Republican Convention 2008

So Big Speeches Are a Qualification, Now?

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Let's be honest about what we saw: a woman who was thrust into the presidential race in a farce worthy of Preston Sturges, reciting a speech written by Matthew Scully, faking as hard as she could fake, and lying as fast as she could lie.

You can be certain that wherever he goes, and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man.

This is the John McCain who grumbled about how much he hates immigration restrictionists before caving and ceasing to support his own immigration bill, yes?

I… championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.

Says the woman who requested millions for her town and many more millions for her state.

I told the Congress "thanks, but no thanks," for that Bridge to Nowhere. If our state wanted a bridge, we'd build it ourselves.

Not even close to true.

For six months I've heard Republicans attack Barack Obama, on point, for having nothing to offer but a bunch of speeches. Tonight they're willing to overlook the falsified spin that got her this job, the blundering lack of vetting that sealed the deal, and the telling refusal of Palin to face questions from media tougher than People.

I guess this is the GOP coming to its sense on Obama. The idea that the country would reject a charasmatic, history-making fortysomething who makes great speeches wasn't working. So they looked for their own Obama, and they think they've found her, in the crudest sense.

NEXT: Poised and Confident=Clean and Articulate?

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  1. uh yeah, I don’t know Dave. Your petty attacks sound kind of desperate. I think you’re scared.

  2. actually, Dave’s attacks do sound really petty.

    After all, requesting money for a state that is statutorily obligated to forgo some its greatest resources is no crime.

  3. Scared of what? I don’t like being lied to, much less nodding and remarking on how effective and authentic-sounding the lies are.

  4. But Preston Sturges is so funny.

  5. “Scared of what? I don’t like being lied to, much less nodding and remarking on how effective and authentic-sounding the lies are.”

    Yup desperate.

    Woof

  6. “I don’t like being lied to”

    Then then why are you a suckling on the ass of politics when you could go out and get a real job?

  7. “when you could go out and get a real job?”

    That is a mighty big assumption, Granger.

  8. Even you little media guys are in the tank for the Dems.

    That was fucking pathetic Weigel. Why don’t you demand the OB/GYN records too ?

    It is all about winning.Why the plea that it is all so NOT FAIR ?

  9. I’m with Mistah Weigel on this one. I too don’t care for being lied to, whether it’s Palin or Obama or Clinton, all of whom are superb at stretching the truth as need be. I don’t see how it’s desperate to just say you don’t care for the woman’s behavior.

  10. SIV,

    You forgot that thing you do where you capitalize the last four letters in Democrats. That’s really going to catch on.

    I guess if pictures of W on his ranch got you excited than Palin will probably do it for you too.

  11. This post is so hyperbolic it could easily have been written by Andrew Sullivan.

    What is the sudden need to mention that a speechwriter wrote her speech? A speechwriter wrote Biden’s, O’bama’s and McCain’s speeches, too. Singling her out is partisan hackery of the worst kind.

    It’s not like Sarah Palin is the fist pol to selectively discuss her record or the first VP candidate to make the Presidential candidate sound like the next iteration of God descended. That is the game as it is played.

    She did the job she was handed tonight fairly effectively. Admittedly, her speech tonight says little about her abilities, but it is all we have to go on so far.

  12. Wow, when did this place fill up with Republicans? Dave’s criticizing Palin so he must be schilling for the Democrats!

    It’s us or them, right guys?

  13. It’s remarkable how similar Obama and Palin are. Lack of what most consider ‘experience.’ Political career launched at convention speech. Weird past affiliations. Weird pastors/church. Rallies the base. Young. etc.

    Dave isn’t desperate at all, and is only pointing out how quickly we sometimes fall for a charismatic speaker, and are willing to brush aside the inadequacies and failings. It’s amazing, almost conspiratorial (or at least overly political), that both parties found an empty-suit-but-good-speaker to put on the ticket in the same election.

  14. Slumpbuster,

    That is the game as it is played.

    Are you saying then that she is just another garden variety politician?

  15. Dave’s criticizing Palin so he must be schilling for the Democrats!

    To be fair, I could be tougher on Obama’s speeches. But Obama does more blurring of his record (community organizing=healing towns hurt by plant closings? um, okay) and less repetition of utter bunk that we know is bunk.

