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04 September 2008


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Dana Jones

Sarah Palin, What does she bring to the Party?
An informal poll among women I know bring up the following: They can relate to her. The also look at her and think "Wouldn't leave her alone with my husband for 5 minutes
Cindy", in other words,men will vote for her. She energizes the far right Christian Fundamentalist vote, but they would vote for McCAine anyway, if you haven't been around them, they refer to the GOP as Gods Own Party, they would have been rallied to vote from the pulpit every Sunday up to the election.
Some in the center that would have voted for a Obama/Clinton ticket will probably stay home, some Demo Clinton supporters (very few) will vote for McCain.
So unless the Obama camp is totally incompetent, its theirs to lose.


A modern day spartan Family is born! If the US populace buys this -- I'm scared. Palin and McCain are truly the warrior "family" ticket, with the merging of family and nationalistic, sacrifical fierceness. McCain (DAD)wants to be a "wartime president" and the conventioners love waxing poetic about old war battles and his valor days (Thompson's graphic blow by blow with crowd erupting was sick and overdone). Yes, I know the horrors of being a POW are simply astounding, and yet constant POW story/legend telling by the Reps is, to me, beginning to boarder on the weirdly nostaglic.

McCain declares he's found his soulmate in "mother" Palin (um, Who said it's jarring to hear a married man to describe another other than his wife as his "soulmate"? I agree, but it serves their purpose). Sarah starts off as Little Red Riding Hood and then ends as a Wolf. She's beautiful, not afraid of conflict, she can do the physical things men do (hunt, shoot, outdoorsy), family sacrifices abound - son off to war (after high school) and young daughter to wed and have child. They are soldiers, all of them in the greater cause of God and country. The true-believers love it, but let's see how this god-fearing Spartan McCain/Palin family model sell.

Maureen Lang

A Detroit Free Press voter panel reacts to Palin's speech:

(Two Independent voter quotes follow from this group sampling that listened to last night's speech in Detroit. Repubs & Dems were also quoted in article linked below)

“I was completely underwhelmed. She was a Republican novelty act with a sophomoric script. It was not even a speech I would expect for a someone running for the local PTA, much less for vice president.”

-- George Lentz, 66, Southfield independent"

“Sarah got as much applause as Hillary did, and had a friendly, appealing appearance.
Her delivery style reminded me of a high school valedictorian who also might have been a cheerleader. I thought she would appear more professional, more stateswomanly. She's no match for Joe Biden.”

-- Joellen Gilchrist, 64, Beverly Hills independent



I agree with your assessment. Now let's get to the real facts. For a Governor to suggest that as a VP she will stand for parents who have children with disabilities after reducing special needs education in her state by 64%....she does have brass ones. There is one woman who represents everything that this empty suit does not. I can't believe she will stand by and let Palin destroy everything she has worked so hard for. I pray Hillary will come forward and destroy this woman on the issues, which is how this election should be won.


She came across as a feisty woman reading distortions and stretches of truth [repared under the hand of a professional speechwriter. She is formidable in this setting.

I'm sure she will excel with banal subjects like "hockey mom", family, motherhood questions.

Given the things she asserted Wednesday evening, she will be evasive and rambling with questions from the press. She might even get flustered.

Since she is a Twenty-First Cenutry Republican, she will do anything to avoid testimony under oath. She is already trying to evade trooper-gate questions.

My take on Ms. Palin. She's an accomplished liar.

Jon T.

My Dad's family is from St. Lawrence County, N.Y. Mrs. Palin reminded me somehow of that area: independent, fiesty, knows the lay of the land and her neighbors. Very powerful presentation like that as Mrs. Palin ridiculed Senator Obama for having no hands on management experience. Palin hits hard, yes. Does she know when to pull back and feint? That speech led me to think not.

Vladimir Putin would not take lightly to being derided for actually being an able black belt in Karate and Mig 29 pilot who can actually fly one of those today. Nor would Musharraf stand for that sort of ridicule, or the House of Saud, or Benazir Bhutto, should she have lived.

The Dispensationalists have a huge power. It bubbles just below the surface, unless you live in it and know it as your own heart. They can win this and have their way and call it "God's will".

I'd say ask this question: family values are important to you,Mrs. Palin. How many children do you have in your household younger than tenth grade and who cares for them while you travel the country and the world. Ask it kindly, with sympathy and compassion. And don't fight the response, because the Right Rev. James Dobson has prepared her answer. Just let it go out there. And see if Mrs. Palin's fiesty I'm a hockey mom (remember, they fight in hockey) anger subsides or if it is the whole self justifying show.

I drive a school bus. The high school kids and the middle school kids are listening to this, believe me. Hmmm: Christian Mom, family values, daughter out of school 4-5 months, then an out of wedlock pregnancy, hmmmm, what should I do?

