Friday, October 03, 2008

Palin

I have to say that the last couple weeks, since I last posted, have been a real low point in American journalism--and that is really saying something. Gibson and Couric did their level best to take Sarah Palin out of the race, and very nearly succeeded. Last night's vice-presidential debate reset the typewriter of this election to the home position. Palin held herself up high and squealched any and all doubts her supporters had about her. The key word being her supporters. I would also add that she likely attracted many fence-walkers as well.

She wasn't perfect, avoiding questions that she either didn't want to answer or couldn't answer, while Senator Biden was direct. The difference between the two in my estimation is that Palin didn't pretend to know what she didn't know; Biden on the other hand, and quite cleverly I should add, made deliberate or willful misrepresentations on a range of topics, including John McCain's voting record. These canards served to create the illusion that his arguments had substance. Palin talked straight, and the contrast was sharp.

A long time Washington insider would have flayed him alive, but that leads to the next subject: Respect. We heard a whole lot of it last night, such that I haven't seen since Ross Perot lost the presidency to Bill Clinton and told his booing supporters to get behind their new president. Biden not only showed respect for Sarah Palin (er, Governor Palin), but also for John McCain. I walked away from this thinking that Joe Biden is a good man.

Listen, I know many of you don't think Sarah Palin has the experience necessary to step into the role of Vice President. I'm sympathetic to that view point. I'm a bit of a dreamer and a romantic, as are many Obama supporters. I can't help but get the Jimmy Stewart vibe from her, a small town American headed to Washington to break through the barriers of politics to make a fundamental difference. It takes force of character and charm. Regardless of how this race turns out, we haven't seen the last of Sarah Palin. With a couple more years of schooling she'll be Hilary Clinton times two with a personality akin to ol' Bills.

What I find ironic is that so many of her detractors women. I respect any criticism that speaks to her credentials or past history as it applies to the job she has done in office. Recently Sandra Bernhardt commented that Palin would get gang raped if she walked alone in New York City. I understand that Palin is not her candidate, but is this necessary? Have some respect for a woman who has achieved so much to be standing toe-to-toe with Joe Biden on the national stage. Women have come a long way. And not just any woman, but an attractive woman that is not hiding her femininity to fit in with the male establishment. It's a huge stride that should be aknowledged instead of mocked.

None of this is taking anything from Obama, whose achievements deserve similar attention. This election for me comes down to who is better on economics and security. My opinion is that Obama's taxation policies will take money from the rich, which on the surface seems fair. The net effect however will be the loss of jobs as corporations scale back to pay for the costs, which will have the further effect of decreasing tax revenues and increasing payouts for unemployment and possibly other social programs. I also don't believe in the time-table pullout from Iraq. We leave when we can and no sooner. Politics cannot determine war policy, and that is exactly what Obama represents.

Democrats are licking their chops over the damage that the bailout has caused the McCain campaign, and it might just be the golden egg that gets their candidate elected. But I think McCain has it in his back pocket that it was Barney Frank and like-minded Democrats that blocked efforts by the Bush administration to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, which may have prevented the current crisis.

27 comments:

Kaycie said...

Wow. I usually see things in a similar way as you.

I could not disagree more. Watching and listening to Sarah Palin is excruciating. She comes across to me as ill informed and incurious. Her stances on women's issues downright scare me. No abortions for victims of rape or incest? Really?

I believe John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate was an enormous error in judgement. There are several accomplished, intelligent, experienced women on the national stage that would have made excellent running mates. (Think Marsha Blackburn, Elizabeth Dole, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Condaleeza Rice.) Sarah Palin was not one of them.

Scott said...

I don't agree with everything Palin says, but neither do I believe in everything her opposition says either. And believe me Kaycie, I am the only person that I know that will like anything about Palin. My readers are liberal to the last, and I expect to get blasted. I like the idea that she isn't as experienced as those other women you mention. There's something to be said about a fresh pair of eyes. Same could be said for Obama.

Scott said...

