166 thoughts on “Suddenly It All Makes Sense

  1. Alternatively: they’re all Republicans who want McCain to lose the election so that four years from now, they can say “McCain lost the election because he didn’t pander enough to my faction of the Republican Party”.

  2. I think this election is going to be a big case of both sides looking at each other asking, “WTF?” That and what plays well on the small stage of local to state politics sometimes doesn’t translate well to national politics.

  3. I especially liked the part where she used to belong to a successionist party. That’s entertainment right there, folks.

  4. I don’t understand the problem. McCain wanted to steal the news cycle from Obama to drown discussion of how good his speech was. And he completely succeeded at his goal. That’s the kind of can-do spirit anyone should be able to admire.

  5. Every single person on McCain’s vetting committee is a sleeper cell Democrat fundamentalist Christian.

    FTFY. She’s wildly popular with the extremist “the rapture is coming” crowd. He has to have a massive turnout by the base to have any hope at all. She delivers that.

  6. Vetting, who needs vetting? McCain’s stomach (and certain organs just south of his stomach) did the vetting.

    If you really want to see what “vetting” looks like, check this out:

  7. I have to agree with Jeff Nuding: McCain is far inside Obama’s OODA loop. The nutroots are busy burying Obama’s scripted messages with their uproar, while McCain is sitting on his tail, throwing up decoys for both to shoot at.

    Link

  8. Maybe the Eagleton nomination was a trade? Eagleton in return for a ludicrously undervetted Republican nominee to be named later, in this case 36 years later?

  9. I respectfully disagree. In my opinion, (three words not found often enough in the blogosphere), Sarah Palin is going to make Joe Biden look real bad in the VP debate.

  10. God bless the wacko Christian right. From the NYTimes article that Scalzi linked to:

    But both men [Lieberman and Ridge] favor abortion rights, anathema to the Christian conservatives who make up a crucial base of the Republican Party. As word leaked out that Mr. McCain was seriously considering the men, the campaign was bombarded by outrage from influential conservatives who predicted an explosive floor fight at the convention and vowed rejection of Mr. Ridge or Mr. Lieberman by the delegates.

    Sorry, you two are too moderate to please the wackos.

  11. Wow I’m still reeling about the idea of Mccain wanting to run with Lieberman. Man oh man, would that have the conservatives frothing at the mouth. After all if Kerry changing his mind about the war becuase Bush lied to him constitutes a flip flop, then having a fomer democratic nomiee for vice president then run on the republican ticket must consitute a triple back flip.

  12. My guess is that the GOP didn’t want to field a presidential candidate at all this time.

    Of course they can’t do that, so they offered up McCain: the spent force. He can’t win, surely?

    And when he didn’t bomb, they went to Plan B…

  13. A friend of mine advanced the theory that this was would follow the Harriet Miers trajectory. That after she’s been around for a bit, Palin will have to “withdraw” from the election for personal reasons. And then, whoever replaces her will look like the perfect candidate.

  14. The greatest danger is that the sharp misogyny that’s already emerging in Palin’s direction will capture the same “Fuck you, you sexist pieces of crap” surge that helped Hillary’s campaign.

  15. Per @8 and @13: obfuscating the Obama speech is one thing, having it drag out so that there are now questions being openly asked about McCain’s judgment is not quite the reaction they wanted I think. Obama is doing the right thing, laying low and letting the wings of the Republican party feast on each other. The rescheduling of the RNC convention events left time to reflect deeply on the issues that arose. If you throw an unknown on the national stage, you know there are LEGIONS of people with internet and news access that will have the means and desire to find out stuff about her. Either way, the narrative has derailed and there’ll be some scrambling going on. Wait and watch, weigh and consider and always take into account who is doing the talking. (Me, I’m just a Canadian who likes the bloodsport of American politics.)

  16. See, this is what happens when you can’t get All Along the Watchtower out of your head.

    Poor Colonel Tigh.

  17. @Angelle: Whereas those of us of a feminist bent would suggest that the majority of misogyny in the campaign is coming from Governor Palin’s direction. Anti-choice = anti-woman.

  18. Only someone who doesn’t understand the Republican Party and the Republican base would say that, John. McCain’s problem was that he’s basically disliked, and definitely mistrusted by a huge chunk of the right. Oh sure, we were probably in the end, mostly, going to look at the alternative and vote for him, but with no excitement. And that translates to no money, and no volunteers.

    This also meant that, as he made any sort of move to the left, which all Republican presidential nominees have to do if they want to win, those people were going to go ‘oh no, there he goes again’, and get even more discouraged. In a year like this when Republican prospects are so down, that translates to a huge loss.

    Palin as VP has single-handedly eliminated that downside and given him freedom to move and do what he needs to do to win, while cementing the votes of the 30 to 40 percent of the Republican party that can’t stand him. It was a master political stroke. How do I know it was one? Well, the reactions of the opponents all squawking loudly is a pretty good indication. As a Republican, if you used as your decision tree ‘do the thing that will get Daily KOS the most riled up’ it would probably be a pretty good strategy.

    Now sure, the country-club Republican set doesn’t particularly like her. Neither does the NY Times token Republican. But out in flyover country she is very well liked, and this pick is very popular. In fact, the only way i think it could be more popular is if the ticket were reversed.

  19. I hope, sincerely hope, that there aren’t enough women out there crazy enough to vote for her, simply because she lacks a Y chromosome and that people have been mean to her since she entered the national stage, to sway the election in their favor.

    Palin was forced onto the ticket by the religious right – and it serves the Republicans right for having made dark pacts with them in the first place – and I suspect that the committee that came up with her never mentioned that they’d not actually vetted her at all before they threw her to the wolves (or, perhaps, polar bears).

  20. Also, those of us with a feminist bent are disgusted at the notion that we should vote for one Vagina-American (thanks, the Daily Show) because we supported another Vagina-American with completely different views.

    I think Senator Clinton knows what the VP does for a job. I’m astonished anyone thinks that Gov. Palin could wipe the floor with Biden.

  21. Misogyny? Look, about the only thing I do like about Palin is her gender. I wouldn’t vote R in any case, so maybe my opinion is just moot, but Palin has a paper-thin resume, and as people begin to look at it patterns emerge of her abusing her executive power to punish those who don’t show sufficient personal loyalty, without regard to their actual job performance, her repeated practice of lying to the press and then getting caught with documentation proving her lies, and her dedication to lobbygin for earmarks despite her claims to the contrary. Her personal life, while lurid, is entirely a distraction from the real issues: (1) her terrible record in performance of her public duties; and (2) McCain’s inexplicable refusal to vet his nominee.

  22. @colin roald: McCain wanted to steal the news cycle from Obama to drown discussion of how good his speech was. And he completely succeeded at his goal.

    Obama can always give another good speech. McCain, on the other hand . . .

  23. Emily Wiese @30

    ‘trashed’ in this case means be taken to the cleaners by Biden, and then have the entirety of the mainstream media call Biden both a mean person and a mysogynist because he did so.

  24. Burgher @ 16 wrote:

    Sarah Palin is going to make Joe Biden look real bad in the VP debate.

    Jas, that’s what I was referring to.

  25. Skip:

    “Only someone who doesn’t understand the Republican Party and the Republican base would say that, John.”

    On the contrary, I know exactly why, from a base point of view (in more than one sense of the word base) McCain chose Palin, and that it has been energizing to religious conservatives. I don’t think overall it’s going to be a successful pick, however, since the emerging story out of these last few days is that Palin selection was poorly-vetted and a sloppy attempt to wrangle in both religious conservatives and disgruntled Democratic PUMAs and independents. The Palin pick seems to be failing in getting those last two groups on board, so McCain seems to be trading these latter groups for shoring up the former. That’s nice for the party, but not so smart, I think, if McCain actually wants to win in November.

  26. Yeah, the Democrats and their supporters are so not worried that they’re not doing everything they can to smear this woman in any way they can, regardless of how ridiculous and unfounded their allegations. Oh, wait….

