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July 04, 2009

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He asked what Sarah Palin would be doing next. Here's her answer:

"STAPLETON: OH, everything under the sun that you can possibly think of.

So she'll be a serial ax murderer, a phlebotomist, an anti-submarine warfare helicopter pilot, a welder, a cartographic technician, a cytogeneticist, a paleoarcheologist, a writer of mundane science fiction, a practical nurse, a mycologist, a plumber, a post-doc on microbial pathogenesis, a programmer working with R, C++, C, MatLab, Perl, Python, Java, CGI, or DB, a bus driver, a colonel in the Marine Corps specializing in logistics, a lumberjack, a specialist in dental infective endocarditis, a World of Warcraft gold farmer, a film director, an illegal immigrant, a worker in craft services, a weaver of Persian carpets, a Meshimori onna, a blackjack croupier, a pankawallah, a shoeshiner, a cheesemaker, an assassin, a... you know, really, there are quite a lot of things I can think of under the sun. So it's immensely impressive she'll be doing all of them. It should take her about six thousand years.

But it should be no problem for someone who "reads everything."

I have finally figured out Al Quaeda's latest plot against America. One by one, they are abducting the Governors of the 50 U. S. States and replacing them with clones who don't have the common sense of an artichoke.

First Sanford becomes a Fool For Love, and insists on giving the public daily bulletins in which he shares every bloody detail of his adolescent infatuation.

Now Spunky Sarah decides that she must resign as governor because if she served out the remaining 18 months of her term "millions upon millions of our dollars [would] go to waste just so I can hold the title of Governor". She determines that in order to avoid the "quitter's way out", the right course of action is to quit. (In the list of future occupations for Ms. P, Gary Farber omitted the one for which she is obviously best qualified: Comedy Writer.)

Who's next?


"everything under the sun that you can possibly think of"

Is that like reading "all of them [newspapers and magazines]"

Palin has an excellent spokesperson, don't you know.

It speaks just like Palin.

I'm just glad she didn't resign in January under slightly different circumstances.

Some serious sorts suggested she should have.

What's weird too was that her spokesperson called in to CNN from New York where she was on vacation with her family. Isn't that a strange time to be on vacation? While your boss is making a huge announcement? The speech yesterday had to be hastily thrown together.

What is wrong with the voters who think this is brilliant, or, conversely, what is wrong with us that we can't even see a glimmer of sense, let alone brilliance in this.

The gaping crevasse between perceptions on the right and left is much more fascinating and troubling than the silliness of Palin. it is scary that 30% or so of our population think this is good leadership.

Picture an overtime basketball game tied in the last seconds. The point guard dribbles up the court with one eye on the ball and one on the basket. She passes to the wing and.... runs to the locker room for a quick change of uniform. And the crowd cheers!

I vote the crowd is nuts.

MandyW, I think Spitzer must have been a test run, and now they've started in earnest. I wonder if, unlike so many people, they've remembered to include DC. Mayor Fenty has been a bit erratic lately.

Dear Governor Palin,

Thank you for following through on your end of the deal. $250,000 has been placed in escrow for you, as agreed, account number 298*******.

Sincerely,

The Washington Post

P.S. Fred says the offer for the op-ed gig is still open. Call us.

If they started in 2004, the cloners have already made it through 10% of the country: New Jersey, Illinois, New York, South Carolina, and now Alaska.

What I would really like to know, what I haven't seen anyone speculate about is what *hypothetical* situation there is in which this is a good move for her.

Let's say for example that there is an indictment coming soon, something that I rather doubt. If there were an indictment, I would think there would be some kind of rumor of it by now. Even so, I still think it would be better to wait for the indictment, see how things play out, and then resign. One counterexample here would be the way Karl Rove rather preemptively resigned, but that was a resignation in the context of a broader political administration. Rove in effect sacrificed himself. With this announcement, Palin is pretty much finished.

The only other thing I could think of is that she somehow needs more money badly, and she thinks she can line up something on Fox. But even with that, the way she has done this has really diminished her market power. If her problem is anxiety over legal bills, then there was no reason for this kind of hurry or surprise.

It just stumps me. I can't think of another example of something like this, and I think that part of the reason I can't think of other examples of this is that there's just no real scenario in which this makes most sense for the person resigning.

To what scenario could this be the best response?

To what scenario could this be the best response?

Subjectively:her past history, she resigned her previous job prior to running for Governor, and that worked out.

Objectively:Bad precedent; bad advice;bad timing.

Could it be simple blackmail? Alaska Lt. Gov. has something on Palin and says if she resigns he won't say anything.

Ara: one of the reasons I'm going with the iceberg theory is that it is the only one I can think of that actually makes her speech make a certain amount of sense. It might or might not be true that she could brazen it out, but it would make sense of her conviction that she has to resign "for Alaska", to save millions of dollars, passing the ball in order to win, etc.

I mean: the whole speech makes sense if you suppose that something else is coming. (Well, OK, it's not actually coherent, but you know what I mean.)

Still, as I said in the last thread, the fun of saying things like this is that it's such a nice clear record of my wrongness for the future. She could just be delusional.

maybe she knows she's a terrible gov. and is resigning because she knows the Lt. Gov. would be better for the State. she's a marvelous and paradoxical blend of dumb and smart. also.

probably she just wants to get out and make some money in ways she couldn't as gov.

There are an awful lot of Republicans who think that this was a very bad move on her part. Even Jonah Goldberg ( who still insists that she was a good choice for VP) thinks this resignation is not a good move politically.

And it isn't. She's killed any chance to be President.

She has such bad judgement and is surrounded by people with such bad judgement that I suppose it's possible that she thinks she still has a chance.

But that's not where I'm placing my bet. If she was resigning to run for President I think she would have made a much more planned and threatrical announcement from a platform adorned with flags, with a speach full of energy and confidence, perhaps on the day after the Fourth to claim some additional psuedo patriotism.

Instead she confabulated like a middle school student caught in a lie. My bet is that she going to be indited for something or the emails have something really explosive in them. According to leftie Alaska blogs there are rumors of charges of embezzlement. I am gleefully looking forward to finding out!

