Friday, August 29, 2008

The Palins

I really haven't read enough to make a lot of comments on Sarah Palin as McWars' VP. There are a few first impressions I get though. First, the whole experience thing gets pretty much muted by this pick. It was actually the only thing that was relevant in their discussion. I became convinced that the things that Obama wanted to do and his known commitment to doing them outweighed the experience factor. I am sure others came to another conclusion.
I think in many ways it is good that we have people that are not entrenched in the muck.

Now we have Ms. Palin. There is little doubt that she is the radical right wet dream. And I am not referring to checking out her butt either. She is in the right place on all their special issues. No doubt she is the bow to the radical righters. I am much less concerned about her experience than I am her positions on the issues. If she had the experience of Biden or McWar I couldn't like this from a purely policy viewpoint. End of argument. At least for me. All the rest is just noise.
I am convinced that the best thing we can do is help them point out where they stand and what they actually believe in. Let the rightists be rightists. I'm convinced that most of the country is not there. They are far out of the mainstream and letting they themselves point it out is the best thing we can do. I encourge the righies to shout their positions from the rooftops and prove me wrong.

I just watched Palins' introduction by McWar. It just encourages me more to encourage you to let them be rightists.

I must admit that Sarah Palin does have some appeal to me. She is a populist for sure. Unfortunately she is a conservative populist. Certainly a different agenda from a liberal populist like Jim Hightower or Russ Feingold. The fact remains that she has some appeal to me. This makes me smell a...something. Not sure what it is but there is more to be known here. Speculation: They know John will lose so they are using the opportunity to set up the next round. Picking some new party leaders. Lord knows they need some fresh blood and at least by its appearance is preferable to the wingnut authoritarians that are running the show now. At the same time they keep that conservative moms apple pie/Christianist, hate the baby killers, worship the gun mentality that is key to their base. I guess what I am saying is I see her as the loyal opposition but I see common interests too. I get no clue to common interests from the radical right authoritarians. I actually felt similarly about McWar at one time. In the last year or two he has reneged on about everything I could respect him for.

The idea of Hillary supporters supporting McCain or Palin is laughable. I honestly think this was a right wing political ploy from the word go. It's insane to think anybody that supported the interests of Hillary would support the interests of either one of them. It's masochistic. Maybe vote for Nader or the Green party or something. At least that would be cognitively consistent. One would have to have no idea what they wanted to stand for to make a decision to choose McWar after supporting Hillary. Most of what I have heard is women aren't buying it either.
It's kind of like the meme of “Reagan Democrats” -What the hell is that!? Reagan Democrats? If there are Reagan Democrats then I am not a Democrat. It's a straight out oxymoron. Like the ever popular Jumbo Shrimp or the living dead, or the deafening silence. It's a media creation. It's the “liberal media” at work.

Part of Palins(I am sure somebody will quickly catch on to what happens if you “ forget” the L McCain and Pain.) case for McWar was his support for the troops regardless of the political costs. So brave, so Maverick! And the risk in supporting the troops was? What political costs are you talking about? Bumper sticker talk, three word soundbites.
She said she took on the "good ol boys network" in Alaska. I commend her and it appears she may have had some success. Beyond dealing with the oil companies in a cooperative way she hasn't played with the big boys anything like she will be required too. Not even close.
She said she took on Washington concerning the bridge to nowhere. Wow, so brave, so Maverick! I am glad you opposed that. Good for you. No big act of bravery or visionary thought though.
The risk you took?
Let the be rightists. Encourage them to talk.
Democrats helped give Palin her victories on oil taxes and the natural gas pipeline deal, over the opposition of many of Palin's fellow Republicans in the Legislature.
But Anchorage Democratic state Sen. Hollis French said it's a huge mistake by McCain and "reflects very, very badly on his judgment." French said Palin's experience running the state for less than two years hasn't prepared her for this.
Alaska Democratic Party chairwoman Patti Higgins, attending her party's national convention in Denver, said she was shocked to hear the news this morning.
North Pole Republican Sen. Gene Therriault, who leads the minority caucus in the state Senate, said Palin has executive experience as governor and is ready for the job.
"It's a great opportunity for the state of Alaska," Therriault said. "For us to get our message out in what the state has to offer to the nation."
Therriault said Palin has proven to be a quick study who people respect for what she's done as governor, such as helping fix the ethics problems in Alaska politics.
Andrew Halcro, perhaps Palin's biggest political rival in Alaska, had a mixed reaction.
"When I first heard it, I thought, wow, that's great for Alaska. Then I thought, wait, what just happened? Because of course the lack of experience does jump out at you," Halcro said.
Palin is a skilled campaigner able to make people believe in her, said Halcro, who spent nine months on the campaign trail in 2006 running as an independent opposite Palin and former Gov. Tony Knowles, a Democrat, in the general election
"You really have to have a high level of respect for Gov. Palin in the sense that she has this real ability to connect with people. And suddenly people don't think about health care, they don't think about the economy, they don't think about whatever else, education," said Halcro, a self-described wonk. "It's not about the policy. It's about the person."
Palin always saw that, he said.
"It'll be interesting to see if that recipe works on the national stage," Halcro said.
The early morning news of McCain's pick sent jaws dropping throughout Alaska, with friends waking up friends with "Oh my God, have you heard?" phone calls.
State House Speaker John Harris, a Republican from Valdez, was astonished at the news. He didn't want to get into the issue of her qualifications.
"She's old enough," Harris said. "She's a U.S. citizen."
Former House Speaker Gail Phillips, a Republican political leader who has clashed with Palin in the past, was shocked when she heard the news Friday morning with her husband, Walt.
"I said to Walt, 'This can't be happening, because his advance team didn't come to Alaska to check her out," Phillips said.
Phillips has been active in the Ted Stevens re-election steering committee and remains in close touch with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and other party leaders, and she said nobody had heard anything about McCain's people doing research on his prospective running mate.
"We're not a very big state. People I talk to would have heard something."

Few wanted to talk about anything else on talk radio Friday. Conservative host Rick Rydell said there are some benefits to the state, but it's a gamble for McCain to pick an unknown with what he considered "questionable vetting."
"It seems almost like a Hail Mary pass at the end of a football game," Rydell said in an interview after his show Friday.
Rydell said McCain has destroyed his argument about Barack Obama's lack of experience.
But another local talk radio host, Eddie Burke, enthused on the air that he was "overwhelmingly excited" by the selection. "Alaskans will now have a chance to have somebody talking about resources, our undeveloped resources," Burke said.
Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg, a Palin appointee, said McCain's announcement left him with "a mixed set of emotions, kind of an odd sense of Alaska nationalism or pride.".....
Palin likely will be spending much time campaigning outside of Alaska. Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell also is preoccupied with campaigning for Alaska's lone U.S. House seat. The outcome of his GOP primary race with Rep. Don Young is up in the air until absentee and questioned ballots are counted in September. As of Friday, Young was up by 151 votes. Colberg would become governor if Palin and Parnell both are elected and leave their current positions.


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