}

Emperor without clothes – an early election post

As our faithful readers know, some of us live in the US, some in Israel, some in other countries. We have roots in the US, Canada, Israel and Europe and some of us can vote in this US election and some of us can’t. We are all going to be affected by the outcome, however.

So first things first: Bush sucked. Bush has to be one of the worst presidents of all time. Give me the criminal Nixon or the somnolescent geriatric Reagan over Dubya any day. Heck, I miss Dubya’s dad when it comes to Republican leaders. Bush sucked. Our economy is in a deep hole, our dollar is in a deep hole, our military is in a deep hole, our international standing and influence are in deep holes and our society is torn by the manner in which Bush’s administration has run this country.

And please, you passionate Republicans, spare me the pro-Bush arguments. There’s a good reason why the Republican convention kept Bush in DC and off prime time.

In short, this was the Democrats’ election to lose. If you can’t win an election when the state of the Union is so abysmal, when can you win?

So what have the Democrats done? They nominated a compelling, articulate man who appeals to the left of their party and whose victory in its primaries cannot be replicated on the national level. Obama’s first problem is that winning even 100% of the national black vote doesn’t have anywhere near the impact that 80% of the Democratic black vote had on the Democratic primaries. Simply put, and as Hillary Clinton pointed out, whether it’s fair or not, he needs to perform better with the white middle class and blue collar voters. Additionally, he doesn’t come from the centrist circles (read: Clintonian) of the Democratic party but from left of center. Again, this puts him out of touch with many voters and creates an uphill battle for him where he has to convince people about his economic, military and foreign policy credentials and capabilities.

Obama is also vulnerable on taxes. Sure, he tells everyone that he only wants to tax those families with $200,000 or more in annual income, but that’s not how the Republicans will play it and as if he wanted to make it harder on himself, in his convention speech he promised a very expensive set of promises to the nation. I was asking myself, How is he going to pay for that? And I’m not a Republican pundit, operative or supporter. Did I mention that Bush sucks?

But tonight, ladies and gentlemen, tonight we saw Obama’s biggest folly. The man who promised “change” and a new beginning and plenty of “hope” showed himself to be the emperor without clothes. And he did it without even showing up. All one needed to do was watch a 44 year old very pretty devout Christian woman lay into Obama over and over to understand that Obama and the Democrats might actually lose this gimme election.

The New York Times editorial today criticized McCain for his impetuous selection of Sarah Palin, commenting that it was a profound mistake and so faulty that it calls into question his capacity to lead the nation. The NY Times got it wrong. It was Obama who made the mistake in selecting Biden. We saw that clearly tonight on the Republican stage. There, we saw a calm, confident, young, attractive, smart attack dog showing up Obama with words and simply with her presence. She can’t be charged with inexperience, because as she pointed out, she has more than Obama…except she’s not at the top of the ticket. She can’t be charged with youth, because as was visible to all, she’s in the same age bracket as Obama. She can’t be charged with being a member of institutional politics or Washington because she is clearly an outsider, in contrast with the Democratic ticket’s players. Oh, and she’s a woman. Remember women? They’re the ones who have not had a member of their gender in the White House in any official capacity.

And whom did Senator Obama, the great Hope of Change bring to the table as his VP? Did he bring a young, charismatic politician? Nope. How about a woman? Nope. Did he bring in an outsider to DC, as in a real agent of change? Nope. Did he pick somebody who is easy on the eyes? Well, let’s not be too mean to Biden but let’s also admit that Palin scores better in that category. Obama picked a contemporary of McCain’s who represents EVERYTHING that Obama has been claiming he seeks to change. Biden is the establishment in DC. He is the face of the old ways and the old party. He is also somebody who has not been able to even get out of the starting gate in a couple of Presidential runs, in part because he has a tendency to talk a little too much and has put his foot in his mouth a couple of times in ways that marked him as incapable of winning a campaign. Worst of all, by choosing Biden, Obama was essentially admitting that he is indeed short of experience and wisdom when it comes to military and foreign policy issues. It’s as if he was incomplete until Biden came along to serve as the Senior Presence; the consigliere without whom the Prince can’t lead when it comes to the real complicated stuff. Biden is to Obama as Cheney was to Bush is the unspoken message.

And McCain? Well, he needed to counter Obama’s charisma and youth. He also needed to show him up as empty. He needed to show himself as the agent of change and block the Obamanian line of attack that says McCain is going to give us more Bush. So he picked this outsider, who is well-spoken, can rev up her party, appeal to those blue collar workers Obama so desperately needs, appeal to women, and who can nullify by her very presence many of Obama’s advantages in the race. Think about how vulnerable Obama is when this woman with two years of governing Alaska and some years as a mayor of a small town mocks his inexperience.

He has written two memoirs, Palin said tonight about Obama, but has not written a single law.

Ouch, that hurts.

Polls are showing the race is a dead heat right now, but this is after the Democrats were supposed to have their convention “bounce.” And this at a time when this country is dying for change in leadership. Did the Democrats manage to screw things up again? We’ll see. Obama is well financed and Bush and the Republican House members have screwed up so royally that this should be enough on its own to win the race. Except that Obama has to beat McCain…and right now, McCain is looking mighty savvy and, um, like an agent of change.

66 Comments

  1. Tom Morrissey

    9/4/2008 at 4:27 am

    Last night, we got a glimpse of the high-reward part of the Palin tradeoff, a poised, attractive, shrewd performer. It looks like she’s past getting the Quayle/Eagleton treatment. If she can connect with middle class, battleground-state voters– watch out.

    And if you’re Barack– aren’t you thinking that if you had to do it all over again, you’d pick a Dem version of Palin… young, photogenic, vital, and– dare we say it?– female?

