McCain makes a bold move

Picking Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential nominee was a clever and gutsy thing for John McCain to do. I think he has just wrong-footed the Democrats on several levels.

First, this choice looks bold and change-making in exactly the way Obama’s choice of Biden did not. Instead of a tired old pol with a history of scandal and gaffe (not to mention the bad hairplugs), McCain chose a fresh-faced frontier girl married to an Inuit Yup’ik Indian. And one with a history of whistleblowing on corrupt Republicans.

Second, this tells us something about McCain’s relationship to the Republican base: either he figures the more reactionary end of the red-meat Right has no place else to go, or he thinks they don’t actually care what shape a President’s gonads are any more, or the color of the person the President sleeps with.

Third, it puts the PUMAs further in play. The most obvious message here is that McCain wants all those disgruntled Hillary-voting older women out there voting for him. Just going on her tough-babe bio, I think Palin has a pretty good chance of drawing them, too, especially if she’s any good as a stump speaker.

Fourth, McCain just put a helluva spoke in Hillary Clinton’s wheels if she’s got ambitions for 2012. I’ll see your fake working-class-woman persona and raise you with the real deal, he says. There’s no way a Wellesley and Yale Law grad can win an authenticity competition with a woman who shoots moose and pilots her own float plane.

It’s a pass-the-popcorn moment for sure. How many politicians can both play the “diversity” card and brandish a lifetime membership in the NRA? And just to put the cherry on top for Republicans, this move might upstage all the hope-and-change posturing at the DNC.

All in all, a very clever choice — and not in isolation. The McCain campaign is starting to punch seriously just as Obama’s seems to be losing momentum; the choice of Biden was a hard stall, and their attempt to suppress an issues ad tying Obama to terrorist Bill Ayers via lawsuit threats isn’t winning them any friends. Couple these with the dead-heat poll numbers at a moment when on historical patterns Obama ought to have a huge lead, and I see trouble for the Democrats.

I’ve begun to wonder in the last week if the epitaph on Obama’s political grave will read “He peaked too early.” I’m thinking that looks increasingly likely now.

Update: Heh. And there’s already a picture circulating of Palin aiming a a scope-sighted M-4 like she knows how. In Iraq. That’s gonna cause heartburn in all the right places.

122 thoughts on “McCain makes a bold move

  1. Ahem. One seems to have chosen a good adviser as his vicepres, someone with the experience he is supposed to lack on foreign affairs and other matters _because_ _everyone_ _was_ _complaining_ _about_ _that_ and other matters, the other chose a woman (so as to say “hey, we’re rad too, certainly not desperate at all”) but one embodying the core of what the “being red” stereotype implies: NRA card carrier, opposed to gay marriage, opposed to abortion…

    Not everyone saw the Biden choice as “Obama doesn’t really mean change” or a “hard stall”, so much as “He wants a good advisor, even if he will decide otherwise”.

    Call me back when McCain remembers how many houses does he have instead of stalling with “I did time in Nam, I’ll have you know”.

  2. There are only two criteria that matter when a Presidential candidate makes the decision to select a running mate:

    1. Is this the best person available to be President, if need be?
    2. Will [s]he take accept the offer.

    Both candidates missed on #1. Not surprising. They usually do.

  3. krygny:
    3. Are the voters going to support me if I choose this person as Vice Pres?

    A statesman here used to say “When everyone’s wrong, everyone’s right”.

  4. I think the top consideration is: “Will this person help me be elected president.”

    The marketing department has taken over politics. The marketing department taking over /anything/ is rarely a good thing.

  5. “The most obvious message here is that McCain wants all those disgruntled Hillary-voting older women out there voting for him.”

    Yes, but there’s a good chance it won’t work. She’s anti-choice for almost all values of “choice” when it comes to abortion, and would be fine with creationism in schools. This will more than likely alienate a lot of Hillary-voting women.

  6. It also makes Big Oil happy, because it gets her out of Alaska, where she was becoming a real nuisance with all of her efforts to clean the place up.

  7. >[Palin] would be fine with creationism in schools.

    While that’s possible, it seems unlikely to me. Palin is Jewish.

  8. > While that’s possible, it seems unlikely to me. Palin is Jewish.

    Where do you get that? According to Wikipedia she’s a Christian, and agnostic about creationism vs. evolution. She’s said that she wouldn’t object to having creation taught alongside evolution, but isn’t interested in legislating the issue.

  9. This isn’t poking the base in the eye, this is the choice the base demanded. The biggest threat to McCain was from the conservatives and libertarians who when it came right down to it might not have been able to force themselves to vote for him. I was planning to “throw my vote away” on Bob Barr; now I might very well vote for Palin, even though McCain comes with her.

  10. >Where do you get that [Palin is Jewish]?

    A blog report from Beldar, followed by some Googling. Hm. On further investigation, reports are mixed. Some Jewish sites think she is, some think she isn’t.

    (Personally, I hope she is.)

  11. >[T]his is the choice the base demanded.

    Milhouse, I know you, and you are even less definitive of the Republican base than I am (which is actually one of the reasons I like you). Doesn’t matter whether you think you are or not; a gay Jewish neophile can agree with the Republican base on particular issues but never really be part of it. Like me, you don’t have either conservative instincts or a conservative world-view — and you shouldn’t mistake your loathing of the Left for conservatism, that’s the same stupid trap they fall into.

    It is possible that you may be right about this being what the Republican base demanded, but your own personal gut reaction does not constitute any kind of evidence to me (because I think you’re such an outlier, not that I find that a bad thing in any way). And I have other reasons to disbelieve it.

    >I might very well vote for Palin, even though McCain comes with her.

    I feel similarly. And, I suspect, for all the same reasons you do.

  12. Eric , here’s the Anchorage Daily News on the Creationism thing (from 2006). She said “teach both” in a televised debate, then later tried to back-pedal and said that she only meant creationism should be discussed if it came up in class, not that it should be on the syllabus. She refused to say whether she accepted evolution or not, but does believe in a creator. The ADN also talks about her “lifelong Christian faith”, though it’s always possible that she’s ethnically Jewish.

  13. Powerline has dug up some tidbits about this babe (and she is a babe). At various times she’s been an athlete, an outdoorswoman, a beauty pageant contestant, a business woman, and a governor. She’s been out there living many of the feminist platitudes Hillary appeals to. Seriously, what’s not to like about this woman?

    Oh, right. Her politics.

    Still, that’s about the only thing, but it’s the most important thing in this race.

  14. Roxanne, Ms. Palin supports ANWR drilling. I doubt she’s particularly antagonistic to Big Oil.

  15. In case you haven’t all seen it yet, vpilf.com is already up…

    [Interestingly, the domain was registered on the 4th of August. Has she really been in the picture for that long?]

  16. >3. Are the voters going to support me if I choose this person as Vice Pres?

    Adriano, I’ll concede that’s the criteria candidates *usually* use. Just one of the reasons I have such contempt for politicians. More often than not, the President can’t stand the stinkin’ gut of the Vice President, but what’ the ultimate difference. It’ a no-show job anyway.

  17. …. all that PLUS the foreign policy experience of dealing with Canadians and Russian Fishing fleets ….

  18. krygny: if a candidate doesn’t get elected in the first place, it’s entirely irrelevant whether or not their running mate would have made a good President. Therefore consideration 3 should matter more than consideration 1.

  19. Palin for the Hillary voters? I doubt. If there is someone older women really hate is a younger and quite hot woman. You know, looking at the TV and asking themselves “Would my husband cheat me with her?”. And if the answer looks like yes, they get pissed off. Wanna bet that in less than a month Palin will try to look uglier or at least older: shorter hair, less makeup, stuff like that?

