Our Sponsors:

Read more »

Our Members

Many thanks to Consuelo Larrabee and Audra Adelberger some of our many supporters.

ALL MEMBERS »

Sarah Palin: the liberal voter's worst nightmare

A longtime Republican enumerates the many ways by which Gov. Sarah Palin could become the most beloved national figure since Ronald Reagan.
(State of Alaska)

(State of Alaska) None


Several days before her speech at the Republican convention, when Gov. Sarah Palin was under attack for all sorts of things, from her daughter's pregnancy, to "Troopergate," to running for office with a Down syndrome baby in tow, I noticed something odd about how Democrats, especially liberals, particularly liberal women, were reacting to her. They were angry. Why be angry? If Sarah Palin were really a bad choice, they should have been happy. A second-rate running mate could only hurt John McCain and help Barack Obama. Their resentment didn't make sense to me.

Now that she's blown the roof off the Xcel Center, it does make sense. Sarah Palin is an urban liberal's worst nightmare: a successful, attractive, working class, conservative feminist.

Throughout the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama, while mesmerizing urban voters, young voters and African Americans, couldn't seem to close the deal with many lunchbucket Democrats and Independents. Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana: They all went to Hillary Clinton even though it was clear that she wasn't going to win the nomination.

Connecting with those voters is no problem for the governor of Alaska. Many people hadn't heard the term "hockey mom" before Sarah Palin cheerfully called herself out when she was introduced as John McCain's running mate. But plenty of people in Michigan, Minnesota, and working class enclaves on the East Coast such as Buffalo, New York, use the term all the time. She also connects with people of faith who practice their religion because it is the most important thing in their life — not because they "cling" to it, as Barack Obama uncomfortably put it while trying to explain these working class voters to a fundraising audience in San Francisco. She'll be perfectly at home with people who fish and hunt in West Virginia. She's been doing it all her life and once worked in commercial fishing. And in a country where many college-educated professionals in cities don't know anyone who's in the military or owns a firearm, Sarah Palin is a lifetime NRA member whose son deploys to Iraq on September 11th.

In short, she's lived the life of the voters who will decide this election. And how have the sophisticates in the media and political world reacted to her? They roll their eyes and make fun of her hair and clothes, at her professed belief that we are all part of God's plan, about her daughter getting pregnant while mom talks up abstinence. They laugh that she only recently got a passport. They profess dismay at her alleged lack of experience (rather risky for a Barack Obama supporter to do). The Washington Post's Sally Quinn criticized her for thinking she can be a good parent to five while simultaneously serving as vice president (though somehow Teddy Roosevelt pulled it off after serving two short years as governor of New York). Some have even criticized her for choosing to have her Down syndrome baby rather than aborting it (admit it, you've heard it).

And you wonder why so many working-class voters feel detached from today's Democratic Party?

There are two things that are now clear about Sarah Palin after her speech Wednesday night. First, she is smart, gutsy, and well accomplished — not just experienced but accomplished. Those of us who have watched Alaska's Republican Party swallowed up by the appropriations mindset of Ted Stevens and Don Young have cheered at how Sarah Palin helped dismantle the culture it created (Department of Justice lawyers are taking care of the rest).

Confronting greed and corruption in the other party is easy — it's how careers are made, as anyone familiar with the Watergate era can tell you. But taking on corruption in your own party? That is rare. Sarah Palin resigned a six-figure job (not easy to come by in Alaska) to protest the ethics of fellow Republican commission members, including the Republican state chairman. By the time she was done, she filed another complaint against the Republican attorney general, who was forced to resign, and ran for governor against Frank Murkowski, who had been a U.S. Senator for 22 years and was seeking a second term as governor.


Like what you just read? Support high quality local journalism. Become a member of Crosscut today!

Comments:

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 7:51 a.m. Inappropriate

Little hope for the GOP: I am perfectly happy to see women in politics, however the VP candidate isn't connecting with me. The last eight years have been the longest running disaster movie in history. The republicans have nothing to be proud of. All the death and destruction from the Bush Iraq follies, corruption at all levels and economy is a mess. The list of failures is long and the spinmaster Carlson can't put enough lipstick on it to make the GOP look good.

artman51

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 7:56 a.m. Inappropriate

...after the ersatz mansion scene is returned to some movie back lot...": John, I'm a liberal/moderate Independent who feels you are a respected conservative voice in the region. You've done your best to lay out a "happy face" analysis of Sarah Palin. But really, as intellegent as you are, are you truly thrilled with McCain's choice? Do you honestly think that this nice person from Alaska is ready to take on the job of President of the United States should the unthinkable happen? Is this who you would choose to take on Putin, North Korea or Iran? Are you concerned about 3 AM?

