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September 02, 2008

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McCain is making W seem downright Solomonic.

one thing for user: a McCain presidency would be anything but boring. just think of the fun! we' wake up every morning eager to learn who he'd fired, or who he'd insulted, or who he'd declared war on.

McCain / Palin 08: you want change ? would belligerent capriciousness work ?

user = sure

now that's dyslexia i can believe in!

This goes directly to John's military training. He's making his bomb run down in the tree tops where he can see the muzzle flashes from the triple A. But ironically, back in the day there was a little glitch that made some of the bombs detonate when they were released, thus blowing some wings off just when a wing could be really useful. Deja vu all over again.

i think we'll look back on this and say it was not Obama's speech, but McCain's response to it, that clinched the election for Obama.

This is what I don't get about the way conservatives are chugging down the Kool-Aid: this hurts them. This was a bad choice no matter how you try to spin it. Like bad on the order of "you'll never work in this industry again". Conservatives should be beating down the gates to demand he pick someone else, the way this massive revolt occurred when Bush picked. They might have a chance at pulling this out of the fire.

Instead, they're reacting to the McCain campaign the same way they reacted to all the evidence of how badly the Bush admin ran things. Now they're just screwed, and they don't even know it because their cognitive dissonance is in full gear.

In a way, it's going to be glorious to watch.

You're missing another option. John McCain could have started the vetting process 6-months ago rather than waiting until the last second. Did the fact that he needed to pick a VP catch him by surprise?!

Catsy,
This NYTimes article seems to have some answers as to why.

For weeks, advisers close to the campaign said, Mr. McCain had wanted to name as his running mate his good friend Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, the Democrat turned independent. But by the end of last weekend, the outrage from Christian conservatives over the possibility that Mr. McCain would fill out the Republican ticket with Mr. Lieberman, a supporter of abortion rights, had become too intense to be ignored.

One of Mr. McCain’s closest friends, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, weighed in as well, pushing so hard for Mr. Lieberman — Mr. McCain, Mr. Graham and Mr. Lieberman are longtime traveling companions — that he vexed some of the other advisers. Others in the inner circle favored Mr. Pawlenty or Mr. Romney. Ms. Palin had no strong advocates in the group, an outside adviser said, but she had no detractors, either.

So, faced with an ugly delegate fight and being unable to decide between the advisors pushing choices, we went with none of the above. It appears that less a maverick, more a wimp, unable to decide between friends wanting chinese or italian, opts for some restaurant no one knows, serving up food with no menu. And too chicken to deal with a floor fight, he comes up with this. Jon Lovitz, saying 'yeah, that's the ticket' comes to mind.

Unfortunately, the point about the secessionist organization has not been mentioned on CNN international's coverage, which, coupled with Palin's insistence that her most recent child be born on Alaskan soil.

I link the 60 minute interview with Biden and Obama again, and wonder if McCain and Palin will appear.

LJ, I have an even easier answer to why they're not up in arms against Palin.

Abortion. Abortion. Abortion.

Miers was pro-choice, or at least wishy-washy enough to inflame the religious right. I found this post by a conservative blogger via Wolcott. While he uses language stronger than I would use, I really have a hard time disagreeing with this bit:

All that the evangelical and Catholic conservatives care about is opposition to abortion. All that's required for them to be happy is an illegitimate or defective pregnancy, followed by birth. They have no vision of social order, no vision of an overarching good, but have reduced all goods to the good of avoiding abortion. Which means that they embrace every kind of disorder, so long as rejection of abortion is thrown into the mix.

As far as I'm concerned, the story about Sarah Palin is what John McCain's decision to make her his running mate says about his judgment.

That's all well taken, but it's not very effective as an issue to rally the troops. Instead of talking about insufficient vetting and petty scandals, why not talk about the elephant in the room:

Palin On Abortion: I'd Oppose Even If My Own Daughter Was Raped

She's a far-right extremist on reproductive policy - whatever one thinks about the proper handling of the Bristol Palin issue, let's please not ignore the elephant in the room. This is the issue that could hurt the McCain ticket badly and I don't know why Democrats are being so shy about it.

Here is Palin, in her role of governor, giving a welcome speech to the AIP. Seems like the speech has a lot of dog whistles in it.

And the CNN International coverage is spending a lot of time with McCain reps sliming the trooper in-law. I guess it is privacy for me, but not for thee.

Disclaimer: not a McCain defense. I’m not voting for him and frankly I’ve never liked him.

That said, I think the best way to look at this is as a calculated risk. McCain can look at the state polls and frankly it looks like he is going to lose. He also looks at the history of how economics interacts with Presidential races and realizes that any Republican candidate is going to have trouble.

If he knows he is losing, he can take a big calculated gamble. Palin has a pretty big upside if the gamble works. In terms of how she came to power in her home state, she is a self made female success story without the look of it being reflected glory—as with Clinton. She is solidly conservative in a way that McCain most definitely isn’t.

The downside possibilities are obvious, but we have yet to see how it will play out. For example, it seems to me that a lot of the rhetoric I see going around just plays into McCain’s hands. Some of the attacks are taking a decidedly anti-feminist direction—an interesting parallel to the coded racist games played by Democrats during the Democratic nomination, only more blatant. Attacking Palin from a “how could she have 5 kids, be a good mother, and have a successful political life” perspective is just straight up sexist. Insinuating something along the lines of “how many children is she going to have” (see one of the previous threads here) has a strong anti-feminist cast. If these become the dominant lines of attack (which it sounds like Obama is trying to avoid, but he can’t control the whole Democratic party narrative) I suspect the Palin pick will have been as much of a success as anyone else McCain could have picked.