    I’d rather say Palin is for the “punch the hippies” t-shirt wearing voters, to whom McCain is too centre-leaning, too maverick, too urban, too close to being a liberal. For them a hard, hot rural babe with a gun and a bit of a survivalist air to her is an ideal sidekick. And for the more sophisticated voters her whistleblower credentials can help. Therefore she both helps reinforcing the maverick image and reducing the damage that image can do to McCain. She might prove to be a clever choice, but not because of the Hillary voters.

    Biden looks like a clever choice, because Obama is typically the middle-class utopian-liberal college kids wet dream. Thus the harder-nosed, somewhat redneckish (it’s not meant as an insult, I did read Jim Goad) industrial union hard-hat base of the Dems might have a hard time taking him seriously. He needed someone with more or less plausible working class credentials. And as the Obama campaign is focusing on the person, on his personal charisma and not really on a clear set of values or plans, he needed someone who is willing to accept an underdog, keep your mouth shut, stay in the background role. Biden is ideal on both accounts.

    BTW I still cannot get over the fact why did the Repubs choose McCain over Romney. Looks like a pretty poor choice to me.

  20. Palin for the Hillary voters? I doubt. If there is someone older women really hate is a younger and quite hot woman. You know, looking at the TV and asking themselves “Would my husband cheat me with her?”. And if the answer looks like yes, they get pissed off. Wanna bet that in less than a month Palin will try to look uglier or at least older: shorter hair, less makeup, stuff like that?

    You know, there are women out there who vote based on the issues…

  21. I look at it cynically.

    The apparent key requirements are that McCain’s VP candidate be a pro-life Republican conservative woman. That says a lot about shallow thinking on McCain’s part. It’s an insult to women that she would be chosen because of her gender qualifies her. It’s an insult to voters’ intelligence that she be chosen for a single divisive issue like abortion.

    Given the large array of more experienced Republican politicians, I wonder if she is the only candidate (given his search criteria) who would actually stand with McCain. Who else turned him down? Why? Maybe it’s the big LOSER label they want to avoid.

  22. Glen: I can think of at least four divisive issues she could have been chosen for (oil/energy/climate change, gun control, abortion and creationism/evolution). Of the four, I’d have thought that oil/energy/climate change is the most important, though perhaps that’s just my prejudices showing. Certainly it appears to be the issue she talks about most.

  23. Are any other BSG fans getting a President Roslin vibe from Sarah Palin?

    If McCain should die in office, she seems like the type of person who could sort of come out of nowhere and lead America by being an incredible bad-ass (bucking the preconceptions that some might have of an unassuming, attractive, middle-aged women).

    If her positions on Guantanamo Bay and water-boarding are extremist (or, if you like, “conveying a deep moral ambiguity”), she would fit the analogy perfectly.

  24. I find it really hard to mesh the girl’s basketball coach I briefly met while doing time keeping at the University of Alaska with a VIce Presidential nominee chosen because she’s the equivilant of a hand grenade and a pile of endorsed “fuck you” certificates to so many liberal platitudes.

    Mind, when I saw her, she was coaching a basketball team, and I was manning a clock. So interpersonal knowledge is somewhat less than how well you know the person you buy tickets from at the local movie theater. But still, I mostly picture her in gray sweats with frazzled hair and a whistle around her throat.

    I already know at least three people who won’t vote for her for the comment about “teach them both”, even with the backpedaling.

    I suspect the shiney new candidate glow will wear off by mid next week, and there’ll be vicious mudslinging by the first weekend of football slinging. She’s got people who won’t hesitate to dish in her background.

    That being said – she’s an EXCELLENT extemporaneous speaker. I’d pay money to see a debate between her and Obama where there was a mysterious technical issue with the teleprompter…

  25. Having thought about this overnight, I reckon Milhouse has got it right: this is exactly the choice the conservative base demanded. She’s pro-life, pro-gun, pro-war, pro-drilling, and against gay marriage, doesn’t believe in anthropogenic climate change, is so opposed to further environmental regulation that she’s suing the federal government to get polar bears removed from the endangered species list, and has said things that can and will be interpreted as coded support for teaching creationism. She follows the party line on every hot-button issue, in other words. Sure, she’s a woman, but she’ll only be the VP: at least she’ll have a man telling her what to do. Running a female VP, IMHO, isn’t anything like as risky as running a female Prez at this stage in society’s evolution. McCain’s old, but he’s only 72, and he’ll have access to the best health care in the world: I don’t see him croaking in the next four years, so her unpreparedness for the Presidency is largely moot. If they’re hoping that she’ll pick up on disaffected Hillary voters, then I think they seriously underestimate the extent to which those voters cared about Hillary’s policies and respected her personally; but who knows, in a close enough election it might make a difference.

    The interesting bit is the experience issue. I reckon the McCain campaign are gambling that the “Obama is inexperienced” meme is now so deeply embedded in the American consciousness that they don’t need to repeat it any more; and if they stop repeating it, they deny the Obama campaign the opportunity to counter it.

    BTW, Eric: Todd Palin is 1/4 Yup’ik, which makes him part Eskimo but not Inuit.

  26. So far, Palin seems to be a bit of a mixed bag to me.

    On one hand, it does at least look like McCain is taking libertarian leaning Republicans and independents seriously, and Palin will likely help shore up his support in red leaning Western states that are actually in play this year, which might be bad news for Bob Barr, who’s looking for the biggest Libertarian vote in a presidential election.I seem to remember seeing her name pop up in a few forums by Ron Paul supporters as someone they’d like to be Paul’s VP, so she could held some draw some of those followers who aren’t crazy about Barr. Of course Obama is helping him out here too by driving away many of the libertarian leaning voters who flocked to him early by embracing AIPAC, threatening Iran and Pakistan supporting FISA and picking Biden as his VP. But there are problem with Palin herself for some of these voters, particularly regard to her social conservatism and anti-gay views. Though there will be plenty(including myself) who can’t stomach voting for McCain, regardless of his VP.

    One the other hand, as has already been pointed out, Palin lacks substantial experience.While Obama needed experience in a VP to make up for his own lack of, McCain need experience in the spot because he’s old, and a lot of people are unsure if he can finish his term. While I do like Palin somewhat(at least from what I’ve read since she got the nomination), I wouldn’t want her to be president after only being the mayor of a small town and a couple years of governor of a small state. Now if she had at least completed a full term as governor, then thing would be different, but right now, she seems unprepared to be president.

    Overall, I think McCain did much better than Obama in picking his VP, but there are still some short fall in Palin.

  27. On Palin’s theology: she was baptized Catholic but has not attended a Catholic church since childhood. She attends an Assembly of God church, but considers herself non-denominational and specifically is not a pentecostal.

    Sources:

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1837536-3,00.html
    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g4-w_DCWffagBaQb8Il9a0R2hkPAD92SL7E00

    There’s some blathering from Kos that Palin’s current church has ties to a dispensationalist paramilitary group, but I’m sufficiently comfortable that Palin has nothing to do with this that I’m not going to take the time to research whether or not it’s pure tinfoil hattery.

  28. As I was listening to Palin’s acceptance speech, I found myself fantasizing that McCain would be elected, have a heart attack the first day of office, and Palin would be president. Of course it was a fantasy based on very little since I still knew hardly anything solid about Palin after her speech. However, if my reaction to her was any indication of how other moderate conservatives reacted (or even right leaning independents) then she was probably a good choice.

    There is something very appealing about a young, charismatic, down to earth lady that kicks rich, fat good o’l boys in the teeth and can shoot a gun. Regardless of the who the real Palin is (and whether she can shoot a gun), what I just described is the impression that is out there right now.

  29. She’s at least as qualified to ascend to the presidency as Obama is to be elected to it. More so, if you consider she has actual executive experience and has been CIC of the Alaskan National Guard.

    I think this is brilliant strategy on McCain’s part. The old man knows how to play chess.

