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September 03, 2008

Comments

...I don't believe this. What are the bona fides of this video?

i love it. not only does it show that Noonan has a brain. but it also shows that she refuses to use it in the product she sells. i don't whether to love her or hate her.

Well, via MSNBC to TPM… ;)

Oh well. Allah notes that turnabout is fair play as Fox got Jesse Jackson earlier.

Amazing isn't it? That video is making the rounds of the internet pretty quickly but it is surprising to me how blasé everyone seems to be about it. Most bloggers seem to be treating it as something mildly amusing. But think about it. They're liars. We always knew they were liars but the tape is evidence that the host, supposedly a journalist, is also quite well aware that they are lying to his face for public consumption. He asks them their opinion. They give him an opinion that he knows is not true and he just moves on and asks them another opinion. Their entire conversation, which characterizes a great deal of our political discourse, is laid bare as just so much bad theater. Why should any of us even bother pretending anymore that there is such a thing as "news" or "journalism" when we can see with our own eyes that that is clearly not the case?

hate, cleek, hate. This is awful. This clip really needs the companion piece of what was actually on the air purposefully before they cut the mics. The clip where those two republican hacks said exactly the opposite of what they said when they thought the camera was off. And Todd, who up until now I had respected, just played right along. Awful. BS. Theater. It's loathesome.

not only does it show that Noonan has a brain. but it also shows that she refuses to use it in the product she sells.

It also shows that, despite her normally prim public demeanor, apparently she has a bit of a potty mouth. Not a fan but I now like her maybe 10% more than I used to.

By my count, this is 18 of the last 20 posts on Palin. Sullivan is worse (and verging on the clinically insane w/r/t the Jews for Jesus angle). There is certainly room for criticism of Palin, but what I'm getting now from the Obamosphere is fear. And a degree of short-sightedness.

Palin is going to give a good speech tonight. Based on past media interactions, she's no Dan Quayle: she's going to speak her mind. I've also now heard/read her deliver more than a few quick-witted, cutting remarks. If the Obamosphere approaches her the way it has, it's going to get decimated without even realizing what's happening.

You're going to disregard this advice. That's OK.

brent is right, its pretty discouraging to know--for realsies!--that its all phony. cripes, noonan has a column today saying the exact opposite of what she's saying here.

on the other hand, as an Obama supporter, i find it delightful to watch. when is wil.i.am going to set music this to music?

I think this comes out better for Murphy that Noonan. At least Murphy is a "strategist" and hence paid to lie. Noonan claims to be what exactly these days? Who pays her to lie to us?

Ahem…

Yesterday I wrote this:

while our supermarket tabloid press is busy working themselves into a frenzy over Babygate, there are signs of extreme displeasure with the Palin pick emerging from the other direction. The Village, aka The Serious People, are not amused. Charles Krauthammer called the Palin pick "near suicidal". Richard Cohen today compared it with Caligula appointing his horse to the Roman Senate.

What this means is that cracks are showing in the solidarity of McCain’s real base (the media) and that could spell big trouble for him in the coming months.

If The Serious People decide that McCain himself is not serious, that will probably impact the election most directly via the moderation at the debates. If the moderators are McCain friendly, then their questions will put Obama at a disadvantage and the net result of the debates will be a rough tie, which will then be spun as a “win” for McCain because of the expectations game.

On the other hand, if the moderators are unfriendly to McCain, Obama may eat him alive, in which case this election will go the way the 1980 election did, with late deciding voters swinging to the anti-incumbent in the wake of the debates.

Today, I give you this:

Thomas Friedman: And Then There Was One

Going into this election, I thought that — for the first time — we would have a choice between two “green” candidates. That view is no longer operative — and college students (and everyone else) need to understand that. With his choice of Sarah Palin — the Alaska governor who has advocated drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and does not believe mankind is playing any role in climate change — for vice president, John McCain has completed his makeover from the greenest Republican to run for president to just another representative of big oil.


Ladies and Gentlemen, what you witnessing is McCain’s original base, the Village MSM, starting to melt away like the Arctic icecap under global warming.

If he is lucky, the social-cons he has hitched his star to with the Palin VP pick will be a big enough iceberg to keep him above water.

There is certainly room for criticism of Palin, but what I'm getting now from the Obamosphere is fear

you're reading different blogs than i am. cause where i look, i see gleeful derision.

the only thing i'm afraid of is that people won't take her seriously and the press will give her a low-expectations win.

ThatLeftTurnInABQ makes a sound point.


John Cole has a pretty good response to Von.

And Ambinder has excerpts of the speech. I'm sure they're saving the awesome parts, but it sounds incredibly defensive to me. And it's going to focus on drilling. Yay!

Seriously, dude, I'm not scared of this. The reason there are so many posts on Palin is because of the sheer flood of crazy that the nomination has unleashed. A new sliver of information every day. And even if it's not credible, to say that this is going to snowball in her favor is a bit of a wager.

This is the Republican's Eagleton.

If the Obamosphere approaches her the way it has, it's going to get decimated without even realizing what's happening.

As a member of the Obamasphere, I will be happy to take your advice von. But you will have to be more specific about what is wrong or fearful in our approach. I get that Sullivan is a little nuts but what exactly is the criticism here. From the points you raise about Palin, you seem to be suggesting that the Obamasphere is putting forth the contrary narrative that she is dumb and won't speak her mind. I really haven't seen that so I am really not sure what it is that we should stop doing exactly. If the advice is to stop reading Sullivan, I pre-accepted your advice on that score many years ago.

you're reading different blogs than i am. cause where i look, i see gleeful derision.