  16. Pretty damn good speech wasn’t it?

  17. Palin played well to the Republican base.
    She will continue to do so.

    As an independent moderate, she’s came across as a light weight conservative blowhard to me.

    Sorta a family friendly Ann Coulter.

    McCain needs the base. But he needs the middle too. Palin won’t help there, imo.

  18. Adamness,

    …how quickly we sometimes fall for a charismatic speaker…

    I completely agree.

  19. meh. She did ultimately tell the Bridge to Nowhere team to screw off. Kinda like Barr told the Big Government Republicans to screw off at some point.

    Sorry, but isn’t it valid when joe says that Biden is against the war? Isn’t it equally valid to say that Palin was against “The Bridge”?

  20. Dave,

    Your post is frenetic… too much coffee?

    Tossing shallow innuendo is dangerous for one’s reputation, i.e. your own.

    If Governor Palin’s statements are lies, as you allege so vaguely, then I expect you have loads of documentary evidence. Where is it?

  21. I wonder how the executive experience thing will play out. Given that Palin has more than McCain I am not sure they should be pushing it so hard.

    Obama would be smart to use this line:

    George W. Bush had 5 years of executive experience (more than Palin)…and look where that got us.

    Obama needs to play his lack of experience as a positive.

  22. Wow, what a bitter post. I really liked the part where Weigel says she’s a “cruder” version of Obama! Keeping it real!

  23. The Angry Optimist,

    Depends on whether one values making the right choice the first time, how often someone changes their mind on key topics, why they changed their minds, etc.

    I still do not see why people are so excited by her as the Veep choice.

  24. Sarah Palin sure comes across as real and authentic and sincere.McCain landed one hell of a saleslady. I predict the VP has a little more impact on the election this time.

  25. Adamness–good defense of Dave. However, he (at least that I’ve seen) has never made the same points about Obama or even had any criticism of Obama. He’s totally in the tank for him.

    You’ll notice he only posts polls when Obama’s moving up and many times cherrypicks the polls. A month or 2 ago there were 2 ridiculous polls from Newsweek and LAT that showed Obama up by 12-15, they were clear outliers. Dave trumpeted them. He’s made it his personal duty here to defend Obama against any smear….has he ever done that once for Palin or McCain?

    I can see being a libertarian and supporting Obama if you’re first priority is a dovish foreign policy…but you’d do it reluctantly. Obama is the most or one the most liberal nominees in my lifetime and is promising a huge expansion of government.

    This is clearly desperation for Dave. Perhaps instead of Reason he should write for The Progressive or The Nation.

  26. CN is right. This author seems to be losing it a bit. I mean if she’s the new face of the Christian right, I think that will be a terrific thing for the nation, whether I like all her views or not.

  27. McCain: I led a squadron
    Obama: I led a big campaign
    Palin: I led a state with a population 200,000 shy of Albuquerque’s Metro Area and almost half the size of NYC’s public school population.

  28. uh yeah, I don’t know Dave. Your petty attacks sound kind of desperate. I think you’re scared.

    Yeah, Dave. Your correcting of the record and telling the truth about some of Palin’s biggest lies is really petty. Why let facts ruin the pretty lady’s big night. I mean, who cares if she lies like a rug? Stop being so petty.

  29. actually, NM, in sheer numbers, which one of those three is bigger?

  30. Folks…I know Warren. He was joking.

  31. “Scared of what? I don’t like being lied to”

    Political commentator seems to be an odd career choice then.

  32. meh. She did ultimately tell the Bridge to Nowhere team to screw off.

    The earmark was removed in 2005, before she even became governor. The pork still went to Alaska. She just used it on something else. Quite the reformer.

  33. Seward,

    Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. I don’t credit her for that, but it is not fair to single her out for being more politician than the three men who also are running.

  34. The reporting of the “media vet” sounds more like opposition research than journalism. I hope the FEC looks into it real hard as an “in-kind” contribution to the DemocRATS.

  35. As far as I’m concerned she lost all credibility by stating (on video btw) that the Iraq war was a “task assigned by god”. Well, that and trying banning books she deems “offensive”.

  36. “But Obama does more blurring of his record (community organizing=healing towns hurt by plant closings? um, okay) and less repetition of utter bunk that we know is bunk.”

