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Palin: A Dangerous and Intelligent Choice

chicago dyke's picture

I hope you can forgive me, despite my undeserving nature, for some unspecific and overly personal posting of late. I'm going to try to correct that, and here I'll start.

Resolved: Palin was a hit out of the park sort of choice for McCain and his team.

Why do I say this? I have many reasons, and I'm perversely glad and disturbed by his choice. Lemme share some reasons and links which may help you understand.

Palin in the eyes of one gardeners' community. You'll laugh, cry and hurl as you read it, but hopefully, also learn something of why I was nonspecifically asking recently for less groupthink in PB2.0. Sometimes, I fear we all forget that there are many people in America who think about politics, but so very few who think as we do. This is not the only thread I've read about Palin that is very different from the ones I've read in my usual daily travels.

Stepping back a bit and being imaginative: is Palin a good choice? Here's why I think the answer is "yes."

1. I'm rude and blunt so I'll just say it: the Down's Syndrome kid makes her look like the 'real deal' sort of anti-choice "pro-life feminist." Nevermind if her "5th" child was in fact her daughter's. That part will never get out beyond the blogosphere. The Down's Syndrome child will, and already has. I've spent a lot of time with moms of late, younger moms as well as the older kind. They respect someone willing to prove her mettle in this way, even as they have little or no interest in being forced to do so themselves. Don't underestimate that, esp with the less critical and church-going. And there's a huge, underreported 'bleeding heart' streak in younger social conservatives. Palin can be easily constructed as 'one who walks the walk, as well as talks the talk' to them, and that's powerful.

2. She's pretty. Which is great! Finally, an attractive Republican! Should this make a difference to voters? Of course not. Will it? You'd be silly if you didn't think it would. America's #1 religion is pretty celebrity. I don't like that, but it's true. Just as HRC was slammed by sexists for not being a willowly 20something (as if that mattered, but in the subliminal discourse, you could feel it was there); and just as Obama is feared/loved/hated because he is 'attractive' in his biracial difference; and just as Senator Hairplug from MBNA is not virile and strong-looking, Palin is exactly what wignuts and mushy, teevee-addicted middler voters can respond to. I expect a lot of shots of Palin to flood the teevee airwaves, and that people will unconsciously respond to that. Our consumerist culture is built upon that sort of response; a pretty woman/girl is used to sell almost anything. Again, it shouldn't be so, but if it didn't work, they wouldn't put so many pretty people next to products that sell.

3. Palin's false narrative as a "new" and "reformer" Republican will stick. Despite the trailer-trash dramarama that seems to be part of her family history. The SCLM will pounce on, and magnify, her 'record' of "taking on Stevens" and "beating back the AK establishment." For the less informed, that will work. Republicans and "independents" understand, at least instinctively, that there is a real need to clean out Bush regime cronies who are killing all of us who make less than 5million/yr. Palin is the perfect offering to those people.

4. PUMAs. I'll let you all fight about how 'real' or dangerous she is in this regard. I will say: real or false, the PUMA construct is one that has been squarely set into this year's election narrative. Even those who are not, in truth, 'pure' PUMAs like some here, will at least consider Palin as the correct response/revenge vote for their disappointed hopes for HRC. Remember, there are lots and lots of people who don't actually think about their political loyalties, and who are more or less given direction from the SCLM. Some of these people will see Palin as a valid alternative, despite the fact that she's 180degrees different from HRC and her voting record.

5. Palin is young. McCain's people have likely realized: there aren't really enough oldsters and racists to make up a majority of voters for McCain all by himself; he needs some "youth" to counter his "experience." He may seem a "maverick" to the older and/or uninformed, but she typifies that in truth. At least within the narrative given to most by the SCLM. And what could better prove his own 'maverickiness' than picking a younger woman, almost sight-unseen, going against what Rove and his party's establishment have been telling him for months and years?

6. She's a perfect example of the mythology of the "new, caring" oil industry maven. She's got a speaking record of talking about how AK needs to be "independent" of the federal tit (hah, like that will ever happen), and at the same time, she is able to articulate a "fresh" story about how she is one with the strangely popular Pickens, and others like him who are selling us all this "drill, drill, drill!" crap, or the clean coal bullshit. I am just waiting for her to say: "I understand better than anyone how to bring your gas prices down, and that's with more drilling!" Here in the Midwest, where people are unfamiliar with the realities of oil production, I perceive that it could work, and she could be presented to the public as an informed 'expert' in how to reduce energy costs to the public. Of course people like us won't buy it, but many will.

7. Stay Away from the Beauty Queen attack. I really mean this. For many reasons, it's a loser. In the most base sense, I'll remind you that people do in fact, love Beauty Queens. Also, she's smarter than that, and has already proven she understands how to manipulate her opponents, who think to attack her this way thinking that she won't have the brain-power to respond. She does, and she will. Also, there's that whole winger thing of pretending to care about women who are being 'attacked' for being women; they do it (sadly) better than many on our side do. While we should recognize that her looks will play a role in the election, we should be very careful to treat her as a corrupt, Republican politician, and nothing about her gender or appearance. Short version: wingers long for and follow with religious conviction, their "Joan of Arcs." Palin could be one.

