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August 29, 2008

Comments

Who am I? Why am I here?

Don't make fun of Admiral Stockdale! He was a POW!!!

Way out of context:

“[A]s for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S. before I can even start addressing that question.”

This is going to be great. McCain/Palin win the election, McCain gets us into a foreign policy crisis with Russia and/or Iran/China and promptly kicks the bucket, leaving us with Sarah Palin. Awesome.

Actually seems like a fair statement to me. The point she is making in her extended comments is that being a VP is not really as productive a position as her current job. It was perhaps an impolitic thing to say given the day's current news, but it has the advantage of being true. Cheney notwithstanding and politics aside, being a VP isn't an especially meaningful or productive position. She will have to learn to check that honesty if she is going to survive this campaign.

Way out of context:

not really. she still doesn't know what the VP does.

especially for Alaskans

What does that mean? Is that from the Ted Stevens handbook of public service?

I mean, she’s obviously saying that she would have to clarify her role as VP in a McCain administration. Obviously Al Gore had different responsibilities than Dick Cheney…

I’d stick with Trooper-gate. Although there seems to be more to that than meets the eye. Plus – it was ongoing while she was being vetted. I’d have to think they checked into it. Or else, they just determined that voters are so used to Republicans misusing their office at this point that this passed under their radar.

OCSteve,

I'd actually advise that while trooper gate will be amusing, we might as well attack Palin on the issues. She's a creationist, global warming denying, anti-choice, former Buchanan crusading, right-wing extremist.

B

OCSteve - all that proves is that he wasn't a great trooper. The governor still clearly interfered in the police department's internal disciplinary procedures on account of a personal vendetta. Or did the governor personally hire a private investigator to look into every Alaskan trooper with a disciplinary record?

After the cr*p this administration has pulled with abuse of power in the apparatus of government, is this really what they want to go with?

Way out of context

Can we be safe in assuming then that the name "Dick Cheney" does not scan with her?

I mean anyone who has been paying attention to the news for the last 6 years pretty much knows already what the VP does every day: bamboozle and manipulate the President, emasculate the State Dept. and set up an independent foreign policy shop, doctor intelligence, manage the legal niceties of our torture policy, work the media to harass and intimidate political opponents, and out the occasional pesky CIA agent. Shooting somebody in the face on the other hand, that isn’t one of the job requirements – that’s a perk.

Was she really not clear on all that, or was she trying to negotiate down the job requirements to a more manageable set of burdens?

;->

She's a creationist

i suppose it shows that i'm a liberal coastal elitist, but if i was running things, you wouldn't be allowed out of 8th grade if you believed that...

TLT wins.

She's a creationist

i suppose it shows that i'm a liberal coastal elitist, but if i was running things, you wouldn't be allowed out of 8th grade if you believed that...

McCain panders to the religious right, who are creationists. And he'll continue to pander to them, gutting our science programs even more. Bet ALL stem cell research will be banned, and any funding for basic science will be stifled.

An extra nice touch: an Alaskan climate change denier. I tell you, Hy-Brasil is not sinki-blub-blub-blub! ;-)
Ok, that was Terry Jones not Palin.

oh, BTW, VPILF.com

(safe for work)

oh, BTW, VPILF.com

Please tell me it's not about Biden.

After the cr*p this administration has pulled with abuse of power in the apparatus of government, is this really what they want to go with?

Well, as I noted this was going on when they vetted her. So:

A) There’s no personal wrongdoing there and they can prove it.
B) They figured no one would bat an eye at such a minor misuse of office after the Bush years.
C) Everyone else they vetted had much scarier skeletons in their closet.

I'm going with some combination of B & C myself.


BTW – AllahPundit is not feeling the love…

I'm giong to go with: D) she did it and they don't think there was anything wrong in her doing so.

Looks like her brave, pork-busting opposition to the Bridge to Nowhere isn't quite as advertised.

sadly, i suppose we should all assume that she's going to turn out to be a really good campaigner. McCain can't be that stupid.

until then... this is sure funny.

From a WaPo Q&A with an Alaskan reporter:

Washington, D.C.: An AP photo caption at today's event listed Palin's children as "daughters Piper, Willow, Bristol, and son Trig." Are those really their names?

Gregg Erickson: Yes, really. Piper is named after the light aircraft.

The light aircraft? Ummmm...ooookaaay.

A few points.

She adds to the ticket in terms of some vigor and definitely solidifies the base until her record on gay rights come right to the fore. And it wouldn't surprise me if the Obama team actually praises her record on gay rights as being very progressive for a Republcan.

The Obama campaign won't use the inexperience word, but they will question her knowledge of many things, including foreign relations, the military, etc.

And the underlying theme they will be pushing is which VP would you rather have in the WH, Palin or Biden? It will be a comparison not just her on an island. Further down the ladder, there will be more emhasis on McCain's age to bring the point out.

And ultimately, it turns back to judgement ad putting the country first. It seems that by pandering to the base and attempting to catch some swing female voters, McCain is putting geting elected in front of the country.

