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View Full Version : John M, You Got Some Splainin' to Do!


Thus Spoke Elvis
08-29-2008, 05:09 PM
What the hell were you thinking? (http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/29/palin.republican.vp.candidate/index.html)

uncle ebeneezer
08-29-2008, 05:23 PM
Seriously. He just lost my vote ;-)

Bizarre choice in many respects. Then again the public is pretty dumb, so who knows.

Thus Spoke Elvis
08-29-2008, 05:34 PM
In all seriousness, I'm now leaning Obama. That might change in the next couple weeks (Who knows? Maybe Palin will have some really insightful things to say about U.S.-Russsian relations during the debate with Biden), but this pick really heightens my doubts about a McCain Administration.

McCain's 72 years old, has had cancer, and I'm guessing that his POW experience shaved a couple years off his life expectancy. From all reports, Palin has been doing a swell job during her one-year tenure as governor of Alaska. But it's still only one year of any meaningful experience, and that just isn't enough to be a heartbeat from the presidency. I think Obama is a bit inexperienced, but at least he's been involved in national policy for almost four years.

bjkeefe
08-29-2008, 06:30 PM
Elvis:

Interesting reaction. Thanks for being honest.

From where I sit, I see it as a good choice for McCain as far as winning the election goes. There were no clearly better choices, and I like the gamble from McCain's point of view. I don't think there are enough PUMAs to matter, but I do think he just caused a whole lot of undecided women to sit up and pay attention.

The prospect of her being a heartbeat away is worrisome, though. And as far as just winning the race goes, McCain just discarded the "experience" card.

Ocean
08-29-2008, 07:43 PM
I don't think there are enough PUMAs to matter, but I do think he just caused a whole lot of undecided women to sit up and pay attention.


There is a contradiction, I think, regarding speculation on women's vote.

If we argue that Palin would appeal to women by virtue of gender, who are the women in this country that would really place gender so high up in the list of priorities? I would think it would be feminists or feminist-like women.

How likely are feminists and the likes to endorse a right conservative, anti-abortion, anti-science (or at least biology) person?

This is a woman with the wrong set of values to engage women's vote.

uncle ebeneezer
08-29-2008, 08:18 PM
Yeah, this might get more republican women to the voting booths, but I would hope that Hillary supporters would wretch upon reading this lady's positions.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. If the Hillary supporters do the right thing and vote for Obama, it's a done deal. The power is in their hands to be the heroes (or goats) of a monumental election. If Obama gets elected and Hillary's supporters join his cause, I vow that I will never forget their role in making it happen and will always trumpet their decision.

Ocean
08-29-2008, 08:32 PM
Yeah, this might get more republican women to the voting booths, but I would hope that Hillary supporters would wretch upon reading this lady's positions.

I would hope too.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. If the Hillary supporters do the right thing and vote for Obama, it's a done deal. The power is in their hands to be the heroes (or goats) of a monumental election. If Obama gets elected and Hillary's supporters join his cause, I vow that I will never forget their role in making it happen and will always trumpet their decision.

How many votes are you considering to be Hillary supporters?
How many of those are PUMA's?
I resist the idea that Hillary supporters would be so irrational as to swing to McCain, or abstain from voting. Perhaps, as things cool down, after the DNC and with Hillary's aggressive support of Obama, we'll stop worrying about this division.

Yesterday we were talking about how Republicans were panicking after the DNC. Are we going to panic about this woman?

Let's be positive!

uncle ebeneezer
08-29-2008, 08:47 PM
Actually, I was trying to be positive. One of the great things about Hillary's campaign was the empowerment to people like my mom (in her 60's) who finally felt like they were a significant part of the process, and that their opinions were being courted by the major players of a Presidential election (in a non-patronizing way.) The fact is, that these women, after years of being viewed as merely one-issue voters etc., finally got their hands on the wheel. My point is that if they play their card right they will have every right to claim a significant part of a momentous achievement if Obama gets elected. Yay, women.

bjkeefe
08-29-2008, 09:00 PM
There is a contradiction, I think, regarding speculation on women's vote.