I'm sure I've missed a lot about her; she's new to me and a surprise.

More than anything else, she is a clear warning: someone in the McCain campaing has a brain. Bigger than Rove's, bigger than McCain's. Fear that, if you long for Democratic victory this fall.

No votes yet


Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

It has been quite amusing to see the SCLM having no idea how they should box her in, thus far. I'm sure they'll eventually find something(s), and hammer till November, but at the moment, they are throwing absolutely everything they can at the wall to see what sticks. The desperation from the likes of CNN and MSNBC was palpable. Hell, on quite a few of the talking-head programs they were still trying to figure out how to properly say her name. She's a conservative Christianist, but somehow she seems to neutralize that, which is in fact very dangerous for her Democratic opponents.

I'm not going to try and predict what she does to the race, but I know that this shocked everyone, and jolting McCain back alive is exactly what he needed, at the moment. Yes, she's totally dangerous.

She reminds me a lot of my governor (Jennifer Granholm of Michigan) who started out in her early life as an aspiring model/actress who was underestimated because of her looks, and went on to take the Michigan establishment by storm. Of course, Granholm is a pro-choice, liberal Catholic (for which she's been given much grief), but the narratives are similar. Too bad she was born in Canada.

snow-moon's picture
Submitted by snow-moon on

There are at least two very funny lines in this post- but to point them out would be rude and misconstrued.

I can tell you with certainty that the evangelicals will ADORE her: anti-abortion/pro-life, creationist with a big family.

If only her kids were home-schooled, it would be perfect. That would be something new to bring to the VP's residence.

(note: there are evangelicals in my family who home school. I know them well.)

danps's picture
Submitted by danps on

Hi chicago dyke

America’s #1 religion is pretty celebrity.

And Hollywood is our Mt. Olympus. A parlor game: List the ways our relationship to the entertainment industry does and doesn't meet the characteristics of a religion. A few for the "does" side: It tells our stories, we build shrines to it (in the form of entertainment centers) in the most-used rooms of our homes, we even arrange our furniture around it so all of it faces it, there are high holy days (Super Sunday, Oscar night, etc). When you start digging into it, it's pretty scary.

inna's picture
Submitted by inna on

she strikes me as an extraordinarily weak candidate. she's not even qualified to be a VP, let alone commander in chief, and with McCain now turning 72, she has a fair chance of being president in the next 4 years (and of course she'll not have Biden behind her to run the country). apparently, McCain fan base are horrified by his choice. imo, it was a fatal mistake on part of the McCain campaign, and a miscalculation as far as the women's vote is concerned.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

I hope you can forgive me, despite my undeserving nature, for some unspecific and overly personal posting of late. I’m going to try to correct that, and here I’ll start.

I sure hope, then, that someone or many someones here appreciate you making such effort to bend your natural incline to the standards of this place. I think you rise above, and honestly dont understand why you'd corral your style in such a way. But then again, Woman is a mystical and powerful force and she can move in puzzling ways! :)

.delusions of un mundo mejor.

Submitted by lambert on

I do mind unspecific posts.

This isn't either, so why the apologies?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on projection trying to pretend that its analysis.

And nothing exemplifies this more than the questions being raised about her experience by the Oborg. Unlike Clinton's RFK statement, what you are really seeing here is a hope that John McCain dies in office -- and that is really ugly.

Its analysis like CDs that we need -- even though I don't agree with it 100%, ita an honest attempt to try and understand what Palin means in terms of the election.

Submitted by cg.eye on

search and replace "Obama" for "Palin" regarding experience, and we're in trouble. Not to mention the 'thank God we have Biden' thing.

We're digging up all our weaknesses, to denounce her, instead of really looking at the corruption behind this process that has compromised damn near everyone we're given to elect.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on that she polishes up McCain's "Maverick" image. And I think its dead wrong to describe her "reformer" narrative as "false". It seems pretty obvious to me that, in defeating an incumbent mayor, then beating the formidable Alaska GOP machine, and 'taking on' the oil companies, she is the real deal when it comes to the 'reform' impulse.

Another huge plus is that "small town mayor" marrative. The "citizen-politician" thing is extremely appealing -- the way she got her start in politics says "I'm not about power, I'm about government serving the people".

I predict that she is going to take the bull by the horns on this whole "investigation" thing, and do one of the "I'll stand here and answer any questions you have" press conferences, and hit it out of the park -- and make the Democrats look like idiot in doing so.

And I firmly believe that this there are lots and lots of people who don’t actually think about their political loyalties is really what Palin is all about. While the "disaffected Clinton voters" narrative is the one being pumped by the media, Palin's appeal will go far beyond the "bitter knitters". She's going to be a huge asset in terms of all independent voters, and with suburban "Republican" women who see the GOP as headed in the wrong direction -- these women were looking seriously at Clinton, and thus were considering "not voting Republican" this year. They will all come home to McCain now. Finally, I think she spells the end of the Bob Barr candidacy as a factor.