    Stay classy, guys.

  27. illinois perspective-
    not everyone remembers the senate election of 2004, the expected opponent (Jack Ryan) would not/ could not run becuase of messy personal issues and Obama won the primary. After his popularity following the 2004 DNC speech – he seemed to be a shoe-in, who does the GOP decide to put against him? ALAN KEYES! – uber conservative and not from Illinois! no one believed that he was a serious candidate, but that the GOP gave up. Obama received 70% of the vote to Keyes’s 27%, the largest victory margin for a statewide race in Illinois history. Maybe there is a parallel, maybe as Mary (#21) noted her choice is tactical and she’ll be replaced at the convention. Personally I believe this is a move to shore up the conservative/ GOP base – and from that point of view shows McCain’s GOOD judgement – and that appeal to the ‘base’ is why I WON”T vote for McCain- when he was a ‘maverick’ and stood for his own ideals even when they disagreed w/ the party line – he earned my respesct- he just lost it

  28. Great. Just what we needed. For the brilliant John Scalzi to use the words “sleeper cell” and “Democrat” in the same sentence.

    That’s all the neocons need. More imaginary ammunition for their imaginary guns.

    “See? See? They Democrats are terrorists. The have sleeper cells.”

    /sarcasmoff

    Your keen mind works in mysterious ways John. May it never lose its intelligence.

  29. Note to sleeper cell members: egregiously bad candidates don’t necessarily lose. Ref: 2000, 2004 presidential elections.

  30. Wasn’t she joking when she asked what the VP does?

    Robert Reich mentioned that in his critique of Palin. I think it undermines real arguments about her qualifications and the positions she takes.

  31. The more I listen to Democrats squeal about Palin, the more I keep thinking, “Would you like a cookie to go with that Kool-Aid?”

    I mean, seriously, dude. Obama isn’t going to lose because he’s a bad choice, and he isn’t going to lose because he’s inexperienced. He’s going to lose because he doesn’t realize how much damage the Kool-Aid drinkers are doing to his credibility, and isn’t stepping on them to shut them up.

    There are legitimate criticisms that can be leveled at Palin. But the liberal pundits aren’t using any of them. Instead, they’re making up retarded shit like the fake pregnancy idiocy. I was just thinking, this morning, literally, that the liberal bloggers all seem to be working for McCain. They couldn’t help more more if they were.

  32. Terry Austin:

    “He’s going to lose because he doesn’t realize how much damage the Kool-Aid drinkers are doing to his credibility, and isn’t stepping on them to shut them up.”

    Yes, because as we all know, the swift boaters, Kool-Aid drinkers all, dragged Bush’s credibility and approval down to where he lost the general election to Kerry.

  33. In Neal Stephenson’s book INTERFACE (might be his real debut novel, but co-writen?) the president makes a completely inapropriate pick for the VP slot based on a faulty piece of poling technology. Of course she turns out to be the only qualified candidate on either ticket.

    I just think it’s funny that we’ve been hearing how little effect the VP candidate has on the election for the last month or so, and now this. Biden had better soften up his act for the VP debate, he’s going to look like a jerk if he rips into her. It’s too bad Admiral Stockdale is dead. He’d have been a perfect fit. “Who am I? Why am I here?”

  34. I was thinking just this morning…Why is McCain running like a democrat all of a sudden…Here he was catching up in the polls and suddenly he can’t do anything but shoot himself in the foot.

  35. The GOP, for all its astonishingly clueless cronies (“heck of a job, Brownie”) has a number of remarkable characters who have made a career of being understimated by their own party, and by the Democratic party, and by the Press.

    Sarah Palin is the latest of this parade. Novelists need to pay attention to what makes these folks tick, as they are so much more vivid and complex than the typical cardboard plot-drivers.

    Palin, McCain, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan — pay attention, those of you who viscerally hate these people, or hate their policies.

    Bush may be the worst President in U.S. history in foreign adventurism, multi-trillion dollar debt, and erosion of the Bill of Rights. But he has done better in every election than the pundits, party bosses, and opponents expected.

    Sarah Palin is no pushover.

    McCain’s choice looks better and better, so long as this is the kind of attack she draws.

    I’m not saying that I want her in office. I am saying that opposition strategy needs better understanding of political reality, and Nash equilibria.

  36. Amusingly, I’m listening to an NPR report right now about how all the Republicans are rallying around Sarah Palin. They all seem amazingly disciplined and on message about her. Of course, this is at the Republican Convention. No clue how the rank and file feel.

    I am sad, though, that given all of the legitimate problem with Sarah Palin’s candidacy, what’s getting play are the unbelievable rumors, and innuendo. As a previous NPR report mentioned: “She was for earmarks before she was against them.”

  37. Man that article does paint McCain’s campaign (and McCain) as organizationally deficient. Not that a President should be able to administer anything ….

    But sheesh … all of the VP candidates named are just terrible. (I like Lieberman personally, and rather like his politics, but the GOP would have exploded if McCain picked him).

  38. At the least, Republicans close to the campaign said it was increasingly apparent that Ms. Palin had been selected as Mr. McCain’s running mate with more haste than McCain advisers initially described.

    Ah, but you know, this lack of thoroughness will not happen in the McCain administration.

    Shah!

  39. John Chu @ 46 – I think I’m listening to the same coverage as you. This just doesn’t seem like the GOP disaster people are suggesting it is, at least based on that.

    And at the risk of correcting Jonathan Von Post … I think the correct term as it is applied to Republicans is “mis-underestimated.”

  40. John @ 34: the emerging story out of these last few days is that Palin selection was poorly-vetted and a sloppy attempt

    Believe what you want, of course, but the Washington Post article on the vetting Palin received contained more actual reporting than the NYT piece, and gives the reader a much better idea of the length and thought behind the selection process to boot. Where the NYT piece relies on unnamed Republican sources throughout, the WaPo article offers both names, and quotes from some, of the six people on McCain’s VP selection team.

    I know it’s hard to give up eight years of knee-jerk reflexes, but you might want to start considering that not every Republican is given to making shallow, poorly-conceived decisions — not even the ones who run for high office.

  41. Gerrymander:

    “I know it’s hard to give up eight years of knee-jerk reflexes, but you might want to start considering that not every Republican is given to making shallow, poorly-conceived decisions”

    Well, you know, Gerrymander. That has to happen first.

  42. “Every single person on McCain’s vetting committee is a sleeper cell Democrat.”

    Not necessarily. “No publicity is bad publicity”: the unknown clearly incompetent VP is now a suffering mother everyone talks about and million of others can sympathize with. Of course it sounds like a Cunning Plan(TM) from the Black Adder, but I always like to imagine Republicans as such…

  43. Where the NYT piece relies on unnamed Republican sources throughout, the WaPo article offers both names, and quotes from some, of the six people on McCain’s VP selection team.

    Wait, so what you’re saying is that when quoted on the record, with their names attached, McCain’s VP selection team said that they had done their jobs?

    For the record, if someone from the Washington Post asks, you can tell them that I only browse Scalzi’s blog during my lunch hour.

  44. John, the thing is that without shoring up the base he was going to lose anyways, and lose fairly badly. This pick completely takes care of that, and gives him the freedom to go after the middle without so much worry.

    As for going after the PUMAs? Oh, he’ll get a certain percentage percentage of those with this, especially the more the left hits her with misogynistic attacks, but he was never going to get many of those. Because in the end, they were mostly going to come home and hold their noses and vote for Obama, just like those of us on the right who can’t stand McCain were mostly going to end up voting for him after all.

    But where this pick was aimed at, in addition to the base, was the blue-collar swing voters in rural/small town America, where Obama does particularly poorly. And I have no idea how successful that will be at this point, but only time will tell.

  45. Maybe.

    I think she was the top nominee that was A) actually going to accept the nomination; and B) not actually under or about to be under indictment.

