“Candidate McCain Disappoints”

Palinmissalaskab "I find it incredibly startling that McCain would choose a person he hardly knows for a job as important as the Vice Presidency of the United States. It is so obvious that he is doing this as a political tactic that it makes me question his judgment. Is that the way he will make decisions about our economy, our security, our well-being as a nation? If, God forbid, Senator McCain dies during his presidency then he will entrust this nation with a person with zero foreign affairs experience, whom he hardly knows to be the Commander in Chief? How irresponsible is that?

I can appreciate that this is a historic moment for women but what is insulting and shameful is that it comes as a result of political tactics and not merits. As a woman, I am insulted. I can’t help but asking how does he dare insult the intelligence of millions of women who voted for Clinton with this tactic of trying to appeal to them by choosing a woman with no qualifications as a vice presidential candidate. What does he think, that women are stupid? "  Giovanna Negretti


"What does he think, that women are stupid?"

Maybe so. His first marriage broke up after his return from Vietnam.   This is often attributed to his inability to accept the change in his wife’s appearance.  Perhaps that was not the major cause.  The wife had been making a life without anything but his memory for over five years.  She may have been a more assertive person, someone more sure of her own opinions by the time he came back.  Perhaps her independence was more than he could handle in anyone, least of all his wife.

McCain has a reputation as being intolerant of dissent, of disagreement with his views.  Does Cindy McCain ever show disagreement with him?  He said that his first criterion in choosing a running mate would be a close match with his own opinions.  There are some leaders who can not tolerate the existence of differing views in subordinates whether they are expressed or not.  Governor Palin does not seem to be someone with whom McCain will have a problem.

I am told that Palin’s selection was based on McCain’s belief that he and she would have not conflicts and that "the numbers" added up for the campaign staff. pl


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77 Responses to “Candidate McCain Disappoints”

  1. Dave of Maryland says:

    Any two-year governor who has been doing his/her job is already better qualified than a four-year US senator who shirked his job in favor of a fantasy run for the presidency.
    Given McCain’s & Obama’s utter lack of qualifications for the job they seek, fuss about Palin strikes me as absurd.
    To the contrary. If initial reports of Palin’s background pass muster, it would appear that McCain is capable of shrewder decisions than I thought possible. The ability to make critical decisions under pressure & without all the data one might like, is one of the requirements for the job.
    Again, provided Palin is as good as claimed. Time will tell.

  2. The Dude Abides says:

    Col. Lang, I posted a question in the previous thread, and maybe you missed it. I’m wondering if Gov. Palin blew operational security in Dayton when she named her son’s unit, deployment date, and country of deployment. I’ve never been in the military, but isn’t this something that’s not kosher? Excellent and informative blog, BTW.

  3. Patrick Lang says:

    I asked you off line what she said so that I could make a jusgment before answering your quation. you did not respond.
    BTW I am not under an obligation to post any of your comments. pl

  4. Paul says:

    The Washington Post had a piece about McCain’s tenuous relationship with his father while at Annapolis. His unruly character and personal quirks (especially his study habits) survive to this day.
    In watching video clips of Ms. Palin, she comes across as opininated and assertive with too much to say. Indeed, she is typical of many PTA loudmouths who provide instant answers for every ill. (Apologies to all those decent and reasonable women who shore up PTAs across the country.)
    Neither McCain or Ms. Palin think like negotiators. I get the feeling it’s very much like Bush’s “ready, fire, aim”.
    Biden has to be careful because he has a propensity to say too much. On the other hand, one can see the wheels turning in Obama’s head whenever he speaks extemporaneously.
    It is painful to see that many fine Republicans with years of thoughtful scholarship are passed over for glitz and glib. The US/Russia tensions call for the involvement of people like Dick Lugar. The country will suffer (in the near term, if not immeditely) under McCain/Palin if they get elected.

  5. Duncan Kinder says:

    . It is so obvious that he is doing this as a political tactic that it makes me question his judgment.
    More precisely, is this choice evidence that McCain is beginning to suffer from dementia?
    I can appreciate that this is a historic moment for women
    Actually no. That moment was Geraldine Ferraro’s way back when. Although this still may be an historic moment for moose-hunting beauty queens or somebody like that.

  6. GSD says:

    Palin is a sop to the fundamentalist religious right. Dr. James Dobson is ecstatic as are I am sure most of the those who are seeking theo-democracy in the US.
    If you loved the people that brought you the Terri Schiavo debacle, you’ll love Gov. Sarah Palin.

  7. J says:

    gov. sarah palin is a much more pleasant face to look at than if mccain had picked lieberman’s crows feet.

  8. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    My “she who must be obeyed” asks, “How long is the tingle about Palin going to last before the men get serious again?”
    This whole issue also illustrates the wisdom of the founding fathers who patently rejected the idea of a job description for the office of POTUS as well as what Franklin may have meant when asked what kind of government we will have, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
    As others have noted, this current brouhaha tells us more about the quality of the executive judgment of McCain the manager, organizer, decision-maker, and planner than we might want to know.
    Looking behind the curtain is never easy. And accepting that what we’ve been seeing is what we’re going to continue to get can be even harder. At some point, the data become irrefutable.

  9. VietnamVet says:

    John McCain has resurrected his campaign. The rise of evangelistic home schooling Christianity is in direct correlation in the American workers economic decline and the increased corruption of the American State. The Base will enthusiastically support a female true believer a heart beat away from the Presidency. Pointedly her claim to fame is that she fought the corrupt unchristian good old white boys.
    This is the Cultural Wars Election. We will see if the vision of true believer total incompetents leading the federal government for four more years and the likelihood of a apocalyptic nuclear exchange overrides the Media Owners’ fear of an increased tax rate and becomes the core election debate.

  10. Patrick Lang says:

    If she keeps on looking like she did yesterday, maybe the next eight years?
    John McCain always had a weakness….
    If you think about it, she will be easy meat for the neocon vulcan training crew who are undoubtedyl at work evenas we speak “filling out” her foreign policy knowledge base. pl

  11. David W. says:

    The panderfest continues apace, downhill. The professional political caste in this country, along with its beggars and hangers -on have devolved the process into something more like electing a Homecoming King and Queen.
    Palin is a great choice–for the empty talking heads of the media to gush over mindlessly. Soon, if not already, they will gush over how women from Main Street USA would love to have a coffee klatsch with Palin, and any minor differences, such as how old the earth is, would be palliated by a nice warm cup of Folgers. Outlandish as this scenario may seem, it’s been ginned up by the same ‘folks’ who told us confidently pre-2000 that Bush would be the guy ‘you’d want to have a beer with,’ irregardless of the fact that he is a recovering alcoholic.
    It’s enough to send me back to Mencken, who at least comforts us by proving that this despicable taint is nothing new:
    The United States has never developed an aristocracy really disinterested or an intelligentsia really intelligent. Its history is simply a record of vacillations between two gangs of frauds.
    Mencken also identified the political motivation that underlies such choices as McCain’s:
    If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.
    Yet, Mencken both accurately predicts our current situation, and gives us hope:
    Life may not be exactly pleasant, but it is at least not dull. Heave yourself into Hell today, and you may miss, tomorrow or next day, another Scopes trial, or another War to End War, or perchance a rich and buxom widow with all her first husband’s clothes. There are always more Hardings hatching. I advocate hanging on as long as possible.

  12. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    It is a shockingly irresponsible and reckless choice (as is McCain himself) which indicates the power and influence of the American Fundamentalist “End Times” subculture nationally and within the Republican Party.
    An SST reader on another thread noted quite correctly the immediate approval of the Christian Right and New Right circles in the Republican Party. IMO, this is an indication the Palin choice was run by the very powerful, secretive far-right and Fundamentalist “Council for National Policy”.
    The New York Times in 2007 reported CNP’s dissatisfaction with Guiliani and the threat to bolt the Republican Party. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/30/christan-conservatives-consider-third-party-effort/
    Some background on the CNP is found at Wiki.
    It will be interesting to see the effect on moderate and liberal Republicans and even some conservatives who are anti-Neocon and Fundi. Will they bolt to Obama-Biden? I would not rule it out. Will that make any difference? We will see in November.