Cleek, I suspect that you (and I) are insulated. My gut tells me that this is going to play very differently with most folks than it plays with us.

Another piece of advice, Brent, is to ignore advice from henceforth anyone who compares Palin to Eagleton.

Von, you have a point (though not about fear), but this clip is significant for reasons that have nothing to do with Palin. It's about the media, not the candidates.

John Cole has a pretty good response to Von.

BR, you must take me for someone who dislikes Obama. Au contrair. I think Obama is brilliant, and I'd be fine with him as our next President. As I've said, I may even vote for him. So the fact that Obama can speak without a teleprompter is neither news, nor particularly frightening, to me.

If the Obamosphere approaches her the way it has, it's going to get decimated without even realizing what's happening.

Von, the "Obamasphere" isn't a participant in this. Like most of the world, it's just watching this slow-motion collapse with a mixture of amazement, disgust and schadenfreude.

Obama is a player, the commenters here are not. We're just shooting the breeze same as you are. If you suppose otherwise then you are simply deluded.

Mike Murphy and Peggy Noonan are part of the Obamasphere? Wow, he does bring people together.

Although Palin's speech is going to be good, she's a ex-sportscaster, I think she can talk to a camera with words someone else wrote.

von: fear? Um, no.

von: My gut tells me that this is going to play very differently with most folks than it plays with us.

What is it with Republican guts? In polite circles, if a person's gut says something, it's manners to pretend it never happened, not to repeat what your gut said a bit louder to make sure the rest of the room heard it.

Another piece of advice, Brent, is to ignore advice from henceforth anyone who compares Palin to Eagleton.

Well I have heard that bandied about some and I cannot say that I find it to be impossible that she will have to be dropped from the ticket at some point but that still doesn't give me much of an idea about what exactly you are criticizing here. Is the mistake "we" are making in suggesting that, for various reasons, she may have to be dropped because she is a liability? Again, I don't really see how the fact that she is intelligent or quick witted or outspoken contradicts that argument.

what I'm getting now from the Obamosphere is fear. And a degree of short-sightedness.

I don't know; all I see is joyful contempt and wonder at how infantile McCain is.

Palin is going to give a good speech tonight. Based on past media interactions, she's no Dan Quayle: she's going to speak her mind. I've also now heard/read her deliver more than a few quick-witted, cutting remarks.

How many cutting remarks does it take to alter the fact that she hired a lobbyist to get earmarks for her town, brought in millions of dollars that way, and yet managed to take her town from a balanced budget to massive debt? I mean, I'm sure that she can be very cutting, but I'm not sure why I or the general public should care about how cutting her quips are in the face of minor facts like that.

If the Obamosphere approaches her the way it has, it's going to get decimated without even realizing what's happening.

Um....how? If by "Obamasphere", you mean lefty blogs supporting Obama, there is no way they can get "decimated". Blogs don't control anything, and for the most part, don't reach nearly enough people to affect electoral outcomes. How can lefty blogs get decimated?

You're going to disregard this advice. That's OK.

Let's say all the lefty blogs follow your advice...then what will happen? Telling a few thousand people to alter their expectations about a speech doesn't seem like it will make a difference in the real world.

Hilzoy, what you feel and what people think you feel are two different things. The hard thing to learn is that only the latter matters.

Von, can you do us the courtesy of explaining what it is you are trying to say? Thanks in advance.

What is it with Republican guts? In polite circles, if a person's gut says something, it's manners to pretend it never happened, not to repeat what your gut said a bit louder to make sure the rest of the room heard it.

Or, if all else fails, curl your nose and glare accusingly at the dog :-)

--TP

Another piece of advice, Brent, is to ignore advice from henceforth anyone who compares Palin to Eagleton.

A better piece of advice is to ignore advice from those who have been consistantly wrong, whether pundit or blog commentor.

Jes, everyone once in a while, your knifestrokes have a distinctively Queens English* character to them. I'm endeared despite disagreeing with you on, well, everything. Reminds me of some formative years in colchester. So I'll gladly accept the evisceration here -- though I don't think you really address my points.

*Yes, yes, you're a Scot. Sorry 'bout that; since I'm lowland & n. Irish as well, you'll appreciate my treason the more.

Ergo, if von keeps saying you are fearful, it doesn't matter if you aren't. It's a very nice way of discarding data that doesn't fit your curve.

A better piece of advice is to ignore advice from those who have been consistantly wrong, whether pundit or blog commentor.

Sure, sure.

LJ, in my field, I've learned the hard way to listen to local counsel -- the folks with roots in the community. I'm not a conservative, but I think I'm closer to a conservative than most of you.

Kevin Donoghue, I surely can't speak slowly enough for you. ;-)

wow, this got nasty really quickly. don't you know i come to OW when I need a break from Balloon Juice?

Consider the desperation of Plain's defenders:

* Any criticism of her lack of experience is sexism.
* Her foreign policy experience comes via peristalsis and Alaska's proximity to Russia
* She's the CINC of that Alasksn National Guard, and makes lots of decisions (of some kind or other, probably)
* Her teenage daughter's pregnancy is a triumph of old-fashioned conservative values

I agree that von smells fear, but he mistakes its source.

von,

Hang in there - I admire your courage even if I don't share your opinion.

von: though I don't think you really address my points.

I hardly needed to: everyone else already had.


wow, this got nasty really quickly. don't you know i come to OW when I need a break from Balloon Juice?

You too, huh?

I tend to write with my head on ObWings, and my heart on Balloon Juice [WordPress error establishing a database connection].

Sullivan is worse (and verging on the clinically insane w/r/t the Jews for Jesus angle)

Sully was well into insane with his insistence that Palin produce Trig's hospital birth records; if he's only verging on it now, he's recovering.