    Think Bill Clinton. He had the good sense to pick Al Gore; that ticket truly stood for change.

    Joe Biden? He won’t hurt, gaffe-prone though he may be. (He’s already confused Obama with Osama.) But he brings… what, exactly?

    A week ago, no one south of Vancouver Island knew who Palin was. What an amazing political year.

  2. Tom Morrissey

    9/4/2008 at 5:07 am

    (Oops- re my last paragraph– that connoisseur of pulchritude, Middle, excepted!)

  3. Ilapides

    9/4/2008 at 10:36 am

    For all you fellas who are concerned about the young woman VP getting the “girl” vote, please know that any joy many of us women feel at finally seeing some estrogen in office is vastly and completely eclipsed by that same woman’s hard-assed anti-abortion stance. That single issue makes Mrs. Palin a serious female liability.

  4. J.Miller

    9/4/2008 at 10:45 am

    I really dont think im going to vote this time around. The polictical process has become a farce in this country.We had the debates,that were brought to us by Google/Youtube.Then McCain goes and pick Palin as his running mate.It a scary to think this woman could be running the country,when McCain dies from a stroke 6 months in.In my opinion Sarah Palin is a cross between Elle Woods and Ellie Mae.Hell a week ago she was sitting at the cement pond with granny.Lets not forget Obama/Biden.Well on second thought lets forget them.See i can flip-flop on a dime too.But i do have to agree “BUSH SUCKS”This man never should of been president to began with.I never thought i would hate a president and his cabinet worse then the Carter.I loved Rudy’s speak last nite.This is the man that should be the republican candidate.Heres a thought Giuliani/Powell or maybe Giuliani/Paulson.

  5. J.Miller

    9/4/2008 at 11:03 am

    I wonder what Bill Maher thinks.

  6. Joshua

    9/4/2008 at 12:16 pm

    What poll are you talking about? Gallup showed Obama getting a 9-point bounce.

  7. themiddle

    9/4/2008 at 12:44 pm

    This one.

  8. aaron

    9/4/2008 at 12:53 pm

    Come on. Even if she is good looking, young, Biden is going to destroy her in the debates. He’s smart, funny, knows Washington.

    she hunts elk in alaska?

  9. themiddle

    9/4/2008 at 1:01 pm

    Biden will not destroy anybody in the debates. I don’t know whether you remember this, but everybody predicted that Gore would destroy Bush in the debates. He didn’t even come close, and her brain is clearly not as fried as Bush’s.

  10. Tom Morrissey

    9/4/2008 at 1:14 pm

    She may have some advantages against Biden (along with the obvious disadvantage that he’s very comfortable with foreign policy questions and has a huge head start). First, the media may persist in setting the bar low for her. Second, Biden’s got a paper trail (like McCain’s) which, inevitably, contains problematic votes, e.g. his vote against the use of force in Gulf War I.

    To Ilapides’ point: maybe Palin’s hard-line stances on issues like abortion will, indeed, marginalize her. But I wonder whether Palin’s appeal, like much of Hillary Clinton’s, will prove emotional and not tied to policy stances. My sense is that Hillary was a powerful symbol– a woman trying to make it in a man’s world as an underdog and occasional target of sexist attacks– and this stirred many women far more than, say, her position on Nafta versus Obama’s. Can Palin tap into that sort of symbolic appeal and steer some votes away from the Dems?

  11. themiddle

    9/4/2008 at 2:02 pm

    Bush proved in the 2000 debates that if your aides train you well enough, you can sound knowledgeable about foreign policy. Throw a couple of tough words and names like Medvedev and Caucasus and you’re home free. She’ll know enough by then to get away with it.

    As you point out, she doesn’t have a record to criticize the way Biden does, or as many gaffe clips as Republican operatives are going to discover and publicize.

    I don’t think abortion is a make or break issue in an election where the economy is first priority and the war is second priority. People want to eat and avoid paying more in taxes. That’s what this campaign will be about. I think Palin is a symbol, just as Obama is a symbol. It’s just that she neutrralizes him and exposes him as the inexperienced Presidential candidate while highlighting McCain’s age as bringing forth paternal wisdom.

    As for women, I think she’ll get some votes just because of that, but again the most important thing is that just by existing, she neutralizes the specialness of Obama in this race. Suddenly, history can be made on both sides.

    If you neutralize Obama’s uniqueness, you pull him down to earth. In mortal against mortal combat, you give the old heroic POW who winked and gave a thumbs-up after being tortured a serious fighting chance against the “community organizer.”

    This is a fun election.

  12. Joshua

    9/4/2008 at 2:25 pm

    Well, Gallup says Obama 49-42.

  13. Alex

    9/4/2008 at 2:51 pm

    Yeah, her state only borders Russia. She must be totally clueless about Russia! Yeah!

  14. Joshua

    9/4/2008 at 3:14 pm

    Alex, she has NO contact with the Alaska NG with respect to national-security issues. They report directly to the military. And as it is, Kamchatka/Yakutsk is VERY sparsely populated. It’s like saying the governor of North Dakota has experience with national-security/foreign-relations matters because the state borders Saskatchewan, or Rick Perry has national-security/foreign-relations experience because his state borders Mexico! (note I didn’t say Bill Richardson, b/c he already has national-security experience serving in the Cabinet and foreign-relations experience serving in the UN).

  15. themiddle

    9/4/2008 at 3:39 pm

    Alex, she has no foreign policy credentials. It doesn’t mean she can’t learn, but you can’t have a “hockey mom” persona and expect to also be Condi Rice.

  16. Joshua

    9/4/2008 at 4:03 pm

    Another note: Drudge reports that Palin’s speech drummed up $8 million in support…of Obama! He estimates that it’ll be close to a total of $10 million by the time McCain takes the stage tonight.

