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September 04, 2008

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Yup. She's a liar. No doubt about it. But mostly she is a wingnut and should be exposed to the scorn that all wingnuts deserve, because they are self styled revolutionaries, and lie as a matter of course.

Mostly, I want to know who bent ex-presidential candidate-te Sen. John McCain over and told he he couldn't have his first (or even second) pick for VP?

That is the real story here. Nothing else.

I thought I'd take a peek in here to see what you guys are saying now.

I know you instantly suppress the beginning of the thought that conservatives like Sarah (you may call her Governor) Palin and John McCain (and Ronald Reagan) might be real people living real lives with real families with real friends living in real communities filling real states who understand how to interact with other real people in this real world. Having discarded that thought, you're right that we conservatives (me) just don't understand the world of, nor do we respect, a "community organizer". At least I know I don't understand that world because I know I haven't lived in it, because I (most of us) deliberately rejected it back when I was 13 years old deciding what direction to take in life.

Your (liberals') fantasies about how Sarah Palin might somehow connect only with "stupid" Americans and their "wedge" issues is one way to deal with (avoid) the subliminal connection that revulsed you tonight. Whatever. The truth is supposed to hurt.

huh?

A good post, though I'd add the Road To Nowhere to your debunking of Palin's claims about the Bridge To Nowhere. As to the question of whether the punditariat will comment on the strikingly divisive and dismissive tone, the nearly complete lack of substance, and the frequent misrepresentations (read: lies), well, I keep looking for that sort of a mainstream media to arrive, in part because they'd be good for the country, but mostly because I'm dying to see the flying rollerskating talking pigs they'll be riding in on.

"At least I know I don't understand that world because I know I haven't lived in it, because I (most of us) deliberately rejected it back when I was 13 years old deciding what direction to take in life."

What direction was that, may one ask?

dfp21: what rob1 said. Where did I say anything about stupid Americans, their wedge issues, etc.? And I seem to recall reminding people that Sarah Palin and her family are people just a few days ago...

Dfp12, considering that most of tonight was about how the Republicans think that we liberals and city dwellers are not "real people living real lives with real families with real friends living in real communities filling real states who understand how to interact with other real people in this real world", I'm having trouble taking your objections (or projections) seriously. The people in the "heartland" are real, but I'm real too.

I see you have no defense of the lies. There were plenty from people other than Palin too. I especially like the completely manufactured statistic (what's two orders of magnitude between friends) about how many votes Biden got from that great Christian Mike Huckabee. Not a big fan of the Ninth Commandment, I guess.

Yglesias has photographic evidence of her "Bridge to Nowhere" support.


I know you instantly suppress the beginning of the thought that conservatives like Sarah (you may call her Governor) Palin and John McCain (and Ronald Reagan) might be real people living real lives with real families with real friends living in real communities filling real states who understand how to interact with other real people in this real world.

I call BS and triple strength projection to boot.

Throughout my adult lifetime nobody, and I do mean nobody has spent more time, energy, images and words on painting a narrow and exclusive picture of "REAL AMERICA" and both implicitly and explicitly excluding everyone else as strange, scary, different, defective, traitorous, and just about every other negative trait imaginable, than have the GOP.

So take your cut-and-paste GOP talking points and shove em. With extreme prejudice.

And by the way, I have been going out of my way to refer to the 2008 Republican nominee for VP as Gov. Palin, so you can take that talking point and shove it too.

Damn, I didn't even notice that one. How is "Sarah Palin" any more disrespectful than "John McCain", "Barack Obama", "Joe Biden", "Hillary Clinton", "Nancy Pelosi", "George Bush", "Bill Clinton", or "Ronald Reagan"? Do only governors require titles, and then only while they're in office?

Your (liberals') fantasies about how Sarah Palin might somehow connect only with "stupid" Americans and their "wedge" issues is one way to deal with (avoid) the subliminal connection that revulsed you tonight.

It is interesting that you put stupid and wedge in quotes considering that you aren't actually quoting anyone. Indeed, as far as I can tell your psychoanalysis of whomever it is you're talking about seems entirely imaginary.

On this nomenclature-accusation issue, I tend to use last names only for all the candidates, though I may have said "Barack"occasionally in a more informal vein. I usually eschew titles; about the only exception is that I always refer to "Sen. Clinton" and to "Bill Clinton" because I want it to be clear which Clinton I mean, and I really don't want to just call her "Hillary" in case it's read as demeaning. Unless you think there's some real risk that a comment about contemporary American politics will be misinterpreted as referring to ex-Python Michael Palin, where is the harm in simply calling her Palin? P.S. I also confess to a weakness for using disparaging nicknames for Rudolph Giuliani. In my defense, no-one could deserve the disrespect more.

Damn, I didn't even notice that one.

I'm not sure is this is a good explanation but I think it has to do with the social dynamics of addressing someone who you've only just met. Normally it is awkward to use the 1st name of someone that you don't know, so titles are preferred.

I don't think this rule really applies to the use of the 3rd person, but copy editing rules and informal etiquette are not always synonymous. Also, it seems to me that blog comments occupy a sort of middle zone between written text and verbal speech partaking of some of the rules of both domains, including some unspoken social mores from the latter area.

To me, it feels less awkward using more personal forms of address including use of the 1st name for the political figures who have been on the scene long enough to become familiar fixtures in our lives, but Gov. Palin doesn't fall into that category yet.