That Palin's speech was rambling and, at times, incoherent seems to indicate a hasty decision on her part. Could be she woke up yesterday and said, "To hell with it," but could also be that she was trying to beat the clock on something ugly, and didn't have time to come up with a rational reason for resigning. Either way, it doesn't bode well for her.

What if she's just drunk and/or high?

I love Gary's comment atop the thread. I had similar thoughts when I read that sentence, but I never could have executed a comment as deft as Gary's. Does "anything under the sun" restrict us to things people can physically do, or can she do anything under the sun? Can she be a deer tick or a toaster oven or a beta particle?

"Everything under the Sun" anything she thinks she can get. It sounds like she doesn't have very many options. Which is unusual for an ex-Governor,ex-VP candidate. Even the dimmest of them get at least some lobbying gigs or a seat on a Board of Directors. She should be talking about getting offers or sifting through them now or having accepted a gig to tide her over until she decides what she wants to do.

Of course it's bad news. Nobody makes any announcements on a July 3 Friday before a July 4th Saturday. Nobody is watching news tv, the press is out covering holiday events. You might tell your relatives about a wedding announcement or maybe a promotion over the picnic table, but that's about it.

She may have been warned about a soon-to-be perp walk. If that's the case, she could probably kiss her pension and other perks goodby if she tries to stick it out. However, if she resigns before the Legislature or the court sanctions her, she can keep at least her last two checks and her benefits.

Nobody makes any announcements on a July 3 Friday before a July 4th Saturday. Nobody is watching news tv, the press is out covering holiday events.

Well, maybe she was hoping for a lack of coverage, but in point of fact it made a big splash.

Her first miscalculation. She probably thought it was a slow enough news day that only the local press would cover it, and then the national networks would pick it up on Monday, when she would have had time to come up with something plausible.

With her rants against bloggers, its clear she knows little of the modern news cycle. She still thinks its a TV driven cycle, where the anchors are off at barbecues.

News is 24 hours now, and on a day when nothing big is going on, this ironically makes a bigger splash than on Monday. Most politicians of a certain age aren't aware how things have changed. Someone who has the saavy would have dropped this bomb on Tuesday afternoon, during MJ's memorial or posted it on the official blog and let it simmer over the weekend.

In any event, she's toast whether she realizes or not.

Maybe she's got a gaucho hunk on a ranch outside Buenos Aires and she got a combo deal on the airfare with Sanford.

Scandal coming down.

Palin needs to generate cash in a hurry--she can't do it as Governor. If she hustles, she can bank $5-10M by the time the scandal is resolved.

According to Shannyn Moore of the blog Just a Girl From Homer she's going to be indicted for embezzlement: it looks like she embezzled the supplies and possibly the cost of the labor for her house. The construction company that got a 14 million dollar contract for the sports arena may have built her house too, but funded the house by padding the accounts for the sports arena.

If convicted, that's a big enough embezzlement problem to get a prison sentence.

Of course it's all gossip now. I was hoping for a sex scandal, but this will do.

No one has suggested that the scandal might be drug-related -- the only kind she couldn't 'work through.' She's already had so much sex scandal around her that she could surviove that, or any financiqal scandal mentioned -- btw, wonkie, I read Shannyn Moore and checked her blog, and if she's said it anywhere it wasn't there.

But drugs are a different thing, and remember:

a) Wasilla (and the MatSu Valley) is known as the 'meth capital of Alaska.'

b) Afaik, there was no reference to that during the Stein Administration.

c) Wasilla is a small town where 'everybody knows everybody else's business.' (Not always true about some things, but drug sales require people to know.)

d) Levi's mom is already under arrest -- for oxycontin, not meth, but the two are not mutually exclusive

e) Again afaik, Palin has never started an anti-drug campaign -- while she was willing to use 'god guns and abortion' in her original run. (Think how much higher her reputation would have been had she had a record as an 'anti-drug campaigner.')

I'm just guessing, but that could be the reason for her 'get out of Dodge before the Sherrif' haste, unnecessary for the other types of scandals.

A drug problem could be handled. Ala a tearful confession and 30 days in Betty Ford and a speech to her constituents that she has "licked her problem" or "found Jesus". She could quietly leave and just let the Lt. Gov handle things while in rehab. That wouldn't be enough for this hasty exit.

Sex (unless there is some raunchy and deviant pics) ditto.

It's criminal, enough for jail time and major scandal coming Monday.

No, CarolJ, I don't mean she has a drug problem, I mean (in my guess) that she (or Todd) is involved in selling them, or at least covering up for the sellers.

And THAT wouldn't be forgiven so easily.

I doubt that she's or Todd is selling dope. Dope is nothing compared to the loot she could collect through selling her ass/assets of influence and connections as a Governor. To equal that through dope, she would have to quit and join the Cartel- the big Colombia ones or the Mafia. Wasilla meth is hardly going to support her expensive habits.

I think it's a major corruption scandal around tax evasion. The IRS doesn't play when it comes to underreported income or tax fraud, and Sarah has always seemed to me to be the kind that's sort of loose with facts when it comes to money.

maybe she just couldn't tolerate the fact that she hadn't been on the front page of the paper since last November.

I don't get the scandal speculation. If there is a criminal matter on the horizon, what is the advantage of resigning? Keeping her pension? What is Alaska law about that?

Anyway it sounds pretty thin to me. Not only is she throwing away a bargaining chip - her resignation - she is also losing easy access to all sorts of records and documents. Maybe one of the lawyers can explain why I'm wrong, but it seems to me that her lawyer would advise very strongly against resigning.

russell, that was my thought - she's like North Korea.

maybe she knows she's a terrible gov. and is resigning because she knows the lt. gov. would be better for the state. she's a marvelous and paradoxical blend of dumb and smart. also.

pause.

pause.

pause.

(loudly): naaaaah!

I don't get the scandal speculation. If there is a criminal matter on the horizon, what is the advantage of resigning? Keeping her pension? What is Alaska law about that?