  30. Phil, and regarding that Down’s-syndrome baby of hers that she’s supposed to be so heroic for giving birth to… a darker narrative is emerging. The baby is that of her teen daughter, and being pro-life she no doubt forced the kid to have the baby.

  31. Palin was in Texas last week for an energy conference of the National Governors Association when she experienced signs of early labor. She wasn’t due for another month.

    …so she immediately hopped on a long-haul flight so she could give birth in a backwater hospital at home? Hmmmm.

    It’s a non-issue, anyway: even if it’s true, she did the best possible thing for her daughter by the lights of her belief system.

    Jeff: how do you know the daughter isn’t pro-life, too?

  32. Miles, call it a gut feeling. The fishiness of the whole coverup, and the knowledge that too many teenage girls born to right-wing families in this country are denied reproductive choice by the threat of retribution from their parents and the society they live in, contribute to my suspicion.

  33. Jeff Read:

    How the fuck DARE you spread an unproven rumor, you cowardly pig?

    ESR, is it asking to much to have this vile rumormonger banned from your site? This is lower than National Enquirer, which at least gets its rumors right.

  34. Incidentally, Jeff Read, you should never have put your true name out there, where Todd Palin can track you down. And yes, I am e-mailing him of the vicious gossip you’ve been spreading about his family. He’s a steelworker, so I doubt your years of lifting lattes will help you much here. Ever hear the term roughneck?

  35. I doubt if most of the lefties out there realize this, but Sarah Palin’s biggest support doesn’t come from evangelicals. It comes from gun owners. And no, the two are not synonymous. The state where I live, Nevada, has a lot of cowboys and cowgirls who are, shall we say, far removed from an evangelical lifestyle, but they are extremely pro-2nd Amendment. But I guess if you spend your life in a Seattle coffee house, eventually everybody who, you know, WORKS for a living ends up seeming the same. I doubt if Jeff Read could distinguish a Southern good ol’ boy from a Western cowboy, or even from a gun-owning midwestern farmer or industrial worker.

  36. Ken, it doesn’t matter where her support comes from if she is a Dominionist stalking-horse.

  37. Oh, give me a fucking break. What is your proof of this?

    Do you sit in a dark room all day, scared that some Christian somewhere might be “judging” you? Buck up and realize that there will always be some people who don’t like what you’re doing.

  38. In the interest of transparency, I am a confirmed Lutheran, but not an especially good one. I have been with numerous women, and until recently I was a pretty heavy drinker. I think the world is billions of years old, and skeletal evidence does suggest a physical relationship between species of animals.

    Having said that, I would personally MUCH rather have a “Dominionist” (where the fuck do you get these paranoid terms from, anyway) government than be ruled by Koskids like Jeff Read. The absolute wickedness I see in some of the posts at left-wing sites, like the completely unsourced lie that Read is spreading, or like the gleeful fantasies of killing Sarah Palin’s Downs Syndrome son, leads me to suspect that Voltaire was right when he said that if God didn’t exist, man would have had to invent Him. There seems to be a really vile undertone: “Ha, ha, we’re not bound by all your God bullshit, so we can do anything we like. Hyuk, hyuk, we’re bad boys.”

    Question: if you’re such bad boys, why is it that the alleged “Dominionists” in the Palin clan hunt moose, fish (in the real sense, with nets on a big boat), and work on oil rigs, while all any of you ever do is sip coffee and talk about how cute your butts are? Sounds to me like their lives are much fuller than yours are.

  39. Ken, I despise coffee. Give me a tall glass of sweet tea any day. Regarding Dominionism, search Wikipedia for “Dominion Theology” and especially “Kingdom Now Theology”. You can also just follow my link above called “Joel’s Army” to find out why I am concerned.

  40. Ken, my brother-in-law is a hunter. My mother’s family are farmers and my father and grandfather were outdoorsmen in the West. And I don’t work in a coffeeshop, but I frequent a nice one. A farmer works as a barista there during the off season. And I’m not a kossack (or “koskid”) either.

    So, cordially, eff you.

    As I mentioned way upthread (in case you missed it), the fact that Ms. Palin hunts and fishes and shoots makes her way cool, and certainly hella more feminist than Hillary who seems to have spent the past eight years working on her scowl. No complaints from me on that axis.

    But… but… it’s gonna be hard convincing the world you’re seven months pregnant looking like this, especially when photo evidence of you looking like this exists. There are too many other holes in the story, too: her daughter’s eight-month mono, the eight-hour flight post-water-break, etc.

    I say let the Palins hear what the kossacks are saying. If it be naught but a vicious rumor, let them come forth to clear their name.

  41. Give me a tall glass of sweet tea any day.

    Tea! That’s even worse. All those libruls with their chai and their Earl Grey… And let’s not forget the supposed “health benefits” of green tea… from red China!

  42. Tea! That’s even worse.

    Jeff, wow! I did not realize the South was so librul.

  43. Not once do you give a single source, except the say-so of an anonymous coward on DailyKos. I would like to believe that this is just an extreme reaction based on politics, but frankly I believe that you just have an evil lust for hurting people.

    Tell you what. Sarah Palin will probably come somewhere near your home town. Why don’t you tell her to her face that her daughter is a whore? Tell it to her husband, too, brave man.

  44. Hey Ken, I have an idea. How about you stop with the “I am *such* a tough guy, and you are clearly a pasty-faced pussy” ranting? I’m not interested in reading about how thick and curly your arm hair is, or however it is you measure merit out on the ranches in Nevada which you apparently come from.

    Personally, I measure it in things like “kindness” and “intelligence”, and not in being a loud-mouthed physically intimidating jerk.

    Would you like to challenge me to a duel, now? Am I cowardly pig?

    Or how about you debate Jeff Read on the issue at question, instead of adopting the whole “Let’s take this argument into meatspace” attitude. That would be an order of magnitude more interesting.

  45. I have to wonder, why is there such an evil underbelly in America? Why is there a small but influential group who are willing to go after the children of a woman whose crime is getting chosen to run for Vice-President by a (pretty moderate) Republican?

    I actually blame the Sexual Revolution, but not in the way you probably think.

    By the early Seventies, it had become possible for roughly 95% of the population to have sex any time they wanted. Before that time, there had been a slight stigma toward those who had no sex, but a much bigger stigma against promiscuity. For the duration of the Seventies, the stigma against promiscuity virtually disappeared, resulting in a much larger stigma against people who were unwilling or unable to have sex. This dropped off a bit during the Eighties, with the AIDS scare, but once it became clear that heterosexuals weren’t much at risk, the status quo of the Seventies returned.

    Now note that 95%. That meant that there were still 5% out there who were still too repulsive to get laid in a post-SR society. And now they were stigmatized more than ever. A certain portion could take refuge in religion, but that isn’t for everybody. So you had maybe 3 or 4% of the population who weren’t asexual, weren’t religious, and weren’t attractive enough to have sex. Pretty much ever.

    So what did they do? What people in Pakistan, or anywhere, do when they see no hope of ever getting laid: they went insane. This accounts for their obsessive hate for Christianity. (Having grown up in a Lutheran church, I can see obsessive YAWNING over religion, but hating those nice, boring old people? I don’t think so.) It wasn’t unattractiveness, it was all those Christians restricting their sex (in a nation in which there are probably more porn shops than bait stores).

    In essence, what we have is a left-wing Taliban.

  46. I didn’t start a rumor without sources. Jeff Read did. Not surprisingly, I reacted angrily.

    Suppose I said that Obama was molesting his daughters, without a single source for my accusation.

    Don’t you think you and he would get pissed off?

  47. Except I didn’t start the rumor. It was floating around the Alaskan state legislature for months before even hitting the Kos.

    I was too credulous in repeating the accusations. I’m deeply sorry for that.