If we argue that Palin would appeal to women by virtue of gender, who are the women in this country that would really place gender so high up in the list of priorities? I would think it would be feminists or feminist-like women.

How likely are feminists and the likes to endorse a right conservative, anti-abortion, anti-science (or at least biology) person?

This is a woman with the wrong set of values to engage women's vote.

You're quite right.

My earlier speculation is looking pretty bad, I admit, the more that I find out about her. I had no idea she was such a fundamentalist. I had this vague idea that she was a centrist who happened to be anti-choice.

Ocean
08-29-2008, 09:17 PM
Yay, women.

Sweet. Your mom did a good job... :)


Actually, I was trying to be positive. One of the great things about Hillary's campaign was the empowerment to people like my mom (in her 60's) who finally felt like they were a significant part of the process, and that their opinions were being courted by the major players of a Presidential election (in a non-patronizing way.) The fact is, that these women, after years of being viewed as merely one-issue voters etc., finally got their hands on the wheel. My point is that if they play their card right they will have every right to claim a significant part of a momentous achievement if Obama gets elected.

I interpreted your post as including a heavy responsibility on Hillary supporters on the results of the election. I can't think there is such big number of Hillary-only votes. Tell your mom that in eight more years we'll have a Democratic woman President. I know.

Ocean
08-29-2008, 09:24 PM
You're quite right.

My earlier speculation is looking pretty bad, I admit, the more that I find out about her. I had no idea she was such a fundamentalist. I had this vague idea that she was a centrist who happened to be anti-choice.

Some of the first attributes thrown about her were that she is a maverick and a reformer. It is somewhat misleading. I wonder whether it's part of some synister strategy.

In terms of debating Biden, unless she gets a brain transplant or a microchip, I don't know how she would manage for more than fifteen minutes.

uncle ebeneezer
08-29-2008, 09:30 PM
Well, yes, I think there is a heavy responsibility of Hillary supporteres to not simply sit the election out because Hillary is no longer in the running.

My parents are conservative. Dad: is a Buckley old-school conservative who is only into the small-govt Libertarian aspects, not the social/cultural issues. Mom: not nearly as strident, but usually buys into the GOP depiction of liberalism and votes against it. She was supporting Hillary solely because she wanted to see a woman president. Sadly, she will probably vote for McCain because of Palin.

I generally avoid talking politics with my parents. There's no point.

bjkeefe
08-29-2008, 09:31 PM
In terms of debating Biden, unless she gets a brain transplant or a microchip, I don't know how she would manage for more than fifteen minutes.

Time to bring back the mysterious between-the-shoulder-blades black box (http://www.google.com/search?q=bush%27s+bulge)!

Ocean
08-29-2008, 09:34 PM
Well, yes, I think there is a heavy responsibility of Hillary supporteres to not simply sit the election out because Hillary is no longer in the running.

My parents are conservative. Dad: is a Buckley old-school conservative who is only into the small-govt Libertarian aspects, not the social/cultural issues. Mom: not nearly as strident, but usually buys into the GOP depiction of liberalism and votes against it. She was supporting Hillary solely because she wanted to see a woman president. Sadly, she will probably vote for McCain because of Palin.

I generally avoid talking politics with my parents. There's no point.

Wise decision.

Ocean
08-29-2008, 09:37 PM
Time to bring back the mysterious between-the-shoulder-blades black box (http://www.google.com/search?q=bush%27s+bulge)!

I know. There should be a way of intercepting...

Come on BHTV techies! There's a task to be accomplished!

Mission Interception. After the interception, Brendan, you will tell her what to say. How about that?

bjkeefe
08-29-2008, 09:48 PM
uncle eb:

You've sort of danced around this: How many PUMAs do you think there are? If you think there are lots, what makes you think so?

