« One Last Thought | Main | Not Even the Funny Palin »

August 29, 2008

Comments

My sister, a long time very conservative Republican from the middle of Oklahoma, decided tonight that she was voting for Obama. Now she is just trying to find a way to break it to her husband. Her reason: She is tired of the fact that Republicans always want her to be frightened and angry and Obama has clearly set forth for her a better way. I figure any speech that seals the deal with my sister is great regardless of any bias I might bring to the table. I, of course, thought it was great as well. As did my best friend in Denver and my parents from Oklahoma, both of whom called me afterward to talk about the speech.

As publius said, "The McCain campaign seemed small and petty tonight…

Well, some credit where it is due:

“Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America. Too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, congratulations. How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow, we’ll be back at it. But tonight Senator, job well done.”

That doesn’t strike me as “small and petty”. It seems to be the classiest thing he has done yet in this campaign. On the rest – well, he kind of has to respond doesn’t he? Not very effectively, but he can hardly cede the entire night. I don’t expect Obama will after McCain’s speech…

OCSteve, one might even imagine McCain is sincere if it hadn't been for the campaign he hand Rove's minions have been running. As it is, he has been letting Rove -- the man who launched a whispering campaign involving his daughter in 2000 -- run his campaign, with all the attendant slime that implies.

I disagree that McCain is due any credit or entitled to the benefit of the doubt as anything but a pro forma statement. One lousy paragraph -- no doubt intended so that someone could provide the very defense you did -- is a Kleenex against the tide of McCain's loathsome and underhanded tactics.

"I don’t expect Obama will after McCain’s speech…"

Don't expect Obama will what? A verb, Senator, we need a verb.

The McCain ad was classy, but his campaign was attacking at the same time, releasing a substance-light condemnation of the speech before it was even over. I'd say it works out as a wash.

...I am glad that the rumor on Drudge was wrong, and McCain didn't try to poop on the speech by intentionally leaking his VP choice last night.

>>Fireworks! Can't do that indoors.

You haven't been to an NBA game in while, have you?

that McCain ad wasn't classy. it was a shameless attempt to steal the spotlight on Obama's big day.

it wasn't a direct message to Obama, because you don't send a direct message you buying airtime in 30 second spots all over the country. you send a direct message by getting on the phone, or writing a letter. the only reason to buy commercial airtime is to attract attention to you and your message - he's trying to show off to us how honorable he is. "look at me! i'm not a bad guy! look at me! i'm honorable! look at me!"

it was pandering. and it was a way to set Obama up to look like an ogre if he said anything mean about McCain - "oh but McCain was so nice to you in that personal message! BE NICE TO JOHN MCCAIN!!!"

screw John McCain. he forfeited the right to the benefit of the doubt when he signed-up for another Rovian shitstorm. he had a chance to run an honorable campaign, but he chose not to. nothing he does can be seen outside the Rovian framework.

die italic scum!

Off topic but hilarious

Woolcott on Lieberman/McCain

Joe Lieberman. We saw what a lethargic, uninspired veep candidate he was in 2000 and he hasn't exactly picked up speed with age. His Joementum has pretty much come to a dead halt. Together on stage, he and McCain would look like a gay Metamucil ad.

I mentioned (on a different thread) that Obama's speech in the arena would play directly into the notion that he's a rock star rather than a serious candidate. I was wrong: the speech was very good. I don't think you can credibly say that the speech gave "specifics", but it did have substance. The fireworks also had the tactical effect of delaying commentary and nitpicking by the talking heads, which I though was a bright move for Team Obama.

Rhetorically, a good speech. The man seems really good at such things, as long as he's not forced to go extemporaneous. To the extent there was content, I don't like it, but I didn't expect to.

At least we can expect decently executed weekly public addresses from President Obama, perhaps his public service conscripts will get them piped into the dorms.

The "socratic_me's sister" metric proves once again I am not a very good politician.

I'm one of the few people who was disappointed by the speech because he made almost no acknowledgment of the fear, rage & shame I feel when I think about the Bush administration. Torture, black sites, mercenaries, ceaseless surveillance, imperialistic invasion, rape both figurative and literal, arbitrary and unchecked Presidential power aka tyranny -- as Glenn Greenwald said yesterday, those are the issues that no-one at the DNC seems willing to call out and reject.

But socratic_me's sister won't vote for change if she feels ashamed of her country -- even though she *should* feel ashamed. My approach would be wrong, Obama's is right -- or at least, it is likely to work.

But it still sticks in my craw that we won't get war crimes trials, and I'm afraid that without them we're going to get future war crimes.

OT: Palin? Oh my. That’s going to leave a mark if true. There go the diehard HRC supporters as well as a bunch of Independents…

OT: Palin? Oh my. That’s going to leave a mark if true. There go the diehard HRC supporters as well as a bunch of Independents…

Which way? Pls esplain.

...I am glad that the rumor on Drudge was wrong, and McCain didn't try to poop on the speech by intentionally leaking his VP choice last night.