But given your point on local counsel, I'm Jewish, and I consider the Jews for Jesus to be something below pond scum, far more offensive than Wright's black nationalism.

I for one can't wait to see how badly lefty blogs that support Obama will get decimated. I imagine that Josh Marshall will be bleeding from a thousand cuts while Matthew Yglesias will have his head cut off and placed in a bowling bag. And they could have avoided this terrible fate if only they listened to von and...um...altered their expectations...or something.

Multiple category errors certainly do make comments more entertaining. Those sorts of errors tend to come about when people are afraid of course.

The problem is, von, is that you aren't telling us what local counsel is saying, you are giving some impression (informed by talking to Palin supporters that you have talked to?) of what we look like. This has the effect of validating the prejudice of local counsel rather than challenging it. 'Sorry, that's not how it's done down here in Yoknapatawpha county'

While I, like TLT, appreciate your opinion, you seem to stop at challenging whether it is true. Sure, you can put code words in like Noonan does to show how you don't agree with it, but in the end, you'll just take it as yet another sh!t happens moment in American politics. It is not as transparent as Brett's support of Bob Barr (no word yet on whether he will hold Palin to the same standards that he holds Obama) but things like arguing McCain did due diligence in vetting Palin strikes me as similar. Perhaps you are just overconcerned with optics, but juxtaposing your advice on that is a bit disturbing.

Not to intrude on the massively enlightening discussion on von's gut, but mine reads somewhat differently.

I keep calling family back in OK to see their thoughts on the various conventions and nominations (especially my lifelong very Republican sister). None of them are exactly wild eyed members of the "Angry Left". They are less gleeful in their contempt of Palin and significantly more appalled by the sheer cynical pandering, but they all seem to share the contempt. The women seem to be especially offended that the fact that she is similarly equipped is supposed to win them over despite her obvious lack of credentials.

Given that I recently moved to Alaska to be near the my brother, my family also has a familiarity with the state in general and the town of Wasilla (where he lives) specifically. The universal belief is that she is in WAY over her head. She may give a good speech, but Alaska politics isn't exactly the big time and she never really stood out as a shining light on the hill up here.

Turb,

But wouldn't it be nice if instead of being the Angry Left, we could be the Mildly Annoyed Left for a change?

wow, this got nasty really quickly. don't you know i come to OW when I need a break from Balloon Juice?

Whoa. That's not my intention. I'm not here to J'accuse. And to the extent that I make fun of the Irish, 'tis only that I kid what I am.

In any event, we shall see how this works out. I get the strong sense that y'all are underestimating Palin and McCain. But I have been wrong before. And may be yet again.

The problem is, von, is that you aren't telling us what local counsel is saying, you are giving some impression (informed by talking to Palin supporters that you have talked to?) of what we look like.

I don't mean too; I'm not qualified to say what you look like. (Metaphorically, of course.) What I will say is that, if you spend 18 out of 20 posts on an issue, it better be a winning issue. And, to me, the jury is really out on Palin. She could be a distaster. She could be brilliant. The only firm prediction I can make is that, if she's brilliant, TMP, Sullivan, ObWi -- and, by extension, Obama -- is going to pay a price.

Fwiw, I am not underestimating her as a political performer. (I think I've said as much earlier, at various points.) I think she'll come off well, etc. I do think it's hard to underestimate her suitability for the job.

But hey: I don't know what really matters, so I'm probably wrong on this as well.

I get the strong sense that y'all are underestimating Palin and McCain

nah. this is just gloating because the Dems are on top right now. McCain will have a good week (or two) out of the next eight, and we'll all be scowling at Obama's lack of effective counterpunching, or the media's shameful fluffing towards McCain, who they know is just a cynical old fraud, etc..

but for now... we gloat.

and i shall drink Laphroaig 1/4 Cask, in celebration.

Sorry for the typos in the above. I blame it on my head cold & am heading to bed.

Von: I’m right there with you. I’ve been telling them for days but for some reason they don’t believe me either. ;)


On Noonan: I’m not entirely getting the “liar” part. She has not been that upbeat about the pick. Her oped from today:

The choice of Sarah Palin IS a Hail Mary pass, the pass the guy who thinks he has a good arm makes to the receiver he hopes is gifted.

Most Hail Mary passes don't work.

But when they do they're a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

That sounds to me like putting the best face on it she can. I think you’d have a point if she had been seriously acting as a Palin cheerleader but I don’t see that. She does get a little more rah-rah in there at times, but “Hail Mary” is exactly what many of you right here said back on Friday…

There is certainly room for criticism of Palin, but what I'm getting now from the Obamosphere is fear. And a degree of short-sightedness.

Camera pans to building, heard in background...

Can you believe this shite! Do you think they fell for it? We are so totally screwed...

Silly me, I thought this post was about hypocritical right wing political shills.

you saw who?

I get the strong sense that y'all are underestimating Palin and McCain.

Is it possible, at this point, to underestimate McCain & Palin?

------------

TMP, Sullivan, ObWi -- and, by extension, Obama

Does anyone here judge MCain by what's said on RedState, Captain's Quarters, etc? Does anyone with a shred of sense? Anyone who would judge Obama based on what blogs said would seem to me to be 28%ers anyway.

========================

(I've been listening to snippets of the RNC and a goodly portion of the speeches could be lifted from Democratic position papers over the last 20 years. Go green!)

And, to me, the jury is really out on Palin. She could be a disaster. She could be brilliant.

Putting aside, for a second, the relative odds of disaster and brilliance, will you at least admit that for this to be the case after a candidate has been selected for a major party ticket is a pretty major indictment of the process by which she was chosen and the person doing the choosing?

