The Sarah’s moment

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Images I watched the Sarah speak tonight.  She is formidable.  Very calculating.  An excellent speaker.  She created a moment that had to be more than the McCain handlers had bargained for.   Her management of her family as props was impressive.  The boy-girl hand holding, the manly man husband, not afraid to hold the infant.  (Why was the infant there at all?)  The truly lovely little girl, given the infant by the fisherman father.  Anyone who watched this charming child smooth her brother’s hair and was not moved…..  Well, you know who you are.

Chris Matthews has a certain basic instinct for politics.  He said after the speech that this was a declaration of war against all the city stuff that the Obamas represent.  That was correct.  Sarah’s banner will be carried in a war on behalf of small town America, its values, good and bad, and its people.  Jeff Foxworthy says that "redneck" connotes "a glorious absence of sophistication."  Sarah is not in any way unsophisticated but for the vast number who are, her speech tonigtht was a Princess Diana moment. 

Joe Biden will have a tough time with her.  She is smart, pretty, tough and a great speaker.   McCain and his wife should start to have doubts soon about their future centrality in what Sarah called the "McCain/Palin Administration."  pl

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58 Responses to The Sarah’s moment

  1. If Americans buy this stuff then the republic deserves its end. I hope we are not so dumb as all this. Lord have mercy.

  2. PeterE says:

    Why not call it an “Evita moment”?
    Don’t cry for me Wasilla
    The truth is I never left you
    ….
    I kept my promise
    Don’t keep your distance
    And as for fortune, and as for fame
    I never invited them in
    ….
    They are illusions
    ….
    I love you and hope you love me

  3. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    Agreed. She’s good. But the press isn’t done with her yet. The McCain campaign’s effort to suppress the press attempts to resolve the inconsistencies in Palin’s political narrative is beginning to backfire.
    After Palin’s speech Brian Williams read verbatim a paragraph from Joe Klein’s blog about this very issue.
    Klein wrote:
    “But I hope my colleagues stand strong in this case: it is important for the public to know that Palin raised taxes as governor, supported the Bridge to Nowhere before she opposed it, pursued pork-barrel projects as mayor, tried to ban books at the local library and thinks the war in Iraq is “a task from God.” The attempts by the McCain campaign to bully us into not reporting such things are not only stupidly aggressive, but unprofessional in the extreme.”
    Sound to me like the battle is joined and I don’t think the press is going to lose this one. Palin’s attempts at stalling the Alaska legislature’s independent investigation notwithstanding.

  4. Jose says:

    “Why was the infant there at all?”
    Because the child was simply a prop to be used to her advantage.
    I agree that it was a good speech but way to angry and mean-spirited for an introduction to the country.
    If she goes all out on Obama, the angry bitter woman factor will work against her.
    IMHO, watch females turn on her once her “values” are more defined by the Obama camp.
    I am assuming Obama will hit her hard in my analysis. lol

  5. fnord says:

    Umm, for those of us not being able to watch: Did she actually say something on politics? What were her talking points?

  6. Mr.Murder says:

    Biden actually merits the best endorsement, and he’s a certified blowhard.
    Palin would be ideal if your aim was reducing the VP’s influence.
    Cheney’s Senate Pres.Office is the belly of the beast.
    Biden probably has enough contacts to do what Cheney is doing and not skip a beat.
    Does he really like having Hillary’s celebrated former appointments director as a chief of staff? How long before that goes nukular? Probably happens the next time she cancels all business for a season series DVD of some television show such as Grey’s Anatomy(again).
    It would make for quite a reality TV epsidoe. Maybe CSpan can work on that.