There's too much unresolved emotion floating in that crew being covered by Evangelical righteousness (we've got it together here, got the answers, AND God is with us, don't you forget it) for me.

Sure, I'd sit with Trick Palin after his active duty return if he had a habit that needed addressing. But now, the bluster is a bit much. I hope Obama has got his house in order with his Creator. If not, he could be toast.


Nancy K @ 9/04, 9:21 am: "I also thought it telling when Cindy McCain mentioned taking off our Republican hats and putting on our American hats. Last time I checked Republicans and Democrats are Americans first but obviously not."

35 years ago I was having lunch with my parents on a Friday noon after having arrived the previous evening to store my stuff and tie up my affairs prior to reporting for induction into the Army the following week. The news program we were listening to was interrupted with the announcement that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. The three of us dropped our forks and went to the living room to watch the TV coverage. When Walter Cronkite announced that Kennedy was dead, my life-long Republican father (the only time in his life he didn't vote for the GOP candidate for whatever office was on the ballot was when, at age 21, he voted for Teddy Roosevelt on the Bull Moose ticket) jumped up, got our American flag out of the closet, and hung it on the front porch flag pole at half mast. When he came in he said "I may be a Republican, but I'm an American first!"

Times have changed.


Correction: It was 45 years ago. Time flies.



The youngest Palin showed the most spontaneity and humanness of the whole convention. Great video. One question everyone should ask is why don't we provide healthcare for all of America's children, just like the State of Alaska provides for their governor?( Which is exactly what Obama will ask.) Elsewhere I can hear budget stressed bosses asking: You need time off to take care of your children or elderly parents? Why Sarah Palin runs the greatest nation on planet earth and has time for her family - now get back to work!
Small town values? Why her small town gets 200+ million, the rest of America gets the bill. Guess we just didn't hire the right Washington lobbyist! But of course NOW she's against Washington lobbyists and earmarks! Right.

The "Princess of Pork" would make a great Fox news anchor or commentator. She'll not have to worry about her family budget once she's out of the Governor's office.

There are plenty of other fine questions to the press:
Her husband is in the Steel workers' union? Republicans have been anti-union for generations. Does he pay does yes or no; any union leadership action on his part or does he just freeload on the efforts of others? How does he feel about exporting high wage manufacturing jobs to China?
Two sons in Iraq? Do you believe in pre-emptive war? How do you define 'victory'? Do you support Maliki's purge of the Sunni's in Iraq? How long does it take the only superpower on Earth to defeat Osama bin Laden? How about funding for the VA for PTSD, etc, etc.
Rural America flocking once more to the cause? Pehaps, As long as they don't mention the economy or gas prices any more as the Republicans gave small town America a plethora of pink slips and plenty of gas at $4 a gallon.

What is that old Chinese Curse? May you live in interesting times? This will certainly be an interesting election.



Welcome to the Culture Wars. We can be thankful that so far it has been limited to screwing American Workers and killing Muslims overseas.

Every surviving culture is inherently chauvinistic. It distinguishes between Us and The Others. American culture is totally chauvinistic but won't admit it. We are the "Good Guys".

My Grandparents were hard nosed. They all left home and found a living far away in the Pacific Northwest. Their basic belief was frugality and a better lives for their children. Public Education taught rational scientific thought. Woman had rights including the right to a small family.

John McCain and Sarah Palin are the exact opposite. Between them they have 12 offspring. They are reckless and irrational. Their last thought is of good governance. Muslims, Russians, and government are evil.

Dave of Maryland

I was right. She is a bully. A worthy successor to Cheney. As to whether a President McCain would rescind the VP enabling orders, don't count on it. My guess is that beauty queen Palin has been using her good looks to wrap men around her finger for a long time. Which just might be what she did with McCain. Maybe we should stop calling it the Vice Presidency & call it The Cheney. Look for VP Palin to take a personal interest in what you're reading. All those spy anywhere, anytime, anyhow enabling acts will be very useful.

The angrier rural America gets, the more they vote Republican. The nice world the Democrats are talking about simply does not exist out there. If the choice is between somebody you don't like & somebody who talks past you, what do you think the decision will be?

Always before there was the likely winner, and then there was the candidate of hope. One election in four, they were the same, but there was always a clear choice.

In this election there is no choice. All four would-be emperors are as nekkid as jaybirds.

Oh, for a rag like Le Canard! I remember big cartoons on the back page with a very naked President pursuing a very naked Secretary of State. As they say, Freedom of the Press is no good if you don't use it.

Anyone up for it? The title translates as The Rumormonger! Why not start our own?


