Politics First

How Palin Subverts McCain

The last few days have offered some startling revelations about a running mate—Sarah Palin's running mate. For months, Republicans have been asking the ominous question: How well do we know Barack Obama? The GOP nominee's vice presidential choice raises another one: How well do we know John McCain?

McCain's central message all along has been twofold. The first is that he would keep us safe in a scary, hostile world. The second is that he would always do what is right for the country he loves, no matter what the political or personal cost.

The first theme is a favorite of Republican presidents, but McCain's background has made it especially potent for him. During the Republican primaries, he made a point of noting that he, unlike his rivals, had "a military background and experience in these issues." His five years as a prisoner of war also dramatize the second theme, highlighting his patriotic devotion.

Both of those points are hard for Barack Obama to match. He's never worn the uniform; his father was a Muslim; he had a radical pastor who damned America. Obama's critics paint him as a mystery man who carries profound risks. Voting for him, we are told, would be a dangerous leap of faith.

McCain, by contrast, has gotten where he is because he's a familiar, well-seasoned quantity. He has been in public office for more than three decades, leaving an extensive record. Love him or hate him, we assumed, we knew what we were getting.

The biggest problem with Palin is not that she's inexperienced or has a wayward daughter or recently admitted ignorance of what the vice president does. It's that she's a human torpedo aimed at McCain's strongest attributes.

You don't come across as the prudent option when you propose to put an untested neophyte in line for the most powerful job on earth. Or when you choose a running mate you barely know without investigating her to within an inch of her life. Or when you cheerfully contemplate turning over the nuclear codes to someone with no apparent knowledge of or interest in national security matters. The safe guy suddenly looks like Evel Knievel.

The McCain campaign says it knew about the pregnant daughter before Palin was chosen. But the vetting process was clearly far from exhaustive. Several prominent Alaska politicians, including the one directing an ethics investigation of her, said they never got a call. The senator and his subordinates didn't do everything they could to learn everything they needed to know about Palin.

And what happened to McCain's commitment to his country? By choosing someone so transparently unprepared for the presidency, he indicated he was willing to do anything, including jeopardize American lives, to win the election. If terrorism and the war in Iraq were truly "transcendent" to McCain, as he claims, he would have never considered someone so unacquainted with the topics.

At the rally Friday where the nominee introduced his running mate, the banners said: "Country First." But his actions said something different: "Politics First. Country Second."

Besides helping him with women and the religious right, McCain's selection was supposed to appeal to independents by reminding them how much he loves sticking it to the man. The campaign celebrated Palin as a bold reformer opposed to federal boondoggles and tough enough to buck her own party chieftains in Alaska.

All that may be true, but Palin probably won't enhance his image as a maverick. Choosing a conspicuously underqualified running mate mainly because of her sex was a classic case of pandering. And mavericks don't pander: They do what they think is right and let the chips fall where they may.

That's not what happened here. McCain, by all accounts, wanted either Sen. Joe Lieberman, who was Al Gore's 2000 running mate, or Tom Ridge, the former secretary of Homeland Security—each of whom has the national security props that Palin lacks. But apparently McCain wasn't willing to risk a fight with conservatives over a running mate who favors abortion rights.

Democrats have been trying without success to convince voters that the Republican candidate is not the strong, principled, trustworthy leader he claims to be. Now they can stand back and let McCain make the case for them.

COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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  • ||

    Steve and other Reason writers- you guys are really doing a disservice to Libertarians and your readers by your approach to Palin. I love and live the cause. I voted for Ron Paul and Libertarian candidates after Ronald Reagan. I did this because nobody sounded like Reagan and nobody had, and lived, his message of limited government on the national ticket - until now. I have not felt this excited about a national ticket in over 20 years. Again, I am a hard core libertarian. But Sarah Palin is the real deal. Why oh why oh why must you also attack her. When you do so, you give aid to our worst enemies. They hate her BECAUSE of her limited government views. And to say she is unqualified (shame on you, do you have no resistence to the echo chamber), says the 2 greatest presidents of the century were also unqualified: Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan. They were both governors: Coolidge for just two years before being named to the Harding ticket. This woman is the real deal, and I suspect will become the first president and most Libertarian leaning presdient of the age. Please, please, please, please stop. Do an article for a change on how Obama has his philosophical roots firmly planted in the soil of marxism. Yes, Marxism. Such ideas, as you know, still thrive. Please do the job your publication was founded to do - promote liberty and destroy statism. Leave Sarah Palin alone.

  • ||

    Thanks Arty for an excellent post!
    I too am a bit disturbed by Reason's slight slant towards Obama recently. Obama is clearly a big government socialist/Marxist which should be anathema to libertarians. If one was to play the lesser of two evils game in this election then the proper choice, IMHO, is McCain/Palin. Why? I've always felt that as long as there is (relative) economic freedom that one has the means to fight, economically and legally, against government trespasses on other freedoms. Take away, or severely hamper, economic freedom and our only choices are meek acceptance, participating in an a risky, illegal underground economy or to fight transgressions of freedom through violence. Unfortunately, given what seems to be the pulse of America, I think the majority of folks would choose meek acceptance; which is sad. I'm still undecided between a third party candidate and McCain, (anyone but Obama) but I think the Palin pick makes McCain more palatable.

  • ||

    LEAVE SARAH PALIN ALOOOONE!

  • Words Have Meanings||

    "Obama is clearly a big government socialist/Marxist which should be anathema to libertarians."

    The reckless use of the language on this site is maddening. Obama is, as he would claim to be if asked, a progressive democrat, or, if you wanted to be heavier handed, a democratic socialist, although his policies would likely not be anywhere near leftist enough to be mistaken for one by a European.