  17. themiddle

    9/4/2008 at 4:16 pm

    Did he estimate how much she raised for the Republicans?

  18. montana_urban_legend

    9/4/2008 at 5:22 pm

    I think McCain got a similar amount — but that was over the week-end (after just having announced her). I don’t think her appeal, concentrated as it is among the Evangelicals, will translate into the broad grass-roots support that Obama got – financially or otherwise.

    Joshua’s Gallup poll was also more recent than your CNN poll, Middle. McCain’s pick of Palin hurt him in the polls. It led to Obama finally breaking 50%. If her speech fired up the other side then I think advantage still remains with Obama/Biden. You have to consider the degree to which the GOP are marginalizing themselves. I was skeptical that the impending Evangelical/True Conservative split my friends predicted would occur either, but it seems to be happening. Conservatives are freaked out about the recklessness of McCain’s choice. They’re the ones on the right who actually pretend to be interested in governing and getting beyond the politics, ya know. 😉

  19. Chutzpah

    9/4/2008 at 5:53 pm

    How can you can call Reagan a somnolescent geriatric? He was an extremely charismatic President, how much more charming can a President be than a former actor? He did nothing to harm this country and the years he was in office were very prosperous.

  20. themiddle

    9/4/2008 at 6:15 pm

    No they weren’t and no he wasn’t. I think I was being kind and generous in my description of the old guy.

  21. Geoff

    9/4/2008 at 7:47 pm

    Alaska also borders another country with witch you may be familiar , tm – Canada. And from what I’ve read, Palin recently negotiated a pipeline deal with the Canadian government. That there alone gives her more foreign policy than the top of the Democratic ticket.

  22. Alex

    9/4/2008 at 9:15 pm

    TM, “It doesn’t mean she can’t learn, but you can’t have a “hockey mom” persona and expect to also be Condi Rice.”

    – That’s incredibly narrow-minded and a double standard for women, IMO. I’m sure Golda Meir wore many hats, from caring mother to bomb dropping stateswoman, even to cheating sex kitten, from seeing “Golda’s Balcony”.

    MUL, “I was skeptical that the impending Evangelical/True Conservative split my friends predicted would occur either, but it seems to be happening. Conservatives are freaked out about the recklessness of McCain’s choice.”

    Guy, it sounds like you’ve never even met a Conservative. Sure, we all cringed when Palin answered that abortion question, but please show me one mainstream conservative who even hints at voting for Obama. And please don’t give me Sullivan. That dude’s been a Democrat since 2001.

    You guys are treating her like she’s the top of the ticket, to your own detriment. Please continue.

  23. Nick

    9/4/2008 at 10:46 pm

    I really detest Biden, aka Senator MBNA, but there is one thing this guy is good at: debating in long-format one-on-one scenarios. I think there is some ball dropping going on in places, but nothing that can’t be fixed. I’m cautiously optimistic.

  24. Tom Morrissey

    9/4/2008 at 11:13 pm

    Alex is right that the conservatives within the party are fully unified and, yes, “energized” (we need a synonym for that term). In 2004 or 2000, that might have been enough to sustain a Rovean strategy of relying almost entirely on the Republican base.

    Now, though, there are fewer true-believing, hard-core conservatives, especially outside the reddest of red states. What McCain will have to do is make an effort to go well beyond the base, and Palin may be his only real hope to do so– because he’s so familiar, and she potentially offers something new. That won’t happen, however, if she’s confined to a role as attack dog.

  25. Chutzpah

    9/4/2008 at 11:46 pm

    I’ll take the Reagan ’80’s anyday. The starting salaries of your average ivy league jewish investment banker and lawyer were sky high. Young Urban Professionals were making so much money they didn’t even notice how bad the music and fashions were. I graduated college in 86 and was recruited by top corporations and there were jobs left over.

    Nancy was a beautiful dignified First Lady. No one was getting blow jobs in the Oval Office or spending money on trying to “achieve Democracy” in Iraq. The poor and “underserved” got the trickle down from those who were working damn hard to live the American dream. Greed was good and shoulder pads were bad. How can you dislike a President who tore who helped to tear down the Berlin Wall (not that I knew anything about that or cared, there were investment bankers to play with….)

  26. Alex

    9/5/2008 at 12:05 am

    Anyone who agrees with T Boone Pickens’ plan for energy and immediately drilling and nuclear power gets my vote. It doesn’t hurt that they’re better for Israel and America either.

  27. shadai

    9/5/2008 at 12:46 am

    Sarah Palin might be full of pep and also good-looking but that’s about it. The single most important strategic issue of the following presidential-term is going to be the addressing (or not addressing) of the climate-change issue. Sarah Palin does not promise any changes here, in fact she is a denier of man-induced climate-change (see: http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/sarah_palin_vp/2008/08/29/126139.html).

    If the United States does not initiate a fundamental shift in energy-policies and does not starting to lead the country and the world towards a sustainable energy-alternative we will be seriously fucked up here on Planet Earth.

    Palin is bad news.

    It’s also bad news that we just don’t know what Obama’s exact policies would be on this matter (but we know McCain’s-Palin’s: the same as the Bush administrations: it is nothing short of a tragedy; more petro-billions and thus significant empowerment to Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia, more unmanagable climate-change, more depleting of our very last natural resources).

    I’m sad.

  28. blip

    9/5/2008 at 4:29 am

    Let’s face it, Obama is a con.
    Palin shouldn’t be the VP but this is an exciting campaign and it’s a great strategy to stomp out the the bs mythmaking behind the Obama side. My own Democratic party was relying on empty rhetoric, and the Republicans basically beat them at their own game and rebranded themselves as a peoples party, of log cabin blue collar real Americans. They’re not too far off in painting liberals as snobbish, and patronizing without much real life success.( Look at Obama’s record in Chicago… look into Annenberg Challenge and the money appropriated there.) So now we’ve exhausted the inspirational speeches, and the next two months will be about real policies, which Obama is weak in.