  7. John Moore says:

    On a variation of the phrase, “Don’t confuse motion with action.”, don’t confuse campaign speeches with winning or the effectiveness of an administration. By the above criteria in your post (intelligence, public speaking, etc.), Hillary should have won the other party’s nomination, but she didn’t.
    Your observations are astute, but small town America may be hurting more from high energy and food prices than the urban areas. My father lives in the Davis Mountains of West Texas and gasoline was around $4.50/gallon there for a while. Food prices have soared due to the ethanol mandate, but both are likely higher in rural America due to shipping costs as well. The GOP and government policy haven’t been very kind to either the sophisticates (except for the extremely wealthy) or unsophisticates, but even the unsophisticated eventually figure out when they’ve been had. If Obama asked the question, “Are you better off now than you were eight years ago?”, the answer for most would be in the negative.

  8. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Indeed.
    1. Her foreign policy advisers will no doubt be from the Neocon and Necon-ish crowd. We should watch how she staffs up.
    2. Washington Times has a useful piece on her Christian Zionism.
    “Historically, the Assemblies of God have been dispensationalists, which means they believe in ‘the rapture’ of Christians that takes them out of the world,” said Mr. Matthews. “Central to that position is a very strong support for Israel. It’s integral to their view of both prophecy and politics. Denying Israel is almost like denying the faith.”
    http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008/sep/04/
    palins-evangelical-faith-drives-pro-israel-view/
    To decode this go to Wiki and read entries for “Dispensationalism” and “Rapture.”
    3. Col Lang has raised the nuclear war issue. The “End Times/Last Days” scenario of the Dispensationalists includes nuclear war. The countries involved include Russia, China, and Iran as the enemy, according to John Hagee’s book “Jerusalem Countdown” and other Dispensationalist writers like Hal Lindsay and Tim LaHaye whose books sell by the tens of millions in the US.
    In the scenario, Christian Zionist believers (“the saints”) will be lifted bodily into Heaven by the “Rapture” so as to not undergo the nuclear war. (“pre-tribulation” interpretation)
    The End Times clock started ticking in 1948 with the establishment of Israel. The 1967 war that “unified” Jerusalem is interpreted as a further indication and clock tick.
    4. I would not underestimate Palin’s vote getting capability. This is why the strategists put her on the ticket. From the Pro-Israel Lobby point of view, one can argue it is safer for a willing non-Jew to do the work of the Lobby so as not to trigger “anti-Semitism.” Thus Palin and not Lieberman.
    She will rally the Christian Zionist base of the Republican Party who WILL come out to vote for HER.
    Experts say we are looking at between 25 and 50 million Americans in this “Evangelical” category but not all are of voting age of course.
    Some estimate “Evangelicals” are split about 70 percent conservative/Fundamentalist and 30 percent liberal. A portion of the 30 percent will go to Obama and he has a religious outreach coordination team etc..
    5. What type of cancer does McCain have? Melanoma or what? Will he last even 4 years, or will he be severely incapacitated by cancer while in office?
    6. The Obama-Biden ticket is “intellectual” and vulnerable. Democrats are fragmented.
    The Palin-McCain ticket is now mystical-nationalist-populist and, seemingly well positioned to win.
    7. Does Bush need to strike at the “Medo-Persians” (Rev. Hagee and the CZ formulation) prior to Election Day to spike mystical-nationalist support for Palin-McCain, or is it ok now to wait till after..but before Inauguration Day?

  9. Fran says:

    Watching Palin last night, I could only think it was the apatheosis of media politics. It was so strange to watch her offer testimonials for a man she’s met twice. Who is she to testify for McCain? Even those who follow politics closely didn’t know who she was before last week. Most of the people cheering her didn’t know who she was, either. Most high ranking officeholders in her own party have never met her and were until mere days ago uncertain about how to pronounce her name. Where’s her credibilty? She hasn’t even given an interview since she became the VP choice.
    The answer, of course, is that she exists largely at the level of symbol. People are projecting onto her what they want–a culture war champion–and she is playing right into that projection. She has assumed a role in that larger drama, and so conventional credibility does not matter anymore. The only “credibility” that matters is the ability to play a role on tv.
    (I guess I must have a heart of stone myself, but I was unmoved by the baby they were parading around. Well, perhaps not “unmoved,” I felt sorry for him, being used as a prop in a show he cannot comprehend. I have a small baby at home right now, and she’d have been scared out of her wits in such a setting. The Palin child looked fine, though, so perhaps the thunderous noise and kleig lights and late hour didn’t faze him.)