"The Palin-McCain ticket is now mystical-nationalist-populist and, seemingly well positioned to win." writes Clifford Kiracofe above and I fear he may be right.

This mystical-nationalist-populist stuff is a toxic brew and history suggests that it has a tendency to go off the rails, particularly in times of financial turmoil.


So the lunatic Republicans who weren't voting Obama are now still voting Palin because of this speech?

Sorry, but I don't see anything that was overwhelmingly impressive here, other than the degree of the same "us versus them", where the "us" factor has been whittled down to be more narrow. Just your typical Republican talking points, but this time delivered by a female who used to compete on the beauty pageant circuit.

The press is already starting to hammer her on the (many) glaring inaccuracies in her speech. I just wonder where the Dems are with firing back.


And who was that the security staff was dragging out that the cameras kept panning back to during the speech?


Aside: re SOSmith "the archetypal evangelical Army wife, sister and mother"

Indeed, this may well be a cultural archetype among all the stereotypes of the present "culture" battles.

But as an army wife, in a town known for evangelicals, I must note that there are very few evangelicals among the actual Army wives with whom I am acquainted. One Army wife, who is herself an AF JAG officer, commented recently, "I get so tired of everyone assuming that we are all Republicans, and we all cheer for everything the government does."

I would hope never in any way to resemble the Palin displayed with her family in her convention speech, slinging predictable, if effective, shaft after shaft of that good, old-fashioned demonized politics -- politics of the sort I have hoped campaigns might move away from in times that call for real debate about a shifting world, which will not support a simplistic US hegemony indefinitely.


I believe the Democrats who underestimate Sarah Palin do so at their peril. She has a track record in Alaska of throwing those that oppose her relentless ambition under the bus.

If the McCain/Palin ticket wins then EO13292 will be in stronger hands than even Dick Cheney. It will only be a matter of time that John McCain would be deemed "incapacitated".

I agree with Pat - Joe Biden has his hands full on this one.

For some "comedy" however at the state of our national politics Jon Stewart.


After listening to the speeches of the convention for the Party of God (i.e., the GOP), it's abundantly clear to me why the oath for Baptism has two primary parts:

(1) do you reject Satan?
(2) do you reject all of his works and his allurements?

The theocrats who are lately taking over the GOP are not so much at war with the future as they are at war with the present, namely with modernity. They see modernity, with its secular dependence on science, and with all of its wonderful diversities and complexities, as nothing less than Satan himself.

But while they want to renounce their perceived devil of modernity, they also want to covet its works, e.g., the powerful weapons that would permit McCain to "bomb, bomb, bomb... bomb, bomb Iran". Thus they are willing to commit to only half of the oath.

And as I listen to these folks, I keep thinking (oddly enough) of Boromir from Tolkien's trilogy. Of all those charged with destruction of both evil and its works (i.e., Sauron and his ring), Boromir was the one who thought he could renounce evil while embracing its works.

Things didn't turn out so well for Boromir, and they won't turn out so well for the Party of God, either. Humanity has seen this particular narrative of vanity many times before, and it never ends well for those who take these oaths in such a half-assed manner.

Sidney O. Smith III

You are right re: army wives. At some point, hopefully, the distinction will come out during the campaign. Just a matter of timing it properly and presenting it in an effective manner.

But you are right, I did not articulate that point very well. I was plugging that kind of symbolism into the notion that the entire convention is really a piece of war propaganda for an upcoming war. That is the subtextual intent of this convention. Nothing else matters.

All carefully choreographed symbols presented in this convention point to war in the Middle East, on behalf of Israel. Country first.

But I may have seen a glimmer of hope at least for those who oppose the Cheney-Wurmser option.

Looks like the mainstream media is beginning to turn on McCain, which, in my view, is far preferable than unleashing character attacks on Palin, at least at this point.

Jay Carney is now reporting on a decided shift in McCain’s relationship with the media, in particular how McCain is not the same man he was in the past. McCain’s love affair with the media is over, so he said, in essence. And McCain’s temperament has changed. Whoa. Now that looks very newsworthy to me.

Just my opinion but the press should put much more pressure on McCain than they have recently. If he has a Chernobyl meltdown in public, then so be it. It would certainly help the voters decide who is more qualified as commander in chief.

But, at least recently, the only thing we have witnessed was the opposite. A Chernobyl meltdown by the press.

Republicans seem to have the uncanny ability to flip things on the Democrats and then use it to their advantage. They have some brilliant strategists, I must say.

As for Palin, I say just respect her and then cross examine her on the issues, in a very professional manner. Not that difficult, really.

Don’t know about other professions, but in the world of law, sometimes you have to cross examine people showing them complete respect because by doing so, you reveal that your side is “classy”.