    As for calling young Bristol a whore… I would never do that. The problem with this story is not the teenage daughter giving birth, nor with Ms. Palin claiming the child as her own. The problem is that she is now a very public figure with the chance to occupy the nation’s #2 spot, and there’s this huge conflict between her squeaky-clean “family values” image and her stated policy on sexual affairs, and what seems to be actually going on within her family. And Palin seems to be an extremist even among Repubs when it comes to sex: opposing abortion even in rape and incest cases and possibly (there are conflicting reports about this) opposing even the use of common birth control methods.

    It’s not about the sex, it’s about the hypocrisy. Hint: This is also why Republicans tend to be targeted more by the press when a sex scandal breaks. A Republican fooling around is a serious issue for their base; a Democrat fooling around is business as usual (especially if your last name is Clinton).

    Where the rubber meets the road, conservative family values just don’t mesh with how humans behave sexually. It leads to monstrous gaffes like Bush’s “abstinence only” sex education policy.

  48. OK. Let’s look at this.

    Let us assume that everything that is being asserted is true – that the Down’s baby is Bristol’s, not Sarah’s. And that Sarah is raising the kid as her own. (Birth certificates show Trig’s parents as Sarah and John Palin, so legally it’s the truth.)

    Can you think of ANYTHING that will DRIVE the “pink collar” demographic than this – a woman who stepped in to raise her grandchild as her own rather than let it keep her daughter from having a career?

    Contrary to the way the “family values” meme is pilloried in the media, family values isn’t about not making mistakes, it’s about doing the right thing when a difficult choice has to be made.

    Now, that being said, I’ve seen enough pictures of both Bristol and Sarah Palin in the time frame to go “I can’t rule out this assertion, but I find it unlikely.” Palin’s water ‘leaked’, which isn’t uncommon in later life pregnancies, and she made the decision to have the child in the state of Alaska (there are some reasons to want this, for residency and Permanent Fund dividend requirements). She was told by her physician that the flight was safe, and spent 8 hours on flights, with (according to one flight attendant) a ‘pained look on her face’.

    And, if there isn’t anything to the rumours, or if the attending physician says he delivered Palin’s child…the attack dog media just took a flying axe kick to the shorts, and this will be used as campaign fodder until November.

    “The Democratic media, fearing the power of a self assured woman who can have both a family life and a professional career, launched a smear campaign within 72 hours of Sarah Palin’s nomination….”

    Hell, the pieces like the one running in Time, that are the first steps towards painting Alaska as “Dumbfuckistan” can be spun beautifully into campaign ads in any place where there’s a hunting season, and people work blue collar jobs.

    I’m so dearly waiting for someone to bite on her “ethics scandal”.

  49. Now note that 95%. That meant that there were still 5% out there who were still too repulsive to get laid in a post-SR society. And now they were stigmatized more than ever. A certain portion could take refuge in religion, but that isn’t for everybody. So you had maybe 3 or 4% of the population who weren’t asexual, weren’t religious, and weren’t attractive enough to have sex. Pretty much ever.

    My experience has been that such people are too busy pretending to be rainbow-winged pixie-foxes, elves, or anime characters to be real vocal or politically active.

    In essence, what we have is a left-wing Taliban.

    OH NOES. If they’re anything as influential and radical as the right-wing Taliban I suppose I should be worried.

  50. I accept your apology for being too credulous, Jeff. And I apologize for calling you a cowardly pig.

    Having said that, though, I do think there is a radical fringe of the left–even if you aren’t part of it, per se–that isn’t motivated by socialist ideals so much as by a yearning to be free of any restrictions on the behavior of its members. (This does not make them libertarians, since they want government action to squelch others whose private actions might restrict their behavior).

    If we had 5 million black mambas liberally dispersed across our major cities, and to a much lesser extent in the countryside, you can bet that it would be seen as a crisis. But 5 million moonbats, whose actions consistently show them to be as dangerous and conscienceless as the mambas, are just seen as part of the colorful fabric of society.

    And at least the mambas just kill people. They don’t send letters to Michelle Malkin threatening to sew her cunt shut with barbed wire.

  51. As for the “right-wing” Taliban, it’s in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Milennial Christians have been around since the 1800’s, and if anything are less inclined toward violence than members of “mainline” sects. (Millions of Catholics and Methodists fought against Hitler. Virtually no Jehovah’s Witnesses or Seventh-Day Adventists did. Not that I have a problem with fighting against Hitler.)

  52. Ken, to a certain extent Michelle brought a bunch of shit on herself by trying to build a “case” for internment. She should have anticipated a reaction from the nutroots/black mamba crowd for making such racially volatile, poorly-researched claims in her book.

    (I think I like that neologism: Black Mamba Crowd.)

  53. Eric, is it asking too much for you not to ban Ken from your site, in spite of his unpleasant, threatening and downright incoherent posts? I don’t think he’s quite finished humiliating himself yet, and I for one am enjoying the spectacle.

  54. P.S. Would your obstetrician be more worried about your baby having Down’s if you were in your teens or in your forties?

  55. P.P.S. I am certain this will be trivia for most readers, but Catholics do not believe in a uniquely Catholic baptism. While the sacrament is generally performed by a priest, “In case of necessity, baptism can be administered lawfully and validly by any person whatsoever who observes the essential conditions, whether this person be a Catholic layman or any other man or woman, heretic or schismatic, infidel or Jew. The essential conditions are that the person pour water upon the one to be baptized, at the same time pronouncing the words: “I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” Moreover, he must thereby intend really to baptize the person, or technically, he must intend to perform what the Church performs when administering this sacrament.”

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02258b.htm

  56. She seems like a good pick for the many reasons listed above. This will also be extra hard for Biden in the debates, since he’s regularly a condescending bully in public, and it will look very bad to do that to a woman.

    As for her church, it’s a heck of a lot less scary to me than the Black Liberation Theology/Marxist one Obama took his family to for decades.

    And I think the pro-Hillary crossover vote will be non-trivial. Check out this thread on a pro-Hillary website that’s huge and been around for months (and thus unlikely to be a Republican dirty trick): it’s 12 pages of almost unanimous excitement about Palin. There’s other anecdotal evidence around the web of many Democrat women being thrilled. If even 5% of Democrat women vote for McCain because of Palin, I think he wins big.

  57. Oh, here’s a fun one. Makes my little minarchist heart go squee.

    Palin has stated views that she believes in that many will find objectionable.

    She supports a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
    She supports “equal time” for creation science.

    She very clearly makes the point that these are her personal views, but are not her official platforms.

    Yet, when presented with legislation that would deny spousal benefits to gay employees working for the state (and would act as a precedent to deny such benefits to people in the private sector), she consulted long and hard with the attorney general about its legality and likelihood to stand up to a constitutional challenge within the state.

    When it was clear that it wouldn’t cut the mustard…she did the first veto of her governorship on it.

    Apparently, legal precedent and ‘doing it right’ matters more than getting her personal agenda enacted into law.

    Very clearly, she hasn’t paid attention to national level politics since about the Johnson administration. And I’m talking Andrew, not Lyndon.

    Sadly, the last two Presidents we’ve had of similar strong moral principles have been utter disasters: Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter….

  58. Papaya: And I think the pro-Hillary crossover vote will be non-trivial. Check out this thread on a pro-Hillary website that’s huge and been around for months (and thus unlikely to be a Republican dirty trick): it’s 12 pages of almost unanimous excitement about Palin. There’s other anecdotal evidence around the web of many Democrat women being thrilled. If even 5% of Democrat women vote for McCain because of Palin, I think he wins big.

    Hillary supporters are technically liberal Democrats. If you adopt the cynical view of this pick (which I don’t), that McCain picked Palin as a desperate grab for PUMAs, then that move was a bad one. Palin is polling much better among *men* than women. It’s no secret that men tend to be more conservative.

    Also, Palin is polling rather badly among Independents. I can dig up the sources on this stuff if you want, but just check out http://www.fivethirtyeight.com for some general polling.

