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October 02, 2008

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Maybe too late to be noticed on this thread, but I think the world must be ending because Krauthammer's column is morning is basically right.

Laura Chase, the campaign manager during Ms. Palin's first run for mayor in 1996, recalled the night the two women chatted about her ambitions.

"I said, 'You know, Sarah, within 10 years you could be governor,' " Ms. Chase recalled. "She replied, 'I want to be president.' "
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/14/us/politics/14palin.html?_r=2&hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1221343324-tGxa66AkDRYq1tsNYpjoIw&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Here;">http://snipurl.com/421iy">Here; this NYT piece remains a reference for Palin’s background.

"I said, 'You know, Sarah, within 10 years you could be governor,' " Ms. Chase recalled. "She replied, 'I want to be president.' "

Johnny Mac better watch his back.

Thanks -

Oh yeah.
But exactly.
She got here by not being your garden-variety megalomaniac hookey (sic) mom.
The kind who thinks she doesn’t actually have to know anything; she can wing it.
Seems to work, as long as you’re happy with the script.

Bottom line, she does in fact have a plan (in the limited sense of having daydreamed about it, a lot, I think we can read back into her mind). Do Androids [Palin] Dream of Electric Sheep [us]? Imagine what she thinks it means to be In charge if you like being frightened or have a really really dark sense of humor.

Sarah Palin might have trouble with the Voight-Kampff test.

Watch your back, Gary.

But definitely. Lotta bugs though. I don’t think reprogramming (can you do that? Would you want to?) would help. The hardware is just too primitive.
Good enough for a small-market sports broadcaster, but that’s really only what she was designed for. Obviously something’s gone haywire.

>Oh, and yeah: that smiley, chirpy, folksy "you betcha" stuff was hugely Teh Annoying.

Can somebody please explain to me the meaning (I'm guessing "very annoying") and derivation of this expression? Googling was not helpful.

>Sarah Palin might have trouble with the Voight-Kampff test.

Funny you should mention that, Gary. During the Rep. Convention, when I was appalled at the idea that "community organizer" was an obvious punchline/putdown in the crowd's minds, I was thinking about Voight-Kampff, which I've always thought of (perhaps incorrectly) as basically measuring empathy. These people may not have known exactly what a "community organizer" is, but the sense was that they found it utterly stupid that someone should ever act out of anything other than immediate selfishness. It was ugly and it suggested either a lack of -- or even an inability for -- empathy.

I know people of various political persuasions who are, in their personal lives, pretty provably narcissistic, solipsistic sociopaths -- people who truly believe that their own painful hangnail should get treated in the ER before someone else's critical abdominal wound, because, well, at heart they don't believe that anyone else is quite real -- an idea that is, admittedly, awfully hard to disprove. As Mel Brooks once said (roughly), in defining tragedy and comedy, "If I get a paper cut, that’s a tragedy. You should fall down an open manhole and die: that's comedy."

But, having said that, the dominant strains of "conservatism"/Republicanism/right-wingness in this country seem founded on lack of empathy, which cannot be said for the opposition. ("Conservatism" in quotes, because, yes, there are intellectually defensible, non-cruel-and-selfish-and-self-absorbed varieties.)

"...I was thinking about Voight-Kampff, which I've always thought of (perhaps incorrectly) as basically measuring empathy."

No, that's exactly right.

I wrote this here a month ago, incidentally:

To point out what should be obvious: Republicans find "community organizing" so hilarious because community organizers organize poor people. Rich people already have political power and influence. But poor people can only get it, and affect politics, by power of numbers and organizing.

So the notion is entirely foreign to Republicans. And stuff that is foreign to our lives, that seems incomprehensible, is hilarious.

At least, it is if we lack empathy and understanding of the lives of people different than us.

So: hahahahaha, community organizing! Whatever will those cute poor people and those Democrats think of next?

You:
"Conservatism" in quotes, because, yes, there are intellectually defensible, non-cruel-and-selfish-and-self-absorbed varieties.
I think it's important to remember that, because I do know, and have known a fair number, of actual principled conservatives, who are personally generous and kind and empathetic.

I do believe that some conservative beliefs make a very convenient cover for being unempathetic and selfish, and it's easy for people of that ilk to find a welcoming home in similar company, but by no means are all conservatives unempathetic and selfish. Some just think they have a better grasp of reality, or a better philosophy, and so on.

And some are just clueless about what it's like not to be them.

(And, yes, many conservatives will similarly explain that us liberals just want to boss other people around, and think we know better than most people what to do with their money, and so on.)

A maverick is an unbranded range animal, especially a motherless calf; it can also mean a person who thinks independently; a lone dissenter; a non-conformist or rebel. The word first arose in mid-19th century America from Samuel Augustus Maverick, a Texas politician with a large ranch full of unbranded cattle
Nice trivia. Obviously mavericks can come in herds. Do I get some vibes of "he stole those bovines" in that wikipedia entry? ;-)

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