They will be very polite to Palin.

great point, byrningham, although I'm not sure OCSteve would disagree with you:

OCSteve - all that proves is that he wasn't a great trooper. The governor still clearly interfered in the police department's internal disciplinary procedures on account of a personal vendetta. Or did the governor personally hire a private investigator to look into every Alaskan trooper with a disciplinary record?

After the cr*p this administration has pulled with abuse of power in the apparatus of government, is this really what they want to go with?

We can also critisize her sense of conflicts of interest. it smells like she knew something about this trooper's character from her own family life. again, it's judgment.

otherwise, I don't care either that she admits not knowing what the VP does.

but how about the Downs kid? I couldn't bring a kid with Downs into this world, not knowing what I do about the tragedy of the human condition, even with good sex and afro-cuban rhythms.


We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here

Great, more wilderness welfare.

She's not happy that per capita Alaskans receive more federal dollars than any other state already.

Or that while every other state gets 50% of the proceeds from oil and minerals from federal land, Alaska has the sweetheart deal and gets 90%.

If I didn't love the salmon fishing up there so much I'd suggest they secede and see if they could make it on their own.

Sell them back to the Russians, I say! ;-) (what is the "evil grin" code?)

*eg* or ;->

Would the Russians buy them?

Palin and “Down’s syndrome baby”

Aside from the apostrophe and capitalization… (Down Syndrome)
I have some hope that her nomination will shed some light on this. Even if I won’t vote for the ticket, I’ll take the limelight on this topic, and gladly.

I have great respect for her, for her decision to have this child. She really has no idea what she is getting into. I am sad and happy for her at the same time. She will see great trials and great joy.

Would the Russians buy them?

It depends on the selling price. If it's not too high, I'm sure that Russia would love to expand its hydrocarbon reserves.

Some numbers that come to mind:

- By the time of the election, Sarah Palin will have been governor of Alaska for about as long as Barack Obama has been running his Presidential campaign.

- The state of Alaska has a population of just under 700,000. The Obama campaign counts over 2M supporters, 2M volunteers and is aiming for 6M by election day.

- The state government of Alaska employs about 15,000 people. The Obama campaign is not specific on numbers, but estimates "thousands" of Party and campaign staff by election day.

Just some food for thought.

Adam: "The state of Alaska has a population of just under 700,000."

McCain: "My friends, we are all Alaskans."


McCain: "My friends, we are all Alaskans."

Alaska, Georgia, Absurdistan, whatever -- just tell me when we get to invade the Russkies, huh?

What's interesting to me is that John M is still playing only to his base. He still hasn't won them over and she is a ploy to get them and any stray Clinton disenchanted voters that are left out there.
I think they misjudge the number of Clinton voters left to get. And if he is still trying to lock in the GOP base, he really is in trouble, regardless of the polls.
My advice to Obama is to basically ignore her, continue to go after McCain and Bush. Let them have the base - Obama's base is much larger at this point, and a lot more committed.

Another thing - I'm hearing the talking heads and even some of the Dems talking about her lack of experience. I thought McCain choosing her was going to take that away from the GOP and the Dems wouldn't try to go there. I think it's a wrong strategy, but it may work.
The reason being that we have been able to see Obama for a year and a half and he has been able to give us confidence in him. I just don't think she will have in 60 days enough time to build that confidence in most people.

Johnny seems to have forgotten his base. After the village gets over the initial shock, the slow realization that this is a giant FU to them will sink in. Mo's claws are gonna be out, and the rest of the clan will be in full cry.

Expect an emergency with her Down Syndrome son in about three weeks, and a regretful resignation.

Peter VE: Expect an emergency with her Down Syndrome son in about three weeks, and a regretful resignation.

Bullshit. You have no idea what the hell you are talking about. None whatsoever.

Look, I’ve never done this before, but I’m going to ask the community here to lay off this angle. I’m going to totally lose it otherwise.

I can see why the right loves the pick: Palin is to the right of the right.

Pro gun.

Pro life.

Pro drilling.

She's even against the polar bear being on the Endangered Species List.

So forget about disgruntled Hillary voters breaking her way.

I really do think the pick calls McCain's judgment into question after hearing that he had met her only once before. I mean, NFL teams usually interview their first-round picks more than that, just to make sure they aren't mortgaging their future.

And OCSteve is right:

Lay off the Downs Syndrome angle.

I had a customer today who had three children -- 3, 8 and 9 -- and he said two of them have Autism. They just relocated from Texas because he got a teaching job at a nearby high school and have already been dismayed by the high cost of living here on the East Coast. I was struck by his otherwise optimistic outlook on things.

Some folks have crosses to bear than we should dignify rather than diss in any form or fashion.

As far as the Down Syndrome child, I believe I have read that -- even more than ordinarily -- the bonding between mother and child in the first six months is particularly important. But, instead of understanding the importance of this, she will be campaigning throughout the country. This (and I would argue only this) is what is an issue here.

Just for the record, it's either "Down Syndrome" in American English, or "Down's Syndrome" in British English. It's never "Downs Syndrome," or "Downs' Syndrome."

It's named after John Langdon Down.

OCSteve links to my home newspaper!

Or that while every other state gets 50% of the proceeds from oil and minerals from federal land, Alaska has the sweetheart deal and gets 90%.