Submitted by lambert on

I love that! And I'm betting you're right -- the loons just love her.

NOTE And, since CD opened the door with pretty, let me slip into "men are dogs" mode, and say "Heck, yeah!" Chignons make me swoon. The ads with her next to McCain are terrific. Plus, the glasses... Anyone who wears glasses like that must be smart!

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

Palin isn't defined by her glasses -- the most powerful signifier for Palin is her hair. (see )

She's got "I don't care if every strand is in place" hair -- the bangs are "unruly", and the "bun" is about as utilitarian as you can get -- it signifies "yes, I'm a woman, now lets put that [literally] behind us, and get to work." That bun is key, because it signifies that she isn't trying to be a man (with a short haircut), rather, she's acknowledging her gender while declaring it irrelevant.

Submitted by ohio on

Astute on both sides.

Lest we forget, a huge part of PB2.0 is about taking local action to change the world for the better. It is a common impulse, dearies, to make big change by making small changes---that's how the right-wing evenagelicals seized power.

Who would know better about local politics making change than a small-town mayor? And who else in this race can point out that in a small town, if you are at all public, everybody knows your business? You better be squeaky fucking clean or at least, wrong for the right reasons, like the firing of the brother-in-law.

Go ahead, somebody, make the political case that that was wrong. Go ahead. Defend the drunken wife-beater. Legally wrong? Yes. Philosophically wrong? Yes. Politically wrong? Someone else has to make that case. Shit, Palin could have shot him in the street and people would have applauded. Maverick indeed.

And hell, she might be good at her job. If you disagree with her politics---and I do---you should be feeling that fear and loathing Democrats are so fimiliar with. Personal attacks on Sarah Palin will NOT work politically, especially since Sen. Obama's resume is just as thin, if not thinner.

I mean, Palin has actually had to present, defend, and work a budget. Sen. Obama? Not so much.

danps's picture
Submitted by danps on

At least some on the right are having second thoughts. Remember, Harriet Miers came out of the box OK - it took a couple weeks for the rebellion to start escalating. And I agree that the "Beauty Queen attack" would be bad strategy, but I think you could easily argue that there were lots of other women in the GOP who would have been much more credible selections.

Submitted by cg.eye on

she isn't an old hag like Hillary. I thought that was obvious.

The SCLM wanted pretty on their screens, and Obama gave it to them, and Palin will give it to them. The first night she attends an event in a stunning dress and contacts will make them pop with excitement -- but she'll make them wait on that, because her Family is First. (She *hates* going to those black-tie millions of dollars being raised events, don't you see. Five children to raise?)

Just like Schlafly, she'll spend the majority of her time as a working woman traveling and speaking... about how bad it is to be a working woman. And how women should have concealed carry permit rights, to defend against men who hate women and shout out insults and death threats ... like those received by Hillary Clinton.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

I agree with absolutely everything you said CD.

Is that ok?

She is perfect and perfectly dangerous. She is the female (and more attractive) version of Tim Pawlenty. The Aw shucks, girl-next-door, everyday jane on the outside, stark-raving batshit crazy Christianist on the inside. Michelle Bachmann with 5% less batshit crazy. She seems extremely "likeable", the reformer schtick dovetails personally with McCain's "maverick".

Plus, PB1.0, the Obama campaign and all of their little elves (like Bill Maher last night) do Dems great damage with their current attack mode on her. This whole "she was previously the burger of some little hamlet" attack is about the worst one possible: what was Obama "previously", a community activist? (and don't get me going on that as a resume polisher, it may work great on the Dems but most "normal" folk have met and dealt with "community organizers", it isn't an average joe/jane resume plus).

She isn't going to change how I vote or don't vote, that will likely be determined for me now in terms of who is less likely to get us involved in a shooting war or even new cold war with Russia. What I would prefer is that they should just praise her and leave her alone. It would maybe help me pretend that they have realized sexism/misogyny is "bad". Even if "bad" for them means, doesn't get me what I want.


Around these parts we call cucumber slices circle bites

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

is assuming that you were the target audience of the Palin pick. You're not. Get over yourself, and take a look at who Palin appeals to (independents of both genders, and "moderate" women, as well as the GOP base).

Your reaction is pure projection. You assume that Palin was meant to appeal to you -- a left winger -- personally. It wasn't. Get over yourself -- and recognize that "women" can have their own ideas, and their own constituencies beyond the "vagina-americans".

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

That's the kind of reasoned talk we're all about, right?

And how are you sure how far into the left the McCain camp thought it might be able to go with this pick, given the sore wounds of misogyny from this campaign?

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

That’s the kind of reasoned talk we’re all about, right?