  13. Tim says:

    If the Obama camp did not see Gov. Palin coming someone is not doing their job. The evangelical community has been pushing her for several months and the selection of Sen. Biden as Obama’s VP allowed McCain to consolidate his base, ensure that Republicans can claim the first woman, and assert his maverickness. As a Governor she is more qualfied than McCain or Obama for the day to day Presidential duties. Few Presidents are foriegn policy experts, they consider the options presented to them and select what seems best. The trick is to look at all the options. Likewise Commander in Chief, the President defines the goal and lets professionals lead the military toward that goal. As a 73 year old life long Democrat I am not pleased with my choices.

  14. Peter says:

    At least when Palin sits in Cheney’s seat next January she will have experiance in applying the Dept of Justice to do her bidding.

  15. lina says:

    What were they thinking?
    Why would you pick a VP who puts the entire national media machine on to an ethics investigation that involves family dirty laundry?
    The way it’s scheduled right now, Gov. Palin is going to have to leave the campaign trail to be deposed in this investigation. If the Republicans try to get the whole thing continued until after the election, that will garner more media attention.
    From a purely public relations standpoint, was this a wise VP choice?
    The Obama-Biden people should handle her selection with kid gloves to avoid any sexism rantings. They can just sit back and watch this candidacy derail itself.

  16. Bill W, NH, USA says:

    After researching Palin a bit I’ve come to the conclusion there never was an attempt by McCain to lure in disaffected HRC voters, Palin just would never be their cup of tea and they probably resent her more than anything. The Christian Right was tepid about McCain, now McCain will get their full backing. McCain will also get the huge Catholic vote now. Obama shot himself in the foot twice, first by backing off his leftist stance (thereby losing 12% of the Democrats, hopefully to Cynthia McKinney) and then by picking Biden for VP. Biden, like Pelosi, consider themselves staunch Catholics who just happen to support abortion rights, an oxymoron that will be broadcast loud and clear to church-goers.
    Guess who’s supporters are now getting excited about McCain (a man they can’t stand) – Ron Paul and Buchanan supporters. Obama is toast.
    We can only hope that McCain has to step down early on in his Presidency and that Palin takes over.

  17. Marcus says:

    Is she ready to be president? Rasmussen poll question:
    Men: -6%
    Women: -29%

  18. Any two-year governor who has been doing his/her job is already better qualified than a four-year US senator who shirked his job in favor of a fantasy run for the presidency.
    What kind of experience matters most to be President? Executive? George W Bush had more executive experience than Abraham Lincoln. Who was the better president? (Now that’s a loaded question here at SST!)
    In my field, more often than not concrete experience with particular technologies is the primary focus while “soft skills” are considered less important. Evaluating a person’s qualifications is pretty darn easy – do they know the technology or not? As long as they aren’t complete sociopaths, we can work with them!
    Maybe voters tend to focus on character and personality because deep down we know that no-one has the specific, concrete experience to be president. No governor has had to deal with the range and complexity of issues that presidents do. Congress-critters often deal with those same issues, just not as an executive. Maybe deep down we understand that the “soft skills” matter most to be president.
    Now I’m making this argument while a firm believer in concrete experience. Personally, I’d put more weight on executive experience than legislative experience. But maybe the exceptions are truly the rule – we’ve seen how a governor with plenty of documented executive experience completely fowled everything up.
    Politics makes my head hurt. Time for a nap followed by a motorcycle ride.

  19. Cieran says:

    Sarah Palin is not much more than Monica Goodling with a brunette wig and glasses. Her religious beliefs alone point to a close-mindedness that is the antithesis of what is required to govern this nation effectively in this day and age.
    I used to be astonished by how the Bush administration chose its personnel based on ideological fervor and lack of knowledge (much less real-world experience) on all affairs of import to their policies. I thought this was a failing of Bush and his political team.
    The choice of Palin as VP verifies the view that this wrong-headedness is in fact a GOP political strategy, and while it might win a few electoral battles, it’s a loser for the long term.
    Somewhere in Russia, Vladimir Putin is smiling right now…

  20. JohnH says:

    Among other things Palin will put the oil issue front and center: “Alaska has plenty of oil, why can’t we just drill to our heart’s content?”
    Oil companies and evangelicals make for a nasty brew, as we have seen for the last eight years.

  21. fnord says:

    Sir, again speaking to the invisible choir : I think the right way to attack this election is to let her have all the rope in the world. Treat her with dignity and respect, and ask her hard questions.
    Channeling H.S. Thompson, I have to think that this is the repubs throwing McCain, giving an Obama/Biden (with the very real possibility of this becoming a Biden/?) a chance to rescue the finances enough for another raid.
    May I say, as an old anti-sexist, that I am a bit put off by the virulent tone of the initial posts concerning her candidacy? I think respect and politeness is the way to counter this … interesting… development. ( I was together with a former top-model for a year once, so my sympathy kind of goes out to her..)

  22. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Kindly word to Joe Biden Democrats…
    Just my opinion, but, at this point, I would attack McCain for this decision, not Ms. Palin. At least to me, McCain’s decision to choose her as VP says much more about McCain than Ms. Palin.
    Is Governor Palin qualified to make foreign policy decisions? Of course not. My guess is that Ms. Palin knows as much about national security issues as I know about “moose“ hunting, which means nothing at all. But this is exactly what McCain wants because odds increase she will defer to others when it comes time to push the nuclear button.
    When the crisis comes, Podhoretz and Hagee will just take her aside and, with great sentimentality, talk to her about the rapture. What is the saying about sentimentality? Joseph Campbell once said that “sentimentality is but an echo of brutality”.
    Regardless, if Democrats and the media attack her too viciously and in a haughty way, people will recoil. Many working women can relate to her. Husbands too.
    Ms. Palin is not a Southern California Britney Spears bimbo type. Think more of the heroine in the film Norma Rae, except that she probably reads “The Left Behind” series.
    If I may and from what I can tell, I grew up with a lot of women who share Ms. Palin’s cultural background, although not all are as “attractive”. These women are, by and large, selfless givers. Extraordinarily so. And I can’t tell you how many times, this type has saved me from a jam. Some were attorneys and others were legal assistants. Heroic givers all and God bless them.
    And I bet you that much of America would agree with me.
    And at least from my experience, some (but certainly not all) Wellesley types can act very condescendingly towards Ms. Palin and those of her ilk. I have seen (some, not all) Wellesley types treat the Palin type viciously in office situations, mocking them in front of others. It creates compassion, plus other women resent the absolute hell out of it.
    From what I can tell, Ms. Palin is not the type who grew up reading such books as the Bell Jar and then placing it at the center of her belief system. But so what.
    Plus, the NY-Washington-LA sophisticates, including, most particularly, those of Woodstock nation, play the same attractiveness game, if not more so. Watched CNN or Fox lately? Truth be told, Ms. Crowley is the best political analyst of them all. Why isn’t she anchoring a show? Way did the elite overlook her? Why Campbell Brown instead? Talking about the pot calling the kettle black.
    People in the fly over states know this dynamic. And if the “intelligentsia” attack her too viciously, at least right now, people will simmer in rage and you will see a political blowback.
    Go after McCain. Best way to prevent a nuclear war and the degradation of the world.

  23. anna missed says:

    McCain has chosen his “daughter” as his running mate. Her beauty will inspire sympathy and deference if not prejudice against all assaults on her character. Her Christian credentials will back that up with unquestionable moral superiority. Or in other words her integrity, like her Daddies, will be presented as an inpenetratable icon of what it is to be “American”.