    Incidentally, McCain is himself a progressive. McNasty considers himself a "Teddy Roosevelt Republican", which is of course just a way to say progressive that is palatable for your typical red-stater, but utterly transparent for anyone knowledgeable of Teddy Roosevelt's ideologies.

    So, in closing, if you truly wish to call Obama a "Marxist", you might as well throw half the Republican party in there with him, as well as the majority of the western world.

  • ||

    That's not what happened here. McCain, by all accounts, wanted either Sen. Joe Lieberman, who was Al Gore's 2000 running mate, or Tom Ridge, the former secretary of Homeland Security

    And Libertarians should be very glad that he didn't pick them. Although "all accounts" also had Romney and Pawlenty on the short list, and "all accounts" had him interested in Palin for months as well.

    But of course, people are going to believe the leaked rumors that they like the best anyway. Perhaps Sen. McCain really wanted to choose Sen. Lieberman or Tom Ridge; OTOH, perhaps it was a head fake to make people think that he was open to a pro-choice VP when he never was.

    There certainly wasn't a male candidate who made his name by knocking off a corrupt incumbent governor in a primary. It's fairly obvious to me that he needed an outsider with an exciting narrative, and there are few who compare, even leaving aside her sex. It's also fairly obvious that with a bad Republican brand, he needed someone who was outside Washington and had demonstrated a willingness to take on corruption and corporatism in the Republican Party, yet not split the party base either. It's difficult to think of anyone who even had a story to tell along those lines, male or female.

    There is at least one however, whom I'd have preferred: Gov. Mark Sanford, who has more experience and would also have fit the bill along those lines. Several accounts have him with a poor relationship with Sen. McCain, though, and it seems that despite the interest in him in several circles, he was not seriously considered. A shame.

  • JMR||

    I have no trouble with throwing half the Republican party in with "Marxist." Look what they did when they had the Smither opportunity. They scraped the bottom of the hysteria barrel & produced a write-in nutcase guaranteed to ultimately yield a big-spendin' Democrat, because ANYTHING is better for them than a Large-L Libertarian in even the smallest office with political power. Period. As they've sowed, so they now reap (and still they whine). Dammit.
    JMR

  • ||

    I've always felt that as long as there is (relative) economic freedom that one has the means to fight, economically and legally, against government trespasses on other freedoms. Take away, or severely hamper, economic freedom and our only choices are meek acceptance, participating in an a risky, illegal underground economy or to fight transgressions of freedom through violence. Unfortunately, given what seems to be the pulse of America, I think the majority of folks would choose meek acceptance; which is sad.

    While I agree with all of this (and voted for Ron Paul because I do), the Republicans, and McCain especially, have not put their money where their mouth's are. They have proven to be just as reckless with the taxpayer's money, if not moreso, than the Democrats. As much as I hate to say it, the economic issues between McCain and Obama are a wash. Neither will have a "Do no harm" approach.

    For me, that leaves who will have the steadiest hand with regard to foreign issues. As hard as it may be for some to believe, I see that as Obama. McCain seems to be either willing to sell out the country to the highest bidder or bomb first and ask questions later. Palin does not alleviate any of these concerns by a long shot.

  • ||

    LOL, McSame might as well have picked Spongebob Squarepants as his running mate. What a joke.

    JIff
    www.anonymize.us.tc

  • JMR||

    Problem with Sanford, IMO? Too friendly with Ron Paul. Yes, there's THAT degree of antilibertarian hate out there, even as libertarian rhetoric is blatantly stolen every election season.
    JMR

  • ||

    I don't think you can be the beloved subject of a personality cult and a partisan attack dog at the same time.

  • robc||

    underqualified?

    I disagree with the basic premise. She is as qualified as Coolidge was, and thats good enough for me.

  • Elemenope||

    robc --

    Personally I don't much care about qualification. I care about action. McCain's record is pretty in the toilet as far as freedom is concerned.

    So, it turns out, is Palin's. Windfall profits tax? An attempt to censor a public library? Intentionally targeting and slashing gay partner benefits but not heterosexual benefits? It's the trifecta: economic stupidity, censorship, and discrimination.

  • ||

    Or, rather, you can be a partisan attack dog and be the beloved Dear Leader to your party's base, but that won't appeal to anyone else.

  • ktc2||

    She's a fundy loon, as I've said before. Anyone who tries bans books they find "offensive" and thinks the Iraq war was a "task assigned by god" is fundy loon, not libertarian.

  • ||

    I am so sick of these arguments based on the faulty premise that McCain has one foot in the grave. Steve Chapman, please fuck off now.

  • ||

    OK, so who watched the premiere of 90210?

    I will do anything to threadjack yet another Palin article.

  • Naga Sadow||

    *Watching and waiting from the wings*

    Ha! Here to help Epi.

    Chuck Norris does not vote for president of the United States. He gives the voting machine a swift roundhouse kick and decides who wins.

  • Elemenope||

    Fair enough, Epi. I shall support your threadjacking desire...not only is it a Palin article, but a Chapman article besides!

    However, I cannot help on 90210. I don't know what might possess someone to resurrect such an abomination, nor possess a person to watch that which results from the resurrection. Perhaps you can speak to these issues.

  • Elemenope||

    I am so sick of these arguments based on the faulty premise that McCain has one foot in the grave.

    If he croaks your face is gonna be SOOOO red...

  • ||

    NO NO NO NO NO!

    Get Steve Chapman out of Reason.

    Oust Steve Chapman AlReady

    OSCAR
    OSCAR
    OSCAR

  • ||

    Perhaps you can speak to these issues.

