and by extension, McCain) plan has done to create far more terrorists.

If, as everyone agrees, the surge is working, then where are all these brand-new terrorists to whom you refer?

Oh, and I'm certain her pastors' sermons are being pored over as we speak.

As well they should be. If only Palin had written an autobiography or two that the media could ignore for two years, like they did with Obama's.

The McCain campaign did not check clippings from Palin’s hometown newspaper, according to Palin’s hometown newspaper (most of the archives are not available online). They did not contact Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, the central figure in the Troopergate issue, according to Public Safety Commissioner Monegan. Alaska’s Speaker of the House (GOP) confirmed that no McCain advance team came to Alaska to meet with the governor, according to the Speaker of the House. . . . The FBI has now confirmed that McCain did not perform an FBI background check. Republican lawyers are just now beginning a vetting process. Need more?

I had heard of one or two of those, but not the others. Interesting, if true.

You clearly argue for the wisdom of the pick.

Not exactly. I simply don't find the arguments against the wisdom of the pick as compelling as the people who make them would like them to be.

But, thanks for the lecture, Mommy.

You're welcome, dear.

By the way, I don’t “rebutt.” I only “butt.” Oh, and I “rebut.”

Well whaddayaknow, the spellcheck agrees with you. Glad to see I could give you at least one clear and undisputed line of rebuttal. ;)

Oh, and Palin affirms McCain where Biden compromises Obama?

Yes, yes, VPs don't always agree with presidents on everything, and sometimes VPs, like presidents, change their minds. Big deal.

I also don’t know if McCain agrees with her when she says that if the “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for her.

That is, indeed, an embarrassment. But you're not exactly electing an Historian-in-Chief, are you?

Okay, Mr. Evidence. Name them.

The self-styled quasi-presidential seal, the presumption that everyone around the world has simply been waiting for Barry to sit down and talk to them before they see things America's way, the effort to speak in Germany at a location that is ordinarily used by actual presidents and not mere senators with designs on the presidency, the condescending attitude towards those who "cling" to guns and religion, the assumption that he could run for president without anyone noticing that he belonged to a kooky church with a kooky, race-baiting preacher, etc., etc. Obama's critics have been finding all sorts of reasons to accuse him of arrogance. Some of them don't stick as well as others, but there they are.

Obama has single-handedly inspired millions of new voters to engage the process.

I don't see how voting for Obama is "engaging the process", except of course for the fact that voting is part of the process.

So, you don’t want to talk about the Democrats and Republicans who regularly testify to Obama’s uncanny ability to get people to work together?

No, not really, especially since we haven't heard much from them lately. I'd rather talk about the Obama who makes a big show of saying he "listens" to people on both sides of an issue and then goes and gives himself a reputation as one of the most extremely liberal Senators of the bunch. A fat lot of good it does to be "listened" to if the guy doing the "listening" is just going to ignore you.

Yeah. We’re definitely not going to resolve this one, since you still labor under a completely perverse notion that since an evil existed (which, of course bore no resemblance to what we claimed as provocation), we were responsible for eradicating it.

Actually, if anything, after the invasion we learned things about Saddam and his activities that we had not known before the invasion, like the Oil for Food bribes. And it was the human rights organizations, not I, who issued such extremely high estimates of the number of people who died under Saddam's regime before the invasion, and such comparatively low estimates of the number of people who had died in Iraq after his regime was knocked off its perch. (Yes, yes, I know -- lies, damned lies, and statistics. Can't trust any of this information, can we?)

What about Darfur?

What about it?

Your logic distills to this: As long as we are killing bad people, we are justified in killing.

No, you have to be saving other people at the same time. I don't believe in killing bad people just for the sake of killing bad people.

It should just be assumed that we should be killing, because we’re bigger and meaner than everyone else.

No, that's bull, and I think you know it. But if you're trying to make this discussion so stupid that there's no point in continuing it, you may yet succeed.

Whoa. So you would support illegalizing abortion, even if there was proof that deaths would double?