My own view is that the real number of PUMAs is small and getting smaller by the day. I think the MSM has totally played this story up because they love a "controversy" better than anything except a small child trapped in a well (with heroic rescue, of course).

Fox News has additional motivation to hype this, beyond the rest of the MSM. They are more than happy to keep interviewing Will Bower, Darragh Murphy, and the other handful that you always see on TV for two reasons: they love a freakshow, and they love messing with Democrats' heads.

I predict that now that we have a nice neat ending ("Bill and Hill dramatically restored party unity at the DNC!"), the MSM is done with the PUMA narrative and will look for the next thing. Fox will try to keep it alive a little longer, but when the snickering gets too loud, they'll stop, too.

Just to be clear, by PUMA I mean here Democrats who are truly Democrats, who just this year have lost their minds over the primaries and really don't like Obama as a result. Obviously, the various PUMA groups have been heavily overrun by this point with Republicans posing as disgruntled Democrats, not to mention all sorts of screw-loose types who are always latching onto the latest fringe group. Ex: Prominent 9/11 Truthers and Lyndon Larouche supporters have been photographed at the latest "PUMA conferences." I am not making this up.

I'm telling you, I've had a morbid fascination for these groups for months now, and I've been watching a number of their blogs closely, as have others. The whole thing is a sham.

uncle ebeneezer
08-29-2008, 09:48 PM
I think me and my sister may be adopted. She's a left-leaning Independent who lives in Colorado. And then me, well I wish Noam Chomsky would stop being such a centrist ;-) Actually I'm pretty in the middle on alot of stuff and was a registered Independent until I decided to switch to Democrat so I could vote in the primary.

PS there's a great comments section on Yglesias regarding Palin's position on Polar bears as not being Endangered by alleged Global Warming. Though the Yglesias commentors are not nearly as high-minded as BHTV (and they sometimes get too snarky even for me) they do come up with some pretty funny shit.

bjkeefe
08-29-2008, 09:52 PM
I know. There should be a way of intercepting...

Come on BHTV techies! There's a task to be accomplished!

Mission Interception. After the interception, Brendan, you will tell her what to say. How about that?

It is but to dream.

uncle ebeneezer
08-29-2008, 09:53 PM
You are probably right. I haven't followed the PUMA's to any great detail. I guess it's just my cynicism, combined with a misrepresentation of their number based on the storyline and the vehemence of their ravings.

Not trying to dance around anything. I confess to basing my judgements on a very small and overblown data set and probably buying into the storyline as sold my the MSM. Hopefully your take is much more accurate.

Ocean
08-29-2008, 09:56 PM
My own view is that the real number of PUMAs is small and getting smaller by the day.

I'm telling you, I've had a morbid fascination for these groups for months now, and I've been watching a number of their blogs closely, as have others. The whole thing is a sham.

Yes, that's my impression. Some people may be recovering from the bruises, but two months is plenty of time to heal. And Lady Sarah and her conservative niceties will expedite recovery...

Ocean
08-29-2008, 10:00 PM
I think me and my sister may be adopted. She's a left-leaning Independent who lives in Colorado. And then me, well I wish Noam Chomsky would stop being such a centrist ;-) Actually I'm pretty in the middle on alot of stuff and was a registered Independent until I decided to switch to Democrat so I could vote in the primary.


You and your sister have the Ché virus (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/album.php?albumid=6&pictureid=11).

bjkeefe
08-29-2008, 11:06 PM
You are probably right. I haven't followed the PUMA's to any great detail. I guess it's just my cynicism, combined with a misrepresentation of their number based on the storyline and the vehemence of their ravings.

Not trying to dance around anything. I confess to basing my judgements on a very small and overblown data set and probably buying into the storyline as sold my the MSM. Hopefully your take is much more accurate.