Only rhetorical questions. No need for a "happy face" response.
chance

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 10:26 a.m. Inappropriate

Let's see, Palin as Reagan, and now how much lower can the stick go??: Well, let's see, Sarah Palin went to five different schools, chiefly two year community colleges, to get her degree in six years, in journalism.
She is vengeful as a mayor, now as a
governor. she's in the bag of big oil. she is utterly ignorant of world affair - ditto of course for the by far greatest majority.
i'm expect she did play hockey like a barracuda. and i'm o.k with that. and i expect she is a barracuda in bed, and i'm ok with that too.
she wants to get books banned and tries to get the librarian fired. once
the media is through with showing all her warts maybe the country will puke.
when by the way was she "born again" and why? had she been as dissolute as the current president in her youth and have a reaction to that?
the speech she gave was written for her. why is this not mentioned, that she
be quite incapable of anything of the kind. she's what we call "a useful idiot", reagan was, too, of course but at least he was his OWN fascist imperialist idiot
who turned out to be bigger than he seemed when it really counted on a number of occasions, so i bear him comparatively few grudges
except for the unforgivable counter revolution in nicaragua, the hundreds of thousands killed there and in guatemala and el salvador during his reign and that he thought ketchup was a vegetable but he started to get oldtimers rather early.

here's an interesting link to a description of some alaskans watching "her" speech:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/
cheers-and-jeers-at-palin-speech-in-
humpys-great-alaskan-alehouse-919524.html

and here an opposite tack on her speech:


The Sarah Palin speech:


By Bill Van Auken
5 September 2008


Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin's Wednesday night speech to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota was greeted with rapture by the mass media. Newspapers and broadcast news declared it a "homerun" and a "star performance."

The New York Times declared that Palin's turn at the podium "electrified a convention that has been consumed by questions of whether she was up to the job." The Washington Post chimed in that the one-term Alaska governor "proved to be an instant jolt of energy for a political party that has been worried and demoralized for much of 2008."

Meanwhile, NBC's Tom Brokaw proclaimed on the air minutes after Palin finished her speech: "Tonight makes a very auspicious debut as the vice presidential candidate before this hall and a national television audience. She could not have been more winning or engaging."

There was little or no criticism of the brazen cynicism of the speech–which managed to avoid any mention of Palin's political party, now deeply unpopular–or its essential vacuousness. While presenting herself as an everywoman, Palin made no mention of the actual social problems which confront working class families: rising joblessness, plummeting real wages, the lack of affordable health care, the immense growth of economic inequality.

The fawning coverage was the media's cowardly response to its own vilification by the Republican Party, which denounced even the limited scrutiny given by the press to Palin's background as biased, unfair and out of bounds.

The losing candidates in the Republican presidential primaries who preceded Palin to the platform all sounded this same theme. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee sarcastically thanked "the elite media" for having helped "unify the Republican Party." Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani affirmed that it was the American people, not the "left-wing media" who would pick the next president.
mikerol

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 10:32 a.m. Inappropriate

ctd from previous post, one more reply to come: ctd

And former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the multi-millionaire son of a governor, complained, "For decades, the Washington sun has been rising in the east–Washington has been looking to the eastern elites, to the editorial pages of the Times and the Post, and to the broadcasters from the coast."

For their part, the Democrats continued their virtual silence on Palin. The party's own vice-presidential nominee, Senator Joseph Biden, appeared on morning talks shows Thursday. On NBC's "Today" show, Biden affirmed that Palin had given "one heck of a political speech" and declared that she would be a "formidable opponent" and a "very skilled debater."

Speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America," he was slightly more critical. "It was a very skillfully written, very skillfully delivered speech," he said. "But there was not a word about the middle class or health care or how people are going to fill up their gas tanks or a single word about how we're going to get our kids through college."

The reality is that Palin's speech was a piece of ultra-right demagogy delivered to an audience assembled by what is unquestionably the most reactionary party on the face of the planet, committed to the unrelenting defense of wealth and privilege against the interests of the vast majority of the American people and all of humanity.

Assembled in the hall were the foulest elements of American society. The lily-white crowd–the number of black delegates had fallen from 150 in 2004 to 36 in 2008, barely 1.5 percent of the total–included a collection of religious fanatics, racists, anti-Semites and militant defenders of torture, militarism and inequality.

Only such a party could even conceive of someone like Sarah Palin as a candidate for vice president.

Palin cast herself as the small-town "hockey mom" determined to go clean up Washington, and as an innocent victim of media disparagement. One would never guess that she was a politician with intimate ties to movements best described as theocratic fascist, who has campaigned for the outlawing of abortion and the teaching of creationism and, as mayor of a small town, sought the banning of books.

"I've learnt quickly these past few days that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone," she told the Republican delegates.

Any sober reading of the Palin speech makes it clear that it is as noteworthy for what was not in it as for what was.

Among the things missing–and this has been true for virtually all those who have addressed the convention–were the words "George W. Bush," who was physically frozen out of the convention, relegated to an eight-minute address from Washington via a video screen. This is all the more significant given that the words coming out of Palin's mouth Wednesday night were written by Matthew Scully, the Bush White House speechwriter who helped craft the lies used to sell the war in Iraq and contributed his prose to the infamous "mission accomplished" speech delivered on the deck of an aircraft carrier in the invasion's aftermath.

Bush's absence, attributed to Hurricane Gustav, was the result of deliberate political calculations. The Republicans have decided to pretend that they have nothing to do with the incumbent president and his administration and bear no responsibility for the deepening economic and social crisis gripping the country and the disastrous wars of aggression launched over the past eight years.
mikerol

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 10:41 a.m. Inappropriate

part III of IV omments: After controlling the White House for all but eight out of the last 28 years, boasting a majority in the House of Representatives for 12 out of the last 14 years and in the Senate for more than eight out of the last 12, as well as having appointed seven out of the nine justices to the US Supreme Court, the attempt by the Republicans to masquerade as outsiders taking on Washington and its "elites" is quite simply ludicrous.

Also notable for its absence in Palin's speech was any hint of a political program, outside of pursuing a policy of bellicose militarism abroad, unfettered drilling for oil and maintaining tax cuts for the wealthy.