The same way I might bring down the pre-cog system of crime prevention in Minority Report, knowing that the murder rate would rise? Yeah, maybe, I dunno.

I'm not a huge fan of illegalizing things that the majority of the population wants, whether it be marijuana or free mp3 downloads, since it leads to all sorts of abuses, both among users and among the government agencies that deal with those things. So would I illegalize abortion? Difficult to say. I do think there is pretty much no excuse for third-trimester abortion, and I would argue against second-trimester abortion too. As they say, if brain death equals legal death, then brain life should equal legal life. But if we can't come to any agreement on that -- of if, like Obama, we're okay with killing legislation that would save "fetuses born alive" and then lying about our reasons for killing that legislation -- then there's really no point in talking about anything else.

This might help explain why many on the Right keep voting on that single issue, even though 23 years of Republican presidents since Roe have done squat.

Well, that's not true either, but never mind.

To hell with peace, and the poor, and the sick, and the elderly, and children (you know, the list Jesus talked about), we have to be right on abortion. Right?

Wrong, of course.

I'm not even sure what you mean by this.

Well at least you've stopped making assumptions. That's a start.

But, “accidental?” A “noble cause?”

Ever hear of "collateral damage" or "just war" theory?

Thanks again for the recommendation to think before I post. I ALWAYS forget that.

Don't worry, you're getting better.

I care. Don’t I matter? Hmm?

Not really, if your reasons for caring don't matter.

Okay, here’s one: George W. Bush seems to be warming to an Iraq withdrawal plan that looks more like Obama’s plan every day.

Except for that little bit about the surge, natch. Nice try.

Um, since people tend to think more highly of those they are less likely to consider immoral, then, yeah.

It kind of matters who "they" are and what "their" standards of morality are, then, doesn't it?

But, of course I'm not telling you anything. I'm not sure anyone could.

Your smugness is duly noted. With any luck, it might be useful to you some day.

3:45 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Wow. I had no idea this post would launch such debate, much less so many pages upon pages of it! No POD, there are more than three readers, but I confess I wrote this from my NYC hotel room at 5a.m. on Monday and by the time I climbed off the train to D.C. and got back to my apartment last night I had quite a bit of reading waiting for me.

At this rate, I’ll let Reacher and Chattaway’s dialogue speak for itself. I wouldn’t know how to get into that briar patch if I tried. (It’s a good thing any political decisions or actions made before 2004 are off limits or I might have tried, eh Peter?)

I have to say though, I find some of this weekend’s revelations extremely humorous. I probably shouldn’t have, but when I learned Palin had a pregnant, unwed teenaged daughter (ironically enough, exactly how Palin’s first born son was conceived) I burst out laughing. So much for Palin's vaulted abstinence education. Next her daughter will begin questioning a literal six-day creation. Gasp!

I agree with McCain—this reflects in no way on how she performs as governor or will perform as vice president. But I can’t help but find so much humor in a how quickly the conservative Christian’s glowing paradigm of virtue became…human.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outstanding! And I love your friend's blog post.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

At this rate, I’ll let Reacher and Chattaway’s dialogue speak for itself. I wouldn’t know how to get into that briar patch if I tried.

My apologies, Brandon, for any excesses on my part here. I didn't mean to hijack your blog or anything.

I have to say though, I find some of this weekend’s revelations extremely humorous. I probably shouldn’t have, but when I learned Palin had a pregnant, unwed teenaged daughter (ironically enough, exactly how Palin’s first born son was conceived) I burst out laughing. So much for Palin's vaulted abstinence education.

Wow. I don't know what to say.

There was certainly nothing funny about the announcement if you were following the "scandal" online in real time. I get the feeling that there were plans to deal with Palin's daughter's wedding and/or birthgiving all in due time, but they were forced to go public with it now because of some incredibly nasty, vicious and probably libelous rumours about Sarah and her children that were making their way around the left-wing blogosphere. By the time the official "revelation" came out, it was more of a relief than anything else.