I'm not going to apologize for reacting negatively to trollish behavior -- and declaring that Palin represents an insult to all women is troll behavior, because she certainly does not represent an insult to conservative women.

And how are you sure how far into the left the McCain camp thought it might be able to go with this pick, given the sore wounds of misogyny from this campaign?

because thinking that Palin would appeal to leftists makes no sense --- while the Palin pick should provide progressive women with a sense of schadenfreude, Palin has no intrinsic appeal for progressive voters. Anger dissipates, unless its reinforced, and Palin will only provide McCain with actual votes if Team Obama (and his supporters) continue to reinforce the sense that the Dems are exploiting misogyny and sexism right up until election time. I don't think that McCain would rely on continued Democratic cluelessness for his margin of victory.

Corner Stone's picture
Submitted by Corner Stone on

And from my quick perusal through a few blogs who indicate support for the D's, it's obvious they intend to reinforce this anger. They simply don't get it, or as was previously posted - can't help themselves. All the sly trashing of Palin, combined with the straight out Bill Maher type stuff will keep smoldering the emotions of how HRC was treated.
Palin wasn't picked to poach HRC supporters, or mollify women progressives, but IMO she will allow the D's and their surrogates to continue damaging themselves and suppress a portion of potential voters.

Submitted by cg.eye on

and should be seen as such. It's anti-feminist to reduce people to their parts, and to assume the only way feminists vote is to honor gender. For one thing, it blows solidarity with transgender people all to hell. Harms gay men too, with their tendency to reclaim the word 'cunt' for their more piquant talks....

And telling "Women" that they can have their own ideas is mighty white of you, sir. C'mon, you're much better than this, 99 percent of the time.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on'll see that you're agreeing with me. Read the link that i responded to -- its about how Palin is an insult to all women. That's "I vote with my vagina" thinking. And that is what I was criticizing.

Submitted by cg.eye on

that *Obama* is inexperienced. At least Palin's been a governor and worked with budgets, for Pete's sake.

If you want to attack, attack as CD said, on her corruption and her place in the corrupt Republican Party. Inexperience means nothing to Reps -- they elected J. Danforth Quayle. THEY DON'T CARE.

RedSox04's picture
Submitted by RedSox04 on

It's not just obvious from the media coverage so far, it's something I've gathered in talking to friends and acquaintances in the media. He's perfect for them. He's a telegenic, charismatic, brilliant orator who matches up with the Beltway Boys' politics perfectly: he's "reasonable" on foreign policy and the economy (believes in upholding Empire, but only at a reasonable cost; believes in market-based economic solutions, rather than strong government intervention (but isn't an ideologue like Bush et al.); etc., etc.), and more to the point, all the unattractive media types want to be him ("he's so cool").

I think the SCLM will continue the narrative that Palin is an awful choice-- inexperienced, a bimbo, etc. The only question is whether that will stick (in which case the SCLM will continue attacking) or whether there's a huge backlash (in which case the SCLM will stop).

Remember, the SCLM responds to RW protests much more than they do to protests by liberals/progressives. Remember Dan Rather in 2004? This reeks to me of having the same outcome; I guess we'll see.

One other thing that strikes me about this election. One narrative about this election that is becoming increasingly palatable to many folks is that it's a battle between those inside or near the power structure vs. those outside the power structure. Now of course, all of us reading this site know that McCain's populism is a "faux populism". But to many folks out there, you've got a battle between a wet-behind-the-ears 1 term Senator and his lifelong inside-the-Beltway running mate, vs. a "maverick" war hero Senator and his outside-the-Beltway running mate.

I'm not sure that's a meme we want to keep reinforcing, and every time that the SCLM or the Obama campaign hits on Palin's smalltown experience, or her "lack of experience", it reinforces this narrative (her experience is equivalent to Obama's, it's arguably more relevant, since she's running something rather than merely arguing about how to not pass legislation, but the media and the Obama campaign are so locked in inside-the-Beltway thinking that they think that only someone who's been in DC can be an effective candidate).

Lest we forget, most people hate Washington, DC. Experience earned outside of DC, for most folks, counts a helluva lot more than experience earned in DC.

I agree with CD that this is a dangerous pick for us, and I am even more concerned because of what I view as a flippant and arrogant attitude towards Palin emanating from the media, the Obama campaign, and its supporters. Folks, in case we forgot, the Republicans have consistently managed to elect underwhelming and laughable candidates. An actor, a puking out-of-touch Connecticut patrician, and the son of said patrician who was a former cheerleader turned failed businessman turned drunken loser turned figurehead governor.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

We're onto PB3.0. Get with the program, get over it, move on, man up, etc.

flotsam's picture
Submitted by flotsam on

You've laid this out well, CD, and it's hard to disagree .... and yet, ultimately I think the choice of Palin for a running mate smacks of desperation on McCain's part. It's about as desperate as Obama's choice of that horrid country music to play him out of his big speech - or Kerry appearing in a duck hunting outfit.