I was about to say that I had hopes that someone would take a really thorough look at this whole PUMA thing, when all is said and done, but then I thought back to reading The Boys on the Bus and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trial '72, and I realized it's always been this way.

So, I'd say trust not in your MSM, but in your cynicism. And direct more of it at them.

Baltimoron
08-29-2008, 11:10 PM
From where I sit, I see it as a good choice for McCain as far as winning the election goes.

It's a decent decision to jump start the GOP convention news cycle. It's a daring decision for the election if Joe Biden doesn't take her seriously in the VP debate. On that angle, there's also an expectations game in play. Biden is assumed to clean her clock, so like Bush all she has to do is show and get off some zingers.

The Dems need to take this seriously, but it's still a gamble designed to introduce a wild card into the mix. It's in that way further proof that McCain doesn't deserve to to be president. The US president is not Kim Jong-il. He/She has a full arsenal of weapons, both hard and soft, and wild tactics fail more often than not. McCain bet on one decision; Obama has run a solid campaign. Obama made a good choice; McCain is playing the news cycle.

I pray this is not what we have to look forward to for sixty-odd days.

bjkeefe
08-29-2008, 11:58 PM
It's a decent decision to jump start the GOP convention news cycle. It's a daring decision for the election if Joe Biden doesn't take her seriously in the VP debate. On that angle, there's also an expectations game in play. Biden is assumed to clean her clock, so like Bush all she has to do is show and get off some zingers.

I grant the point about expectations, but I'm not worried about Biden or the Obama campaign not taking her seriously. They don't screw around. They're not the McCain campaign. And don't confuse them with the punditocracy or the blogosphere, who will indeed spend a lot of time ridiculing her.

You're right about McCain's campaign playing the news cycle, I think. The thing is, though, that's all they've got, apart from sleazy 527s. His base has always been the MSM. He doesn't have deep support in his own party (and I think he just weakened it further (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/08/29/palin_pick_leaves_bruised_feel.html) with this pick), he doesn't seem to have built much of a ground game organization, he can't rouse a crowd, and I've seen several reports that suggest he only has the stamina for one major event per day. Hence the steady release of attack adds and other media-focused stunts -- it's the only way for them to get coverage.

Baltimoron
08-30-2008, 01:03 AM
Adding color (http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/08/29/biden-s-girl-trouble.aspx) to my original point (and your rebuttal) about Gov. Sarah Palin (http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/2008/08/29/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-sarah-palin_print.htm):

Let's traffic in some gender/political stereotypes for a moment: Obviously, Palin is a risky pick for McCain because she is approximately as qualified to serve as commander-in-chief as my Great Aunt Ruby (who has, full disclosure, been dead for several years now.) Indeed, I just finished listening to Linda Wertheimer on NPR grouchily voicing complete befuddlement over how McCain could pick someone so clearly unprepared in light of the senator's advanced age and questionable health. The contrast with Joe Biden is particularly stark. In a debate with Biden over--well, just about anything that doesn't directly involve the state of Alaska--Palin is almost certain to get her clock cleaned.

But! Biden nonetheless needs to tread carefully and show more self-control and finesse than he is normally known for. Palin may be a varmint-hunting, moose-stew-guzzling NRA lifer, but she is still a woman--and an exceedingly delicate, feminine looking one at that. (A former Miss Wasilla no less!) And as irrational as they may be, the laws of politics forbid any man from behaving in a condescending, bullying, dismissive, mocking, or otherwise disrespectful fashion toward candidates of the fairer sex. Just ask poor Rick Lazio.

The fact that Palin looks to be a far more fragile flower than Lazio's former opponent makes Biden's job all the tougher. In head-to-head match ups, he will need to dismantle Palin completely, yet avoid triggering all those stupid, gut-level, subconscious, knee-jerk instincts that would lead voters to feel protective of her. This is particularly important in light of the remaining Hillary Issue. God forbid a meaningful chunk of Hillary dead-enders got it into their heads that, not only had Obama disrepected their gal, but now his number-two was dissing another sister.