    I think there’s a lot of dirt that’s going to come out in the next year, once Congress issues subpoenas that have teeth, and a lot of leading candidates (e.g. the 28 Republican Congressional representatives that are declining to run for re-election) are thinking it might be time to do like the head of Halliburton, and retire to Dubai, or anywhere else without an extradition treaty.

  46. Skip:

    “This pick completely takes care of that, and gives him the freedom to go after the middle without so much worry.”

    Well, see, this is my point, however: I don’t see him getting much of the middle with this particular pick, so I expect he’ll still come up short.

    The real question would have been, had he chosen someone like Lieberman or Pawalenty (I’m probably spelling that name wrong), if the numbers he gained from the middle would have replaced the numbers he lost from the base. My own personal sense is that he still would have maintained the majority of the base (who else would they have voted for? Barr?), but then again, I’m not the GOP pollsters or decisionmakers, and I fully grant they may know something there I don’t.

    Be that as it may, he’s picked the base, and now will have to deal with the consequences of it, good or ill. I do wish the base would have asked for a slightly more experienced candidate, however. On the off chance McCain actually wins, Palin as VP makes me twitchy.

  47. I think the most interesting fact that’s been whispered is that he was turned down by four other Republicans before he got to Palin.

    That and the fact she was the head of Ted Steven’s 527.

  48. Well, on the off chance that Obama wins that makes me twitchy as well. As for Lieberman, all signs indicate that Lieberman is who he wanted to pick. But not only was that going to lose the base, primarily with stay/home, it was going to provoke a floor fight. The Republican convention rules allow an alternate name to be placed on the ballot for VP if the majority of only 5 states delegations ask for it. I had seen reports that 3 states had absolutely committed to doing that, and doubt that dredging up 2 more was going to be difficult.

    So who would they have placed on the ballot instead? It isn’t certain, but my feel is that it would have been Huckabee. And given a choice between Huckabee and Lieberman, the Huckster wins going away. And no matter how you slice it that’s a losing ticket, plus, I’d guess you get no convention bounce after a floor fight like that. And even if he wins the floor fight and gets his way, I can tell you that with a pro-choice liberal Democrat as VP, the entire south goes into play. Not for people voting for Barr. But for people staying home.

    As far as Pawlenty goes, the problem with him is that basically nobody’s heard of him, and he’s not a particularly good speaker. He wasn’t going to offend anyone, but he wasn’t going to excite anyone either. So there was probably no net gain there.

  49. Michael B Sullivan @ 52: Wait, so what you’re saying is that when quoted on the record, with their names attached, McCain’s VP selection team said that they had done their jobs?

    I’m saying that credibility matters. With the WaPo piece, we need to judge only the credibility of those named staff on the McCain campaign, because the reporter lays them out for us. With the NYT article, we need to judge not only the credibility of the unnamed sources, but also that of the reporter and the editorial staff which produced the report, because of how much is hidden.

    Even in the grim economy most newspapers have felt over the past decade, Washington Post stock hasn’t lost money; New York Times shares have fallen 65%. You tell me which appears to be the most credible of the two.

  50. The swift boaters were rather more adept at making up their lies. The current Dem bloggers are coming across like third graders caught stealing money from mommy’s purse.

    As for the middle, Palin won’t particularly hurt him with them, because he’ll be President, not her. But she will help keep the right wing from simply not bothering to vote at all, which is the real danger (there’s no chance of them voting for Obama, after all).

  51. John,

    The NYT are the ones who didn’t do their homework on this one. Palin was vetted as far back as May and the research was complete.

    The times is guilty of peddling unfounded smears, including the claim that she was a memeber of AIP ( she wasn’t).

    The few actual quotes they have are from political enemies with an obvious bias and no facts.

    I know it’s hard to imagine that the NYT might have a political bias but there is some evidence.

    The paper that was too squemish to mention Edward’s love child, found room for four front page articles on Bristol Palin.

    Palin has pulled in 10 million dollars already and will continue to be an asset to the ticket. She won several nasty contested elections in Alaska and is not the unknown rookie that the media thinks she is. Her approval rating in Alaska is over 80%.

    In a year when voters seem to want an anti-establishment choice, its hard to get farther outside the beltway then a public school hockey mom from Wasilla Alaska whose parents have a hunting camp in a gold mine on gun sight mountain.

  52. I’ll point out that according to RCP statewide polls, John McCain needs about 1500 people in Colorado to switch (or 3000 people to come out who would have stayed home) to pull ahead in that state and put himself on top in Electoral College. The magic number is 273 not 50.1%. The right votes are more important than the most votes.

  53. Drew:

    “The NYT are the ones who didn’t do their homework on this one. Palin was vetted as far back as May and the research was complete.”

    I think the folks complaining that I linked to the NYT story and not the Washington Post story are entirely missing my point, which is that whoever vetted Palin seems to have done a remarkably poor job of warning McCain that Palin had a whole lot of potentially explody things about her background. Or perhaps they did and McCain picked her anyway, in which case he’s the sleeper cell Democrat.

  54. I’m saying that credibility matters. With the WaPo piece, we need to judge only the credibility of those named staff on the McCain campaign, because the reporter lays them out for us. With the NYT article, we need to judge not only the credibility of the unnamed sources, but also that of the reporter and the editorial staff which produced the report, because of how much is hidden.

    It would certainly have been very impressive if a McCain staffer had been willing to go on the record and say, “We panicked, couldn’t get our first choice, and grabbed the first person who looked like she might look good on television and totally didn’t vet her at all.” That would be very credible, since it would be absolutely counter to that person’s interests to say that.

    Absent that, McCain’s staffers obs are to tell the world, “McCain made a responsible decision, we are absolutely not panicking.” If John McCain took his pants off on national television and ran in circles saying that he was the queen of england, some poor bastard of a staffer would have the duty of going to the press and saying, “Senator McCain was making a well thought out and biting commentary on the cult of personality surrounding Senator Obama, comparing his aspirations to those of medieval royalty. By removing his trousers, the Senator was pointing out what everyone can see: the Emperor has no clothes.”

    But it’s presumably not your job to buy that. So I’m not clear why it is that you see a bunch of people saying the things that they’re paid to say as the ultimate in credibility.

    Even in the grim economy most newspapers have felt over the past decade, Washington Post stock hasn’t lost money; New York Times shares have fallen 65%. You tell me which appears to be the most credible of the two.

    The National Enquirer‘s circulation figures have been rising, even with the grim economy of print circulation in the last decade. One presumes that you grant them unimpeachable authority.

    Seriously, what the hell? Can anyone with a remotely straight face tell me that of all the business factors affecting share price, fact checking is the difference between the WaPo and the NYT? If so, you should look into explaining away McCain’s (or Obama’s) lapses of judgment to the press.

  55. Jemalladin @26, Emily @30 and Warren @31: I’ve got no problem with attacking the woman for her positions – heaven knows I pretty much disagree with all of them. I voted for Hillary as the better of two very good candidates and me and my vagina are pleased as punch to campaign for Obama.

    But after the announcement, which happened to take place in my old hometown, I went onto the local paper’s website to see what the talk was. And it was, to paraphrase our gracious host, dog-whistling sexism fit to rattle the windows. Comments that in no way indicated a political preference, just a gendered one. along the lines of “Women with five children should be home taking care of them” and much, much worse.

    My point is that this could create a backlash if allowed to continue and create a sympathy that this woman in no way deserves, particualrly given how her policy positions would affect the lives of other women.

  56. The National Enquirer’s circulation figures have been rising, even with the grim economy of print circulation in the last decade. One presumes that you grant them unimpeachable authority.

    Are you aware that the New York Times has used the Enquirer as a source on at least two occasions that they have admitted to publicly? The Enquirer does its share of goofy crap, but it’s more obviously goofy crap than most papers (including NYT), and their actual reporting is really not all that bad. The major difference between them and NYT is that they admit to buying evidence to support stories. Admit to.