OT-Gary: Thanks for the info from http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/09/why-it-matters.html#comment-128853734>the other thread. (It seems finished, and I don't know if you'd see the thank you.) I suppose I won't beat you up for not wanting to wade into legalese detail. This time. ^.^

OT: These speeches are pretty lame...

Though no sooner do I write that than Mitt Romney starts making a better one.

Carly Fiorina thinks it's sexist that people describe Palin as a showhorse, not workhorse? Is she just waking up from a year-long nap? People (including Hillary Clinton) attacked Obama using exactly those words, and they're not exactly uncommon in referring to politicians, most of whom are not female.

In any event, we shall see how this works out. I get the strong sense that y'all are underestimating Palin and McCain

I will repeat myself and point out that I still don't have the slightest idea what behavior you are attempting to steer us away from. What is it that we in the blogosphere are doing that constitutes an underestimation of Palin? Every single blogger that I read thinks that she appears perfectly intelligent and has very formidable political talents.

Put another way, lets assume that you are right. Lets say that somehow we are stupidly doing something that indicates an underestimation of her. How should we be behaving differently? When new information comes out about troopergate or about her trying to intimidate librarians into banning books, the type of stories that come out at a rate of several a day, then how should we react in your estimation? Would it count as less of an underestimation if we didn't comment on these stories?

Beyond that, now that we have underestimated her, and when she proves us wrong, what price is ObWi, TPM etc going to be forced to pay?

You have leveled an extremely vague accusation that, as far as I can see, we can do nothing to defend ourselves against.

Maybe start an open thread for speeches, since several of us seem to be watching?

I did notice that Romney said "Democratic" once. Are people avoiding the "Democrat"-as-an-adjective childishness as a concession to Lieberman?

brent: What is it that we in the blogosphere are doing that constitutes an underestimation of Palin?

Speaking for myself only, I think that we need to be cautious about her in the debates, where Biden will probably do better but Palin isn't going to totally embarass herself. Combined with the low expectations, it'll be reported as a win for Palin.

Also, her ability to campaign and get the GOP Christianist base fired up could gain more votes than she loses from moderates turned off by the crazier aspects of her politics.

Overall, Palin is probably a good thing for the Dems, but she isn't the ultimate gift-wrapped present that many may think she is.

Though no sooner do I write that than Mitt Romney starts making a better one.

Really. I actually turned him off. I saw him throw out a line trying to make fun of Al Gore and I just changed channels. It just seemed sort of silly to me. I guess a lot of this stuff is directed towards their base but don't they really need to address independents a whole lot more right now? Is making fun of Gore and going on about defeating evil really the ticket? Seems lame to me.

Have any speakers before Romney reminded America that the Republicans are the party of Gitmo? Will any others? Well, Giuliani will presumably squeeze it in between 9/11's.

Did Romney really refer to Democrats as the party of Big Brother??

Was Romney really, really proud of America the day the Abu Ghraib pictures came out??

Did the son of auto-industry CEO and Michigan Governor George Romney, himself a venture capitalist and Governor of the People's Republic of Massachusetts really just rail against 'the elites'??

Do Republican politicians have any respect for the intelligence of their own delegates?

--TP

OCSteve
On Noonan: I’m not entirely getting the “liar” part.

The editorial she wrote is full of, at least to me, the same sort of bad faith argumentation that I've seen so much when talking about Palin, leavened with just enough 'warnings' to allow plausible deniability if things go down the toilet. It is not lying, it is bullshitting.

noonan when no one is listening
PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me-- political bullshit about narratives --

noonan, trying to retrieve her kool kids conservative card
Here I must plead some confusion. In our off-air conversation, I got on the subject of the leaders of the Republican party assuming, now, that whatever the base of the Republican party thinks is what America thinks. I made the case that this is no longer true, that party leaders seem to me stuck in the assumptions of 1988 and 1994, the assumptions that reigned when they were young and coming up. "The first lesson they learned is the one they remember," I said to Todd -- and I'm pretty certain that is a direct quote. But, I argued, that's over, those assumptions are yesterday, the party can no longer assume that its base is utterly in line with the thinking of the American people. And when I said, "It's over!" -- and I said it more than once -- that is what I was referring to.

Being covered in slime does help one's flexibility, it seems.

Tossing in the 'hail mary' ref is simply a CYA move, and note that she says it can come off as 'a thing of beauty'. And presumably a joy forever?

And the "I had the same thought when Dan Qualye was nominated", that is pathetic dissembling, though I'm sure she'd wave the trial balloon WSJ article about how Bush was going to dump Cheney, because his daddy didn't dump Quayle.

As I've said before, it is bullshit turtles all the way down.

alright... i tried watching it. Huckabee just came on and i tried watching. but he got about three minutes in and then started on this nonsense about Obama going to Europe and bringing back "European ideas" that would destroy our freedoms and our way of life... ?

the whole xenophobic conservative reactionary philosophy is just alien, and frankly offensive, to me. and the blatant falsehoods and misrepresentations from people who call themselves devout Christians? come on.

compare Huckster's bu11sh!t demagoguery about American values to Obama's.

blech. Republicanism is a social disorder.

What the hell? Huckabee just got wild applause for a even more inaccurate mutation of the lie I heard earlier from Kellyanne Conway. In his version he says that the number of votes Palin got running for mayor of Wasilla (Conway had said the whole population of Wasilla) was higher than the number Biden got running for president. These people are shameless.

compare Huckster's bu11sh!t demagoguery about American values to Obama's.

heh. that should have been:

compare Huckster's bu11sh!t demagoguery about American values to Obama's speech.