CNN is reporting Sarah Palin as McCain's VP pick.

It's a good move by McCain, on several levels. It is going to go (at least) toe-to-toe with Obama's speech on the weekend news shows. Palin also threads the moderate/maverick needle brilliantly. Palin is a moderate several social issues, including the environment and gay rights. (In fact, her position on gay rights is functionally indistinguishable from Obama's.) But she's strongly pro-life, which is a juicy bone to the social conservative wing of the party.

I dunno Steve. How many independents are going to be swayed by Palin? Why?

There go the diehard HRC supporters

I don't know Palin's reputation: is she so awful that by "there you go" means that the myth of the "diehard HRC supporters" who will vote McCain out of pique, is now - even to the pro-Republicans on the MSM - obviously unusuable.

Because you couldn't have meant anything as stoopid as "The diehard HRC supporters were diehards because they wanted A Woman To Be President, so now McCain's offering them A Woman To Be VicePresident they'll vote McCain"? I mean, that would be sexist, dismissive, and fundamentally really, really moronic.

as well as a bunch of Independents…

Again... because Palin's so bad?
McCain is a disaster in the making: it's not really important who his Vice President is, unless it's someone who seriously plans to continue Cheney's claim that Vice President gets to be a fourth branch of government outside the checks and balances system of congress, administration, judiciary. Is that Palin? I don't know her.

von: Palin is a moderate several social issues, including the environment and gay rights. (In fact, her position on gay rights is functionally indistinguishable from Obama's.) But she's strongly pro-life, which is a juicy bone to the social conservative wing of the party.

So she's anti-woman's rights and against gay marriage. That should make her appealing to conservatives. Women who oppose equal rights for other women are beloved of misogynists everywhere.

Palin is a moderate several social issues, including the environment...

Well, she does want to open up the Alaskan wildlife reserve to more drilling.

cleek - you nailed it exactly. If McCain believes that his "graciousness" could take the wind out of Obama's attacks, he should spend more time campaigning oudoors in the Florida Keys last week.

Some of us have been waiting for a *long* time for a politician that will attack the conservative philosophy, make the distinctions clear and simple, and remind us that *we* are the "values" voters.

Ugh (and others): Which way? Pls esplain.

-Young to counter the ‘old coot’ meme.
-Charismatic.
-Truly “blue collar”.
-Good Republican credentials to shore up the base. Pro-life, pro-guns.
-A break from the past just like O.
-A woman, for those who prefer to play identity politics over substance. Mother of five, son in the military, and a Governor to boot.
-Attractive to Conservatives and Independents due to her efforts against corruption and overspending.

In short she more than neutralizes a lot of Obama’s advantages in this race IMO.

she'll soften McCain's image, freshen up the ticket a bit, add some novelty to a campaign that was looking pretty stuffy compared to Obama's, and it'll give the GOP a historic first. how much any of that will matter is anybody's guess, at this point.

and it's hard now for me to see that McCain "congratulations" message now without thinking McCain's smirking to himself about the fact that he's about to spring a little historic surprise himself. clever.

Good Republican credentials to shore up the base

And this will attract independents?

A woman, for those who prefer to play identity politics over substance

Do you really think there are a lot of voters that will vote for McCain because his Veep is a woman?

In short she more than neutralizes a lot of Obama’s advantages in this race IMO

Also neutralizes McCain's experience card.

Further: Obama's biggest advantage is, and always has been, George W. Bush and 8 years of Republican hegemony. The record of the last 8 years is what Obama is really running on. Palin doesn't change this.

She's a hail mary. Once the Democratic convention went so well, unity-wise, he dug out a pro-life woman. That's pretty much all there is to it.

OCSteve - thanks. I still think she ruins McCain's only attack on Obama, that he's a celebrity lightweight not ready to be President. And I don't think the "but she was a governor and thus has executive experience" is going to be an effective rebuttal.

Plus, there's a nontrivial chance that McCain isn't going to make it through his first term, are people comfortable with her ascending to the Presidency?

are people comfortable with her ascending to the Presidency?

i like how she brings that question into the foreground.

Jes: Because you couldn't have meant anything as stoopid as "The diehard HRC supporters were diehards because they wanted A Woman To Be President, so now McCain's offering them A Woman To Be VicePresident they'll vote McCain"? I mean, that would be sexist, dismissive, and fundamentally really, really moronic.

Eric: Do you really think there are a lot of voters that will vote for McCain because his Veep is a woman?

I’m pretty sure you both were around during the Democratic Primary and paying attention. Yes – I believe there is a not inconsequential number who will vote McCain/Palin simply because the VP is a woman.

More environmental credentials:

She's been pushing hard to keep polar bears off the endangered species list, and recently repealed a ban on hunting wolves from helos.

I’m pretty sure you both were around during the Democratic Primary and paying attention

Meaning?

Are you suggesting that Democratic women are going to vote for a woman that wants to repeal Roe v. Wade?