As for Palin's own status at the time of her firstborn son's conception, I have heard that rumour from one other source, but nothing reputable, yet. I think it's safe to say, though, that if her son is 18 and she is in her 40s, then she was not a teenager at the time of his conception. :)

I agree with McCain—this reflects in no way on how she performs as governor or will perform as vice president.

I thought it was Obama who said that! :) And kudos to him, by the way, for mentioning the fact that his own mother was 18 when he was born (and thus probably 17 when he was conceived, just like Bristol is now). While I disagree strongly with Obama's suggestion that any future grandchildren that he might have in the next few years would be a "punishment" that perhaps ought to be aborted, I am certainly glad that Obama's mother chose to have him -- and I appreciate his ability to relate to the Palins, on that level.

But I can’t help but find so much humor in a how quickly the conservative Christian’s glowing paradigm of virtue became…human.

Wow. I never thought they regarded her as anything else.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

That depends on if you consider The New York Times reputable.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Ha! No, that was not my other source. :)

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Gov. Palin

“McCain's pick is shameless pandering… McCain picked Palin to help him win an election, not lead a country. ”

Uh Yeah. This is what politicians do during an election. If you don’t see Obama’s pick as pandering than you are deceiving yourself.

“And it shows a staggering lack of judgment”

I think McCain’s pick is brilliant for 3 reasons.

First and foremost it drew dems into an argument of who has the most experience; the democrats number 1 person on the ticket or the republicans number 2 person on the ticket. That is very dangerous argument for the democrats.

Second it shows a contrast between the dem. ticket and the rep. concerning abortion. McCain needed some help here because his positions did not line up the GOP’s stance of no abortions for any reason. Gov. Palin chose to have a baby with the knowledge he had Down syndrome. A typical liberal response would be to kill the baby before birth. This contrast is also very evident with the pregnancy of Gov. Palin’s daughter. Her daughter has chosen to give birth to the baby. Again the consensus of the democratic base would be to kill the baby. Obama put it this way “"I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby.” Senator Obama wouldn’t a discussion of values and morals include taking innocent life?

Third it has shored up the evangelical base that wasn’t there before. The only evidence you need here is Dr. James Dobson’s comments about McCain/Palin ticket.

The more the media and Obama supports try to destroy Gov. Palin, the more resolute the conservative/evangelical base becomes, i.e. that is very bad for Obama in November. There is more wisdom in McCain’s VP choice than a lot of people in this discussion are willing to notice.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Oh, good God, where to start!?

Every VP is political, and yes, pandering to a degree, but this goes light years beyond anything we've ever seen. At least, when most candidates pander, they pick qualified candidates. McCain is using Palin to win, not grafting her onto his team for the good of the country. Surely you see the massive difference there.

To then go on and say that the "foremost" reason McCain chose Palin was to highlight Obama's lack of experience once again makes McCain look, not brilliant, but like a monstrous ass, concerned more with winning than with governing wisely. Hmmm, now where have I heard that before?

I love how the "typical liberal" response would be to kill a 17-year-old's baby or a child with Down's Syndrome as if you or even I could ever speak to such a thing with anything remotely approaching authority! As if every “liberal” thinks in lock-step. It would be shameful if it weren't so steeped in obvious, childish stereotypes.

As for McCain and his unwavering resolution to pick an ardent pro-lifer, perhaps you should read many stories out there today, not the least of which from The New York Times citing McCain aides who admit Palin was a last minute Hail Mary. Read it and weep all you who think she was a long-timed planned, perfectly orchestrated, all along intended Republican cruise missile:

---
At the least, Republicans close to the campaign said it was increasingly apparent that Ms. Palin had been selected as Mr. McCain’s running mate with more haste than McCain advisers initially described.

Up until midweek last week, some 48 to 72 hours before Mr. McCain introduced Ms. Palin at a Friday rally in Dayton, Ohio, Mr. McCain was still holding out the hope that he could choose a good friend, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, a Republican close to the campaign said. Mr. McCain had also been interested in another favorite, former Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania.