Her denunciation of Obama for threatening to raise the "death tax," a measure that would affect a handful of estates of the super-rich, won some of the strongest applause from the audience, in which the country's real "elites" were amply represented. According to CBS News, 51 percent of the delegates have assets of over $500,000.

Among the main speakers warming up the crowd for Palin was the billionaire former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who had the gall to lecture the American people on the need for "tightening the belt during hard times."

Neither Palin nor any of the other speakers at the convention made even a passing reference to the millions upon millions of working people in America facing the loss of jobs and homes as well as steadily declining real wages.

The issues with which she and the Christian right wing of the party have been so closely identified were likewise missing. There was no mention of abortion, gay marriage, gun rights or creationism. Even God got one solitary mention, outside of the obligatory "God bless America" which has become the mandatory closing line of politicians from both big business parties.

No doubt speechwriter Scully and Republican strategist Karl Rove concluded that there was no need to make an appeal on these issues; her presence on stage as the nominee would by itself suffice. Republican presidential candidate John McCain's selection of Palin–his first choice was reportedly Senator and former Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman–represented a capitulation to the veto power exercised by the Christian right over the program and personnel of the Republican Party.

A few oblique biblical references–Palin's vow to go to Washington with a "servant's heart" and her talk of the "spirit" that brought her to the Alaska governor's office–were thrown in just to keep the religious hucksters happy.

After comparing herself to Harry Truman–because they both traced their origins to small towns–Palin praised the virtues of that segment of America, declaring that small-town residents are the ones who do "the hardest work ... who grow our food, run our factories, and fight our wars." There was not even a hint at the devastation that has been wrought upon small towns throughout the US over the past quarter century, as industries have moved out, leaving poverty and unemployment in their wake, as well as young people with few options outside of joining the military to "fight our wars."
mikerol

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 10:42 a.m. Inappropriate

# 4 of 4: Palin then segued into one of many anti-Obama barbs, declaring, "in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening."

This was perhaps the most disingenuous line in the entire speech. In the first place, the Republicans are well known for extolling the virtues of working people "when they are listening," only to kick them in the teeth at the first opportunity, with attacks on wages, working conditions and basic rights.

Palin was referring to Obama's lament, delivered in what he thought were off-the-record remarks to an audience of well-heeled contributors in San Francisco last April, which began by acknowledging that small towns in Pennsylvania and throughout the Midwest had seen the loss of jobs and deep deterioration for the past 25 years, under Democratic and Republican administrations alike. As a result, he said, their residents were "bitter" and tended to "cling to guns or religion."

If anyone knows what Obama was talking about it is Palin, who began her rise to the Alaska governorship by launching a virulently right-wing campaign to win the race for mayor in her Anchorage suburb of Wasilla, invoking precisely religion and guns, spewing anti-abortion demagogy and proclaiming that her victory would give the town its "first Christian mayor."

The political trends to which Obama referred–and to which Palin appealed–did not develop in a vacuum. They are the product of the betrayal and collapse of the official labor movement as well as the Democratic Party's own sharp turn to the right, casting off of any remnants of New Deal social reformism, which in turn helped accelerate the growth of social inequality and economic insecurity.

Under these conditions, the Republicans were able to appeal to religious backwardness and spout pseudo-populist demagogy against so-called "liberal elites." With the selection of Palin as McCain's running mate, the Republicans hope, despite the immense popular hatred for the Bush administration, to do so again. They have turned even further to the right than in the 2000 and 2004 campaigns of Bush and Cheney, now bringing onto their ticket a member of the Christian fundamentalist right with longstanding ties to political organizations of a semi-fascistic character.

What Palin's speech signaled above all is that the Republican Party, despite the odds, has no intention of giving in. Over the course of decades it has been the most consistent and most ruthless representative of the interests of the ruling class. It has no intention of ceding that role to the Democrats, in no small part out of fear that its leading representatives could ultimately face criminal prosecution.

For their part, the Democrats and Obama are–like the media–clearly intimidated by the Republican attacks and unable to mount a reply. They are terrified that a determined attack on the Republican Party and the Bush administration could, despite their best intentions, encourage among working people both popular anger against the capitalist system and unrealistic expectations of change. Such an outcome would cut across the interests of the Democrats' real constituencies, Wall Street and corporate America.

These fears render the Democrats incapable of speaking with either sincerity or anger–the latter reserved exclusively for those to their left. Their cowardice and duplicity are what provide a political opening to the fraudulent right-wing populist demagogy of the likes of Palin and the Republicans.
mikerol

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 11:20 a.m. Inappropriate

RE: # 4 of 4: Rather than wasting so much bandwidth, why not just post the URL?

dbreneman

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 11:29 a.m. Inappropriate

Why I'm Angry: I'm one of those women who has reacted to Palin's selection with anger, and here's why. This choice insults me. It insults women. And it insults women politicians.

There are plenty of women who lead responsible adult lives. There are plenty of women in politics with genuine experience, with no ongoing investigations of their abuse of office, and with non-trailer-trash family lives. There are plenty of women from all over the political spectrum who do not take the most extreme positions across the board, plenty of women who know how to tolerate and make good use of the diversity that is America, and plenty of women who have track records of being able to keep the common good in mind.

But you'd never know it from this choice. This is a loudmouthed bully, a hypertrophied "mean girl" beauty queen with no respect for the rule of law, a noisy drunk of a woman. And we immediately heard, from Laura Bush and others, that she can't be criticized like any other candidate (including Hillary Clinton, that perennial punching-bag pf the far right) -- because she is a woman. Angry? You bet I am!