I guess I was the only one who watched this and was reminded of the Pat Buchanan "culture war" speech in 1992, huh?

Hilzoy:

Help me out here. The budget in 2007 included the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy. In 2008 it did not. That was the big change from what I can see, not some slashing of the special ed budget.

Here is the budget component for FY 2008 that shows an almost $3 MILLION dollar increase in funding for the Academy which is now a separate line in the budget for some reason.

It's easier to see in the summary for 2009 here as compared to the 2007 summary here . Notice that under the first category "K-12 Support" in 2007 there is no separate category for the Academy while there is for 2009.

In short, she INCREASED the budget by almost 1.9 million over 2007 from $6.9 to $8.8. That's quite an increase.

Am I missing something? Not at all a "lie." Really hoping you (or the commenter) didn't pick this up from DailyKos without fact checking it.

No, Linkmeister, you weren't alone. I had the same thought, and some of the TV pundits mentioned a new culture war as well -- Gloria Borger and Carl Bernstein, at least. The reaction hasn't been so disastrous, as least so far. I don't know how quickly the conventional wisdom on the 1992 GOP convention crystallized.

Not a single law or accomplishment...as far as she knows. But then, she hasn't been paying much attention to the world outside Alaska.

Sadly, she believes she believes her ubercocooned RW buddies aren't paying attention either. Lies are safe--repeat as often as possible.

Well, it all depends whose taxes go up, doesn't it?

So how does this make it a lie? Maybe too general, but how a lie? Isn't Obama in favor of putting estate taxes back in full swing in 2011? Increasing the capital gains tax? Paying for social security with a higher payroll tax? All true, aren't they?

You can always tell a driveby troll, and dfp21 is clearly one.

I know you [Hilzoy] instantly suppress the beginning of the thought that conservatives like Sarah (you may call her Governor) Palin and John McCain (and Ronald Reagan) might be real people living real lives with real families with real friends living in real communities filling real states who understand how to interact with other real people in this real world.

Yes indeed. One can see here how Hilzoy instantly dismissed that idea.

bc: Isn't Obama in favor of putting estate taxes back in full swing in 2011?

Actually, so was George W. Bush. Apparently. After all, it was the Bush administration's idea to have the repeal of estate taxes time-limited to end in 2011.

Increasing the capital gains tax? Paying for social security with a higher payroll tax? All true, aren't they?

Obama is in favor of raising taxes on people who have more than $250,000 a year. From the point of view of the husband of Cindy McCain, that's the struggling lower middle class, yes. It's also more money than 95% of Americans make in a year.

On the issue of taxes, all through this campaign my guess has been that taxes are going to go up, probably substantially, about 30 seconds after the Asian central banks decide to stop lending us money at ZIRP rates.

Either that, or the US Govt. shuts down.

Meanwhile, states, counties and municipalities don't have that long to wait - their revenue streams are already drying up due to the economic slowdown, and they will get a lot less bang for their buck on bond issues from this point forward, assuming they have any luck being able to float them at all.

Oops.

In other words, neither candidate is telling you the truth about taxes, they just differ in the degrees of political cowardice with which they are unwilling to break the bad news: everybody's taxes are going up, some more than others. The argument is going to be over who gets stuck with the biggest share of George W. Bush's 5 trillion dollar credit card bill.

Let me just ask this. Does anyone here realize that the art of politics is to manipulate the human emotions of herds of people?
And that hatred is probably the easiest emotion to manufacture? (for example, read "1984" by George Orwell)
Well, if you agree with that much, try to ask yourself the next time you feel contempt for someone whom you've never met, but you've only read about on a website or in the "news", ask yourself whether that feeling you have is the result of enlightenment or manipulation.

Jes: After all, it was the Bush administration's idea to have the repeal of estate taxes time-limited to end in 2011.

Not sure what you mean by this. I recall that Repubs in general wanted a complete repeal but all that could get passed was a compromise (current exemption is at $2 Million, goes to 3.5 next year, no tax in 2010 then back down to $1 million in 2011). I'm quite sure it was not Bush's idea to have the exemption go way down in 2011.

Dfp12, I still don't see how your comment is connected with anything Hilzoy wrote. You and the Republicans at the convention are the ones doing the hating (liberals, urbanites, community organizers, etc.). Is the idea that you want us to understand that you're only doing what you've been manipulated into doing?

BC, Bush's idea was to pretend that it would expire in 2011 so that the budget projections looked better.

KCinDC - My comments here are directed toward "liberals" in general, and my intention is to try to connect human-to-human through the fog of hatred. My comments are colored by the tenor of the commentary and the “us” versus “them” thinking, not any particular post.

bc:

If you really don't know why Bush agreed to the ridiculous sunset provision on his tax cuts, I will tell you: because budget scoring is done for a 10-year window, and formally sunsetting the tax cuts in that 10th year was the only way to gain a talking point in 2001 -- the talking point being that the tax cuts would not bust the budget.

It was all a transparent scam. The GOP wanted the talking point, and figured that Congress would never dare let the tax cuts actually expire. The GOP does nothing so well as it does talking points, and they had the obvious one worked out in advance: letting the tax cuts expire is a (gasp!) tax increase. Almost as neat a swindle as the one about "The bonds in the SS Trust Fund are worthless because, hey, we already spent the money."

As J.R. Ewing once observed, "Once you throw integrity out the window, the rest is a piece of cake."