  57. Crap. Magic Number in #61 is 270, not 273. The 273 number is Obama’s current polling with all states assigned.

  58. Well, the reactions of the opponents all squawking loudly is a pretty good indication

    Listen a little closer. It was laughing, not squawking.

  59. Listen a little closer. It was laughing, not squawking.

    Yeah, but we’re laughing at you, not with you.

  60. IMHO the reason the various babygate stories are so annoyingly prevelant in the press are that a) sex and semi-scandal sells eyeballs and b) this is easier and less effort than actually researching and explaining the many policy, personal behaviour and past history problems she does have.

    For example, Palin started her Mayorship of a town with no, zero, debt. Six years later, she has abolished the property tax, raised the sales tax drasticly (solid Repub tactics: breaks to the rich and burden the middle and lower classes) and gotten out of Dodge leaving a town with a $22 million debt and a nasty unresolved eminent domain case. One case out of many. I doubt the hasty appointment of Palin as VP was anything other than an election campaign ploy at it’s base. Bad judgement call by McCain.

  61. @62 John:

    Poo-flinging monkeys (on both sides) take and twist everything before they let fly. That’s who the NYT talked to, with all that anon-source goodness.

  62. Is it at all possible for people here to consider the idea that all of her “problems” were well known (to the McCain vetting committee, who are not talking to anyone) and are being carefully spun into distractions for the nuts on both wings?

    The Swift Boaters were more adept at making up their lies … they didn’t have to be. The nut roots exaggerated the small truths of what they said into huge lies, and that drew attention to the topic: that Mr. Kerry had bad-mouthed his brothers-in-arms for political gain. What you send around, comes around. Karma.

  63. Quote from the Washington post article:
    “We have high confidence in her ability to demonstrate to the people of the United States that she’s ready to be vice president,” a senior campaign official said. “And Senator McCain thinks she’s prepared to be vice president, with all the duties and responsibilities there.”

    My problem is that I expect his VP to be President.
    McCain is the oldest Presidential candidate in history after all.

  64. Is it at all possible for people here to consider the idea that all of her “problems” were well known (to the McCain vetting committee, who are not talking to anyone) and are being carefully spun into distractions for the nuts on both wings?

    Sure, I’ll consider it. I consider it silly and unlikely.

    I mean, this is big stuff both for everyone (the next President of the United States!) and for everyone on John McCain’s staff in particular (super high-profile job in their chosen career). It doesn’t seem likely to me that they’d risk this big, important race on their ability to plan out and coordinate various bad stories, have them wing off to the (inherently uncontrollable) extremists on the internet, and then for the message which morphs there to come back into the mainstream media in some way that’s positive for their candidate.

    If the vetting committee did do their job, and did find out about all this various stuff beforehand, my guess is that they said, “You know what? None of this is terribly damaging, it will blow over,” and not, “Ah-hahahaha! It will all go exactly as I plan! Step one: select a vice presidential candidate with a variety of skeletons in her closet. Step two: people on the internet find out about these skeletons and then they blow them up into huge deals. Step three: ??? Step four: Profit!”

    Ultimately, I think that, at usual, the vice presidential candidate will have a relatively small effect on the race. If Palin gets an additional few percent of the base to turn out, and doesn’t turn off a larger percentage of independents or whoever, then great, she’ll have done her job and added 1 or 2% to McCain’s total share of the vote. If not, she’ll probably lose him 1 or 2%. That’s a big deal — it’s a margin of victory, potentially — but she’s not going to define the campaign, once we get a few days from her announcement.

  65. If Palin’s vetting was so complete, why were the town of Wasilla’s newspaper’s archives (off-line microfiche records) on Palin (all 6 years worth) not accessed until until an oppo research person went to Wasilla and asked to see them?

    Republicans make a big show about business savvy translating to government work. Palin’s and her husband’s 40% intrest in an Anchorage car wash don’t show much business savvy: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/09/02/palin_scrubbing_car_wash.html

    More instances of cronyism, corruption, ineptitude and lies about her background every day. Good judgement there, McCain.

  66. L’audace, l’audace, tojours l’audace. – Patton, quoting Frederick the Great.

    (Or, Adama’s modern version from BSG – “Sometimes you just gotta roll the hard six.”)

  67. Yeah, but we’re laughing at you, not with you.

    Tweet! Illegal shift of antecedent! That’s 10 yards and loss of down.

  68. I think it’s apparent that Palin wasn’t vetted in any depth.

    http://www.washingtonindependent.com/3867/vetting

    What people from larger towns and states seem to be missing is that Alaska is, in population terms… small. There’s no way they could have done extensive interviews from people who knew or worked with Palin and then have a significant number of those people say that they weren’t contacted and for the Wasilla city clerk to have never been contacted before for records about Palin’s mayoral stint there (where, by the way, she won in a landslide in 1996… 616-413.)

    The story, really, isn’t whether Palin’s perfect… she’s human and therefore not. It’s only partly whether she’s actually qualified to be President in case McCain dies in office. It’s about McCain’s judgement and thoroughness. This was a HUGE decision for McCain… and it looks thrown together and rushed. Palin, frankly, looks like a choice that someone made by running down a checklist:

    1) female? Check
    2) Attractive, yet professional looking? Check.
    3) Young (to allay fears about McCain’s age)? Check.
    4) Appeals to right wing base? Check.

    If he’s not going to take a lot of care with the first major decision of his campaign in the general election… will he be similarly cavalier with decisions as president? That’s a question that can be fairly asked after this debacle.

    Oh and… if he just wanted to shore up the evangelical/social conservative base he could have picked Huckabee. But of course then McCain could not have played the female card.

  69. This is strategery pure and simple, and it might yet work (though it’s looking DOA at this hour). The killer will be if if comes out that Gov. Palin’s husband got some cushy contract from the Alaska government to provide widgets or something, as it seems that Mrs. Clean Government has more in common then she admitted with the Gilded Age politics so prevalent in the Alaska GOP.

    I also suspect that we’re seeing the beginning of the end of the GOP as we’ve known it, as if it turns out that Rev. Dobson has the only vote that matters, the party might as well finish its transition to being a populist authoritarian party mostly concerned with “social” policy. The most of the rest will wind up with the Libertarians. What the “National Greatness” types do I don’t know; there’s no real home for them outside the GOP as it’s currently constituted.

    Anyway, McCain will kick himself for not choosing Huckabee, as I don’t think he can gracefully seperated himself from this wedding. I really did expect better from the man.

  70. My point is that this could create a backlash if allowed to continue and create a sympathy that this woman in no way deserves

    That might be true if it were coming only from Obama supporters. It’s not. The evangelical base may like her view on abortion, but they don’t like the fact that she’s in a man’s job instead of home with her babies. Nor, for that matter, is the middle (“women with small children belong at home” is hardly a sentiment that is shunned by all but the fringe). The sexism is stupid and ugly, but it’s not something cranked out by the Democratic politicos; it’s always been there, and it bites her in the ass just as hard as any woman. If she had stuck to “babe” and weren’t a mother, she might have slipped by, but Americans are notoriously fucked up about their mommy issues.

  71. Oh yeah. When I learned who and what Palin was, my first thought was, “Wow. Poor John. He’s definitely gone daft in the head.” My second thought was, “Hey. I’ll bet this means he knows he’s got less than a snowball’s chance in hell of winning against Obama.”

  72. Didn’t Khrushchev say “We will bury you”? Perhaps this is a long, long, LONG-term strategy by the Soviets. Let it look like Reagan won the cold war, like the USSR had broken up, like the US was the only superpower. Then, as soon as we get into a moderate-length war, get a dictator back into Russia, launch an offensive or two to see if we have the guts to do anything about it, and have US operatives engineer an American election between an unknown and untested near-Communist and an ancient war horse tethered to an unknown and untested Alaskan filly.

    Those Soviets are crafty and patient, I have to give them that.

    By the way, John, at #34 you refer to “religious conservatives”. I think Palin has strong appeal to non-religious conservatives as well.