  24. john in the boro says:

    Whether out of desperation or cool calculation, John McCain’s choice of Palin for his running mate looks like a “force multiplier.” He throws a bone to the social and Christian conservatives, makes a bid for the women’s vote, and counters racism with sexism. Myth makers now can laud the election as a reaffirmation of American “values” no matter the outcome. The McCain camp continues the “Mayberry Machiavelli” (John J. DiIulio Jr.) tradition. David W. and the inestimable Mencken are right.

  25. frank durkee says:

    Check out some the quotes fro alaskan news and other sources at Washington Monthly, Political Animal.
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/ it also includes a report on the Dems first add response which does seem to avoid most of the pitfalls some above and elsewhere have and are worried about.

  26. I have now read it several times here–the “governor” of Alaska is “qualified” to be Vice President? That’s the most ridiculous assertion I’ve ever seen in my life.
    It’s as if no one can tell the difference between a large state Governor and a small state Governor.
    The governors of New York and California=absolutely qualified.
    The governors of Georgia and Arkansas=barely qualified, if that.
    The governor of Texas, a state where the governor has little constitutional power=absolutely NOT qualified by any stretch of the imagination.
    The Governor of Alaska WOULD be qualified due to its constitution:
    Unique features of constitutional provisions relating to the executive portion of the state government are:
    The secretary of state succeeds to the governor’s office in ease of vacancy and is nominated at the primary election like other candidates. At the general election, however, a vote for the governor is considered a vote for the secretary of state of the same party running jointly with him. This insures that both governor and secretary of state will be of the same party. At Alaska’s primary of August 26, 1958, there was some criticism of this innovation because of the possibility that successful candidates for governor and secretary, though of the same party, might be of very divergent political philosophies. Some believe the constitution will ultimately be amended to provide that the governor shall appoint the secretary of state.
    Executive departments are limited to twenty, in order to avoid waste, duplication, and an executive hedge-row. New Jersey’s 1947 constitution contains a similar provision.
    The governor, subject to being overruled by the legislature, can re-organize departments and transfer functions among them.
    Individuals appointed (and removable) by the governor, but confirmed by the legislature, will head principal departments. Boards or commissions may head departments, if the legislature so provides, but their principal executive officer must be approved by the governor although the board may be authorized by the legislature to appoint him.

    However, Palin has not held office long enough to have enough “experience.”
    She is not a Republican “true believer” either–according to OpenSecrets.org, her lifetime contributions to the Republican Party amount to exactly $628.00 as a donor; as recently as 2004 she listed her occupation as “housewife” on her FEC disclosure forms. Her husband has given ZERO dollars to the Grand Old Party.
    This fact alone should give every Republican pause–McCain somehow found a cultural conservative who supported Pat Buchanan who NEVER gave money to him in her own name, nor to President Bush, nor to John McCain himself.
    Good luck shaking down the donors=anyone who gives money to McCain-Palin donates money to a lost cause. If it is true they’ve raised “three million dollars” since her selection, then there truly are fools a-plenty in the Republican Party.
    Sarah Palin is John McCain’s raised middle finger to the conservative movement.

  27. Jose says:

    Relax guys, maybe it’s as easy as having to satisfy the extreme right while presenting a face that will not be demonized by the Democrats.

  28. charlottemom says:

    Heck of a Job, Johnny Boy
    There were some unintentionally hilarious quotes by our NC state leaders about Gov. Palin in the print-version of The Charlotte Observer this morning:
    Rep. Sue Myrick (Rep): “Beside every good man is a great woman — brilliant choice!”
    Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory (Rep): “I think Gov. Sarah Palin, a former mayor with a background of cleaning up state government, is a great choice for vice president.”
    Rep G.K. Butterfield (Dem): “I can’t even pronounce her last name.”
    Rep Mel Watt (Dem): “I don’t know what to make of it. I never heard of her before today.”
    There’s so much daylight between the Republicans’ “Most mavericky, brilliant choice EVER!” and the Democrats’ “Sarah, Who?” Are they even talking about the same person?
    This selection is about as cynically political (no surprise there) and irresponsible a choice that the oldest-ever-presidential candidate could have made. It will backfire on him. While tactically this announcement succeeded in stepping all over Obama’s after-convention victory lap, in the long run it’s a strategic blunder with two important groups of voters. The Hillary Clinton-like, moderate women will not move to her (in truth, Palin scares the wits out them.); and Blue Collar men will not vote for a hockey-mom Governor, because in the end she’ll remind them too much of their wives.
    What makes McCain’s choice so clearly frightening to me is when I view it in context of the other stories of the day — the Gustav hurricane evacuations in the Gulf States and Friday’s anniversary of the Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans. We all know what happened when Bush appointed an untested, inexperienced Michael Brown to head FEMA . This vice presidential appointment of McCain’s has the potential to be disastrous to much more than just his own campaign

  29. Patrick Lang says:

    Did you really think I would publish that “Mandingo” referential crap?
    “Sexist? Say what? pl

  30. Let’s look at this from the eyes of foreign policy specialists in other countries! Theoretically a limited powers government (Article 10 of the Bill of Rights) with the greatest discretion vested in the President historically in foreign affairs, we now have four nominees (or about to be nominees) who have never really conducted foreign policy and a system that allows for “Ignorance as Bliss” that is really a non-system for selection of the candidates. What would be interesting to find out is how did Obama and McCain arrive at their choices and what factors entered into their thinking? The lack of a system and the highly personal selection process for the oldest and richest democracy has got to have created troubling thoughts in the foreign policy specialists of other nation states. True there is no Constitutional knowledge and skills criteria but this is ridiculous. If the current system can only bring forth this four candidates for the complex job of President or possible president then other countries have every right to worry about the lurches in US foreign policy and the fact that for the US there seems to be no ontinuing “Interests” as a country but only continuing chaos. This election is not a good message as to the seriousness or gravitas of the candidates or the country. Apparently amatuer night continues into what could be a very deadly future where other countries are not lead by amatuers. AQ must be cheering in its caves.

  31. stanley Henning says:

    One of the top criteria for good leadership is ability to work harmoniously with others and this demands tolerance of and ability to weigh the views of others to the benefit of all concerned, not ideological predispositions or one’s own views. I believe that lack of this characteristic has been a disastrous shortcoming in the Bush Administration, especially in the persons of Cheney, Rumsfelt, and Wolfowitz.Theirs was actually a reflection of incompetence of leadership. We definitely do not need a continuation of this kind of incompetence in our leaders.

  32. mlaw230 says:

    First, I thank Mr. Kiracofe, Col Lang, and others for responding to my uninformed posts. I check in here for an education and more often than not a reading list, which is both fascinating and a bit overwhelming.
    Second, Wow, as far as I can tell, her selling points are 3, she’s cute, she carried a down syndrome baby to term consistent with her anti-abortion views, and, well, she’s cute. The down side is that physically she makes McCain look like he should be a greeter at Walmart and her voice is vaguely reminiscent of Roseanne Barr.
    Unfortunately, anyone who had been Class President at a mid sized university had a larger constituency and has more executive experience, than she and she has apparently never either had an interest or bothered to learn, a thing about this country’s foreign policy.
    As others have commented, the response here should not be to attack Palin but rather John McCain’s profound un-seriousness in making this selection.
    Presumably God is evidencing his disdain for the Republicans by afflicting the gulf coast with a hurricane, but maybe the Repubs are being blessed by temporarily being relieved of the need to draft a hagiography of Governor Palin that passes muster,but maybe not.
    Third, early reports regarding raids of dissident groups in MN are disturbing. As people who were wrongly harmed by protests in the 1960s, I wonder whether the Colonel or others have a position as to the legitimacy of preemptive raids on these groups now. I also wonder whether Obama will have the moral courage of surrendering the “ring” if he is elected.