    So yeah, the Dems won the convention battles, but by winning with fireworks, and look like televangelists, even adopting a moral campaign complete with interfaith prayers, they set themselves up to lose. 80,000 people crying and swearing devotion to one man is a scary political reality, don’tcha think?

  29. shadai

    9/5/2008 at 7:15 am

    ps: more on this by Thomas Friedman on the NY Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/03/opinion/03friedman.html?em

    Until now the slogan “McCain=4 more years of Bush” did not ring true to me. Now with Sarah Palin on the ticket it does.

  30. Ben-David

    9/5/2008 at 9:40 am

    Some random observations:

    The vast majority of women do not embrace the rigid. politicized feminism of the left. They understand that abortion is a complex issue – no where near the litmus-test it is for left-liberals – and that policy is not likely to be changed at the Federal level.

    They see a woman who made it on her own (unlike Pelosi and, to some extent, Clinton, who rode on their husband’s wealth/achievment).

    They see a female “maverick” – a straight shooter.
    They see a non-elite woman confronting head-on the same work-family compromises everyone else is making.

    In short, they see someone they can identify with.

    And they see a real hunk of a spouse who also is a loving, involved husband – exactly what the feminists have taught them to expect. Every time the camera showed Todd Palin holding their baby, it undercut thousands of left-wing media jibes.

    In contrast, the media attacks on “the female angle” are transparently hypocritical – after preaching equality for decades, suddenly the MSM starts worrying about how a high-achieving woman can also handle her responsibilities as a mother?

    Not much of a problem for The Rest of Us to call BS on stuff like that.

    But the Dems – and middle is right, this time it is the far-left wing that is running the show – are so puffed up with elitism and self-importance that they really don’t think the rest of the country is smart enough to see their inconsistencies.

    Palin’s attacks didn’t just expose Obama’s weaknesses – they tapped into the growing impatience of The Rest of Us with the projected self-righteousness and inevitability that typify the leftist elite True Believers in Obama.

    When people say “Palin is a breath of fresh air” that means it felt stuffy and stale for them before. They mean “Obama was a stuffed shirt” in this elitist way – from the line about making the oceans recede, to the faux Presidential seal, to the lectures by Michelle about “finally being proud of her country”, to the faux Roman columns backing O’s acceptance speech.

  31. Jack

    9/5/2008 at 10:21 am

    I don’t like any of them all that much.

  32. TNC

    9/5/2008 at 11:37 am

    “The single most important strategic issue of the following presidential-term is going to be the addressing (or not addressing) of the climate-change issue.”

    Are you serious? Many Americans don’t care about climate-change. We care about wages, inflation, employment/unemployment, taxes, etc. I recently read that Americans (Democrat and Republican) care more about gay marriage than climate change…

    Pew (2007):
    http://www.americanenvironics.com/PDF/EnergyAttitudesSummer2007.pdf
    Rising Public Demand for Government Action on Energy Independence Even as Global Warming Remains a Low Priority for Voters

    Pew (2008):
    http://people-press.org/report/388/an-even-more-partisan-agenda-for-2008

    A year ago, global warming was the lowest-ranking agenda item for Republicans of 23 issues mentioned; just 23% viewed it as a top priority. This year, it has fallen even further – just 12% of Republicans cite global warming as a top priority, less than half the proportion naming the next lowest rated issue (27% for providing health insurance to the uninsured).

    Democrats currently are about four times more likely than Republicans to rate global warming as a major priority (47% vs. 12%), a much greater gap than in January 2007 (48% Democrat vs. 23% Republican).

  33. TNC

    9/5/2008 at 11:38 am

    More here:
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/08/americans_care.php

    Pollster American Environics studied American attitudes toward energy and the environment and found depressing results:

    1) Americans overwhelmingly believe that global warming is occurring.

    2) They don’t care. “dealing with global warming” came 20th out of 23 policy priorities.

    3) They won’t give anything up. The cost of energy is more important than global warming.

  34. Tom Morrissey

    9/5/2008 at 12:20 pm

    Rasmussen this morning has Palin with a higher favorability rating than either McCain or The One, with Biden trailing well behind. Of course, that’s before Hillary, Boxer et al. took to the airwaves today to carpet-bomb her. We’ll see how the public responds to that.

    No one will compare McCain to JFK or Reagan, but I think he did decently well last night on at least a couple of counts: he laid the groundwork for a populist, anti-Washington campaign (and Palin helps there); and his refusal to go after Obama in a harsh way will, I suspect, play well with the public. Still, he’s the underdog; so much favors Obama on a macro level. It’ll be hard for McCain to overcome the albatross of the Bush years.

    But did anyone think that, even prior to the RNC, McCain would be right on Obama’s heels?

    (Two footnotes: anyone notice Biden’s dismissive comments about AIPAC? And what Obama said on Fox last night about the surge could become his most self-damaging remark of the campaign.)

  35. montana_urban_legend

    9/5/2008 at 12:46 pm

    Middle, regarding your original post here, I think it’s important to clarify a few things. First off, this meme that Obama is “far-left” sounds awfully far-fetched to me. Name any significant domestic policy issue and Obama was consistently to the “center” of Hillary on it. Health care: Hillary wanted mandates. Obama opposed them. Housing prices: Hillary wanted price controls. Obama opposed them. The economy generally: Well, you get the picture.