Nominal amount at best.

I still think she ruins McCain's only attack on Obama, that he's a celebrity lightweight not ready to be President.

Agreed. Obama can take every one of those attacks past and future and turn it around to use it on her.

Maybe this won’t make any difference in the end. These are just my first impressions. I haven’t given it any serious thought before now, because it never occurred to me that McCain would ever go there. It’s a shock to me.

OCSteve: Yes – I believe there is a not inconsequential number who will vote McCain/Palin simply because the VP is a woman.

Uh-huh. Well, I guess you weren't paying attention - during the Democratic Primary, or at any time in your life.

Are you suggesting that Democratic women are going to vote for a woman that wants to repeal Roe v. Wade?

You know us girls, Eric: OCSteve evidently thinks we really are that dumb.

Steve, thank you as always for your thoughts. Even when I'm going back and forth, I greatly appreciate your willingness to dialogue with me.

A woman, for those who prefer to play identity politics over substance

If the McCain camp plays up this angle, expect to hear a lot from Hillary on the subject of McCain and women’s issues.

She, more so than Biden, will be the perfect attack surrogate to blunt this advantage.

These are just my first impressions.

Of course.

It’s a shock to me.

Me too. I do have to say that I never even heard about her being vetted/considered (or really heard of her at all), so they kept it very very quiet. I do wonder if this was some sort of rash, unconsidered decision by McCain himself. Anybody see what the professional righty talking heads are saying?

Oh, there's no doubt Palin will attract the pseudo-Dems who, to paraphrase Hillary's speech, really were "only in it for [her]." They're already at it at TalkLeft, talking up the choice and saying how great that no one's talking about The Speech anymore.

It seems that Palin will also help with Republicans who were grudgingly leaning towards Obama, though I can't figure out why, if one assumes the reason they were leaning towards Obama was because they're sick and tired of GOP malfeasance.

Look: McCain is already mentally not up to the job of President - does that mean Palin will have a lot of authority right out of the gate, or does it mean that whoever McCain's advisors are will actually be running things? How is this not a consideration GOP voters should take seriously - or are they so accustomed to deliberate, malign incompetence that mere mental incapacity looks benign to them?

Eric: Nominal amount at best.

How many HRC supporters were already talking about going over to McCain before this? I know that it’s been played up a lot by the media, and downplayed a lot here and other places – so I don’t know what the real number is. My gut feeling is that it is more than nominal, especially as every one is not only a vote gained to McCain but a vote lost to Obama. But no – I don’t expect single issue voters to flip because she is a woman.

But it certainly changes the dynamic of this election. If nothing else, it sets the stage for the R convention to overshadow the D convention. It makes this week old news. It’s going to drive the news cycle for the next month. And it makes the Democrats job of attacking her every bit as tricky as the Republicans job of attacking Obama.

I guess that means McCain has given up on attacking Obama as an inexperienced young guy not ready to be commander in chief -- well, it would if we lived in a world where the media would call McCain on blatant inconsistencies.

But it certainly changes the dynamic of this election. If nothing else, it sets the stage for the R convention to overshadow the D convention.

You're dreaming. Given that they were gearing up to spend a week talking about experience, what they hell is their message now?

She'll get votes for being a woman, sure, but how many? I've always thought the Clinton diehards myth was exaggerated - many of those voters weren't Clinton voters because of her gender, but because they didn't like Obama because of his age, style, race, or whatever.

1. McCain already had the anti-Obama vote.
2. Some women will maybe go for Palin because she's a woman, but I think a lot more will see her as a condescending pander and someone who does not agree with them on women's issues.
3. Those who did not like Obama because of his age or because he seemed like an empty suit now have a reason not to vote for McCain either.

It will get him lots of airtime on the news, which is all his broke-ass campaign wants these days. It also reinforces the 'McCain will do anything to get elected' meme that has been building lately, and which the Obama campaign used to beat HIlary already.

Also, maybe of the Clinton diehards just really like Hilary Clinton individually. Can we look forward to Joe Biden telling her in the debate, "I know Hilary Clinton, and you're no Hilary Clinton"?

The ticket of smallness: a woman petty enough to sic the state police on her sister's ex-husband.

A woman whose entire experience (other than using her short time as governor for personal vendettas) is being mayor of an 8000-person town.

A young woman with no national experience a heartbeat away from the White House, behind a cancer survivor who'd be the oldest president ever in a first term.

Desperation...

OCSteve: My gut feeling is that it is more than nominal

Yeah, but look at what your "gut feeling" has told you in the past.

Your "gut feeling" tells you that there is a more than nominal number of Hillary Clinton supporters who are happy to vote for a Vice President (who supports forced pregnancy) because, even though she will be the Vice President in an administration that will be as disastrous for the country as Bush's 8 years have been, and for exactly the same reasons, this "more than nominal number" supported Clinton because she was female and will support Palin because she was female.