And if you want ill-informed, how about Biden's assertion that we, along with France, kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon?

Kaycie said...

From today's NY Times:

"In the end, the debate did not change the essential truth of Ms. Palin’s candidacy: Mr. McCain made a wildly irresponsible choice that shattered the image he created for himself as the honest, seasoned, experienced man of principle and judgment. It was either an act of incredible cynicism or appallingly bad judgment."

You can read the rest of the article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/opinion/03fri1.html?_r=1&em&oref=slogin

Both candidates mispoke last night during the debate. Candidates almost always do; they are human. For me, the 36 years of experience and plain decency of Joe Biden is wildly preferable to a candidate unable to name a Supreme Court case she disagrees with other than Roe v. Wade. I'm a housewife, Scott, and I would have no problem answering that question. Wouldn't you think any potential Vice President of the United States ought to be more informed than an Oklahoma housewife?

Scott said...

Kaycie, the NY Times is not the news as pertains to politics, much less an opinion column. It's no secret that they and the major networks want Obama to win. We could link and counterlink all day. Would it be a persuasive argument to post Bill O'Reilly's opinion on the matter? Michelle Malkin's? Peggy Noonan's? We all have an opinion on how Palin did, and yours and mine differ. I think that's about the size of it. And I said it before, I know she's not experienced, and neither really is Obama for that matter (which is of infinitely more importance), and it really comes down to balancing what is important to me. I want someone that can talk to the people that I can relate to. I know that you and others want someone who is beyond that, and that's ok. I like her and I like Biden. I just like her better; she represents a ticket whose economic and war policy I believe in.

And how about this: if Palin had made up a joint French and US invasion to wrest Hezbollah from Lebanon, she would have been lambasted. Flayed. Quail to the twentieth power. But no, that was just Joe being Joe. One of us. He's on our side. But hey, at least Biden can name a few Supreme Court cases. Surely his valuable experience could have produced a credible fact?

Kaycie said...

I never indicated that I don't like Sarah Palin as a personality. I don't know her as a person. What I do know is that I do not agree with her on abortion, the environment, energy -- in fact, I haven't heard one opinion she holds that I do agree with. My biggest fear, though, is her Pentecostal religion. If you think God is on your side, you can rationalize absolutely anything.

The NY Times is hardly the only place that I've seen such an opinion today, Scott. That quote simply reflected my opinion most accurately. Politics are heavily influenced by opinion. Clearly we aren't going to agree, particularly if you believe in the economic and war policies of the Republican ticket.

Scott said...

I think we won't agree, but I hope that you are ok with that. Natalie hasn't been here yet, but wait until she rips me a new one. It should provide for great entertainment.

Kaycie said...

Of course I'm okay with that, Scott. But I am looking forward to hearing from Natalie. ;)

Alan said...

Watching ... waiting ...

Toni Anderson said...

LOL Scott. I have to say I don't like her. I admire her as a working mother and that is about it.

I don't have issues with her being a woman in any form. But I wonder if she was a guy, would she be receiving this kind of attention? Or would she be receiving even more ridicule?

Scott said...

Toni - If she were a Democrat she would be a celebrated hero. If she were a guy the debate would have been vicious. Democrats are desperate to hate her in direct proportion to her appeal. Biden spouted revisionist history and the NY Times didn't even mention it. Democrat + full of shit = media pass.

Alan said...

Hey! I say HEY there now! Why have I failed to perceive your Republicanisticexpialidociousness up until just now? Did we catch you at a weak moment?

Speaking of, do you have a religion that prevents you from acknowledging a birthday? I remember wishing a happy one last year and there was no response.

Or am I wrong about your birthday?

If not, Happy One.

Scott said...

My religion is do unto others, Alan. My birthday was the end of last month, and thanks! I don't talk about politics much but this is election time and the heat is on. It's going to be veeery interesting tonight to say the least. At least I hope it's interesting.

Alan said...

I hope you'll comment when it's over. I need the filter of my friends to take in this info. Live coverage makes my eyebrows hurt.