Now is she ready to be President? No. Does this reveal a kind of recklessness in McCain that we shouldn’t have in a President? Yes. So let’s stay on point everyone.

Catsy: Instead, they're reacting to the McCain campaign the same way they reacted to all the evidence of how badly the Bush admin ran things. Now they're just screwed, and they don't even know it because their cognitive dissonance is in full gear.

Interesting. Usually GOP discipline and cohesiveness is a source of strength.

Another example of Obama's political jujitsu? Or another example of McCain's lack of same?

McCain is making W seem downright Solomonic.

For me, this is the true Rubicon of this campaign, the point where I realistically started thinking that McCain would actually be a far worse President than GWB, and not just based on a gut level instinct, but based on actual evidence of his decision-making processes at work in the context of being a potential President (it has long been said that picking the VP is the 1st such decision).

There is much talk right now about how the Palin pick is firing up the GOP base, but I don’t hear any talk about what it is doing to the Dems. I suspect that both bases are fired up by this pick.

Catsy, once McCain announced his pick, they had no choice. Having Palin is bad, but dropping her would be worse, because it would make McCain's poor judgment blindingly obvious as well as infuriate the religious base. I think Josh Marshall has it right.

It is necessary for the media, at some point, in discussing judgment and leadership, to pivot back to the contests candidates.

For all of the scrutiny and criticisms paid toward Obama, the contrast between he and Sen. McCain, and how they've run their respective operations couldn't be more significant.

Only one of these men has taken the future of America, its interests and its people seriously.

the point where I realistically started thinking that McCain would actually be a far worse President than GWB

For me that happened with his dangerous politicizing of the Georgia-Russia conflict.


That said, I think the best way to look at this is as a calculated risk. McCain can look at the state polls and frankly it looks like he is going to lose. He also looks at the history of how economics interacts with Presidential races and realizes that any Republican candidate is going to have trouble.

...

Now is she ready to be President? No. Does this reveal a kind of recklessness in McCain that we shouldn’t have in a President? Yes. So let’s stay on point everyone.

What Sebastian said.

With the modification that McCain seems to have taken a calculated risk, without doing the, ummm, calculations.

Now that's just great and dandy if you are say, Han Solo flying the Millennium Falcon thru an asteroid field, shouting "Never tell me the odds!!", and you have the scriptwriter, director and editor on your side to make sure that you don't fly right into the side of a big rock. But McCain will have no such safety net as POTUS. There is no guarantee that his gambles won't end badly, for all of us.

And perhaps it is work recalling that his even as a pilot, his risks didn't turn out very well. Perhaps biography is metaphor in this case, and if we want the entire country to get shot out of the sky, then McCain is the pilot we need.


"All that the evangelical and Catholic conservatives care about is opposition to abortion. All that's required for them to be happy is an illegitimate or defective pregnancy, followed by birth. They have no vision of social order, no vision of an overarching good, but have reduced all goods to the good of avoiding abortion. Which means that they embrace every kind of disorder, so long as rejection of abortion is thrown into the mix."

I can attest to this. My mother is an extreme social conservative (Catholic), and abortion is literally the only issue that she votes on. She disagrees with Republicans on the war, on immigration, on the death penalty, and many other issues, but because they oppose abortion she remains a staunch Republican. Her view is: soldiers dying in Iraq is bad, but tens of thousands of babies being aborted every day is more important.

Needless to say, she's absolutely thrilled with Palin, and this is what McCain was going after - to rouse up the social conservative base.

This was nothing but a bounce killing stunt gone wrong; way way wrong!

I saw the speech, as did more than 38,084,000. You better believe McCain's crew saw it too. A call to arms for every American.

Stop and think for a minute. Prior to the Palin announcement, McCain was running a losing campaign - wrought with bad leadership, no vision. The media was keeping him it.

It really isn't all that shocking.

For all of the scrutiny and criticisms paid toward Obama, the contrast between he and Sen. McCain, and how they've run their respective operations couldn't be more significant.

One of the contrasts is that unlike Obama, McCain's campaign was never subject to serious scrutiny during the nomination contest.

He won the nomination by leveraging the schisms within the GOP to convert a plurality of support into a dominating position (via winner take all primaries) much earlier than on the Democratic side.

What we are seeing now in the contrast between the two campaigns is in part the fruits of the much longer and more bruising Democratic contest. Proportional delegate selection doesn’t look so bad now.

She is solidly conservative in a way that McCain most definitely isn’t.

You mean like the Taliban are solidly conservative? Rape victims should not have access to abortion? What's next - a theocracy?

Just a thought. I was watching Raging Bull last night.

Why was she even an option? Why was he allowed to choose her anyway? Rather, why did no one stop him? Did anyone counsel him against it?

McCain answers many a debate question regarding important policy positions by listing off a bunch of names and saying he'd listen to his advisors on these matters.

What did his advisor tell him on this one? Who would a President McCain surround himself with in the White House?

The implications are scary.

Former Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-Telecognition) well-known long-distance diagnostic powers were all that was necessary to vet Gov. Palin.

Raging Bull - there was a point!

In the end, he blamed his brother for not insisting he not throw the fight.

His brother never really pressured him to do so

Calculated risk, I'm not so sure. If it were calculated, would it be something that none of his advisors suggested? Also, calculated doesn't (at least to me) carry the idea that he was forced to do this because of the floor fight that would come with any pro-choice VP.

Assuming that this is going to be a negative for the Republicans, the Dems need to send Huckabee a big fruit basket, cause he was the one who emboldened those to say that they were not going to accept a pro-choice VP.