But both men favor abortion rights, anathema to the Christian conservatives who make up a crucial base of the Republican Party. As word leaked out that Mr. McCain was seriously considering the men, the campaign was bombarded by outrage from influential conservatives who predicted an explosive floor fight at the convention and vowed rejection of Mr. Ridge or Mr. Lieberman by the delegates.

Perhaps more important, several Republicans said, Mr. McCain was getting advice that if he did not do something to shake up the race, his campaign would be stuck on a potentially losing trajectory.

With time running out — and as Mr. McCain discarded two safer choices, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, as too predictable — he turned to Ms. Palin. He had his first face-to-face interview with her on Thursday and offered her the job moments later. Advisers to Mr. Pawlenty and another of the finalists on Mr. McCain’s list described an intensive vetting process for those candidates that lasted one to two months.

“They didn’t seriously consider her until four or five days from the time she was picked, before she was asked, maybe the Thursday or Friday before,” said a Republican close to the campaign. “This was really kind of rushed at the end, because John didn’t get what he wanted. He wanted to do Joe or Ridge.”
---

It isn't only the Hillary disenfranchised McCain’s pandering to--its the evangelical Christians too.

One day, evangelical Christians (including the aforementioned tool, Dobson) are going to wake up (some already have) and realize they've been used by the Republicans for decades. Then watch out!

2:23 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

I agree, there is no need to bring up "typical liberals" when Obama has made himself such a juicy target.

As for the supposed discrepancy between "winning" and doing something "for the good of the country": Well, obviously, if you think losing the election would be bad for the country, then winning the election would be good for the country, would it not? If all of McCain's other choices represented certain defeat, then a choice that represents possible victory would have to be better for the country, just by that measure.

(Incidentally, have you seen The Deal? I watched it just a few days ago, and the tension between political idealism and getting elected into a position where those ideals can be put into practice is a major factor in that film's depiction of the relationship between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. So, too, is the sudden and completely unexpected death of John Smith, without which Blair would not have been prime minister -- at least not so early in life. And, thinking beyond the film to the Blair premiership as a whole, I cannot help but also think of how Blair became the first sitting British prime minister to welcome a new child into the family in almost two centuries. All sorts of resonances with the current American political scene.)

It's funny, though, that you would say the evangelicals have been "used" by the Republicans, when the article you quoted makes it look like the power dynamic is actually running the other way.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous POD said...

"The Deal" is a wonderful film. I can wait until Stephen Frears comes out with his next film in his "Tony Blair" trilogy - about the relationship between him and Presidents Clinton and GWB.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Alright. I recant the typical liberal statement, but you can’t argue with Obama’s punishment quote.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neither 1-term governors with only limited executive experience nor 1-term senators with no executive experience at all are ready to become President -- whether or not they possess an Ivy League diploma, a beauty pageant crown, or a certificate of appreciation for being a community organizer or a PTA member.

And running a campaign (to the extent that candidates run their own campaigns) is not remotely the same thing as governing a city or a state, let alone a country. In fact, calling someone the CEO of a campaign is relatively apt, as the job is more akin to running a business than to governing anything. A CEO or a candidate can call his own shots, and the ends (profits and winning, respectively) are clear, while a President must work with other institutions and nations to achieve ends that are far from clear, are ever-changing, and which involve difficult questions such as What is justice? and What is prudent?

In short, printing up bumper stickers that say "Change" does not transform a 1-term senator into someone who is greatly prepared to be President of the United States of America.

Jeff Anderson

P.S.: I don't dispute that Joe Biden is often the smartest guy in the room, but sometimes Slow Joe craves company. (Nor do I dispute that Barack Obama often finds himself talking to the smartest guy in the room.)

9:24 PM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Yeah, someone should tell Obama to stop embarrassing himself. If that's the best he can do when addressing the "experience" question... well, it doesn't bode well, does it?

And once again, I love how Obama has been reduced to comparing his experience to that of the opposition's vice-presidential nominee. It is as though he has conceded the actual presidential part of that debate to McCain.