    The original was so ridiculous that it was awesome in the way that Battlefield Earth is awesome: you watch it because you can't believe they're doing it.

    This one is actually somewhat on track for that, which surprised me. Having one of the leading guys getting blown in his car before school pretty much sealed that deal.

    Plus, Jessica Stroup.

  • ||

    sarah palin said she'd be against abortion even if her daughter was raped.

    now i'm pro-choice and talked myself into voting for a pro-life candidate in the primaries (ron paul) but i'm going to be generous and say most pro-lifers aren't against abortion for rape victims. (the ones in my family aren't at least). i'm sorry but that's a deal braker for me. i don't care how what a good small government conservative she claims to be.

  • ||

    t.j.
    It'd be interesting if someone gave her a Dukakis interview asking that question.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Hmmmm . . . okay. You have my attention now Epi. Are there women with thongs riding up their asses all through out the show?

  • ||

    Are there women with thongs riding up their asses all through out the show?

    Surprisingly, no. But there's no lack of flesh. It's actually capturing the "this is a show of role models! Really!" of the original while being 20 times sleazier. It's impressive, I tell you.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I like the "20 times sleazier" part but I'm distressed by the role model take. Hmmmmm . . . I'm not going to watch it but feel free to keep me updated. Wait! Who's taking the place of Tori Spelling?

  • T||

    Gee, seems like Steve Chapman hasn't read his Glorious Leader's tome on McCain. It almost seems like he just woke up and realized a guy with 26 years in the Senate usually doesn't qualify as a maverick.

    And Epi, I might've watched 90210 but the wife is apparently maxed out on her teen drama quota for the season. I don't generally turn the TV on except for movies and Battlestar.

  • ||

    Who's taking the place of Tori Spelling?

    There are no horse-faced anorexics whose daddy is the producer on this run, thankfully.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Well, I gotta agree she has a face only a father could love. Still, I think I'll stick with "Always Sunny in Philadelphia" for my sleaze. THAT is quite possibly the most offensive show ever.

  • ||

    Still, I think I'll stick with "Always Sunny in Philadelphia" for my sleaze.

    Naga, for a bar-monkey you have excellent taste. It's supposed to be starting up soon with season 4.

  • ||

    Chapman's probably bummed Queeg didn't pick Lieberman, for the "War Without End, Amen" platform.

  • Djyrn||

    She's got plenty of experience.

    She's not small government. She's Republican government, which is only small when it's fighting the other big government party.

    The only clear distinction I keep coming up with between the parties is abortion, and that's an issue I just don't care that much about.

    Someone said she beat out a corrupt Governor. Was that a big deal? Murkowski came in third behind Palin and Blinkly. Beating Murkowski wasn't going to be any great trick.

  • Elemenope||

    I don't generally turn the TV on except for movies and Battlestar.

    Word. I'll also turn on the TV (but more likely, Hulu) for Burn Notice, which is basically MacGyver for the 21st century.

  • ||

    No Sarah Connor, LMNOP? And I'm intrigued by Fringe, though it will probably suck.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Episiarch,

    You couldn't know but bar-backs are called bar monkeys down here. Also bartenders are called gods. But I don't let things like that go to my head. I'll settle for El Cid.

    Elemenope,

    If he ain't got no mullet, he ain't no McGyver.

  • ||

    Reason is doing the right thing by attacking both sides, even if it seems to be a bit patchy at times. Palin is my favorite major candidate in this election (out of all four), but I'll still be voting for Barr. She may not be "experienced" in the wonderful world of politics, but I don't consider political experience a plus. She's got a lot of negatives, but she has fewer than the other three.

    I can tell I'm still probably going to go into my usual one month funk after this election.

  • Raphael||

    The better McCain/Palin is, the bitchier and whinier the democrats get.

    I wish we could get something like that going in the Libertarian party some day, but too many libertarians are content to drool over change-spouting phonies like Obama and laughable buffoons like Biden.

  • ||

    Elemenope-

    You know my feelings about cops-especially those who taser children. Having said that, I am troubled by the abuse of power issue raised by her discharge of the state police commander. We don't know whether the brother-in-law actually tasered his kid-its only an allegation. Thus, this issue needs to be ferociously pursued.

    However, I am much more impressed with her and her "narrative" than I am with Obama and his. First, she has a lot more private sector experience. Second, she's just done more, accomplished more than Obama. Third, she has not attended an Ivy-big, giant plus in and of itself-generally, I find Ivy graduates to be intellellectually inferior. Fourth, she is a much better communicator than your boy-I would love to see how Barack would handle the teleprompter breaking down during his speech. She is a demonstrably superior orator and appears to be far better than Obama off the cuff.

    Most Important of All: Taking into account all of the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom, she is a better friend to liberty than Barack. I can not use abortion as the be all and end all in assessing a candidate's overall friendliness to freedom. I am not suggesting that you are-though I do think that abortion plays a significant role in your analysis. Sure, you could argue that the income tax plays a significant role in my analysis and I think that it would be fair to say that a candidate's view of the income tax is far more important to me than their position on abortion and that the reverse holds true for you.

    I harbor no illusions that Sarah Palin will do anything to end the income tax or curb the persecution of tax protesters as republicans are reliably socialist and addicted to power. She is no different. But, she appears to have more regard or tolerance for entrpreneurship than Barky. For me, that is an important factor in ascertaining a candidate's overall fondness for freedom.

  • ||

    Elemenope-

    I neglected to mention that the cause of firearms freedom would appear to be better served by Ms. Palin than by Barky.