And, in the spirit of of your post, I want to throw one more factor into the analysis: her voice. I know, it shouldn't matter, but it does. She is a scold. In her voice I hear overtones of a mom telling her 14 year old son to clean his room (or else you can't go play, young man!). That really grates.


Submitted by cg.eye on

Obama was going to get out alive *without* playing a C&W song?

C&W stations are second to religious stations in size and number, here. All that Negro music would have made people uncomfortable -- note that the stadium show had cool jazz/funk underscores, throughout. That song was the *only* non-Negro-identified genre, second to the patriotic music used. It was important he did that, and he'll have to continue to do that, should he pursue the West as Dean said he would.

I wonder if the Dixie Chicks are still too radioactive to tour for him?

And criticizing Palin's voice puts you in the same place as the Hillary haters. Clinton underwent vocal training, but they still said her voice was too shrill for dogs to hear. Playing into sexist memes didn't help us then and won't help us now. Concentrate on *what she's saying* that's wrong, not how she says it. Hell, no one talks about how reedy and weak McCain's voice is; it's probably a reminder of how torture broke it.

flotsam's picture
Submitted by flotsam on

... for reducing everything to utter bi-polar simplicity:

"And criticizing Palin’s voice puts you in the same place as the Hillary haters."

Now I see that I've been a closet Hilary hater all this time. I'm feeling a lot of shame right now...

Seriously though, your point is well taken. We should definitely concentrate on the content of what she is saying, not the tone of her voice. But I still find her tone like fingernails on a chalkboard. And that's relevant, whether we make it a talking point or not. It's still there, but it doesn't need to be raised as an "issue", because it isn't. See?


Submitted by cg.eye on

is that she'll be going to Republican charm school this week (the same place that processes female FOX reporter candidates), and get schooled on how to make her voice more powerful and yet more feminine.

Yeah, my comment was most reductive, but so are memes, and Obama Golf, and all the other bits and pieces of marketing that politics seems to be about, in getting low information voters to the polls.

Card-carrying_Buddhist's picture
Submitted by Card-carrying_B... on


Follow link. Read what I said. You don't agree.

Kk np kewl.

So how am I trolling on my own blog?

btw, local papers here full of coverage re McCain choice of Palin is all about reaching out to disaffected Hillaryists while maintaining conservo base. Just sayin'.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

and far too sexist if I start calling her

The Poodle?


Balanced, in-depth, thorough and well-reasoned, measured and deliberate post. Now that you've gotten that out of your system, from my persepctive feel free at any time to re-introduce the random hanging-off-the-rings-of-Saturn stuff. Can't scare me.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I've read so many dismissals of her that I was beginning to think I was crazy. Ed Kilgore is right, IMO, she shores up McCain's conservative base (the evangelicals LOVE her) and makes him look like a "maverick" while doing it. So long as she doesn't fall apart this week (the risk is that she turns out not to be ready for Prime Time), this energized his ticket and that's what he needed.

gyrfalcon's picture
Submitted by gyrfalcon on

Curious where that comes from. I've not read/seen anything so far, though it's way early, to indicate she's corrupt. If she is what she seems and not a complete and utter fraud, she's unlikely to be corrupt. Wrong-headed, sure, but "corrupt" is a pretty ugly word to throw around without at least some evidence.

Otherwise, I very much agree with you, CD. She looks to be a pretty brilliant choice by McCain.

And now we know, don't we, that the misogyny thrown against Hillary wasn't just about Hillary, it was also about just plain rank misogyny.

I'm grateful to John McCain for having assisted in clearing that up.

Submitted by lambert on

#1: She's corrupt

#2: She's being attacked by misogynists because she's a woman

Both can be true, and the truth of one doesn't affect the truth of the other.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

gyrfalcon's picture
Submitted by gyrfalcon on

Don't think I said they were mutually exclusive, Lambert. Just said I haven't seen/heard any evidence that she's corrupt and I'd like to see some before I paste that ugly label on her.

Two more propositions that aren't mutually exclusive.

1. Republican

2. Not corrupt

(Morally corrupt, sure, but financially?)

Nadai's picture
Submitted by Nadai on

1) I agree with those above who wrote that Palin isn't aimed at the PUMAs per se, but at conservative women who either defected to Clinton or planned to sit this one out. That said, a lot is going to depend on the media, including the Blogger Boiz. If they go misogynist apeshit, and all signs indicate that the BB at least will, Obama can kiss a goodly chunk of former-Clintonite-tepidly-turned-Obamacan goodbye. They may not go for McCain; that's a bitter pill to swallow. But they'll sit it out or vote downticket only. A lot of the women I know have been walking around like PTSDers for months - reenact the trauma and they'll shut down completely. I fully expect the BB to be up to the task, and frankly I wonder if McCain is counting on that.