  59. OK, so we’ve got DVRs.

    We’ve got automatic closed captioning.

    We have text filters.

    Has anyone hacked their DVR to track the number of minutes devoted to each candidate on the major news network? Or even do a frequency count for candidate names in passing versus candidate statements?

    If no, why not?

  60. >Sadly, the last two Presidents we’ve had of similar strong moral principles have been utter disasters: Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter….

    As Robert Anton Wilson said, an honest politician is a national calamity.

  61. As for Palin herself, yes it is true that a politician who subscribes to identity politics would pick a woman for being a woman (or ote for a black Presidential nominee for being a black nominee). And, yes, it is true that such politicians generally skew left.

    But it’s also true that Palin has actual credentials. She didn’t become governor by riding her husband’s coattails. She hasn’t spent years in the state senate voting “present” on nearly all bills that come up for vote (and having a hard time explaining the few departures from that mold http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/obama_and_infanticide.html is a little long but it does cover multiple reasons Obama actually voted for a bill, and it includes claims by Obama that people who don’t know his real reason — which may include himself given how he’s screwed the pooch on explaining his vote — were simle liars).

    Instead she’s been fighting political corruption, upsetting the oil companies by opening negotiations to the public and allowing a Canadian company to bid for a new oil line, and beating politicians who underestimate her.

    Simple fact is, Obama can’t get his head around this because he can’t imagine somebody being chosen for actual qualifications instead of identity politics.

  62. Ken: Having said that, I would personally MUCH rather have a “Dominionist” (where the fuck do you get these paranoid terms from, anyway)

    Please be so kind to at least check Wikipedia to get a basic idea before running your mouth; it’ll save us all some time and won’t make you look quite so foolish.

    Miles: If they’re hoping that she’ll pick up on disaffected Hillary voters, then I think they seriously underestimate the extent to which those voters cared about Hillary’s policies and respected her personally; but who knows, in a close enough election it might make a difference.
    Palin isn’t going to make a big difference among that demographic, apparently. “Among Democratic women — including those who may be disappointed that New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton did not win the Democratic nomination — 9% say Palin makes them more likely to support McCain, 15% less likely. “ An optimist might conclude that naked pandering of this sort doesn’t work (except on the gun-horny types, apparently); a pessimist would guess that this was a failed attempt to pander to people who weren’t going to vote for him anyway.

    Max Lybbert: Simple fact is, Obama can’t get his head around this because he can’t imagine somebody being chosen for actual qualifications instead of identity politics.

    This is especially cute coming appearing in a thread which consists mostly of fawning over how super-duper sexy the veep candidate looks holding a gun. A candidate who would never, ever have been chosen if she weren’t female. Presumably karlzt came to his conclusion above after deep and thoughtful consideration of the vital issues at hand.

  63. The “gun-horny” types make up anywhere from a high of 75% (who “only” believe in the individual right of the 2nd Amendment) to a low in the mid-Fifties (who actually support the NRA). So I wouldn’t be writing them off so quickly, even if they do offend your latte buddies.

  64. Ken, Grendelkhan:

    Even Bill Clinton, a perennial lefty favorite, once said that about the worst thing a Democrat could do politically is to piss off the gun crowd.

  65. Ken, where the hell are you getting your statistics? Gallup has a different take on the matter.

    * Just about 4 in 10 Americans are dissatisfied with gun laws in the country, while half are satisfied.
    * The pressure to make gun laws stricter appears to be mitigated. Just slightly more than half of Americans support making laws covering firearms sales more strict, at its lowest point since 2002.
    * More than two in three Americans oppose the government completely outlawing the right to possess a handgun.
    * Nearly 6 in 10 of Americans now say the government should enforce current gun laws more strictly rather than passing new laws. This percentage is up this year, similar to levels previously measured in 2002.
    * The public has grown slightly more likely to say that having a gun in the home makes it a safer, rather than a less safe, place to be. The opposite was true previously from 2000 to 2004.

    Nonetheless, Americans strongly agree that the government should require background checks for people purchasing guns. Fifty percent of Americans support and 46% oppose making it illegal to manufacture, sell, or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles.

    Despite highly publicized shootings in courtrooms, half of Americans say courtrooms would be more dangerous if judges were armed with guns, and an even higher percentage say schools would be more dangerous if school officials were armed.

    Americans do, however, say that air travel would be safer if pilots were armed.

  66. Ken: The “gun-horny” types make up anywhere from a high of 75% (who “only” believe in the individual right of the 2nd Amendment) to a low in the mid-Fifties (who actually support the NRA). So I wouldn’t be writing them off so quickly, even if they do offend your latte buddies.

    Hey, I’m not the one going on and on about how sexy the veep candidate looks holding a gun. And wow, that’s a pretty bold assertion. Also, that’s the first time anyone’s actually applied ‘latte’ to me as an adjective. Tickles slightly.

    Jeff Read: Even Bill Clinton, a perennial lefty favorite, once said that about the worst thing a Democrat could do politically is to piss off the gun crowd.

    Hmm. Both you and Ken say this. Wow, if only there were a way to actually quantify exactly how important guns are to the electorate. If only we could solve this… with science! Oh, wait. Yep, there’s guns, ranking most recently (when they even registered) below the economy, Iraq, gas prices, health care, terrorism, education, social security, taxes, illegal immigration, the environment and foreign trade, in that order.

    Does the environment count, or is that just too darn latte?

  67. grendelkhan: I’m not saying you’re necessarily wrong, but I’d be more persuaded by that poll if it were taken while the Republican primary was still a contest. Republicans ended up with McCain, who is a thoroughly unreliable ally to gun owners. So, there’s not much difference between the people at the top of ticket on the issue of gun control, and hence it isn’t as big a voting criterion as it ought to be.

  68. Yes, it is true that most everybody opening their mouth is making the identity politics case.

    But it’s also true that Obama got his start by sucking up to to the world-renowned corruption in Chicago (“not that there’s anything wrong with that”: http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2008/08/obama-and-community-organizing.html “You don’t start a career in politics by going out of your way to refuse to shake the hands of people who lots of your constituents respect, or even refusing to sit with them on a board of directors or share a platform with them–not, at least, unless you are aiming at a deliberate political gesture. And making a point of how hostile you are to left wing radicals, while it might be useful for a Democrat running for President, would not be prudent for a Democrat seeking political support in Hyde Park”).

    On the other hand, Palin got her start in politics by fighting corruption in her own party, ending up with some politicians actually behind bars. The sooner we move from the “but she’s a woman” talk and get to the substance of the discussion, the better.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/09/sarah_palin_vs_barack_obama.html has a little more details.

  69. Those damned Kos kids and their perfectly legitimate questions. I mean, I don’t agree with their tactics, or even their politics, but man, their line of questioning actually revealed some stuff.

    McCain showed *really* poor judgment on this one. At least, if he knew about this. And if he didn’t, then he’s an idiot for not finding out. I hope he’s got some good spin doctors, because this one could cost him the election. “Experience” my ass.

  70. Perfectly legitimate questions? Their whole accusation turned out to be a lie.

    Do you really think this stuff flies with normal human beings?

    God, I hope Todd Palin fucks some of you up.

  71. Her “ties” consist of giving a speech in which she acknowledged them as a party.

  72. Matt Lemmons: I think Hillary has lots of supporters who aren’t liberal Democrats. She did well in the primaries among more conservative/blue collar/rural Dems, compared to the college kids/MoveOn types who supported Obama. Surprisingly, she’s considered more moderate/centrist than Obama. (Of course, based on voting records, Bernie Sanders [Socialist-Vermont] is more a centrist than Obama.)

    And Palin’s a bad pick because her daughter got pregnant? Maybe a few prudish Mrs. Grundy types will be ticked off, but what are they going to do, vote for Barack “I never met an abortion I didn’t like” Obama? If anything, this just gets her sympathy from single moms and parents of single moms, previously considered Hillary constituencies.