  73. “The evangelical base may like her view on abortion, but they don’t like the fact that she’s in a man’s job instead of home with her babies.”

    I see. So when conservative Christian leader James Dobson said “I would pull that lever,” after her nomination, he really meant “For Obama?”

  74. I’ve had an epiphany. Perhaps Palin was chosen because her underage daughter is pregnant. At least this VP’s daughter is interested in men.

  75. A lot of voters are not informed in depth on the issues. They go with a “gut feeling” – someone who resonates with them, someone who seems like he/she understands normal people with normal problems, someone who doesn’t make millions of dollars a year selling memoirs or running a beer empire. Someone with spunk who doesn’t bore the crap out of them when giving speeches.

    So we have a woman here who juggles a large family and a career – lots of people are trying to do that. I think, “Hey, a mom of 5, I bet she knows how to make a budget and has at some point clipped coupons and bought store brand diapers!”

    Her teenager is pregnant! Well, how many people can say that also happened to them or their mother/sister/cousin/best friend/etc? Almost everyone knows someone they love and respect that has been in that situation.

    Her son is going to Iraq – you think she hasn’t thought a lot about the cost of war?

    Alaska makes a lot off of the oil industry and sends thousands of dollars in checks to every person instead of keeping it to expand government! Holy crap, imagine that!

    This woman is human, real, not counting her houses on both hands.

    People think, “She is like me.”

    Sorry guys, she helps more than you think, and not just with social conservatives. A large chunk of voters aren’t scrutinizing what she did as mayor. They are just thinking, “Thank God it’s not another lecturing blowhard. This is fun.”

  76. I would point out that Palin already has her first urban legend on Snopes making Obama’s running mate officially boring (check out my LJ for the current tallies). :)

  77. It’s overwhelmingly obvious she wasn’t vetted. From the NYT article we have:

    Representative Gail Phillips, a Republican and former speaker of the state House, said the widespread surprise in Alaska when Palin was named to the ticket made her wonder how intensively the McCain campaign had vetted her.

    “I started calling around and asking, and I have not been able to find one person that was called,” Phillips said. “I called 30 to 40 people, political leaders, business leaders, community leaders. Not one of them had heard. Alaska is a very small community, we know people all over, but I haven’t found anybody who was asked anything.”

    Believe me – Gail is connected all over this state. What she says about the state being a small community is entirely true. I went to high school with her daughters and she’s an active board member of an organization in which I hold an office. My current boss (extreme liberal) is a cousin of the statewide Republican Party Chair. If Gail Phillips can’t find someone who was interviewed about Palin’s VP qualifications and liabilities, it probably didn’t happen.

    Hell, I just feel bad for Bristol Palin. Poor kid. The last thing any pregnant person needs is more stress and required attendance at long public events with limited bathroom breaks.

  78. McCain’s choice is tactical, brought about Obama leaving an opening for him.

    If Obama would have chosen an intelligent female VP, the outcome would have been: game, set, match. Instead, he gave McCain a way to stay in the running. Perhaps Obama is playing the cat role with McCain as the mouse he just isn’t quite done toying with yet. Or, a bad decision worth reflecting upon (the PUMA pressure on no woman but Hillary, etc).

  79. (Democrate) JFK escallation of war in Viet Nam>Viet Nam Captors>Jane Fonda>Ted Turner>Republican Party…we have our Manchurian Candidate….the real button is the presidential election.

  80. Mike @ 93
    That most of what few “PUMA’s” there were, were detouring republican members of Rush’s “operation chaos” can be seen when the fact that their web site was set up and funded by the RNC is considered. i.e. no pressure worth considerting.

    Jake @ 84
    A “non-religious conservative” is what is now known as an “old time conservative” i.e. small spending, keep us out of wars, keep the Feds out of our private business type conservative. A simple look at Palin’s past record as Mayor and as State Gov. shows that any true member of that demographic would run, not walk, as far away as possible.

  81. Nargel @96, it’s not as simple as that. I know people who are, say, nominally Catholic but would vote for Obama. I wouldn’t count them as either “religious liberals” or “religious conservatives”. There are also nominal Catholics who would vote for McCain, but because they think (hope?) that he’s going to avoid increasing their taxes, reduce government programs, “finish the war” (by which they don’t mean pull out — though they’re Catholics, so who knows?), reduce illegal immigration, and so on. They’re conservative, but not “religious conservatives”.

    The people you’re describing are a little more on the libertarian side, but there are a lot of conservatives who aren’t as libertarian.

    Conservatives seem to like Palin, and focusing only on “religious conservatives” will not help you see the full impact of her nomination.

  82. Nargel, I wouldn’t be surprised now that McCain have his croney’s in Alaska if evidence doesn’t dissappear. Also, have you notice how old a person gets after leading this country? Stress will kill ya and McCain is already 72…73 somewhere in there. Then here comes Sarah with now experience to be comander of the US. Scary thought!!!

  83. Janie @99 provides evidence of what I said before: the Palin choice doesn’t reduce the question of experience, it amplifies it. “Then here comes Sarah with no experience to be commander of the US”, she says, and if I’ve heard correctly, Obama is now claiming that running his campaign constitutes executive experience. That doesn’t put swing voters in a good state of mind about, say, his foreign policy experience, and people remember his earlier gaffes regarding meeting with Ahmadinijad, invading Pakistan, and so on.

    Seriously, no matter who wins, I haven’t had this much fun reading about politics and watching people’s reactions in years. Probably not since the “Lockbox” sketch on SNL back in ’99.

  84. Oh come on! It’s obvious that she’s the best, most qualified Republican with the cleanest record! Sometimes these things just happen–what other Republican is more suitable?

    (Note this message contains Sarchasm(TM))

    ken

  85. So when conservative Christian leader James Dobson said “I would pull that lever,” after her nomination, he really meant “For Obama?”

    No, he really meant “for McCain”. You know, the guy running for President.

    The evangelicals are hardly a voting bloc of approval for Palin. Certainly they prefer her to Biden, but please don’t tell me that Dobson would be equally approving if it were an ideologically identical MR. Palin in the VP slot.

  86. Soooooooo…it ISN’T the Palin from Monty Python after all. Pity. Was looking forward to many snarky speech moments. Altho…this whole affair seems like something they would have written.

  87. Jake @ 101
    Sorry, I didn’t realize that you only included _certain_ regilious types in your ‘religious conservative” catagory. If I’d known you only meant fundie extremist wackjobs, I would have phrased my response differently.

    Janie @ 99
    When we heard about McCain’s 8 person ‘vetting’ team that got to Alaska on Saturday, the consensus was indeed that the cleansing had begun.

    jeels @ 104
    Interesting. Carefully parsed by the McCain PR twit, if still spun strong and lying in spots. I note that my comment about their not seeing microfilm sources is actually substantiated in this. heh.

  88. McCain campaign vetting story changes again, now admitting no FBI background check and that he was never face-to-face with her before last Thursday. Other corrections soon to come, as soon as they get busted on other lies, I’m sure.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/02/AR2008090203462.html?hpid%3Dtopnews&sub=AR

    The question has never been about “experience”, as Clinton said in response to a question: the only way to get Presidential experience is to _be_ president. The real question has always been about who has the right type and quality of judgement. I wouldn’t trust McCain to judge a beauty pagent.

  89. Nargel, what part of “avoid increasing their taxes, reduce government programs, “finish the war” (by which they don’t mean pull out — though they’re Catholics, so who knows?), reduce illegal immigration, and so on.” implies “religious conservatives”? Or are you saying that only atheists vote for Obama, or that Obama plays to the “religious liberals” for the social justice vote, or what?

  90. Let me put it differently. For the phrase “religious conservatism” to mean something, the word “religious” has to add something to the phrase. I generally use it to mean “conservatism motivated by religious beliefs”. While there are people who are religious and conservative, not all of them are, by this definition, religious conservatives. Similarly, there are people who are religious and liberal, but I wouldn’t call them “religious liberals”. You, on the other hand, appear to think “religious conservatives” means “atheist libertarian conservatism”, which neither seems correct nor the matches the kind of person that Palin appeals to. At the very least, we have a confusion of terms here.