This choice made me angry in the same way that the choice of Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court made black lawyers angry -- it ignores all the good candidates in favor of a cartoon parody, as if that cartoon were the best there is in the demographic. Leave it to the man who called his wife "you c***" in public to pick this woman, out of all the really good female candidates available!
westomoon

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 11:30 a.m. Inappropriate

Why the Panic?: I agree with Carlson. There is a very definite "whistling past the graveyard" element to the attacks on Palin from the left. She's not the nothing they claim her to be. She has them scared. Why? Because they don't understand her. In their playbook, you're either liberal or you're stupid, evil or deranged. When someone who seems to them to be deranged comes to prominence it's a non-sequitir. "We declare her crazy! You must agree!" Yet millions don't. There is a whole wide world of non-liberals out there. Just like dark matter in the universe, they aren't seen by the political astronomers of the left, but they exert pull, and they cause the convenient cosmologies to lose their predictive ability. Panic time.

dbreneman

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 12:27 p.m. Inappropriate

She's the Britney Spears of VPs: Apparently Republicans love to watch her, just like they love to watch Briteny.

Like Bush, Palin has been selected from the dregs of the Republican bottle of competence. She's part of the proud Republican tradition of incompetent leaders who don't know how to govern and who don't believe in government, yet want to lead it.

Fortunately, the American public now fears Bush-like Republicans more than it does al Qaeda. I expect it'll be an Obama landslide by election time after the repercussions of the Palin selection, especially with women, have reverberated throughout the country.
Stuka

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 12:40 p.m. Inappropriate

McCain's judgment: Sarah Palin is the agent of intolerance McCain warned us about before he sold out to the religious right. Just another Taliban from the ultimate exurbia. Phyllis Shlafly without the winkles but every bit of the bile.

This religious extremist is a 71-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.

Don't let it happen.

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 2:39 p.m. Inappropriate

Panic time!: Last night I was told about the panic. It explains all the extremism and vitriol I'm reading from the party of tolerance.
I would assume I would read thought out reasoning's on policy positions. As you can see, driven by panic, the most extreme hatred and name calling are is being spewed.
Certainly not persuading voters.
Poor Obama must be heart sick to see all his good children turn into such rabid animals.
dman

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 3:15 p.m. Inappropriate

We Know: What the (truly elect and wealthy) Rightists like Mr. Carlson especially miss in all of this talk of beau monde and haut monde among 'those elite liberals' is the inverse snobbery of the nonpareil NASCAR set: an imperturbable perception of some corner on an imagined market for patriotism, common sense, proper worship, everyday values. Those of us raised in Washington blue-collar homes (papermills and purse-seiners) know our paychecks are shrinking, our health care is going, our children's future is not as promising as was our own. We know the manner in which we live our lives and raise those children is nobody's business. We know when people are blowing smoke, dividing us, and trying to make us live our lives, economically, intellectually, and spiritually according to ways and means not our own. We know these things. We can see where some offer a dream of hope and some offer only more anger and fear. That's the nightmare of which you speak.
Laurence Ballard

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 3:19 p.m. Inappropriate

No Panic Here: I haven't seen anyone panic, say they hate women, hate GOP women or hate women from Alaska. There are legitimate concerns about Republicans and the health of Senator McCain. The VP position looks pretty important with the elderly Presidential candidate. Folks, this isn't a job opening at Cabela's we're talking about.

artman51

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 3:32 p.m. Inappropriate

REAGAN WOULD NEVER BE SO IRRESPONSIBLE AS TO NOMINAT PALIN!: O.K. I'LL CONFINE MYSELF TO TWO LINKS
THE FIRST IS TO ALASKA NEWSPAPER RECEPTION OF MCCAIN'S CHOICE
THE SECOND IS TO JOHN DEAN'S PIECE ON WHY PALIN WOULD NEVER PASS MUSTER CONSTITUTIONALLY:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
greg-mitchell/2-top-alaska-newspapers-q_b_122625.html

http://writ.lp.findlaw.com/dean/20080904.html
mikerol

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 4:43 p.m. Inappropriate

Scared? Damn right.: Yes, some in the Democratic Party are scared. For waht it's worth some independents and Republicans are scared too.

And rightfully so.

The Republicans have long stated their contempt for a government that works for the people. Aside from their ever-present sense of reverence and awe for the Department of War, they have openly expressed that they have no use for the other functions of government, except as a means to transfer wealth from the many to the few. This malice has manifested in their selections for appointments and candidates. From "heckuva job" Brown to Clarence Thomas to Danforth Quayle all the way to mediocre George "W" Bush himself, the Republicans have shown a willingness to fill any government seat with any warm body as long as that person is loyal to the ideology.

So yes, when the few people who still believe in the purpose of our democratic (small d) government heard of the latest cynical, political, incompetent Republican pick, this time for the second-highest office in the land, they were somewhat dismayed. When they stopped to consider that the top of the ticket was a 72-year old cancer survivor, their dismay turned to a well-justified fear.


We're in multiple conflicts across the globe, our economy is in shambles, speculators are wreaking havoc with our energy markets, our state and federal governments are plunging headlong into a Marianas trench of debt and our Constitution has been eviscerated by an executive branch on auto-shred.

This situation calls for a thoughtful, learned, insightful, experienced team who can take in the scope of national and global events and knows intimately our unique form of government, the better to heal our nation. This is not the time for a make-it-up-as-I-go-along, church-is-military-is-nation, what-does-this-button-do? team.