Bear in mind that your "gut feeling" told you to support the Iraq war because the Iraqis would just love to be killed by Americans in the name of democracy, and... just ignore your gut.

Unless it's telling you something simple and easy, like "Want pie!"

This makes the Biden pick look even better.

A strong yet vigorous team vs. an old guy and an unqualified right-wing woman. Eeeexcelent...

Jes: You know us girls, Eric: OCSteve evidently thinks we really are that dumb.

Believe it or not – not everyone views everything through the lens of Roe v. Wade. Most people have to accept compromise candidates. And given that there is oh, about a 0% chance of it ever being overturned, it is an issue some people can compromise on.

Byrningman: what they hell is their message now

Hope and Change?
;)


Jes: Unless it's telling you something simple and easy, like "Want pie!"

Again Jes – these are my initial reactions to a surprise pick. It’s not an endorsement or anything you should take to the bank. It’s me reacting.

Fixed that for you: Believe it or not – not everyone views everything through the lens of [basic human rights for all]

Yeah - after 8 years of Bush, we know Republicans don't care about basic human rights for all.

But you're imagining someone so pro-woman that you think she'll vote for Clinton or for McCain/Palin - someone who just doesn't give a damn about any other issues but women.

So, someone like that would never vote for a candidate, no matter their gender, who was explicitly pro forced-pregnancy - and both McCain and Palin are pro forced-pregnancy.

Given that they were gearing up to spend a week talking about experience, what they hell is their message now?

I was just wondering how many GOP convention speeches are being re-written right about now.

OCSteve: Again Jes – these are my initial reactions to a surprise pick. It’s not an endorsement or anything you should take to the bank. It’s me reacting.

Yeah, I got that: I'm just pointing out to you that you should know by now that your initial reactions are stupid reactions.

OCSteve: Jesrugislac has a point.

It's hard to imagine realistic numbers of women who would be significantly swayed by the presence of a pair of ovaries on the ticket, but who are also completely uncaring about the primary political issues effecting women: equal pay, abortion, maternity leave, health care, that sort of thing.

So what we're postulating here -- what I'm calling McCain's 'Mark Penn' moment -- is there exists the following demographic:

1. Non-Republican voters.
2. Heavily swayed by a pair of ovaries on the ticket as the VP.
3. Ignorant, uncaring, or uninterested in women's issues. (Those with conservative views on women's issues are likely to already to be...conservatives and vote Republican).

Now, I don't think there are enough non-Republican voters who fit that bill to fill a small house, much less swing an election.

And I kind of wonder why you do. Who, exactly, do you think would jump from even "undecided" to "Republican" based entirely on the VP's gender, despite the fact that the GOP has historically been more than crappy on women's issues?

Morat20: Such people do exist - that's all there is at TalkLeft, and there are quite a few at MyDD - but they don't exist in such numbers as will make much of a difference electorally.

It’s going to drive the news cycle for the next month.

This is true. But the coverage is going to be bad.

People will be talking about her lack of experience which will lead to a discussion of McCain's age. The ongoing investigation of her malfeasance will also likely get some play.

How many HRC supporters were already talking about going over to McCain before this?

How many fingers and toes do you have?

I say the answer is less than a thousand. How do I know? Because Clinton's campaign debt was not quickly retired by an army of small donors. Clinton got something like 18 million votes; if even 1 million of them were really really really pissed off about her loss, I'd expect them to donate an average of $10 to cover her debt. That never happened. Nothing even close to that ever happened.

The PUMAs are media insurgents. They are a very small group of people with no resources exploiting media stupidity to amplify their attacks. I suspect most of them are republican rat fsckers. But when push came to shove, they couldn't even be bothered to toss in $10. How sad is that.

There is no boogeyman coming to eat you tonight.

Morat20: But McCain's pick of Palin is justified to his campaign, not because these voters really exist but because enough Republicans/anti-feminists are convinced that they do exist.

If OCSteve's "gut reaction" represents how the McCain campaign team are thinking, and it well might (I said it was stupid) then maybe McCain/his team have convinced themselves that there's a significant number of women who supported Clinton not because they cared about "women's issues" but because she is a woman.

On all significant "women's issues", John McCain either opposes or has dismissed them as trivial/unimportant. He's not a politician who has ever struck me as having much empathy. It's entirely possible that he genuinely cannot imagine any reason for anyone voting for Clinton but pro-woman bigotry - and if Clinton had won the nomination, I can't help wondering if McCain would have looked around for an attractive median-aged black man to be his running mate, in order to pick up the "Obama voters".

Such people do exist - that's all there is at TalkLeft

Were there people in the TalkLeft crowd who were actually planning to vote for Obama but changed their minds because of this pick?

I predict Palin will help McCain every bit as much as Ferraro helped Mondale. And Ferraro was running for the party that actually cares about women's issues.

And of course, there is still the uncomfortable fact that there is indisputable proof that McCain responded to the "How do we beat the bitch?" query about Hillary with a chuckle and "That's an excellent question," his tasteless and cruel joke about Chelsea Clinton being so ugly because Janet Reno is her father, and the widespread reports of him calling his own wife the c-word.