  10. Arun says:

    Like Pat Buchanan’s speech at one of the conventions – 1992? Turns one off the Republicans for a generation.

  11. jonst says:

    1. I was not moved by “lovely young girl” holding the baby. In fact, thought she was holding the infant in a reckless manner.
    2. On the other hand, I was highly moved by how, she, the youngest daughter, was the first one to get up and acknowledge the cheers of the crowd at the point in the speech where Palin mentioned her daughters. Not only was she the first to get up…but she signaled to the older kids to get up as well. This kid is a natural.
    3. Matthews understands a very small, but vitally important, slice of American life. Other than that slice of life he is utterly and arrogantly, clueless and borderline insane, at time. In any event….he got it wrong in my opinion. The McCain/Palin ticket, and the GOP itself, are not running against “all the city stuff”. They are running against the future. And in the short term, they have a slight chance of winning via the ballot. The so called ‘greatest generation’ is still around. But 2008 is the last inning for them. The GOP will not be able to win with the ballot, in the future, against the future. They will either change their positions…see Conservative Party in UK…or they will have to find some other way of dealing with the future away from the ballot box. I deem them highly capable of doing the latter.

  12. J says:

    Colonel,
    ‘if’ the mccain-palin team makes into the oval office, and as mccain’s alzheimers progresses, palin will then assume more and more the decision making of the president, that is ‘unless’ mccain’s aides throw up roadblocks in her way. and if mccain’s health condition can no longer be ‘hidden’ by his aides, palin will then be required to move into the presidential seat, irregardless of whether mccain’s aides like it or not.

  13. mlaw230 says:

    Gynecology trumps ideology?
    I think they will have a small bump in the polls, perhaps not if McCain turns in his usual lack luster performance and steps on Palin’s stronger than expected performance.
    Whatever the effect short term, she will have to answer questions contemporaneously eventually, and I do not think that anti media tempest will protect her if she turns out to be a know nothing.

  14. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Political Birth of a Republican Norma Rae
    Brilliantly done, Republicans. Congratulations.
    I know this kind of woman. And while I have starkly different beliefs, I respect them greatly. They will save you when things are tough. When you are down and out, they will pull you up.
    And if you don’t believe me, just ask John McCain. He is so charged now he probably thinks he is young again and flying combat missions against the Russians and its surrogate State. You know…Iran.
    And let’s fact it — preparing the US for war against Iran is the only goal of the Republican convention. Nothing else really matters.
    And make no mistake about it. Men will fight for her. Men will kill for her. Men will die for her. She is the archetypal evangelical Army wife, sister and mother — now taking orders from John McCain.

  15. Watcher says:

    “I’m a barbie girl, living in a barbie world…” great that she could preach to the prior but her lack of addressing the issues that the electorate will care about this year does not bode well. I suspect she has already shown more than enough rope to hang herself with.

  16. Nancy K says:

    I enjoyed reading the comments, I could not bear to watch or listen to her. This us against them theme is just too painful. Wasn’t that the theme of a certain European leader some 70 years ago. 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.

  17. Curious says:

    It was a good speech. She connect with the crowd. She reiterate basic republican values without touching controversies.
    Which means Democrats has to focus instead of coasting like originally thought few days ago.
    Palin still has to show she can play in national politics tho’. Reading a canned speech is different than road campaign, impromptu TV question or debate.