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 5:11 p.m. Inappropriate

To see the light, open your eyes: The unprecedented vituperation being ralphed at Sarah Palin since two seconds after she was announced as John McCain's pick is unprecedented and unwarranted. As her grand salami homerun speech demo'd, this chick is tough in the clinch - you have to be to succeed up in The Last Frontier.

Many shortchange Alaskan political experience by claiming she learned nothing useful in her tenure in elected and appointed office. Not so - she learned how to deal with punks and scumbags, of which Washington, D.C. is full. As I noted in my Crosscut piece, the woods are filled with the broken bodies of those who have crossed Sarah Palin.

To those who find this shocking, remember: politics is a full-on contact sport, not for the faint of heart.

I like what a UK commentator had to say:

"Sarah Palin's sensational performance at the Republican Party Convention may turn out to be the tipping point of this rollercoaster American election.

Obama fans hoping she would fluff her big night were in for a nasty shock.

This speech has turned the election upside down. It was simply stunning.

Democrats and their Lefty media backers had been sneering that she was a small town nobody, a hick from the Alaskan sticks put into a job way beyond an inexperienced woman.

Believe me, you will not be hearing that again.

Palin turned out to be an electrifying mix of intelligence, passion, energy, optimism and plain speaking.

Full of self-assurance and aggression, she popped Barack's balloon big-time."

If a Brit was that blown away, how do you suppose folks in the hinterlands, small towns, and neighborhoods feel?

Something else: in the words of Fred Barnes on Fox News, "She has the gift." Natural ability cannot be dismissed.

What's the difference between Oscar Azocar and Mickey Mantle? Both played in the outfield for the NY Yankees, so shouldn't that make them equal?

The devil, always being in the details, says otherwise. Azocar played but one season, 1990, appearing in 65 games, hitting a mediocre .248 with five homeruns and 19 RBIs.

Mantle, on the other hand, played 17 seasons with the Yankees, retiring in 1968. His career batting average was a hefty .298, with 536 homeruns and 1,509 RBIs. He was a 16-time All Star who played on seven World Series championship teams, and was three times the American League MVP. He was elected on the first ballot to the MLB Hall of Fame in 1974 with 88.2% of the vote.

While Azocar had some talent - nobody makes it to The Show without some talent - The Mick was gifted and unique.

Sarah Palin is gifted and unique - you can sense it just by looking at a photograph of her. Who should care that she comes from Alaska? After all, The Mick was from Oklahoma, which, aside from being basketball-team-filching, has its own hicksville image with which to contend.

I've been watching Sarah Palin for some time, and in my gut I sensed she has what, if you'll pardon my use of a gender-confused metaphor, separates the men from the boys.

Gifted politicians are fun to watch. Teddy Roosevelt, his cousin FDR, JFK, Ronaldus Magnus Reaganus, and even randy ol' Bill Clinton bring to the game native abilities best understood by watching the baseball movie, The Natural.

Move over boys, there's a new babe in town.

Maybe I'm jumping the gun, but I'm here to tell you, she's special. That she is means she'll be derided, underestimated, sneered at, condescended to, and dismissed. Then she'll take it and turn it against those who do and have them for lunch - payback's a bitch. Pure political entertainment.

The Piper

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 7:27 p.m. Inappropriate

john are you reading these?: uh, worst nightmare because i fear for my country.

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 10:22 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: Why the Panic?: You lost me at "them." I think you'd probably call me a liberal--and I've got to tell you, in my experience we're a lot like the conservatives I know. We're human beings. We don't all know each other, we don't all think alike, and we're not out to get you.

What on earth do you think motivates the "liberals"? Do we just like to hate people for no good reason? Are we like the bogeyman?

Speaking from my little corner of liberalism, I have never thought that Sarah Palin is crazy or deranged, and I haven't read those accusations anywhere. I don't want to see her in the White House because the little I know of her at this point raises real concerns about her honesty and her managerial abilities. I respect her as a talented woman but am not impressed with her as Presidential material. And I'm sick to death of the stale culture war bull*** she's dishing out, and you're eating up.

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 11:20 p.m. Inappropriate

Where's the beef: Palin's speech was all attack. There was no message of where she and McCain hoped to lead this country. There will be a point when she has to say what direction she wants to take us and defend why her policies will work when they havern't for the past 8 years ( see stock market, foreclosure data, fed deficiet). At this point, she is the celebrity on the political block and in the near term that celebrity status will protect her. But then she must speak about something other than Barack- and that is obviously all ready on the minds of the McCain team as they put her off limits to the media as of today. And think how that looks- oh yeah, she's ready to be president but she can't face the evil likes of Keith Olberman or Wolf Blitzer

jfred

Posted Fri, Sep 5, 11:31 p.m. Inappropriate

I'm a liberal: Yes I'm a liberal! By that I mean I would be described by others as liberal minded.

I don't think Palin is liberal minded at all!

I would love to see a woman president or vice president some day, but only if that woman was experienced and was truly able to represent the people fairly. Palin is not that woman and never will be.

Let's hope that the McCain / Palin ticket dies at the poles in November. Obama is looking better and better to me since Palin joined McCain. Frankly I think that Palin is dangerous to our country. I don't have a beef with conservatives. I can see eye to eye with conservative thinkers in many areas, but my fear is that Palin's religious fundamentalism will have a terrible effect on the freedom of others. I'm concerned that she will use her powerful position to impose her beliefs on the rest of us. If we have Armageddon, it will be because someone as ridiculous and primative-thinking as Palin will pull us into a hell on earth.