One explanation is that she think that all prosecutions are politically motivated so that if she voluntarily relinquishes power, the investigations and prosecutions will simply stop. There are people who don't really understand the concept that laws apply to everyone while also personalizing criminal justice.

Now, any lawyer with a brain would shoot this idea down real fast if a client mentioned it, but Palin doesn't seem like the kind of person to put overmuch faith in the insight of experts.

she's like North Korea.

When she runs for president, I look forward to Jonah Goldberg making the argument that we should have a crazy president because it wll keep all the other nations on their toes.

Palin's resignation speech was pure word salad. I watched that damned video over and over again, trying to make sense of it--and I never could. To me this spells someone in pure panic mode or someone with a serious disconnection from reality.

Either Palin has found herself trapped in a tunnel of her own making, and sees the train heading her way, or she is so dumb she hasn't a clue that she's shot herself in both feet and severely crippled her political and/or monetary chances for advancement.

Either way, she's toast.

"When she runs for president, I look forward to Jonah Goldberg making the argument that we should have a crazy president because it wll keep all the other nations on their toes."

You are aware that that's exactly what Nixon instructed Kissinger to tell the Soviets, Chinese, and North Vietnamese about him, right? That he was crazy, and he might do anything, so don't do anything to set him off! Who knows what craziness he might do!?

It's true--the rumr about embexxlement is not on Shannyn Moore's b log. It's on her twitter and on another Alaskan blog whose name I cannot recall.

BTW Palin's attorney has issued a long stgaement asserting her innocence and threatening to sue anyone who continues to spread the embezzlement story. And I quote:

"To the extent several websites, most notably liberal Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, are now claiming as "fact" that Governor Palin resigned because she is "under federal investigation" for embezzlement or other criminal wrongdoing, we will be exploring legal options this week to address such defamation. This is to provide notice to Ms. Moore, and those who re-publish the defamation, such as Huffington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post, that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law. The Alaska Constitution protects the right of free speech, while simultaneously holding those "responsible for the abuse of that right." Alaska Constitution Art. I, Sec. 5. http://ltgov.state.ak.us/.."

Actually, I think the originl statement appeared on BradBlog -- which is why, given their level of reliability, I did not mention it. It still has never been posted on Shannyn's except in one comment, not by Shannyn.

I was aware of that, Gary, but I thought that there is a difference between making the argument in private and making it in public, as Goldberg has (the 'throw a country against the wall every few years') I suppose one could make an observation about this being an evolution of Republican viewpoints, but that might be a tad unfair. A tad...

A truly humorous event. I find most posters and bloggers tend to overlook the pure bathetic humor in their attempt to seriously get to the loopy heart of the "Mrs. Palin Regrets."

When being serious, however, I look at how she resigned her previous position; does it occur to people that the woman doesn't have the mental stamina to stay on the job? That she's a vastly unprofessional public servant with a serious jones for public attention, who believes that politics is nothing more than an extension of middle school?

Look out Michael Steele--you betcha!

Maybe she was frustrated by the constant pressure and intrusion into her family life (including that of a newborn) as well as the mounting legal costs, and wanted to put an end to presidential speculation (note, that would require that she is right) and money drain. Maybe she realized she'd never make it as president, and could best serve her family at home.

Despite all the conspiracy theories, (and even though I'm no fan) this is what makes sense to me.

I have become accustomed to Hilzoy's posts relating to serious matters of true concern and was surprised to see it turn into a gossip column complete with commenters joyous fantasies about what negative events might befall Sarah Palin and her family. Just a continuation of the Letterman mentality that seems to infect some on the left.

It is indeed befuddling why so much attention is showered on someone who is no threat to the far left (at least that is what they keep saying). Why wouldn't it make more sense to just watch her fade into the sunset. Oh, not that time of year in Alaska!

Better to spend time and effort to help salvage something of Obama's original leftist agenda. Health care (trouble on the horizon for the public option), energy (see what it took to win by one), the economy (I don't want to talk about that one). Now that the democrats have their 60th, does that mean a breeze for these initiatives in the Senate? Well, maybe he can impress on the international scene. He can shut down our anti-missile shield program or even perhaps hold hands with Assad to instill worldwide harmony as has been suggested by some. There is plenty of subject matter out there beyond Sarah Palin.

Well answering just for myself and not the left: I enjoy the spectacle of a particularly nasty, rude, stuck up dumbass, who spent her campaign insulting and instigating violence toward her fellow Americans, get knocked off the pedestal she never deserved to be put on in the first place. Character is fate, supposedly.

Sadly (for me!) it looks like there will be no indictment for embezzlement. Maybe she did just quit to get a "higher calling" as a Faux commentator. Since I perceive her character as particularly nasty, I was hoping for a nastier fate than that. Not very Buddhist of me. I should be hoping that she would learn from experience and become a better person.

I agree with parts of your third paragraph and I would trade all my glee over Sarah's fall for a good public health plan and/or the closing of Gitmo.

Good Ole Boy: I have become accustomed to Hilzoy's posts relating to serious matters of true concern and was surprised to see it turn into a gossip column complete with commenters joyous fantasies about what negative events might befall Sarah Palin and her family.

Well, GOB, I for one would be reasonably sorry if anything bad were to happen to Sarah and Todd Palin's children or the rest of their family.

But, if Sarah and Todd Palin did in fact embezzle public money to build their house, then yes, I'd want to see them indicted, tried, and convicted for doing so. Wouldn't you?

Just a continuation of the Letterman mentality that seems to infect some on the left.

Yes indeed: Letterman made a joke that turned out to be over-the-line, though he wasn't aware of that at the time he made it, and apologized for making it. Which puts Letterman on a moral level so far above the Republican leaders Limbaugh and Coulter that they can barely reach to lick the soles of his shoes if they stand on a ten-foot ladder. But of course the right-wingers who wouldn't dream of criticizing Coulter or Limbaugh are acting as if this was the worst thing they've ever heard of. If you're going to claim I'm being unfair to you, point me to where you talk about the "Limbaugh mentality" that's infected the Republican party, will you?

It is indeed befuddling why so much attention is showered on someone who is no threat to the far left (at least that is what they keep saying).