--TP

dfp21: My comments here are directed toward "liberals" in general, and my intention is to try to connect human-to-human through the fog of hatred.

By telling "American liberals" in general that they have no human feeling for people who don't share their political views, you are generating the fog of hatred, not trying to connect through it.

Well, if you agree with that much, try to ask yourself the next time you feel contempt for someone whom you've never met, but you've only read about on a website or in the "news", ask yourself whether that feeling you have is the result of enlightenment or manipulation.

Good Christ, DFP, I'm a lesbian. Any LGBT person knows all about people who "feel contempt for someone who they've never met" - For example, the conservatives who have such contempt for LGBT people that they wrote into their party platform that LGBT people shouldn't have the right to marry or to serve in the military. That's contempt. That's a fog of hatred.

And you think it's "liberals" who are the problem here?

Sorry, I shouldn't have responded to the drive-by troll. (If not a "drive by", wait for tomorrow, DFP - there'll be an open thread where you can post all about your contempt for "liberals", &c. In this thread we might at least try to stick to the lies Palin's telling...)

BC: What Tony and KCinDC said. It was Bush's idea to have the estate tax sunset in 2011: blaming it on Obama is just typical spin.

She delivered the speech only kinda well. When she has her lines down, she's engaging and only a little bit smarmy, but watch her "foreign policy" section. She clearly has no idea what she's talking about and even has to word-read off of the teleprompter (if you've got the speech on your tivo, check out when she's talking about Venezuela for the clearest example). Now, that's not the worst sin in the rhetorical world, even having to read a section of the speech she's obviously unfamiliar with she's a thousand times more engaging than Lieberman and having Giuliani introduce her really helped viewers appreciate her presence... After 20+ minutes of that narcissistic creep at his most smugly mendacious, even a guy in a panda suit would seem measured, serious and trustworthy.

I can't believe they're trying to attack Obama's years as a community organizer. This is work that shows he's serious about helping people, understands their needs and has the strength and resolve to get results. That's not the sort of point you want to make about your opponent.

Anyhow, seriously, watch for the bit on Venezuela, it's hilarious.

tony and KCinDC: if you're referring to the Byrd rule provisions, sure, but that isn't what he wanted. I mean, any law is subject to going down the drain under that rule in the Senate, but that's different than saying it was Bush's "idea." He outright campaigned for full repeal in 2004. Am I getting this right?

For your fact-checking interest:

My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that's now opened for business - like millions of others who run small businesses. How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up?

Speaking as someone involved in running a very small business (3 people), the single biggest barrier we face is health insurance. Taxes going up, yeah, it's a pain, but they're not likely to go up 10% or even 15% per year, year after year.

I know a *lot* of people who are self-employed or run small businesses, and the issue of health insurance absolutely dominates our "so how are things going for you?" discussions. The fact that insurance status in the US is bound up with employment chained many of us to jobs we didn't want and delayed our ability to set up on our own.

There is *nothing* that would help small and independent businesses more than a national, universal, single-payer health system.

bc: but that's different than saying it was Bush's "idea." He outright campaigned for full repeal in 2004. Am I getting this right?

No. In 2004, Bush/Cheney claimed that as Kerry would not renew the tax cuts they had themselves set to expire in 2011, that meant that Kerry wanted to "raise taxes". This is exactly the same gimmick as McCain claiming that as Obama won't renew the tax cuts the Bush administration set to expire in 2011, that means Obama wants to "raise taxes".

And of course, all the frothing about "tax raises" from Bush, Cheney, and McCain makes clear that they are themselves in the 2% top group of Americans who will actually benefit in any significant way from them - how much does George Bush stand to gain, for example, if George H. W. Bush should die in 2010 - and how much will he lose if his father lives on into the teens of this century?

For most people, Obama's plan to cut taxes for those with less than 250,000 year will benefit them far more than a continued refusal to tax the estates of the very, very wealthy dead so that their heirs - George Bush, for example! - will benefit enormously, and their country, not at all.

Palin: My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that's now opened for business - like millions of others who run small businesses. How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up?

Why should that bother Palin? It's not as if she actually believes in paying taxes.

[I think she's a genuinely engaging person, and comes across very well]

really? I saw a bit of it and, well, different cultural references but I thought she came across as churchy and self-satisfied. I suspect that to the vast mass of ordinary people, she'll remind them of the person who always elects themselves to the top job on every neighbourhood committee and who's always telling you, unsolicited, about their children's and family's latest triumph. A lot of those people are also no better than they should be, by the way.

Whatever one thinks of the reductions, and ultimate repeal, of the estate tax, the 2011 expiry date wasn't a gimmick, but rather a political necessity given the Byrd Rule and the makeup of the Senate in 2001. Rather than going to the Bush administration, credit for this budgetary sleight-of-hand should go to the Senators, sadly including a few Democrats (chiefly Breaux and Baucus), who pushed the final bill.

Or: "You go to cut taxes with the Byrd Rule you have—not the Byrd Rule you might want or wish to have at a later time."

