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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

October 30, 2008
Freaks Me Out

Again, I spare you the full version of today's rant. I will be brief.

Stories like this freak me out for a lot of reasons.

"A civil war that is simmering will break out into the open if McCain loses, and the party will have to decide what they want to be in the post-Reagan world," said Gloria Borger, a senior political analyst for CNN.

Reagan's disastrous presidency ended twenty years ago. Anyone on the Right wondering if your party is really "out of touch"? Yes.

Republicans are already caught up in a heated debate about Sarah Palin's future role in the party should the GOP ticket fail to win the White House.

Let's do a little Sanity Math, shall we?

One lunatic nominee:

She doesn't think aloud. She just ... says things," conservative columnist Peggy Noonan wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal column.

It's an argument that has been echoed by a string of conservatives -- including David Brooks, George Will, Kathleen Parker, and David Frum -- who believe Palin exhibits a poisonous anti-intellectual instinct of the party that threatens to ultimately destroy its foundations.

Republicans have made a fetish of anti-intellectualism for the last twenty years or more. They screamed for years that smart, educated people are too dangerous to be given power and authority. It's not an "instinct" of any kind. Republican campaign tactics have revolved around convincing as many people as possible that knowledge, intelligence, and education are un-American. In this vindictive, ill-informed woman, they're reaping what they have sown.

If it's all the same to them, though, I'd rather that this country, and the rest of the world, not have to suffer the consequences with them.

Plus one, clear signal that you're on the wrong track:

[David] Frum also pointed to recent polling that suggests Palin's unfavorable ratings have sharply risen in the last two months [....]

Counting on fingers. Two months ago, no one outside of Alaska had ever heard of her. Basically, she's been getting less popular ever since the first time people saw her. Palin's nomination took McCain from almost even in the race, to the point where he's on the verge of an epic defeat.

Anyhow.

This should equal a Republican Party ready to take a clear-eyed look at the Real World and decide what being a "conservative" really needs to look like in the 21st century.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:23 PM


Comments

Anne,

Haven't been to this post for awhile, but your arrogance is astounding. You continue to berate people, and somehow, you and other Democrats mistake that for intelligence. As an educator, I usually tell students that when they ridicule or condemn another person, it's usually because of their own insecurity and need to make themselves look better than someone else. Why are you and democrats so threatened by Palin? Is it because she embodies what feminism is all about? I guess she would be much more popular among democrats had she aborted her down syndrome baby. Better yet, she could have had a botched abortion in Illinois and left it die on the hospital table.

She has been a successful politician and achieved an approval rating in Alaska that all politicians dream of. Not once have I seen the main stream media focus on her accomplishments. You use words like vindictive and ill-informed, yet Biden has produced more blunders of that type on the campaign trail then Palin, and he's the one with 30 years experience. But, again the press gives him a free pass. They'd rather talk about Palin's clothing expense instead of the issues or Obama's campaign expenditures.

Obama has spent 4 times as much as McCain on his campaign (so much for campaign finance reform), has lied repeatedly or changed his positions (i.e. Iraq and abortion), benefited from an economic meltdown (thanks to Clinton, Barney, and Dodd with some help from the Republicans), has the main stream media providing free campaigning for him, and he should be up by 20% in the polls. Unfortunately, he will most likely win and the United States will experience the economic meltdown that has affected Europe for the past 10 years or so. You would think that the Democrats would be "intelligent" enough to learn from Europe's experiment in socialism.

Tom

Posted by: Tom at November 1, 2008 07:35 PM

Tom, you go ahead and think that, and continue to dwindle in political significance.

By the way, before dissing Europe? Go there. Get your head out of your ass and learn something about what you're talking about. Come back to America and honestly say that things are better here than in Europe -- because they're not. Not for a long, long time.

Palin is dragging your party down, deservedly. Go ahead and rah her all you want. You're losing.