And what is the percentage of federal land in most states? Never thought about that? Take a look. And think about how many square miles in that 69.1%. The other western states were also given water rights because those are valuable. Alaska was trying to sell its water to California when Hickel was governor (cool idea of a water pipeline on the seabed). In other words, not too valuable in Alaska. The cost of taking over governance of such a large and remote land being what it was, Alaska wisely negotiated for 90% in its statehood compact. And the feds keep ANWR locked up. That's called a breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, but I digress.

And while I agree with OCSteve in the Down Syndrome issue, I invite Democrats everywhere to press the issue. It will go over SO well with most America.

Prup: As far as the Down Syndrome child, I believe I have read that --

You believe? You read something? Excuse me? WTF?

I don’t know how to put this in any more concrete terms – leave it alone!

If you need the political angle - this topic is political suicide.

OCSteve, the faxct that she has a Down Syndrome child is ireelevant and should not be played upon by the professionals around. But I have read several comments from mothers out there that are aghast at the fact she is going to be doing this under this circumstance.

Doesn't matter if it is right or wrong, but as you know, rightness and wrongness have nothing to do with reality.

Should the Obama camp or surrogates wonder about it and say anything. Definitely not. Can regular people express some concern about the situation. Certainly they can. That is a legitimate thing to do.

But the really pathetic thing is that McCain even placed her in this position. Does anybody really think that a person n her position, male or female, governor of a wealthy but otherwise pretty ignored state with limited prospects for the future and a member of a party that is being duisgraced in its own state wou;dn't jump at this chance?

This is not only an example of McCain's lack of judgement but also his narcissitic ego.

I'll chime in with everyone about the Down's syndrome* angle, but I have to note that I can't help but feel that this is one of the 'strengths' that Palin brings to the table, as seen thru the eyes of the second-string Rovians running McCain's campaign. A profitable line of attack might be to inquire of Palin what she thinks the government should do to help people with Down's syndrome, which would have her either tout the benefits of government intervention, peeling off those small government types, or she would come up with the hands off approach that would be so contrary to human feeling that she would get hoisted by her own petard.

*British spelling, which I prefer in this case. Ah, the joys of being an expat and getting to choose the spelling I like!

Also, it was pointed out that Rove called up Lieberman to ask him directly to not pursue the VP slot. That is an angle that I would like to see attacked. How can the Republican party allow someone who is a complete free agent with no mandate from anyone gets to be kingmaker?

Gary, I'm surprised at your capitalization. There's no need to cap syndrome. Names of diseases and conditions are not proper nouns (though they may include proper nouns, like Down).

Argh.

Double argh.

I think people should pretty much lay off the candidates' children and their relationships with them unless the children are adults and actively participating in the campaign (or actively agitating against it).

Because, quite frankly, I can't imagine that running for President or Vice President while having children that are not adults is in any way good for those kids, at least compared to the average upbringing kids in the US receive.

This is why Limbaugh's and McCain's comments/jokes about Chelsea Clinton were horribly disgusting and way out of bounds. She has seemed to turn out okay, but if the question is "is running for President/Veep good for my kids?" The answer is "no", equally for Obama, McCain, and Palin (and would be for Biden if he had school-age children).

From reading today, Palin's husband is on leave from his job, which I presume means he is home to provide the necessary bonding with their youngest child while she campaigns.

So I agree with OCSteve, let's not go there (and I realize random blog comments are not the same as Obama producing commercials about it and running them during NFL games, but it's still horrible).

"Gary, I'm surprised at your capitalization."

Fair point. I'm just working to bother to pay attention to most anything at all right now. :-(

John: Good to hear from you. I miss your moderating voice.

“I have read several comments from mothers out there that are aghast at the fact she is going to be doing this under this circumstance.”

Should a mother with a newborn Down Syndrome child go out at night to work as a waitress in a bar? Get her ass grabbed 20 times a night by slime balls? Should she leave that kid to go to night school (paying for it with tips from getting her ass grabbed) to try to further herself and her entire family? Always assuming that the kid is in good hands?

This argument falls apart with assuming that a DS kid needs “special” care as opposed to realizing that they need to be treated just like any other kid.

Not to pick on you John, you just gave me the opening to spout off.

I agree, but I don't think Peter VE's comment really had anything to do with Palin's son or Down syndrome or her relationship with him. It was just a specific variation of "spending more time with the family" -- an excuse to explain why she'd be stepping down, when the reality was that she had become an embarrassment. Still, better to avoid mentioning her son at all.

Hey, Gary, I was just trying to draw you into a copyediting argument to make you feel better.

Not to pick on you John, you just gave me the opening to spout off.

And now I feel bad, because I love to hear your input, and the first time I hear from you in a while I dump this on you. That is totally unfair and I apologize. Sorry dude.

OCSteve, you have to remember I said right or wrong. I am just talking about how individuals may see it and how some to.
If someone wants to talk about making this an issue in the campaign, I am totally on your side.

However, an individual can see it differently and many do.

Just as many give her a lot of credit for not aborting a child they knew was going to have this condition. Should that be a subject of the campaign? I can tell you it will come up, in fact ABC made a special point of it in their newscast.