Does anyone here realize that the art of politics is to manipulate the human emotions of herds of people?

and the Dems are the elitists... ?

fudge off

The thing that initially struck me is that I had not expected her to be so brutal. I knew she was tough and was going to give as well as she got, and the VP’s role at this point is one of attack dog – but she seems to relish not only sticking the knife in but giving it a good twist. All the prior speakers tonight were pretty rough, but they were definitely just the warm up act. LJ challenged me to find examples of Republicans saying nice things about their opponents, as Democrats did during their speeches. I concede that challenge right now…

It will be interesting to see in coming days if some of that was just blowing off steam at the treatment she has received since Friday or if she sustains it. Truthful or not, she was landing body-blows left and right. Most of her knocks on Obama were handed to her by Obama – but she played them very well. (Mocking the small town thing worked out really well, huh?)

She is a good to great speaker. Not soaring rhetoric, but an ability to really connect with her audience in a down to earth way. Of course she didn’t write it. (Politicians have speechwriters? Who knew?) But she owned it. She made it her own. (Apparently the teleprompter operator was screwing up, kept scrolling when the applause didn’t stop – and it didn’t faze her a bit.)

And hilzoy – of course she lied (she’s a politician and her lips were moving). But 98% of the people who heard the speech will never know that.

A quick tour of the right-o-sphere this morning: Ecstatic doesn’t quite get there; it may be closer to orgasmic…

Nothing to change my original opinion or predictions: Vetting or no vetting, gamble or not – the pick was a political masterstroke and Obama is in serious trouble.

tonight = last night

The President signed the bill. After accepting the compromise. I agree that this doesn't make it 'his idea' but it also doesn't make it only the other side's evil scheme.

If press reports are to be believed, Gov. Palin read a speech that had largely been written with a different candidate in mind. A funny way to 'introduce' one's self, but that's where we are. I'm hoping some reporter asks her what, specifically, she'll do different from Dick Cheney -- she is going to change Washington, right?

Seems to me that going on about how the Liberals are full of hate is not only contrary to fact, but also a posting rules violation.

Or: "You go to cut taxes with the Byrd Rule you have—not the Byrd Rule you might want or wish to have at a later time."

Yes, but again, much of the impetus for the legislation came from Congress, not the administration, though Bush did campaign on the issue. Those interested can read "Death by a Thousand Cuts", parts of which are available at Google Books.

But we're straying from the subject, which your reference above to Palin's tax payments more interestingly raises.

OCS, I think Obama is in trouble with people who were never going to vote for him.

OCSteve: And hilzoy – of course she lied (she’s a politician and her lips were moving).

Please, OCSteve, do analyse out Obama's acceptance speech for us and point out the lies you seem to be claiming he made there. Because he's a politician, and his lips were moving, so you think he must have been lying? Where? *waits*

But 98% of the people who heard the speech will never know that.

Well, 28%, at least. You know: the ones who are still convinced that Bush is just the bestest President EVAR.

A quick tour of the right-o-sphere this morning: Ecstatic doesn’t quite get there; it may be closer to orgasmic…

They like George W. Bush. Sarah Palin is just like him, right down to the slightly criminal background, egoistical attacks on anyone who dares to criticize her, and complete incompetence for the job.

"Vetting or no vetting, gamble or not – the pick was a political masterstroke and Obama is in serious trouble."

To repeat my question you didn't answer: why do you think that rousing the base, and pissing off independents, will win the election, given the minority status of Republicans?

You mean I missed the guy in the panda suit? Damn!

That'll be this guy.

LJ challenged me to find examples of Republicans saying nice things about their opponents, as Democrats did during their speeches. I concede that challenge right now…

Jes, lay off OCS so I can bask in the sweet smell of victory
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Ok, all done, have at it. ;^)

"I can't believe they're trying to attack Obama's years as a community organizer. This is work that shows he's serious about helping people, understands their needs and has the strength and resolve to get results. That's not the sort of point you want to make about your opponent."

from the obama campaign this morning to supporters:

"Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.

And it's no surprise that, after eight years of George Bush, millions of people have found that by coming together in their local communities they can change the course of history. That promise is what our campaign has been about from the beginning."

hopefully the word will get out about how to respond to the community organizer smear (what in the hell were R's thinking?)

[A quick tour of the right-o-sphere this morning: Ecstatic doesn’t quite get there; it may be closer to orgasmic…]

whistling past a graveyard, I thought.

Also, what's with the McCain photo-ops with the pregnant daughter? I hope nobody's going to turn her wedding into a political rally.

How can a speech be good and well written if it is dishonest complilation of lies?

It was, unfortunatley effective and the effectiveness comes from her excellent delivery--topnotch bullshit skills--but the speech itself was bad: illogical, lacking in real or honest substance, packed with disinformation. Those are BAD qualities.

And she didn't write it. She's an actress, not a thinker.

Ultimate irony: all the people swooning over her are the very people who sneer at Obama because he gives effective speeches, and yet all she has done is give a speech effetivley--one she didn't even write!

Oh and I think that von is right, she is to be feared and might not be the horrible choice we are all hoping she is.

I'm just hoping the critical five percent of swing voters who, even though they don't know much and don't thnk carefully about what they do know but who nethertheless determine the outcome of close elections will see her as that annoyingly fake-nice homecoming queen type from high school, the social climbing backstabber.

And yes of course the Republicans are going to ruthlessly exploit her children while whining continuosly that the Demos are being mean to them which the MSM will dutifully broadcast without debunking.

"How can a speech be good and well written if it is dishonest complilation of lies?"

I don't see what one has to do with the other. Goebbels was a very effective speechwriter, too. Good writing and truth have nothing whatever to do with each other. Thus the entire concept of "fiction."

to my surprise, NPR actually fact-checked some of Palin's speech, though they did it in a way that made the Bridge issue sound far more complicated than it really is.