...past membership in a fringe secessionist organization

Just for the record, the campaign has provided documentation proving that Palin has been registered as a Republican since 1982. (PDF at H/A if anyone is interested). She was never a member of the party. AIP held a convention in the town she was mayor of – she paid them a courtesy visit.

That’s little different IMO than Obama attending that La Raza conference and addressing them.

The best way of expressing this that I've come up with is this: John McCain has chosen someone I and the American people don't know a lot about to potentially run the country. I've been learning about her for the first time since the announcement, and she seems to have some excellent qualities and to have a lot of possible problems in her record that the American people need to know more about. That's the way these things work: the nominees are announced a couple of months before the election, and the voters have a chance to learn who they are, what they've done, and what their ideas are. The incredible, unbelievable, irresponsible things is that John McCain is learning all these things about Sarah Palin for the first time along with me and the American people. He's been the nominee for six months, and yet before this week he only talked to her once, for fifteen minutes, and his staff never talked to the people who know her best and never read her hometown newspaper. A man who takes so little care in their first and most important Presidential decision shouldn't be permitted to make any more.

OCSteve,

While the campaign, which as been so truthful, denies it, reporters on the ground are finding lots of folks remembering Sarah Palin at the AIP in the nineties. See this Jake Tapper article for instance saying she was at their convention in 1994.

And also, what an insulting analogy. La Raza is not a separatist movement. That's a hateful right-wing meme. They are a lobby that is interested in promoting issues of interest to Latino Americans. They don't advocate giving the southwest back to Mexico, and it's a very insulting and xenophobic comparison.

That’s little different IMO than Obama attending that La Raza conference and addressing them.

ahem

Unfortunately, the point about the secessionist organization has not been mentioned on CNN international's coverage, which, coupled with Palin's insistence that her most recent child be born on Alaskan soil.

I didn't make the connection before reading your comment, LJ, but suddenly the fact that she jumped onto a plane to fly back to Alaska before her child was born makes a helluva lot more sense. Any kind of separatist sympathies she has (real or political) would have her want to make damn sure all of her children were "real Alaskans". Especially since the AIP platform seems to have some very narrow ideas about what counts as a "real Alaskan" for the purposes of voting for secession.

That part of her story didn't make a whole lot of sense to me - why would she feel the need to run the risk of jeopardizing a pregnancy just to have the kid born in Alaska? Suddenly it seems a little more explicable (still bizarre, but explicable).

OCSteve: I saw that (after I posted this.) It has an entry for "Party", which says "R", and an entry for "Orig Reg", which says "05-05-1982".

I don't see why one should assume that that means she has been registered as a Republican since 1982. I would have thought the obvious interpretation was: she is now a Republican (which no one disputes), and she first registered to vote in 1982.

OCSteve,

And while I really appreciate your comments and point of view on this blog, and find you incredibly admirable for being an honest conservative voice amongst a lot of flaming lefties, I have to say, cleek really just pwned you.

D. Edelmann got it right. It's not simply that McCain made a questionable decision. It's that he had six months advance notice that the decision had to be made, and he knew it would be one of the bigger decisions of the campaign, and he still made a rushed last-minute decision based on his gut. Six months, and we get this muddle?

That said, I think the best way to look at this is as a calculated risk.

Maybe, except that, as TLTABQ says, it's a lot more risk than calculation.

Wouldn't Lieberman/Ridge have also been a calculated risk? Maybe the base would have gone nuts, but most of the base lives in solidly red states anyway. He would have lost some conservatives in swing states, but would possibly have gained more than enough moderate/undecided voters to make up the loss.

I'm not saying Lieberman/Ridge would necessarily have been better for McCain, but I don't see how either would have been electorally riskier than Palin.

McCain had a choice of gambles. He could guarantee himself strong support from the base by choosing an unknown, unvetted candidate, or he could sacrifice some conservative support in the hope of attracting more swing voters.

He chose the former, and he did so despite knowing that Lieberman/Ridge, whatever their (many) faults, would make a far better President than Palin, should it come to that.

Sorry, br, but I live in southern California, and La Raza is most definitely a separatist movement, formed for the express purpose of righting the "wrong" of California becoming one of the United States.

To think otherwise is just willful ignorance.

OCSteve - I've read reports that she was even the party secretary for a while, and internet reports are certainly at least as credible as the McCain campaign's pronouncements these days, so I'd reserve judgment if I was you.

I can't decide what's the worst thing about Palin, but I'm certainly amused by the fact that the lady who declared in his first speech that she said "thanks, but no thanks" to the bridge turns out to be Madam Earmark. My impression is that she was all Alaska-firsting until she discovered the other 49 states were a gravy train. She hired professional lobbyists for a town the size of a large urban high school, even before you get to her much more notorious Washington-mooching governorship.

I really don't know how to order the list of her lameness:

Creationist nutzoid
Secessionist nutzoid
Reproductive Stalinist
Chronic abuser of office
Shameless fabricator
Hopelessly inexperienced (unless conflating family vendettas with high office counts as 'experience')

So why did McCain address them? And why doesn't Lou Dobbs get medieval on is ass? (actually, Lou has been rather quiet of late, it seems)

js,

I live in Southern California too, and I think you've been listening to way too much right-wing radio.

Bottom line: find me in the La Raza charter where they support succession. The AIP, on the other hand, has that their successionist screed on the front of their website.

Day 5 of the Palin VP candidacy, and the stories keep rollin'. Great pick, just a great pick.

What I really want to know is whatever story the Palins are trying to hide by releasing the information on their daughter's pregnancy in the first place. That's a classic effort to close the curtains on something worse by throwing their own daughter under the bus.