  91. Point of clarification: there are also a fair number of religious liberals — people whose liberalism is motivated by religious beliefs — and Obama has been playing to them during this campaign as well. They’re part of his base. In fact, the whole Democratic party has strategically been trying to figure out how to run a campaign while attracting and avoiding offending religious liberals, just as conservatives do with religious conservatives.

  92. Connie@ #87:

    A lot of voters are not informed in depth on the issues. They go with a “gut feeling” – someone who resonates with them, someone who seems like he/she understands normal people with normal problems, someone who doesn’t make millions of dollars a year selling memoirs or running a beer empire.

    And that’s gotten them eight years of George W. Bush. If they still haven’t learned, I’m not sure they’re worth saving.

    Her son is going to Iraq – you think she hasn’t thought a lot about the cost of war?

    Apparently not..

  93. Skip @ #29:

    Speaking as one of the people out here in “flyover county”, I have to disagree about her popularity. I live in Tulsa, OK and while many here would agree with her conservative principles, they do not agree that she is in any way qualified for the job. They’re not “excited” about her, but just trying to put on a brave face for now and support the ticket.

  94. RR @ #37:

    “Yeah, the Democrats and their supporters are so not worried that they’re not doing everything they can to smear this woman in any way they can, regardless of how ridiculous and unfounded their allegations.”

    Your right, I feel especially bad about all this since the Republican Party has been so classy and issue-oriented in their criticism of Obama. Glass houses … throwing stones, etc. RR.

  95. Why does it seem like Republicans are right now projected oodles of desperation onto the criticism of this Palin pick?

    Look folks, we’re not bashing her because we’re afraid of her. We’re bashing her because she represents John McCain stabbing himself in the leg and crying, “Look! I’ve got a dagger in my leg! Won’t someone vote for me?!” She has been a disaster. Ever since she has been announced, McCain dropped in the polls and Obama broke 50% in both Gallup and Rasmussen. Frank Luntz held a focus group of swing voters and they couldn’t stand her. Gallup found that among undecideds, she made them less likely to support McCain.

    Was I slightly fearful of her appeal when she was announced? Sure. The right-wing was in full spin mode and I had thought maybe there was some actual threat within the hype. That was before I found out she shilled for the Bridge to Nowhere, opposes abortion in all circumstances, denies man-made global warming, supports intelligent design, is under an ethics investigation where it appears highly likely she commited a crime, has connections to Alaskan successionists, has connections to Jews for Jesus, and is quite possibly a very irresponsible parent. (And yes, if you have a newborn and a pregnant teen, I don’t care if you are a man or a woman; You shouldn’t be running in a national campaign.)

  96. I find some parts of McCain’s VP choice interesting – people aren’t asking about how many houses McCain owns, how much money his wife makes – you know, stuff that was grabbing the news cycle before he announced Palin as his candidate.

    She’s already doing the work of a VP – taking the news away from the senior candidate and stealing the news cycle from the Dems.

    We’ll see how long this lasts after the Republican convention ends…

  97. That doesn’t put swing voters in a good state of mind about…

    Wow, you’ve talked to all of them? Excellent. What else did they say?

  98. #115: Amen. “Independent” covers a variety of sins but one of the flavors is “non-religious right;” think the sort of person who found Perot attractive. Well, McCain has now lost those folks. Maybe this still turns out to be a net gain (that’s why you hold the actual election) but since this choice turned into a bad sit-com one wonders if the good senator is having second thoughts.

  99. Terry Austin @ 43 –

    The more I listen to Democrats squeal about Palin, the more I keep thinking, “Would you like a cookie to go with that Kool-Aid?”

    Funny how you’re talking about Palin and Cool-Aid, given that her pastor has been preaching about how we’re in the End Times. Keep in mind, Republicans declared pastors and preachers fair game.

    Well, you’ll just love how Palin’s preacher says that anyone who criticized Bush or voted for Kerry is going to hell. So clearly, McCain the maverick is going to hell right?

  100. Officials of the AIP said Gov. Palin was once a member, but the McCain campaign — providing what it says is complete voter registration documentation — says Palin has been according to official records a lifelong Republican.

    A day after making its assertions, on Tuesday evening, AIP chair Lynette Clark acknowledged she was mistaken and that Gov. Palin was never a member.

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/another-aip-off.html

    So the New York Times runs a story about the poor quality of the vetting of Palin citing this “fact” as evidence. When will the front page story admitting they were wrong appear? Somehow I don’t think I should hold my breath.

  101. Watchman:

    Per the link in comment @108, they may have started vetting her in May, but apparently “starting” means “Do not a whole lot of anything until the very last minute, and don’t do a whole lot even then.”

  102. Oh, not to mention that Mayor Palin was almost recalled for abusing her power as mayor, wanted to give the city librarian a list of books to censor, and left a completely debt free town of less than 10,000 at the beginning of her time as mayor mired in a eminent domain suit and $22 million dollars in debt at the end.

    I’m not scared that she will help McCain get elected. I’m scared of what would happen if she actually IS elected, and then McCain dies, and we are stuck with this person as our president.

  103. I think they know exactly what they’re doing.

    Overall, U.S. liberals tend to care far more about “hypocrisy” than conservatives. Conservatives, especially informed by Christianity, tend to consider themselves true idealists — if they fall short of the ideal, well, the ideal’s still up there and they can still excoriate a liberal for not having the ideal in the first place. Liberals, tending to feel themselves to be about pragmatism and what works, are therefore busy going “see? This ideal doesn’t work, even you can’t live up to it, you hypocrite! Now let’s try something else” and the conservative is all “so what’s your point? We’re all sinners striving. Let’s keep this ideal, which WOULD work if we were doing it right.”

    So we’re going to have a nice wedding where Palin’s daughter is made an “honest woman” of with her All-American golden boy, and she’ll either be a martyr or a heartwarming story of a young woman who simply could not harm the innocent for her mistakes, and is willing to SACRIFICE and whatever (unlike people with actual financial and situational problems and instability).

    It would be an excellent idea to let that whole thing go. Or it’s going to make Mr and Mrs. Joe Normal America go “Look a those mean, gloating elitists! Screw you and goodbye!”

    Which — well that would be a disaster beyond my reckoning.

  104. I really don’t see what the big deal is about vetting. So what…her daughter is pregnant (how many of you NEVER had sex when you were 17?) and she fired the state’s public safety commissioner while she was the Chief Executive (Governor) of Alaska.

    Selecting a VP is about contrasts — contrasts to expand and open a candidate’s voting base.

    The bigger story, in my opinion, is how McCain’s morning VP announcement completely took the wind out of Obama’s sails right after his big address to the DNC. Instead of getting network coverage the morning following his speech, the networks waited for McCain to make his decision. Ouch.

    One other tidbit for Democratic women (since I am neither): are you Democrats first or women first? For the mainstream voter, I think you’ll find they are the latter.

    “Here, disgruntled Hillary supporter. Here, disgruntled Hillary supporter.”

    Excellent choice Senator.

  105. Same here (not having sex, that is, as opposed to being in seminary). Pining for certain girl + pathological fear of knocking someone up = poster boy for teen abstinence.

  106. TB84 apparently doesn’t think much of women: dumb broads don’t care about issues, they’ll vote for anything in a skirt. I’m guessing the ‘vetting committee’ thought likewise.

    I’m a little surprised at the idea that the VP’s job is to “provide contrast”. I thought it was to be well-qualified to step in should, God forbid, something happen to the President. Not Like The Other Guy doesn’t really do much for those qualifications.

    But what do I know? I’m female, and my lady-brain is overloaded trying to cope with all those manly issues, like “qualifications for office”.