  33. frank durkee says:

    McCain’s choice says a great deal about him, some of it pa\erhaps positive and much of it negative, at least in my view. what hasn’t been looked at is what her choice, to be considered and to accept, says about her. There is a sublime arrrogance in her casual acceptance of being ready to be president. Humility, a genuine sense of capabilities, a realistic view of the value of her experience if relationship to the tasks and challanges she may encounter, would seem simply to be missing. A refusal would have been a sign of maturity and geniune self confidence which is reality based.
    I suspect that if McCain wins she’ll be the Republican Jack Warner. FDR’s first VP, who famously described the job “as not worth a bucket of warm Piss.”
    I think she lacks a fundamental sense of the complexity of the world she is entering and has an over abundant sense of self capacity.
    Frankly this worries me more than his cynicism and manipulativeness.
    To me this is just another illustration of how our national discourse is “gamed” and rendered delusional, allowing for all kinds of manipulation.

  34. Curious says:

    my take, Palin is going to be in trouble soon enough. She is too raw and I doubt she is ready getting pounded with big questions in front of media. (health care, economy, Iraq war, Russia/European relationship, etc.)
    She relies on quick sound bite and clever one liner. That will land her in heap of trouble with the experts, observers and practitioners …
    (her record as alaska gov. is going to be scrutinized. She and McCain also has no chemistry whatsoever. Watch their first appearance together.)
    A reporter for the Anchorage daily, Gregg Erickson, even did an online chat with the Washington Post, in which he revealed that Palin’s approval rating in the state was not the much-touted 80%, but 65% and sinking — and that among journalists who followed her it might be in the “teens.” He added: “I have a hard time seeing how her qualifications stack up against the duties and responsibilities of being president…. I expect her to stick with simple truths. When asked about continued American troop presence in Iraq, she said she knows only one thing about that (I paraphrase): no one has attacked the American homeland since George Bush took the war to Iraq.”

  35. Curious says:

    Sen. McCain, of all the candidates you considered, what drew you to her?
    JOHN: Obviously, I found her to be very intelligent and very well-versed on the issues. But I think the important thing was that she’s a reformer. She’s taken on special interests since she ran for the PTA and the city council and mayor. The courage, I guess, is what most impressed me.
    (She was a mayor for a city with population of 6000. eh hmmm… )

  36. Jon T. says:

    In July, Larry Kudlow interviewed Gov. Palin. In that interview, I was impressed with how she addressed the possible ethics difficulties she faces. She said she fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, not her ex brother in law, former Trooper Mike Wooten. The reason she gave, in my view, is what needs investigative reporting: Alaska needs more results and action from the Safety Director to fill vacant trooper positions especially regarding policing bootlegging and alohol abuse problems in rural villages. She was clear, handled herself well.
    Also, consider this: Alaska is a lot like Afghanistan, for what it’s worth – mountainous, still tribal in some ways maybe, although there are no Pashtuns or Tajiks, resource valuable, transportation important.
    Couple those things with the CNP evangelical power machinations and perhaps the Obama camp needs to quick call a time out and consider changing from zone to man to man.
    This candidacy’s surprise seems way crazy. Often, that’s very effective. e.g. IED’s were not in our vocabulary in 2003. Now every middle school student in America knows what one is.

  37. Jack Kemp says:

    Back in 1994, Helmut Kohl picked an unknown 40 year woman to a high cabinet position. She was duly ridiculed as “The Maedchen” and a female token for the old white guys of the CDU. Now Merkel is going toe to toe with Putin, so don’t discount Palin doing the same. Still, that theocracy-plutocracy undercurrent is something to watch out for.

  38. Paul in NC says:

    Still think McCain’s the frontrunner?

  39. Mark Logan says:

    I wish to echo Sidneys comments. It would be a mistake to attempt to demonize her. Truth be told,
    I like her. The grit shown in doing away with what was almost a kleptocracy in Alaska. Her politics I don’t agree with, but that’s secondary.
    But it will be very, very tempting to some to attack her.
    I lost $5 on this. I was
    convinced there was no way
    Palin was going to get the nod because of the inevitable spotlight that will be shined on Alaska politics and it’s economy,
    which is so vastly different from the rest of the US that it almost could be termed another country. 90% of the states revenue comes entirely from oil.
    The state has no income or sales tax, only a small collection of sin taxes to make up the rest. There
    is so much oil money for such a small population that every Alaskan gets $2000 a year given to them
    by the state. In fact, Palin recently fought the oil companies to increase that this year by an extra
    $1,300. Nice for that 80% popularity rating, but their will be some uncomfortable questions about her parties stance on Windfall Profits in her future.
    The issues she faced as governer of such a place are so far removed for the problems most those of other states that I fear she will be unprepared on a lot of issues. On top of that, she has not had to deal anything like the scrutiny and pressure that will have to face in the coming days. She may well fumble and gaff a bit.
    I simply couldn’t imagine
    McCain or his handlers taking this risk. Live and learn I guess..
    Windfall Profits in Alaska: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008103325_alaskatax07.html
    State of Alaska Revenue:

  40. Nancy K says:

    My father was a POW, my husand and I have 5 children. I am a public health nurse and a first responder. I may not hunt moose but I am a huntress of bargains at the mall. I may not hike in the wilderness but I drive the 101 freeway daily.
    After all these feats, I don’t feel qualified to be VP of the USA. Maybe I’m an underachiever and never realized my potential.
    God help the US of this is what we have come to.
    I’m sure she is a great mom, a great hockey coach, a great hunter of moose, But give me a break. Look at what is happening in the world, we are on the brink of war on many fronts. Doesn’t McCain get it.

  41. Jackie Shaw says:

    This is a diabolical “Beauty and the Beast” theme. I liked the Disney film. This, not so much…

  42. Arun says:

    Obama has on his resume:
    # Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
    # Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs
    At at time when the US is involved in two wars, and has a nuclear Iran and a resurgent Russia to worry about, foreign policy experience is crucial.
    Obama has already proven to be correct about the consequences of invading Iraq; and his timetable to withdraw from Iraq is about to become Bush Administration policy.
    Obama is J.D. Magna Cum Laude from Harvard, and taught Constitutional law at the U. Chicago for eleven years. We won’t have Yoo, Addington, Ashcroft and Gonzales who make a mockery of American law in a Obama White House.
    Obama is certainly a much better candidate today than he was eighteen months ago. The national campaign to beat Clinton has certainly toughened him up. Knocking out Hillary Clinton is no mean feat.
    Is Obama the perfect candidate? No. But he is much, much better than the alternative.

    As for Palin : it is like shooting moose, go to the web-site of Anchorage Daily News and browse. One problem she has is that she is a compulsive liar. Even as Mayor of Wasilla, when she fired her police chief and then denied she had done so; the chief then showed the reporter the letter from her. (There was no reason to lie, she was within her rights to fire the man.)

  43. Arun says:

    Angela Merkel has a PhD in physics. Obama has a magna cum laude law degree from Harvard. Not discounting Palin, but the former two have definite accomplishments that indicate a fine mind. Maybe Palin’s accomplishments lie ahead of her.

  44. Jesus Reyes says:

    A president does not have to have foreign policy experience. Foreign Policy is developed in Jerusalem and distributed by AIPAC. The president is a PR spokesmen and someone who can implement the policy decisions delivered.

  45. Arun says:

    Kansas meatpacker Creekstone Farms Premium Beef wanted to test all its cows for mad cow disease. The government said no. A federal appeals court says that the government does have that power.
    The question for every alleged conservative here is why did the Bush Administration choose to exercise that power? How is it consonant with all that you allegedly believe in?