    I wouldn’t put much weight on any Palin polling so far. She’s too new to most people. Let’s see how she polls in another month.

  73. Oh, dear god, the AIP.

    Heee. Heee. Hee.

    OK, the AIP elected Wally Hickel as Governor. Wally Hickel only ran on the AIP ticket because he got barred from his party of origin for indictments for corruption. He won entirely because of name brand recognition, and because the party he’d gotten barred from got into a horrible set of scandals.

    Ol Wally was as crooked as they come. No, seriously. His sole redeeming virtue was that his price was clearly stated up front, and once bought, he’d tell you when someone made a counter-bid that was higher.

    Once elected, the party that barred him made him a better offer, he changed affiliations back, and pretty much told his ardent AIP Lieutenant Governer to go blow a polar bear.

    Were it not for being the vehicle of opportunity for Wally Hickel, the AIP would be regarded as somewhat less relevant to Alaskan Politics than the Libertarian party.

  74. And having read their recent statement and platform, they’ve gotten considerably more mellow than they were in the ’90s.

  75. Ken said: “Perfectly legitimate questions? Their whole accusation turned out to be a lie.

    Do you really think this stuff flies with normal human beings?

    God, I hope Todd Palin fucks some of you up.”

    Oh, and I suppose you’re a normal human being? Then God help us all.

    And yes, their questions were perfectly legitimate. Do you actually expect the media (MS or not) to not look for potential scandals among the potential VP picks? That’s pretty naive. Oh, and they turned out to be on to something, as you can see.

    In your world, should we all just shut up about the candidates you support? I don’t go demanding that Republicans stop talking about the Ayers-Obama connection. I make an argument. Oh, and I don’t make these silly “I hope someone beats you up” statements. *That* is what’s illegitimate here.

    Papaya: Think of how it reflects on McCain that he picked a VP candidate that came with *at least three fishy/scandalous things* prior to even being announced as the pick. People will vote based on McCain’s horrible judgment, not Palin’s personal story. That was the overall thrust of my post. She has a pregnant 17-year-old daughter, a baby with Down’s Syndrome, Troopergate, and the AIP stuff. Questions will arise from *all* of these, whether they should or not. It doesn’t put McCain in a very positive light. His first major Presidential choice, should he be elected, showed a complete lack of judgment.

    On the issue of the Clinton supporters, there are only so many who are ideological enough to vote based on the sex of the VP candidate. And in terms of attracting rural Reagan Democrat voters, I honestly think Huckabee would have been a safer, and electorally superior pick. Relatively leftist for a Republican, evangelical, and above all, charismatic.

  76. Matt Lemons, the entire issue is not legitimate. Bristol Palin is not a candidate for office, and her private life is none of anyone’s business. Even if it were, though, the questions about Trig’s parentage were completely without foundation, and therefore illegitimate. Or, just for fun, shall we go asking questions about Obama’s daughters? They’re only 10 and 7, but you never know with these girls nowadays, do you? What innuendo can we think up and ask “legitimate questions” about?

    Now Obama’s close relationship with terrorists is a perfectly legitimate issue. It doesn’t mean he supports terrorism, but it does mean he doesn’t find it shocking or repulsive. After all, he wouldn’t be that friendly with a rapist, would he? Or a Klansman. And if a Republican politician were found to have that close a relationship with a Klansman his unfitness for office would be trumpeted to the skies.

    So what do Palin’s “issues” come down to? “She has a pregnant 17-year-old daughter”, so what? Obama’s mother wasn’t much older when she conceived him, also out of wedlock. It happens. Like Bristol Palin, she married the father; hopefully this marriage will work out, though. Next: “a baby with Down’s Syndrome”; how is that a problem? And do you really think McCain didn’t know this? “Troopergate”; which amounts to her being accused of trying to get a bad cop fired. She says she didn’t, and I see no reason to disbelieve her, but I wish she had. In her place I would have. Whatever happened to “the buck stops here”? If the governor knows that a bad cop is working for her, she damn well should do what she can to get him fired; if necessary she should just fire him herself and damn the unions. “And the AIP stuff”; I’m still not sure how this is a scandal at all. Forget that there is no evidence at all for her ever having been a member, what if she had been? Why is that bad?

  77. What about “Joel’s army”? There’s absolutely nothing to that – not even the smell of anything. The entire story, such as it is, is that the church Palin attends when she’s in Juneau is a Pentecostal one, and some kossack decided that every Pentecostal is a “dominionist”. That’s pure bigotry, and would be out of bounds even if Palin were a Pentecostal, which she isn’t.

    For better or worse Americans are by and large a Christian people, and the real creed of America is that every significant Xian denomination must be accorded a certain presumption of legitimacy. Pentecostalism is a major Xian denomination — it’s not some weird cult that can be dismissed. To say that any Pentecostal is by definition unfit to hold public office is anathema to the social contract that underlies American society. It was disgusting when it was raised against John Ashcroft, who actually is a Pentecostal; it’s even more disgusting when it’s raised against Palin, who isn’t.

    And that leads me to another bit of heresy against the underlying American ethos. A few days ago the anti-Palin talking point was that she had no experience because she’d been mayor of a small town, and then governor of a small state. America, to a large extent, is small towns and small states, and the message the Obama people were shoveling was essentially that people from small towns and small states need not apply for serious positions. If you’re from Alaska, or Delaware or Wyoming, you’re disqualified from national office, unless you first serve in Congress and get in your necessary DC experience and Meet The Press appearances, as Biden and Cheney did. Actual executive experience in your home town or state doesn’t count, but sitting on a House or Senate committee and making a fool of yourself does. Well, I don’t think that message played very well in religion-clinging, gun-clinging, small-town America.

  78. which amounts to her being accused of trying to get a bad cop fired. She says she didn’t, and I see no reason to disbelieve her, but I wish she had. In her place I would have. Whatever happened to “the buck stops here”? If the governor knows that a bad cop is working for her, she damn well should do what she can to get him fired; if necessary she should just fire him herself and damn the unions.

    Milhouse, the officer had already been punished. She then dismissed his superior for failing to fire him after punishment had taken place. This seems kind of like Double Jeopardy, which is unconstitutional.

    And the AIP stuff”; I’m still not sure how this is a scandal at all. Forget that there is no evidence at all for her ever having been a member, what if she had been? Why is that bad?

    Morally, who knows? Who cares? I am thinking practically. I am not calling her a traitor or anything, but there are likely many nationalist Americans who would feel that membership in a secessionist organization is unbecoming of a potential POTUS. Also, it raises certain questions about her priorities. If she is going to use her Presidential powers just to benefit Alaska, voters in the other 49 states might want to know about that.

  79. Sarah Palin reminds me a lot of the President in Robert Heinlein’s short story “Over the Rainbow-” (to be found in _Expanded Universe_). Mr. Heinlein’s president was a tough lady that a lot of people underestimated, to their regret.

  80. >> there are likely many nationalist Americans who would feel that
    >> membership in a secessionist organization is unbecoming of a
    >> potential POTUS.

    I agree.

    On the other hand, there are many Americans who feel that our Federal government is doing some things wrong — morally, legally, logistically, (insert any word)-ly.

    I’m still watching and waiting to see how things shape up.

    Right now I think we need someone in D.C. who gets off on busting corrupt government officials/incumbents, and so far she seems to fit the bill.

  81. Troopergate:

    The trooper served 5 days of a 10 day suspension with pay. It came AFTER the director of public safety was asked to resign, and the DPS was asked to resign after being asked, in essence, why a trooper with DUIs in the squad car, domestic violence incidents on the record, and who’d tasered his 11 year old stepson, was still on active duty.