  18. Propagandist says:

    I think jonst makes an excellent point that the Republicans are indeed running against the future, but they are the “conservative” party, so we should expect nothing less. Fear and avoidance of the future is a common trait of humanity.
    If nothing else, McCain and company have proven themselves able political strategists. The selection of Palin was a risky, bold call by a politician who does not know the meaning of the word quit. Palin draws a clear distinction between the two camps, provides a obviously effective means of attacking the Democratic ticket while minimizing return fire, and highlights the stark cultural differences between the two parties. I would never have imagined that McCain would have this sort of strength at this point in the campaign. Whatever else you want to say about the old Air Pirate, he’s played what appears to be a losing hand to its fullest.
    The choice of Palin demonstrates that McCain can be as good a cultural warrior as previous Republican nominees. We’re now back to the Republicans’ favorite election game – city vs. rural, elite vs. middle class, coastal liberalism vs. heartland conservatism. Forget the issues… this is all about cultural warfare.
    It’s actually hard to believe, but McCain and company have given themselves a shot at winning an election that up until a month or two ago looked unwinnable. The debates will now be critical. So say what you will about the “old” man, but up until now he’s run an impressive campaign considering his many, many handicaps. And no… I’m not a McCain voter.

  19. WP says:

    Palin is a talented actress and news (teleprompter) reader, well trained and rehearsed as a journalism and poli sci MS graduate from a Tier 3 state university who read tv sportscasts night after night from the teleprompter.
    She did not write the speech.
    A careful analysis of the language she and Giuliani used would imply that both speeches were written by the same speechwriter group. Many of the jokes she used like the hockey mom/lipstic one, she had used before were interwoven to personalize a generic Republicn stump speech. The speech highlighted her history and showed her self-conficence and spunk. It really told us little about her qualifications other than that she has brains, spunk, and grit. At least we know she is not stupid like some other VP candidates who have previously been foisted upon the electorate in earlier elections.
    The praise of McCain could not have come from any personal knowledge of the candidate. She has barely met John McCain. In all, the Palin persona we saw last night is the creation of her tv producers who are real pros. Since the speech was not her own writing, we have few clues about her real political positions or her ethics.
    So, who is this Palin who likely will soon be a heartbeat away from the presidency?
    Is she an Eliza Doolittle invented by the Republican spinsters?
    Is she a soap opera character playing family stress and strife?
    Is she some pentacostalist conservative nut job who does not understand the basic laws of science and the universe who is intent on imposing her narrowist views on all of U.S.?
    Or is she the town bully who uses her office to pursue personal vendettas and censor books in the library?
    Or is she the Hepburn of Rooster Cogburn and African Queen.
    We have no idea of who this woman really is, and likely never will. Her handlers, like Professor Henry Higgins, will never let her out of their control and sight until her utility to them is exhausted. Only then will we know who she really is…unless the heartbeat stops and she really becomes president. Then we may be pleasantly, or unpleasantly, surprised. That is the problem with having an unknown dropped upon the electorate a few weeks before the election. There is simply not enough time for us to learn who the real Sarah Palin is.
    It’s a hell of a way to run a baseball team!

  20. Homer says:

    The so called “unthinking” portion of the US population baffles my mind.
    It is hard to believe that they might again fall once again for what GOP operative Noonan calls “political bullshit about narratives and youthfulness and the picture”.
    (Rem.: Eg. Think of the Bush ranch. It has never had any cows, sheep, horses, etc. It is not a real ranch. Bush is a `cowboy’ that has never mended a barbed wire fence or branded a steer. I challenge anyone to find a cowboy-esque picture of Bush that pre-dates 2000. How about a picture of Bush on a horse??? Despite this glaring absence of real data, people think he’s a cowboy?? wtf???)
    Hopefully, the `non-thinkers’, will realize the fact that are being used by the GOP as canon fodder in the ME, as permanently chained beasts of burden in the US, etc.