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must add just one thought.... Alexis de Tocqueville talked about how equality comes in both good and bad forms: the good one causes people to strive to rise to the ranks of the great, and it gives them the chance to do so; the bad one causes people to want to drag others down, to celebrate and perhaps even facilitate others' decline into mediocrity. While appreciating the value of humor and irreverency, I nevertheless don't think it's hard to tell which impulse is in play when the news of Palin's 17-year-old daughter's pregnancy proves to be a source of pleasure and satisfaction.

I would also note that no one would have had the chance to revel in her lack of chastity and her parents' failure to inculcate that had she been so cowardly and immoral as to take the sweep-it-under-the-rug route that the Democrats are so firmly dedicated to protecting.

Jeff Anderson

11:31 PM  
Anonymous POD said...

I am astonished at how the news reports have been bashing on the personal details on Governor Palin... if she were not a staunchly conservative woman this would not be an issue. It sickens me. I had co-workers today in my office telling me that Governor Palin's daughter is a whore, and that her husband is an alcoholic...

Governor Palin is now in the crosshairs of a political machine that is bent on destruction of her family, her personal life, and her character. Anyone is better than this type of treatment.

Basically said, she is getting "Borked".

And to use and oft-used term, shame on anyone who thinks that this woman's personal life is game in regards to her ability to be president. She is after all... human.

4:34 AM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Sickening, definitely.

Going after Michelle Obama because of things she said from a podium while campaigning on behalf of her husband is one thing.

But spreading vicious, libelous lies about a person's children, and trawling through teenagers' MySpace pages looking for anything that might back up some wacked-out conspiracy theory about the parents of that teenager's friends, is something else entirely.

No way in hell is this a laughing matter. It never was to begin with, and it certainly isn't now.

4:45 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Oh, so now conservatives have their hackles raised about vicious lies and slurs about a pregnant girl, but they certainly didn't raise their voices above a whisper when their own people tried to assassinate Obama's character by baiting racists, xenophobes, etc.

You guys' take is interesting. My take is quite different. No one around me is attacking Palin over this, even/especially among my liberal friends. Everyone thinks it is an irrelevant issue and the pregnancy not a big deal at all.

I don't know where you are spending all your time, but perhaps you should shy away from the bomb throwing liberals (who, I might remind you, certainly have their conservative mirrors).

That is unless, of course, you consider late night talk show hosts to be in the employ of the Democratic party. As far as legitimate outlets tearing her to pieces for it, I haven't seen it yet. Improper vetting is another issue entirely.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous POD said...

Improperly vetted? By whose definition? Where is the book on "Properly Vetting Presidential Candidates"?! Barnes and Noble? Amazon?

She represents someone who, for once - whether anyone likes it or not - is an outsider of the beltway, and I for one welcome the shakeup to the so-called "change" message of the Obama campaign. Which campaign truly champions the "change" message? And why has the selection of Governor Palin, someone who has executive experience, someone who has met a payroll in private enterprise - despite any arguments contrary to the experience of the other three INSIDE THE BELTWAY candidates - created such a fervor, galvanized the right and for once made Republicans proud to vote for their ticket?

Man, give this individual a chance to make her case to the American people - I will gladly recant my position if I am wrong about my observations on her character... But she has an 80% approval rating in Alaska, she has a well documented history of taking on corrupt Republican special interests in the heat of intense opposition. Nobody should underestimate this woman. And the comments that I have observed from reporters at the RNC have revealed just that approach, as well as the comments by other reporters in the article below:

The Wall Street Journal
"Why the Media is Sneering at Sarah Palin"
September 3, 2008

Even as the Obama camp ponders how best to handle John McCain's veep pick of Sarah Palin, the high priests and priestesses of the media have marked her as an apostate. The Beltway class is in full-throated rebellion against a nondomesticated conservative who might pose a threat to their coronation of Barack Obama and the return of Camelot-on-the-Potomac.