+3

if you spend 18 out of 20 posts on an issue, it better be a winning issue.

It's not just the Palin issue here at Obwi, but the lack of any conservative voice on top level posts. I don't know what the exact ratio of McCain-critical posts to other posts was pre-Palin, but if you took out Eric's posts on Iraq, it was close to the same ratio. The only Obama posts are in defense of the Great One.

what price is ObWi, TPM etc going to be forced to pay?

ObWi loses (meaning the community) when the conversation becomes so one-sided. When I'm wrongheaded about a topic, there are 100 commenters ready to help me see the light. OTOH, there are maybe, what, 5-7 regular commenters here that are conservative? And no top level posters?

The pile-on on Palin is just the latest illustration. Palin=Eagleton? Are you serious? I'm with von on this one. The hysterical (and I don't mean funny) reaction to Palin is likely to backfire.

Phew. I was a away for a few hours and this turned into an epic thread. Good stuff.

Let me just say to OCSteve and Von that I think the media is underestimating another base as well: Obama's. Sure we were excited before. But, speaking for myself only, I am fully enraged now and convinced McCain Palin will be worse than Bush Cheney. Not only have I given more money to Obama this last week, but I convinced my mom and sister (former Hillary supporters) to donate, and got a few friends who were Obama supporters to give for the first time. Palin might energize the abortion-abortion-abortion crowd, but she seems to be firing our base up too. And I think there are more of us than there are of them.

TP, Tom Brokaw did point out the incongruity of Mitt Romney's attack on Eastern elites.

And Keith Olbermann gave the facts on the lie about numbers of votes after Huckabee's speech.

Oh... I forgot to mention

Eagleton Eagleton Eagleton

:-b

the lack of any conservative voice on top level posts.

If the kitty grants minor wishes (i.e. something sort of peace on earth and goodwill to all), I'd like to see a conservative blog author as an ObWings regular, and posting on a variety of topics (sorry, but Charles's one-note periodic updates on Iraq are pretty weak tea).

Would it help as a carrot, if we promised to be nice to them, at least at first? So it wasn't too perilous. Or maybe just a little bit of peril?

Alternatively, as a threat, maybe some of us could take turns pretending to be the in-house conservative. At least until you scream in pain and surrender by giving in and ponying up to go get the real deal.

cleek, I think it's your turn in the barrel this week... I'll go next week.

blech! typos be gone!

(i.e. something short of peace on earth and goodwill to all)

I'm shocked! Apparently I've died and become a http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/09/tell-us-what-yo.html#comment-128983564>ghost poster!

But, yeah. That was me up there.

cleek, I think it's your turn in the barrel this week

heh. well i tried, but i just can't force my head to argue in favor of a lie.

TLT: Believe it or not, we have aqctually been trying. If anyone has suggestions for good conservative commenters, please feel free to make them.

Palin=Eagleton? Are you serious?

I've stayed away from this whole topic, which is more than adequately covered by many others, but I find the (mock?) outrage here curious.

We have a situation here ("We" being the American public, as well as the politicians involved) with very few precedents, and since we like precedents, we scramble for the best we can find. Remember Andrew Johnson and Nixon and Clinton (re: presidential impeachments)? Remember Katrina, prior to Gustav?

Which precedent, in this case, would obviously be Eagleton.

1) A late, last-minute, basically unvetted, surprise selection for VP nomination of a major party? Check.

2) A "scandal" (or two) unknown to the public, and apparently to the candidate, emerges almost at once? (Cf. "unvetted," above.) Check.

3) The VP selection is forced to step down? Yes in 1972, still unknown in 2008.

IF Palin does step down, it's Eagleton all the way. We can discuss, if we want, the implications of the particular scandal involved (e.g., is abuse of power worse than a history of psychotherapy?), as we discussed the various allegations against Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton, or the gale forces of Katrina and Gustav, but whether or not we do, the parallel is there.

IF she does not, then the precedent no longer holds. It is, in the words of Ron Ziegler, "inoperative."

Now I have no particular insight as to whether or not Palin will weather this storm, but it would seem to me curious indeed if, given this situation, someone did NOT mention Eagleton as the obvious (potential) precedent.

The only way (IMHO) one can think otherwise is to assume - without knowing any more than any of the rest of us does of the facts of the case - that Gov. Palin somehow must be blameless of any and all charges that may have been, or may yet be, laid against her, or that the Republican party leadership must stick with her, regardless of what may be alleged, believed by the public, or proven, i.e., they have nailed her to the mast.

Of such assumptions, I can only ask:

Are you serious?

I'm really curious about what specific benefit do people think a conservative front pager would add. I mean, would this conservative writer write fascinating posts explaining that torture is actually OK or that only three people have been tortured by the US? Would he write about the tremendous success of the Iraq War? Would he write about how the great intellectual seriousness with which John McCain approaches policy decisions? Would he write about the media's liberal bias? What exactly would he write about?

I have a theory that any conservative front pager will either end up writing similar things to other front pagers (torture is wrong, the US has tortured, Iraq has been a disaster, McCain isn't very sharp, etc.) or they will write patently ridiculous things that will be mocked to death (insert the opposite of the previous list's elements). I could be wrong about my theory, but I'd really appreciate it if someone could explain why.

If I am right, then any conservative front pager will mostly differ from the current front pagers on the details and in matters of emphasis; they might say for example that while the US has tortured many people and that is unacceptable, it is doing quite well by historical standards. Or they might say that while the Iraq War has been a disaster, it is one from which we can recover with relatively few ill-effects. However, if a conservative front pager really differs from the current front pagers only in emphasis, then I don't think they are going to significantly change the tone of OW. How can they, if they're just like hilzoy except with a slightly more conservative take? Any difference they introduce must be small, right?