Natalie said...

Lol, sorry I am late to the party. Had I more time and energy, I would totally rip you a new Scott. Shame on you for falling into Palin-trap hook, line and sinker.

I agree with you on your comments on sexism. But Sarah Palin will never, EVER be Hillary Clinton.

The problem with Sarah Palin isn't inexperience, it is ignorance. Whereas Obama is lacking experience, he has the intelligence and judgment necessary to get the job done. I'm not going to argue economic policy or the merits of the trickle down philosophy you seem to endorse. That is a difference in worldview which is probably irreconcilable. The biggest issue I have with Sarah Palin is that she is hard set in her viewpoint, which I fundamentally disagree with. The bombastic way in which she claimed to know what the Bush doctrine was when she clearly didn't was totally reminiscent of the way Bush bullies people and condescends them while having no idea what they are talking about.

And as Kaycie mentioned before, she is no champion for women's rights and her views on the environment are appalling. She is the classic recycled neo-con wrapped up in new packaging to maintain the conservative base and re-engage the evangelicals who were actually thinking about voting dem this election.

Scott said...

There are some things about Palin that I don't like either, but the hatred and despite that liberals feel for her is off the chart. It's a little hard to respect negative opinions of her character when the same people accept without question the shady assocations that Obama may or may not have. Palin tried to have fired a trooper that tazered a ten year old kid and liberals have gone into a shark frenzy. Obviously it was because of a messy divorce. Ridiculous.

So Obama is your man--fine. But don't unload on Sarah Palin because she's a Republican with conservative beliefs. It's too predictable. She has a fundamental belief in personal responsibility that I respect.

The exact opposite is Obama who believes in wealth redistribution, which is a socialist concept. He said those words. I'm sure the liberal blogs have spun those words on its head, but that's pretty much the Democratic way. Take from the rich and give to the poor, so that the poor can keep their butts planted on their sofas because who can be bothered with work. I know some of these people. Handouts breed laziness. Unfortunately, there really are some people that need it. It's too bad that people can't be trusted to only take what charity they need, but when the well is overflowing all the mouths come to feed.

If Obama wants to give money to the needy, then create jobs so that they can earn the money like everyone else does. Don't take it out on businesses that have finally started to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

Natalie said...

don't unload on Sarah Palin because she's a Republican with conservative beliefs. It's too predictable.

OF COURSE I'm going to unload because she has conservative beliefs! Those beliefs are a threat to women and a threat to the environment, let alone a threat to our country God forbid McCain be elected and die in office. You claim she's so different because she has a fresh face, but she is more like Bush than even McCain. That's why liberals hate her, that and the thinly-veiled attempt to net PUMAs, which seems to have back fired.

I have a feeling that the "wealth distriubtion" you are foaming at the mouth about comes after your information has been filtered through Fox News. Why are sticking up for millionaires who have essentially bribed the government to give them tax breaks and loopholes? Obama couldn't have been more clear about his tax plan and his intentions to INVEST in America, not just throw money at poor people. Both parties know that doesn't work, and it is a totally over simplistic argument. I support Obama because he is a New Deal type of Democrat, willing to help those that are willing to help themselves by investing in education, infrastructure, technology, and making sure we have the resources we deserve as the richest nation on Earth. You are so angry about this bailout, which was a direct result of the capitalistic ideology you support. The answer is not socialism, but it certainly isn't laissez-fair economics as well. We don't live in a vacuum and government does need to step in once in a while.

Sure, Palin talks about personal responsibility which is great. But she has never once said what she is going to do to implement it. She has no suggestions, no plans and is contributing nothing to that ticket except sound bites that inspire people to scream "terrorist" at Obama. Every time Biden pressed her to give details, she changed the subject or gave a shout out to Wasilla.

Notice I didn't bring up troopergate or the cronyism in the Alaskan governement. But since you did, need I remind you the panel that found that she abused her power was bipartisan, with more republicans than democrats. Her local administration smells a lot like the one that live in Washington right now no matter how new she is to the scene, and her claims of not being an insider. It doesn't matter where she comes from, if she is going to adopt the same philosophy we've got governing right now things are going to get a lot uglier.