We must retain a seperation between church and state. It's for the good of all and our forefathers clearly recognized that.

Posted Sat, Sep 6, 12:06 a.m. Inappropriate

A Happy contrast to Hillary: I remember leaving the work force, and a high profile job to raise my children, and I also remember Hillary Clinton ridiculing women for doing this, as she stood by her husband during his candidacy. I wish I had the exact quote, but I believe she claimed she did not "stay at home drinking tea and baking cookies"

Well maybe she should have.....

I am so excited about Sarah Palin being the first ever VP of the United States. Her being added to the McCain ticket takes me from hohum about his candidacy to excited, and ready to work to make it successful.

I really appreciate McCain for his courage in this choice. This choice shows that he cares more about the future, than he does about himself. This was a risky move, but I think it will pay off.

I hope the stupid liberal press continues to blast Sarah.....she can take it.........it ill backfire!
nwhite

Posted Sat, Sep 6, 8:06 a.m. Inappropriate

RE: Why the Panic?: You do yourself no good with a lie such as "In their playbook, you're either liberal or you're stupid, evil or deranged."

Posted Sat, Sep 6, 8:10 a.m. Inappropriate

RE: To see the light, open your eyes: "unprecedented vituperation...is unprecedented..."

Actually the precedent is quite obvious, but perhaps not convenient for your case: Hillary Clinton. An unwarranted character assassination was carried out against Hillary Clinton before she was even considering public office. The scale of that attack blows away any of the standard critique and analysis aimed at Palin.

And wow, you found a foreigner who was "blown away" by Palin. It would help to consider the source: this is the same person who referred to the Labour Party as "Nazis". This is the kind of person who is impressed with Palin? High praise indeed.

Posted Sat, Sep 6, 9:46 a.m. Inappropriate

RE: To see the light, open your eyes: Aside from my incorrect use of the word "unprecedented" twice in a sentence, I stand by what I wrote.

To compare attacks on Hillary with what we've seen spewed upon Sarah Palin is disingenuous. I don't recall seeing any suggestions anywhere that Hillary should have aborted Chelsea, but I've seen and heard a lot of that about Sarah Palin and her infant son.

The scurrilous stuff on the left-wing blogs, such as Daily Kos - Daily Cuss is more like it - is so far below the belt as to be reprehensible. To contend without a shred or iota of evidence that Gov. Palin isn't the mother of her son is beneath contempt.

Want to take on Sarah Palin? Fine - do it. But do it on the issues. Be prepared, however, to have that debate full on and two-fisted, because that's what will happen.

Politics is akin to prize fighting in that you can't be champ simply by throwing punches - you have to learn to take them and stay on your feet. That yours ain't the only opinion in town shouldn't come as a great shock. So be prepared - if you get into the political or ideological ring - to take a few, not just dish 'em out.

Hillary Clinton is a tough, determined, ambitious, motivated competitor who was trashed mostly by elements within her own party in unprecedented ways such that the residual bitterness and enmity still resound and may never recede, half-hearted convention endorsements aside.

I can't wait for the general election campaign ads featuring quotes from her on how ill prepared Barack Obama is to be president. And as memory serves, there are some choice Joe Biden quotes (ones not stolen from British Labour Party elder statesman, Neil Kinnock, that is) to the same effect.

Something else I find interesting is how the Palin pick violates the Democrat sense of entitlement.

It's our year, our time, our turn to win. How dare anyone challenge our assumptions and our right to the highest office in the land. Republicans and the rest of America were supposed to dutifully fall in line and acquiesce in the coronation of our anointed one. You were supposed to pick someone who we could easily beat - you were supposed to genuflect to the ordained order. By refusing to do it our way, you have cheated!!! No fair! No fair, no fair, no fair!

That about it?

The simplistic contention that the Palin pick was a cynical attempt to snatch disaffected Hillary supporters misses the genius of the whole thing. Sarah Palin was selected no so that people like Gloria Steinem would fall in line behind John McCain, but because she represents a shot across the bow against the seeming monopoly the left things it's entitled to (that mindset again) among women.

Guess what...there are millions of women - and men, too - who think, feel, act, and live just like Sarah Palin. They exercise choice by rejecting the intellectually and morally bankrupt left. But to the left, that choice is illegitimate, which exposes the essential hypocrisy of the left: choice is fine just so long as it's a choice on our approved list.

In other words, the left seeks to order the lives of women according to dictates it finds acceptable. Woe unto any who stray from this path, ergo Sarah Palin, her husband, and her children are fair game since the ends justify the means.

What's wrong with simply acknowledging that you and Sarah Palin have to agree to disagree? Ditch the personal attacks and the incessant and insipid demonization, campaign on and debate the issues, then let the American people decide come November.

Isn't that what this is supposed to be all about?

The Piper

Posted Sat, Sep 6, 12:03 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: To see the light, open your eyes: "I don't recall seeing any suggestions anywhere that Hillary should have aborted Chelsea..."

Surely you aren't being so lawyerly as to demand that exact same attack as evidence? Among the many personal, vicious attacks hurled at Clinton and her daughter by the right wing, there's this: John McCain saying that Chelsea was so ugly because Janet Reno was her father. Does that meet your standard? Will you now retract your statement about there being no precedent?

I'd love to hear from Sarah Palin about her stance on the issues: does she really believe you can pray away the gay? Does she really believe God blesses wars? or elections?? Does she really believe Creationism should stand on equal footing with science in a classroom? Does she know who the leaders of our allies are?