    The other thing I think it’s important for bloggers to clarify is Palin’s false assertion (and that’s a generous way to put it. For people who we expect to know better, such things are referred to as “lies”) that Obama has “not written a single law”. By repeating that here, I’m not sure if you accept that outrageous distortion of hers at face value or not. I’m hoping you don’t, because it’s easily refuted and simply refuting it adds to the picture the electorate is getting on how out of touch the Republicans are with reality. Obama has authored bills. They are significant bills. You can ask his Republican colleagues Tom Coburn and Richard Lugar about them. They co-sponsored them. They promote transparent, ethical government practices and locate loose nuclear material around the world. Only a party that’s completely out of touch with reality would deny them, let alone their significance. But Lugar and Coburn seem to happen to understand that they shouldn’t. Perhaps others might, also.

  36. themiddle

    9/5/2008 at 12:46 pm

    What did Obama say about the surge?

    I noticed Biden’s comments about AIPAC. No surprise there. Many parts of the Left, and including a substantial number of Dems have taken to the Walt and Mearsheimer thesis like, well like flies to a pile of cow dung. It’s now in fashion to badmouth AIPAC in certain circles. I suspect Obama also moves in those circles.

    It’s fine, as long as they just focus on AIPAC. If their meaning is broader, a la Walt Mearsheimer, then it will be tough on Israel if they come into office.

  37. themiddle

    9/5/2008 at 1:02 pm

    MUL, you well-known Obama partisan, I’m surprised it took this long to engage you here. First of all, it’s not me you have to educate about authoring bills, it’s the American public. Obama’s record isn’t deep and I recall Hillary making hay out of his 100 or so Illinois non-votes on bills.

    Second, Obama is definitely of the Democratic Left. His position on the war and the manner in which he played it up during the election is what puts him there. Yes, voting record is similar to Hillary’s and for this election he changed his old position on universal health care, but I know you know that the “progressive” wing of the Democratic party was with him and against Hillary. Wasn’t there even one place where they booed her at a public talk? DailyKos and Huffington Post showed who the Left’s darling was and it wasn’t Hillary.

    If Obama really is a centrist, that’s good for all of us. But you can’t actually deny that he had the support of the Democratic left and their enthusiasm had a large role in pushing him over the top and beating Hillary.

  38. Tom Morrissey

    9/5/2008 at 1:03 pm

    On Fox, last night:

    “I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated,” Obama said while refusing to retract his initial opposition to the surge. “I’ve already said it’s succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.”

  39. Tom Morrissey

    9/5/2008 at 1:10 pm

    Middle’s right: Barack was the darling of the MoveOn.org crowd during the primary. And it’s hard to view his platform in Denver as anything other than orthodox liberal. Indeed, scrap the MLK allusion and Barack’s speech could’ve been given by Kerry, Edwards et al. in times of yore.

    Looks to me like McCain’s people see a vacuum and are trying to run like hell to the center (bipartisanship and all that). It may not be sincere and it may not work, but it reflects the opening Obama’s given him.

  40. Alex

    9/5/2008 at 3:52 pm

    Anthropogenic Global Warming is the Myth of the Century. What’s funny, is since all of the alarmist rhetoric began on Global Warming, the average temperatures have been dropping every year. 20 years ago, the environmental fear mongers screeched about Global Cooling but most of the dumb hippies are too young or too stoned to remember or do the research. Sure, I believe in Global Warming just as I believe in Global Cooling, but I hardly believe it can be attributed mainly to human causes. That’s for the suckers. It’s the sun, stupid.

  41. montana_urban_legend

    9/5/2008 at 3:55 pm

    Could you guys please provide some type of benchmark for when what others think is more important than speaking to the truth of the matter? Especially seeing as how you’re presenting yourself as sympathetic to the Democrats and are the one blogging the post, Middle? “What someone else thinks”, “Who supports the candidate”, and “What the candidate’s actual position is” are actually three different things. Is it really such a dis-service to note the distinctions between such things? Is understanding the the distinctions between such things really too much to ask?

    If you think that the Obama-Coburn bill and the Obama-Lugar bill are part of a record that’s not that “deep”, perhaps an explanation as to why you think that would be helpful. Simply reiterating your initial implications (or were they Sarah Palin’s) doesn’t refute a corrected record.

    As it stands, you guys are making political hay out of 1) The fact that Obama has credibility on a foreign policy matter that the Hawks have lost the support of the American public on – the success of the surge notwithstanding, and 2) The fact that a group strongly opposed the Bush administration in general embraced him. Hawkishness in foreign policy might or might not reflect a “conservative” predisposition; however, Obama’s opposition to the war was not based in some type of mushy “leftist” pacifism. I can link to his 2002 speech on it if that helps you understand that idea. And how you can frame it that way when Ron Paul and many Republicans of his ilk also opposed the war is beyond me. They did so on constitutional grounds. Is he now “of the Democratic Left”? Where are you coming up with your memes?

    And domestic policy matters in these discussions.

    You should consider that much of the opposition directed against Hillary’s candidacy and a Clinton restoration was based on their lack of credibility. It boggles my mind that you will paint Obama as too politically fickle within the context of a discussion involving the master triangulator himself and her star pupil.

    Tom, if Pat Buchanan’s recollection of Palin’s support for him doesn’t mean much to you, I’m not surprised that you would deride Obama’s acceptance speech as “orthodox liberal” given his effusive praise for it as a unifying one for the country. I can link that too, if you want. And McCain’s running to the center doesn’t reflect anything but just that. The fact that he’s running to the center (and far away from Bush, not that that will work). It doesn’t reflect that Obama’s given him anything.

  42. montana_urban_legend

    9/5/2008 at 3:58 pm

  43. Joshua

    9/5/2008 at 4:05 pm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling
    “This hypothesis never had significant scientific support, but gained temporary popular attention due to press reports that did not accurately reflect the scientific understandings of ice age cycles and a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s. Scientific consensus is that the Earth has not durably cooled, but undergone global warming throughout the 20th century.”