    Of course, having said that, if she really wanted to protect our rights to keep and bear arms, she would insist upon repeal of all, yes absolutely all, federal firearms statutes.

  • ||

    ELemeope-

    How about the issue of jury nullification? Haven't heard much from your boy on that issue.

  • Elemenope||

    libertymike --

    To kill all of those very optimistic impulses, you need only look at the top of the ticket. Palin is the classic "bright, shiny object" that distracts detractors and makes the base feel all warm inside.

    Epi --

    I liked Sarah Connor Chronicles when it was on, though far less than you did, IIRC. Personally, I'm looking forward to Dollhouse.

    Naga --

    I thought that was true, but two things happened.

    1. Anderson lost the mullet, but retained his power. (No Samson, that one!)
    2. I watched Burn Notice. It really is MacGyver, but more bitter, more cynical, more funny, and with an occasional gun.

  • ||

    Personally, I'm looking forward to Dollhouse.

    Well, it's Whedon. Duh.

    It really is MacGyver, but more bitter, more cynical, more funny, and with an occasional gun.

    Plus Bruce Campbell. But Gabrielle Anwar is too skinny now.

  • Elemenope||

    But Gabrielle Anwar is too skinny now.

    True, though she has basically been a minor character so far.

  • ||

    LOL, McSame might as well have picked Spongebob Squarepants as his running mate. What a joke.

    Well, he is the living embodiment of Mermaid Man.

    "EVIL!!!!!"

  • Elemenope||

    Plus Bruce Campbell.

    That would be the "more funny". He's like MacGyver's Bruce McGill, on crack.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Elemenope,

    I can understand that.

    You ended your sentence with a preposistion. Bastard.

    O'Neill: I've spent my whole life sticking it to the man.
    Jackson: Well now you will be the man.
    O'Neill: I don't think I can be the man.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Bruce Campbell not fighting deadites with chainsaws and boomsticks is sacrilege!!! He should be pulled from that show immediately!!!

  • ||

    McCain, by all accounts, wanted either Sen. Joe Lieberman, who was Al Gore's 2000 running mate, or Tom Ridge, the former secretary of Homeland Security.

    Well, that's certainly what the McCain campaign wanted the media and the Obama campaign to believe, anyway, to ramp the impact of her selection and reset the campaign after Labor Day (which was the explicit McCain strategy all along). I actually think he shortlisted Palin relatively early on, due to her maverick/outsider/reformer cred, and the tactical campaign advantages put her over the top.

    Palin is the classic "bright, shiny object" that distracts detractors and makes the base feel all warm inside.

    A similar thing could be said about Obama, you know. I think the real genius of the Palin pick is the way it sets up the natural comparison of Obama to Palin. When you Presidential candidate is comparable to the other side's Vice Presidential candidate, you've got a problem.

  • ||

    Naga, you need to expand your Campbell oeuvre. For instance, try Mindwarp. It has Angus Scrimm, as well. Also note the link to C.H.U.D. in the Mindwarp description.

  • ||

    ELemenope-

    Pleae do not mistake my earlier posts as evidence that I am being drawn into the false right/left paradigm-if I am, don't let me!

  • Rhywun||

    The reckless use of the language on this site is maddening.



    You must be new around here.

  • edna||

    admitted ignorance on what a vp does?

    the vp waits for the president to die. all else is optional.

  • Elemenope||

    I think the real genius of the Palin pick is the way it sets up the natural comparison of Obama to Palin.

    And for the same reason I find it to be insanely stupid. Does the GOP really want to make this a President v. Vice-President race? That strikes me as a losing strategy.

    You ended your sentence with a preposistion. Bastard.

    Where?!

  • ||

    the vp waits for the president to die. all else is optional.

    Man! Cheney really optioned his ass off!

    (Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

  • ||

    And for the same reason I find it to be insanely stupid. Does the GOP really want to make this a President v. Vice-President race? That strikes me as a losing strategy.

    I disagree. I think the electorate is going to wise up to the fact that the "experience" is flip-flopped on the D ticket.

  • matt2||

    libertymike:

    You find Ivy League grads to be intellectually inferior.

    Ivy League grads.
    Intellectually inferior.

    I'm no Obama fan, but the guy was president of the Harvard Law review. If you think that signals intellectual inferiority, you truly don't know shit about fuck.

  • ||

    "I find Ivy League grads to be intellectually inferior."

    What we now know about libertymike: he is not an Ivy League grad, and it really burns him up.

  • jasno||

    Sheesh guys, she's JUST the fucking VP...

    The likely scenario is that McCain won't outright DIE, he'll just get progressively more INSANE as his age takes it's toll on his brain. We'll have Reagan back in office again, only this time it will be Reagan from the 90's, drooling on himself while his handlers and advisers run the government. Palin will get to speak at fundy shows and speak about the mentally retarded, but that's about it.

    Is she a libertarian? Is she a fundy wacko(yes!)? Who gives a shit. She's just the veep.

  • Rhywun||

    Intellectually inferior.



    That's an example of the "bizarro world" subclass of the "reckless use of language" phenomenon.

  • ||

    I think the electorate is going to wise up to the fact that the "experience" is flip-flopped on the D ticket.

    Maybe, but the Democrats are going to frame it as Biden's superior knowledge married to Obama's superior judgement/vision. It may sound silly, but it might work.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The Angry Optimist | September 4, 2008, 11:11am | #
    And for the same reason I find it to be insanely stupid. Does the GOP really want to make this a President v. Vice-President race? That strikes me as a losing strategy.

    I disagree. I think the electorat is going to wise up to the fact that the "experience" is flip-flopped on the D ticket.