Wow. I'll bet this could change dozens of votes. A tempest in a teapot.

Do Republican politicians have any respect for the intelligence of their own delegates?

No.

It's not just the Palin issue here at Obwi, but the lack of any conservative voice on top level posts.

Well this whole post is about what the conservative voice really is. When the mike is on, they spin, and when it is off, they make fun of the bullshit they just spewed. You think there should be more of that here? Why? Don't we put up with enough bullshit already?

ObWi loses (meaning the community) when the conversation becomes so one-sided.

In the same way that shape of the earth discussions lose when the flat earthers are excluded.

The pile-on on Palin is just the latest illustration. Palin=Eagleton? Are you serious?

Of course not, Eagleton had a small amount of credibility and a skeleton in his closet. Palin is a joke. The people who say otherwise when the mike is on say, "Political bullshit" when they think it has been turned off. Don't make a fool of yourself.

If the kitty grants minor wishes (i.e. something sort of peace on earth and goodwill to all), I'd like to see a conservative blog author as an ObWings regular

How about a flat-eather as well. Has there EVER been a flat earth friendly poster on this blog?

Kinda one-sided, doncha think?

I'm all for a conservative front pager ... but I will surprise no one when I say that I don't actually read any conservative blogs. I've tried, occasionally, to read people that moderate liberal bloggers praise (Douthat, McArdle, I forget who else), and found them to range from uninteresting to infuriating.

Leaving aside getting them to post on ObWi, can someone recommend a readable sane Conservative blog to read occasionally?

can someone recommend a readable sane Conservative blog to read occasionally

Also, a scientifically literate flat earther blog.

>>Do Republican politicians have any respect for the intelligence of their own delegates?

>>--TP

Should they?

(The above wisecrack only refers to the actual delegates on the floor as observed on TV and is not meant in any way to convey derision or criticism of all Republicans or conservatives as an undifferentiated set. God bless; thank the savior; l'chaim; praise Allah; RegUSPatOff)

(I'm still going to regret this post, aren't I?)

I, too, have no idea what a conservative front pager would say.

The GOP has clearly, very clearly, decided that the only function of government is to shovel money to its cronies, while distracting the plebes with wars and family circuses. I realize quite a few conservatives will say that's not what they're all about - but if they're voting for the GOP, that's what they are about.

The GOP's contempt for the American people has been manifest for quite some time, but now the display is downright pornographic.

"...I don't believe this. What are the bona fides of this video?"

Peggy Noonan vouches for it.

"But wouldn't it be nice if instead of being the Angry Left, we could be the Mildly Annoyed Left for a change?"

I'm the Frequently Perturbed, and Sometimes Despairing, But Sporadically Cheerful, Left, myself.

"What I will say is that, if you spend 18 out of 20 posts on an issue, it better be a winning issue."

What I will say is that this only makes sense if you look at blog posts as put forward as a planned political campaign, rather than impulsive responses to news that comes along.

And I don't think the former, your apparent view, describes the reality of either ObWi, a blog where you've had blogging privileges longer than anyone else currently posting, or most other blogs I'm familiar with.

"I'm really curious about what specific benefit do people think a conservative front pager would add."

True, several more are called for. The benefit would be to get ObWi back to what it was, and what it was intended to be: a place where a spread of political views are put forth and respectfully debated.

Oh my, is Obsidian Wings in its death throes for lack of conservative front-pagers again? Sorry, this particular complaint and the accompanying concern trolling sort of lost their impact to me after the first few times.

The first occurrence of this came up at least as long ago as 2005, and while the idea of having a principled conservative blogger on the front page has merit, this is largely complicated by the notable shortage of principled conservatives--and the suitable candidates tend to have their own blogs already.

It's simply not possible at this point be principled and informed, and simultaneously support the McCain/Palin ticket. You can pick conservatives at random off the street and front page, them but they're still going to be either joining the chorus of pointing out how dishonest and unqualified the Republican ticket is, or getting rightfully destroyed in the comments section for trying to put lipstick on that pig.

At a certain point, you have to come to terms with the realization that it's not the message or the messenger that sucks, it's your product. That if there's 19 out of 20 posts all pointing out different ways your product sucks, and your objection is not that they're wrong but that they're spending too much time on it, maybe you should be focusing on the fact that your product sucks rather than complaining when people point it out.

True, several more are called for. The benefit would be to get ObWi back to what it was, and what it was intended to be: a place where a spread of political views are put forth and respectfully debated.

Um, is there any evidence that OW used to better in any measurable way than it is now? Or are you just assuming that?

It seems like a spread of political views are put forth and respectfully debated right now, so I'm unclear on what specific changes you'd like to see.

Do you really think that OW would be a better place if Charles Bird were writing more front page posts? I mean, I'm sure he benefited from the very slow remedial education you gave him on the most basic facts about the Vietnam War, but I didn't find it very edifying and I didn't see Charles offering serious commentary in the interim.

Gary, with respect, it might be better if you addressed the other questions in my previous comment. For example, you might address the questions of what specific things you think a conservative front pager would write about and how exactly do you think that change in writing would change OW's culture. Its not that I didn't like your 'Faster please' response, I just think it is incomplete.

Re von's remark waaaay up thread: I'm afraid of her. I am afriad of the folly of the ten percent of swing voters who stare at the TV and decide, "I like her (or him). I think I'll vote for him (or her)" without ever properly thinking about it at all, without knowing eonugh about the issues or having enough background information to actually THINK.