Democrats are not threatened by Palin. Please, please, please run her in 2012 -- we could use the freebie. What you misinterpret as a threatened tone is actually the sense of astounded outrage that anybody could possibly have thought she was ready for the national level. I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt, and stipulate that she'll mature into somebody capable of the big leagues -- but she ain't there yet and you know it.

So go ahead. Stick to your guns and your silly little dream world. But for God's sake, I think it's time somebody with some competence ran things for a while, OK? Next time we need our military decimated for nothing, or our budget surplus spent on war profiteers, or our banking system thrown away at the craps table, we'll call you again. In the meantime, thanks but no thanks -- let the adults handle it for a while.

Posted by: Michael at November 2, 2008 02:44 PM

Not once have I seen the main stream media focus on her accomplishments.

Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee....

[gasp, sigh]

Every time they look, it disappears! It's like chasing leprechauns: the only way you get them is by watching out of the corner of your eye, and sneaking up on them, because if you look right at them, they vanish. Then, even if you catch them, you have to be careful, because they'll give you fairy gold -- which turns to dead leaves when the spells run out -- instead of the real thing, unless you know what you're doing.

Palin's been an adequate governor of one of the easiest states in the union, during a period of unprecedented economic advantage. In spite of that, she's managed to squander her political capital (her approval ratings have been dropping rapidly for months), leave behind a legacy of unfinished business (though she'll have a chance to redeem herself when she goes back to finish her term), and highlight some of Alaska's worst social and political distinctions.

Yeah, we're being unfair. Sure, in the right light, out of the corner of your eye, she's almost as good a governor as George W. Bush was when he ran....

Posted by: Ahistoricality at November 2, 2008 04:29 PM

There you go again. Angry rhetoric, ridicule, and condemnation. Ten paragraphs and all filled with hateful and worthless ramblings. You both sound like true Barry disciples.

Why does every Barry supporter respond so negatively when someone disagrees with them. I appreciate your passion, but it's bordering on insanity.

Posted by: Tom at November 2, 2008 08:26 PM

Tom makes some interesting points.
Regarding Palin hurting McCain, no. That's nonsense and embarrassing. Go back and look at the polls pre-Palin (not one week's worth) and you'll see how Palin's pick consolidated support for McCain that he didn't have before. In fact, Frontline just explored that in their election special.
I'm voting for Barack but I'm getting pretty sick of this attack Palin frenzy.
It really says a lot about certain women that all they can do is slime and slam the woman on a ticket when she's the v.p. nominee. They can't go after the 'big dog' but they will gladly s**t all over a woman.
It really says a lot.

Posted by: Heather at November 3, 2008 10:30 AM

There you go again. Angry rhetoric, ridicule, and condemnation. Ten paragraphs and all filled with hateful and worthless ramblings.

Angry? Maybe the voice in your head is angry; I was giggling.

I'm not attacking Palin as a woman, or giving the men in the race a pass: I didn't think George W. Bush had the experience or judgement to govern well when he ran the first time; I would certainly prefer that Obama have more experience, but he's made up for it by running a first-rate national campaign for almost two years that rivals almost any corporate or governance experience you can name.

Not every attack is unfair; not every criticism equates to blind support for the other side.

Posted by: Ahistoricality at November 3, 2008 12:31 PM

My points, Heather, are that:

#1 The kind of "support" Palin seems to be drawing for McCain is the rightwing fringe. This is not the "base" a respectable, representative, major political party should be courting.

No political rally where attendees are shouting about killing the nominee for the other Party can rationally pretend to be representative of the majority of Republicans.

#2 - You're the one making this about gender, not me. I would think no differently of Palin if "she" were a "he." I consider the person (not the "woman") to be dangerously ignorant and appallingly unqualified. (And that's aside from my personal dislike of many of her positions.)

I have neither slimed nor slammed Palin. I would like to ask you to reconsider that accusation.

Quoting conservative "pundits" who find Palin ill-informed and who say that she is hurting McCain is not sliming and slamming the candidate. I've said things ten times worse about Bush and Cheney.

Added to that, the fact that at least half my post was a rant about how the Republican Party needs to pull themselves together and figure out who and what they, as a Party, are going to be in the future, and I think it's unfair to dismiss my post as an exercise in unfair Palin-bashing.