  21. lina says:

    I’m really tired of the Moral Values Party, and I really hope the Obama/Biden campaign has its act together to get the vote out on Nov. 4.
    With respect to Sarah, I’m all for the media keeping hands off the children, and it’s none of my business if her teenage daughter gets knocked up. But Gov. Palin wants to incorporate her personal moral/religious views into public policy. She doesn’t want my kids (or anyone’s kids) to learn about contraceptives in 7th grade health class. I’ll leave her children alone, if she’ll leave my children alone.
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0908/Palin_opposed_sexed.html

  22. GSD says:

    Sen. Obama campaigned for and won 18 million votes.
    Gov. Palin gave a well delivered speech.
    Since when is being a community organizer a dirty word to middle America?
    -GSD

  23. Nicholas says:

    The McCain/Palin message will resonate with a public that is feeling insecure. The promise is a return to the ’90s or before: drilling, $2.00/gal at the pump, tax cuts, more jobs, and victory over Islamic terror and Russian expansion, no abortion, and
    creationism in the curriculum.

  24. jamzo says:

    why was the infant there?
    except for the moments when she delivered the scripted speech, she was surrounded by family
    the infant is part of the political act
    stephen colbert plays a stereotype on comedy central
    sarah plays a stereotype in political theatre
    “hockey mom” is the cultural antithesis to yesterday’s “soccer mom”
    the “culture war” continues unabated

  25. Maureen Lang says:

    Lots of sound & fury last night on the RNC stage- AP’s Jim Kuhnhenn weighs in on the “truthiness” of the speakers’ remarks:
    “Attacks, Praise Stretch Truth At GOP Convention”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/04/ap-attacks-praise-stretch_n_123771.html
    Will Bunch of the Philly Daily News wins the headline of the day award IMO:
    “Palin’s Speech To Nowhere”
    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Sad.html

  26. Dana Jones says:

    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.

  27. charlottemom says:

    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.

  28. Maureen Lang says:

    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
    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080903/NEWS15/80904002

  29. hope4usa says:

    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.

  30. Paul says:

    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.

  31. Jon T. says:

    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.

  32. 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.

  33. Correction: It was 45 years ago. Time flies.

  34. Fred says:

    Col,
    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.

  35. VietnamVet says:

    Colonel,
    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.

  36. Dave of Maryland says:

    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?

  37. agog says:

    “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.

  38. Tyler says:

    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.

  39. Tyler says:

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

  40. smoke says:

    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.

  41. zanzibar says:

    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.

  42. Cieran says:

    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.

  43. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    Smoke
    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.

  44. Walrus says:

    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?

  45. eakens says:

    this is just follow-up rhetoric we are seeing. there is still plenty of time to disect this further.
    meanwhile, gotta love this…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1lCMH8rlHE

  46. 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.

  47. J says:

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jNulPSqaP1eyysv8ENJWhk0ZSrPgD92VJ0D00
    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?

  48. David W. says:

    WP is correct in his assertion that Palin’s speech was ghostwritten–he’s a longtime Arizona wingnut speechwriter:
    http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2008/09/by_amy_silverman_shes_from.php
    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.

  49. Indigestible says:

    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.

  50. different clue says:

    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.

  51. fnord says:

    The “Spartan family” image made me think of this review of the movie 300: http://exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=8516&IBLOCK_ID=35
    These folks want to take on Pakistan, Iran and Russia while holding Iraq and Afghanistan. That is magical thinking, and indicates a rapturist rationale behind their policy because practicaly, its impossible. This also explains the lack of any constructive policies: If jesus is on his way tomorrow, leave it to him to sort it out. Interesting times indeed.