  46. America deserves better than McCain and Palin. Why can’t the conservatives come up with real leaders who are qualified, experienced, intelligent, well-read, well-traveled and articulate? I am a liberal myself but the mediocrity of the Republican ticket in ’08 makes me hurt as an American.
    I’m going to be traveling abroad next month and I am just embarrassed to have to answer for my fellow voters. McCain, Palin, and previously Bush? Again, it’s not the politics, it’s the stupidity. If a smart conservative wins an election, s/he’ll run the country in ways I won’t like (sometimes – I’m not doctrinaire) but at least s/he will make considered reasonable decisions and lead the country in a sober manner. Why must the Republicans nominate such buffoons? And the alternatives included Giuliani and Huckabee? What is wrong with the Republicans?
    I was no fan of Hilary for a lot of reasons but lord have mercy, at least she’s serious. Edwards, too, has feet of clay but he was a successful lawyer and no dummy. Kerry – he could have been a creditable president who would have served us honorably.
    America deserves fine minds and serious people for its leaders.
    Bumpersticker seen in San Francisco Thursday afternoon: “I never thought I would miss RICHARD NIXON.”
    I laughed because it’s true. G HW Bush also looks like a great man to me in retrospect – compared to his offspring and this clown at the head of the ticket.

  47. Clifford K, your theories/reports on this far-right Christian cabal or whatever it is had seemed too improbable to be worrisome. Now you’re looking prophetic. I am getting nervous. Will have to go back to my previous policy of ignoring bad news in the faith that it will go away.

  48. Curious says:

    Angela Merkel has phd in physical chemistry. She speaks Russian.
    Putin has law degree and was working in fifth directorate of KGB (Internal security, suppression of political dissent) His dad was NKVD. Putin was stationed in east germany.

    and all we got is gentleman C in History and paid for Harvard MBA. Condi and Cheney aren’t that bright either. The country practically runs on bureaucratic autopilot and the neocons.
    And people wonder why we are outmaneuvered every time. It’s a miracle the country hasn’t been liquidated in pieces by the other guy.

  49. greg0 says:

    Can anyone guess the members of President McCain’s cabinet now? Will they all be in total agreement with whatever McCain thinks?

  50. zanzibar says:

    While the chattering classes are spending a lot of time on the qualifications of Sarah Palin it should be noted that the real contest is between John McCain and Barack Obama. The VPs are really side shows.
    It was John McCain that made experience an important issue in the campaign and specifically foreign policy and military affairs after labeling the terrorist threat as the transcendent issue of our time. On the other hand Obama has made temperament and judgement the primary focus.
    It seems that McCain has largely negated himself with his VP pick and now he has to deal with the Obama gauntlet as the Democrats are pushing the meme of McCain as a hot head reinforcing Obama. Now the first FU moment of McCain caught on tape will go viral on YouTube.
    The bottom line is that none of this may matter to the few voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Colorado that in my opinion will decide the election. Let’s see how both McCain and Obama are broadly perceived in a couple weeks as the conventions recede from memory and the gut instincts that decide the disposition of voters start to kick in.

  51. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    Looks like McCain’s selection of Governor Palin got inside everyone’s decision-making loop: an important survival skill for a fighter pilot. Whether he’ll be able to keep it up and hang on to her is another matter.
    So far no has talked about Tom Eagleton’s two week stint as George McGovern’s choice for vice-president and its possible relationship to Senator McCain’s pick of Governor Palin.
    Selected by McGovern July 14, 1972, Eagleton resigned August 1 because of a history of medical treatment with electro-shock therapy. Although 77 percent of the public polled said that it didn’t matter the press couldn’t leave it alone. McGovern acknowledged that he had selected Eagleton “. . . with only a minimal background check.” (Wikipedia)
    How is all this relevant? Announced by Senator McCain as his vice-presidential running mate August 29, Governor Palin is not known to have a medical history that would warrant her resignation or replacement. She does, however, have a recent public history alleging abuse of the power of her office
    On July 19, the Anchorage Daily News reported that the former Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner, Walter Monegan, had come forward to state that he had been inappropriately pressured by members of Governor Palin’s family and staff “to fire a Palmer Alaska State Trooper to [sic] whom her sister was involved in a bitter child custody battle.” Palin fired Monegan July 11. http://www.adn.com/politics/story/469135.html
    On July 28, the same newspaper reported that the Alaska legislature provided $100,000 to appoint an independent investigator to look into the allegations. A report is expected in October. http://www.adn.com/monegan/story/478090.html
    Given all this I’m curious as to what extent the press will tolerate the apparent disconnect between the requirement that a candidate be removed for having a potentially disqualifying medical condition and one that allows a candidate to be retained despite the presence of a potentially disqualifying, moral, ethical or legal condition.
    Moreover, will the press continue to tolerate Senator McCain’s apparent ignoring of the problem or will they, as in Eagleton’s case, pursue the matter vigorously? Will they adopt a standard that says that one condition can be legitimately overlooked while the other cannot?
    In the Eagleton situation, McGovern admits that he did not know Eagleton’s medical history because he had done only a cursory job of checking his background. Regardless, once the problem was disclosed the pressure from the press made Eagleton’s removal imperative.
    In the Palin situation, Senator McCain made the selection announcement roughly six weeks after the allegations against Governor Palin were published in the Anchorage Daily New. That is, he either decided that the allegations against the Governor were not disqualifying or he decided to overlook them. (The WaPo has the story in Sunday’s edition. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/30/AR2008083002366.html?hpid=topnews )
    Furthermore, the allegations did not carry sufficient weight with the conservative wing of the Republican Party led by Schlafly, Vigeurie, and Dobson et al., to require that they either postpone their endorsement of Ms. Palin or suggest to Senator McCain that he reconsider his choice.
    Perhaps the press hasn’t had sufficient time to fully develop the story. Let’s hope they do.

  52. jonst says:

    Jack Kemp
    That high cabinet position you wrote about….was the Minister for Women and Youth.
    And if she is going toe to toe, other than dancing, with Putin I want to see it. I wonder what your agenda is here….

  53. I think it’s sexist for the Dems NOT to treat her like they would treat a man. The argument that Dems should take the gloves off has roots in the belief that women are the “weaker” sex. That is definitely sexist. Maggie Thatcher held her own in some of the roughest politics on the planet. And from what I understand, Madeleine Albright wasn’t some fragile rose.
    Biden should treat her just like he would have treated Lieberman or Romney. If she doesn’t have the mettle to play in national politics, the Dems need to show it. And I seriously doubt she’s got the political experience to make it through the next 60 days without draining tons of resources from McCain’s campaign to shore her up while she’s under pressure. But the Dems won’t know unless someone puts her to the test.
    Dems should attack both McCain and Palin with equal force. One “number” that may have added up to McCain’s staff is that the Dems would go easy on her, and they could neutralize Biden.
    Let Godzilla try to STOMP this Bambi. (notice I said try to – she may have the mettle but we won’t know until someone tests her.)
    Putin would.

  54. The governor of Alaska doesn’t have a recent medical history that’s problematic?
    The internet is percolating with rumors about the latest pregnancy and the actual parentage of the last-born child. Hence the Eagleton references. It’s all just rumor.
    If I were a leading Democrat right now of course I would leave the baby (and other offspring) alone. I would send out top female Democrats to savage Palin on experience (or lack of it) and also question her ties to the far Christian right, pace Clifford Kiracofe. Let the men hammer McCain, send the women out after Palin.
    Commend Geraldine Ferraro to her priest to learn about letting go of old resentments.