One small problem: she won't talk to anyone in the public, or the press for that matter. Sarah Palin is stonewalling.

A prize fight can only proceed if the fighter chooses to step into the ring. As it stands now, Palin has run from the ring--she has refused to give any interviews or answer any questions whether about issues or otherwise. A GOP strategist close to the McCain campaign says she's "not ready".

How long will her silence on the issues that dog her last?

How long will she run from the fight?

If she's afraid to face the public now, how can she be expected to take on the challenges of office in 60 days?

Posted Sat, Sep 6, 12:52 p.m. Inappropriate

John is right: As usual, John uses too many words. She is my worst nightmare because she has an appealing persona and abhorrent politics.

eddie9691

Posted Sat, Sep 6, 1:18 p.m. Inappropriate

Sarah Palin will not be the wave of the future: The entire Republican convention, including Sarah Palin, highlighted the fact that there aren't "red states" and "blue states" -- there are urban areas and rural areas. The Convention was a bizaare effort to make the entire country believe that it should become a small town, with all of the worst attributes of anti-cosmopolitanism that involves: religious fundamentalism, hating Europe (huh?), belittling education and achievement as "elitist," parochial discrimination against people who aren't just like you.

Fortunately, demographics are fighting back against this vision of America. More people are living in cities. More people are tolerant of gay people and people of other countries. More people think that it's not un-American to speak two languages or to eat French cheese. Hey -- FEWER PEOPLE ARE HUNTING! It's a fact!

Sarah Palin is a throwback. She's not America as most of us know and love it; she's the face of the past, not the future. The Republicans may well succeed in moving the country back a few decades, but we won't stay there forever.

I grew up in a small town, by the way. As my mother used to say, small towns are places where everyone rallies around you during bad times and stabs you in the back when you're doing well. That's what Sarah's smug whinnying about Obama's popularity reminded me of -- the small town determination to "bring somebody down" when they're rising above the crowd based on merit, rather than being "just like everybody else."

Posted Sat, Sep 6, 3:54 p.m. Inappropriate

With Friends Like These...: Disingenuous, morally bankrupt conservatives like to complain about the excesses of 'liberal bloggers' while conveniently overlooking the abuses in their own backyard.

Paul Constant over at The Stranger links to a right-wing blog about "...eschatology, world missions, God's Law and Society, theonomy, Christian Reconstruction, pro-life activism..."

It contains a (now revised) post with the quote:

"Pray for Sarah Palin to win... Pray for John McCain's salvation and speedy death."

Pro-life activism, indeed. Conservatives clearly have a few nightmares of their own to deal with, Mr. Carlson.

LB

Posted Sat, Sep 6, 5:27 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: Why the Panic?: > You lost me at "them."

I'm referring to the people making the over-the-top attacks on Palin.

> What on earth do you think motivates the "liberals"? Do we just
> like to hate people for no good reason? Are we like the bogeyman?

I think there is an element in both the right and the left that does enjoy hating their enemies. Whether that enemy is Bush, or was Clinton, there are people who really get off on hatred. It's not a disagreement with them, it's war. But it's not all people on the right or left, just the obnoxious ones.
dbreneman

Posted Sat, Sep 6, 7:09 p.m. Inappropriate

Palin's pick as McCain's VP: brought out into full view the reality that liberals, particularly radical feminist's, not only speak with forked tongues but have the most despicable double standards when it comes to women.

Of course they despise Palin with all the passion they can muster because she is a real American woman unlike the dike Hillary, married only for political power and wealth.

They hate her mostly (after her conservatism of course) because she dares to have children (conservatives MUST not have children!), or more than one token child that liberals have usually when their clocks are running out, and because she didn't murder her Downs-syndrome baby which of course, is the biggest sin ever committable.

Of course she stands for everything liberals hate. Motherhood, marriage to someone of the opposite sex, lots of children, support of the Constitutional rights given us by God (not liberals), well-rounded with athletic abilities as well as intelligence, etc.

Oh and of course they hate almost as much the fact that a conservative woman would have the audacity to run to be the vice-president of the U.S. (Conservatives need not apply.)
Lainie

Posted Sat, Sep 6, 7:18 p.m. Inappropriate

Palin's Contribution: Governor Carlson - you hit the target! What Reagan did was reinvent and reenergize conservatism - mostly without hesitation or regret. Palin is doing the same as well as other great newcomers such as Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty. Palin, of course, is in the spotlight so is the defacto leader of the movement.

I, for one, have new found hope in conservatism and I am looking forward to the end of the Baby Boom generation of do-nothing, spineless Republicans and leftover hippy Democrats. Generation X is not looking as bad as our parents made us out to be.

Thanks John, been a radio fan for years.
Big_BBQ

Posted Sat, Sep 6, 7:58 p.m. Inappropriate

DEAR JOHN LETTER: A DEAR JOHN LETTER

I defended Senator McCain in the Free Lance Star when an Irish left winger questioned John's patriotism while held captive in the Hanoi Hilton. Like McCain, I'm a former Navy carrier sailor. His ship (Forrestal) came into the Gulf of Tonkin as my ship (Enterprise) left in the summer of 1967. I have told my friends, when asked, that I was for McCain depending upon his choice for VP. McCain is 72, he has had 3 bouts with cancer, and he's over weight and out-of-shape. He has a violent and explosive temper which does not bode well for the pressures of the office of the president. I don't think McCain, if elected, will serve the full term.