So yeah -- putting an anti-choice lightweight one heartbeat away doesn't really seem like it will do enough to shore up his credibility with women. If he'd chosen someone like Dole or Kay Bailey Hutchinson, I'd be a little more worried. Not that I love either of them, but they could at least make a reasonable argument on the experience question. And I fully expect that Hillary will get her Terminator chops on against this woman. Biden will have to pull it in a bit so he doesn't look like a bully, but Hillary can claim the field.

Nobody is talking numbers when talking about how many votes Palin might sway, which makes sense, because no one knows.

But when we're debating vague terms like "significant" and "nominal," people are also apt to talk past each other.

I have no idea how many such votes Palin might draw, but given that there are states where the vote is apt to be very close, it's certainly possible she could make a difference, it seems to me. Or maybe not.

But I wouldn't be complacent. Certainly high-information Democratic women won't be swayed by Palin. But there are a lot more low-information women out there, many of whom were certainly for Senator Clinton, and whom otherwise pay little attention to politics, and plenty of them don't particularly think like Jesurgislac. Are there enough of them to make a difference in a given state? I don't know, and won't predict, but I surely amn't complacent about it.

One rarely goes wrong paying attention to low-information voters compared to high-information voters, because there are a hell of a lot more of the former than of the latter.

I do think there are a significant number of women who will vote for a woman who doesn't have a major history to turn them off. I know a couple. Consider that politics is a minority interest, and how many citizens pay no attention at all to it, be they young or old. Most people are not, in fact, like me and thee, or like the people who attend or watch political conventions.

At my caucus, I had one woman who wouldn't vote for Obama because he was a smoker. That's the kind of reasoning a lot of people use as to how they vote.

So, yeah, I'm not complacent about how smart and politically aware all but tiny numbers of citizens, or voters, or women (or men), are.

Personally, I hate both VP picks. IMHO the VP should be someone very similar to the President, someone who, if the President were to exit the position, could take over and be expected to offer the same leadership as the President. Neither of these VP candidates offer that leadership.

In Senator Biden we're offered a man with the same poor judgment about Iraq that Senator Obama has decried in, well, nearly everyone else; and who has been, for decades, part of the problem in Washington. Judgment and change is what I understand Senator Obama to be selling and Senator Biden offers us neither. And I'm not buying that a VP Biden would bring needed foreign policy experience. I'm guessing that if a President Obama calls Senator Biden in his current role at 3:01am he's not going to get voicemail.

Governor Palin is just as bad a pick in my mind. Senator McCain is selling experience, period. For him to choose a VP candidate with so little boggles my mind.

On the other hand there may be a weird little psychology going on here. Perhaps Senator Obama's choice is supposed to tell us that the country will be in experienced hands should he be shot while Senator McCain's is to tell us about his confidence in his own health.

Geez Jes—
GIVE IT A REST!
Comin’ darn close to being over the line.

The best knock against Palin is her inexperience coupled with McCain's age. It's going to be a factor. But, on balance, her positions are going to help her more than hurt her with swing voters. Those who think that Palin feeds into four more years of Bush/R established don't know her record well; she's pretty much the opposite of that. It's going to play well.

Palin is a high risk choice for McCain because she dilutes his message (experience) and highlights a weakness
(age). But she is the right one. McCain's about equal in the polls right now, but the structure and history strongly favors Obama. The polls are going to start moving in Obama's direction. Palin has the potential to really help McCain with the base while reaching out to independents.

Von -

Swing voters? Really? There are swing voters who will be attracted to her strongly anti-choice, creationism should be taught in schools, theocratic views?

I don't call those swing voters....

Jes: Please remember the standards of civility. Thanks.

Come to think of it, the canard for years has been that President Bush is a puppet of people like VP Cheney. Perhaps Governor Palin was chosen as a polar opposite to Senator Biden and a line of Republican attack will be that Senator Obama really isn't the one in charge, that he's simply a puppet of the old guard of the party and Senator Biden was chosen to keep him in line.

I can hear the copy now: "What happened to the real Barack Obama, the one that (insert point here, FISA perhaps)? Why has he changed his views so radically (show moves to the center)? Is he still in charge? (show the Clintons and Senator Biden) Has he succumbed to the same political pressures he promises to fight against, or has he changed his positions for now just to win your vote?

I say the answer is less than a thousand. How do I know? Because Clinton's campaign debt was not quickly retired by an army of small donors. Clinton got something like 18 million votes; if even 1 million of them were really really really pissed off about her loss, I'd expect them to donate an average of $10 to cover her debt. That never happened. Nothing even close to that ever happened.

Turbulence - that's a great point.

von: "I mentioned (on a different thread) that Obama's speech in the arena would play directly into the notion that he's a rock star rather than a serious candidate. I was wrong: the speech was very good."