    So there you go, “global cooling” was never popularized by true scientists (unlike global warming, which is), but rather by tabloid “science” and journalism!

    Also, I don’t know about you, but I know that 10 of the hottest years of record have occurred in the past 15 years, and here in Pittsburgh, I’ve certainly felt the hotter summers and milder winters!

  44. Alex

    9/5/2008 at 9:33 pm

    Joshua, I don’t know if you read what I wrote. I’m not denying that Global Warming has occurred, in fact, I don’t know anyone who does. I’m disagreeing with the theory of Anthropogenic (man-made) Global Warming. And I suggest you adapt your thinking like many scientists who initially jumped on the anthropogenic bandwagon have already. You are going to look back in 10 years and laugh at yourself, and Al Gore’s many lies, undocumented assumptions, and misunderstood graphs.

  45. Alex

    9/5/2008 at 9:46 pm

    Tom Toles has nothing on Cox and Forkum, not artistically nor in humor:

    http://www.coxandforkum.com/

    Really, I am beside myself at the lack of humor from the party of the supposed artists and intellectuals. 8 years later and still the exact same recycled Bush jokes. Bravo. Such genius. Really, I can’t tell between watching Carlin, Bill Maher, Rosy O’Donell, or Rosanne Bar anymore. They’ve become caricatures of themselves.

  46. blip

    9/6/2008 at 12:25 am

    “that Obama has “not written a single law”. By repeating that here, I’m not sure if you accept that outrageous distortion of hers at face value or not.”

    …Palin was taking a jab subtly referencing the suggestion that Obama was handed legislation written by colleagues to bolster his bid for a higher office. Obama then ruffled feathers by taking too much if not all the credit, and so he was exposed for his actual role, or rather, a lack of one, in said legislation.

  47. Steve

    9/6/2008 at 12:35 am

    What you’re missing is that while the national polling shows a tight race, the internals are no where near close. Remember Al Gore? He got more of the popular vote and still lost, Obama is pulling slightly more popular vote, but way more electorals. At this point McSame needs a bit of a miracle to win because O/B is down like 20% in the electoral college. Obama is trending to 300+ while only need 261 to win.

    Granted I’m not a huge O fan, I actually worked for Hillary, but he’s growing on me, while McCain’s continued pandering to the super evangelicals frightens me more each day.

    While the Rev. Wright issues bugged me, don’t forget that Palin said nothing while a preacher at her church stated terrorism in Isreal is punishment for Jews continuing to refuse the truth that Jesus is their Messiah. While O wasn’t even present for Wright’s crazy comments, Palin was in the front row and it was only a few weeks ago…

    Maybe McCain didn’t know she was at the very least accepting of blatant anti-semitism, or maybe he did knew that would help with the right wing he had issues with. Either way, too scary for me.

  48. montana_urban_legend

    9/6/2008 at 12:45 am

    Toles vs. Cox & Forkum, Maher versus Dennis Miller, O’Donnell versus the waif on The View, Barbara Bush versus Roseanne Barr… ad infinitum. Is there anything under the sun that you don’t slice and dice into your infantile “us versus them” worldview?

    Well, you can bash a political cartoonist all you want, Alex. But you don’t seem very capable of bashing the fact that The Republicans are so bereft of any of their own ideas to articulate for America’s woes (other than war, religion and nationalism as The Answer to all things for all time) that they stole every line in the book from the Democrats. Which was exactly the message in the cartoon. You’re just upset because it illustrates that they don’t have any credibility because of it.

  49. themiddle

    9/6/2008 at 3:27 am

    Steve, the point is that it’s Obama’s race to lose but McCain is a smart tactician, the Republicans are good at these campaigns and the Democrats may have opened a door which should not have opened. They did the same with Kerry.

    MUL, I actually had a bunch of voting stats ready for you, but I think Blip makes the point briefly and succinctly. Stop focusing on the detail of the accusation and try to understand the spirit. McCain has taken Obama and outflanked him on “change” and “experience.” Obama may have co-authored a couple of laws, but would you like to compare how many laws McCain has written, never mind proposed?

  50. montana_urban_legend

    9/6/2008 at 10:52 am

    No, I wouldn’t like to do that. But neither do I see what point it would serve. If Palin had said that “Obama has written less legislation than John McCain” then there would be a point to doing that, but I wouldn’t have contested it anyway – because that’s actually an accurate statement. Saying that Obama hasn’t written any legislation is false and slanderous and not in the spirit of anything other than to perpetuate those false and slanderous impressions that have been floating around since the beginning of the primaries. If she meant to say something different, then she could have said something different in that “spirit”. I honestly don’t see why you are trying to put words in her mouth for her, and for you to feel you should do so really only demonstrates her own lack of credibility rather than saying anything substantive about Barack Obama’s legislative experience.

    McCain’s choice of Palin completely marginalizes him on the experience meme. If experience is important, than a 72-year old nominee would have chosen someone with it to run with him. End of story. And that’s exactly the way the narrative is running right now.

    As for “outflanking” Obama on change, as I said, his speech made a valiant effort to try to do that, but we’ll see if it sticks. For now, it’s just an attempt, nothing more. McCain’s previous history of bucking party-line ideology says a lot. But it says even more that for now he has decided to throw that reputation away and capitulated to the Talibangelicals with his VP selection. As does voting with Bush the overwhelming majority of the time.