Republicans get elected by misrepresenting their policies, by appealing to the worst in human nature, and by choosing plausible liars for their candidates. So the questsion is: who plausible a liar is Sarah Palin? She is certainly a very fluent liar.

So yes I am afraid of her. I think that you are right, She could possibly play in Peoria.

Well, perhaps what would be interesting would be someone more in the way of a conservative interpreter. For instance, when Palin was talking about Bristol's choice to keep the baby, she wasn't talking about carrying to term vs. abortion but rather raising the child herself vs. putting it up for adoption, a top post about that would have been useful. Or Huckabee's little story about the desks - the unspoken part was "Freedom isn't really free." Or why fundamentalists talk about being discriminated against because they're Christians. Just my 2 cents.


I'm really curious about what specific benefit do people think a conservative front pager would add. I mean, would this conservative writer write fascinating posts explaining that torture is actually OK or that only three people have been tortured by the US? Would he write about the tremendous success of the Iraq War? Would he write about how the great intellectual seriousness with which John McCain approaches policy decisions? Would he write about the media's liberal bias? What exactly would he write about?

In your questions is your answer. If you really thought conservative thought was limited to the above, you might have a point. But I know you know better.

How can they, if they're just like hilzoy except with a slightly more conservative take?

No offense to Hilzoy, but there's a bit more room on the conservative side of Hilzoy than you seem to intuit.

Oh my, is Obsidian Wings in its death throes for lack of conservative front-pagers again? Sorry, this particular complaint and the accompanying concern trolling sort of lost their impact to me after the first few times.

Sure, it's easy to lable a conservative comment with the "troll" label. No effort to understand. Fine. There's no question in my mind that many posts from the left here would be labled "troll" if it were a mirror image aimed at Obama/Biden.

I think the first issue that brought me to ObWi was health care benefits. Interesting discussion. I stayed. I was intrigued with polite discussion from both political angles by apparently very smart people.

Just the few comments here about the lack of need of a top level conservative poster reinforce the very need for one unless this is to eventually become a higher brow Huffington Post, IMHO.

Gary has it right. And, no, whining that I'm whining (or trolling, or whatever) isn't making me go anywhere. Even though this has become almost an extension of Obama/Biden 2008, I'm staying.


Just the few comments here about the lack of need of a top level conservative poster reinforce the very need for one unless this is to eventually become a higher brow Huffington Post, IMHO.

Not that that hasn't uses....

However, I agree it would be a lot MORE useful to have more top-level conservative posters. I learn more that way.

(However, affirmative action (the cartoon version) would not be helpful....).

In your questions is your answer. If you really thought conservative thought was limited to the above, you might have a point. But I know you know better.

Um, no, I really don't know better, so could you please answer my original questions: what might a conservative front pager write about and why do you think that writing would change the culture here?

Just the few comments here about the lack of need of a top level conservative poster reinforce the very need for one unless this is to eventually become a higher brow Huffington Post, IMHO.

I never said that we don't need one. I just questioned what the benefit would be. If you think conservative FPers are magical, then that's fine, but I'd like to see an argument that has some plausible mechanism of action by which a conservative FPer would improve OW.

I mean, maybe we should believe that back in the day OW was a much better place because there were more active conservative FPers, but I don't see any reason to believe that absent some evidence. I certainly won't assume that just because you said so.

"Um, is there any evidence that OW used to better in any measurable way than it is now?"

Since "better" is a subjective judgment, I don't know how it would be measured; feel free to put forth suggestions for a metric to be used to as regards this idea that ObWi would be "better," that you're inventing, and which has nothing whatever to do with anything I said.

"Or are you just assuming that?"

Quote me anything I said that had anything to do with ObWi being "better."

I liked the old ObWi just fine, though, if that's relevant. I stick around because of various factors, but there's no shortage of straightforward liberal blogs. There is a shortage of blogs with a far wider spread of views where people can reasonably debate.

"Gary, with respect, it might be better if you addressed the other questions in my previous comment."

Is there any evidence that OW would be better in any measurable way if I addressed the other questions in your previous comment? Or are you just assuming that?

Original Lee: For instance, when Palin was talking about Bristol's choice to keep the baby, she wasn't talking about carrying to term vs. abortion but rather raising the child herself vs. putting it up for adoption, a top post about that would have been useful.

Oh, I got that, actually.

I just figured (when discussing how the media might approach this angle) that it would be better to take the moral high ground and just assume to Governor Palin that she'd made a speech identifying herself as a good, pro-choice mother, not an abusive pro-lifer who forced her daughter.

For a parent to force a child to give birth against her will is abusive: and likewise abuse if a parent tried to force a child to abandon her baby against her will. So naturally, speaking to Governor Palin, one would assume she was not abusive with her own daughter: she was pro-choice.

Let me throw out some ideas (so expect them to be even more half baked than usual. Quarter-baked?).

First - I'm not looking for a partisan GOP champion to just round out party political bias in favor of the Dems. Sorry, but the levels of intellectual dishonesty that I've seen coming from that quarter are too much to swallow.

What I would like is a somebody who speaks from a broader set of philosophic assumptions than are currently represented here, and who speaks on behalf of that viewpoint independent of the degree to which is it, or is not, a good fit with the current GOP.

I don't mind "lesser of two evils" arguments when election time comes around, but I'm not really interested in hearing from somebody who takes the talking points du jour and then tries to rationationalize from them backwards and is willing to do noticeable damage to their metaviews in the course of doing so.