  55. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Leila Abu-Saba,
    My analysis, and new book on Christian Zionism is based not on political science “theory,” but on history, a good bit of which I lived through/participated in. I am a old Republican remnant and quite familiar with the New Right, Christian Right, Neocons etal. and how they have penetrated and destroyed the party. It should be renamed. Perhaps something along the lines of “The Christo-Fascist Party.” (CFP)
    Today’s Republican Party has nothing to do with its founders, with TR, with Ike…it is now the party of Irving Kristol and John Hagee.
    1. Every capital in the world is watching this process and awaiting the outcome in November. Depending on results, countries will begin to make adjustments in their foreign, economic, security, and other policies.
    2. With Obama-Biden, foreign observers might calculate US foreign policy will be kinda-sorta like Bill Clinton’s given the foreign policy establishment types advising Obama and Biden’s known track record of some 30 years. Hence, more or less manageable unless they go off the deep end on some new crusade always a possibility with the narcissistic US foreign policy elite.
    With McCain-Palin, its more Bushism-Neoconism. Hence, dangerous requiring some major adjustments and realignments to balance against US hegemonic policy.
    3. On the other hand, sophisticated foreign observers may have noted the “bi-partisan” policy line developed in the massive Princeton Project on National Security (http://www.princeton.edu/~ppns/).
    This “project” was led by ueber-Hawk AND Neocon patron George Shultz and Tony Lake, the Democrat foreign policy guru who converted to Judaism. How Shultz as a very pivotal hardline imperialist flies under the radar is remarkable.
    A close read of the documents, and there are many, indicates a certain imperialism in a Neoconnish-Jacobin grain but softened at the edges and repackaged. SST readers will be pleased to know that the Neocons were represented in the task forces as were the Christian Zionists. The presence of legions of foreign nationals, “policy experts,” might raise eyebrows and questions such as what are foreign nationals doing working on US national security policy?
    4. Just what are the Euros going to do? Since the end of WWII, Euro-American policy elites have clubbed together in the Bilderberg Group (Liberal-Centrist)and the Cercle Pinay (Conservative) among others. These networks have been the core of “Atlanticism.” Japanese were added (sort of) to the club through the Trilateral Commission.
    But the Cold War is over so what next? These old geopolitical clubs no longer reflect the emerging multipolar world. Coopt Russia and China and India? Don’t think as they do not want to be poodles either and have their own club, SCO.
    American imperial narcissists hope to keep the Euros as poodles for a while longer and have moved hard on “new Europe” (Poland, Baltics, Ukraine, etc) to bring it into the kennel throwing them some expensive scraps.
    But how long are Euros going to remain poodles?
    “Old fashioned” calculations of power, national interest, and advantage will start to cut against the present condition of poddledom.
    If the “unipolar” world and moment of the US is finished — as symbolized by the Russian return and Caucasus situation — then some new plans must be made for adjusting to the emerging multipolar world.
    Rolling over and getting a pat on the tummy from Uncle Sam isn’t going to play well in this new international configuration of power.
    For the United States, there is IMO be a rude awakening coming. Perhaps it will cause the country to sober up and be more prudent in the management of its external relations. Perhaps not.

  56. Clifford, I intended no offense by using the word theory, it was a casual blather of the typing fingers. I think I have some resistance to believing your historical analysis. It’s too frightening. My apologies, and thank you for your research.

  57. David W. says:

    Curious: McCain continues the ‘New Republican’ legacy of anti-elitism in educational achievement, and professional achievement via nepotism. He was third from the bottom in his Naval Academy class, and received his carrier commission because of his father, the Admiral.

  58. Canuck says:

    What a shame that the US Constitution isn’t enough to keep Church and State separate and independent from each other. The American founders must be upchucking in their graves.

  59. Harper says:

    Richard Land and Doug Wead, two of the Karl Rove allies among the most rabid wing of the Christian Zionists, have been pushing Palin for VP for weeks, if not months. She is a Pentacostal, and I am pursuing one report that her husband has been part of the Temple Mount crowd, some of the most wild-eyed of the Christian Zionists who are pushing End Times theology and geopolitics. This is all tentative, and based on a quick search of relevant fundi websites, etc. But for certain, Richard Land, the political director of the Southern Baptist Convention, gave a CBS News interview on Aug. 11, touting Palin as the best choice, as far as the Christian Right was concerned. Worth checking further, and hope that the mainstream media will not be so gun-shy as to avoid this issue. Doug Wead, George H.W. Bush’s White House liason to the fundi community, wrote that he hopes the mainstream media will blast Palin as a fundi, because this will shore up McCain’s credentials with a key GOP voter bloc that is not otherwise thrilled with him.

  60. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    Kudos to Zanzibar for crediting Josh Marshall at TPM.com for chasing down this story.
    Marshall and TPM have been making their bones on these kinds of issues since they started up about seven years ago. His blog won the Polk Award for legal reporting in 2007.

  61. zanzibar says:

    Palin: The Bridge to Nowhere
    Businessman Mike Elerding, who helped run Palin’s local campaign for governor, told the paper he would have a hard time voting for the McCain ticket because of Palin’s subsequent neglect of Ketchikan and her flip-flop on the “Ralph Bartholomew Veterans Memorial Bridge.”

  62. Dana Jones says:

    ” the immediate approval of the Christian Right and New Right circles in the Republican Party.”
    This is the New Right DEMANDING their VP of choice, and GETTING it.
    Believe it or not, this may just push the right center towards the Obama/Biden camp.
    All the Republicans I know think the Christian Fundamentalist Armegedonists are nut jobs and DO NOT want to see them take the reigns of power. The center is composed of business men & women who’s main concern is the bottom line, not the rapture.
    Would you let your crazy cousin who is off their meds have access to your gun collection?
    I don’t think so.

  63. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Leila Abu Saba,
    Sorry about my somber words, I didn’t mean to sound sharp or critical and no offense taken at all.
    Like you I get concerned as I watch the national nightmare unfold. I watched first hand the growing penetration of the Neocons and the Fundis/Christian Right when I landed in DC in 1981. So it has been a little over a quarter of a century for me observing this phenomenon. The current McCain-Palin thing is just one more episode.
    I’m glad Maureen Dowd offers us some of her refreshing barbs and humor:
    The Christian Right had indeed lined up behind her. Doug Wead, I have to say myself, is one very able and very formidable political strategist.
    In my forthcoming book I point out his key role in the George H.W. Bush campaign of 1988 and how daddy Bush got Little Bush to link up with Wead in March 1987 to work on Christian outreach issues. This then set Little Bush up for his own campaigns of 2000 and 2004 aided by Wead and company. Clever family dynasty, those Bushes.
    Wead is an Assemblies of God Pentecostal. But just as interesting is his work history for AMWAY and thus his linkage to the DeVos empire in Michigan and the ultra-hardline Neo-Calvinist Theocracy crowd out of Holland, Michigan (and Grand Rapids too).
    From an analytical standpoint, you have to place DeVos into the broader Christian Right powerbroker elite as indicated by his teaming in the 1970s with the wealthy Arthur DeMoss, the backer of Jerry Falwell and Campus Crusade and many others.
    So, the overall system of political alliances would include: Neo-Calvinist Theocrats, Pentecostals, Southern Baptist Convention, Charismatics (a goodly portion but not all), and etc.
    Any wonder why Palin seemed attractive to McCain strategists?
    Let’s look at the broader historical context. Who created Rev. Billy Graham and why? Answer, William Randolph Hearst (Hearst Press) and Henry Luce (Time Life) in order to mobilize the “Christian” vote as a vector for certain political designs.
    Both Hearst and Luce were advocates of Italian and German Fascism of the 1930s as history records
    Lastly, let’s not forget that Sinclair Lewis, based on his detailed study of European Fascism, presented us with his powerful novel “It Can’t Happen Here.”
    “After winning the Nobel Prize, Lewis published nine more novels in his lifetime, the best remembered being It Can’t Happen Here, a novel about the election of a fascist U.S. President.”
    Buzz Windrip for President…
    Christo-Fascism is the new package…Palin is part of the package along with Buzz McCain.