McCain had a choice of gambles. He could guarantee himself strong support from the base by choosing an unknown, unvetted candidate, or he could sacrifice some conservative support in the hope of attracting more swing voters.

Well, he could have had a vetted candidate who appealed to the base if he had picked Huckabee. Now that would have been a solid pick.

"You mean like the Taliban are solidly conservative? Rape victims should not have access to abortion? What's next - a theocracy?"

Sigh. The funny thing is I can imagine this angle completely backfiring on Democrats if you approach it the wrong way.

Debate Reporter: You've been quoted as saying that you wouldn't support abortion even for you daughter, do you stand by that?

Palin: (perhaps with Clintonesque tears? or a 'to compose myself' pause) I'd be angry. I'd be be horribly sad that some evil man violated my daughter that way. I'd want to scream. I'd be depressed. My daughter would be feeling all of those things but much much worse. I'd cry with her. But in the end I would hope she would understand that you can't take all those things out on an innocent baby, even if you have horrible hurt and awful depression coloring your choices.

Biden: [mutters] crap. But we would have to leave it to her choice.

How would that look to the US public? I suggest that if she pulled off an answer like that (which wouldn't be ridiculously hard) she would look good, and the question would seem mean-spirited, especially as posed to a woman who was willing to take care of a Down's Syndrome child.

Go there if you really want but I think it is a foolish avenue.

What I really want to know is whatever story the Palins are trying to hide by releasing the information on their daughter's pregnancy in the first place.

It may not be. I can imagine the family as being a little naive about national politics and completely blown over by the media attention and the campaign investigations that followed the announcement. Judging by how brilliantly McCain has played this whole thing, I can easily see him NOT clearly explaining what the family was about to face. So these people are already starting from a bit of a siege mentality, they know that the press is sniffing about like mad and they're already a little paranoid about their local "enemies". They quickly conclude that this info is going to become public sooner or later and they decide that sooner is better than later. They decide that they would rather be in control and get to shape the narrative while keeping some dignity rather than letting the media nutjobs distort everything wildly while humiliating the entire family and mortifying the poor daughter. And really, with the RNC convention on and Gustave raging in the Gulf, now might be the best time to get this thing out there.

The bottom line: I can imagine them talking about the pregnancy now without some desperate need to cover up wrongdoing.

Creationist nutzoid

FYI, Nate at 538 compared her policy positions with how they poll, and like it or not she is not as far from the US mainstream as you might think:

The Issue: Evolution

Palin’s Position: Although Palin’s personal views on evolution are ambiguous, she favors teaching creationism along with evolution in public schools (source).

America’s Position: A USA Today/Gallup poll in June 2007 reported that 53 percent of Americans believe that evolution is definitely or probably true, as opposed to 44 percent who think it’s definitely or probably false. More relevant to Palin’s position, however, a Pew Research poll in July 2006 showed that Americans favor teaching creationism along with evolution in schools by a 58-35 margin (source).

Conclusion: Although this fact will annoy many liberals – including yours truly – Palin’s views are squarely within the American mainstream.


I really don't know how to order the list of her lameness:

don't forget Book-banning Censor

br: "Bottom line: find me in the La Raza charter where they support succession. The AIP, on the other hand, has that their (sic) successionist screed on the front of their website."

Yes, and the KKK website says this: "We are against terrorists, the immoral, and oppose all criminal behavior and activity."

Do you really think La Raza would put in there charter anything about succession? I know what their goals are by talking to actual members.

Sorry, br, but I live in southern California, and La Raza is most definitely a separatist movement, formed for the express purpose of righting the "wrong" of California becoming one of the United States.

To think otherwise is just willful ignorance.

Having been to La Raza meetings and worked with some of their members, I don't think the willful ignorance is mine.

OT: OCSteve, I see Gilchrest finally endorsed Kratovil. It's still a very uphill battle, but that can't hurt.

Sebastian: How would that look to the US public?

Like a woman who wants to force her daughter through pregnancy and childbirth, against her will, even though her daughter has just been raped.

Which is in fact precisely what Sarah Palin said she wanted to do to her daughter if her daughter was raped. Except we'll hope that was just a pro-lifer fantasy of Palin's - that she wasn't seriously thinking about the reality of the situation*, and that the reality is that Palin would have accepted and supported her daughter's choice to have an abortion. Regardless of what that did to her credibility among pro-lifers.

After all, in point of fact, the statistics show that most women who identify as pro-life will in fact exercise their right to choose when faced with an unwanted pregnancy - their own or their daughter's. You'd have to be pretty damned inhuman to force a raped child through pregnancy and childbirth against her will and disguise your abuse of her with claims to care for your potential grandchild above your real, living, suffering daughter.

Turbulence, I see that. However the day the convention is starting seems like very poor timing. What I want to know is whether Madam Earmark and her husband broke the story about their daughter independently - which means she is not yet even under the McCain campaign's control - or whether her McCain handlers did so. I feel that if the McCain handlers did so, given that it was the first day of the convention, they are trying to distract attention from a bigger story. It reminds me of the whole 'President Bush choking on a pretzel' story, which was a blatant smokescreen for something else (inebriation?). In general, I feel that whenever political handlers release bad news unprompted, they are trying to distract you from something else.

As an aside, we haven't heard the boyfriend announce his intention to marry the girl. Having known a few such stories, the pronouncements of the girl's parents on their future matrimony don't mean squat. Not that I care, but it seems like bad media-management to be making promises that aren't yours to make.

*"The reality of the situation" in fact is what Sarah Palin seems not to be good at dealing with; she didn't think about the media attention the Vice President nominee and her family would receive; she didn't think that anyone would pick up on her claim to have said "no" to federal funding for the Bridge to Nowhere: she didn't think anyone would notice she used to work for the AIP; and throughout her political career, such as it is, she seems to have thought she can do things because she wants to, and then lie about what she did, and get away with it.