    I honestly don’t see why you seem so intent on taking everything the McCain campaign throws out there at face value, Middle. More conservative intellectuals have taken him to task and criticized (the WISDOM! of) his choices at this point than you would have us believe. Does it have to do with some soft spot you have for Palin and her religious creds? Do you feel intimidated by her standing on those things? Does it have to do with Obama getting some kind of well-deserved comeuppance? I’m just trying to understand where you’re coming from…

  51. Alex

    9/6/2008 at 11:41 am

    Steve,

    It seems your definition of “blatant anti-semitism” or at least your tolerance of it is dependent upon the side of the political spectrum spewing it. It was a guest speaker by the way, from Jews for Jesus that said that, not her preacher, and while despicable and anti-semitic, it’s standard fare for the Messianic crowd. The difference is, evangelicals goal is for Jews to become Christians, while Barack’s church welcomed Farakhan with open arms, and as you know, the Nation of Islam wants us dead. So if you want to start measuring evil or even intentions for that matter, I’d be much obliged to make a matrix comparing the two tickets, heck, the two parties for that matter. I’ll trade you a Pat Robertson for a Cynthia McKinney, Robert Bird, Wesley Clark, Jesse Jackson, Sharpton, etc., any day.

  52. Alex

    9/6/2008 at 11:47 am

    MUL,

    The most important thing for me is that Republicans understand keeping markets free and taxing businesses and people as little as possible, since they aren’t nanny-staters like your precious Democrats/socialists. And I f****** hate socialism and will never support entitlements and a looter mentality like Obama supports. The world is full of two kinds of people: producers and looters. Your party is for the looters. It’s really that plain and simple, believe it or not. You can take Elizabeth Hasslebeck with you. The republicans don’t need her. The other idiots on the show, are a perfect example of the leftist brainwashed mentality.

  53. Alex

    9/6/2008 at 11:48 am

    damn, spam filter…

  54. Joshua

    9/6/2008 at 10:07 pm

    “And I f****** hate socialism and will never support entitlements and a looter mentality like Obama supports.”

    So I guess that means that you think entitlements to Chareidim and funding for their schools in Israel should be done away with? Because that’s socialism, too. Oh, the hypocrisy!!!!

  55. Chutzpah

    9/7/2008 at 2:10 am

    Mrs. Palin made the choice not to abort a special needs child. Now she should do the responsible thing and devote 110% to making sure that the child has all the love and care it needs from his MOTHER….not only from his father, siblings and …please god no… a staff of White House Nannies. She can’t travel and negotiate overseas and be with that baby at the same time. Impossible.

    I wouldn’t want any woman with an infant as V.P., much less a woman with a special needs baby and a grandchild from a teen daughter.

    Palin is the antithesis of today’s feminist role model. Her message is “you need a high-powered, high-profile career but don’t enjoy sex or use birth control while trying to achieve that career unless you are married and then make sure you get your figure back within 3 months post-partum” YIKES!

    What happens when she’s pregnant again? Is her househusband going to get a vasectomy or are they just going to abstain?
    Talk about a nervous breakdown waiting to happen. Only “Superwoman” could handle all that and we know that the Superwoman model of Feminism is soooo 1980’s.

    Any woman who is in the #1 or #2 most powerful position in the free world during wartime better be damned ready to fulfill all the responsibilities of that position at the expense of her family.

    Palin does seem ready to dump her family for that power…how sad for them.

  56. Tom Morrissey

    9/7/2008 at 5:05 am

    I don’t know, chutzpah. Under your approach the only women who’ll qualify for high office are either post-menopausal (Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher) or apparently lacking in sexuality (Condi Rice). Everyone else stays at home, contenting themselves with the PTA. This is what feminism fought for?

    And here’s a goose/gander question for you: when RFK ran for president, he had 10 children and a pregnant spouse. Your analysis apply to him?

  57. Chutzpah

    9/7/2008 at 11:03 am

    For President, Vice President or Secretary of State…they can go right ahead a be pregnant and they should even be allowed to take the maximum Paternity/Maternity/Adoption leave permitted other Federal Workers, BUT who is going to fill-in for these people when they are out? Something to think about.

    RFK had a spouse handling the children. Working father’s seeing very little of their children was the norm in his time. In our generation new Father’s take time off when a baby is born or adopted into their family. They like to participate on an equal level. And they LOVE suing for Child Support and Custody if their relationship fails.

    Palin’s spouse can handle their children and it’s her CHOICE if she never sees them. If that Down’s baby need’s heart surgery in the next 4 years as many of them do, she will have to make a choice…be with the baby or help the President govern. Voters have to consider that, whether it sounds “sexist” or not.

    Edwards made a choice to run for President rather than help take care of a very ill spouse. I thought that was disgusting. It revealed the nature of his character at the time and he proved himself to be even more of a weasel later on.

    When a job is at a level that is above the glass ceiling for both sexes, I would expect a women to put her job above baking cookies for the PTA and not even think about taking time off to go to every hockey game wearing lipstick. WORKING MOTHERS in the U.S. miss an awful lot of hockey games, ballet recitals, and PTA fundraisers because their bosses won’t let them take time off.

    I said it once and I’ll say it again: Feminism means giving a woman the CHOICE to do what she wants with her career, her family and her body. Palin wants to limit women’s choices with what they do with their body, that’s bad enough. I hope she aleast realizes that the County, not her children, come first if McCain.

    The 80’s and 90’s feminist proved that you CAN NOT have it all at the same time. Something’s gotta give.

    As Jackie Kennedy said “if you bungle raising your children, nothing else you do really matters”…that is the feminist ideology of 2008 and of Jewish tradition.

  58. Tom Morrissey

    9/7/2008 at 2:53 pm

    Well, we’ll see how that plays out in the campaign, as Obama’s surrogates and fellow travelers have made your point. More telling is Hillary Clinton’s shrewd circumspection in criticizing Palin. Whatever the merits of your point of view, the hypocrisy meter of many voters will go berserk.