I was worried about the change of venue, but the whole setting had a welcoming feel to it that mirrored the inclusiveness of the Democratic Party. It was awesome.

While I don't think OCSteve's observations are entirely off, I think he's still seeing this through a conservative prism and missing the deeper effects of this pick.

The positive (for McCain):
- Adds diversity to the Republican ticket, and steals some of Obama's historic thunder. While I don't think Palin will sway any but the very stupidest of Hillary supporters and feminists, she might be good for as much as a percentage point or two. That could be enough if this ends up close.

- Shores up some of the religious right with unquestionable anti-abortion credentials. Palin, agree or disagree with her, walks the walk. She had a chance to abort a Down Syndrome child, and kept him. Whether or not you agree with that decision, it was her choice to make and she made it consistent with her principles. If anyone is callous and foolish enough to attack her on that, they have no business calling themselves pro-choice.

- Breaks up the all-Senator club in this race. Now the McCain/Palin ticket can make at least a superficial argument that they're offering change. Setting aside from the moment that the actual substance of change matters more than the fact of it, expect to see this angle on the news a lot. Republicans are already crowing about comparing the perceived "executive" experience at the bottom of their ticket with the perceived lack of same at the top of ours.

- Revives the zombie "maverick" lie. This framing is already all over the networks. Obama and the other speakers spent four days ruthlessly demolishing what was left of McCain's so-called "maverick" image, and this pick--rightly or not--has managed to resurrect at least some of it.

- Makes it harder for Biden to completely clown his opponent in the VP debates. Don't get me wrong, I think she's an intellectual and foreign policy lightweight whom Biden could destroy in a debate even with his mouth taped shut. The danger there is the (sexist) perception of the old man beating up on the pretty young girl. Biden's role as a partisan attack dog risks becoming a liability rather than a strength. In this sense this is a classic Rovian pick.

Unfortunately, I think she brings more negatives than positives. And believe me, the negatives are pretty damn big to outweigh all of what I just wrote.

I'm about to run out to a meeting, so I will have to follow up with my "cons" when I come back, but for right now, my prediction is this: Palin is the Harriet Miers of this race. A superficially impressive but deeply flawed and unqualified choice made as an attempt at pandering to women. She will shave off some independents and a few really profoundly dumb and unserious PUMA types, but by the end of this McCain will be wishing he had the option of withdrawing her name from contention the way Bush did with Miers.

Catsy: Shores up some of the religious right with unquestionable anti-abortion credentials. Palin, agree or disagree with her, walks the walk. She had a chance to abort a Down Syndrome child, and kept him. Whether or not you agree with that decision, it was her choice to make and she made it consistent with her principles. If anyone is callous and foolish enough to attack her on that, they have no business calling themselves pro-choice.

Oh, good grief.

First of all: not anti-abortion - anti-choice.

Secondly, but close behind, people acquire "unquestionable anti-choice credentials" not because they themselves choose not to have an abortion, but because they want to take that choice away from other women.

Palin's credentials to the forced-pregnancy movement come not from her choosing to continue pregnancy when she knew the fetus had Down's Syndrome, but because she supports the government having the right to interfere in the relationship between parent and child - she wants a pregnant girl who wants an abortion and has made the choice not to tell her parents, to be forced to do so.

That's the kind of "pro-life" action that gives a woman credentials: not making a choice, but depriving other women of choices.

"she supports the government having the right to interfere in the relationship between parent and child - she wants a pregnant girl who wants an abortion and has made the choice not to tell her parents, to be forced to do so."

That is, if I may say so, a rather Alice in Wonderlandish version of "interfering in the relationship between parent and child". I hope you're not expecting Obama to get much mileage with that line of argument.

Actually, Jesurgislac is 100% right on that, and I think a great many women care. What she did is laudable (although not everyone would think so), but she also wants to force everyone to make that choice. My cousin chose to give birth to and lovingly raise the child of a horrific street rape, but that doesn't mean I think everyone should be obliged to do the same. In fact, I would go further and say that those who argue that women in my cousin's situation should be forced to do the same have never actually met anyone in my cousin's situation, because they clearly have no idea what they are telling people to do.

Jes is arguing that it's a violation of the relationship between parent and child to prevent the child from having an abortion without letting the parent know. Realistically, to prevent the statutory rapist from getting the child an abortion without the parent knowing. That's a quite Orwellian way to look at things, and if I really cared which of the major party candidates won, I'd hope like Hell that Obama decided to publicly defend Jes's position on this issue.

I should that where I'm from, Ireland, abortion is unconstitutional, and there actually have been cases of young girls becoming pregnant through rape, and because the state is aware of their pregnancy on account of the judicial proceedings, they have been prevented from leaving the country until they give birth. (Grown-ups always have the option of slipping away to the UK for a 'shopping weekend'.) So the sick dystopia the right salivates is there for you to see, and trust me, it's not pretty, it's not godly, it's not moral. It's really just the inverse of the ugly reproduction controls effected in places like China. Oh but I forgot, the Republicans are the party of small government and liberty.