I said my piece and I'm done beating a dead horse. I've been away for awhile and have other places to visit.

Scott said...

Palin is a threat to women. Sounds a bit like fear mongering to me. Liberals hate her because she is a conservative and doesn't believe in hand outs. End of story.

Your attack is the usual tactic of the left, the Fox News angle. Yawn. Obama said to the now famous Joe the Plummer that redistribution of wealth is good for everyone. If Obama didn't say those words then by all means correct me. But please refrain from saying things like I'm foaming at the mouth. I've been reasoned and rational. You think I'm wrong. Of course you do, and I invited your opinion or I wouldn't have put this up here. I really wish you would allow for an opposing opinion and debate what I'm saying instead of questioning either my intelligence or the source of my information. I still love ya, but sometimes you can really come on like a sledgehammer.

Alan said...

What I wish is that elements of the press and media entertainment hadn't targeted Palin to sell their products (Hello SNL, I'm talking to you). Honestly and truly. Because you were much more moderate and willing to listen to both sides and weigh it, and express it without any clear affiliation, Scott. Now it seems as though the hand of the media has forced you to take a stand.

I'm hoping that you haven't painted your less rapacious but left-leaning friends (namely yer ever-lovin' pal Alan) with the same brush that you've swathed the press with.

What I wanted for Obama's campaign, I want for myself. I'm not interested in pointing fingers at who I'm not voting for. I'm also not voting for someone because I don't want to see their opponent in the office. I don't care how Palin raises her kids or what she does on the weekends, or what her husband's favorite position is. Everyone's got virtues and no one is exclusively evil or bad.

I just know who I want to be the President of the United States, and I know why. And that's all I care about. I'm real simple like that, to the chagrin of some of my most important friends.

So as you and Natalie go swinging at one another, please allow me to step far back from the sidelines lest someone accidentally lands a blackened eye on me. (See what I did there? I crack myself up.)

As always, I respect and love your two-fisted passion.

Scott said...

I get tired of the absolutes when it comes to Republican candidates. There's something terribly wrong with Palin, or Bush is eeevillll, he's Hitler only worse. Those are the kinds of arguments that are hard to take seriously. When kids pipe up and cry hysterically over a scratched knee, I have basically the same reaction. I don't get energized by McCain, and I wish there was somebody else that would run on the Rebublican ticket that I could be enthused by--Condoleeza comes to mind. Talk about a foreign affairs expert, and someone who really loves this country for its positives. I just can't vote for a candidate that takes from the rich to give to the poor; I believe in a society that has to earn its way through life, not stand in line for hand outs.

As for taking swings at Natalie, we go through this every once in a while, and we always come out smiling.

magnetbabe said...

scott,

I really tried to stay away, but I strongly feel like it would be a disservice not to attempt to clarify Obama's position on taxes, because either intentionally or not, you are really over simplifying his position. I'm not trying to insult your intelligence or question your sources. I'm just reiterating what Obama himself said at last night's debate and has posted on his website.

No where has Obama said he will take money from the rich and give it to the poor. As I stated before, any realist knows that this simply doesn't work. I'm sorry that you know so many lazy people, but economically times are very tough right now and even the hardest workers are struggling to get by. The is partly because the current administration took a decent economy (balanced budget and surplus) and drove it into the ground by cutting taxes at a time when government spending was at an all time high and when we were involved in two wars. That was unheard of. You can call it raising taxes on the rich, but Barack Obama wants to let these tax cuts expire so that the wealthiest Americans go back to paying the same taxes they were paying in the 1990s. They also looked the other way on predatory lending and adjustable rate mortgages because the lending companies felt they could make a bigger profit on people living beyond their means. As a result of their domestic and foreign policies people are earning less than they used to while paying more for gas, bills, and health care and the middle class is literally disappearing.