It is indeed befuddling why the mainstream media have showered so much attention on Palin since McCain chose her to be his running-mate last year. But so it is. Show me where you complained about McCain's choice of V-P before 5th November last year?

She gets attention partly for the same reason McCain still gets attention: even though she's not President and never will be President, and we can all sigh a big sigh of relief over that, she was regarded and treated as the potential leader of the Republican Party for months last year. Your party, your problem.

The other reason she gets attention is sadder: she's a trainwreck. The Republican Party made her into a national celebrity, and it appears she wasn't doing very well at "celebrity" even on the level of Mayor of Wasilla. She gets attention for the same reason as any good-looking white woman who has got national name-recognition and who is heading into a complete trainwreck will get attention. This is sad and damaging, but it's nothing new: it's how the US media works.

(What told me everything I needed to know about Palin's character: she arrived at the Alaskan polling center where she was registered, and there were queues and TV cameras. Instead of taking the opportunity to wait in line, Palin barged through the waiting voters, in order to take the next voting machine available. She was just that important in her own estimation: she was just that stupid that she didn't think how that would play on TV.)

Better to spend time and effort to help salvage something of Obama's original [conservative] agenda.

Fixed that for you. (I only wish Obama ever had a "leftist" agenda.)

I agree that focussing on Obama's attempts to drag the US back into being a functioning and modern nation, albeit a conservative one, instead of a far-right wrecked country would be better than writing posts about Sanford or Palin. But I got whacked on the nose for suggesting this last time, and on reflection, while I still think Obama's failure to establish a national health care service, or keep his promises about abolishing DOMA or DADT, and his utter moral and political collapse over US gulags and torture, are far more important than the sex life - or even the financial scandals - of US governors...

...what the hell. It's a holiday weekend. Maybe Sanford and Coulter and Palin and Limbaugh ran off together to South America to have a foursome, and we'll get the photos on Monday.

GOB,
who runs against Obama will determine quite a bit. Despite the essential emptiness of Sarah Palin, she was a plausible enough candidate to get the VP nod. How her self-destruction plays out will possibly give an insight into who the Republican party will choose. And it is difficult to imagine this crew not commenting on this, so it's better to have a separate thread about it than to just leave it unremarked upon.

The results of this year's political initiatives along with developments in the economy followed by the midterm elections as a reflection of those will bring politics to overshadow personalities in the next presidential election. And we don't know what could happen in foreign affairs. Palin served as a contrast, not only to how unsuitable McCain was to conservatives, but to what Americans were getting with Obama. This was not the intent but it went that way and that is why she was/is so popular with conservatives. With her popularity maybe she will do some much needed fund raising for the republicans.

With her popularity maybe she will do some much needed fund raising for the republicans.

Her embezzlement opportunities must be limited by her retirement from public office, though. However, if she's willing to fundraise the same way we used to pick blackberries, one to eat/one for the basket, she would be the very model of a Republican fundraiser, worthy to inherit the mantle of Abramoff.

I prefer that to giving the taxpayers' dollars to the community organizers.

GOB,

I am curious. When did you, personally, first hear Sarah Palin talked about as a leader of conservatives? I freely admit, myself, to never having heard of her until McCain picked her for a running mate.

That she is popular with conservatives, I have no doubt. What that says about conservatives is a different question. As a librul, I am content to be judged on the fact that I think Al Franken, for example, is an intelligent and well-informed man. You might disagree. If you think that Sarah Palin is an intelligent and well-informed woman, I invite you to say so.

--TP

Yes, but you're a Republican.

GOB,

You prefer giving money to Abramoff's ilk rather than grass root organization's - unbelievable! No wonder the GOP is withering on the vine. Such high moral standards.
Thank god, I left the party years ago!!!

Community organizers spend their own time and effort getting people in their own communities to take care of local problems and get things done, instead of waiting for someone in the mayor's office or -- heaven forbid! -- Washington to do it. Conservatives should hold them up as models of self-reliant behavior, and instead, they subject them to constant mockery.

Any explanation of this, GOB? I'd hate to have to start making insinuations based on the fact that community organizers, and the communities they organize, tend to be urban, poor and black, so I'll let you steer me away from that.

GoodOleBoy: It is indeed befuddling why so much attention is showered on someone who is no threat to the far left (at least that is what they keep saying).

First of all, she's genuinely entertaining. Even bleeding-heart liberals sometimes enjoy a good freak show, especially when the freak in question deserves ridicule as richly as does Sarah "pallin' around with terrorists" Palin. If anything it's easier to laugh at her nuttiness now that she's no longer a serious threat.

More importantly, however, the people who touted her as the second coming of the Republican Party need to have their noses rubbed in this mess long and hard. They tried to elevate a person to the vice presidency whose only apparent motivation for seeking that office was personal ambition (yes, they are all ambitious, but she clearly had nothing else compelling her to run), and who was manifestly unfit for the job, to say nothing of her fitness to step into the role of president. Perhaps this is too much to hope for, but these folks need to feel the shame burning the backs of their necks for what they almost did to this country. That her public humiliation is entirely self-inflicted strips away any of the residual guilt that typically comes with schadenfreude.

"Just a continuation of the Letterman mentality that seems to infect some on the left."

The most positive thing you can say about Sarah Palin is that she is remarkably ambitious.

She's a figure of fun because she insists on participating in discussions -- discussions about important matters -- for which she is stunningly unqualified.

She's taken far more seriously than she deserves because the Republican party nominated her for VPOTUS, and a significant portion of the Republican party would support her for President should she decide to run.

She's a train wreck. We laugh at her because she's risible. Not the nicest thing to do, but certainly within the normal ambit of human behavior. We keep an eye on her because having a preening, unqualified bonehead as President is, sadly, all too possible.

I'm sure she appreciates your concern for her.

What's next for Palin? Very simple. Something that not only plays to her strengths but will help her pay for the mounting legal bills, provide her a platform from which to help America be great or whatever, and position her for greater popularity, of a sort, than she has ever had.