    The staffer who said “Oh, that’s the governor’s sister in law and her ex.” got suspended for two months without pay, about 48 hours after making that call. And still came back to work two months later.

    After the trooper had his suspension, the former director of public safety was offered another job in the state government by Palin.

    Yeah, it’s always possible it’s a cover-up. Of course, it could simply be that the governor felt that, as executive, she was responsible for this incident, and that it’s her responsibility to clean it up.

    Keep in mind, this is the same executive who opposes same sex marriage on moral and ethical grounds, and who used her very first veto to kill legislation that would have denied benefits to same gender couples, because after due consideration – regardless of what *she* wanted, the people of her state had made their voice clear, and the legislation as written was unconstitutional.

    How DOES one spin a governor with a spine and willingness to do the right thing?

  82. I really am starting to see this come around and bite the Dems in the ass.

    Too bad it won’t shoot them in the head as well.

  83. I get the distinct impression that what makes the Democrats really angry is that Palin stopped Wooten from killing her kids.

    I also recall all the anger that Bush’s daughters–not sons, but DAUGHTERS–weren’t serving in Iraq.

    Dems really seem to get turned on by dead women and children. (Some kos piece of shit actually said that Palin should be punished for not aborting her Down Syndrome baby, because she was “diluting the gene pool.” Obviously this POS has no idea of what a gene pool is–or else he seriously expects DS people to soon be allowed to breed. Actually, I don’t even believe that DS breeds others of the same type–it’s an anomaly of the number of chromosomes, not “retardation genes.”)

    I have actually called the GOP office here several times trying to convince them to have armed guards for Republican women going to the polls, but not surprisingly, they are too cowardly to take my advice.

  84. > If she is going to use her Presidential powers just to benefit Alaska, voters in the other 49 states might want to know about that.

    You mean like the Senator from MBNA? Or Obama? Palin isn’t in their league when it comes to giving govt money to political cronies.

    Why is the fact that she’s not as much a pork meister a problem?

    BTW – the VP doesn’t have “presidential powers”.

    And, it’s the Dems who are secessionists these days. Just like old times.

  85. Palin just dropped a great zinger on Obama: “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer’, except that you have actual responsibilities.”

  86. Ken: Too bad it won’t shoot them in the head as well.

    Could you tone down the violent rhetoric just a smidge? I’m starting to gag on it over here.

    Obviously this POS has no idea of what a gene pool is–or else he seriously expects DS people to soon be allowed to breed.

    Perhaps you weren’t paying attention, but a little man in a Chaplin ‘stache put the kibosh on eugenics more than a half-century ago. People aren’t, generally speaking, allowed or not allowed “to breed”. Is it different where you come from?

    Actually, I don’t even believe that DS breeds others of the same type–it’s an anomaly of the number of chromosomes, not “retardation genes.”)

    I don’t know either. Let’s look it up and see. Ah, here we are. Here, too. Looks like men with Down’s Syndrome are, with vanishingly few exceptions, sterile. Women are generally fertile, with half of their offspring inheriting the gene duplication. Most cases of Down’s Syndrome are directly inherited, but are caused by an error in meiosis.

    I have actually called the GOP office here several times trying to convince them to have armed guards for Republican women going to the polls, but not surprisingly, they are too cowardly to take my advice.

    Or perhaps they think it’s a ridiculous suggestion of the sort made by any standard-issue crank, as there’s been no outbreak of vicious gangs hanging around polling places, belligerently querying the party affiliation of women passing by? Or has there, but The Liberal Media has been covering it up?

  87. There are some fascinating clips of media personalties talking when they thing the mics are off at the RNC on YouTube.

    As for me, I’m tempted to whip up tee shirts that say “Bitter Rural American, Clinging To My Religion And Guns.”

  88. >As for me, I’m tempted to whip up tee shirts that say “Bitter Rural American, Clinging To My Religion And Guns.”

    I’m neither bitter nor rural and my hostility to the sort of religion red-state America is invested in is no secret. Still, that T-short would tempt me simply because it would get up the nose of a great many people I despise.

  89. > It’s not about the sex, it’s about the hypocrisy. Hint: This is also why Republicans tend to be targeted more by the press when a sex scandal breaks. A Republican fooling around is a serious issue for their base; a Democrat fooling around is business as usual (especially if your last name is Clinton).

    Is it a serious issue for the base or a way for the MSM to deliver their 15%?

    One way to distinguish between those two cases is to look at how said MSM deals with hypocrisy by Dems. What? They ignore it? In other words, it’s not hypocrisy, it’s Repub hypocrisy.

    BTW – in most cases, it isn’t hypocrisy, it’s failure. Hypocrisy is “it’s okay for me but not for you”. Failure is “it’s not okay for either one of us, and I failed to live up to those standards.” Of course, folks who don’t believe in standards can’t be hypocrites, but folks who believe in standards for others are different.

  90. I’m neither bitter nor rural and my hostility to the sort of religion red-state America is invested in is no secret. Still, that T-shirt would tempt me simply because it would get up the nose of a great many people I despise.

    Please note that I didn’t specify WHICH religion I was clinging to.

    I’m trying to figure out if I can make it iconic enough to put different symbols for different religions, and get a design ready to go by this weekend.

  91. >Please note that I didn’t specify WHICH religion I was clinging to.

    Heh. The variants with a Wiccan pentagram or Discordian chao on them would be truly funny.

  92. * Andy Freeman: “BTW – in most cases, it isn’t hypocrisy, it’s failure. Hypocrisy is “it’s okay for me but not for you”. Failure is “it’s not okay for either one of us, and I failed to live up to those standards.” Of course, folks who don’t believe in standards can’t be hypocrites, but folks who believe in standards for others are different.”

    Well said. I don’t completely agree (in a minority of cases, it really does seem like hypocrisy to me), but I’m pretty close in agreement all the same.

    * I heard the clip with Peggy Noonan talking about the McCain campaign unaware of her open mic. FWIW, she posted an explanation on her OpinionJournal page. (Which seems to have been moved off now. Ah. OJ seems to only make very old columns freely available, unfortunately for us.)

    * Liberalism seems to be a religion of its own.

    * (Btw, have some enjoyment on a Friday, especially Eric, I hope: http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1828310 )

  93. I love this move by McCain. Funny thing most of the men I talked to really dig this women and think she is a fine choice. The women in my life want to check her out further before they render an opinion. This really undercuts Obama’s change rhetoric . McCain knows that this is his last run for the White House. He has found a younger maverick version of himself who will be around long after he is gone. I really like how this old fox thinks even though a lot of what he believes in I disagree with. He had my vote before but now I am enthusiastic voter.

  94. Milhouse: I didn’t say they were actual “issues”, but certainly all of those things have a bit of potential controversy surrounding them. I’m not saying it’s right, but these could have been exploited. It looks like the MSM is beginning to realize that no-one cares (which, in my cynical view of what the average American is interested in seeing on TV, is rather surprising) about Bristol, or Trig.

    So, looking back at the past week, choosing Palin seems to be working well enough for McCain (and she was a much more interesting pick than Biden!). I’m kind of wishing Obama had picked Bill Richardson, who actually met Saddam face-to-face, and seems to have everything that Obama lacks. First-hand foreign policy knowledge, very nice executive experience in a swing state, and amazing social progress all in one package.

  95. Heh. The variants with a Wiccan pentagram or Discordian chao on them would be truly funny.

    Any Wiccan or Discordian worth his/her salt should be very worried (instead of gung fucking ho) about the nomination of Palin.

    Here’s something to get up your and Ken’s nose: A growing number of rednecks are recognizing the inherent criminality of red-state politics, and relying on the working classes for solidarity in your penchant for violence will ultimately be a losing game.

  96. Jeff: that second article was great. Thanks! The interesting titbit in the first article was the admission that she left the AoG in 2002, which makes the Joel’s Army claims less likely – I for one was hella worried by the prospect of a VP who was a cult member.