No wonder McCain finds her a kindred spirit...

Left Turn, yes I saw that piece, and while it was reassuring to know that Palin was outside the mainstream on just about everything else, the Creationist/anti-scientific numbers were just depressing, although I had seen something similar elsewhere.

The anti-science crowd seems to have really made inroads with their whole 'teach the controversy' line, even though evolution is science and the creationism stuff, however the brand it, is just 'stuff we made up that belongs in any category but science'.

The only reassurance I take from those numbers are that the race will be won or lost in the swing state suburbs, and pro-science sentiment is surely much stronger there.

It's not quite a *calculated* risk. He didn't vet Palin. There's just no excuse for that.

Sebastian :

"You mean like the Taliban are solidly conservative? Rape victims should not have access to abortion? What's next - a theocracy?"

Sigh. The funny thing is I can imagine this angle completely backfiring on Democrats if you approach it the wrong way.

I can imagine Democrats screwing this up, too. But the dems who matter haven't and Team Obama is certainly not going to. This whole brou-ha redounds in Obama's favor, because of the contrast with McCain - the 'sagacity gap'.

I said this elsewhere, but McCain is not a 'maverick' - he's a Wild Card. Good luck, Republicans! YEEEEE-HAAAA

hilzoy: The PDF has all her voter registration changes going all the way back. Nothing but name and address changes. The search at the top lists all the documents (microfiche) available, and then there is a copy of each. I understand it came from the campaign, but it’s the type of thing that is readily open to independent verification.

cleek: I realize McCain did as well. So has Rove…

br: I understand that they disavow that, but I find some of the charter schools they’ve funded to be a bit problematic. VMMV…

throughout her political career, such as it is, she seems to have thought she can do things because she wants to, and then lie about what she did

I think it's the natural consequence of being active only in very small town politics, before lucking your way to success on a larger (but still very small) stage through the implosion of every other politician in Alaska.

Oh god, and I broke my committment to not mention her daughter. Sorry.

Okay, before I really do depart this aspect of the Palin candidacy till next week - here's the question I would think a smart reporter would ask Palin:

Reporter: "Do you believe that abstinence-only education is, as President Bush has said, the only method that is 'one hundred percent effective'?"

Palin: "Yes..." (or "No" in which case, cite her answer when asked that two years ago...)

Reporter: "And is that - abstinence-only - what all your children were taught, both at home and at school?"

Go there if you really want but I think it is a foolish avenue.

I'd note that in your scenario, it is the debate reporter that sets the stage, not the candidate. I'm reminded of the reporter asking Dukakis about his wife being raped. This thing is obviously out of the hands of the Obama campaign, and it will be in interesting test to see if it backfires on Obama's candidacy or where the blame should actually be put, on the people asking the debate questions. If it does end up dirtying Obama, one needs to ask themselves why. We shall see.

KcinDC: Thanks for the pointer. Good for Gilchrest. I hope Harris loses badly.

"Sebastian: How would that look to the US public?

Like a woman who wants to force her daughter through pregnancy and childbirth, against her will, even though her daughter has just been raped."

Jesurgislac, I don't think that is how it would be received by most of the American public, not if she approached it as I outlined.

The problem is where you see 'forced', lots of people will see 'counseling her daughter through an awful period of her life'. Where you see 'forced', lots of people will see 'helping her daughter make decisions she won't regret later'. Where you see 'forced', lots of people will see 'wow, this is a really caring woman' who feels deeply for her child. Where you see 'forced', lots of people will see 'She takes care of a Down's Syndrome kid, she is really loving and could take care of a grandchild fathered by a rapist'.

In my opinion, that kind of question would be the kind of high risk gamble that Palin's selection seems to have been.

As someone who is more on the pro-life side of the abortion spectrum, I might welcome that if it shifted the abortion debate in my direction. But the part of me that doesn't want McCain to win, thinks that would be a really awful gamble to take.

When La Raza cuts it close ties with MEChA, then I will believe they do not support "Por La Raza todo, Fuera de La Raza nada." They were given the chance to reject MEChA wholly, but chose not to.

"I'd note that in your scenario, it is the debate reporter that sets the stage, not the candidate."

Well I would expect that Obama and Biden wouldn't foolishly go there, the way novakant seems interested in going. So I talked about being raised in what I saw as a plausible way.

"I'm reminded of the reporter asking Dukakis about his wife being raped." It was his response that made him look bad. If he had responded with something like "I'd want to kill the bastard, but you can't make choices like that out of emotion at the time" Bernard Shaw would have looked like a mean-spirited jerk.

It would definitely be a high risk kind of question. If she pulls it off well, I think it could work. If not, she might look awful. I don't think the Obama campaign should want to go after Palin in a high risk kind of way. She has enough obvious things to attack that you don't need to play risky games.

(They can't control the reporters of course, but I can't imagine that they would want to go out of their way to make it a clear issue anyway).

I don't think that is how it would be received by most of the American public, not if she approached it as I outlined.

The majority of the US public support the right to choose abortion in case of rape.

The problem is where you see 'forced', lots of people will see 'counseling her daughter through an awful period of her life'.

Well, a lot of people who - like you, and like Governor Palin - have never seriously thought about (nor had to think about) what they would do if they really were faced with someone whom they cared about who had been physically assaulted, was pregnant as a result, and wanted to have an abortion. You think that "I would tell her to think of the innocent baby" would be received well, and perhaps it would: many people do think that once a young girl has been raped, she is no longer innocent.