They are playing it again on CNN International. The unrelenting negativity is absolutely astonishing. It is also interesting when when I caught them cutting to various known Republican figures in the audience ,their reactions seemed to be rather tepid with only Rudy 9-11, along with Cindy McCain, were the only one's applauding.

I also noted the 'servant's heart' line, yet nothing in else in that speech indicated any other Christian qualities.

I think that there is a connection between the quality of the speech and the quality pf its argument (if it is a persuasive speech). obviously if a speech is intended to be fiction, and is understood that way by its audience and evaluators, then different critieria would be used. Then the quality of the speech would fepend, not on the quality of the argument but on the storytelling aspects or the descrition language and so on.

It was an effective speech in that she accomplished what she intended to accomplish (snow job!) but, if submetted to a professor as a example of persuasive writing,or used in a debate, the speech would be a failure.

So I don't think the speech itself should be called "good" since that implies, at least to me, that it was honest.

But I have to leave now so I can't continue this debate and I am really sorry about thehorrific emergency room bill.

A persuasive

cleek: NPR took on the Bridge and the earmarks and was pretty pointed in saying that reality didn't match up to her speech. The only complementary thing they said was the speech went over well.

One thing I don't see highlighted is how taxes changed in Wasilla. Taxes on the rich and on out-of-town businessowners went down significantly, with a 40% drop in the property tax. And the ones who felt it the most were left paying more, with a sales tax increase that covered even food.

This is the same sleight-of-hand that Bush and McCain love, and they're going to keep getting away with it until we start to understand the scam.

lj: Ok, all done, have at it. ;^)

You're a quick basker!

That depends on how you define a good speech. A speech needn't be honest to be effective. What if it moves those listening in the intended direction?

NPR took on the Bridge and the earmarks and was pretty pointed in saying that reality didn't match up to her speech.

"pointed" was definitely not the impression i got.

dsquared: Also, what's with the McCain photo-ops with the pregnant daughter?

Homesick? The story does remind me of this very old dialogue:

- I hear Blodwyn's getting married.
- Blodwyn? I didn't know she was pregnant.
- No, she's not pregnant.
- Oh. Posh, like?

OCSteve: Truthful or not, she was landing body-blows left and right. Most of her knocks on Obama were handed to her by Obama – but she played them very well. (Mocking the small town thing worked out really well, huh?)

Body blows? If they were flat out lies, how? If not, where?

One good thing about my wife calling me upstairs last night was that I got to see practically the whole speech broken into highlight showings.

And I realized my initial reaction was probably too harsh: For someone who found out a week ago that she'd be on the Republican presidential ticket, Palin didn't bat an eyelash (another one of those phrases that risks being called sexist all of the sudden).

Her speech was most effective in that they'll be playing it for days -- it was very sound-bite friendly, and her delivery added to that.

But that's about as far as I'll go.

If I want sarcasm and hitting below the belt, I'll turn to Bill Maher, David Letterman or John Stewart. Not a future president.

What's her vision? What's her plan for America to re-gain its standing in the world? Is our answer to everytthing "drill, baby, drill," as the Republican crowd chanted as Palin spoken?

If Hillary Clinton gave that same speech, I don't think the reviews would be nearly as good -- too shrill, too strident, they would say.

If Joe Biden gave that same speech, I know he'd be viewed as mean-spirited and petty and accused of the same-old partisan politics.

Instead, Sarah Palin draws comparisons to Norma Rae -- a right-wing crusader who we hardly know being compared to a storied left-wing crusader.

Palin is a self-described pit bull with lipstick, yet every time we criticize her we run the risk of being sexist.

She stands up and laughs at the man 18 million voted for in the Democratic primary and another 40 million tuned into last week to listen to his vision for America. She offers up ridicule about him parting the waters and healing the planets, apparently borrowing for her campaign's own attack ad.

One morning talk show today annoited her "the new leader of the Republican Party."

Move over John McCain, you've been supplanted.

Jes: Please, OCSteve, do analyse out Obama's acceptance speech for us and point out the lies you seem to be claiming he made there. Because he's a politician, and his lips were moving, so you think he must have been lying?

IMO it’s a given that much of the American public assumes that political speeches contain exaggerations and yes even outright lies. They tend to tolerate it to an extent. YMMV.

But I think you’re falling into the same trap here that the Obama campaign has, you’re getting pushed into the same corner:

It’s a losing proposition for the D presidential candidate to go on defense against the R VP candidate. Obama is suddenly in the position of trying to convince voters that he is at least as qualified as the R VP pick. That’s a losing game and one of the reasons I say he is in trouble.


Gary: To repeat my question you didn't answer: why do you think that rousing the base, and pissing off independents, will win the election, given the minority status of Republicans?

Sorry – I didn’t see that. I don’t often keep up with long threads anymore, especially after the troll infestation begins.

It’s kind of a hodge-podge, but it goes something like this:
-I fully expected Democrats to have a double-digit advantage. I’ve been surprised at how close it has been – as often as not polling has been within the margin of error.
-From that point, I figured that too many on the right where too disillusioned with McCain and would just sit out this election. I thought that it was the base that was going to cost him the election in the end. I still don’t think that Democrats in general fully understand just how disillusioned the base was (is) with McCain. I didn’t see Independents making it for him as I still saw them leaning more towards Obama and Democrats in general. I think McCain lost a lot with Independents when he began flip-flopping positions to whatever looked best that day.
-Palin changes all that completely.