  64. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Ms. Dowd Fails Miserably in Helping Barak Obama.
    Dowd doesn’t get it. In her latest screed, she compares Palin to Sandra Bullock in the film Miss Congeniality. Terrible mistake.
    Dowd’s screed provides yet more evidence of what we know is the blindspot of her generation — a type of cultural hubris, which will cause a political blowback.
    When will the arrogant ones learn to respect other cultures? Dowd’s hubris is simply another variation of the cultural hubris that got us into Iraq in the first place. Same arrogance, different verse.
    Ms. Palin may self destruct on her own. If so, let her. But, just as likely, she may represent the political birth of the Republican Norma Rae.
    And millions and millions of hard working women in Ohio, Michigan and elsewhere, will look at her and say, “You go, girl!” Can you blame them?
    And the response of “You go, girl” will negate the more New Agey, “Yes, we can!” (which is dangerously close to idea of “Triumph of the Will” for those who ascribe to the F.A. Hayek point of view).
    Dowd’s haughtiness plays right into the hands of Republican strategists. Her cultural arrogance is simply increasing the chances of a Republican victory and, therefore, the chances of nuclear war and the complete degradation of the environment.
    And, apparently, unbeknown to Ms. Dowd, everyone knows that the mainstream media plays the Miss Congeniality game as much as any other segment of society. Just look at the anchors at CNN and Fox. Good grief. It’s turned into a Milan runway.
    Many believe that Ms. Crowley is the best political analyst in the mainstream media. A true professional — yet she absolutely refuses to play the Miss Congeniality game.
    But Ms. Dowd’s crowd will not allow Ms. Crowley to have her own show. Why? Because Ms. Dowd’s crowd operates on the concept of “Miss Congeniality”.
    Campbell Brown looks exactly like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. More so than Ms. Palin. If you squint, Ms. Palin looks like Sally Field in Norma Rae. Arrogance creates blowback. So watch out.

  65. Cieran says:

    Professor Kiracofe:
    Wead is an Assemblies of God Pentecostal. But just as interesting is his work history for AMWAY and thus his linkage to the DeVos empire in Michigan and the ultra-hardline Neo-Calvinist Theocracy crowd out of Holland, Michigan (and Grand Rapids too).
    And from that same batch of West Michigan dominionists comes Eric Prince (the founder of Blackwater), which ties your comments on this thread to the discussions on the next two.
    Small world, eh?

  66. With 45 million evangelicals that alone is enough to elect a President when voters split evenly or third-party candidates draw off votes. I hope this is not enough to consolidate the evangelical vote, but it might be. Is it the “Handmaidens Tale” come to life?

  67. fnord says:

    Sydney Smith: Agreed on your point on arrogance. The way to deal with her is to take her seriously, and with almost sarcastic respect.
    Kiracofe: Stop it, youre feeding my paranoia. I hope at some point that there will be a serious revelation by the Obama camp into her (and the xtian right) forays into irrationality. If not from Obama himself, then from some Democratic “swiftboaters”. Lead off with Hagee and his visions of Iran burning as a necessity to Jesus coming back, crossclip to footage from Jesus-camp, crosscut to a list of the positions of Palin on various issues.
    Attackwords could be “looney-fringe”, “fundamentalists” and “extremists”. Fascism is a good word for those of us who are into comparative analysis, but doesnt work as a memetic resonator due to its linkage with Germany/Hitler.
    At the same time, the official Obama camp could throw an attack ad using McCains many quips and temper against him: “Bomb bomb bomb Iran”, “We are all Georgians” crossclip to ICBM missiles and Puting shooting tigers (and wasnt *that* great propaganda?)
    Punchline: “Mc Cain likes to say that he follows his heart. We think the US is best served with a president who uses his head”. Keywords on the net/media could be “dependability”, “rationality” and “professional coolness”. Or something to that effect. That would be a interesting one-two counterattack.
    Col. Lang, as to my earlier reference to sexism, S. Smith puts it better than me. A lot of women will get their hackles up at the tone used at dismissing mrs. Palin. Even if there is no sexism implied, it may very easily become the defining buzzword in the debates concerning her critiscism, the repubs turning pc-speek back at the democrats. So I think Obama has played it well so far.

  68. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Yes, Erik Prince is from Holland, MI and his sister Betsy (former chair of MI Republican Party) is married to Richard DeVos of AMWAY. I get into all this in my book.
    Sometime back, I pointed out that the ideology of the Michigan Neo-Calvinist Theocrats is directly derived from the 19th century extremist Dutch religious and political leader Abraham Kuyper.
    One key interface between between the Michigan Neo-Calvinists and the Falwell Southern Baptists and Pat Robertson Pentecostalists is Chuck Colson, remember him? Colson is a self described admirer of Kuyper.
    It is logical to read Lance Tarrance’s “Checked and Balanced” to get an idea of McCain campaign strategy. Lance has been involved in the campaign.
    You will note on page 76-77 of the statistics-filled book a discussion of a Lee Atwater Reagan-Bush Reelection Committee memo of 1984 recommending a populist approach. “Populists are swayed by quasi-mystical appeals to nationalistic and patriotic sacrifice. Concepts like loyalty, will, force, and leadership are extremely meaningful to them…”
    I would point out that back in 1988, Atwater did not understand the role of the Fundamentalist subculture and the votes it could produce for a Presidential candidate.
    That is, UNTIL Doug Wead got on board as a personal advisor to Bush, SR. who was savvy enough to do the math Wead layed out. Bush, SR. then essentially ordered Atwater to listen to Wead and went on to win the election with the help of the Fundamentalist bloc.
    A lesson for little Bush and one Karl Rove who was an understudy of Atwater’s. Hence the cover story about Billy Graham converting Little Bush, when Little Bush was actually converted earlier by an obscure and bizarre member of the Fundamentalist subculture. And so on.
    Within the academic community, the political activity of the Fundamentalist subculture in the US has been well analyzed for a couple of decades now.
    Just why American “journalists” seem incapable of same is puzzling but I think it relates to keeping their jobs. Perhaps some Brit or other Euro journalists will get into it now and we can read their stories online.

  69. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Thank you very much, and I thoroughly enjoy reading your comments as well.
    Just my opinion, but I think the Daily Kos crowd needs to tred lightly with their ad hominem attacks on Ms. Palin, at least right now.
    The Republican decision to choose her seems cynical indeed. But that strategy says more about McCain than Ms. Palin.
    Admittedly I know little about her and my conclusions perhaps are wrong, but odds seem reasonable she has personality type that suggests a heroic character on some levels.
    If you look at her life, some of her actions indicate she is a selfless giver. Don’t know enough about the Briggs personality test to determine a type, but by “selfless giver” I mean she won’t hesitate to give herself up for causes bigger than herself. And it appears this type of sacrifice for others is pattern throughout her life, at least from what I can tell so far.
    From my experience, the ’selfless givers” of the world are often used by others. It doesn’t surprise me that McCain will try to use her for his own benefit. Therein lies the danger for Ms. Palin. And her candidacy may fall apart because of it. Don’t yet know if she is ready for prime time. So be it.
    But at a certain level, people outside the Beltway will see her heroic personality trait, assuming it does indeed exist. And if people try to ridicule her because of her culture, these people will respond. Can’t say I blame them.
    You are already seeing blowback. Did you check out Larry Johnson’s response to Andrew Sullivan’s comments on Ms. Palin? Quite frankly, I respect Larry Johnson for taking this stand. Sullivan is an intellectual fool. Do people really want to tangle with the Larry Johnson’s of the world?
    (You may have to scroll to the top of the page)
    Professor Kiracofe,
    A belated thanks for the info on the Russian veneration of St. George.
    Because of your recent dialogue with Habakkuk on Russia, I feel as if I have been privy to a graduate level course on International Relations. I appreciate your taking the time to make the contributions that you do.
    At another thread, you and Walrus raised the possibility of leaving the US. Truth be told, I understand what you write and have pondered the same from time to time. I don’t know the answer.
    Not to delve into family genealogy but I think I qualify as America. So it is a weighty decision. I frame the issue like this: Will leaving America, even if temporarily, make a person more American or less?
    From what I can tell, in some instances, leaving America may make a person more “American”. It affords a different perspective and may even allow a person to contribute to America more than if that person had stayed. And plenty of historical figures have proven this point by leaving, as they became even more distinctly American. Twain just came to mind.
    But in others cases, it does not work out that way.
    To frame another way: Which is selling out…staying in America or leaving America? I don’t know the answer. It could be that a person is suppose to stay.
    Regardless, you most definitely have a unique American perspective and have contributed much.
    Don’t blame you about New Zealand. Of course, Walrus has got in made in Australia. I sometimes ponder about the land of Habakkuk because of my (Celtic) bloodlines, but South America piques my interest as well. Brazil in particular. Elizabeth Bishop lived in Brazil for years, and she may have known something the rest did not. Plus Brazil did not suffer the horror of a Civil War and may offer a different paradigm on achieving a post racist – States’ right society that is not hellbent on imperial adventures to “enlighten” other cultures. Live and let live. It’s the Jeffersonian dream long forgotten. Don’t think that paradigm exists in the US anymore, on the left or the right.