I mean, we know, Sebastian, that you are the kind of person who would want to have a suicidal, pregnant woman chained to a hospital bed and then perform an unwanted operation on her with disregard of her mental health or the physical health of the fetus. Because you told us that's what you would do, faced with that situation.

So I don't actually take your extremist views on how "most Americans" think with any accuracy: you think women are incubators to be used, and that is the pro-life position, but most women do feel differently for themselves, and most parents do feel differently for their daughters. In the abstract, arguing that you will abuse your raped daughter may sound well: faced with the reality, most parents do care for their own children and think of them as better than the incubators pro-lifers want to make of them.

byrningham: "Day 5 of the Palin VP candidacy, and the stories keep rollin'. Great pick, just a great pick."

Sooner or later, all of this hullabaloo has to start weighing down McCain's candidacy. Makes the Biden pick look better and better -- no one second-guessed it.

Mark Halperin and Charlie Cook both wondered out loud last night on a Charlie Rose panel why McCain would take such a risk when -- subtracting the natural bounce Obama was going to get -- that the campaign was pretty close.

On the same panel, Ed Rollins called Obama's acceptance speech the best one he can ever remember -- quite a compliment coming from a career GOP strategist.

Rollins also said something stupid that got a lot of his colleagues' eyeballs rollings, saying that Ronald Reagan never really had a face-to-face, and didn't much like, George H.W. Bush before selecting him as his veep. Worst analogy ever, someone said, pointing out that Bush was already a known national figure.

And while the Palin picks calls into question McCain's judgement, I'd question his judgement if he had picked his buddy Lieberman. I mean, didn't he watch the 2000 campaign?


I fear the Palin pick may also sidetrack the Obama campaign.

By that I mean, let's hope Issue No. 1 remains the economy and not abortion.

Christian conservatives love this pick and feel like they are important again.

Gary Bauer -- that man gives me the creeps -- was on MSNBC before I came to work beaming, going on about how Palin has stood up to Big Oil, fought through Alaska's notorious old-boy network, has more executive experience than Barack Obama and blah, blah, blah.

Oh, yeah, Bauer said: Stop beating up on Palin's family when the right was told to lay off of Michele Obama.

I just hope the right doesn't make this campaign about wedge issues -- again -- when there are so many bigger ones that need addressing.

I don't like to post the same thing from blog to blog, but since Balloon Juice is currently in suck mode...

My wife is very anti-political, getting her political news mostly from co-workers, People magazine, and morning radio (a non political station). She quickly glazes over as soon as I begin talking politics, which I've learned to discuss only a little bit at a time when she asks a question.

She would be a strong Republican (has a '80's perspective in my opinion) except that she doesn't like their stances on women issues. And within the past month she's said that she doesn't "trust" Obama because of his Muslim background, and that she strongly respects McCain because McCain served in the military.

This morning she said that McCain's pick of Palin as his VP strongly turned her off to McCain as being President.

Basically McCain lost the vote of my wife by picking someone whom my wife sees as being incompetent for the position.

How would that look to the US public?

Apart from the fact that trying to convince your daughter who has just been raped to keep the baby on the basis of higher principles would be a horrific thing to do, you are totally missing the point here:

This was a political hypothetical addressed to a politician: there is a minority of people in the US who oppose abortion under most or all circumstances including rape, some even including life-threatening circumstances, and Palin is part of that minority. If they had their way, it wouldn't be about "her choice" and a mother weighing in on behalf of "choosing life" - it would be illegal to have an abortion in such circumstances.

Is that what you want? No? Then stop obfuscating.


Basically McCain lost the vote of my wife by picking someone whom my wife sees as being incompetent for the position.

It will take some time before we can tell from polls whether these anecdotes are an indicator of something big enough to impact the election, but the initial results look pretty good.

At 538 Nate just posted that Obama came">http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/09/todays-polls-92.html">came out of the D convention with a 4-5 point bounce (the historical average is about a 6 point bounce) based on polls which overlap the latter part of the Democratic convention and McCain’s VP pick announcement. This puts Obama up over McCain by an average of 6.7 points in these national polls, and above the critical 50% threshold. The net result is that Obama got a bounce, perhaps slightly diminished in size by the positive initial impact of the surprise VP announcement for McCain.

Now we wait to see how much of a bite the RNC bounce will take out of that lead. I’m guessing that Obama will still be up by about 4 points at the conclusion of the RNC. I think McCain is in trouble here.

Since Gary seems to be currently absent, I will take the over the duty of Farbering )for this post at least).
La Raza of course believes in succession. They (as Latinos) are overwhelmingly Roman Catholics and the apostolic succession is a dogma.

"It has an entry for "Party", which says "R", and an entry for "Orig Reg", which says '05-05-1982'."

It also has all the other stuff under that.

It may be refutable, but ignoring it won't do the job.

Sorry, br, but I live in southern California, and La Raza is most definitely a separatist movement

I have to say, that is the single lamest attempt to claim authority that I have seen in, well, weeks (this is the internets after all). 'hey, I live in one of the many states that contains hispanics, so I know all about them brownies'.

The follow-up about spending all your time talking to them is pretty funny, too. You'd have more luck claiming to play for the Lakers, at least your other statements don't basically rule that out. Embracing racist and anti-Latino talking points doesn't usually go hand-in-hand with having lots of radical Latino friends.

But the kicker is the logic behind it all- you can tell that they're racist because they rigorously scrub all mentions of their racist aims from their websites. But you can *also* tell they're racist because they refuse to cut ties with (allegedly) racist organizations!
I suppose if they did cut all ties with MeCHa, that'd be the final nail in the coffin- they cut the ties to show that they weren't racists, which just proves what sneaky racists they really are!