Here is a sampler of media comment on Governor Palin this week:

- Eleanor Clift, the McLaughlin Group: "If the media reaction is anything, it's been literally laughter in many places across newsrooms."

- Sally Quinn, Newsweek: "It is a political gimmick . . . I find it insulting to women, to the Republican party, and to the country."

- E.J. Dionne, Washington Post: "Palin is, if anything, less qualified for the vice presidency (and the presidency) than [Harriet] Miers was for the court. But there is one big difference: Palin passes all the right-wing litmus tests."

- Maureen Dowd, New York Times: "They have a tradition of nominating fun, bantamweight cheerleaders from the West."

- Ruth Marcus, Washington Post: "But as a parent in the media, I also know that the Palins assumed this risk. Anyone who watched coverage of the Bush twins' barroom exploits knew that the avert-your-eyes stance toward candidates' children has its limits."

- Charlie Cook, Beltway pundit, on PBS's "Charlie Rose": "I had a friend that had a young person tell them that they had three interviews to get a job as a server at Ruby Tuesday! So this is like putting a whole -- for someone that hasn't played on a national -- Geraldine Ferraro had more -- Dan Quayle had undergone more scrutiny, had played on a bigger stage than this. This is putting an enormous risk on someone he didn't know. And he has to just pray that it works!"

This is the same media whose chant for weeks -- no, months -- has been "let McCain be McCain." If we know anything about John McCain, it is that he is by instinct a reformer, sometimes to a fault. Yet when he acts like McCain and picks a maverick reformer in his own mold, his former media cheering squad turns on him for not conforming to Beltway mores and picking someone they've all met 10 times in the CNN green room.

They want a VP to be a kind of parliamentary choice, someone they have already vetted, someone who's made them laugh with insider jokes at the Gridiron dinner. The Beltway class whines constantly about how it wants fresh voices in politics, but we guess this means a first-term Democratic Senator rather than a first-term Republican Governor from some godforsaken U.S. state few of them have ever been to.

We are instructed that Mrs. Palin isn't qualified, because she lacks Washington experience. But until recently that was said to be a virtue in Mr. Obama, who is at the top of his ticket. Meanwhile, there's hardly a peep of media notice that the Obama campaign is preposterously trying to remake Joe Biden into a poor scrapper from Scranton when he's been in the Senate for 36 years. They all know Joe. But when Mr. McCain picks an authentic middle-class mother who is also a Governor, we are told she's not up to the job.

The spin du jour is that her choice reflects poorly on Candidate McCain because she wasn't properly vetted. Yet this seems to be false. Campaign vetter A.B. Culvahouse, White House counsel under Ronald Reagan, says Mrs. Palin told the campaign about her pregnant daughter and her husband's DUI at the age of 22. On Monday, Time magazine's Nathan Thornburgh wrote from Wasilla, Alaska, that Bristol Palin's pregnancy had been known by virtually everyone there, with little made of it. But what do these private family matters have to do with Mrs. Palin's credentials to be Vice President in any case?

The press in 2000 ignored marijuana use by Al Gore's son, as it should have. But now we are told a teenage pregnancy is going to raise second thoughts among evangelicals and "family values voters" about Mrs. Palin's ability to be both a mother and a public official. This is also false.

Leaving aside the embarrassing reality that the Beltway press corps barely knows any evangelicals, religious leaders this week greeted the pregnancy news with support for the Palins. Offering support for unwed pregnant women and their families is a primary activity of these churches from one end of America to the other. That might even make a good story for someone this weekend.

What's really going on here is that the Beltway class can see how popular the Palin pick is with Republicans outside Washington, and especially with middle-class conservatives. As Richard Land, a leader with the Southern Baptist Convention, said Monday, John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin closed the "enthusiasm gap" between the two parties.

There is nothing more dangerous to entrenched Washington power than a populist conservative who looks unlikely to buy into Washington's creature comforts. Take a close look at Governor Palin's record on ethics and energy in Alaska, and it becomes clear what this Beltway outburst is actually about. The irony is that while Senator Obama is running on change, his acceptance speech made explicit that he's promising only more power and money for Washington. Sarah Palin's history of taking on the career politicians of a corrupt Alaskan GOP machine -- her own party -- shows that she's the more authentic change agent.