Having said that, from time to time I've read stuff from a paleo-con point of view on Pat Buchanan's magazine American Conservative and at www.antiwar.com which struck me as worth the time taken to read, and providing some non-imperial ideas about US foreign policy which are distinctly different in flavor and assumptions from the sort of critiques normally offered from the left.

Ditto Ron Dreher from a crunchy-con point of view. Conventional organized religion seems to be a sparsely represented viewpoint here, and I would welcome someone who is able to write from that standpoint with quiet confidence and humility (rather than noisy preaching and telling us that we're all gonna go to hell).

I'm not saying that I necessarily agree with these bloggers, or that they don't sometimes spout what strikes me as arrant nonsense, but they do have the virtue of making me think through my own ideas in order to understand where I part company with them and why.

So somebody like that would be nice.

I imagine that there are probably some Eisenhower Republican style fiscal conservatives that are out there crying in the wilderness, but I haven't been as successful finding a good blog of that variety, so pointers are welcome.

What I would like is somebody (or multiple somebody's) who will write to challenge liberal/progressive orthodoxy (especially if we have an Obama administration) from the right rather than the left, and do so in a way that forces us to think and either work to critique their arguments or admit that the Dems are getting off track.

I sort of expect already that this will happen from the left, once the partisan battles of the election have cooled and the messy details of governance come to dominate discussion. I think one reason you aren't hearing much anti-Obama dissent from the left just now is that after 2000 and 2004 virtually everybody on the left is convinced that this is the most important election evah, and so ranks have closed. That is temporary - the normal circular firing squad behavior should return in due course.

In the longer term, I'm hoping that at some point there will be a movement within the GOP to rebuild along conservative principles rather than just using them as camoflage for cronyism and kleptocracy, and I think it will be healthy for our democracy if that happens. If this place is an outlet for voices working on that project, I would welcome that. I don't want to live in a country where there is no Right, I want to live in a country where the RIght isn't wrong about so many things.

Um, no, I really don't know better,

What ThatLeftTurninABQ said for starters. And, no, I'm not in favor of some gun-totin-Bible-spewin', Obama-blastin', Rove-point-sayin' redneck wearing an SS RR cap. I don't like competition. But someone who truly believes in the principles behind the talking points (where there actually are some) and has a focus in some of the areas ThatLeftTurninABQ pointed out would be nice.

There are many ways to be 'conservative'.

Adhering to established rules of spelling, grammar, and punctuation is a conservative trait. In that respect, ObWi posters and commenters are refreshingly conservative, to my taste.

Hewing to established values is conservative. John Dean can rightly call himself a conservative, not despite his call to impeach Bush and Cheney, but because of it. Protecting and defending a 219-year-old constitution is conservative. Rejecting authoritarianism is conservative. 'Established values' does not mean 'name-brand GOP values'.

Respect for numbers is conservative. For numbers with dollar signs in front, especially conservative. An economist can be 'liberal' by virtue of favoring a flatter distribution of GDP, but still be conservative by agreeing (if data and analysis support it) that a flatter distribution might mean a smaller GDP. Preferences are a matter of taste; numbers are sacred.

Speaking of sacred: a theologian would be conservative by definition. Most organized religions are based on scriptures that are even older than the US Constitution. A theologian could preach communism and still be conservative. Jesus Christ did it.

Just which kind of conservatism is so sorely lacking around here?

-- TP

Avedon Carol links to thoughtful conservatives on her blog under the heading Loyal Opposition. (Jim Henley, Arthur Silber, Julian Sanchez, The Agitator, Balloon Juice, Wendy McElroy.)

I don't suppose any of the above would want to front-page at Obsidian Wings, but that sort of quality is what I assume is looked for.

I'd welcome more front page posts from Sebastian or Slartibartfast, actually (though I can see both of them now, faces writ large: "Jes just wants more opportunities to go for me like a rabid pit bull!") - no, seriously: they're both good writers: or Von, if he cared to explain why he - who seemed to have grasped that the Bush administration was bad news some years ago - is nonetheless supporting John McCain for four more years of the same.

"Avedon Carol links to thoughtful conservatives on her blog under the heading Loyal Opposition. (Jim Henley, Arthur Silber, Julian Sanchez, The Agitator, Balloon Juice, Wendy McElroy.)"

No offense intended, but Jim Henley is not a conservative. Neither is Wendy McElroy. Neither is Julian Sanchez. Neither is Radley Balko. You're confused as to what she means by "Loyal Opposition." Not all non-leftists are "conservatives."

(Avedon and I have known each other since 1974; ask her yourself, if you think I'm wrong; or ask those people themselves, or read their blogs.)

(Hint: libertarians aren't "conservatives"; all those people are libertarians, who, to be sure, would also expand the range of views at ObWi, just as Andrew did.)

Von remains perfectly free to post, last I looked, and Charles never said he quit, so far as I know -- just that he was taking a break for a while. Technically, Von doesn't regard himself as a "conservative," last I looked, but as a "classic liberal," for the record, although the distinction can seem a tad unclear from a distance. But so do most fine distinctions.

Back and feeling a bit better.

Re: this (last night from Jeff):

Does anyone here judge MCain by what's said on RedState, Captain's Quarters, etc? Does anyone with a shred of sense? Anyone who would judge Obama based on what blogs said would seem to me to be 28%ers anyway.

You should: these are the people who had influence with Bush and are likely to have influence in a McCain administration --although perhaps a bit less, since until the last three months most of 'em really hated McCain. And even those without influence tar McCain: we're big fans of guilt by association in this country. (It's probably a feature of human existence, e.g., a tribal thing, but that's a different set of posts).

So, yeah: When Obama's cheerleaders in the media push a series of attacks that ultimately fail (or backfire), that's a problem for Obama.

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