  107. Adding on to Abe’s mention of the book banning in #123:

    http://www.gamepolitics.com/2008/09/03/republican-vp-choice-sarah-palin-tried-ban-books

    Too bad nobody seems to have a list of the books she wanted banned.

    Oh, and the only thing not covered by GP’s summary (but in the NYTimes article linked): the librarian got sacked soon after Palin got into office. And then reinstated because people got upset. Wonder who else she fired on a whim that we don’t know about?

  108. The move is not wholly without merit. Consider:

    1) Obama and Lieberman have dropped out of sight in the resulting media stampede. This is a first in recent months.

    2) While Obama’s choice of Lieberman suggested that he was not adverse to accepting the advice of the old white guy crowd, and that he could get along with the old white guy crowd (a Harvard education helps, right?) what does McCain’s choice signify? That he’s not really hopelessly tied to the old white guy party either. So we have two parties who are barely even different anymore save for the specifics of how they want to steal from taxpayers and reallocate to their friends. Both of the VP picks have undermined the core messages of the actual Presidential candidates.

    3) Suddenly, nobody cares about the details of anybody’s platform anymore. This takes rational thought clean out of the debate, which is, no offense, perfect for certain elements of the Republican support. The Democrats would really prefer that people think about what has happened and what should be happening in this nation. Their level of concern over one pregnant teen is miniscule, which is probably best, since we’re talking about the proper role and safety of the entire nation.

    4) Who else would want to throw their political career into McCain’s shadow for four years which promise to hold horrible economic news and which will have grave foreign conflict? Nobody in their right mind really *wants* this job right now. The old adage about someone who wants the job should be automatically disqualified has never been more true.

  109. Uh, KIA, do you mean “Biden” rather than “Lieberman,” or is there some whole extensive satire that I’m not getting? Lieberman would have more likely been McCain’s VP than Obama’s.

  110. Uh, KIA @130, Lieberman isn’t on either ticket, though McCain was apparently seriously considering him.

    As for the folks claiming that McCain’s people have any credibility when they say Palin was thoroughly vetted, I’m thinking the fact that they claimed to have had the FBI do a through background check of Plain kind of undercuts that one. For those not in the know: A) that would be illegal, and B) the FBI has had to issue a denial of same because of…well A. Which means that the people you’re claiming credibility for are on the record as having lied about the vetting process.

  111. Obama and Lieberman have dropped out of sight in the resulting media stampede.

    That’s the scandal that the MSM are ignoring! Obama picked a VP candidate who then went and spoke at the _Republican_ National Convention! Holy Heck! Why is no one reporting this?

  112. Wait, wait. Let me get this straight. If mainstream women will vote for the McCain-Palin ticket just because there’s a woman VP candidate, then shouldn’t all mainstream men vote for the Obama-Biden ticket because there’s a male VP candidate?

  113. Had the girl in hand (…) but we both had that fear, and examples in close friends of the consequences of contraceptive failure. We found other things to do.

  114. I think frankly it’s all down to McCain knowing he’s likely on the losing side, and most people in the party knowing it too. The rumors about almost half-a-dozen VP candidates turning him down sound credible to me; it’s an albatross of a job.

    If you know you’re losing, do you play it safe and hope for things to get better, or do you make a wild play which is risky but COULD upset things?

    I think McCain outed himself as a gambler here, and gave away his conviction that he’s losing and, minus a stroke of luck, will continue to.

  115. To #128:

    I do think highly of women, thank you very much. I don’t know why people have to go personal when discussing politics on the internet.

    I’ll accept on apology if you choose to provide one. I always thought Mr. Scalzi’s site provided a great arena for civil internet debate.

    I do, however, think it funny how you only quote one part of my sentence. The contrast is to attract votes that McCain otherwise wouldn’t get. Mythago believes qualifications are more important for a VP pick.

    OK I’ll play that game.

    If qualifications matter, surely you’ll vote for McCain since his qualifications far exceed Obama’s. Do tell, how is Obama more qualified than McCain? After all, four years ago Barack Hussein Obama was a State Senator from Illinois…

    Or will you make the argument that candidates for the Office of the President should be less qualified than the Office of the VIce President?

    Contrasts do matter more than qualifications.

    Oh, and hello Mr. Scalzi. I picked up Zoe’s Tale at Border’s last weekend and I’m on page 23.

  116. Jake @ 109,110,111
    I suggest you go back and reread your earlier posts and my responses. Your comments here lack clarity, accuracy and therefore intrest. I guess, from rereading your earlier posts, that what you really mean by “religious conservative” is also known as Dominionist.

  117. Nargel, I have read them. 109 wasn’t my best work, so I rephrased at 110. No, I don’t mean “dominionist”.

    Scalzi said at 36, “[the selection of Palin] has been energizing to religious conservatives.” Not all conservatives are especially motivated by religion. Some of these non-religious conservatives also like Palin.

    You replied that non-religious conservatives are of a particular type.

    I disagree. I personally know conservatives — I had lunch with one today — who
    (a) are not particularly motivated by religion in the political sphere,
    (b) do not fit your description of “non-religious conservative”, and
    (c) like Palin.

    Thus either her appeal is broader than you think it is, or your characterization of your adversaries is off-base. I personally think that you don’t really know your adversaries; I could be wrong, and I don’t think that you care at this point, but I’ll offer the point up anyway.

    It’s interesting to note that you don’t really seem to know your friends, either. There are a lot of liberals out there (I personally know some of them, too) who are motivated by religion in the political sphere (e.g., Catholics who vote based on social justice issues). Democrats are only kinda-sorta figuring out how to reach out to them, but they’re doing it. Read this speech by Hillary Clinton, for example.

    But somehow I hear very little about Democrats pandering to the “religious left” — even when Hillary or Obama give talks at churches on explicitly religious themes. More: on how their religious views and their faith inform their thinking on government. Like this, from think link provided above:

    Our faith calls us to do what is hard, to give voice to the voiceless, to lift up the poorest of the poor and the sickest of the sick. But for the past seven years, our leaders have gotten wrong. They’ve gotten it upside down and backwards.

    They have given corporate tax breaks to Wall Street and then cut Head Start, child care and drop out prevention. They have lifted up the drug and insurance companies, but vetoed health care for millions of children in need. They have given tax breaks to the oil companies but cut off home heating assistance for our seniors this winter. They have waged a war in Iraq that has taken more than 3,900 of our sons and daughters.

    Republicans who talk in religious terms are demonized, while Democrats who do so are “reaching out”.

    To wrap up: Something like 90% of the country believes in some God, god, or gods, and therefore focusing on the religious tendencies of your adversaries will make you misunderestimate them.

  118. “Do tell, how is Obama more qualified than McCain? After all, four years ago Barack Hussein Obama was a State Senator from Illinois…”

    Why use Obama’s full name and not McCain’s? To be consistent you should also use “John Sidney McCain III.”

    Or is it more important to paint Obama as a “closet Muslim terrorist” than to risk portraying McCain as an elitist from a privileged background?

  119. Palin as Mayor from one of her constitutants: http://www.andrys.com/palin-kilkenny.html

    For an electoral ploy the Republicans want THIS a heartbeat away from the top office?

    TB84 @ 138
    You want to put Obama’s record up against McCain’s? No Problem. In terms of the truely important qualification, judgement, that contest is a “slam dunk”.
    As McCain is (unfortunately) my Senator, I can assure you that decades of bad choices only give you a lot of practice at making bad choices. Remember too that this is the candidate that abused the toothless campaign finance reform laws in order to get money to keep his campaign afloat and get on state ballots that he did not have the money, organisation or time to get on any other way. So I see that you have no problem with yet another scofflaw Administration that holds itself and all it’s works above the law and the Constitution.

  120. TB84 @ 138
    You want to put Obama’s record up against McCain’s? No Problem. In terms of the truely important qualification, judgement, that contest is a “slam dunk”.
    As McCain is (unfortunately) my Senator, I can assure you that decades of bad choices only give you a lot of practice at making bad choices. Remember too that this is the candidate that abused the toothless campaign finance reform laws in order to get money to keep his campaign afloat and get on state ballots that he did not have the money, organisation or time to get on any other way. So I see that you have no problem with yet another scofflaw Administration that holds itself and all it’s works above the law and the Constitution.