2) Palin is enough to get me to vote for McCain instead of just voting downticket. I doubt I agree with a single thing she believes in, but this time, I just don't care. Women have been offered a chance to prove we can swing an election in a big way. If we can, neither the DNC nor the RNC will take us lightly for the next couple decades. If we can't, well... It's been 24 years since Ferraro was on the Dem ticket. 24 years from now I'll be 72, and I want a woman in the White House before I die. If the BB et al. don't think that's a good enough reason, they can suck me.

Submitted by jawbone on

Fey--in her SNL newscaster role.

The suit, dark hair, glasses--slightly the delivery.

Have no idea if this resonates well with voters or not. And, yes, she has Westernish twang and Midwesternish sound as well. How will votes react? No idea.

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

won an Oscar for Fargo.

There are some similarities between the "Marge Gunderson" character and Palin.

inna's picture
Submitted by inna on

i simply cannot believe that the Independents and Clinton's Dems (en masse) are even considering switching to the McCain's camp because of Palin.

her positions on social issues are *appallingly awful*:

on abortion (should be banned for anything other than saving the life of the mother), stem cell research (opposed), physician-assisted suicide (opposed), creationism (should be discussed in schools), state health benefits for same-sex partners (opposed, and supports a constitutional amendment to bar them).

imo, with Palin, McCain threw a (very sizable) bone to the evangelical righties who have never trusted him - but it was done at the expense of the Independents and moderate Republicans, and i predict that his obvious and almost shameless pander to the women's vote was a complete miscalculation. this is just my opinion, but i think that this pick was a total gift to the Obama-Biden ticket.

badger's picture
Submitted by badger on

Whether it was calculated or not, McCain's pick has created enough interest on the left that you feel the need to post a warning (well-taken, nonetheless).

The pick has misogyny out in full force among the OFB, and has her opponents talking about what, in most voter surveys, are secondary issues in electoral terms and not the issues that sway most votes - Iraq, health care, education, the economy. Which is not to belittle other issues - voter surveys just rarely rank them in the top 5 and often not in the top 10. When the debate shifts to those issues, Democrats lose.

And less than 12 hours after what some people (not me) thought was the greatest political speech ever, it isn't on the front page of any newspaper and barely on the front page at Cheetopia. All that free press for the candidate trailing in fund-raising.

Obama won't survive too many more gifts like this.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

Agreed that McCain's set his sights on Republican crossovers for Clinton and shoring up his base with this pick.

But I think there's a pretty damn good possibility that while McCain's not setting the traplines for PUMAs and the likeminded, he's going to snag quite a few anyway.

To echo Nadai's sentiments, watching Palin's intro to Ohio/the world yesterday, I started to think "No, you STFU bloggerkidz, I'm freakin' voting for Republican."

Unlikely to do it in reality (so far), but the the DNC is so hell-bent on discrediting the messengers (aka harbingers) of their own doom over addressing the underlying problem, that they're just ratcheting up the possibility. Meanwhile, the creative class is running around with open buckets of gasoline and haven't noticed they've spilled half of it on themselves. How long before one of them starts flicking their Bic?

For a liberal feminist (me), the choice would be driven by one of the scariest mixes in politics: anger, disgust and strategy. I can justify giving in to the anger by pointing to strategy. Even as I tell myself that it's absolutely wrong to even consider voting for anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-every decent human value Republicans, I feel that tug of the sane and tactical reasons why it would be worth it in the long run.

The Confluence got over 2000 comments on Palin yesterday, along with a huge spike in hits; 'PUMAs for Palin' are cropping up like crazy. I don't yet have a great handle on how closely that reflects similar sentiments among other folks. But virtually all the proclamations were a combination of anger and strategy, as I said. Scary and bad.

So yeah, I think the other danger to the Dems is that McCain's not gunning for 'em, but he may be pleasantly surprised with who shows up in his camp on Nov. 4.

Nadai's picture
Submitted by Nadai on

That's where I am. I'm voting Repub for strategy. I'm enjoying it out of anger and disgust.

I have the urge to send Dean, Brazile, etc. an email reading, "Guess I had somewhere else to go after all."

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

it just makes this all the more tragic--an election that we should have won with a landslide is lost -- entirely because of the DNC and Obama.

BAC's picture
Submitted by BAC on

I agree with what you have presented here.


amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

she's like almost every woman i know--busy doing stuff and living their lives--not just talking about doing stuff.

she's a very familiar type--something that Obama still isn't.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

all over the place--he's really not appealing at all.

And onscreen, it looks like he's the Pres candidate, with silent Obama just standing there as VP pick.

jackyt's picture
Submitted by jackyt on

Obama's been wooing the religious right. This cuts him off at the pass.

Obama's lack of work experience makes any criticism of Palin's resume laughable.

Hillary appealed to Republican women. Any who were still wavering are now back in the fold.

People struggling economically will not be averse to a "Drill to the last Drop" proponent.

And when McCain calls out the media and Obama's supporters on their misogynistic attacks, he'll look like the better man.

For the record, I'm and FDR/HRC democrat and no longer have a dog in this race. So now it's just verrrrrrrrry interesting watching the plot unfold!

dr sardonicus's picture
Submitted by dr sardonicus on

Shores up the base; not sure if she adds much to it. But I'm of the opinion that most Americans have already made their minds up.