Barack Obama is not going to line the pockets of the lazy with the money from letting the tax cuts expire. He is not going to simply give it away to undeserving. He is gong to use it to invest in our future by making college more affordable for prospective students under the stipulation they perform community service. He is going to offer affordable health care (key word offer, it is not mandatory and it is not socialized medicine) to working Americans who are not currently covered because they work for companies like Walmart. He is also going to close tax loopholes for oil companies and use that money to invest in science and technology to find clean energy sources and create green jobs to reduce our foreign oil dependence and greenhouse emissions.

If this isn't the guy for you, that's fine. I respect that you are fairly conservative and have a different worldview than me on the role of government in our lives. But I have supported Barack Obama since he first announced his candidacy and as such feel obligated to clarify when someone is misrepresenting his opinions and intentions. That is what he meant by spreading the wealth around - by rolling back unreasonable tax cuts on $250K+ earners to create opportunities to help rebuild the middle class. I am the middle class and I don't feel in any way that Obama will rob the rich and give me money.

I am not going to keep blasting Sarah Palin. But I would like to point out that rather than addressing a single point I brought up, you chose to either change the subject or paint me as the typical irrational and shrill liberal. Yawn.

Scott said...

Natalie,

I lost interest in debating your specific points when you brought up the Fox News reference and said I was foaming at the mouth. I like this reply much better.

Tonight I just don't have the energy. More later.

Alan said...

Since I'm just now realizing Natalie = magnetbabe, I'm with Scott. That last post is way more informative and tells me better about what I need to know about the candidate. That's all I ever want.

Therefore, magnetbabe, I love your two-fisted intelligence! Thanks for the education!

Scott said...

Ok, I'm not sure I can answer all of your bullet points, so I'm just going to respond with my thoughts on the race. Clearly you have a comprehensive knowledge of Obama's policies that I do not. But what I am hearing from you sounds great on the surface. I love it that he wants to invest in a green America and alternative energy. Both candidates seem to be on board with that concept. I like McCain on this issue as well. Green energy is absolutely mandatory for the future, and you know I'm all for it. I'm also for doing whatever is necessary to get off foreign oil, and as distasteful as it sounds, I'm for the offshore drilling even if it is only slows our dependence a little. I'm for the nuclear plants as well. I don't like the idea much, but our money is leaving the country to the middle east when it could be spent here. Not to mention that is the largest of security concerns we have.

You say that both parties understand that socialism doesn't work, and yet in our country we have nearly the highest corporate tax rate already, and Obama intends to ratchet that up further. It should go down, not up. Business don't just take that idly. So while it seems like it won't affect the middle class, those expenses will simply be passed on to the middle class indirectly, including the slashing of jobs and/or salaries. When business have to tighten their belts, it's not the CEOs that suffer. Not to mention that when it becomes unfeasable to do business in the country businesses close or go somewhere else.

I'm not just sticking up for mega corporations. Why do I care about the welfare of the Bill Gates' of the world? The CEO of my own company is so out of touch with reality that he thinks because our company is going public that we should be excited as if his financial success is somehow deemed a boon to ours. But as long as he and his investors are making money and the profit margins are in line with projections, I get to keep my job. If anything affects that bottom line, I will lose it. I've been doing this for a long time, and I've been on the street for just these reasons before. So I couldn't care less if they are lobbying congress for tax breaks. I just want to take care of my family and at least one mega-corporation is just that ticket for me right now.

I'm also trying to buy a small business right now. I'm not sure I can pull it off, but I'm weighing the pros and cons of such a venture. McCain is friendly to business, and believes as I do that money starts at the top and trickles down. If I have money to invest back into the business, I am going to buy more equipment, expand services, educate and hire people to do the work.

Obama wants to create even more government programs and intends to increase spending dramatically. If he wants more money, then get it somewhere else and leave businesses alone. Cut spending (as he intends to), find out why 250 billion dollars can get slipped into a spending bill, prosecute the wall streeters and congressmen and senators responsible for overseeing Fannie and Freddy. The money is already here but it is lining the pockets of politicians. You want the money? Tighten your own damn belts.