Whine all you want about how all candidates should be viewed and treated the same regardless of gender. The research and history of our politics show they aren't. Just something for Biden to think about when he's strapping on the gloves.

Embedded in there is also Wonkette's scoop of her Miss Wasilla beauty queen pic (http://wonkette.com/219635/gilf-update-gov-sarah-palin-as-miss-wasilla) (God, I want to forget that era). I'm not beyond that sort of thing, but what is McCain thinking? Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro equal Miss Wasilla? If Senator Obama owes his chance at the White House to his loss to Bobby Rush, do we thank the Miss Alaska judges for Vice-President Sarah Palin? Is a governorship of the outer rim states worth as much as a stint in the Senate from New York? Objectively, though what's more demeaning: wife (of a master politician)-turned-politician, or beauty queen-turned-politician? Isn't this just the way Republicans would nominate their first woman VP?

I'm all for women using all their weapons to compete with all people, but Palin should be in umbrage about the way McCain has put her into the gender politics cockpit.

bjkeefe
08-30-2008, 02:12 AM
I'm all for women using all their weapons to compete with all people, but Palin should be in umbrage about the way McCain has put her into the gender politics cockpit.

She could have said no.

JoeK
08-30-2008, 10:21 AM
An impressive choice for VP. Surely, every patriot would rejoice to have such a nice All American girl in the White House.
Unfortunatelly, being a single-issue voter (against new cold war vs. China or Russia), I would not vote for McCain if he picked my own wife for VP. But that's my problem. :(

Ocean
08-31-2008, 05:50 PM
What the hell were you thinking? (http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/29/palin.republican.vp.candidate/index.html)

That's right! All Hell broke loose!

Nature's Wrath is heading for the GOP Convention. Gustav (the Russian) is just the beginning...

Darn Bush, Cheney and their oil associates in crime!

Thus Spoke Elvis
09-02-2008, 12:45 PM
She could have said no.

Maybe there's a bit of unwitting sexism to my reaction, but I don't think Palin deserves blame here, just pity.

I just don't think a person in her situation -- a successful first-term governor of an unpopulated state that has little interaction with the rest of the country -- is likely to realize how ill-prepared she is for the big leagues. To make an analogy, many high school valedictorians likely believe they will end up being incredibly successful in business or politics, because they've acheived more than the students they're surrounded by. It's only after they leave their bubble and attend college that most begin to realize they aren't nearly as uniquely talented as they thought. It's not their fault for being mistaken. It's just that they didn't have the necessary experiences to know any better.

bjkeefe
09-02-2008, 02:09 PM
Maybe there's a bit of unwitting sexism to my reaction, but I don't think Palin deserves blame here, just pity.

I just don't think a person in her situation -- a successful first-term governor of an unpopulated state that has little interaction with the rest of the country -- is likely to realize how ill-prepared she is for the big leagues. To make an analogy, many high school valedictorians likely believe they will end up being incredibly successful in business or politics, because they've acheived more than the students they're surrounded by. It's only after they leave their bubble and attend college that most begin to realize they aren't nearly as uniquely talented as they thought. It's not their fault for being mistaken. It's just that they didn't have the necessary experiences to know any better.

That's a thought. I guess I'm inclined to think someone who makes it to the level of governor is a bit more aware, but you could well be right about the big cookie in a little jar problem, considering we're talking about Alaska.

I, too, feel a little sorry for her, but in the end, I think she made an informed decision, or at least a not uninformed one. Unless she has a complete meltdown at some point, or something from her past causes her to get Eagletonned, she's probably just made a big leap in her party's pecking order, even if she and McCain lose.

Ocean
09-02-2008, 02:41 PM
That's a thought. I guess I'm inclined to think someone who makes it to the level of governor is a bit more aware, but you could well be right about the big cookie in a little jar problem, considering we're talking about Alaska.