Palin attends an Assembly Of God congregation, about as Christianist as you can get. I thought this blog didn't like Christianists.

...for the rest of us

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on to some moderates and independents -- not "Clinton Democrats", but the kind of people who are extremely unhappy with the choice of Obama or any Republican.

For them, Palin makes the Republican brand palatable again -- for them, its not about social issues, its about good government.

Katrina was the "lightbulb moment" for moderates and independents, because it crystalized the growing disastifaction with Bush -- that the failures of the Bush administration was a failure to govern competently.

Because of projection, most people think that a competent, ethical government will do what is right for them. Its all about getting the basics right -- social issues are secondary, and are seen as "mutable", but the basics are eternal.

That is where Palin's real importance lies -- that she's not a professional politician, but a citizen politician, and she projects a no-nonsense, common sense approach to government.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I hope everyone considering voting for McCain thinks twice. Remember it is not about you, it is not even about America, it is about the world. Obama will not start any new wars because he knows we can't. McCain and his bloodthirsty neocons don't know that. If McCain gets in there will be more wars, more deaths.

If you can't bring yourself to vote for the Unity Pony, then at least leave it blank and just vote down ballot.

I really really really wish the Obama people would get a clue that they have a serious problem.

The whole thing has an uncanny resemblence to Webb's senate campaign, and I think it will go very much the same. McCain will make some terrible blunder, he won't be able to help himself. And Obama will realize in the nick of time that he has a problem with female voters and will do just enough to win.

Submitted by cg.eye on

but Russia tested its ICBMs this week, just to show the US that it can still throwdown.

We are in the deepest of debt with China, and Hong Kong has an important election coming up. Taiwan depends on us to stay a sovereign nation. What happens once Obama publically says he won't start another war? The Sino-Russian-Indo-Pakistani powder keg lights up, and Europe starts popping popcorn.

If you read just about any Arthur Silber article, he states plainly that the business of America is now interventionist war. Here's a taste:

Obama's foreign policy advisors includes Madeline Albright. What does that say to you, that we'll bring all the troops around the world back home?

Congress decides whether we go to war, even though past presidents get around that rule. When the shit hits the fan, Obama won't be able to resist the tide of bombing someone else we believe to be terrorists.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

for the top of the ticket, and Democrats downticket (unless they suck too).

hobson's picture
Submitted by hobson on

It would seem from some of the comments here that the election is not about issues but about personality after all. Biden is unappealing. Palin is appealing. Never mind that her politics are repugnant to any liberal point of view, she's an attractive woman, familiar. Obama isn't familiar.

And never mind that the ERA, just as one example of an issue seemingly of concern to women, which was originally supported by Republicans and passed overwhelmingly in Congress in 1972 was removed from their platform in 1980. In 1983, after court fights up to the Supreme Court, the ERA was reintroduced in Congress. 70% of Republicans voted NO, and 85% of Democrats voted YES.

And Democrats have re introduced it in Congress. Interesting article in the Washington Post. According to the Boston Globe,

The new version has fewer than 200 original cosponsors in the 435-member House, and one of them, Representative Ralph M. Hall, Republican of Texas, dropped off the day after it was introduced, leaving only eight GOP signatures on it. In the Senate, the measure has only 21 sponsors, none of them Republican.

Yah, I know, Obama said nothing about it. I'm sure Palin will get right behind it if McCain and she win.

Submitted by gob on

Since there seems to be a strong desire to reach out, as it were, to Hillarians who find some aspects of the Palin pick seductive, let me give you folks an assist with a misconception you are harboring.

Obama is indeed all too familiar. He reminds many of us of our bad ex-boyfriends.

Policy not party!

Nadai's picture
Submitted by Nadai on

as The Boss's Nephew. You know the guy. Got his position because of personal connections, rarely does any work himself, takes credit for the work other people do, blames everyone else for his fuckups (which are legion), is ridiculously touchy about being treated with "respect", is convinced that ordinary rules simply don't apply to someone as fabulous as him, and lords it over all the little people. Boss's Nephew.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

he's the showpony/young guy on the make/son of the owner/etc who moves ahead of all the women who have worked really hard for ages to move up and get passed over--

it's an entirely negative association--and very very common. Dubya fit it too.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

--Obama on his grandma and equal pay--

"... “But even with all she accomplished, she was still passed over repeatedly because it was hard being a woman in the 60s and the 70s, being a path breaker like that,” Obama concluded, “And I’ve got two daughters and when I think about them, I say to myself, I want to make sure that those girls have exactly the same opportunities as anybody’s sons will. That’s why we’re gonna fight for equal pay for equal work.”

The Obama campaign could not provide immediate proof Palin’s opposition to Equal Pay ..."

Does he really not get that many see Hillary as "passed over" in exactly the same way?