  70. ServingPatriot says:

    Clifford et al.,
    Seems that CNP was the organization that provided the bona fides for the Alaskan governor:
    The members of the Council for National Policy are the hidden hand behind McCain’s Palin pick. With her selection, the Republican nominee is suddenly — and unexpectedly — assured of the support of a movement that once opposed his candidacy with all its might. (http://tinyurl.com/5hvyua)
    An altogether unsurprising development. That the underage daughter is 5 months pregnant – an unbelievable development! That the McCain camp continues to stand behind their “vetting” and their VP nominee – an absolutely astounding demonstration of judgment!!!
    Me thinks there will be an “Eagleton moment,” probably before the end of the convention this week.

  71. Dana Jones says:

    In discussing this more over the weekend with friends, it seems that Sarah Palin may be McCains Harriet Miers, he may have chosen her because he HAD to, instead of his first preference, probably Lieberman. We have taken bets that in a couple of weeks when she realizes that she is not cut out for the job, she will gracefully resign and McCain will then get to pick whom he really wants (see above).
    Only our opinion, no cash wagers.

  72. Mark Logan says:

    Ah Sid,
    “It is not permitted that we despair…”
    Maybe a McCain presidentcy
    with a Dem majority is exactly what is needed to prompt Congress to read the Constitution…
    Maybe Barak Obama will prove incredibly adept
    and be The One who puts all
    to right..
    Lottery tickets, anyone?

  73. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Sidney Smith,
    My comment on expatriation was a touch tongue in cheek although not entirely. I have been offered some teaching and research jobs abroad, though not in the Pacific, which could be interesting for the short term. But I am a bit set in my ways by now as a product of the 1940s and being semi-retired in a lovely small rural community. My bones will rest right here next to my parents’ in Virginia where my family came almost 4 centuries ago on my mother’s side and 3 on my father’s.
    It is appalling, however, to witness the decadence and degradation of this republic. A real turnaround will be hard to effect even with the best of leadership. It would not be impossible but it would be hard as social and economic indicators suggest.
    The Bush Administration has betrayed this republic and our people beyond knowing. Other powers are rising and history records that power shifts through the centuries and that powers will join to balance against a hegemon.
    We must — as a people –sober up, roll up our sleeves, and retrench before it gets any later than it already is. We were positioned to do this during the 1990s as President Clinton got the economy back, kept us out of war, and left us with a surplus.
    But then the Bush Administration chose deliberately to systematically betray our republic and our Constitution. Its most heinous crime was to lie and deceive us into an unnecessary and costly war, the greatest strategic mistake in our history. From this, and through the creation of an atmosphere of “emergency,” the attack on our civil liberties and Constitution
    was unleashed and is ongoing.
    That Congress, and particularly the Senate of the United States, has stood for this and even condoned it plainly shows the state Congress is in. Considering Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court one can conclude this republic is in a profound national crisis and is in peril.
    Rather than retrench and prepare for new forms of international competition (and cooperation) in the emerging multipolar world, the Bush Administration recklessly, and unforgivably, did the opposite choosing a delusional and radical (Jacobin) strategy of hegemony and global primacy. It is as if some dark and evil power is sabotaging this republic from within. This power has penetrated BOTH parties. Pogo is right as we have let this happen to ourselves.
    It is time to resist.
    The McCain-Palin ticket is a grotesque and monstrous aberration like Bush-Cheney. “Disappoints”? IMO it is a shocking and dangerous ticket offering this republic a bleak and dark future of more unnecessary war and further social and economic disintegration. As I noted earlier the Republican Party is today the party of Irving Kristol and John Hagee and if Republicans cannot see this for themselves, the world can. And I hope enough Americans will see this when they go to vote in November and act accordingly.

  74. Dear Clifford – you and I are so much on the same page, it is scary. Does this mean I am much more conservative than I realize? Or does it mean that some “liberal” values are actually true American values, and therefore shared with staunch conservatives?
    Today’s Republicans paint critical thinking, the right to free association, free speech and freedom from state religion as “bad” “liberal” principles. How is this know-nothing, intolerant world-view in line with the ideals of the Founders of the republic?

  75. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Leila Abu-Saba,
    It seems what has happened in our country is that the traditional political culture based on the Federalist Papers, our Constitution, the Founding Fathers, and so forth has been under systematic attack.
    This attack — in the 20th century — started IMO in the 1930s more or less within some elements of the business and financial elite. This is reflected, for example, in the veneration of Italian Fascism by the Time-Life-Fortune group owned by Henry Luce.
    Is it any wonder that the Neocons talk about a “New American Century” thus updating Luce’s phrase “American Century.”
    We see traditional American values displaced by European fascism and other similar currents, some earlier like Nietzsche. Leo Strauss — explicity committed to his mentor and patron Carl Schmitt the Nazi jurist — and his Neocon followers are one important vector but not the only one.
    The Republican Party under Ike and Bob Taft ranged from the moderate center to the conservative right. And there were some liberals, too. But it was not fascistic in a programatic sense. This came along, one can argue, first with the Nixon Imperial presidency. From this milieu Cheney and Rumsfeld emerged as vectors….biding their time, with George Shultz lurking in the background waiting for his moment.
    The growing penetration of the Republican Party in the 1970s and 1980s by outside elements such as the New Right and the Christian Right and the Neoconservatives squeezed out the traditional party principles and those opposed to the “new order” in the party.
    Its political principles were replaced by Neocon and Theocratic ideology. Thus, after 8 years of Little Bush the party is unrecognizable from the 1950s era.
    So the “conservative” Republican Party of today is essentially in ideological terms similar to the “conservative” politics found in European fascist movements of the pre-WWII era. The Lieberman element of the Democratic Party represents the same perspective as the Republican I just noted. Thus it is easy to see why the “Democrat” Lieberman endorsed the “Republican” McCain. They are both peas in the same fascist and un-American pod.
    The best book I have seen so far analyzing trends is Kevin Phillip’s “American Theocracy.” Once a very conservative Republican strategist he now sees danger on the right. I will be waiting for his analysis of the upcoming election results.

  76. fnord says:

    Oh goody, someone is finally fighting dirty: Jan Wenner puts the boot in through US weekly, a celebrity rag with 1.800 000 readers: http://www.usmagazine.com/sarah-palin-very-difficult-to-work-with
    This is not cricket. Jolly good.

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