I hope you saved the receipt on your new brainz. They are not working.

I don't see how being registered with the Republican Party precludes her from having attended Alaska Firster (or whatever they're called) meetings. The McCain spokesperson saying it's not true because she's a registered republican is a classic case of seeming to refute the idea without actually lying.

I had a Columbia University ID this past year, but I still went to the NYU library frequently. If several people in NYU library insisted they saw me there, would you be convinced if I said "hey no way, here's my Columbia ID, ergo I couldn't possibly have gone to NYU ever" ?

As the new article in Time makes clear, she used the Republican Party machine to win her first mayoral election, so I would say she stuck with the republicans because they could do more for her, and because she seems to have become more of a theonazi than a libertarian-type (which I image would be the demographic of the Alaska Firsters).

Either way, if Obama's name, skin color and time in Indonesia is enough to question his patriotism and for McCain to premise his entire campaign on his Americaness, then by the McCain campaign's own standard Palin is clearly not a true patriot.

How is John McCain choice of Sarah Palin any less reckless and chancy than FDR's pick of Truman?

We were in a war, the nuclear bomb was almost ready, FDR was dying. His VP was sure to replace him.

But Truman was not kept up to date on war strategy or sensitive diplomatic issues between Churchill and Stalin. He was completely unawares of the nuclear program and the 'A' bomb's potential. Truman was touchy and defensive about his family. He was tainted by his connection to the corrupt Pendergast machine. He had no exectutive experience beyond his service as artillery Captain Truman in WWI.

In retrospect he looked as risky and unprepared for the job as Palin does to many today. Yet he turned out alright.

Most of McCains most prolific critics are not well enough informed for their opinions to be taken seriously.

her hubby was officially registered with the anti-American secessionist party.

Personally, I'm disgusted by the Palin family's anti-Americanism. I think, especially now when the nation confronts the primordial struggle against Islamic radicalism, the White House cannot afford to give hospice to someone who is not a true patriot.

I too am unimpressed with the "She was a registered Republican" argument. If she was involved in AIP activities and meetings she was sympathetic to AIP goals, regardless of her formal registration.

It's not hard to think of good reasons to remain a registered Republican regardless:

1. You'd like to vote in the Republican primary.
2. You'd like to run for office as a Republican.

Is Ron Paul not a libertarian?

How is John McCain choice of Sarah Palin any less reckless and chancy than FDR's pick of Truman?

At the time Truman was nominated for VP, he had been a US Senator for ten years and had (justly) achieved national recognition for his work heading up the Truman Commission.

In other words, he had significant relevant experience at the national level.

Without taking anything away from Palin's resume, I don't think the two are comparable.

Thanks -

byrningman: The McCain spokesperson saying it's not true because she's a registered republican is a classic case of seeming to refute the idea without actually lying.

I haven’t seen anyone claim she didn’t address them. That’s a matter of record, and there is video of her speech to them. (Worth noting that she says “your party” and not “our party” when addressing them.)

They are refuting the claim that she was a member of the party for two years.

her hubby was officially registered with the anti-American secessionist party

Director of Division of Elections in Alaska says she wasn’t – not good enough. Director of Division of Elections in Alaska says he was – good enough. ;) (Not directed at you byrningman, just noting it in general.) It’s more of the same though that TPMmuckraker would go out of their way to discover that. What’s the point? If Republicans have a rule that candidate’s spouses must be GOP members in good standing I missed it.

Jebus, what’s next? That 7 year old looks a little shifty to me – I wonder if someone is checking out records at the elementary school?

It’s almost like there were no legitimate issues on which to criticize her. Abortion, ANWR, creationism, GW, guns, gay marriage, etc. and all we’re (the country) talking about is her family.

and if we want the entire country to get shot out of the sky, then McCain is the pilot we need.
I suppose, given that it’s poor taste to speak ill of a Pow!. that it’s outta bounds, but this would be a wonderful catchphrase, and a great campaign ad.
Beyond that, it’s too darn vivid and easily imaginable; nightmare fodder.

According to the current ’diavlog’">http://">’diavlog’ over at bloggingheads, the halls of Townhall are bursting with enthusiastic festivity; this from Matt Lewis, their representative, who utterly without malice or irony is overjoyed with Palin. Oh, and she’s hot. We’ve neglected that here.

I can see it now, said the wizened prophet: She will overnight find herself in the seat of the Chief Executive (what a relief that she has executive experience) and promptly overturn Roe, decree Alaska an independent nation, and fire McCain’s Attorney General in favor of someone she can really depend on, and initiate a federal program to exterminate polar bears.
She will raise the price of gas, to Alaska’s great benefit, and mount an international hunting expedition as a world tour with the aim of shooting at least one example of every endangered species.
With that she will begin to assert herself on the international stage. She will emphasize the ‘lie’ in alliances. She will call for an invasion of the next International IPCC meeting, and close all foreign embassies, along with the State Department and all regulatory agencies as a cost-cutting measure.

After she’s chased out of Washington she’ll retire to Alaska where she will be crowned Empress (a libertarian, freedom-from-government sort of Empress). and live happily ever after raking in the big bucks from her buddies in Big Oil.

A real-life fairy tale.

Palin sounds like God's candidate.

Speaking about the Iraq war, she said recently:

"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

More from the HuffPo.

If I am Biden, I would not debate this woman at Saddleback.

Of course for the GOP the political affiliation of the partner is an important matter. People got fired or not hired because their partners were not loyal enough Bushies (something that has a long tradtion in totalitarian systems).