If two people want to have a discussion, and in a sense this provides the perfect opportunity to do so, then utilize it. Don't spout off, but rather discuss why someone feels it is wrong for her to do this and explain your point of view.

Educate people. Many are really uneducated on kids and adults with Downs syndrome and see them as somehow fragile china dolls.

Just like Obama's race could provide an opportunity for discussion so does this situation.

But just not within the context of the campaign.

Even though I know that OCSteve is filling big shoes being the devil's advocate in a lot of this Palin defense and gets jumped on, even though he is often talking about optics rather than his own opinion, I hope he might give us running updates on things that he believes undercut Palin rather than have us bring them up and demand that he provide some explanation. frex, these three links, does he see in them anything that he might see would have those who would be swayed by the Palin pick reconsider?
link )from Lawyers, Guns and Money

link From the big orange one, from a person who lives in the town Palin was mayor

link More orange links

No need to apologize. I miss having the freedom to spend more time her, and after putting up with and even tresponding to Jes thes past ouple days youdo need the need to spout off.

Definitely don't pick on kids, unless they're adults and part of the campaign. That's just common decency.

And this--

"but how about the Downs kid? I couldn't bring a kid with Downs into this world, "

Good lord. That is a hell of a thing to say about a human being. I hope you don't know anyone with a child with Down syndrome. If you do, I hope you have enough sense to keep your opinion to yourself.

Donald, amen.

I think this Ezra Klein post is a great list of the things that he hangs on a Jack Cafferty rant. He goes on to note

In the coming weeks, she's going to get questions on the following topics: Preexisting conditions in health care, anthropogenic global warming, prison reform, NAFTA, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the name of the president of Georgia, the construction of a fence along Mexico border, the struggle in Kadima between Tzipi Livni against Shaul Mofaz, the trade deficit with China, the Social Security trust fund, net neutrality, the correct size and composition of the army.

Whatta list. Ouch.

LJ: I noted AllahPundits “lack-o-love” earlier.

He is pretty influential on my side. I don’t do “big orange” unless it is an Orange Crush with fresh oranges and good vodka. A few folks were concerned at the Corner. I pointed out a few other places where folks noted her lack of experience.

On the Down Syndrome stuff – I’m really sensitive to it at this time and I admit I I'll go off on a dime. Or even a nickel…

Thanks OCSteve, I'm just interested in what points pulled out by the left side find traction on the right. OCSteve, giving us Tomorrow's conservative talking points today. ;^)

I would also riff off a brilliant TLT comment in an earlier thread,

The national power authoritarians in the GOP (e.g., Bill Kristol, Pat Buchanan) respond to displays of stern and confident authority with reactions which are downright Pavlovian. They can't help themselves - when the alpha dog barks, they line up to salute.

This Palin pick suggests the same dynamic. Can anyone imagine McCain picking someone who might challenge him?

To get away from the Down syndrome issue, which I agree should be gotten away from, the idea that it would somehow help the McCain campaign for her to withdraw at this point is crazy. Sure, the pick looks likely to totally backfire and make McCain look like a fool.

But the damage is done. The best he can do is weather it and hope for the best. If he drops her, he immediately becomes George McGovern. And if there's anybody you don't want to be in a presidential general election campaign, it's George McGovern.

Q: if McCain is McGovern and Palin is Eagleton, then who will be Shriver?

From what I understand, after Eagleton dropped out, McGovern basically couldn't find anybody who would agree to be on the ticket with him. Mike Mansfield, Abe Ribicoff, Ted Kennedy, and Hubert Humphrey all declined. Muskie initially accepted, then changed his mind. Finally, McGovern got Shriver to agree. I suspect if Palin had to withdraw that you might find a similar story.

OCSteve- I'm reluctant to bring up the DS wrt politics, so please tell me if this is off-base (and if so, I apologize). Do you see the McCain campaign using the kid like they use his POW time? I assume Palin herself wouldn't do that (someone in the room has to have a soul), but when she screws up, will a surrogate say, "Hey, cut her some slack, her son has Down syndrome!"?

And an open question to everyone, if that were to happen, would the average Joe be disgusted at the tactic?

For the first question, I really think that there are folks that would use the kid like that, but obviously I'm a bit biased and have a low opinion of them. The second question, though, has me stumped.

Awesome McCain spin from Charlie Black:
"She's going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he'll be around at least that long."

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/211535.php

The foot of the master? Are you kidding me?

Q: if McCain is McGovern and Palin is Eagleton, then who will be Shriver?

Wow. That's a doozy. My first thought is Pawlenty, but he's evidently a bit pissed about this and he wouldn't jump on a ship that's not only sunk, its hit the ocean floor. I can't think of anyone on the national scene... Maybe Alan Keyes, he likes hopeless races against Obama. If we're really lucky, though, he'll get Tom DeLay.

As much as I'm in love with Obama/Biden, I will vote for McCain/DeLay just to have a hell of a story to joke around with. (I wanted to vote for the guy who went to a Nazi rally for Hitler's b-day, but his district literally started a block from my house. And IN only lets me vote in one party's primary. Bummer.)

For the record: I just saw redwood's comment about DS, and completely agree with Donald Johnson.