  52. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Some data on Palin and foreign policy:
    “The McCain campaign has tapped Stephen E. Biegun, the national security adviser to then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), to be Palin’s principal foreign policy adviser. Campaign aides said Biegun, who is currently a vice president of Ford, is not serving as Palin’s tutor but is merely briefing her on details of key issues in a way that is similar to what other candidates are receiving…..
    “The attempt is not to turn her into a professor of foreign policy but trying to get her up to speed on all the nuances of foreign policy issues that are hot and John’s positions,” said John Lehman, a former Navy secretary who is one of McCain’s advisers. “She’s surprised everybody at how current she is on Middle East issues. She doesn’t pretend to be a foreign policy expert, but neither is she somebody who hasn’t thought about the issues.”
    “One of Palin’s few meetings this week with outside groups was with AIPAC, a sign of how politically important it is for the GOP ticket to demonstrate its support of Israel. “We had a good, productive discussion on the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and we were pleased that Governor Palin expressed her deep, personal commitment to the safety and well-being of Israel,” AIPAC spokesman Josh Block said. “She also expressed her support for the special friendship between the two democracies and said she would work to strengthen the ties between the United States and Israel.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
    article/2008/09/04/AR2008090403557_pf.html

  53. wisedup says:

    If you want your vote to count this time around I suggest that you get real active and check that your registration is valid — do not assume that you’ll have the right to vote.
    Join what ever organization you feel comfortable with that is participating in the process of determining who votes and how. The creeps who stole 2000 and 2004 are only just getting started. Don’t just talk. AS PL would say, you’re not infantry until you cross the wire.

  54. DanaJ says:

    The Republicans are the ultimate hypocrites. If it had been Chelsey Clinton or one of Al Gores daughters pregnant out of wedlock on stage, we’d never hear the end of it from Newt & co on “moral decay” and “family values” and immediate calls for impeachment, and how Bill or Al were unfit to lead this (formerly) great country. And how Hillary or Tipper were unfit mothers.
    But they flaunt her. They dare Obama to challenge that. They say to the press that “Its a private matter” and to leave her alone.
    Oh, Jesus, I just can’t believe these people. To paraphrase an old joke:
    How can you tell when a Republican is lying? Their lips are moving.

  55. Annie says:

    I am concerned because all of the other Caucasian women in the my “Spanish for Gringos” group are ecstatic at her selection, including a “community activist”. These are not typical stupid redneck bimbos. They are all 10-15 years older than I am. They have all used the “U” word in my presence.
    That virtual Tinkerbelle one heartbeat away for being Commander-in-Chief sets my hair on fire!

  56. DH says:

    The ‘U’ word?

  57. Hmmm, she passed the first test.
    It appears the new GOP strategy is to push her in front of friendly crowds for the rest of the campaign and manage the press.
    It will work.
    I’m rethinking my prior rethinking…McCain/Palin back into the lead as far as campaign tactics are concerned.
    Obama/Biden will win if enough external factors, such as the economy, cancel out the GOP’s advantage in running campaigns.

  58. Curious says:

    don’t forget to read the incomparable Giblets:
    http://fafblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/sarah-palin-sarah-palin-sarah-palin.html
    So maybe Sarah Palin doesn’t have all that much “experience.” Maybe she doesn’t pay much attention to your fancy-pants “foreign policy” or “domestic policy” or “policy.” Maybe she’s “crazy” and “corrupt” and was picked by a “vetting process” that consisted of “tossing darts at a phone book in the middle of an all-night Ambien-and-Ketamine binge.” But maybe that’s just because Sarah Palin’s just too busy being a real American to hang around with your namby-pamby liberal candidates with their arugula lattes and their east coast Ivy League universities and their “qualifications” while they tax the Jesus Fetus to pay for gay Muslim healthcare! Well Sarah Palin understands that being vice-president takes more than just book-smarts or regular-smarts or knowing what a vice president does! It takes gumption and spunk and other made-up words that hearken back to another time – a realer time – a whiter time – back when men were men and women were men and great big hairy-chested frontiersmen of the plains wrestled oxen and caribou and the savage Injun Man in their mighty conquest of the West before succumbing to explosive amoebic dysentery! And with the help of God and millions of dollars in energy industry donations, Sarah Palin will give us that dysentery again!

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