Moi's picture
Submitted by Moi on

If the Religious Right gets into the White House, they will NEVER leave. They are a virus that neither the Repugs or the Dems know how to control.

Palin is the darling of the RR, and the big reason McCain picked her is because the Xtians are PAYING him to do it. The moment he picked her name, he started getting $$$$$$ in donations.

All I can say is that in 2012, if the Religious Right are in the White House, you can pretty much forget HRC running ever again. The DNC will never put her up against Palin, even though Hillary stands for everything opposite. Stats are that incumbents usually win, and the DNC won't run good people against them. They never do.

empty's picture
Submitted by empty on

Obama will not start any new wars because he knows we can’t.

That might be technically true - Afghanistan/Pakistan may not be a new war, but practically speaking the escalation that Obama is pushing for in that region will certainly look like a new war. Instead of reducing the militarization of US foreign policy and a scaling back of the size of the military he has called for an increase in the US military. His team of liberal interventionists has been strengthened by the addition of Biden, who seems to have spent the last fifteen years trying to make up for his vote against the first gulf war. I am voting for Obama but it is not because I think he will lead us into any fewer military disasters. I think the chances of him doing so are about the same as McCain's.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

There was another green (new) politician that ran on a "humble foreign policy," a man who no one would have guessed would have taken us into a war...and now we're in Baghdad and Kabul. Just sayin'. That's not to imply that Dubya and Obama are ideological kin, but rather to make the point that Obama is still very much of an unknown, and mostly because he wants it to be that way. I'm just no so sure that the difference between the two's policy on force are as different as night and day, though, Obama would definitely be the safer choice/better bet. I think it's very fair to concede that, on paper, John McCain would be more likely to get us involved militarily around the world, but how much more likely is becoming much less clear to me as the days go on.

The difference on foreign policy between the parties has kind of disappeared, and I've never been sure if it's because Democrats have ideologically and genuinely adopoted the conservative's hawk position, or if they are simply reacting.

gyrfalcon's picture
Submitted by gyrfalcon on

McCain is more likely to get us into more wars. Military guys generally are more resistant to going to war than civilian pols with little or no military background. Guys with no military background who are oh-so-anxious about what the right wing thinks of them strike me as somewhat more eager to use military force just to prove they can so, too, be manly men.

Problem is, back to square one, we have no idea what Obama would do. I rather doubt he has a clue himself. I'm not at all encouraged by his reaction to the Georgia-Russia blow-up, which as far as I can tell deviated in no significant way from McCain's silly bluster.

daily democrat's picture
Submitted by daily democrat on

Since I discovered blogs, I find myself in the habit of reading blogs first, MSM second. Why? Because when someone on a blog speaks, they usually speak for themselves, as if you were talking to them, they DON'T speak for a corporate body who have imposed their own views on the speaker. Thus blogs are a site of free speech in the best 18th century tradition of the United States of America.

In the 18th century, newspapers were like that! If you go to a big research library and read some of the oldest newspapers, you'll find the same time of "personal voice" you hear on blogs today.

The voice of a blogger is authentic personal, the voice of a a different biology and a different life-history, not the misleading corporate-voice personal of a contemporary newspaper's or television station's opinion or editorial column. For even though the corporate-voice personal is the voice of a person apparently, that person is allowed to speak only because they express a corporate party line.

What makes this site so valuable, and what could make a series of linked sites like this one valuable, are shared interests and purposes combined with cultivation of authentic personal difference. Paradoxically, that there is plenty of space here for disagreement is what makes this site a true community, Even more paradoxically, a few more sites like this one could create more literal space (more posts, more replies, more images) for the personal differences that might strengthen the community and its democratic purpose.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

What's up with "Nevermind if her '5th' child was in fact her daughter’s." Is there proof of this?

Submitted by lambert on

I'm assuming it would be up at TL if there were substance to it.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by lambert on

If there's substance to it, it'll be up on TL.

I wouldn't piss on Lord Kos if he were on fire.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

in that thread, compared to the still-ongoing smearing of the Clintons and all who aren't on the Obama bus.

(a girl i went to high school with actually did use that "mono" excuse, and her mom did raise the kid, saying it was hers--this was back in 80--but i guess it's really common?)

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

i avoided most of this weekend's coverage; consider what i wrote here an initial response to the blogging/gossip/SCLM coverage.

i really don't know much about palin. i'm trying to learn more. she seems...dasterdly intelligent. i guess we'll see. mostly what i worry about is the 'groupthink' that i perceive that 'she can't possibly help mccain.' i think she can, and does. all i can say is we'll see one way or the other, but she seems very unusual and dangerous to me. thanks again for the informative links and ops.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

in which you are soaring above ... whatever you're soaring above, unless the airplane's inverted.

so my guess would be no, he really doesn't get your point.

or if he does it isn't important to him, which amounts to the same thing.

But if we cannot elect this man, this year, what hope have we as Democrats of every being effective in any way whatsoever, henceforward?

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

i'm confused--what's this in response to, exactly?