Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Republican Ticket

I generally try to live and let live - even people I know are misguided, but I honestly think that people enamored of Sarah Palin in particular (ticket in general) are stupid. Actually less intelligent.

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election. - Bill Vaughan

The "new feminism" may include uncritical support for women who oppose teen pregnancy programs and for women who force rape victims to pay for their own rape kits. But I just don't see where support for women who persist in fabricating their own records is a feminist principle. -Dahlia Lithwick

LA Times
Sen. Barack Obama is being lambasted for his statement about Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin's policies not being about change but "just calling the same thing something different."

"You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," Obama said during a town-hall style event in Virginia on Tuesday night.

As you probably recall, Palin got applause at the Republican National Convention when she said that the only difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom (meaning herself) is that the latter wears lipstick. I think there are a few other differences, but I won't go into that here.

Now McCain's camp is acting outraged, outraged! It is accusing Obama of talking about Palin, calling Barack's comment "offensive and disgraceful" and saying Obama owes Palin an apology. This war hero and his self-described pit bull are so sensitive!

Meanwhile, McCain may have conveniently forgotten (hey, the dude's, like, really old) that he once used the same analogy in a 2007 Chicago Tribune article about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's healthcare plan. And I didn't hear anything about Hillary demanding an apology.

"I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," McCain is quoted as saying about Clinton's proposal.

If I were a pig or a pit bull, I might be offended. But right now I'm a little more worried about my mortgage, the price of gas and the economy, stupid.- Elizabeth Snead

Time Magazine

Conservative vs. Radical. What the candidates’ running-mate picks say about the kinds of Presidents they would be

Both the major-party candidates for President have now made their first major decision – on a running mate – and I can’t remember a year when the selections were more revealing about the character of the candidates. What we have is a choice between a conservative and a radical.

The conservative is Barack Obama. He is a careful man, perhaps to a fault. His vice-presidental selection process was quiet, orderly and comprehensive. The selection of Joe Biden was no great surprise – he added experience to the ticket, a reliable loyalist and gleeful attack dog, a working-class Roman Catholic with a terrific personal story. The process was in keeping with the rest of Obama’s candidacy: he has taken no great risks. His policy positions are carefully thought out and eminently reasonable, reflecting the solid middle ground of a Democratic Party that is more united on substance than I’ve ever seen.

This small-c conservatism is, in part, a calculation. Obama doesn’t want to seem angry or threatening, for obvious reasons. But it is also a reflection of who he really is: a fellow who does not like to disappoint anyone, who is obsessed with finding common ground. That may be a great advantage in a President at this ugly moment in our history – but I would feel more comfortable with Obama if he took an occasional play with John McCain’s book of partisan transgressions and gored some Democratic oxen. It would be nice if he, say, challenged the teachers’ unions, which didn’t support him anyway and whose work rules choke out any chance of creative experimentation in the public-school system. Or if he stood against the atrocious Farm Bill, which spreads unnecessary fiscal fertilizer upon an already profitable industry. Or if he didn’t feel the need to promise a tax cut to 95% of American families.

But Obama’s weakness for undue prudence seems downright virtuous compared with the recklessness that McCain showed in choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate. He had months to make this choice, but he allowed it to come down to a chaotic scramble in the last week – a reaction, it seems, to the fact that the Republican Party elders had vetoed his first two choices, Senator Joe Lieberman and former governor Tom Ridge. McCain wasn’t going to give the bosses the choice they wanted – Mitt Romney – and he cast about, deciding on Palin, an occasional maverick, at the last minute. He had never worked with the governor. He had spoken to her a few times. His team, it now seems clear, had not vetted her very well. In her first appearance alongside McCain, she claimed to oppose the “Bridge to nowhere,” that Alaskan icon of pork mythology, but she had supported the bridge until it was clear that the hullabaloo would prevent it from being built.

As the week progressed, it became apparent that Palin stood diametrically opposed to McCain on issues large and small. She passed a windfall-profits tax on the oil companies – the very sort of tax that McCain excoriated Obama for favoring – which successfully swelled the coffers of the Alaskan treasure. She didn’t believe global warming was a man-made phenomenon; McCain had confronted Republican orthodoxy on that issue – boldly, at first, and timidly more recently.