  59. Chutzpah

    9/8/2008 at 12:58 am

    law school when Palin was winning beauty pageants and pumping out babies that she did care much for. How long were her maternity leaves , a week? Why bother have the baby if you are not going to be there to love and nurture it?

    There is something so disconnected about her, I’d swear she was made by the same men who made the Stepford Robots if that wasn’t fiction. Women who can kill animals with a gun are just freakin’ scary.

    At least Hillary is open about her lust for power and her ambition. Palin tries to make herself out to be a humble servant of the small town that needed her and then goes on to say her family has problems like all others…

  60. Chutzpah

    9/8/2008 at 1:00 am

    above should have said that at least Hillary was in

  61. Chutzpah

    9/8/2008 at 9:12 am

    She delivered a speech while leaking amniotic fluid and returned to work a day later?!?!?! People are calling that feminism?

    Many slaves on the Pre-Civil War plantations got more maternity leave than that from their masters, although many birthed in the field while leaking amniotic fluid and then kept right on working the field.

    This woman may be a friend to special needs children but SHE IS NO FRIEND OF WORKING MOTHERS!

    I am truly scared for what is expected for the next generation of young women if this is what people call “FEMINISM”.

    Feminism is when the husband wakes up in the middle of the night to do a feeding so the “kempator” can sleep. Feminism is when the husband hires a baby nurse for a full 3 months with the paycheck he brought home.

    Feminism is when a working mother’s job is at the same pay level of her male peer AND her job is still there for her when she CHOOSES to come back to work, whether she is a single mother, an adoptive mother, a lesbian mother, or a surrogate mother.

    Holy Freakin’ Gloria Steinem Batman, this woman is the Joker!

  62. TNC

    9/8/2008 at 9:46 am

    “Women who can kill animals with a gun are just freakin’ scary.”

    Do you prefer they kill them with a knife or their bare hands?

  63. Alex

    9/8/2008 at 3:16 pm

    Feminism is women telling other women how to run their lives and/or their family and doubting their feminist credentials. It’s like me telling CK that he’s not a “real” man or a “real” Jew.

  64. Chutzpah

    9/8/2008 at 5:11 pm

    Restated: women who are emotionally capable of killing animals for fun and hobby are just freakin’ scary.

    Alex, we all know Jews going around telling other Jews they are not real Jews every day and most frequently on this very blog. The “who is a Jew” debate rages alive and well.

    The “who is a feminist” debate rages on as well. Feminism represents different things in each generation. During the battle for Sufferage, feminism was equated with giving the woman the right to vote. Feminism today is about choices without judgment.

    You can call Palin a feminist and you could probably even call her a good Governor of Alaska and an expert the needs of Alaska’s small towns. However, you can not call her a friend to working mother’s or someone who understands the needs of single mothers in large urban cities.

    Does anyone know if she’s ever been to New York or seen the footprint of the World Trade Center, because I can tell you she’s never been to a sale at Barney’s . Show me a woman who can hunt and capture the items she wants there and then I’ll show you a pitbull in lipstick.

    Does this woman believe that 3 day stays in hospitals after giving birth are too long? It seems she would prefer woman give birth on the job or at the hockey games of their other 9 kids.

  65. Alex

    9/9/2008 at 12:04 am

    Well, sounds like she’s a lot tougher than you and other women you know. Personally, growing up around tough and intelligent women like my grandmothers (who raised multiple children in Russia) and my dear mom, who both made an excellent mother and a Head of Staff Physician with her own private practice after moving to America with nothing and having to go back to medical school, my perception and expectations of women are vastly different to those of my friends and many Americans in both red and blue states. I admire women whom are both career women and caring mothers and I don’t see why someone can’t be both. I also expect fathers to share in that burden. When my mom was in residency (during my formative years), every third night she was away, and I had to spend those nights with dad. Sure it sucked, sure I wanted her at home, but my life and the life of others has been better because of that “choice” she made.

    Just like women want men who can fit multiple roles: (career, sport, lover, fighter, macho, metro, etc.), I respect a woman who can both be sexy and quaint as well as one who can get her hands dirty. And any woman who can hold her own, throw a punch, exert dominance around men in business situations, and use a weapon, earns extra credit. I love them IDF girls!

    I love the liberal mentality though. Respect of third world cultures, yet a disdain for them when every more or norm is on the table. In the undeveloped world, it’s mainly women that have to butcher or at least skin and treat the kill, including breaking chicken necks, slicing lambs heads off, pulling the intestines out of a pig, etc.. What makes you think people who hunt do it for fun and hobby? My relatives from Alaska just sent me a care package with the following items (all caught or killed by them, with the exception of the shellfish): moose, bear, goat, king salmon, red salmon, Halibut, and king crab legs. Very tasty food. Half of those were killed or caught by wife’s cousin while pregnant, who just had her first baby boy 1 month ago. She’s actually pretty attractive as well. Nothing scary about her. But, I assume that stereotype (liberals claim never to stereotype too, hehe) will stick in your head nonetheless, while chasing shoes at Barney’s, which mind you, are my wife’s favorites. 🙂

    I hate to break this to you, but not all women are the same, nor should be. I don’t think Palin is a feminist, nor should she be. Why should she dislike men, always act like a victim, ignore the differences between the genders, and think she can do everything without help from her husband? Those are feminist values to me, and why I relate that word to every other victimized group.

    What I think I see from a lot of women and men ever since they announced Palin, is projection, jealousy, and condescension. Total feminist values, if you ask me.

  66. Chutzpah

    9/9/2008 at 7:47 pm

    She sure as shit is a lot tougher than I am…and I want things even easier for my daughters.

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