Sarah and Todd + 5

I'm thinking that it's a combination of two things:
1) The next Alaska state budget will require a lot of unpopular decisions, and
2) One of her appointees has run off with some public money a la Gov Taft in Ohio.
Pure speculation on my part of course.

what the hell. It's a holiday weekend. Maybe Sanford and Coulter and Palin and Limbaugh ran off together to South America to have a foursome, and we'll get the photos on Monday.

Don't DO that. I was already having a little upset stomach this morning. Errrrgh. Need brain soap.

"We keep an eye on her because having a preening, unqualified bonehead as President is, sadly, all too possible."

As we proved in the last election. Just happened to be a Democratic preening, unqualified, bonehead.

BTW: I am not a Sarah fan or follower.

"Just happened to be a Democratic preening, unqualified, bonehead."

Assuming you're referring to Obama...

I'm not an Obama "fan or follower" and I'm not interested in turning this into a p*ssing match, but I have to say I don't see the two as being remotely comparable in any measure relevant to the offices they ran for.

There are lots of things I can and do fault Obama for, but "preening", "unqualified", and "bonehead" are not among them.

There's a very, very, very large difference between someone in office whose policies you disagree with, and someone in office who would be unable to unearth a clue with both hands and a flashlight.

Nuff said, I hope.

"Assuming you're referring to Obama...

I'm not an Obama "fan or follower" and I'm not interested in turning this into a p*ssing match, but I have to say I don't see the two as being remotely comparable in any measure relevant to the offices they ran for.

There are lots of things I can and do fault Obama for, but "preening", "unqualified", and "bonehead" are not among them.

There's a very, very, very large difference between someone in office whose policies you disagree with, and someone in office who would be unable to unearth a clue with both hands and a flashlight.

Nuff said, I hope."

Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate in either case. However, the David Letterman syndrome has taken over politics to the point that we listen to more of those than I care to hear. I could argue that at least two of those highly negative adjectives could easily be applied to the President, but hopefully we can stick to policy in the future. Flashlight comments aside.

That would be my point. Nuff said.

"I could argue that at least two of those highly negative adjectives could easily be applied to the President"

You could, but you don't. So as far as I'm concerned your comments re: Obama are a drive-by.

I call Palin preening because, for starters, she saw fit to spend $150K of campaign money, donated by conservatives and Republicans in good faith, on personal wardrobe for 10 weeks of campaigning. That's $15K A WEEK, for her personal wardrobe.

I call her unqualified because she has no experience at the federal level, has no other relevant credentials other than being governor of a state utterly unlike any other in the US, and can barely speak a coherent English sentence.

I call her a bonehead because she is profoundly ignorant and demonstrates little or no capacity for thoughtful analysis or argument.

Preening, unqualified bonehead. It's not namecalling, it's descriptive speech.

If "bonehead" seems overly ad-hominem, I'm happy to substitute "ignorant"or "incapable of critical thought".

There are lots and lots of conservatives that I do not call any of those things. There are likely some democrats that I would call some or all of those things. And I can give good reason, in each case, for doing so. But it ain't about partisanship, it's about plain facts.

The political process and public life of the nation are not well served by giving grasping, ambitious, unqualified people the benefit of the doubt long after they've demonstrated their lack of qualifications.

People like that do nothing but f*ck things up, and that right royally. We've had enough of that.

And there's nothing wrong with calling things by their proper names.

And David Letterman has nothing to do with it. I'm not making any jokes, and I'm not not here for a laugh.

I'm a conservative. I frankly don't know details regarding Abramoff as fundraiser, I thought he was lobbyist for casinos but I probably don't know all that he did and I do not prefer his actions to fundraising for grass roots organizations. I believe a person can do fundraising without being a crook. What I said or what I meant, at least, was that she could fund raise for the party and to me that is preferable to funding grass roots organizations with tax dollars. And I didn't suggest any embezzlements.

I first heard Palin's name in the spring of '08 and that she was a governor with conservative principles, not much said about leadership, but that she had come in on a reform agenda. Intelligent and well-informed is one thing but does not overshadow political belief. Yeah, I guess I do disagree. I would not put Franken above her. But that's not how I decide anyway. Political belief comes first. And I think that is how the next election will go.

I really am old enough to remember how liberal democrats and even some of what we used to call moderate republicans ridiculed Ronald Reagan when he first entered the national political scene and there are some similarities here. Just as he provided stellar support for truly conservative candidates for two decades before he held national office, I can see Sarah Palin campaigning for real conservatives around the country in order to help regain some legislative influence lost recently by faux republicans. Only years from now will we know how this will play out.

"I really am old enough to remember how liberal democrats and even some of what we used to call moderate republicans ridiculed Ronald Reagan when he first entered the national political scene"

And some of us still do!

Also, we mock the way conservatives today cite some sort of mythical Reagan that never existed. The actual Reagan signed abortion bills, raised taxes hugely, had an Eleventh Commandment about never criticizing other Republicans, overwhelmingly wanted to abolish nuclear weapons, and came close to making such an agreement with the Soviet Union, and strongly felt that Gorbachev was a man that the U.S. could do business with, against the advice of all his conservative advisors (the same guys who advised George W. Bush). On none of these issues do today's conservatives agree, but they all swear they should emulate Reagan: some never-existent Reagan.

Also, as it happens, Ronald Reagan suffered from a severe lack of interest in facts, and a great confusion between facts, movies, and anecotes he liked to believe in. He also, according to his family, "friends," and official biographer (Edmund Morris), was incapable of having actual friends, or regard for his family (aside from Nancy), for what it's worth. Morris concluded that "you get the creepy feeling he was not quite real" unless Reagan was in front of a camera.

But I'll give him this: he didn't get us into a terrible war based on lies. And was, in fact, on the testimony of his letters, a brighter man that many of us gave us credit for at the time. Still very confused, though.

"I call Palin preening because, for starters, she saw fit to spend $150K of campaign money, donated by conservatives and Republicans in good faith, on personal wardrobe for 10 weeks of campaigning. That's $15K A WEEK, for her personal wardrobe.

I call her unqualified because she has no experience at the federal level, has no other relevant credentials other than being governor of a state utterly unlike any other in the US, and can barely speak a coherent English sentence.