Gee, I forgot:
Close the National Archives and Library of Congress, cut off all funding to science, and build a reely big arena where the LoC was (having torn down the LoC of course).
No doubt I’ve missed a few things.
The savings will go into radical tax-cuts. Obviously.

I thought I was posting that in "Why It Matters."

All of this Palin stuff seems so inter-related that it's hard to keep track.

Most of McCains most prolific critics are not well enough informed for their opinions to be taken seriously.

Truman was a Senator for 10 years before becoming veep, and a judge long before that. And whether FDR kept him in the loop has no bearing on whether he'd be capable or not- it's like you don't even understand what argument you're trying to support.

But even if we took your crap argument at face value, the idea that one time someone rolled the dice and got a natural 7 therefore we should roll the dice again- can you not understand how profoundly stupid that is, even using just one neuron?

Never mind. There'll be another Palin scandal (and another mixed-up thread) tomorrow.

"Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."

"Never mind. There'll be another Palin scandal (and another mixed-up thread) tomorrow."

lol

More from the HuffPo:

"Religion, however, was not strictly a thread in Palin's foreign policy. It was part of her energy proposals as well.

"Just prior to discussing Iraq, Alaska's governor asked the audience to pray for another matter -- a $30 billion national gas pipeline project that she wanted built in the state.

"'I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that,'" she said.

I said it before but: You can't make this stuff up.

No way -- no way -- did they do any real vetting.

What do you expect from a band that prays for rain to ruin the Dem convention?

Director of Division of Elections in Alaska says she wasn’t – not good enough. Director of Division of Elections in Alaska says he was – good enough. ;) (Not directed at you byrningman, just noting it in general.) It’s more of the same though that TPMmuckraker would go out of their way to discover that. What’s the point?

That's cool, I'm enjoying it all. Frankly, I don't have any problem with her attending these meetings, assuming that the reports are true and that she did. I don't care personally if she flirted with a secessionist party.

However, I do think it's a relevant story because if true it makes the McCain campaign grossly hypocritical (uh, I mean even more than it already was) because they have branded their entire campaign on McCain 'Americaness' and, by unsubtle implication, Obama's relatively inferior 'Americaness'. Given that the reps and the MSM have both indulged the 'is Obama patriotic enough?' meme, and indulged the truly lame Ayers 'connection', if McCain's VP choice really did attend meetings of a secessionist party that he husband was a proud member of until he quit to abet her political career, then by McCain's own standards we should gravely doubt that she loves America enough to lead it.

To be honest, I doubt that she really does 'love America' to all that great a degree, certainly not to the same degree that nationalist like McCain and his supporters do. The interesting part about her 'what does the VP do?' comment was the bit that came after that was usually cut off. Entirely consistent with someone who dallied with a secessionist party, she said she would want to know that the VP job would get something for Alaska.

In other words, if she does get near the White House, we can expect her to finally get her bridge built, with gold trim.

She’s mythic, fairy-tale material, clearly.
It’s dazzling, the chatter.
Stirring up all manner of people, setting the neurons tingling instinctively.
Astonishing.
The primal power of apparent vacuity; the enormous force accompanying an absence of suitable substance.

What possibly more could you ask for? Wouldn’t anybody vote for Wonder Woman?

She knows how to sit at a desk and fire people. And get along famously with Big Oil to their mutual benefit. She’ll be ready on Day One, ready too kick ass and shoot her a Moose, or two.

Aside from the fact that I'm not making any money, I hate it when we're not busy at work, gets one's thoughts to racing:

Apparently, the right wing accomplished something the Viet Cong couldn't in five-plus years: It got McCain to cave in.

In other words, if she does get near the White House, we can expect her to finally get her bridge built, with gold trim.

byrningman wins the thread!!!

felix: The primal power of apparent vacuity; the enormous force accompanying an absence of suitable substance.

Nature (including polar bears) abhors a vacuum.

"Apparently, the right wing accomplished something the Viet Cong couldn't in five-plus years: It got McCain to cave in."

What are you talking about? John McCain: Torture Worked on Me:

[...] And - as McCain has publicly admitted at least twice - the torture worked!

In his 1999 autobiography, "Faith of My Fathers," McCain describes how he was severely injured when his plane was shot down over Hanoi - and how his North Vietnamese interrogators used his injuries to extract information.

"Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I did not cooperate," he wrote.

"I thought they were bluffing and refused to provide any information beyond my name, rank and serial number, and date of birth. They knocked me around a little to force my cooperation."

The punishment finally worked, McCain said. "Eventually, I gave them my ship's name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant."

Recalling how he gave up military information to his interrogators, McCain said: "I regret very much having done so. The information was of no real use to the Vietnamese, but the Code of Conduct for American Prisoners of War orders us to refrain from providing any information beyond our names, rank and serial number."

The episode wasn't the only instance when McCain broke under physical pressure.

Just after his release in May 1973, he detailed his experience as a P.O.W. in a lengthy account in U.S. News & World Report.

He described the day Hanoi Hilton guards beat him "from pillar to post, kicking and laughing and scratching. After a few hours of that, ropes were put on me and I sat that night bound with ropes."

"For the next four days, I was beaten every two to three hours by different guards . . . Finally, I reached the lowest point of my 5 1/2 years in North Vietnam. I was at the point of suicide, because I saw that I was reaching the end of my rope."

McCain was taken to an interrogation room and ordered to sign a document confessing to war crimes. "I signed it," he recalled. "It was in their language, and spoke about black crimes, and other generalities."

"I had learned what we all learned over there," McCain said. "Every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine."

It's best to propagate facts, not propaganda that even McCain has never remotely claimed.

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