The foot of the master?

a charming image.

i hope they run with it.

boots on necks.

I really wish Steve Gilliard was still with us. I would love to read what he would have written about this.

me too -- i'd like to request that everyone lay off the DS completely. that's completely irrelevant

I didn't want to discuss the fact that Palin's kid has DS, but I have thought about it somewhat. My thinking is that her decision to run as VP suggests that she has extremely poor judgment.

The symptoms manifested by any one particular DS kid vary significantly. DS is not a simple disease at all: you can't look at a DS newborn and predict with much certainty what kind of outcomes they'll have. I used to work with DS young kids and the variance really is quite large. Moreover, much of the variance isn't obvious at birth. That means that parents with a DS child have signed up for an open ended commitment: their kid may, over the course of the next few years, require a lot more care than the average DS kid or may require a reasonable amount of particularly onerous care, and they may not find out until years after the kid is born. That's true to some extent for all kids, but the probability seems much much higher for DS kids in my experience.

Campaigning for VP is stressful. Being VP is more stressful. Given McCain's demographics, I can't imagine him surviving his first term. The man is a 72 year old guy with family members that have tended to die before 72; he experienced massive physical trauma in his youth of which he still suffers and he's had several cancerous skin lesions removed. If McCain wins, I'd rate the chance that Palin becomes President before the term ends at something like 80%+. Palin has basically signed up to be President of the US. That's a really hard job that requires a great deal of anyone. If her DS child was older, it wouldn't be an issue, but because he's so young, Palin has signed up for this massive commitment to the nation while holding onto a potentially large time and emotional commitment to her family that could easily blow up.

This wouldn't be an issue if her DS kid was 8 years old say. But he's not. He's 4 months old. There are a lot of parents who haven't even fully processed what it means to raise a DS kid at 4 months. Deciding to run for VP, knowing that you're really signing up for President when you have a new 4 month old DS baby suggest that Palin is the kind of person who doesn't think things through. She's the kind of person who does not have smart people that she can talk things over with and have them say "You know, maybe this isn't such a good idea..." and listen to them. She's the kind of person who can't think long term and can't see beyond tomorrow, and when she does look beyond tomorrow, is literally incapable of imagining bad things going down.

She's not some poor waitress trying to go to school at night. She's a wealthy woman who has a cushy job that doesn't require much of her. She doesn't need to be President or VP at all.

I have a sibling who has DS so I'm not totally ignorant of what I speak.

If McCain wins, I'd rate the chance that Palin becomes President before the term ends at something like 80%+.

That's ridiculous. There's certainly a greater-than-normal chance that McCain will not serve out his term, but there's no evidence to suggest anything like an 80+% chance. Hell, John Paul Stevens has more than a 20% chance of surviving a McCain term, and he's 88.

...Palin is the kind of person who doesn't think things through. She's the kind of person who does not have smart people that she can talk things over with and have them say "You know, maybe this isn't such a good idea..." and listen to them. She's the kind of person who can't think long term and can't see beyond tomorrow, and when she does look beyond tomorrow, is literally incapable of imagining bad things going down.

In other words, she'd be a worthy successor to McCain, who'd be a worthy successor to Bush.

I should also add: the DS child's health isn't the only variable factor in the equation. There are many people and many marriages that can't really withstand the challenges of raising a DS child. I've actually watched marriages break up over this; maybe those marriages wouldn't have held together in the long term anyway, but this sort of thing can really knock the wind out of people. And this is not the kind of thing that someone at 4 months can be expected to have fully processed. It just isn't.

KCinDC,

You're right, 80% is too high. I'd still argue that the chances that McCain dies or is incapacitated by dementia is high enough that Palin cannot reasonably assume that she will not be President.

Turb, I think we should always consider the possibility that a vice president might suddenly become president during the term. It's happened for 9 out of 46 vice presidents. In this case the chances may be higher than usual, but they're always too high to ignore. Let's hope the voters think about it.

Turbulence, if Palin is Vice President (obviously I hope not) it's not as if there won't be the best child care there possibly could be available: and Todd Palin (from the minimal amount of information available on him in Wikipedia) could be a full-time dad/carer.

Just for once, I agree with both OCSteve and Donald Johnson (and how often do you get to say that?): this isn't an issue, and this shouldn't be made an issue. It's not only morally wrong to attack her on this - it's also bad tactics and bad strategy. (As in: one sure way to look sexist to every working mother is to ask the mother, not the father, how she's going to "cope" with her child care responsibilities and her job.)

Turbulence, if Palin is Vice President (obviously I hope not) it's not as if there won't be the best child care there possibly could be available: and Todd Palin (from the minimal amount of information available on him in Wikipedia) could be a full-time dad/carer.

That's nice. Except the emotional pains can't really be delegated to child care workers or one's spouse. That's not really how it works. And some of the marriages I saw break up were quite well off families who had no trouble affording child care.

this isn't an issue, and this shouldn't be made an issue.

I never said it should be made an issue by the campaign or anyone else. I'm not part of the campaign, but I do have opinions. And, if you don't mind, I'll continue holding my opinions. The governor's actions here suggest poor judgment to me. It is an issue to me.