I believe, now, McCain wants the office so bad he's discarded his moral compass. I wonder what other concessions he's made in order to obtain the Oval Office. Sarah Palin is one I can't stomach. She would be one heart beat away from becoming a disaster for our country and the world at large. Had McCain picked a qualified VP he would have received my vote in spite of the terrible record the Republican Party brings to the table. McCain's VP choice has left me adrift in this stormy political sea.

McCain was interviewed by Charlie Gibson on ABC television. McCain when questioned about his executive skills VS Obama he replied, "Oh, I've commanded the largest squadron in the U.S. Navy, with huge responsibilities, many -- it's -- it was a leadership job, but it was also a huge responsibility." This reply leads me to question McCain's mental state as in 1967 Cdr. Jack F. O'Hara was the Commanding Officer of VA46 embarked in USS Forestall. McCain was a Lieutenant Commander in this unit and never commanded a Navy squadron. VA 46 had the same number of aircraft as any other A-4 unit was not the largest squadron in the navy by any means.
Is this just a McCain off hand remark or does he have a problem with his memory. How could he forget an event that is the one of the corner stones of his campaign, i.e., his war record? Or, was he feathering his qualifications for president. I was deeply disappointed with his answers to Gibson's questions during this interview. McCain had a chance to shine and instead he tried to side step and changed the discourse to Sarah Palin.

Posted Sun, Sep 7, 10:22 a.m. Inappropriate

You've got to be kidding: It is real clear that Palin isn't ready to be VP - a fact that will be material to rural and urban voters, and every other type of voter, by election time.

The idea of Palin as President is a nightmare for most all who don't drink the party line Kool Aide, as she herself seems to drink in gushers, debunking all pretensions that Palin is any kind of partisan maverick. She appears to be a hard core right winger with no deviations from that base. That's why she supercharged the Republican convention - because it was filled with like-minded ideologues.

She seems like a nice enough person. She is a good role model in her job in Alaska - proving you can be a great Mom and govern. She can give a great speech written by George W. Bush's speechwriters.

Palin's ideology and lack of experience or interest in national and international affairs is what will ruin any chance that John McCain will be the next President. It has nothing to do with her sex.

A big issue this year is America's standing in the world - standing that was ransacked by the Bush administration. That's bad for American commerce.

McCain would be an improvement, but Palin offers nothing to that priority issue. In fact, she diminishes the ticket by communicating environmental and social ideology out of sync with mainstream American values.
Tarl

Posted Mon, Sep 8, 7:53 a.m. Inappropriate

Sara Palin bad Idea?: Well my liberal friends, If Sara Palin is such a very bad Candidate and Person then why worry? Let the Republicans go on to Nov 4th. Why worry? Right? The Democrats have it in the BAG Right. So lets just wait and see instead of all this negative stuff and hating stuff. Let the people vote with their minds thinking on Sara and what she stands for and for whom? and who will they trust with the safety of the Country. Obama and Joe Biden? or McCain/ Palin. It's that simple.
Don't worry guys. It will take care of it self, Right?
EBPSR1

Posted Mon, Sep 8, 9 a.m. Inappropriate

No gravitas: How can I possibly put trust in such a bozo? It's an insult that McCain chose her for the second most important position in the US. What was he thinking? She has absolutely no decorum. She's foolish! I think McCain should change his mind. Hopefully something will come up that will require her removal from the ticket. Remeber the Eggleton (sp?) affair with the Dems many years ago? He was pulled from the ticket because he'd had a history of depression requiring electroconvulsive therapy. Maybe something will pop up with the "bikini babe" and we'll be offered a more reasonable choice in VP. Although, now I'm really worried about McCain's judgement. Maybe he's becoming senile?

Here's the bikini babe with rifle - just alot of good clean fun, eh? Not my idea of vice presidential material. Call me old fashioned but I think she is disgusting.
(Google sarah palin in bikini with a gun to see the photo. I'm not allowed to give the link here.)

Posted Mon, Sep 8, 9:32 a.m. Inappropriate

RE: No gravitas: Speaker of the House Of Representatives is arguably the second most important position in the US, and look at the dim bulb holding down that position.

dbreneman

Posted Mon, Sep 8, 10:03 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: To see the light, open your eyes: Palin turned out to be an electrifying mix of intelligence, passion, energy, optimism and plain speaking.

If by that you mean 'a well coached speaker who offered no substance, nothing beyond "rhetorical haze", and told some light jokes to a handpicked crowd', well, I guess I agree with you.

She's got charisma, I'll give you that, but as of yet, we still haven't heard an original word from her.
RobC

Posted Fri, Sep 12, 9:29 a.m. Inappropriate

Palin unqualified: How in the world is Ms. Palin remotely qualified to be President of the United States? Governor of "the largest state?" "Being close to Russia" Please, people...wake up! This possibility should be everyone's worst nightmare!

Posted Thu, Sep 25, 7:54 p.m. Inappropriate

RE: Palin unqualified: Years ago my widowed grandad married a woman both he an my grandmother had known while growing up. This woman was from a very poor family. Both grandad and grandmother had been kind to her when they were young.

One day I was sitting quietly watching TV at grandad's home while the woman he married and her sisters were discussing (of all things) my grandmother! They were all saying bad things about her - and I was going to get up and tell them to stop - but grandad's wife said 'You are all just jealous - because she was a lady by nature - and that is something you all could never be.

That is what I think of when the very unfeminine women and ultra liberals discuss Sarah Palin - she is naturally something they can never be.
barbara

Login or register to add your voice to the conversation.

Join Crosscut now!
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow Us »