    I think the Democratic Party would be wise to play up the experience issue by focusing on GWB's experience prior to taking the job. He had more executive experience than any of the current 4 on the ticket.

    The line would be:

    Obama: "They say I don't have the executive experience needed for this job...well George W. Bush had 5 years of executive experience before he became president. I don't think we need to repeat the results that experience brought us. It is time for fresh approaches...

    yadda yadda...

  • ||

    This is important, so pay attention:

    In at least two of the photographs on this very website, Palin appears to not be wearing a wedding ring! What does this indicate about the state of her marriage?

    What if she actually is wearing a ring, but it is so puny and pathetic it is simply undetectable to the naked eye? Nancy Pelosi has a wedding ring with a diamond the size of a duck's egg; how could an impoverished hillbilly with some puny chip of diamond on her finger ever hope to be treated as an equal by the Speaker of the House of Representatives? My God, didn't the Vetters even check her wedding ring?

    This candidacy is doomed, I tell you!

  • Matt Welch||

    That't it, Steve, I'm not running anh more of your columns. No, not even if you threaten to release those photos. Your articles are way more embarrassing.

  • Bags||

    What we now know about joe: he is about the same height as a garden gnome, and it really burns him up.

  • ||

    I get it - because of what I write about tall people! Which is...uh...um...hmm.

  • ||

    All that may be true, but Palin probably won't enhance his image as a maverick. Choosing a conspicuously underqualified running mate mainly because of her sex was a classic case of pandering. And mavericks don't pander: They do what they think is right and let the chips fall where they may.

    Nobody with multiple connected neurons believes that McCain is anything other than a career beltway politician.

    Regarding the experience factor:
    Maybe he should have picked Dick Cheney. IIRC there are no term limits on VP and the man has eight years experience in the fourth branch of government. Dan Quayle and Fritz Mondale have four years experience each; both are looking for gainful employment. Yeah experience* is soooooo damned important.

    * Full disclosure - I'd like to see a non-lawyer nominated and confirmed for the SCOTUS.

  • ||

    OK, experience doesn't matter.

    I'm fine with that. Take experience off the table entirely.

    One campaign agrees with me, and one doesn't.

  • ||

    I'm no Obama fan, but the guy was president of the Harvard Law review. If you think that signals intellectual inferiority, you truly don't know shit about fuck.

    Oh wow, holy shit. Barack was...... an editor. That is fucking impressive. If I was going to torture someone, I think I would read law review articles to them especially harvard law review articles so they could hear some of the pretentious bullshit around.

    If you average law review article author knew the difference between a modus ponens and a modus tollens, or the difference between validity and soundness, I'd be impressed.

    I can't stand the oxymoron that is "Legal Reasoning." that is found in law review articles. But they are a good way to find relevant cases. I will give them that.

  • Elemenope||

    I'd like to see a non-lawyer nominated and confirmed for the SCOTUS.

    It would be interesting, that's for sure.

  • ||

    Joe-

    Joe, is it a plus, a badge of honor to have attended an Ivy?

    Are you arguing facts not in evidence?

  • ||

    Well I am a Republican, who has absolutely no problem throwing half the Republican Party under the name Marxist. They wouldn't have voted for John McCain if they weren't! Socialism/Communism are two sides of the same coin of tyranny. We ARE Germany just before Hitler! We ARE pre-stalinist Russia! Better get ready because your addiction to government is fixing to have you all living under the thumb of some dictator. Perhaps McBama!

    Little Bit Farm

  • ||

    Rhywun-11:23

    Language problems much?

    "That's an example of the 'bizarro world' subclass of the 'reckless use of language' phenomenon."

    Brilliant clarity.

  • ||

    I'm not arguing anything, libertymike. I'm just drawing attention to your remark. Sort of like a defense attorney whose argument is "I rest my case."

  • robc||

    joe,

    I shall repeat what I have said to you many, many times and you refuse to acknowledge the possible truth:

    A legitimate argument can be made that experience only matters in the Prez spot. An inexperienced Veep is okay, and doesnt prevent the party with the inexperienced veep at taking shots at the inexperience of the Prez candidate.

    Im not making that argument, I just think it is valid. I personally think Palin is appropriately experienced. Way more so than Biden, McCain, and Obama, who are ALL way inexperienced (seem I give no legislative credit).

    It could also be argued legitimately that McCain and Biden are overexperienced.

  • robc||

    I'd like to see a non-lawyer nominated and confirmed for the SCOTUS.

    It would be interesting, that's for sure.


    I could use a lifetime job. There isnt anything that prevents them from having a side job is there? They dont make enough.

  • Colin||

    "most pro-lifers aren't against abortion for rape victims"

    That is one thing I like about Palin; if you are going to make a moral stand like pro-life, you should at least be consistent about it. A child of a rape victim is innocent of their father's crime; that child has as much right to live as any other. That at least is a position I can respect; even if I don't agree with it.

    As for experience... VP is a good place to get on the job experience; that whole line of criticism falls pretty flat.

    Sadly, a battlestar galactica situation is about as good as it can get this election season...

  • ||

    robc,

    I'll answer you the same way I did last time: I think it's just the opposite.

    A president comes into office with a big lead time, a transition team, and a honeymoon. It is extremely unlikely that a president would be facing a crisis immediately upon taking office.

    As opposed to a vice-president, who only takes office if there is an emergency - a political crisis certainly, and quite possibly a military crisis, a national security crisis, maybe a humanitarian or even constitutional crisis.

    I can live with a president who needs to ramp up to the job, but a vice-president is literally there for emergencies.

    In addition, a VP that takes over is going to be working with the sitting cabinet. Historically, such vice-presidents have worked primarily to advance the late president's agenda, rather than setting their own. Truman finished off World War Two, and Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, to name two.

