Sarah Palin Watch Watch

Maybe I can’t resist or maybe I’m trying to make a point. Three years from now, Sarah Palin might conceivably run for president. Already today, the media are doing everything in their power to “frame the argument” as epistemological relativists are forced to do.

Some of their reflections are insightful, most are incredibly one-sided and reactive, if not reactionary (since they are now the status quo).

My favorite recently was this brilliant statement from Tina Brown on MSNBC that perfectly illustrates the Progressive Media’s tendency to project:

“Her confidence is based on total ignorance.”

If she hadn’t said it with such a smug, preceded by a contemptuous, expression, it might not have compelled me to post on it. But there it is.

Tina, speaking words without meaning or else rooted in ignorance of the facts doesn’t help.

I want to make an intelligent decision when I vote in 2010 and 2012. It’s getting harder and harder to do so. For that, the media, who take on themselves the duty of forming public opinion, are entirely to blame.

Sarah Palin as Hobbit?

I’m not sure about Sarah Palin yet, though, like the rest of the talking head world, she’s been on my mind a lot lately.

I don’t want to be a knee-jerk reactionary like the Progressive Media, but this article is powerful stuff.

It will offend Progressives (who go by the deceptive term “liberals” now), and it maybe should be shorter, but this Berkeley girl says things that need to be thought about.

The Wilding of Sarah Palin

In the wilding of Sarah Palin, the Left shows its true colors. Rather than sheild the vulnerable, leftists will mow down any man, woman, or child who gets in their way. Instead of a movement of hope and change, it is a cauldron of hate.

I don’t think most common leftists are particularly hateful, just puritanical, but their approach to politics does bring out a reactionary, self-righteous tendency to project and to denounce their opposition.

I still have a great affection for the Hobbits of this world who want to tend their gardens, enjoy dinner, and be left alone to love their way of life and their neighbors.

But if you rouse them, if you try to impose your vision of the world on them, they’ll fight you. And when they do, they’ll find out (and so will you) that they are not alone.

Maybe Sarah Palin speaks for us Hobbits.

A warning: the article linked to above uses some pretty aggressive and explicit language.


McCain’s lies, revisited

In today’s news, brings out the old Lilian Helmann, statistics, bromide, applying it to that dishonorable, disgusting John McCain. Here, according to Mark Mellman, is the case against John McCain:

Yet John McCain himself stands behind the lies and the dishonor. There is not a kernel of truth in the statement that Barack Obama called Sarah Palin a pig. There is not an iota of reality in McCain’s attack on Obama’s supporting comprehensive sex education for kindergartners. As we all know, he voted to help children avoid sexual predators.

On the sexual predator question, I would refer you to the article below that shows conclusively that either Obama’s intentions and his vote were not on friendly terms with each other or that Obama is dishonest. I don’t believe the second, so I go with the former.

However, the other horrific lie John McCain appears to have told is that “Obama called Palin a pig.” Before I can reply to that charge, I’d need to see where McCain claimed Obama called Palin a pig. i did find this on the Associated Press website.  

Did he call her a pig?” McCain was asked. “No, I but know that he chooses his words carefully, and it was the wrong thing to say,” he responded.

As I recall, the charge was nuanced, not arguing that he called her a pig, but that his words were, in the context in which they were spoken, easily taken that way. In other words, Obama didn’t directly call her a pig, but he knew that his audience would take it that way, as they did, or else he didn’t know and should have.

I have a hard time remembering what exactly the ad said because I can’t find it on line for some reason. And that matters, because all I’m commenting on here is whether John McCain actually lied about what Obama said. I would argue that, given the context, one could defend the statement that Obama was calling Palin a pig. It was indirect, if he was, but I think one could defend the statement.

I don’t believe McCain should have accused Obama of doing so, if he did. I do think McCain has a case to make that Obama knew what he was doing and either did or should have known how his words would be taken IN THE CONTEXT they were delivered.

So it is wrong to say McCain lied. I’m not sure how much more is wrong. Maybe McCain’s ultimate goal was to show that Obama isn’t such a great communicator after all. If that was his goal and if he put questions in people’s mind, then he was successful. I’m not sure the success was worth it for him though.

Obama has great communication skills, especially on the inspirational, formal side. Then that is where he will also be most vulnerable to pride and therefore break down. Obama should have been aware of how these words would be taken. Maybe he still should have said them. Maybe it was a truly great line.

But he can’t accuse McCain of lying by making McCain say something he never said.

That nuance shouldn’t give the democrats and the media any problem, because everybody knows they are much more refined and nuanced than the red neck Republicans.

I emphasize “everbody knows” because that is what Mr. Mellman emphasizes in his, er, article. Give it a read. Look for the support for his points and see if he does better than your junior high student.

By the way, Mellman, who writes for the HIll, “is president of The Mellman Group and has worked for Democratic candidates and causes since 1982, including Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004.”

I must hastily add that I do these blogs for educational purposes (practicing the application of reason to the argument), not for political reasons. I am amused by the media’s strategy for dealing with McCain/Palin and find it deeply disappointing at the same time. When I consider how silly and one sided the coverage has been, I shake my head and wish for more educated news folk.