Didn't see your post, Brett, before i wrote that last one. But yes, reproductive Orwellianism exists today.

And the girls in question are very frequently raped by family members. Gosh, I wonder why they'd want to keep it all secret and just make it go away.

I got the vague impression in the Democratic primaries that the one group of women who might vote for Clinton but not Obama were older ones, who were not necessarily normally Democrats, but really identified with her as having her 'rightful' claim to a job taken by a young, brash male. I don't know if they would actually vote for McCain in anger or just sit the whole thing out. But I don't think those kind of women will be any more impressed by a relatively young woman being picked as VP: they might feel it shows the same kind of prejudice against older women. If McCain had picked a more experienced woman, they might have calculated that the chances of him dying in office and getting a female president that way were worth voting for him.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back at it.

By "it", I presumes he means more negative ads, more "celebrity / rock star" nonsense, more questioning Obama's patriotism after Obama told him to knock it off.

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

sexist, dismissive, and fundamentally really, really moronic.

That's summed up my opinion of the PUMAs nicely!

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

-Young to counter the ‘old coot’ meme.

Or

-- young to highlight the "old coot" meme

-- Beauty Queen to emphasize the "celebrity" nonsense.

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

it'll give the GOP a historic first.

If you ignore the past 25 years...

Let me channel Jesurgislac for a moment:
When the Son of Cain is declared winner of the election despite all exit polls saying that Obama led with 10% or so, there will be need for an "Explanation". My guess is that the "explanation" could well be those elusive "better the son of Cain than a Democrat not being Hillary" that got pulled over to tSoC because he chose a female VP (don't look at that Diebold and his merry purgers behind the curtain!).
---
I think there could also be number of people that would stay home because they despise tSoC and could not swallow the idea of a [b word] becoming POTUS, should tSoC buy the farm. Those could easily balance out those Hillary-or-nothing Dinos.

Magistra has a point: As far as "PUMAs" even exist (and I'm thrilled McCain seems to be running on their existance. It's fitting he should lose via Mark Penn strategies), their beef with Obama was "Clueless Young guy from nowhere muscles out experienced woman who has spent years 'paying her dues'".

A scene that has, one must admit, played out in the business world for years and that many woman are intimately familiar with.

Yet Palin plays into the OTHER type of workplace beef -- "Young inexperienced woman promoted over older, experienced women".

Palin's, unfortunately, going to have the air of arm-candy. The beauty queen thing doesn't help, but picking her instead of Hutchinson, Snowe, Rice....

For all we know, every more experienced female Republican politician said "No thanks, I don't want to be tied to a losing ticket" and Palin was the best that said 'yes'. But that's not how it looked.

And god, she's going to make McCain look old. It won't just be the debates now that silently bring up his age -- his young, inexperienced VP's mere existance is going to keep bringing it up. It's like Dan Quayle, if Bush the Elder had been older and sicker.

Brett: That is, if I may say so, a rather Alice in Wonderlandish version of "interfering in the relationship between parent and child".

That is a rather Humpty-Dumpty use of the term "Alice in Wonderlandish".

I hope you're not expecting Obama to get much mileage with that line of argument.

Sadly, I'm not expecting Obama to speak up resoundingly against government interference in the relationship between parent and child.

Jes is arguing that it's a violation of the relationship between parent and child to prevent the child from having an abortion without letting the parent know.

No, I'm arguing that the government has no business interfering in the relationship between parent and child. Parents who have a good relationship with their teenage daughter will be told by their daughter: the government has no business to try and force a child's confidence.

Realistically, to prevent the statutory rapist from getting the child an abortion without the parent knowing.

Anti-choice fantasies, Brett.

Realistically, "parental notification" laws have two definite consequences, and two consequences only: either the pregnant girl gets an illegal abortion, which is much less safe for her, or (if she has access to good legal advice) she delays the legal abortion she wants to have for days or weeks until a court can give her the right to have the abortion she wanted earlier.

But anti-choicers always argue as if no girl - or woman - has volition of her own to know whether or not she wants an abortion.

All legal abortion providers would not perform an abortion on any pregnant woman - or girl - unless they were confident that the abortion was what the girl herself wanted.

Making it illegal for a pregnant teenager to get an abortion from a legitimate health provider makes it more likely that she may have to beg financing for an illegal abortion from the statutory rapist who got her pregnant, and that the abortionist she goes to is less concerned with making sure this is what the girl wants than with earning the fee.

Ye gods, I'm so tired of this.

First of all: not anti-abortion - anti-choice.