    For that reason, I put a greater emphasis on experience and steadiness in a VP, and less on ideology and leadership, while for a president, I'm willing to sacrifice some experience for the philosophy and style I like.

    That's why I was ok with the idea of an Obama/Clinton ticket, even as I was horrified at the prospect of her winning the nomination. That's why I hated Edwards for VP.

    I realize I'm in the minority on this, but that's my take on experience.

  • robc||

    joe,

    I never saw any specific response to my experience/quality rank of the 9 veeps in that other thread. I know you made some comments in the midst of it, and didnt agree with my quality rank (I know of no reasonable way or ranking other than "did they do what I would wnat them to have done", I dont claim to be someone who can claim objectivity in judging stuff like that, anyone who does claim it is a liar). However, I didnt see any posts after I finished ranking. But, I stand behind my Palin==Coolidge on experience. And he was a damn fine president.

  • robc||

    joe,

    Truman finished off World War Two, and Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, to name two.

    I would have gone with "Truman finished off WW2, Johnson escalated Vietnam." Interesting that you went a different route.

  • ||

    robc,

    You're rankings were based almost entirely on how closely the president's political philosophy matched your own. Coolidge? Coolidge is the favorite president of people who rank president's based on their adherence to a libertarian-conservative political philosophy. Which is fine, but not really what I'm getting at.

    I would have gone with "Truman finished off WW2, Johnson escalated Vietnam." Interesting that you went a different route. I"ll try to explain my point again.

    This is the important part: Historically, such vice-presidents have worked primarily to advance the late president's agenda, rather than setting their own. Please note, there is nothing in here about whether I like that agenda or not. My argument here, unlike yours, is wholly uninterested in my own opinion about different figures' political philosophies.

  • ||

    joe, that is one of the more tortured rationales for valuing the VP over the Pres.

    Yikes.

  • ||

    I realize it's a minority position, TAO, but it's what I've been saying since the primaries.

  • ||

    Ideally, both the pres. and VP would score 10s in all of the categories. But since they don't, it becomes a question of prioritizing.

  • Nick||

    "Choosing a conspicuously underqualified running mate mainly because of her sex was a classic case of pandering."

    Wow. This is a mighty stupid statement. I think we can all pretty agree she wouldn't have been chosen if she wasn't a woman (even though Jindal with even less time in the governor's mansion was also on McCain's want list.) But I don't think that was the only or even the primary reason she was chosen.

    1.) She rallies the Republican base when McCain doesn't thrill them.

    2.) She's still rather independent of the Republican base, having attacked such in her home state and given kind words to Ron Paul, the LP and the Alaska Independence Party. Thus she still appeals to independents.

    3.) She's probably one of the most experienced politicians on energy policy, as that has been what has seemed to take up most of her time in the gov's mansion. That's the GOP's only winning issue right now. She also has challenged the energy companies, which gives her a populist appeal that makes it difficult for the Left to attack her.

    4.) Picking her reaffirms McCain's maverick status, which everyone was beginning to doubt and the questionable nature of which Obama was starting to use against him. The emphasis is on reform now instead of foreign policy or social conservatism.

    5.) Not from Washington, providing a marked contrast with Biden. Enables McCain to refashion himself as the true change candidate.

    6.) Actually has executive experience.

    7.) Because of her fiscal conservatism and her kind words to libertarian groups/people and her hailing from a libertarian friendly state, McCain could have been making an overt attempt to block the Barr threat.

    8.) She's obviously from the lower-to-middle class and does not reek of GOP elitism (unlike McCain). She strikes everyone as someone we might know.

    9.) Because of #8, she's got immense appeal to small town pockets where McCain might not have reached otherwise.

    10.) All the other prospects had serious problems. Picking Romney would have turned him into an even bigger hypocrite. The politicos should have noticed that by using Biden's attacks of Obama in ads, they were immediately writing off Romney as a possibility, lest they be opened to the same attacks. Ridge and Lieberman would severely upset an already unhappy base. Crist is annoyingly slick. Pawlenty wouldn't have been a good attack dog.

    By picking Palin he appeals to populists, the Christian Right, moderates, conservatives and libertarians to some degree all at the same time. It seems like a severe miscalculation to me to assume that she was picked because she's a woman - it's just one reason among many. I will continue to think it was a savvy move until she proves otherwise, which she has yet to do.

    All the bickering attempting to show why she shouldn't appeal to libertarians strikes me as strange given that she is notably more libertarian than any of the other three. And I sympathize with the values of the Left more than the Right!

  • robc||

    joe,

    Historically, such vice-presidents have worked primarily to advance the late president's agenda, rather than setting their own.

    Are you saying Vietnam wasnt part of Kennedy's agenda? I dont think he would have escalated like Johnson did. Either he would have, in which case Johnson followed Kennedy's agenda, which makes it a good example for you to use. If he wouldnt have, it defeats your premise that veeps worke on late prezes agenda. Either way, it seems to be the example to use.

  • robc||

    joe,

    My argument here, unlike yours, is wholly uninterested in my own opinion about different figures' political philosophies.

    what I said earlier:
    I dont claim to be someone who can claim objectivity in judging stuff like that, anyone who does claim it is a liar

  • ||

    robc,

    Kennedy was the first to send troops to Vietnam. I don't think he would have escalated like Johnson, either - I think he was smarter, and more willing to push back at the generals after they tried to start a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis - but Johnson's actions weren't some great departure from Kennedy's agenda. He was a Cold Warrior, and while he happened to be a realistic and hard-headed enough one to have probably ultimately decided against going all in, he would have done so (I suspect) out of pragmatism, not a different overall stance from Johnson.

    what I said earlier: OK. We're in agreement, then. I'm looking at other things, and you're looking at ideological affinity.