Palin was a blatant porker when she was mayor of Wasilla, hiring a lobbying firm to rake in the projects; she was close to the corrupt megaporker Senator Ted Stevens, a frequent McCain adversary and champion of the mythic bridge. Rather than putting “country first,” her husband had been a member of a local secessionist fringe group called the Alaskan Independence Party, whose slogan is “Alaska first,” and Palin apparently attended or spoke at several of the group’s meetings. Her lack of interest in foreign policy and national security was the opposite of McCain’s obsession with such issues. She called the Iraq war a “task that is from God.”

Indeed, it seemed Palin and McCain held common ground on only two high-profile issues – an admirable rebelliousness when it came to their party’s hierarchy and their opposition to abortion rights. Given the fact that McCain’s top two choices for Vice President, Leiberman and Ridge, favored abortion rights, it would not be unfair to conclude that McCain’s devotion to this issue was more political than personal.

The Palin selection – peremptory, petulant – was another example of McCain’s preference for the politics of gesture over the politics of substance, as is his sudden fondness for oil exploration (“Drill here, drill now.”) and hair-trigger bellicosity abroad (Syria, Iran, Russia). His lack of interest in actual governance is disappointing; his aversion to contemplation seems truly alarming. He as done us all a favor with this pick: he has shown use exactly what sort of President he would be. - Joe Klein

An Open Letter to Sarah Palin from the National Advocates for Pregnant Women
Dear Governor Sarah Palin:

Many Americans agree with your position regarding abortion -- they do this as a matter of faith, ethics, personal experience and sometimes politics. I am just wondering though, if you have thought about what would happen if you succeeded in getting your position -- that fetuses have a right to life -- established as the law of the land? Did you know that it not only threatens the lives, health and freedom of women who might want or need someday to end their pregnancies, it would also give the government the power to control the lives of women -- like you who -- go to term?


Governor Palin, you have led an extraordinary life, balancing work and family, public service and private family obligations. We hope you know though that your freedom relies on exactly the same legal principles that guarantee that American women can choose to have an abortion when they need and want one.- Lynn Paltrow
Zombie Feminists of the RNC
...What Palin so seductively represents, not only to Donny Deutsch but to the general populace, is a form of feminine power that is utterly digestible to those who have no intellectual or political use for actual women. It's like some dystopian future ... feminism without any feminists.
(On the co-op by the GOP of "feminism" and misrepresentation by the mainstream media calling Palin a "new feminist")- Rebecca Traister

Also see my collection of video clips

While I don't take responsibility to do additional research for readers of the blog - do it yourself if you don't like what I post - I will make an effort when I come across to clear up confusion. As such there's additional information out that confirms that rape victims were not only charged for their own evidence collections during Palin's mayorship, but that she knew about it. Enjoy.


Zach said...

So do you think all pro-life conservatives are stupid?

Kate said...

Hi Zach - No, I don't think all pro-life conservatives are stupid. I specifically said those enamored of Palin and the McCain/Palin ticket are stupid. The point being that Palin is not only hugely inexperienced, but in fact her only past political experience seems to be scandal and straight up lies. Therefore people supporting her are doing so not because she'd make an amazing leader, but because she seems like she'd be good in bed.

Not the reasons I look to for selecting leaders of countries - this or any other.

Zach said...

Hi Kate,

I hope you don't mind me posting here - I found your site through Nate's, who apparently is a mutual friend of ours. I thought it was interesting so I read it on occasion, and this post I thought particularly provocative.

I'm wondering what it means to be enamored of the McCain/Palin ticket - is being enamored the same thing as supporting the ticket, or being happy she was chosen to be the VP candidate?

I agree that Palin is not the most experienced VP candidate we've ever had. But neither is Barack Obama the most experienced presidential candidate. This is not too big of a problem for me, in either case, because I think experience is only part of the reason to support someone for office - the other significant reason being their ideas. Would you reject the idea that a majority of people who support Governor Palin do so because of her ideas?

Kate said...

I agree in the lack of experience for Obama - however he's shown that this is not a set back in the way that he's been considerate and thoughtful and smart throughout the entirety of his campaign. I do reject the idea that people support Palin because of her ideas (which is the basis of this post) based on the fact that so far she hasn't had a good one.

Banning books, making rape victims pay for evidence collection, hiring lobbyists, abusing power, and expecting special treatment whether because of position or privilege are not good ideas.

Kate said...

enamored = captivated rather than thoughtful and intellectual

Zach said...

"Banning books, making rape victims pay for evidence collection, hiring lobbyists, abusing power, and expecting special treatment whether because of position or privilege are not good ideas."

Hmm, if these are really Palin's ideas, then I wouldn't support her either!

What makes you think she wants to ban books?

Where did is the evidence that she wants to make rape victims pay for evidence collection? That's horrible! I'd be interested to see the record.

And I don't know that she wants to abuse power - she doesn't seem to have a record of it and of course, it depends on what you mean by abuse power.

I'd be interested to see some primary sources on the lobbyist thing Joe Klein is talking about; it is rather vague as he presents it.

And on that special treatment thing - there are good examples of her refusing special treatment - like getting rid of the Governor's private jet.

I guess I'm not exactly sure of all the details of her politics, but I don't look to details to understand what someone will do - I look to their principles, and she seems to have good principles.

If her record is as tarnished as you paint it, I agree she would be a terrible choice for VP. But, if, on the other hand, her ideas are not as you describe them to be, then I think supporting her candidacy could be entirely reasonable. No?

Kate said...

Were her views not as I described them, I wouldn't have a post composed entirely of news sources documenting them. Thus the ludicrously of supporting her.

Herein lies my reaction that people loving Palin are not bright - they're willing to go to bat for her without first researching...anything...anywhere. And it's not just voters - it's McCain's entire campaign. I even trust that McCain wouldn't have picked her if he had done his research before hand.

Do a google search, find whatever media you trust, then read the article on the policies/behaviors that I've mentioned. I have an imagination but it's not that good - these are all well documented and publicized.

The problem with a democracy is that people can vote without having made any effort at all to know what they're voting for.

Anne said...

Duh, Zach, have you ever heard of Google?:

Banned books from Anchorage Daily News:

Rape kits from

Hiring Lobbyists:

Do your own research on Sarah Palin - lots of reputable news sources are telling us the truth about, and they don't have to look very hard to find the dirt....because it's there.

Zach said...

Anne and Kate,

Thanks for the links.

On the matter of "banning books": The story does not say that Sarah Palin supports banning books. Nor does it say that she ever banned any books. Quite the opposite, actually:

"Were any books censored banned? June Pinell-Stephens, chairwoman of the Alaska Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee since 1984, checked her files Wednesday and came up empty-handed.

Pinell-Stephens also had no record of any phone conversations with Emmons about the issue back then. Emmons was president of the Alaska Library Association at the time.Books may not have been pulled from library shelves, but there were other repercussions for Emmons. "

So, in fact, she didn't ban books and there is no evidence she supported such a thing either. There is also absolutely zero evidence she would support such a policy as Vice President of the United States.

Further commentary here. Don't you think that if she really supported something as stupid as banning books more people would know about it? That the media would pick up on it?

On the matter of the awful rape-kits policy - if you read the Salon article, you will note that it says "How much did then Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin actually have to do with this? Who knows. " They then assume to know, quoting Bitch PHD as saying "One can only assume that she supported Wasilla's policy of billing rape victims for their own rape kits ... not only because Fannon was her appointee, but also because this was four years into her tenure as mayor and because, let's be honest: in a town of that size, the mayor doesn't get to plead ignorance of policies or public statements of her own chief of police."

In the first place, this is an awfully uncharitable assumption. I'm not sure whether Bitch PHD lives in a small town, but it's also, I think, a bad assumption. Information is not always shared between different branches of local government very well. You don't always know what everyone is doing - the mayor is not omniscient. I know this from personal experience with my small town of <5000 people. It also wasn't four years into Fannon's tenure, but only one - he could have been doing new things that the mayor was unaware of, changes he made where he didn't alert the mayor, maybe because he thought it was within his jurisdiction.

Given that this whole charge is based on speculation about what Sarah Palin knew, it's a big jump to the idea that she somehow wants to make rape victims suffer, and an awful insinuation to make about another human being.

I'm also positive she would condemn the policy now.

Finally, I don't really think the lobbyists thing is a big deal. The story reads like a whole bunch of speculation and tries the guilt-by-association tack one too many times for me to take it seriously. Governments do not operate totally detached from the private sector and they never have.

Also, I would appreciate if in the future you would refrain from calling me names and suggesting that I haven't read the news or done any research:

"Herein lies my reaction that people loving Palin are not bright - they're willing to go to bat for her without first researching...anything...anywhere."

Like you, I am just trying to make an intelligent decision about how the country ought to be run. I am trying to be informed to the best of my ability and knowledge of things.

The reason I asked for articles is because I myself found the stories you linked unpersuasive and based mostly on things that are not true.

Also, the news stories you link in this post do not prove any of the claims you made in the comment. I'm not sure why you would think that. You have linked a series of opinions.

Thanks for the conversation