    Stephen: how is Palin a maverick? As far as I can see, she follows the religious-conservative party line on every issue. Her anti-corruption and anti-pork credentials have been greatly exaggerated.

    In light of the coverage of the last few days, I’d like to amend my comments about the experience issue: it seems that the McCain campaign has gone on the offensive from a position of weakness, in effect saying “Sarah Palin has bugger-all experience, but she still has more than Obama!” Never mind that she needed to hire a “city administrator” to help her run a town of 5,000 people…

    I dunno. The polarisation of the reaction to Palin is really depressing: libruls keep finding new things wrong with her, and consies seem to think she walks on water. Nobody seems to be admitting that the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

  97. Miles, you must’ve missed the bit where she solicited spiritual advice from the leader of her Assemblies church in 2006. Believe me, there is still cause for concern. Obama’s connection with Reverend Wright (whose rhetoric doesn’t differ substantively from that of other black ministers) is nothing compared to Palin’s coziness with the Klavalier arm of white Christendom.

  98. >Any Wiccan or Discordian worth his/her salt should be very worried (instead of gung fucking ho) about the nomination of Palin.

    Me, I’m neither gung ho nor worried, just amused at the havoc she’s wreaking on the assumptions of the media and the political class.

    This much I will say for Palin: she does, actually, strike me as a less authoritarian personality than McCain, Obama or Biden are. McCain, in particular, seems worryingly high on that scale to me. Obama and Biden, to their credit, seem both less extremely authoritarian and much better at disguising the tendency (from themselves as well as from others). Palin, at the other extreme in this group, has specifically rejected legislating her religious convictions into law.

    >A growing number of rednecks are recognizing the inherent criminality of red-state politics,

    Good. Now if urban liberals could manage to comprehend the inherent criminality of blue-state politics, some progress might actually get made. But no; people like Jeff Read cling bitterly to the comforting delusion that their kind of politics is virtuous.

  99. >“Sarah Palin has bugger-all experience, but she still has more than Obama!”

    It seems to me this is actually true. Palin’s line about a small-town mayor being “like a community organizer, except with actual responsibilities” was wicked funny; best zinger of the campaign so far.

  100. Jeff, let me get this straight.

    A black racist minister is just fine, because there are plenty more like him out there.

    An evangelical chuch is wrong because a Republican governor attends it.

    A presidential candidate who associates with a man who served time for bombing the capital building is the light bringer, the chosen one, the man who will lead us to the promised land of change.

    Remember, it was Obama who, when campaigning through Pennsylvania, made the crack about “bitter white people, clinging to their guns and religion.”

    A woman who, when given a choice between signing a piece of legislation she personally agreed with, stuck to constitutional principles and vetoed it.

    A presidential candidate who has run unopposed, or used signature initiatives to get opposition candidates removed from the ballot is preferable to a woman who gave the opening address (by video conference) to a third party caucus in her state, telling them that, yes, they have a right to organize and make sure their voices are heard.

    I consider the odds about 60/40 in favor of Obama to win this year’s election, maybe even 65/35. The only chance that McCain has is if enough people attack Palin that it mobilizes the Republican grass roots.

    So, please, by all means, keep up what you’re doing.

    The way the Dems should’ve handled Palin was to say “Oh, very nice choice. We appreciate her credentials. Mr. McCain, would you please take a talking point on the following issues?”

    But, nope, it’s “OhMyGod! She’s pro life! She belongs to a church that actually demands things of its adherents! Her daughter’s pregnant! Her youngest child is really her daughter’s! She’s Abused Her Executive Power!”

    All you’re doing is villifying her to people who’d vote for Osama bin Ladan before anyone on the Republican ticket…and making sure that the real working class folks, who do go to church every sunday, who don’t know what the hell a frappucino is, and hope that their kids can go to college someday, rally behind her.

    And I read the second link. Fascinating piece of propaganda, with some good points mixed in with high density fertilizer.

  101. >Nobody seems to be admitting that the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

    How about me?

    Sarah Palin is neither a nightmare nor a dream. What I think she is, on present limited information, includes being (a) a politician, (b) an imperfect human being, and (c) preferable to either Democrat or the other Republican.

    I am far from the only libertarian to be making this evaluation, apparently. Fortunately, we know that worshiping politicians is suicidal idiocy, so we’re not prone to get all gooey-crushy on the ones we like. Yer not gonna be seeing any “Palin is the One sent to save us!” rhetoric from this corner.

    (And since it’s doubtless going to come up…yeah, she’s attractive, but in a white-bread small-town-prole style that isn’t my type. That reaction is my upper-middle-class SES showing and not a knock on her, but it means you won’t see drooling from this corner either.)

  102. >I consider the odds about 60/40 in favor of Obama to win this year’s election, maybe even 65/35.

    I give McCain a slight edge at this point. Remember that the tracking polls have tended in the past to undersample Republicans and oversample people who don’t actually vote. That means that if they’re showing a dead heat, McCain is probably ahead by a nose.

  103. Intrade still gives a slight edge to Obama, and I trust that slightly more than I trust any poll. There are at least two things mucking up polling this cycle, in ways that are difficult to measure: the Bradley effect, and people who have only cell phones.

  104. esr and Daniel Franke: Although polling has in the past over-estimated black and youth turnout, Obama might appeal to them enough that we’ll see them turn out in numbers more like the other demographics. Plus, McCain’s support among his “base” was noticeably less enthusiastic than Obama’s (admittedly this was prior to choosing Palin, who feels more and more like the conservative Obama). Many of the polls taken during the conventions were contradictory. The consensus seems to be that things will settle down in a couple of days, and then we may be able to figure out what the hell is going on.

  105. >the Bradley effect

    There’s actually some evidence for a reverse Bradley effect operating in Obama’s case. In the primaries, blacks didn’t vote for him in the numbers suggested by the polls.

    Obama has two problems there. The old black establishment, steeped in racial-grievance politics, is generally lukewarm or hostile to him because of his self-positioning as a post-racial politician. On the street, many blacks consider him “too white”. And, oddly enough, too liberal — blacks as a group have the most conservative social-issues posture of any part of today’s Democratic coalition (strong opposition to gay marriage is just the start).

  106. One of the most interesting aspects to me is that that Palin nomination has come the closest to anything we’ve ever seen to triggering the “vomiting forth” of any of the Gramscian damage memes you wrote about earlier, specifically the ones about victim groups, specifically, the feminist meme set.

    Here I mean “feminism as captured by the left”, not what I think of as “true feminism” which would start and end with something like “Women should have the same opportunities as men with no special discrimination” (or some statement like that, I’m not spending a lot of time polishing that).

    If you consider Feminism-L as “the feminism of the left” and Feminism-T as the “true feminism” I defined, you can see that the thing that keeps the Ls in power is their ability to convince the much-larger set of Ts that the Ls are working for the Ts and the Leftist ideology is just part of the package, of lesser importance. The Palin nomination has, for the first time, driven a huge wedge between the two groups, because the Ts will at least be happy about a female vice president, even if they wouldn’t actually vote for her, but the Ls have come out with total undisguised hatred, and this has not gone unnoticed by many of the Ts. You can see the evidence of this in the comment sections all over the place and I strongly suspect it accurately reflects reality.

    Without the Ts, the Ls are politically impotent, due to extreme small size. Palin forced the Ls to choose between maintaining the necessary facade to keep the Feminist-Ts fooled, or their leftist ideology, and they have chosen the latter with vigor. I hope McCain-Palin work out some ways to hammer on this, because even if they lose they may do great good in the process.

    So even if McCain-Palin loses, perhaps especially if McCain-Palin loses, keep your eyes peeled for this sort of thing, especially as the media just can not seem to help but hammer that wedge harder and harder with a big ol’ hammer of naked hate and bias.

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