  • robc||

    joe,

    while he happened to be a realistic and hard-headed enough one to have probably ultimately decided against going all in, he would have done so (I suspect) out of pragmatism, not a different overall stance from Johnson.

    This was my point, I agree with it. Thats why I didnt understand you not using Vietnam as the example.

    Truman:WW2::Johnson::Vietnam

    Since Truman had less experience than LBJ and he didnt fuck up the war situation, like LBJ did, I think it helps validate my "experience sucks in a VEEP" point of view.

    I dont think that Johnson screwed up Vietnam is an ideological position. Using the Civil Rights Act instead of the obvious direct correlation shows ideological bias.

  • Djyrn||

    McCain has the most experience. We, each individually, as private citizens have none. We do have opinions and positions. Some of these are not supported by McCain. Should we trust McCain's experience over the positions we support?

  • ||

    robc,

    I wasn't trying to draw a direct correlation between Truman and Johnson.

    I picked the Civil Rights Act because Lord knows Johnson wouldn't have done that on his own. It demonstrates how much a VP who succeeds a dead president will mold himself to that president's ideological agenda.

    Once again, my point is about ideology, and why I make it low priority in judging VP picks.

  • robc||

    joe,

    My final point, like with Presidents, how well a Veep does after taking over, depends on how well their ideology meshes with mine. You said you prefer a president who matches you ideologically. Same here, for veeps too. None of the 9 have ever caused a complete disaster, so the whole "crisis" aspect seems to be overblown. Chester A Arthur had never been elected to anything, and the Canadians didnt invade during his term.

    Coolidge - good ideology - good president.
    Johnson - bad ideology - bad president.

    CAA came in and was supposed to be a Karl Rove lite, GOP party hack type president. Instead he was a maverick reformer. Huh, didnt see that coming. Guys without long records will surprise you.

  • MAX HATS||

    What is there for Libertarians to be excited about Palin? Is she for more individual freedom? Oh, hell no, she's a whacked out fundamentalist. Well then, is she for smaller government? She broke her small town government budget, raised taxes, hired a lobbying firm to procure federal earmarks and chaired Ted Stevens 527.

    But yeah, keep thinking the republican party is the answer. It sure is, if you want more government in the bedroom and on your phone lines, and a whole lot less accountability for runaway spending. How, uh, Libertarian.

  • Sara Palin: Small Government C||

    I'm not sure why no one is questioning the Guv's record on small government. We have already heard about her pork barrel politicking, but what about her record on the Alaska state budget? Seems more pressing for Reason readers.

    Alaska Operating Budget (in Millions USD)
    FY 2007 Authorized 5728.8
    FY 2008 Governor's Proposal 6223.1
    FY 2008 Authorized 6593.7
    Fy 2009 Governor's Proposal 6698.1
    Percent Increase 2007-2009 16.92%
    Average Annual Growth Rate 8.13%

    Anybody care to guess the average annual growth rate of the Wasilla town budget while she was mayor? 7% for a total increase of 63% over her time in office. That includes spending $15 million on a "sports complex" for a town of 6,500.

  • ||

    By picking Palin he appeals to populists, the Christian Right, moderates, conservatives and libertarians to some degree all at the same time. It seems like a severe miscalculation to me to assume that she was picked because she's a woman - it's just one reason among many.

    This is all true, but it does not mean that picking her was not pandering. Judging by the base's reaction, it seems to have worked.

  • ||

    I'm no Obama fan, but the guy was president of the Harvard Law review. If you think that signals intellectual inferiority, you truly don't know shit about fuck.

    Those are sharp, very hard-working folks, no doubt. Obama got in a couple of years after I graduated, but my impressions at the time were:

    (1) I didn't really care to spend every freaking second of my free time with that bunch of humorless, egomaniacal tools, and

    (2) They weren't going to take this white boy anyway; they were obviously on a major affirmative action kick that would require anyone without an ivy league undergrad degree to be a minority of some kind, so why waste my time?

    Still, there's no doubting it is the platinum-plated law school credential for lawyers, especially lawyer-academics like Obama.

  • ||

    Oh, hell no, she's a whacked out fundamentalist.

    How so? What church does she go to? How often?

    Being pro-life and being opposed to mandatory creationism in school hardly makes you a whacked-out fundamentalist.

    Good post @ 2:45. That's the kind of stuff that matters, not the poo-flinging name-calling.

  • Peggy McGilligan||

    Again, ever see a skater go down hard; legs akimbo, that look of disbelief. We're seeing it big-time from Sarah Palin's detractors. Bet you can't watch it just once: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX7X4FovYRA&NR=1 And how 'bout them Dems, they done yet: http://theseedsof9-11.com

  • robc||

    RC Dean,

    From what I have seen, I think her home church is Assembly of God and the one she attends in Juneau is nondenominational.

  • Elemenope||

    nondenominational:Christian::piss:real beer

  • MJ||

    "McCain, by all accounts, wanted either Sen. Joe Lieberman, who was Al Gore's 2000 running mate, or Tom Ridge, the former secretary of Homeland Security-each of whom has the national security props that Palin lacks."

    Would Chapman really prefer to have Lieberman or Ridge as a potential VP? On the basis of their political views?