I, too, feel a little sorry for her, but in the end, I think she made an informed decision, or at least a not uninformed one. Unless she has a complete meltdown at some point, or something from her past causes her to get Eagletonned, she's probably just made a big leap in her party's pecking order, even if she and McCain lose.

I think we need to decide what standards we are using when we try to judge her decisions. Are we using the standards that one of her close friends would use? Or are we going to use the standard of any American who will be the direct recipient of her potential governmental action?

I personally don't care much about why she doesn't know. I care about the fact that she should know, and more importantly she will have to know if she was elected. The implication that she accepted this nomination because she didn't know how unqualified she really was, is frightening. How many other decisions will she make, without knowing she isn't qualified?

Palin has accepted a great responsibility. She better be preapred for it. No excuses!

Thus Spoke Elvis
09-02-2008, 03:04 PM
There are two separate issues here -- readiness and blameworthiness. The fact that I doubt someone is capable of doing a certain job doesn't necessarily mean that I hold him or her culpable for being put in a bad situation. In this case, I think McCain bears most of the blame -- as a guy with extensive experience at the national level, he should have known better than to offer Palin the spot, whereas I'm not sure Palin can be blamed for accepting, given her probable ignorance over how ill-prepared she is to handle issues unrelated to Alaska.

I'm very disappointed in the selection of Palin, and I think her policy positions and qualifications are unquestionably fair game. I also have no problem with Biden wiping the floor with her in the debates. But to the extent that one feels anger at her nomination, I think it should most appropriately be directed towards McCain, not her.

Ocean
09-02-2008, 04:27 PM
There are two separate issues here -- readiness and blameworthiness. The fact that I doubt someone is capable of doing a certain job doesn't necessarily mean that I hold him or her culpable for being put in a bad situation. In this case, I think McCain bears most of the blame -- as a guy with extensive experience at the national level, he should have known better than to offer Palin the spot, whereas I'm not sure Palin can be blamed for accepting, given her probable ignorance over how ill-prepared she is to handle issues unrelated to Alaska.

I'm very disappointed in the selection of Palin, and I think her policy positions and qualifications are unquestionably fair game. I also have no problem with Biden wiping the floor with her in the debates. But to the extent that one feels anger at her nomination, I think it should most appropriately be directed towards McCain, not her.

I agree that the burden of responsibility is on McCain. But I think Palin has her share of responsibility. This is not a fifteen year old who can be redeemed by her innocence. This is an adult woman who is the Governor of a State, it is her obligation to have a sense of her limitations.

I can see how there can be disagreement in this issue, particularly because the obvious responsibility falls on McCain, since he has the experience and the advisors to be expected to know better.

Gender, in her case, is a significant obstacle for objectivity. She comes across as this all-American attractive and naive "girl". She could be one's daughter, one's sister, or girlfriend. Too easy to bias one's views. In her case, I would be very careful, before expressing an opinion, to ask, would I think the same if she was a man?

Again I may be preaching to the choir, but, it's going to be tricky, at least for some.

Thus Spoke Elvis
09-02-2008, 04:58 PM
I definitely think some people, including myself, might be less likely to directly criticize Palin because she seems like a cool person and a sweet "girl."

On the other hand, our hesitancy to criticize Palin might be based on a broader sympathy towards (seemingly) good people being caught up in situations they are ill-equipped to handle. This feeling may occur regardless of the race, sex, or age of the person at issue. For example, if McCain nominated Gen. Petraus as VP and it became clear that he knew nothing about non-military matters, I think most people would feel sympathy rather than anger at Petraus. Instead, they'd be mad at McCain for putting the general in such an awkward predicament.

So while I think that chivalrous attitudes may be an influence on people's attitudes towards Palin, I don't think they're the sole explanation for why many people are reluctant to criticize her for agreeing to become McCain's running mate.