Now that nobody knows how to think, those who speak don’t have anybody whose presence shames them when they open their mouths. This is a greater loss than we think.

My point on the issue is that if they’re going to go after McCain for his character, they’ll have to pull their teeth out of the carcass they’re gnawing on (the lipstick and sex ed accusations) and recognize it’s an empty skin. They’re leaving the impression of political amateurity, which makes sense, since there are now so many news people that the skill level would have to drop without an extensive minor league system to prepare them.

When you boil down what the media have come up with, it seems as if what this election boils down to is whether John McCain lied about things he didn’t clearly lie about even though everybody knows he did and whether Barack Obama or Sarah Palin is more experienced. Go figure.

Charles Gibson, The Bush Doctrine, and Sarah Palin

This is not a political web site and the only reason I’ve commented on the Republican convention and not the Democratic is because I was traveling during the Democratic. I’m not a dogmatist in politics, longing only for those with authority to allow others in authority to fulfill their responsibilities without interference, while decidedly not believing that the government has all authority or even has the right to distribute authority among its subjects. I guess that is because I believe in citizenship and family.

In any case, I had to print this excerpt from a Charles Krauthammer article because it is my public service, and like the Obamas I believe in public service (though I’m frightened by the idea of government determining what counts as public service).

I don’t know yet what to think of Sarah Palin, though she is an amazing, sui generis figure who has completely befuddled the democrats and the media. One of my favorite jokes is the notion spread about by the mainstream news media that they are not biased. All you have to do is disagree with them or suggest that people should be responsible and government limited and you’ll easily see how biased they are.

Unfortunately, after Ronald Reagan left office, the only alternative we had was the lunatics like Rush Limbaugh and his running mate Ann Coulter. They forgot that conservatism is the politics of reverence.

Now Sarah Palin appears out of nowhere. The media have forgotten that McCain is the one running for president. Apparently, so has Obama. She’s fun-loving, in your face, and unintimidated by the urban sophisticates and social climbers who base their beliefs on what is accepted by the other urban sophisticates and social climbers who determine who receives what back-slaps.

They despise her because she exposes them. And boy did she expose Charles Gibson, about whom I had never formed an opinion prior to his interview with Palin. Now I believe he is a condescending, close-minded, and inadequately informed ass.

In his interview Gibson asked a question that made everybody who was watching blink and scan their memories for about .000005 seconds. He asked her where she stood on “The Bush Doctrine.”

“Nope, nothing solid there. Let’s see what she says.”

If you are terrified of Palin (Matt Damon’s word), you were ecstatic about the result. She obviously didn’t know what the Bush doctrine was!!!

If you were on her side, you thought to yourself, “Hmmm, what is it again? And why is he glowering at her like that?”

Then you watched him move in for the kill, condescending to remove her from the hook and telling her that the Bush doctrine is the right to strike first against enemies. “Oh yeah, I think I heard something like that a long, long time ago,” you said to yourself.

If you think the selection of Palin is absurd, you were vindicated. “That stupid gun-toting, woman-hating, NRA queen doesn’t even know the Bush doctrine. Ha, ha, ha – what a joke this terrifying person is. But Gibson just handed her a ticket back to Alaska. Go back to that Nowhere land where we build our bridges to, you b-, you just got beasted! Ha, ha, ha.”

If you are in favor of Palin, you shrugged and thought, “Gee, I hope this doesn’t become too big of a problem for her.” You thought that, because, if you like Palin, you say things like, “Gee,” and “too big of a problem.”

But what nobody knew, because nobody knew the Bush Doctrine, was that Charles Gibson didn’t know The Bush Doctrine either. His royal pretense got it wrong.

Now, maybe Palin should have been able to say, “No Charlie, you’re wrong. That’s not the Bush doctrine any more. That’s the third version of a constantly evolving philosophy of foreign policy, but you are about five years behind on your understanding.”

But she didn’t, and it seems to me that the reason she didn’t is because Gibson pulled out what appears to be a buzzword of the Washington set, a sort of Shibboleth to prove you know the right people and the right stuff.

Well, Sarah Palin doesn’t. But we already knew that. That’s why some people love her and some people hate her.

Here’s the closing paragraph from Charles Krauthammer’s article over at Townhall (read the rest to learn what the Bush Doctine actually was, has been, and is – I knew you’d want to know…):

Yes, Palin didn’t know what it is. But neither does Gibson. And at least she didn’t pretend to know — while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain, “sounding like an impatient teacher,” as the Times noted. In doing so, he captured perfectly the establishment snobbery and intellectual condescension that has characterized the chattering classes’ reaction to the phenom who presumes to play on their stage.

Election 2008

“I want schools to answer to students and parents.” John McCain

I am not a partisan political guy, but I liked that line. If he can deliver…

After Sarah Palin’s speech last night I felt a wind blow across American conservatism.  A lot of sleeping and uncertain people were aroused. If she doesn’t stumble, I believe the choice of Sarah Palin won the election for John McCain. If only she is authentic.

In fact, I had a feeling after her speech that I hadn’t felt since I heard Bill Clinton’s acceptance address in 1992. It felt like political victory.

If they can only deliver…