    Nope. I want to put up their qualifications as Mythago suggested in 128. You are arguing their records.

  121. TB84 @ 145
    Their record at making, what in hindsight is seen as, accurate judgement calls perhaps.

    Qualifications as per 128?
    The fact that McCain’s own campaign staff of lobbyists and Rove/Cheney subordinates restricted his cell phone access because “He always goes with what the last person he talked to says”? His statements, on the record, that the only reason he runs for President is personal ambition? The fact that his Republican fellow Senators are on the record as being scared of the possibility of a man with his temper and lack of self control anywhere near the ‘button”? That’s just 3 quick examples, by the way (I’ve got plenty more to choose from) Are these the “qualifications” you desire in a President?

  122. Barack Hussein Obama

    Eek! Obama’s got a scary middle name! Aagh! Now I have to vote with McCain.

    Wait, I saw _The Manchurian Candidate_ the other night! He’s a commie sleeper! Now I have to vote Obama!

    Wait, he was once in the same room as a person who was in an organization with the word “Islam” in it’s title! Aargh!

  123. For what it’s worth, today I spoke to the first person I know of who was a McCain voter who will now vote for Obama because of Palin. He said, “This is just the last in a long string of bad decisions.”

  124. Jake @ 142

    @ 110 isn’t too good either.

    Let’s try again, how (in your view) does one’s religion inform one’s conservatism?

    You complain that democrats have given religious flavored speechs in churches. Well, duh! On the other hand, republicans have been giving speechs blasting democrats as “godless liberals” for decades in every venue possible. Not buyin’ it.

  125. :mmm, spicy picante turpentine with paint chips:

    I’m voting for Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm. Her being dead sadly prevents my vote from being a large factor in this election.

  126. I guess Palin does have some resemblences to McCain:

    Mat Maid in brief:

    Palin fired the whole state Agriculture and Conservation board in July 2007, ostensibly to save a mismanaged state-owned dairy, and replaced it with her usual gang of cronies.

    As a result, the dairy lost more money than it had in twenty years.

    The dairy, an Alaska icon, closed anyway in two months, taking hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional state money with it.

    Millions of dollars in dairy equipment ended up, at a steep discount, in the hands of a local Palin ally, who now runs a remarkably similar operation with the help of a Ted Stevens earmark.

  127. Contrasts do matter more than qualifications.

    You believe that the Presidential candidate should be qualified, but the Vice-Presidential candidate – whose job it is to step in as President – need not be qualified for office?

    I’m not sure why the middle name “Hussein” affects Obama’s qualifications, mind you.

    As for women, you’re the one insisting that women are so dumb, all they care about is whether or not the person they’re voting for can’t pee standing up. Sorry if pointing out your insulting take on women hurt your feelings, but truly, it’s nothing personal.

  128. I don’t think Palin’s going to do much damage to McCain, but you’ve got to admit, he’s already lost four days to make a positive message and attack Obama–there’s an opportunity cost that would not have occurred with Romney or the immensely likeable Huckabee, both of whom have already been vetted in public.

    For those thinking Clinton supporters or independents will flock to McCain/Palin, the polls say otherwise:

    http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/09/gallup_for_ever_voter_palin_wi.php

    Gallup’s polling finds that McCain support among Republican women has increased from 85% to 90% in the last few days since Palin’s selection. But on the other hand, his numbers have gone down among other groups: He’s fallen by four points among independent men and three points with indy women, and is down by five points with Democratic men and two points with Dem women. So Palin hasn’t really helped him so far.

    “Instead, the data suggest that McCain has in essence fought a rear-guard action of sorts among white women of his own GOP base,” the analysis finds, “building their support to a degree even as he was losing support among independents and Democrats of both genders.”

    So, at best, it’s a wash with a four-day opportunity cost.

    That’s assuming *all* the scandals turn out to be nothing more than what’s been recounted here.

    As for Brett L@64–not sure which polls you’re looking at, but if you’re thinking a Colorado flip will win this for McCain, you must also be assuming he wins Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Michigan and Nevada as well. If Obama takes two out of those 6, then Obama wins. (Assuming Obama takes all of Kerry’s states, plus Iowa, with Michigan as a question mark.)

  129. Nargel @152: Let’s try again, how (in your view) does one’s religion inform one’s conservatism?

    Sometimes it doesn’t. And even when it doesn’t, the people don’t necessarily hold the views that you ascribe to “non-religious conservatives”.

    If you just said, “Well, duh!” then maybe we were just misinterpreting each other.

    You complain that democrats have given religious flavored speechs in churches. Well, duh! On the other hand, republicans have been giving speechs blasting democrats as “godless liberals” for decades in every venue possible. Not buyin’ it.

    I didn’t complain that Democrats have given religious speeches in churches. (I did complain that there’s a double standard, but that’s a secondary point. There are double standards on both sides.) I’m not asking you to “buy it”.

    I am saying that the disparaging use of “religious conservatives” does two things:
    1) Mischaracterizes your political adversaries, which leads to the danger of underestimating them.
    2) Ignores the fact that “religious liberals” are an important constituency for Democrats to reach out to, which means that disparaging religious people in general might not be in your best interests.

    That’s all.

  130. Last night’s speech makes this whole thread moot.

    Sarah has a rare talent and will dominate American politics for a lot of years no matter how the next election falls out.

    McCain made a brilliant choice.

  131. Jake @ 159

    What part of “even when Hillary or Obama give talks at churches” don’t you remember saying?

    And you never did answer my question about defining your terms. Don’t have a definition or know it wouldn’t stand up?

    FWIW I would rarely, if ever, use the term “religious conservative” in a discussion although I might talk about hard core evangelical, fundimentalist, frequently megachurchish, stridently political, Sarah Palin energized types. You know, Mrs. Grundy with a mistranslated bible and a megaphone. ;)

    As for “religious liberals”, I know quite a few liberal/progressives who are impelled by their religiuos views to “help the least among us”. Kind of like (oh, I dunno) community organizers or such.

  132. Drew:

    “Last night’s speech makes this whole thread moot.”

    Not really. If anything, the fact she’s helped Democrats raise money over the GOP by an 8-to-1 ratio since she spoke last night seems to reinforce the “Democratic sleeper cell” theory, I’d say.

    But nice of you to try the “we win!” maneuver here in the early days of September, Drew.

  133. I’m not sure when giving one decent speech to a partisan audience — written originally for a male VP candidate and hastily modified for Ms. Palin — became the litmus test for the vice presidency. The press might call Palin a “new rock star,” but there’s a huge difference between a populist rise to prominence and an artificial one. We’re talking The Beatles versus The Monkees here. The supposedly maverick McCain is running Bush’s 2004 campaign — and four years too late. Yes, Palin solidifies the base, and yes, she is photogenic. (She also raised taxes by 38% during her tenure as mayor, and cut funding for special needs kids by 62% in Alaska during her tenure as governor. And, of course, she was for the bridge to nowhere before she was against it, etc.) But the truth is that this far-right, fringe pol is a combination attack dog and smokescreen. Her job is to denigrate Obama while distracting us all from the uncaring rhetoric of McCain’s campaign. I haven’t heard much about the record number of mortgages in default from Palin or McCain, let alone discussions of genuine moral issues such as torture, poverty, equal pay, ad infinitum. And people aren’t whining in this country; they’re hurting.

    The Republicans are weirdly running against themselves. It’s like an abusive parent staring a trembling kid in the face and asking, “What’s wrong? Who hit you?” The real question is whether enough Americans are naive, befuddled, scared, or just plain dumb enough to fall for it.

    Phil Dick was SO right in his paranoia about blatant manipulations of political (and other) realities…

Comments are closed.