Instead of telling me that it is not an issue, could you explain what exactly in my reasoning you disagree with? For example, do you disagree that DS children manifest a variety of symptoms that can be difficult to predict soon after birth? Do you disagree that raising such a child can be traumatic? Alternatively, you can keep insisting that I'm wrong without bothering to explain why.

It's not only morally wrong to attack her on this - it's also bad tactics and bad strategy.

Can you quote the bits where I've attacked her? Do you think that it is morally wrong to say that someone's actions demonstrate poor judgment?

And can you quote the bit where I suggested that I either worked for the Obama campaign or recommended that they should talk about this?

(As in: one sure way to look sexist to every working mother is to ask the mother, not the father, how she's going to "cope" with her child care responsibilities and her job.)

WTF? Where have I said anything like that? If the father was running for VP, I'd say the exact same thing about him, but he's not. And the issue is not !$!#$% child care.

For example, do you disagree that DS children manifest a variety of symptoms that can be difficult to predict soon after birth? Do you disagree that raising such a child can be traumatic?

Neither one. What makes you feel that Todd Palin can't cope with raising a DS child such that you know he'll need Sarah's full time support?

If the father was running for VP, I'd say the exact same thing about him, but he's not.

Maybe you would: but I suspect most people who will use "aha! she has a very young Downs syndrome child" wouldn't - if it were Todd Palin nominated for Vice President. Because "how are you going to cope with your child care responsibilities" (and yeah, child care in the broadest sense is exactly what the issue is) is a question that's asked of working mothers, not working fathers.

I have no confidence that Sarah Palin is likely to translate her experience as a working mother into legislative concern for the welfare of other mothers - she's a Republican, after all. But the US is the worst developed country in the world for supporting parents/children. (I'd say the UK was the second worst, FWIW.)

Well. After watching Palin's intro speech today, I really do feel sorry for her, reprehensible positions and all. She's way out of her league here. You can just see the awkward radiating off of McCain like stink rays. When Hillary starts to lay into her, I'll look away and say a short prayer.

Was there really no other woman who wanted the job? Not a single Republican female who could be the tiniest bit more qualified? Jeeze, now I'm offended and I only have one X chromosome.

Neither one. What makes you feel that Todd Palin can't cope with raising a DS child such that you know he'll need Sarah's full time support?

I'm more worried that even if there was no need for Gov. Palin's time and energy to be spent on child care, the thought of raising disabled child would make her crack psychologically and unable to function. You don't seem to get this: parents can respond badly to having disabled children even when they are wealthy enough not to have to spend lots of time with their kids. And even when parents are wealthy enough, there are some things that they are unwilling to delegate, and dealing with those things can be emotionally gutwrenching and time consuming.

Maybe you would: but I suspect most people who will use "aha! she has a very young Downs syndrome child" wouldn't

Ah, I was confused then. Because your comment was specifically addressed to me, I assumed that it was intended for me and not for fictional unnamed sexist others. My mistake then.

For those unclear on the subject, it's not an attack to note that Palin's family situation is at odds with past polling that suggests voters are turned off by women with young children running for public office and thus ask why, in light of that fact, McCain still chose her. That would be like if Obama chose an openly gay VP and then it was announced that no one should question whether selecting a gay person for VP would alienate some share of the electorate.

Because your comment was specifically addressed to me, I assumed that it was intended for me and not for fictional unnamed sexist others. My mistake then.

It was intended for you, Turb. You had not then made a committment that you'd ask a man exactly the same question.

I'm more worried that even if there was no need for Gov. Palin's time and energy to be spent on child care, the thought of raising disabled child would make her crack psychologically and unable to function.

So all parents of disabled children ought to be barred from public office in case this makes them crack psychologically?

Well, that's an instance of "ableism" that I had not previously encountered...

So all parents of disabled children ought to be barred from public office in case this makes them crack psychologically?

As Turb said, it wouldn't be an issue if her child was older, so that she and her family were used to the demands his care would make of them and so that they could be sure they could provide them adequately for his sake.

I think any new parent (male or female) would be foolish to take on a demanding new job just after they'd had a child and before they'd adjusted to the changes this meant to the family. It's hard enough going back to a job you're used to. And though the Palins already have several children, a child with special needs means a lot of new adjustments and decisions to consider.

The DS would be an issue, if it were Obama's child. Then we'd drown in a whisper/smear campaign about the Muslim [n-word] with the Mongol child (with of course the GOP campaign denying to have anything to do with it).
I agree that the Democrats should keep away from this issue as far as possible (and be it just for decency's sake).
The only exception I would make would be, if the GOP campaign tried to make hay with it (making the Down Palin's POW so to speak).
The moment Palin tries a "but my child has DS" evasion*, the clubs should come out without mercy.

*I mean in the sense of the Son of Cain's POW nonsequiturs. Not e.g. in a context of parentage(is that the right word?), health etc. where having a child with DS may indeed be seen as a "valuable extra experience".

Do you see the McCain campaign using the kid like they use his POW time? I assume Palin herself wouldn't do that (someone in the room has to have a soul), but when she screws up, will a surrogate say, "Hey, cut her some slack, her son has Down syndrome!"?