It was a bit surprising that she kept in the 'mistatements' on the bridge to Ketchican, and her crusade against earmarks. But, she has stopped saying 'nucular'.

Republican politician fires up base with speech filled with misleading claims, baseless attacks, and rank incivility. And the base loves it. Dog bites man.

At least we won't have to listen to Republican politicians complain that celebrity is disqualifying.

What I really want to know, though, and this is OT, is whether OCS thinks Gilchrest's endorsement will move any voters in the Maryland 1.

OCSteve: "Not soaring rhetoric, but an ability to really connect with her audience in a down to earth way."

In this way, she is the anti-Obama. But while it is clear she connected with last night's hardcore GOP audience, the jury is still out on whether the rest of America will find her so "down to earth."

As lj noted upthread: "The unrelenting negativity is absolutely astonishing."

Given that was essentially her introduction to the world, I wonder how well it will play in middle America -- where clearly the GOP think this "hockey mom" with strong family values will play well.

Even when I backed Hillary in the primaries, I found Obama's class impressive, refreshing and rare.

Palin was many things last night -- classy wasn't one of them.

OCSteve: IMO it’s a given that much of the American public assumes that political speeches contain exaggerations and yes even outright lies. They tend to tolerate it to an extent. YMMV.

I see. So when you said "of course she lied (she’s a politician and her lips were moving)" you meant "much of the American public assumed that she lied because she's politician" - but you didn't include "98% of the people who heard the speech" in "much of the American public" - since you asserted then that this "98%" would never know she lied? Although you sounded as if you yourself believe that when politicians lips are moving, they are lying, you were in fact speaking for "much of the American public" but explicitly not for yourself?

But I think you’re falling into the same trap here that the Obama campaign has, you’re getting pushed into the same corner:

It’s a losing proposition for the D presidential candidate to go on defense against the R VP candidate.

No, OCSteve. I was trying to get you to justify your assertion that you think that when "politician's lips are moving" they are lying. You've now backed down from that and are simply claiming that "much of the American public" (though not the people who were actually listening to Palin's speech) make that assertion.

Try to make clearer when you are speaking for yourself - what you believe - and when you are speaking in persona as a representative of "much of the American public", but not actually giving us your own opinion.

So, if you do have an opinion of your own, what did you personally think of all the lies in Palin's speech?

OCSteve: Do you think that Palin's energizing a disillusioned base will outweigh pissing off independents, particularly in key battleground states? That question weighed on my mind during her speech.

Charley, you might think Gilchrest was a maverick, but apparently not, according to a McCain spokesman: "It makes it very clear to any moderate Republican who's thinking about voting for Frank Kratovil that Wayne Gilchrest was never a maverick. He was always a Democrat in Republican clothing." I guess that means they agree Lieberman is a Republican?

CharleyC: I'm hoping some reporter asks her what, specifically, she'll do different from Dick Cheney -- she is going to change Washington, right?

What makes you think she's going to be talking to reporters, other than perhaps Fox and some locals?

OCSteve, I don't want this to feel like a pile-on, but I'd like to hear how you get the math to work out. There are more Democrats and fewer Republicans than there were in 2004. Democrats are more energized than they were in 2004. You say that McCain is losing independents. But from what I can tell you're saying that Palin energizes the base so much more than Bush did that it makes up for all those advantages and McCain can somehow win with just the base? It he going to get 125% turnout among them? Were there really a huge number who sat on their hands in 2004 but will come out for McCain now because of the VP?

I'm waiting for the Republican flacks start telling us that McCain is not only going to win, but also have coattails.

In the meantime, to drift further OT, the court http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/warruling.pdf>decision (pdf) from Friday about whether, when, and with whom the US is at war, is a good read.

KCinDC: It he going to get 125% turnout among them?

With Diebold - and a good press narrative to justify the result - that's quite, quite possible.

This Detroit Free Press panel (via Ezra) suggests that the speech didn't help McCain with independents. Of course no conclusions should be drawn from a focus group like this, since Frank Luntz wasn't involved.


I fully expected Democrats to have a double-digit advantage. I’ve been surprised at how close it has been – as often as not polling has been within the margin of error.

This reminded me of this from the 60 minutes Obama/Biden interview, which sort of answers that in a positive way.

"…And there are people that believe you should be much further ahead in the polls than you are. What do you say to that? And are you comfortable with the way this race is going and where you are right now?" Kroft asked.

"This is gonna be a rough, tough battle," Obama said. "The Republicans don't govern very well. But, they know how to campaign. And, you know, what I would expect is that it's gonna take-mid-October before a whole lot of people start making up their minds. And there's nothing wrong with that. This notion that somehow this should be a cakewalk and I should just walk into the election with, you know, a 10, 15 point lead, I think doesn't give the American people enough credit. They wanna get this thing right."

Blackburn asks the $64,000 question: "Do you think that Palin's energizing a disillusioned base will outweigh pissing off independents, particularly in key battleground states?"

Hopefully, we'll get some solid polling early next week.

Clearly, Republicans think she will appeal to working-class voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, where Obama's "bitter" comments sting most.

Her "drill, baby, drill" plans will probably appeal to more voters than Dems realize -- unlike wind and solar power, it's something people understand.