And again, Obama said that he believes in redistributing wealth. There are some criticisms of Obama's tax plan that indicate that some folks that don't pay income tax would get a rebate as a result. I honestly don't know if this is true or not. I can't get my head around it and can't tell if this is spin in another direction or not. But Obama said the words. It's those kinds of slip ups that you have to pay attention to, when the political mask drops for lucid moment of candor. I can see why you call it an over-simplification, but I'm not the one engaging in it; it's what Obama said.

Alan said...

So Scott, I read through your response and like I've said before, you have a way to get me to pay attention. I'd listen to you and Ned speak plitics and sports before anyone on planet Earth (even though you guys appear to be diametrically opposed).

I've known for a long time that it's about the life of the voter that influences to vote, and not so much about the state of the Union or What's Right.

What's at stake for you is clear. You're firmly a part of the capitalist machine for better or for worse, and your family has to eat. I get that. You've done very well providing for them, and not only do I get that, but I admire the hell out of it and you. This you know.

So I urge you to consider this, it's also about the person of Barack Obama where his Presidency is concerned. Democrat or no, he's a man of some wealth and means, and his children are about your kids' age, if not a little younger. I doubt if he plans on going into the White House and dismantling a system that allows a man like you to take care of what's his.

I put the responsibility on the CEO of your company and companies all around the country. If their overhead raises, or something happens whether by government or natural disaster, or by space invasion, WHY CAN'T THEY DO WITHOUT FOR A LITTLE WHILE just until the company can function back in the black again? Why is it so necessary to continue making 7 million a year and cut the jobs of people making only 70,000? Why can't those CEOs "redistribute" the wealth, take 6 million that year, and redistribute that extra million among the workers to preserve their salaries?

In the vaccumm of that kind of fairness, why would I blame a President who's trying to make the whole country a better place for everyone, and NOT blame the wealthy-extremists for squeezing on so tightly to all their excess?

Scott said...

Alan - I totally agree with you about CEOs insofar as they should be taking pay cuts as well. In some cases they do just that, but human nature dictates otherwise. To a CEO, the company is all numbers, and the way to cut expenses is to cut jobs and unproductive divisions.

But I'm not defending CEOs. They get away with murder. I hardly think having them take a pay cut is going to solve even a fraction of the problems if the company starts sagging under the weight of heavy taxation.

I know too that Barack Obama thinks he is doing what is best for the country. Your comment implies that I think perhaps he is deceiving the public so that he can do something he knows is wrong. He means well; I just think he is misdirected and will do more damage than has already been done. He'll get everything that he wants because Democrats control the House and the Senate. Now I hear he is suggesting that the cap be removed on the amount social security tax is taxed. That isn't for people making over 250 thousand anymore. What else is he going to change? This all sounds great to all the folks that rent and make just enough to party at happy hour on Fridays, but to the middle class this is going to be a shot. I'm telling you, Alan, this is really scaring me.

Alan said...

I wish I could take that fear away, Scott. You know I would if I could.

You could try to look at the economy right now. Could Obama sincerely do any worse? You believe his heart is in the right place. So wouldn't he care about the middle class as well as whoever else he may be aiming to help? Wouldn't he address as many people in the country as he can? Hasn't he been middle class, or upper-middle class most of his life? Wouldn't he be apt to listen to you and respond to your needs, if your needs were presented to his administration through whatever channels it's meant to get to the White House? I mean the idea of government is to be accountable to the American people. Wouldn't Obama be an approachable president? Wouldn't he be held accountable? Wouldn't he be under scrutiny?

I think the country's been under leaders who act like kings so long that we forgot that we are allowed to move our representatives to affect policy and create change if we need it. If the middle class begin to suffer because of Obama's policies, I honestly feel like he has the kind of personality that would react with compassion. I don't think he'd let you (and hundreds of thousands like you) lose your house and have your family thrown out on the street.