No. I see them using it (very subtly) just to reinforce her blue-collar roots. She raised 5 kids, one with special needs – and managed to become Governor! But the main way that they will use it is to confer "absolute moral authority" on the pro-life issue – she decided to have the kid even knowing it would have DS…

And an open question to everyone, if that were to happen, would the average Joe be disgusted at the tactic?

Absolutely.


Turb: You are right in everything you noted and I agree with you 100%. But I think it is a huge and deadly landmine as far as politics goes.

On the morning of 9-11, the stress on the president must have been so great I can't imagine dealing with that AND a 5-month-old baby.

If that's sexist, so be it.

Thanks OCSteve. And this is just about the absolute worst landmine possibly politically, to say nothing of just how indecent we (Dems) would look questioning it. There's just no good to come from it in any way if we do so much as mention it. And of course we have no business doing so.

Good God, between you all you are actually making me feel for the first time there would be one tolerable thing about a McCain Presidency - having a working mother in the White House to confound everyone who's tutting and going "oh, she can't do it, it wouldn't be right".

Of course this is rather like my feeling that there is one tolerable thing about Dick Cheney - he loves his younger daughter, and therefore has never been as vehemently against same-sex marriage and GLBT people as would have been politically desirable. It's not a big thing, it's certainly not anything that would prevent me from wanting to see him on trial for his crimes - but it is a tolerable thing about him.

MeDrewNotYou: And this is just about the absolute worst landmine possibly politically, to say nothing of just how indecent we (Dems) would look questioning it. There's just no good to come from it in any way if we do so much as mention it. And of course we have no business doing so.

Exactly. Adult children who choose to take part in their parent's campaign are, to a limited extent, reasonable subjects for discussion (though I found the persistent attacks on the Barbara and Jenna Bush frequently stepped over the line) but minor children not, not ever. That's the kind of thing the Rush Limbaughs and other scumbag Republicans do, to conservative approval: it's not what decent human beings do.

Ah, it's nice to be back to the true progressive spirit in American. Women should appearantly have a limited number of children, should abort special need children and if they do not do that stay home to take care of them. If the children are young they should not campaign or govern (how old were Obama's daughters when he started running for president? 5 and 7 or 8 I think). And in addition a nice link to a site where a long list of male vp portraits and one big portrait of the Republican VP in her teens.

Darn, that was before I googled the abbreviation. Vice Presidents I'd Like to F**k???? Classy.

Well, who would want to [f-word] with Chain-Eye, especially since he clearly signaled that he'd not be available (Go, [f-word] yourself!)?

Linking doesn't indicate approval. Dutch, if you have objections to things specific people have said, it might be better to address them rather than ranting at the lot of us, most of whom probably agree with you.

Turbulence, I think it's very presumptuous to make sweeping judgments about her decision when you (and the rest of us) know next to nothing about her family life, her support systems, etc. It's entirely common for people to have to make difficult choices when balancing career goals and family, and I find it rather arrogant to second-guess those decisions, especially when you're talking about complete strangers. Do you have any reason to believe that she hasn't agonized over this decision, thought it through, talked it over with family and friends, etc.? Do you really think she isn't aware of the potential consequences?

Ah, it's nice to be back to the true progressive spirit in American.

Um, who exactly are you trying to insult with your sarcasm? All American progressives? Just those who have commented on this thread? Who exactly?

Also, who are you trying to convince by insulting people randomly?

Women should appearantly have a limited number of children, should abort special need children and if they do not do that stay home to take care of them. If the children are young they should not campaign or govern (how old were Obama's daughters when he started running for president? 5 and 7 or 8 I think).

I don't know why you believe these strange things. Frankly, I think the fact that you hold these strange beliefs suggests that you don't have very progressive or feminist values.

Now, if you think someone else believes these things, please quote them.

kenB,

I'll ask you the same questions I asked Jes:

Instead of telling me that it is not an issue, could you explain what exactly in my reasoning you disagree with? For example, do you disagree that DS children manifest a variety of symptoms that can be difficult to predict soon after birth? Do you disagree that raising such a child can be traumatic? Alternatively, you can keep insisting that I'm wrong without bothering to explain why.

If you want to seriously engage with me, then it would help if you identified specific points of disagreement rather than just calling me presumptuous. Frankly, seeing as how you didn't help raise any DS kids, I think you're way beyond presumptuous telling me what the experience is like.

Turbulence, the specific point of disagreement between you and me (and, I get the impression, between you and kenB and marbel, too) is this:

I think that arguing in advance that a woman shouldn't have a job because she has children who have needs that she ought to provide and that her job will prevent her from providing, is deeply sexist. (Your assertion that you would say exactly the same thing if this were a man with a Downs syndrome son notwithstanding: you haven't made this argument about a man, you've made it about a woman.)

You think that it's perfectly okay to say that a woman ought not to accept nomination for a demanding job because she has child has needs she ought to support personally and because the combination of this job/her child's needs willbe very stressful, so she won't be able to cope. Am I right?

kenB calls you presumptuous. Marbel notes this is unprogressive. I say you're just being sexist.

Turb, seems to me that you're responding in the heat of battle rather than reading carefully.