I call her a bonehead because she is profoundly ignorant and demonstrates little or no capacity for thoughtful analysis or argument."

I gues it was not enough said. President Obama has less than 4 years experience of any kind, being profoundly kind I attribute two years in the State Senate eand two years in the US Senate to his resume, the remainder of those terms he was running for the next office. His previous experience made him a good campaigner but not qualified for the job. So unqualified is one.

Bonehead is pretty easy: the Cabinet selection process, the rollout of the Recovery Act, the introduction of the budget, as recently as this weekend the "underestimation" of the economy...

I don't claim everything he has done is wrong, but I feel certain those adjectives apply. I'll leave preening to someone else, I think it is a made up issue. and pretty sexist.


"I attribute two years in the State Senate eand two years in the US Senate to his resume"

He was in the Illinois State Senate for eight years and the U.S. Senate for four years.

"President Obama has less than 4 years experience of any kind"

He spent a year at the Business International Corporation as an analyst and then worked at the New York Public Interest Research Group for three years.

He was director of the Developing Communities Project for three years, and then worked for the Gamaliel Foundation. He was then editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year at Harvard and president of the journal in his second year. In summers he also he worked for law firms Sidley & Austin in 1989 and Hopkins & Sutter. He then directed Illinois's Project Vote for most of a year. Subsequently he was a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years. From 1993 to 2004 he was a lawyer at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland.

Wikipedia:

[...] Obama was a founding member of the board of directors of Public Allies in 1992, resigning before his wife, Michelle, became the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago in early 1993.[27][44] He served from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the Developing Communities Project, and also from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation.[27] Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995 to 2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995 to 1999.[27] He also served on the board of directors of the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Lugenia Burns Hope Center.[27]
You're not entitled to make up your own facts.

"He spent a year at the Business International Corporation as an analyst and then worked at the New York Public Interest Research Group for three years.

He was director of the Developing Communities Project for three years, and then worked for the Gamaliel Foundation. He was then editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year at Harvard and president of the journal in his second year. In summers he also he worked for law firms Sidley & Austin in 1989 and Hopkins & Sutter. He then directed Illinois's Project Vote for most of a year. Subsequently he was a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years. From 1993 to 2004 he was a lawyer at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland.

Wikipedia:

[...] Obama was a founding member of the board of directors of Public Allies in 1992, resigning before his wife, Michelle, became the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago in early 1993.[27][44] He served from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the Developing Communities Project, and also from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation.[27] Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995 to 2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995 to 1999.[27] He also served on the board of directors of the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Lugenia Burns Hope Center.[27]
You're not entitled to make up your own facts."

I am entitled to decide if any of that is relevant "credentials".

Marty and GOB,
As a liberal, I appreciate y'all being in a place that is obviously not very friendly to your general outlook and point of view. However, (and take this as general advice rather than a specific complaint) tu quoque comments, no matter how well deserved you may think they are, are not going to go very far here. You can dismiss it as a function of the political demographics here rather than what we would like to think is a more clear sighted view, but either way, it's not going to advance the conversation down the field, which is what I hope you both would like to do.

Marty, is there some reason you are cutting and pasting entire long comments only to give one line answers? Are you unaware that previous comments are above yours, so people can read them as you like? All you need do is quote the few lines you are specifically responding to.

"I am entitled to decide if any of that is relevant 'credentials'."

You certainly are, but that's not what you wrote. What you actually wrote is "President Obama has less than 4 years experience of any kind."

You're also not entitled to claim you didn't write what you wrote, and instead claim you wrote something else. And, you know, you're not actually apt to get very far trying to claim you didn't write something when it's right there for us to read.

"Marty and GOB,
As a liberal, I appreciate y'all being in a place that is obviously not very friendly to your general outlook and point of view. However, (and take this as general advice rather than a specific complaint) tu quoque comments, no matter how well deserved you may think they are, are not going to go very far here. You can dismiss it as a function of the political demographics here rather than what we would like to think is a more clear sighted view, but either way, it's not going to advance the conversation down the field, which is what I hope you both would like to do."

I don't see how having a discussion where there is no other point of view is moving anything forward. My response was to this:

"We keep an eye on her because having a preening, unqualified bonehead as President is, sadly, all too possible."

I felt this was unecessarily demeaning. She is not my ideal candidate by far, but this(in particular the preening part) was a little over the top.

I like to think it would be more helpful to understand why she struck a chord with millions of people than to dismiss and demean her, and them.

"You certainly are, but that's not what you wrote. What you actually wrote is "President Obama has less than 4 years experience of any kind."

You are right, I should have said:

President Obama has less than 4 years of government experience at any level.

I thought [Abramoff] was lobbyist for casinos but I probably don't know all that he did...

I certainly don't mean to pile on, GOB, but...really?? If that's the case, you don't know what your own movement has become, if I may presume to call it that.

Intelligent and well-informed is one thing but does not overshadow political belief. Yeah, I guess I do disagree. I would not put Franken above her. But that's not how I decide anyway. Political belief comes first.

Where does political belief come from if you aren't at least somewhat intelligent and informed about the world as it is? ('The sky?' I was going to ask, rhetorically...but I fear that is the actual answer).

What distinguishes the present form of Movement Conservatism is not conservative principles, but a queasy, un-moored denial of the very idea of principles, or even agreed on facts - in a word, postmodern. It has devolved into a say/do anything-to-win zealotry. Of course you have to win elections to have policy influence, but the point of having principles is that there are some things you *won't* say or do to win. A kind of example of this is right in your comment, in my opinion: I am not a fan of the Reagan years (and he was certainly underestimated by liberals 25 years ago) but in comparing Palin to Reagan, you've blithely insulted the father of your party, on the chance Palin might stir up the base and raise some money. This is how you revere your icon? *I* have more respect for RR than that, for heaven's sake.

If you can't tell the difference between grasping, greedy politicians and other operators who would literally do or say just about anything to a.) get power, and b.) feed at the biggest trough the world has ever known (don't know much about Abramoff?) and someone with 'conservative belief', then you are going to get hoodwinked again and again. That's your choice, but I have no sympathy with it.