Whatever. That may be a cute rhetorical nit to pick against someone who actually disagrees with you on the policy merits, when discussing yet another in the long line of "abortions for me but not for thee" Republicans. But I don't, and Palin isn't. The whole thrust of what I was pointing out here was that unlike many other Republicans, she at least made a choice consistent with her principles. What you or I think of those principles is beside the point. The fact that she would prefer that choice not exist is relevant in the context of discussing the merits of her policies, but it is completely tangential to the question of whether or not she's hypocritical on this topic or acceptable to the religious right. My point is that she was faced with an unimaginably difficult test of her convictions that Calvinball Republicans routinely fail--and made what in her world is the correct, consistent, "pro-life" choice rather than the "easy" one, which will earn great approval and street cred with that crowd on the religious right. You don't have to take my word for it--go to Redstate and spend some time reading what /they're/ saying about her. If I'm wrong about this, I'll print out this comment and eat it.

You seem to have blown right past that point in favor of using it as a springboard to launch into Jesurgislac Terminology Rant #3 and Jesurgislac Anti-Women Republicans Tirade #7, neither of which is remotely germane to what I was saying. For what is not the first time, and unfortunately likely not the last, I'm not playing this game. I'm not a convenient foil for you to use as an excuse to rant about how much Republicans hate women anytime anyone happens to mention the word "abortion" in passing. Read what I wrote again, and if you have something to say about it that demonstrates you've done more than skim my comment for something to respond to, by all means, have at. But if you're just interested in an excuse to play the aggreived feminist giving what-for to those dumb men who Don't Get Women's Issues, I'll thank you to have the courtesy to do it to someone who deserves or enjoys it.

i fell out of bed laughing when i heard the announcement of mccain's choice.

riiigggghhhtttt ... HIS choice ...

i'm still screaming laughing.

"Sadly, I'm not expecting Obama to speak up resoundingly against government interference in the relationship between parent and child."

Ok, let me be blunt about this: It is, barring the parents having made a prior commitment to NOT know about their children's medical decisions, (Essentially, emancipating or adopting them out.) starkly dishonest to refer to informing a parent of an abortion as "Government interference in the relationship between parent and child".

"No, I'm arguing that the government has no business interfering in the relationship between parent and child."

Look, parents have certain responsiblities with respect to their minor children. They're SUPPOSED to be taking part in these decisions. It's their freaking JOB, as parents. Not the government's job.

Barring extraordinary circumstances, medical professional have no business providing medical care to minor children without informing their parents. The government isn't, by insisting on this notice, interfering with the relationship between parent and child, it's defending it.

"Realistically, "parental notification" laws have two definite consequences, and two consequences only: either the pregnant girl gets an illegal abortion, which is much less safe for her, or (if she has access to good legal advice) she delays the legal abortion she wants to have for days or weeks until a court can give her the right to have the abortion she wanted earlier."

Because children never, ever, change their minds about anything as a result of talking to their parents, right?

Jes, it's possible Obama agrees with you on this particular matter. He is, after all, one of the few politicians who opposed the born alive protection act barring the murder of children who survive abortions. But I really doubt he's politically suicidal enough to say so.

"The government isn't, by insisting on this notice, interfering with the relationship between parent and child, it's defending it."

I have to admit that I'm curious to know if you view this, the government making a law regulating communications between children, parents, and medical providers, as a libertarian position, Brett.

I'd tend to think, if I came to this issue as a Martian, that libertarians would default to "government should make no law" on such a topic. But what do you think? Government butting into family relationships is the libertarian position?

I'd tend to think, if I came to this issue as a Martian, that libertarians would default to "government should make no law" on such a topic.

As would I, which makes parental notification so tricky. A doctor would be required to give parents of a minor child notice (and require approval) of a risky operation (appendectomy, frex). What makes abortion different, from a libertarian point-of-view?

Jeff: What makes abortion different, from a libertarian point-of-view?

Abortion is less dangerous than pregnancy. Very much less dangerous than pregnancy for a teenager.

Brett: Barring extraordinary circumstances, medical professional have no business providing medical care to minor children without informing their parents.

Medical professionals have a primary obligation to their patient, not to their patient's parents: and, as UK law finds, the rights of the child are paramount.

A pregnant minor child who is adamant that she doesn't want to tell her parents, could of course be denied all medical care until she does so. That would mean a pregnant girl who didn't want an abortion and was afraid to tell her parents would be denied healthcare during her pregnancy, just as it would mean a pregnant girl who wanted an abortion and was afraid to tell her parents would end up getting an illegal abortion.

Of course this is fine if your key value is that the government should enforce communication between parents and children by all means available, including denial of healthcare to a child in need, but for most humane people, it seems more practical to put the welfare of the child first, and your moral principle that children ought to tell their parents everything or else a long way second.

"A doctor would be required to give parents of a minor child notice (and require approval) of a risky operation (appendectomy, frex)."

Do most libertarians favor that? Cite?

Inner city teenagers and children are often shot in gang disputes. Jeff implies that no child bleeding to death would be stitched up in a trauma center without parental consent.

I doubt parental consent would be required in that type of emergency (or for an appendectomy, for that matter).

As Jes pointed out, pregnancy is much more hazardous than abortion. For example, a tubal pregnancy is a surgical emergency, requiring an immediate abortion.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad