Thursday, September 4, 2008

McCain/Palin: Who's Using Who?

I spent yesterday and most of this morning reading up on Sarah Palin. My attitude about her has been on a 24 hour roller coaster. As of this moment I have to admit she doesn't impress me.

I listened to her speech last night and all I heard were the words of George Bush's principle speech writer. This morning I learned that was because they were the words of George Bush's principle speech writer. Why I wondered, would Sarah Palin not speak in her own voice? I have come to the conclusion that those words were her own voice.

I could determine that because this man writes in a very distinctive way. He never writes speeches about substantive matters. He writes personal polemics. So his words had Sarah Palin not just condemning Barak Obama's experience, but the value of all community organizers. She condemned the entirety of the media. She condemned the very Washington establishment of which her presumptive presidential nominee has been a member for far longer than most members. The condemnations were directed at specific groups of people with no nuancing and no distinctions.

The Bush legacy was never mentioned. Policy matters weren't mentioned. After three days of watching this convention, I have zero idea of what the Republicans actually plan to do should they be elected to office, and honestly, although I am frankly sick of the dems constantly repeating the "McCain is four more years of Bush" line, the Republicans have so far left me with no other choice but to see this as the truth. Four more years of Bush apparently includes four more years of attack polemics. Listening to the attack speeches of Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, and finally, Sarah Palin, was numbing, not inspiring.

I used to be a Republican. That was back in the days when they talked about balancing the budget, lessening the immensity of big government, returning more control to the states, protecting individual rights, supporting the integrity of the social security system, using our military might with discretion, and supporting and strengthening our relationships with our allies. Planks about abortion and other aspects of social conservatism were small add ons, or relegated to personal choice, but then Bill Clinton spanked Bush Sr at the Republican's own game and everything Republican changed.

I have not recognized this party since Newt Gingrich, the Christian Coalition and the Neo Cons hijacked it from the old guard. In Sarah Palin it appears to me they've done it again, and John McCain the maverick, has given way to John McCain the puppet. Karl Rove and his ilk are still manipulating the strings. Their speech writers are still penning the messages, and those messages contain no substance, only ones of attack and separation.

Maybe tonight McCain will talk policy. It would be a pleasant change. Except I suspect he won't. I suspect it will be more of the same because to talk policy means he would be exposing himself and his party to comparisons and accountability for the Bush legacy. Better to stay on message, which is essentially no message. No wonder Ike quickly became a category 4 hurricane, the real Ike is probably at the center of it.

In the meantime Sarah Palin has caused all kinds of problems for John McCain. He and his evangelical cohorts are desperately trying to reinvent the definition of Family Values to fit Palin's family. It's hard to justify a stance about the efficacy of an Abstinence Only policy when the VP's family demonstrates it's failures. It's hard to talk about the importance of the stay at home mom and castigate single mothers when the VP's family demonstrates something else entirely. This isn't Dick Cheney and his daughter. Cheney had the sense to distance himself from the gay bashing of his party. In Sarah Palin's case she's been all to vocal about some of the Family Values issues her family starkly contradicts.

Her short term in the governor's office also bears scrutiny. Virtually every position she's taken benefits her family and it's interests, and she brooks no opposition. This too, is Bush all over again. She seems to follow this weird kind of Evangelical Christianity which elevates blatant self interest to new heights by making it God's will. Neat trick if you can get away with it and one which has a very long history within Catholicism. In a sense it's a form of political infallibility, justified by God. Sarah's not just a political barracuda, she's a female pope with a direct line to God. I first thought her selection might have been a blatant case of John McCain using Sarah Palin, to get what he wants. After last night, I think it's more a case of Sarah Palin using John McCain to get what she wants. McCain may come to rue the day he unleashed her on the country and his party.

In the meantime, please John, prove me wrong and talk some substance tonight---like in the good ole days.


  1. Colleen:

    Yesterday, you wrote: "Tomorrow I'll discuss Satan and his minions"

    Today you wrote "McCain/Palin: Who's Using Who?"

    Which one is Satan? I really cant tell anymore.

    Initially I was impressed with Palin, but each time she speaks or appears in public, my opinion of her drops.

    There was the recent article on AP that quoted her saying:

    "Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a 'task that is from God'."

    If she said what she believes, and believes what she said, then she believes this is a holy war. The ramifications that attitude can create for the country is frightening. Even more frightening when one considers that the odds are against McCain surviving more than a few months in office. (Judging from his appearance, I suspect he is tying to keep quiet that he is dealing with cancer flareup #5)

    There was also the recent revelation of her attempting to use her political office in Alaska to seek revenge against her sister's ex. On top of the preemptive arrests of protesters in MN, one has to wonder who really was behind that one?

    And lastly we need to remember, she was a beauty queen. I'm sure she learned how to maniuplate men to get what she wanted, whether she earned it or not. De Ja Vu?

    My prayers are that as November approaches, she and John keep stepping in it so badly that on election day, they end up getting the lowest number of votes in Republican history.

  2. The Republican Party has picked a wild card in Sarah Palin. So revealing was her comment about being a hockey mom, and I paraphrase to the best of my recollection she said. "the only difference between a pit-bull and a hockey mom is lipstick." She's the Republican pit-bull all right, with lipstick. Everyone in the convention loved that line as she looked around the convention hall with a smirk on her face and the audience smirked a devilish sort of grim right back as if to nod in approval at a pit-bull with lipstick for their pet candidate. Times are tough for the Republicans when they need to put a wild card pit-bull in the political ring.

    I'm not impressed with her either Colleen. In fact, I am disappointed, but not surprised at what the neo-cons will cook up and regurgitate on the American people to get neo-con, war-hawk, paranoid fear-monger Republicans re-elected. Tonight they had the audacity to have a "tribute to 9/11" that opened up all the old wounds again. Olberman rightly concluded that he thought that opening those wounds was not a very good thing to do and should not have been done.

    I've voted for Republicans and am from a Republican family, a navy family who fought in two world wars, a sister in the Air Force, cousins in the Navy, Army and Marines. The Republicans today have sold our country out to corporations and special interest. The numerous immoral failures of the neo-con Republicans and the Bush Administration can not be overlooked when voting for the next President. That Palin thinks that Iraq is God's will is scary and similar to the fanatical Christian fundamentalist view of Rev. Hagee. Scary indeed.


  3. I have become a Huffington Post junky and their coverage of the convention has been outstanding. The have a number of articles written by people who have done serious vetting of Palin and it's not a pretty picture.

    I watched the entire video they posted of Palin talking to those ministry students you mention Carl, and it's scarey. Not only does she state Iraq is God's will, but also that building this 30 billion dollar natural gas pipe line is God's will as well.

    It seems everything she wants is God's will. Holy cow, even I'm not that arrogant.

    What I hope the dems or media pundits get across to the American people is that Alaska is truly not like any other state. Everything she has done is Alaska has been to the direct benefit of her family. This is a state that gives huge tax rebates back to people while at the same time sustaining itself off Federal largesse. She's obtained 27 million in federal money for pork barrel projects just while she was mayor of Wasilla. She's no reformer, she's another Alaskan welfare mama.

  4. Colleen, don't you find it interesting that we're being told Sarah Palin is an exemplar of feminism today--when she's not even allowed to speak in her own voice to the public and the media?

    You're right, that speech was written for her. By a man.

    And Nicole Wallace of McCain's campaign has announced that Sarah Palin won't be giving any interviews to the press, but will only present prepared speeches during the campaign.

    Is this the model for which women have been working? I don't think so. If I were a woman, I'd find it insulting to be told that Sarah Palin represents an ideal I would hope to live up to.

  5. Wow, no interviews? What a gutless statement this is. I can't believe any self respecting politician would duck the media like this.

    McCain's handlers must surely be terrified of taking the muzzle off their pitbull. I can't wait for Hillary to respond to this kind of feminism.

  6. I've never been Republican, and I've never been impressed with the Republican line, but then again, the first election I could vote in was in 2000, so maybe I just missed the good days. I'm also not a full democrat (for example, I'm pro-life), but I tend to agree with them on most issues. This year, I actually felt like we might have a better election atmosphere. Compared to the last couple elections, the candidates hadn't gotten so dirty. I was a little disappointed with McCain's attack ads - what I really want is an election where neither candidate attacks each other on a personal level - but they weren't as bad as they could have been, as ads have been in the past. While I don't agree with all of McCain's ideas, he seemed like a nice enough guy. He seemed human. I felt that way about all the major candidates.

    Until Sarah Palin walked through the door. The more I hear about her, the more terrified I am that the republicans will win this year. Thankfully, I'm also more sure that they WON'T win, but either way I'm disappointed, because this has turned into a mudslinging race again. I can't say how disappointing it is to have Obama say flat out for everyone to leave Palin's family alone, that families are off limits, and then to have her turn around and attack him the way she did. If he attacked back now, I wouldn't blame him, and yet I have more respect because he didn't.

  7. I'm still not convinced that the selection of Palin was not a gift from the Holy Spirit to insure that McCain is NOT elected. The election is still two months away. A lot can happen during the campaign, and it only takes one slip, one misplaced word to sink the party ship.

    I expect to see a continuous litany of missteps, political incorrectness, and who knows what else to explode around Palin. Most likely she will become overconfident spouting her evangelical rhetoric and open her mouth in the wrong place with the wrong comment and offend or scare most of the population in some way. I'm guessing the reason she is only giving prewritten speeches is to minimize the possiblity of that happening.

    I'm also expecting McCain to become incapacitated within the next 30 days, making him unfit due to poor health to continue forward.

    McCain put one nail in his political coffin with his comment today that he is taking on the special interests. Either he is lying to get votes, or he just put his head under a very big axe.

    I still think Colleens comment about doing a blog on satan today, then putting the McCain entourage instead was part divine humor, part prophesy and just plain hilarious. I just cant figure out who is who in the photo and which of the minions they represent.

  8. Carl, this is kind of interesting. My daughter and I were watching CNN last night and I mentioned the line I wrote about muzzling the pitbull. She said I should have written if you can't take the muzzle off the pitbull you should put it down.

    I told her that was way too cyinical, (funny though) and she retorted that that was what was wrong with our generation, we see it but we won't say it. We have to be nice, and niceness waters down the truth.

    In the interests of truth I'll tell you what I really think. Sarah Palin and her family are upperclass white trailer trash, with all those values. I can say that because in many respects so am I and I can see this sort of thing a mile away.

    She most certainly used her office to go after her ex brother in law. You see this kind of thing all the time in the rural West. It's not enough to make an inlaw outcast, you have to destroy them. It's never about a marital breakup, ex inlaws are about dissing an entire family.

    They will rally around and take care of their own special needs kids, while caring nothing about anybody else's. Palin actually cut funds for special needs kids in Alaska by some 60%. This at the same time she is giving Alaskans another 1200 rebate from their 5 billion dollar surplus---to help with the increase in fuel.

    The most telling statistical breakdown I've seen, is she is supported by a huge majority of people who use Walmart as their principle shopping source. For this crowd it doens't matter that the jet story is mostly bull shit. She's proven herself one of them. Since I doubt Cindy McCain shops at Walmart, she must be feeling like she's entered the twilite zone.

    I think you're right. Once the veneer falls off and people really get a look at this woman, even the Walmart crowd will start to wonder if one of their own should get any where near the white house.

    Of course those elite democrats and media could never say any of this, but they all know it. So does McCain, which is why his blatant attacks on the establishment came when they did.

    My guess is some of the real investigative journalism will be done by the tabloids, because Palin is one there kind and they can get away with it. They know who she appeals to and they have the monopoly on the checkout stands at Walmart. I wouldn't be surprised if all of a sudden the National Enquirer doesn't start getting some real tips for stories from the DNC.

    No wonder Oprah said, only after the election will she interview Palin. This could get really interesting.

  9. Amanda, here's my insight into how all the attack stuff got started. It goes back to Nixon, and was taken to an artform by Karl Rove.

    It's all about playing on people's resentments, even if you have to create the resentments. The Republicans have always been the party of the 'haves', but Nixon needed a broader base, so all of a sudden the democrats became left wing establishment elitists, all products of Ivy league schools. The media was controlled by this consortium of New York and Washington based elitists, and were completely out of touch with mainstream America--the silent majority.

    The list of resentments just kept getting longer, which is why the Rightwing Church types refuse to admit there is a fundamental moral difference between being pro choice and pro abortion. I'm prochoice because criminalizing abortion has never solved the problem. In countries like the Phillipines, where the Church's entire reproductive morality holds legal prominence, the abortion statistics have gone through the roof.

    Legal solutions operate from the top down, Jesus worked from the bottom up. Abortions go down when mothers are supported by society, not when they are criminalized by society. End of sermon.

  10. Colleen, when I read your response I almost fell out of my chair laughting ... out of the mouths of OUR babes.

    I just skimmed an article from anchorage daily news 9/5 ... here "actions" re her ex brother in law is now being called TROOPERGATE and it appears that the governor or someone is attempting stonewall the investigation into her potential violation of state ethics and personnel regulations until after the election.

    I wonder what would happen if she were disqualified for office at the last minute, AND McCain became so seriously ill he couldnt continue?

    I agree with you. The democrats dont have to do a thing except act nice. There are enough people with axes to grind to make sure that the waters stay stirred until the axe falls.

    Hey, we could make a TV drama out of the election ... "As the Axe Falls"