If you want to seriously engage with me, then it would help if you identified specific points of disagreement rather than just calling me presumptuous.

I didn't "just call you presumptuous", I explained why: there's too little information available to us to draw the sweeping conclusions you're drawing. You simply don't know the details of their life, and those details are crucial for passing judgment on this decision as you are.

Frankly, seeing as how you didn't help raise any DS kids, I think you're way beyond presumptuous telling me what the experience is like.

Please point out where I did this or anything like it. Nowhere did I call into question your knowledge about DS kids. Although seeing as how you don't know diddly-squat about me and my life either , it's pretty presumptuous of you to assume that I don't have any such experience.

I do think it would be useful and clarifying for you to respond to Jes's questions above, regarding how general a rule you're making here and who exactly it applies to.

I think that arguing in advance that a woman shouldn't have a job because she has children who have needs that she ought to provide and that her job will prevent her from providing, is deeply sexist.

I think I've been quite clear that I have no problem (in this narrow regard) with Palin signing up for the Presidency in a few years after (1) she has demonstrated that she can handle having a disabled child and (2) the nature of her child's condition becomes more apparent.

With regards to my arguing "in advance": America has a crummy political system in which replacing a problematic VP or President is extremely difficult. Moreover, even if Palin were replaced later on, given McCain's health, I think voters are entitled to know now who will most likely be VP in a McCain administration. So the costs of getting a VP who can't do the job are extremely high.

Again, things would be different if Palin were a poor woman trying to get a good job that had far less impact on everyone on Earth. But she's not. She's a rich woman with a cushy job who has no need to be VP now.

(Your assertion that you would say exactly the same thing if this were a man with a Downs syndrome son notwithstanding: you haven't made this argument about a man, you've made it about a woman.)

Jes, does this mean that you assume that I am sexist until proven otherwise? Are you saying that until a comparable case arises involving a man where I make the same argument, you're just going to assume I sexist? I'm trying to find a way to interpret this statement such that you are acting with the bare minimum of charity I require when engaging with people.

You think that it's perfectly okay to say that a woman ought not to accept nomination for a demanding job because she has child has needs she ought to support personally and because the combination of this job/her child's needs willbe very stressful, so she won't be able to cope. Am I right?

We're not talking about just a demanding job: we're talking about quite possibly the most important and demanding job in the country, one where having advisers (like Richard Perle or Karl Rove) "help" is extraordinarily dangerous.

Look, I've watched people have nervous breakdowns as they processed what it meant to have a DS kid. I don't think it is unreasonable to suggest that someone faced with that kind of potential psychological stress really shouldn't be signing up for the toughest job in the country 4 months after getting a disabled kid.

And again, it is not just that she won't be able to cope: it could just as well be the case that her family won't be able to cope or that her marriage won't be able to cope. I don't think anyone should be signing up for the Presidency when they are facing significant marital stresses. Now, in a year or two, after Palin and company have had a chance to fully process what they're dealing with, the danger of those marital stresses would greatly recede, but Palin made her decision now, not a two years in the future. As always, I'd make the same argument about Palin's husband were he running for VP/President.

Marbel notes this is unprogressive.

Marbel hasn't noted a damn thing. Marbel decided to screech incoherently like a spoiled child. If Marbel had bothered to quote comments individuals had said, and engaged with those comments -- then she might have noted something. But instead she just assumed the worst of everyone and ascribed crazy ideas to a large group of people because she didn't think we were worth debating. Screeching "Ha ha you want to exterminate all women" isn't an argument, its just childish.

I say you're just being sexist.

Because I think that no one should sign up for the most powerful job in the free world unless they can be fairly certain that they will be able to focus very very hard on their job.

I didn't "just call you presumptuous", I explained why: there's too little information available to us to draw the sweeping conclusions you're drawing.

I think there's a great deal of information. No one, including Palin, knows exactly how sick her child will be in the next few years. No one, including Palin, knows how well she, her husband, her family, and her marriage will adapt to dealing with having a DS child. And Palin signed up anyway.

You simply don't know the details of their life, and those details are crucial for passing judgment on this decision as you are.

I don't think details of their life are relevant for making this assessment. Just like I know for a fact that you can't run a mile in 30 seconds. I don't need to know anything about you to make that determination.

Please point out where I did this or anything like it. Nowhere did I call into question your knowledge about DS kids.

Claiming that I need to know detailed information about Palin's personal life before I can say that she jumped at this job without fully processing the experience qualifies I think.

Although seeing as how you don't know diddly-squat about me and my life either , it's pretty presumptuous of you to assume that I don't have any such experience.

You write like someone who lacks such experience. But don't be coy! Tell me: have you raised a DS kid or not?

I do think it would be useful and clarifying for you to respond to Jes's questions above, regarding how general a rule you're making here and who exactly it applies to.

If you had carefully read my earlier replies, you would see that I have answered most of these questions already. But to recap: my rule only applies to wealthy women with cushy jobs trying to get the most powerful job on the planet when there are many other qualified people seeking the same job.

when there are many other qualified people seeking the same job.

I'm not sure how many people are wanting the job of Republican VP, especially in a McCain administration. :^|

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