All I know is if I ever hit the lottery and get to take my dream cruise in Alaska, I won't recognize the place after Palin gets done with it.

KC: Are you being sarcastic? Luntz may be a righty but I think he's pretty good with those focus groups.

Looking at the front page of the Politico right now, it's all positive for McCain/Palin, including "media swoon over palin's" speech; "media should apologize" to palin; "Clinton aides: Palin treatment sexist"; "Palin may help other nominees"; "Palin...puts dems on notice".

I'm waiting for the Republican flacks start telling us that McCain is not only going to win, but also have coattails.

your wait is over

Yes, Bedtime, I was being sarcastic. I think it's ridiculous when the media treats a focus group run by Luntz as some sort of neutral, scientific measure of public opinion.

you're right that we conservatives (me) just don't understand the world of, nor do we respect, a "community organizer". At least I know I don't understand that world because I know I haven't lived in it, because I (most of us) deliberately rejected it back when I was 13 years old

The message I get here is that Obama, and American liberals generally, are not like you, you don't understand them, you don't care to understand them, and you don't like them.

Next step, if you care to take it, might be to explain why. What's important to you, why you don't see that reflected in the liberal point of view, etc.

Or you could just stop by now and then to drop another turd in the punchbowl. Or, you could just move along and leave some bandwidth for someone who's actually interested in dialog.

Your choice. We're liberal, we're into choices.

If you'd like to see how the game is played, check out some posts by folks like bc, or OCSteve, or Slartibartfast, or Sebastian.

We all enjoy talking with folks who bring something constructive to the table.

Thanks -

bc: You're right about special needs, and I updated accordingly. I did check it -- I examined the budgetary statements. I did not, stupidly, examine the general breakdown of education funding to see whether the categories had changed. That was dumb, and I regret it.

I find it funny that our newfound troll is trying to liberate us from hate, since Palin's speech last night was (on reflection) one of the most hate-filled I think I've heard in mainstream American politics in some time.

[Scarily effective, though.]

But beware of the dark side. Anger...fear...aggression. The dark side of Politics are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did the GOP.

Linkmeister: guess I was the only one who watched this and was reminded of the Pat Buchanan "culture war" speech in 1992, huh?

No, you weren't.

It's a measure of how far to the right the national media-political framework has been pushed since then that Hilzoy characterizes the speech as "well written and well delivered" rather than as yet another seething screed of right-wing resentment.

I'm bemused by the direction they're taking their party and convention. They're offering nothing but "drill now" to all the people out there who are hurting. Unless McCain's entire speech is detailed, convincing promises to those voters (which it might be)...

I'm waiting for the Republican flacks start telling us that McCain is not only going to win, but also have coattails.

your wait is over

So the next step is to tell us that they will win a mandate for reform.

"And, you know, what I would expect is that it's gonna take-mid-October before a whole lot of people start making up their minds. And there's nothing wrong with that. I should just walk into the election with, you know, a 10, 15 point lead, I think doesn't give the American people enough credit. They wanna get this thing right."

That's well-done spinning and it's what Obama should say to flatter the people who are still undecided, but I doubt that very many of the people who wait until mid-October before deciding are doing this because they're extremely careful thinkers who want to get this right.

OCSteve: the pick was a political masterstroke and Obama is in serious trouble.

Remind us to shake.

I'd just like to remind Nell, since she seems in danger of forgetting, that the Republicans are the Party Of Ideas, whilst the Democrats are the Party Of No. Charles Bird said so.

[Scarily effective, though.]

I'm not so sure. The Rebups might be fired up, but the polling break-outs in the last 3 days (including http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5g10yMHTRWB1ghQ8OLKEKxdHvWiQQ>this from EMILY's list) show that the McCain-Palin ticket is losing the "experience" battle and alienating independent and uncomitted democratic voters (look at Obama's spike in Gallup, for instance).

Also check out the http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080903/NEWS15/80904002>comments from a Detroit Free Press panel. The independents are NOT impressed.

Jes: So when you said "of course she lied (she’s a politician and her lips were moving)" you meant "much of the American public assumed that she lied because she's politician" - but you didn't include "98% of the people who heard the speech" in "much of the American public" - since you asserted then that this "98%" would never know she lied?

To clarify – the 98% will never pay much attention to those pointing out the lies. If we’re playing gottcha, then yeah 98% is probably way too high as well. It’s a number I pulled out of my butt, not based on any poll I commissioned before breakfast.

So, if you do have an opinion of your own, what did you personally think of all the lies in Palin's speech?

I expected them and thought that they were very well delivered. And not everything hilzoy noted are lies:

Sarah Palin might have changed her mind on this one recently. However, a comment here notes that Palin actually slashed funding for schools for special needs kids by 62%.

I think that is called a promise. And I think it’s pretty obvious that her perspective may have changed on the issue. If she fails to deliver then you can call it a broken promise I guess… It is not a lie.

But to your and hilzoy’s larger point: She lied in her speech, yes. I don’t expect that factoid to have much impact on how it is perceived.


Blackburn: Do you think that Palin's energizing a disillusioned base will outweigh pissing off independents, particularly in key battleground states? That question weighed on my mind during her speech.

Strictly my opinion, but I don’t think he will lose as many Independents by this pick (I think he already lost most of the ones he’ll lose by changing his positions) as he will gain back in the base.