Can you imagine Reagan resigning from the Gov-ship of CA in the middle of his first term in order to....be president or something? Can you imagine Reagan giving a 'speech' like Palin gave on Friday? Palin is not just in another league from Reagan, she isn't even playing the same game. And she has pretty much no conservative bona fides (or any other kind).

Do you really not see the dissonance here?

Marty, can you explain why you believe that Obama only had 4 years of experience working in government while Wikipedia suggests he had 8 years?

"but the point of having principles is that there are some things you *won't* say or do to win"

This is well put, and a measure that the current President should note.

Whether yoy agree or disagree with what he did, the last President believed this to the point of actually causing the loss of majority for his party.

"Marty, can you explain why you believe that Obama only had 4 years of experience working in government while Wikipedia suggests he had 8 years?"

Because two those years he was running for the US Senate and two were spent running for President. Both times< as I recall, he spent little time doing the job he had.

Marty, I made a mistake. Wikipedia actually claims Obama was in the government for 12 years. Even if we 2 years each for the Senate/Presidential election campaign, 12 - 2 - 2 is 8, not 4 as you suggested. So I'm still confused as to where you got 4 from.

My response was to this:

"We keep an eye on her because having a preening, unqualified bonehead as President is, sadly, all too possible."

I felt this was unecessarily demeaning. She is not my ideal candidate by far, but this(in particular the preening part) was a little over the top.

strictly speaking, what you actually wrote as a response was this:

As we proved in the last election. Just happened to be a Democratic preening, unqualified, bonehead.

While you may have had a deep underlying point, I don't see how the above comment is anything but "Obama is just as bad".

If you would like to defend Palin against the slings and arrows of liberals like myself, by all means, do so. Or, like GOB, explain that you don't know much about Palin. But the above is textbook tu quoque. When you say

I like to think it would be more helpful to understand why she struck a chord with millions of people than to dismiss and demean her, and them.

I find it difficult to believe that you think simply calling Obama the same terms will help in that endeavor.

'tu quoque comments, no matter how well deserved you may think they are, are not going to go very far here.'

Tell me what arguments of mine qualify.

Gary, I should know if I mention something in order to illustrate a point that I will (we all will) have to endure an encyclopedic discourse to show all the instances that contradict the point being made and delivered as if we never knew they existed. I'll try again. Reagan, after being treated in a fashion similar to Palin, served successfully as POTUS and leader of the Republican Party. That's the essence of my previous point.

"Gary, I should know if I mention something in order to illustrate a point that I will (we all will) have to endure an encyclopedic discourse to show all the instances that contradict the point being made and delivered as if we never knew they existed. I'll try again."

I didn't write the comment you quoted.

You did quote my response accurately, not sure why.

"I find it difficult to believe that you think simply calling Obama the same terms will help in that endeavor."

I did not simply call him names. I explained why I felt they were valid and we have had a healthy discussion of his qualifications. We have also discussed whether doing that was good or bad. I reiterated that I believe the original name calling was unnecessary.

BTW: I also don't think GOB should be tarred by the brush aimed at me.

Reagan, after being treated in a fashion similar to Palin, served successfully as POTUS and leader of the Republican Party. That's the essence of my previous point.

Nothing wrong with saying this, but it isn't really a 'point'. Sarah Palin and Reagan both started out in broadcasting, ergo.....what?

Gary, I should know if I mention something in order to illustrate a point that I will (we all will) have to endure an encyclopedic discourse to show all the instances that contradict the point being made and delivered as if we never knew they existed. I'll try again. Reagan, after being treated in a fashion similar to Palin, served successfully as POTUS and leader of the Republican Party. That's the essence of my previous point.

jonnybutter,

I compared the ridicule and criticisms leveled at Palin to that directed at Reagan. I do not consider this to have been a comparison of the two persons.

"I compared the ridicule and criticisms leveled at Palin to that directed at Reagan. I do not consider this to have been a comparison of the two persons."

If you're not suggesting that the two people, Palin and Reagan, have relevant similarities, what's your point? If they don't have such similarities, then what point are you making about how Palin has been criticized?

You write: "Reagan, after being treated in a fashion similar to Palin, served successfully as POTUS and leader of the Republican Party. That's the essence of my previous point."

Are you suggesting that Palin could similarly serve successfully (in your view) as president and leader of the Republican Party, or not?

Incidentally, you also wrote: "I would not put Franken above her."

As what?

"But that's not how I decide anyway. Political belief comes first."

I'm also wondering what you mean by this. Could you perhaps elaborate slightly?

"I'll leave preening to someone else, I think it is a made up issue. and pretty sexist."

Try pinning that on someone else, dude, it doesn't belong to me. "Preening" is not unique to women.

Frankly, I'm really not interested in a point by point comparison of the relative accomplishments and qualifications of Palin vs Obama. To my eye, the facts speak for themselves, there is simply not an issue there to address.

I'm not talking about who I like better, or who I agree with more. There are many, many, many conservatives whose skills and resumes compare very favorably with Obama.

Palin is not one of them.

GOB's comparison of Palin to Reagan is interesting, but I'd point out that Reagan had a long history as a conservative spokesperson and governor of California before ascending to the Presidency. He paid his dues and established his credentials.

And yeah, Palin's a governor, too, but Alaska is not California.

I disagreed with Reagan on almost every significant political point, and would not consider him to be a penetrating or sophisticated thinker at any point in his career, but I made him out to be sincere in his position and a political actor in good faith.

Not to keep piling on Palin, but I've listened to and read a significant amount of her output over the last year and have never heard a thing from her that demonstrated a moment of reflection or critical thought about a single damned thing she's said.

To be frank, other than scripted speeches, I've rarely heard her maintain a single coherent logical thread from the beginning of a sentence until it's end.

I think it's actually quite important that people who will be responsible for making very important decisions about complex and difficult problems be able to understand, handle, and articulate ideas in a clear and well-ordered way. You don't have to be Einstein, you just have to demonstrate some understanding that there's a big world out there that has to be addressed on its own terms.