    Lieberman would have been an out of the box choice, it would have also started a revolt in the GOP. It's one thing to be the Republican's favorite Democrat, it's quite another to have an ideological Democrat on most issues be the #2 on the GOP's national ticket. Outside of abortion, Ridge would be a fairly conventional pick, a run of the mill GOP pol without much national following but might help in Pennsylvania. McCain already pisses off the GOP base on his own, why does he need to anger them further with his VP?

  • ||

    Gov. Palin is certainly not a L(or l)ibertarian, but as a choice for a VP running mate for Republican McCain, she is a stoke of genius. Yeah, she is short on foreign affairs knowledge, but that can come quickly. Obama has no more foreign affairs knowledge than she and zero executive experience. Biden knows how to spell foreign, but has zero executive experience.

    Nick (@1:21 PM) got the analysis right.

  • Famous Mortimer||

    Obama? Marxism?

    And this place is suppose to be a bastion of reasonable discourse?

    What I see here are a bunch of financial conservatives who couldn't give a frog's fat ass about most of the other issues involved.

    They'd sooner vote for a party driven by the Christian right, and all that that entails, as long as they are promised some kind of tax incentive.

    This site is wonderful, but at times, the inordinate amount of paleo-libs present here can certainly make someone's stomach turn, and their mind melt.

    It really is like reading the simple minded rants of some standard right wing discussion forum.

  • ||

    "What is there for Libertarians to be excited about Palin? Is she for more individual freedom? Oh, hell no, she's a whacked out fundamentalist. Well then, is she for smaller government? She broke her small town government budget, raised taxes, hired a lobbying firm to procure federal earmarks and chaired Ted Stevens 527.

    But yeah, keep thinking the republican party is the answer. It sure is, if you want more government in the bedroom and on your phone lines, and a whole lot less accountability for runaway spending. How, uh, Libertarian."

    My thoughts exactly. Since when did libertarism stand for "limit individual rights all you want as long as you cut federal spending even a little bit"? We already have a term for that and it's 'right wing conservative'. Cheering for a disgusting fundamentalist hypocrite like Palin does not make the United States a freer country to live in - quite the contrary. Also, what the fuck is up with this "Obama is a Marxist!" -crap? I do not condone his big government ideals but calling him a Marxist tells of extreme ignorance and is thoroughly embarrassing.

  • ||

    Let us consider the following 3 statements: "McCain's central message all along has been twofold. The first is that he would keep us safe in a scary, hostile world. The second is that he would always do what is right for the country he loves, no matter what the political or personal cost." Are the two main problems with McCain and Obama that they both promise to protect us militarily and economically? McCain emphasizes his ability to keep Americans militarily safe. Obama emphasizes his ability to provide economic security for Americans. The Democrats and Republicans promise to protect us and to do what is morally correct. Should we fear moralists who promise to protect us? Do we agree with Ayn Rand, who suggested that ethical capitalism based upon reason is better than altruistic socialism based upon leftwing pseudoscience or religious morality? Do we agree with Ayn Rand that miracles, immortal souls, and supernatural entities are total nonsense? Do we agree with Ayn Rand in rejecting the welfare/warfare state that provides the altruism of the virtuous witch doctor, together with the warfare of the virtuous Attila? According to Oswald Spengler, Christianity is the grandmother of Bolshevism. Should libertarians fear people, like McCain and Obama, who believe in some combination of Christian miracles, fiscal deficits, socialistic promises, and militaristic interventions? Do we need leaders who promise smaller government and provide realistic programs for reducing the size of government?

  • Geotpf||

    Palin reinforces the base. But her fundiness hurts the middle. It's a pick of a man who knows he's going to lose and just doesn't want to get blown out-he wants to hold on to the deep red states at a minimum.

    Let me repeat that: McCain picked Palin because he wants to lose in a marginally close race as opposed to losing forty states. He didn't pick her because she will help him win, because she doesn't, and he won't. He's merely securing the red states with her pick-she probably hurts him in the purple ones, so he's written them off (and his chances of winning). He just wants to make sure the base turns out so he actually keeps the red states (which he still might not do-looks like he'll lose North Dakota, Virginia, and Montana at this point-and a Republican candidate can't win if he loses states like those).

  • Steve Verdon||

    So, it turns out, is Palin's. Windfall profits tax?



    What windfall profit tax. I'm no Palin supporter but the idea she favors a windfall profit tax is a complete myth. She did favor a severance tax, which is something else completely and have been around, constantly, for decades.

  • J.P.||

    I think the analysis is somewhat off. It's certainly nice that Sen McCain gets to add his own "excitement" to the race, but the selection of Sarah Palin isn't about women. It's about rural conservative Democratic males. With one pick, Sen. McCain thinks he has gotten a "twofer." It was fairly clear Gov. Palin would appeal to significant numbers of GOP-alienated, social and fiscal conservatives. Given her positions, she could bring many of them back into the fold and just plain excite many others. Base appeased - check.

    The "twofer" is the appeal to those rural conservative Democratic males, who feel miles away from the cultural space inhabited by Sen. Obama. When they look at Sen. Obama, they see a guy who sounds good, but "God, guns, cling, and Ivy League" is running through their head. When they look at Gov. Palin, they see a woman from a rural background -- far more genuine than Sen. Clinton's "I feel your pain" moments). Sarah Palin talks, eats, hunts, and fishes like them. She's the next door neighbor in "rural-any swing state" America. They think, "She's from my culture." It feels right. And, when those males look at Sarah Palin, Sen. McCain hopes they all feel like Tucker Carlson.

    Tucker Carlson drools on Sarah Palin.

    I think for every potential female supporter Sen. McCain gains, he loses one who is disgusted at the "blatant pandering. It's about the base and rural men. Peel off those those two demographics and some pretty benefical swing states suddenly feel within much better reach.

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

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