KCinDC: I can’t really account for turnout at this point, except that I now think that R turnout will be higher than it would have been. Are you going to get all those newly registered Dems to the polls? Could be. In mid August McCain had about 88% of his base. We’ll see next week but I’m guessing that goes to 95% plus. There were about 30% truly undecided voters in mid-August. Is he going to lose all of those? I doubt it.


CC: whether OCS thinks Gilchrest's endorsement will move any voters in the Maryland 1

I do. I think that Gilchrest still has a lot of respect here. Enough to matter? Who knows… It’s a red district in a sea of blue. But given other factors it could help push him over the finish line.

To clarify – the 98% will never pay much attention to those pointing out the lies. If we’re playing gottcha, then yeah 98% is probably way too high as well. It’s a number I pulled out of my butt, not based on any poll I commissioned before breakfast.

No kidding? Republican guts and butts, always so reliable. At least to other Republicans.

So, if you're standing by your view that all politicians lie when their lips are moving, I repeat my challenge: fact-check Obama's acceptance speech (or Biden's: I'm not fussy) and show us where they were lying.

And I think it’s pretty obvious that her perspective may have changed on the issue.

It would be nice to think that she's now filled with concern for other parent's special needs children - after they're born, that is, since we all know pro-lifer concern for fetuses begins at conception and ends at birth, and never extends to their mothers - and her offer to be their "friend in the White House" wasn't a pro-life dogwhistle. Which, you know, I rather think it probably was.

Especially as, if you remember, she didn't write the speech: if you recall, the speech was written for whichever VP candidate McCain ended up picking who accepted, and got "made more feminine" once Palin had accepted.

She lied in her speech, yes. I don’t expect that factoid to have much impact on how it is perceived.

You're right. Everyone except Bush's 28%ers expected McSame's speechwriters to write lies: and we already know that Palin lies routinely, stupidly, expecting that she won't be found out by anyone with the status to call her on it. Of course, now her field of action isn't Town Council meetings but the national/global stage, she might find it a tad harder to get people to shut up just because she doesn't like what they're saying to her. Even George W. Bush only managed this with the mainstream media and his loyal Republicans...

I think that is called a promise. And I think it’s pretty obvious that her perspective may have changed on the issue

For those that didn't read my above comment, it's no lie, which Hilzoy has (as is her candid nature) corrected. She INCREASED funding by a huge amount.

Interestingly, this particular error is perpetuated across the internet (see Yglesias) which is either a testament to the efficiency of the net or to our desire to believe what we want to believe or both.

There is also a baseless argument she slashed funding for pregnant teens. Also not true.

And I don't buy into the langauge of "lies." Distortions, yes, but that is politics. It goes both ways. Frex: the comment on McCain wasn't so much that he doesn't flip flop, but that if he did he'd flip flop the same in Scranton as he would in S.F. Let's face it, Obama was pandering (don't they all) and he got caught on tape.

Obama's legislative record is still mighty thin. Wasn't that the Nunn-Lugar program before? Didn't Obama just take over and improve? I could be wrong there. And the ethics thing, how much was Feingold and how much was Obama? Not sure if co-sponsoring alone equals "authoring," so maybe a little wiggle room there.

The energy "lie" and the tax "lie" simply aren't outright lies. Sure there's more to the story, but what speaker is going to give the whole story in a convention speech?

The most notable thing to me is the focus on what she said and how she said it (and Trig getting passed around for a photo op) rather than on her qualifications or other topics de jure that were previously making the rounds.

Point Palin for that.

God, I wish I had as much time as yesterday to engage with all of you. Love this site.

But just want to give props to OCS for that last comment. Well reasoned.

I still think that the Republicans made a big mistake with this culture war onslaught. Last night looked like 1992 except 16 years older. It didn't win then, and it didn't age well.

And even though there's no evidence for this at all, I just would like to give a shout out to von one more time:

Eagleton Eagleton Eagleton

Although some might regret the execution of Socrates, there is one thing in the indictment against him that has a great appeal, especially today*.
Socrates was accused of teaching his disciples the means (=rhetorics) to make the weak (or untruthful, mendacious) argument look stronger than the strong (or truthful) one.
One can only dream of an enforced law that would punish politicians the harder, the better they hide their lies behind skilled oratory (and the stronger the lies are themselves) ;->
Attacking people for things oneself made up (like simply inventing lies the opponent allegedly has spoken and damning him for said lies) should be exempted from the 8th amendement >:(

*the other two points on the other hand are right out of the rightwingnut playbook: belief in science and adherence to no or the wrong religion.
I recommend reading at least the first few paragraphs
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/socrates/apology.html>Aoplogy of Socrates (Plato)

Last night looked like 1992 except 16 years older. It didn't win then, and it didn't age well.

in some ways, it look exactly like 1964

My last comment in this thread - To be frank, after watching the last week of liberal hatred spewed by liberal bloggers (fundraisers of the Democrat party) and liberal "reporters" (contributors to the Democrat party) toward a conservative woman who challenges liberal dogma, I thought I’d try to cut through the fog with some comments. Rather than simply contribute some stuff tagged as “facts” and accuse unbelievers as liars, I’m noting that to me it looks like the last week in America has been obscured in a “fog of hatred”. I think you all know what the source of the hatred is. It’s the belief by somebody that they can make political progress by righteously shouting down and belittling the unbelievers. When you feed on those slurs and rumors, and repeat them on your blogs, or repeat them on the “news”, you’re just proving your utility as a useful idiot.

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