Posted by: Anne at November 3, 2008 02:20 PM

Tom -

In reference to your first comment? I'm not sure how you arrived at the belief that I think I'm posting from a position of "intelligence" but I'm quite certain I haven't claimed to be doing so. This is a private blog filled with my private rants and ruminations.

I have not "ridiculed" Palin or McCain. I do condemn them as unfit for office based on McCain's hypocrisy and Palin's extreme (to me) positions on the issues I care about, her inexperience, and her "style" of governing, as illustrated by the stories coming out of Alaska.

I'm just saying--if there's another side to these stories, someone besides the McCain campaign would be talking about it. The Right is at least as well representated in the world o'blog as the Left. But I check around and find nothing but fury that the Left dares to discuss her record--no real defense, no alternate presentation of facts, no elaboration, no new information that shows the stories in a new light.

If you'd like to list the "accomplishments" you mention, I'd be happy to consider them.

Obama has not "lied repeatedly or changed his positions" at all. In fact, his campaign has been notable for the consistency of his message. Policies are expanded, you know. Positions are refined, details are offered. Sometimes, even, circumstances change.

Aside from that, your first comment was full of bile about issues I haven't been discussing, so I'm a little bemused by your pretense that you know where I stand on these matters.

Posted by: Anne at November 3, 2008 02:51 PM

Palin's accomplishments in two years as governor of Alaska:

She is a fiscal conservative who used her line-item veto to slash $268 million from Alaska's state budget and overhauled state ethics laws.

She kept her campaign promise to revamp the state's pre-existing severance tax on oil & gas production, replacing unethical negotiating practices behind closed doors with one negotiated in full public view and then rebated part of the resulting surplus directly to tax-payers.

She broke a multi-year stalemate over the financing and construction of a $40 billion cross-state natural gas pipeline (despite opposition from oil industry) that will deliver cleaner, cheaper natural gas to Alaska's own population centers (Alaskans themselves pay some of the nation's highest energy prices), while also delivering gas to the energy-hungry Lower 48.

Internet rumors have been going around claiming Palin cut funding for Special Needs Education by 62%. The rumor has been found to be false and the funding in fact tripled for these special needs children education.

Administrative Order 242 put together a co-op of the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Revenue to work with organizations that wish to commercialize Alaska's North Slope natural gas.

She created the Alaska Health Strategies Planning Council to find innovative solutions to effectively provide access to, and help reduce the costs of, healthcare.

Palin signed a resolution in opposition to the FAA's plan to increase taxes on aviation fuel, impose user fees and slash airport funding. Also, before Palin became governor, her predecessor Frank Murkowski had purchased a Westwind Two business jet for the governor's use at a $2.5 million price tag, despite the objections from the state legislature and the public. Her first order of business after taking office was to put the jet up for sale.

Posted by: Tom at November 3, 2008 07:51 PM

She is a fiscal conservative...
So? Was it necessary, in a state with no income taxes? Were the cuts reasonable? Was there any pushback from the overwhelmingly Republican legislature, or were they just Democratic districts that got screwed?

replacing unethical negotiating practices behind closed doors with one negotiated in full public view
Unless it suited her -- the pipeline bid was pretty well rigged. Speaking of which, it's not much a pipeline yet, and could turn into a half billion dollar liability that never pipes anywhere.

Let's see: two commissions! And she signed a resolution! Come on, that's pretty thin stuff.

She sold the jet, yeah. That qualifies her for state Treasurer, maybe a GAO bureau position. Then she charged the state a per diem when she stayed at home, and failed to include tens of thousands of dollars of income on her federal tax forms. Oops.

Like I said, "she's almost as good a governor as George W. Bush was when he ran." I'm not impressed. And that doesn't even begin to get into the reasons I'm positively afraid of her as a political leader.

Don't mistake a light tone for a lack of seriousness here.

Posted by: Ahistoricality at November 3, 2008 08:09 PM