Reagan, for all of his faults and for all of my differences with his point of view, was actually capable of that. I have yet to hear a word from Palin that tells me she is also.

I understand that lots of folks like her. That's great. If she wants to make lots of speeches and raise lots of money, mazel tov.

None of that has anything to do with her qualifications for responsible national office.

""I'll leave preening to someone else, I think it is a made up issue. and pretty sexist."

Try pinning that on someone else, dude, it doesn't belong to me. "Preening" is not unique to women."

150k for a campaign wardrobe for a person who didn't have a million dollars or a Brooks Brothers wardrobe to begin with isn't a lot of money. Out of the $150 million spent on the campaigns it was trivial. A made up issue to demean her, made up during the campaign. No guys wardrobe would have been questioned.

Marty, I'm still curious why you think that 12-4=4.

Yeah? but hairdo is across the line?

"No guys wardrobe would have been questioned."

Where did Russell say a word about Palin's wardrobe, exactly?

And is it your claim that John Edwards was never accused of preening?

And is it your claim that "preening" is restricted to appearance?

I suspect that a guy politician who blew through 15ok a couple months for wardrobe expenditures who be the target of a lot more ribbing than Palin got. Remember the John Edwards hair expense flap? Men are expected to spend less on themsleves than women, not more.

wonkie: I suspect that a [Democratic] guy politician who blew through 15ok a couple months for wardrobe expenditures who be the target of a lot more ribbing than Palin got. Remember the John Edwards hair expense flap? Men are expected to spend less on themsleves than women, not more.

As Palin's a Republican, wardrobe expenses wouldn't have come up if he'd been a guy. Also, we wouldn't have heard nearly so much about Trig, and that would have been such a relief...

But then, if Palin had been a guy, McCain would have looked round for another woman to be his running-mate, since the whole point was to try and get the "women's vote" by picking a female V-P.

Just to elaborate on Jesurgislac's comment; remember, Palin wasn't McCain's first choice--that would have been Ridge or Lieberman. But neither were acceptable to the Dobsonite wing of the GOP.

So, McCain needed a far rightwing social conservative (yes, that's a bit redundant). But he needed someone who would make a splash--that's where Palin's gender made the difference.

One of the weird things about Palin is that she seems to change her political stripes to suit the occasion;she ran as a highly partisan anti-abortion pro-Christianist against her Republican opponent in her original Wasilla race; later she morphed into the anti-Republican establishment reformer; during her first years as Governor she pushed the Democrats' favored legislation-ethics and oil renenue reform-through with solid Democratic support and nly a little Republican support while playing down all the culture war stuff; and then, when McCain called and a wingnut was needed, she went back to culture warrior.
And there's the transformation from Queen of the Earmarks and bridge supporter to supposedly against all that.

The consistant theme seems to be her inability to see other people as anything except either with her or against her and her vengefulness toward those in the "against me" catagory.

"No guys wardrobe would have been questioned."

"Where did Russell say a word about Palin's wardrobe, exactly?

And is it your claim that John Edwards was never accused of preening?

And is it your claim that "preening" is restricted to appearance?"

Russell refrred to Palin's wardrobe here:

"I call Palin preening because, for starters, she saw fit to spend $150K of campaign money, donated by conservatives and Republicans in good faith, on personal wardrobe for 10 weeks of campaigning. That's $15K A WEEK, for her personal wardrobe."

"Marty, I'm still curious why you think that 12-4=4."

I went back to check my facts, he was in State government from 1997-2007, thats 7 years. I had made a mistake. I thought when he ran unsuccessfully for the US House in 2000 he was not in the State Senate. But he was and was in 2002, at which time he started running for the US Senate, my mistake. So he gets 2 more years at State level for 4, 2 at Federal for 6.

I discount, my opinion, much of even that experience because he ran for a new, higher office every 2 years since being elected. I think it makess it hard to imagine he wasn't constantly evaluating everything he did in the context of the next campaign.

Sorry, typo on previous comment Obama was in State government from 1997-2004.

"The consistant theme seems to be her inability to see other people as anything except either with her or against her and her vengefulness toward those in the "against me" catagory."

I find this humurous in the overall context of this discussion. :-)


"150k for a campaign wardrobe for a person who didn't have a million dollars or a Brooks Brothers wardrobe to begin with isn't a lot of money."

Sorry, but this doesn't pass the smell test.

A major media brand I used to work for gave their on-air talent a wardrobe budget of something like $15K a *year*. Maybe $20K. A year, not a week.

$15 thousand dollars a week. Think about that for a minute.

"Out of the $150 million spent on the campaigns it was trivial. "

True enough, except it wasn't her money. And it also skirted campaign finance law prohibitions against spending campaign money on personal possessions.

Seriously, if you want to defend Palin, have at it, but I'm not sure this is the hill you want to die on, dude.

"No guys wardrobe would have been questioned."

Both Clinton and Edwards caught a ration for expensive haircuts.

McCain got grief for a $500 pair of Ferragamo loafers. And that was spending his own damned money.

I don't think you want to dig this particular hole any deeper.

Straight up, I believe Palin to be an absolute lightweight, utterly unqualified for serious national office. I think she's utterly unserious about anything other than her own ambition. The reason I believe that is because everything she's ever said or done that I'm aware of leads naturally to that conclusion.

She has a strong constituency because lots of folks think she's just like them. That's very nice in its way, but is hardly a qualification for responsible public office.

Maybe she'll surprise us all and become a valuable and important contributor to the national political dialog. I'll be happy to eat all the crow you want to serve when that day arrives.

Let me know when it happens, I'll be right here.

Oh for Chrissakes! She spent weeks yapping about how she was a real American and her audiences were the onlhy true real good Americans and Obama consorted with terrorists--and you think it's ironic that I see her as divisive? It would be ironic if I characterized her that after she ran a campaign on the issues with a reasonable, respectful tone. But she didn't . She was nasty and rude and unnecessarily divisive just as she was when she ran for office in Wasilla. There is no irony or hypocrisy or any other basis for humor in pointing that out.

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