* * *
If Sarah Palin succeeds as a national candidate, she could help John McCain proceed to a reform Presidency. Even if he loses while she does well, she could emerge as a major figure in GOP politics for years to come. This is why the media and political classes are so eager to discredit her. They can't let it happen.

We hope Mr. McCain and the GOP are prepared to fight back. On the evidence this week, it looks like an army of volunteers is forming up to help them.

(end of article)

8:51 AM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

Oh, so now conservatives . . .

Going after the "typical conservative" straw man, when you have actual people here in front of you? How is this any better than going after the "typical liberal" when all we need to do is go after the things that Obama has said and done himself?

No one around me is attacking Palin over this, even/especially among my liberal friends. Everyone thinks it is an irrelevant issue and the pregnancy not a big deal at all.

You don't spend any time around the media, then. I don't watch TV, but reportedly, most of the major networks were avoiding live coverage of the actual Republican convention last night and devoting lots and lots of time to panel discussions of the pregnancy. And then there is the clear bias evident in magazine covers like these.

Improper vetting is another issue entirely.

Whatever that means. There's no law that requires "vetting", no rulebook that determines how it ought to be done, and apparently no one took it all that seriously until 1972 -- within my lifetime -- when George McGovern's first running mate, Thomas Eagleton, withdrew from the race following revelations that he had received shock treatment for depression.

And of course, the media, which made a point of not "vetting" Obama until it was too late for him to lose the Democratic primaries, is hardly in a position to complain about anyone else not doing their job on this point.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Peter T Chattaway said...

And now the New York Times has retracted one of the items it supposedly found during its "vetting" of Palin.

Kind of reminds me of how the New York Times ran that scandalous and immediately discredited story about John McCain's alleged love affair with someone or other earlier this year.

Bias? A grim determination to destroy the Republicans this election cycle, come hell or high water? In the media of all places? Perish the thought.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

This is what I mean by "improperly vetted." No, there's no law. It's called common sense. This isn't a case of rugged, maverick individualism. McCain's own people say so. It's a case of rash impulsivness, a caving to those in the GOP who demanded a hardline, right winger in order to shore up his base. Nothing wrong with that at all. But don't pretend McCain is an off-the-wall maverick for irresponsibly picking someone you happen to like at the last minute.

'Fraid my wife would disagree that I don't consult enough media. Sometimes I drive her to distraction with everything I consult. I visit Politico, The Washington Post, The New York Times, MSNBC and a host of other sites several times a day. As for the media last night, I was watching MSNBC, as is my habit, and there were no focus groups. Just 100% convention coverage.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Actually, Peter, your NYTimes comment is as disingenuous as Thompson last night saying Obama claimed abortion is above his pay grade.

The Times (and all other outlets) were basing their information on the source at the secessionist party headquarters. That source now says they were incorrect. Blame the source, not the reporting.

You fit right in with Bush and Thomspson last night Peter, crying over the big bad media out to get you. Too bad it isn't true. Stories, like this one, abound.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Alright, if I've no need of straw men, point out where, in these post comments, you and POD and other conservative-leaning members decried all the attacks on Obama for inciting racial wars, being a Muslim, being a terrorist, being a...etc. They're not there.

I've said several times that I could care less if Palin's daughter has a baby out of wedlock. The humor I found was directed not at Palin or her daughter, but those conservative Christians who so glowing spoke that she shared their family values.

The simple truth is this--Republican's are reaping what they sowed. For decades they railed self-righteously against moral issues like children born out of wedlock. Dan Quayle anyone? And now that their new standard bearer has fallen prey to her own policies, some people feel the need to gloat a little bit. It may not be very adult of them, but it certainly is understandable.

But don't confuse those attacking her over her credentials for those attacking her over her personal life.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

“Blame the source, not the reporting.”