Other times you cross examine a person with the intent of creating a Chernobyl meltdown because it says more about him. Actually those kind of cross examinations can be fun.

I think the Democratic strategists and their supporters in the media should have two separate approaches. One for Palin, who is shown respect. Another for McCain, to draw out his “mens rea” or state of mind.

Right now, the Republicans have managed to flip it around, so the exact opposite has unfolded. McCain deified. Palin nearly crucified.

But again, I am biased. As long as the 2007 NIE remains in effect, I oppose a pre-emptive strike on Iran and that goal, in essence, is the only purpose of the Republican convention. The Podhoretz and Hagee school are doing a masterful job of getting that message across at a sub textual level.

Of course, the Democrats ignore the 2007 NIE as well. So does the media. But at least Carney is a start.


As Mr. Kiracofe accurately states, this is a "mystical-nationalist-populist" ticket.

This is more unreason. This is a ticket to nowhere, but as Scott Adams said: "You can never underestimate the stupidity of the general public.". Palin and McCain now have, I believe, a better than even chance of winning in November.

What I do not understand is exactly how long this loony American voyage to self inflicted pain and destruction can continue? The assumption is always that eventually wiser and cooler heads will prevail, checks and balances will assert themselves, and the great ship America will eventually right itself, set some storm sails and claw its way clear of the reefs fringing the lee shore.

But the Bush Administration has actively removed, and continues to try and remove, as many checks and balances as it can. A McCain Administration would no doubt continue standing into danger.

The assumption of the Republican elites must be that there is a lifeboat just for them, just as the evangelicals think that Jesus will provide the same for them, otherwise neither group would be pushing us into the sort of suicidal statecraft they adhere to.

The question we face if McCain is elected is whether the American economy will implode before he launches an attack on another country. In all my born days I have never seen such inept, dangerous and just plain stupid leadership as that provided by Bush and now offered by McCain and Palin.

And the trouble is that with nuclear weapons, there will not be much left to rebuild in the aftermath of an escalating conflagration. I wonder how long it will take before we have a replay of the Cuban crisis?


this is just follow-up rhetoric we are seeing. there is still plenty of time to disect this further.

meanwhile, gotta love this...


William R. Cumming

Her infinite variety. Yes, Marshall McCluan was correct--the medium is the message. This one is going down to the wire. Hope Congress is solidly with the DEMS because we may have divided government like we have not see it for a while. And yes PL as argued offline, Cheney may have been acting under fiat, but nature does abhor a vacuum.



The Associated Press: Palin: Iraq war 'a task that is from God'

now i know this lady ms palin is 'cracked' -- iraq war a task that is from god? give me a physical break, a task from god?
evidently that poor lady has never been around human carnage, and human carnage is NO 'task from god', far from it, the carnage of war is a 'man made affair'.

sheez flipping makelroy, a task from god?

David W.

WP is correct in his assertion that Palin's speech was ghostwritten--he's a longtime Arizona wingnut speechwriter:


I don't have a link, but iirc, the speech was supposedly written far in advance, (for a male candidate), and hastily rewritten to fit Palin. Let's give her credit where credit is due--she's a good talking head, but the words aren't hers.


I particularly liked the pitbull analogy ... that was genuinely funny. She spoke very well but to a friendly crowd. What will she do during the debate? Boast of her tenure as Governor? Practically every position/accomplishment she has bragged of is either a lie or a damned lie. Her nomination is going to be a festering, weaping wound for McCain.

different clue

I had the same feeling watching her speech. She sounded like an angry aggressive Winner. She sounded very very successful. I am not happy about that.

I doubt that "America" will vote for Palin/McCain. Enough Americans will vote for them so as to bring the election within the range of plausibly deniable stealability. I hope the Obamacrats are more willing to fight about that theft when it is attempted than the Gore-ocrats were. Or than the Kerrycrats were.

I have trouble thinking of AIPAC as an "Israel" lobby. It looks to me like a Likud lobby strictly and only. And if AIPAC thinks that a "Vice" President Palin will do AIPAC's work, AIPAC will recieve a rudely educational awakening. "Vice" President Palin (should we be so cursed) and her fellow
cult maniacs expect to see Israel totally exterminated for "refusing to convert to Christianity" after Christ returns to begin his Thousand Year Kingdom on Earth. I am confident that a "Vice" President Palin and
her fellow cult maniacs will
intensify there efforts to make sure it happens that way. (Right now they just give Big Money and Big Support to the most "no compromise, no surrender" fascists on the Israeli political scene, in order to make sure peace is prevented.)

I hope the non-Dispensationalist, non-Dominionist Christian majority can recognize the danger from Palin and her base; and can unify to defeat it.

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