The media’s job is to properly vet the source before publishing. Ask Dan Rather how not verifying his source worked out for him.

If you want evidence for media bias, look no further than the coverage of the two conventions.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

“He went on to pass the experience test when world leader after world leader parroted his ideas, and nearly a quarter of a million people came out to hear him speak in Germany”

Brandon,

Speaking to a quarter of a million adoring fans after a rock concert does not constitute foreign policy experience.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

'Nuff said.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "personal lives" of politicians can very definitely matter vis-a-vis their professional/public lives--on a pragmatic level.

For ex., it was unwise for Edwards to be campaigning for the Presidency when his wife was being treated for an advanced stage of cancer, *because* it would be unwise and unfair, for himself, his family, and the country, for him to be trying to run the most powerful country in the world if/while his wife is dying.

Sarah Palin's family is in crisis. She has a special-needs *infant*. The birth of a special-needs child necessitates major adjustments, energy, and attention from everyone in the family. Her teenage daughter's pregnancy is likewise no small matter for the family. This child is being subjected to public humiliation the world over (and yes, I resent that this mother has exposed her child to this situation! on a purely human level, what kind of parent does that?). On top of that, this girl is expected to marry a boy whose level of responsibility is as immature as hers. This girl is facing enormous challenges as far as reaching even the simple goal of finishing high school. This is a child who also needs extra attention, energy, and care.

This kind of family situation is no good for someone who is trying to run a state, much less, someone who would be helping to run the most powerful country in the world.

No way. On a purely pragmatic level, it.is.insane.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Grinth said...

It would take way to long to respond to everything that has come before, so I will just add this:

To the person who pointed out Palin's 80% approval rating in Alaska as a positive indication she is a great choice and will do a great job:

Considering she runs a state where no one has to pay income or sales tax and she recently increased the amount each person receives from the government each year due to oil profits to $3200.00 I'm shocked it isn't higher.

I could have an 80% approval rating under those conditions.

7:31 PM  
Anonymous POD said...

Why would the fact that Governor Palin has a large family (special needs of her infant included) be a consideration in regards to her ability to be vice-president?

I know, I know, from a practical outsider standpoint, I can see the argument that she should not have accepted the nomination; however I would not want any of my family members to feel guilty that it was because of "me" that I didn't accept opportunities to further my career. We don't know what the family is going through, and we should not make any assumptions. The only thing that we can be certain of is that the Palin family is accepting the situation in a noble manner, and Obama (rightfully) is publicly stating that this issue is off-limits...

There have been too many numerous situations involving problems with candidates' families (the Bush daughters' underage drinking, Chealsea Clinton, Gore's son's reckless driving, and who can forget Billy Carter and his antics?) so this is absolutely no different. If other President's family members were none of our business, and made no bearings on how they ran the country, then this is no different. Who remember's the photo's of JFK's children in the Oval Office playing underneath his desk? Anybody question his judgment because he was "distracted"? Some women (I don't want to throw names around) in the media think otherwise... why is that? Is it because she is a woman? Or becasue she is a conservative woman? Ask yourself, what would Hillary do in this situation?

...I'll hand it to you Brandon, you certainly know how to get my blood going! I wish I was there with you and your liberal counterparts to give some balance to all this pro-Obama hubub...

9:06 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Come on over to my place tomorrow night POD! You'll be in the majority. I'm grilling brats and watching the convention with a Republican speechwriter and an Army special forces officer who has spent three tours in Iraq!

10:10 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Exactly.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Brandon,

How does your nuff said article from the Post prove Obama’s speech in Germany transfers into foreign policy experience?

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

“Are you kidding me? This is scary. We could have a president in a matter of months who has no demonstrable knowledge of world affairs, no national security experience whatsoever, no experience with broad domestic policies or economic issues,”

Now you know how we have felt for 19 months Brandon.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

The nuff said article has nothing to do with Obama's speech in Germany since Obama's speech in Germany had nothing to do with this post. The link addressed the lion's share of the comments that came before it.

1:49 PM  

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