    Weigle logic:

    Bunk, bad. Blurring, tolerable.

  37. Slumpbuster,

    Sure, I agree. Still, she was the one giving the speech tonight.

  38. Half-truths still more true than bald-faced lies, film at 11.

  39. “I hope the FEC looks into it real hard as an “in-kind” contribution to the DemocRATS.”

    And he’s back! Classic SIV, playing the hits.

  40. Weigel is using slight of hand here. He doesn’t want you discussing just how big a dump Rudy left in Obama’s mouth this evening.

  41. But Obama does more blurring of his record (community organizing=healing towns hurt by plant closings? um, okay) and less repetition of utter bunk that we know is bunk.

    Wait, “community organizing” as healing isn’t utter bunk?

    Eh, she knocked off an incumbent governor in a primary by riding, among other things, the anti-earmark, anti-Bridge to Nowhere wave. In the end, she did help kill the project, and that does make a difference. “Utter bunk” is quite strong. “Not even close to true?” How? “Taking credit for noticing a trend and getting in front,” sure. In any case, I’d prefer that she run on it, because those sorts of political promises do have a way of being somewhat binding.

    Yes, Alaska still gets more from the federal government than it pays in taxes (though several things about the state would guarantee that that would happen anyway.) Is it her fault if her lieutenant governor barely falls short against Rep. Don Young? It doesn’t appear to be, but it might just be Dr. Rep. Ron Paul’s fault.

    This is the John McCain who grumbled about how much he hates immigration restrictionists before caving and ceasing to support his own immigration bill, yes?

    And he’s still grumbling about it, as your link shows. But the way he can be so delightfully bad at pandering when he doesn’t really agree with it can be endearing. “Alright, this is the position that the majority of people apparently want, you deluded bigots. Fine.” Given that I both agree in expanded immigration and believe that my position is wildly unpopular, and believe that politicians do have to be elected, transparent pandering of that nature where it’s obvious what he really thinks is by far the closest that I think a politician can come to a combination of both honesty and agreeing with me. “John McCain: When he’s pandering and doesn’t believe what he’s saying, at least it’s pretty obvious.”

    But hey, perhaps I should just join others in hoping that Sen. Obama has just been biding his time, voting exactly the wrong way on trade, ag subsidies, ethanol, the minimum wage, the “Patriot Corporation Act” of his with Sen. Sherrod Brown, the “Free Employee Choice Act”/ card check act, and everything else, but he doesn’t really mean it? But rather than pick a moderate on economic issues, he picks a guy whose “moderate” bona fides include bragging about writing the Patriot Act 6 years before it was adopted (“John Ashcroft sent up my bill” from 1995) and being a huge drug warrior.

    Or of course I could go with the Libertarian candidate who also had his own conversion after leaving Congress.

  42. Dear Reason,

    Buy a new server.

  43. I am a thoroughly pro-Obama libertarian, in that I really want to see him win in November (though I’ll probably vote for Barr). It has nothing to do with supporting any of the man’s policies. But after the last eight years — the spending, the wars, the ridiculous ban on online poker, McCain-Feingold, the contempt shown for Ron Paul by the Republican establishment — I’ve simply developed an overpowering loathing for the Republican party. Yes, yes, a pox on both of their houses. But if I had my druthers, it would be chickenpox for the useless Democrats, and smallpox for the Republicans.

  44. Huck,

    Are there really so many pro-Obama articles on Reason? I don’t see many, rather, it’s more anti-McCain. There wasn’t anything wrong, or more importantly, inaccurate with Dave’s post, and I’m bewildered by the sudden outpouring of defense for John McCain, the most anti-liberty candidate in a long time.

    Yes, Palin had a good, charismatic, but vague speech tonight that was nothing more than political maneuvering. Falling for Palin over this is no different than liberals falling for Obama in 2004.

  45. Excellent parody anonymous coward !

  46. The Angry Optimist | September 4, 2008, 12:55am | #
    actually, NM, in sheer numbers, which one of those three is bigger?

    McCain’s squadron about 1,000 men
    Obama’s campaign, like 2,500
    Alaska has about 670,000

    Do you have a point?

  47. But Obama does more blurring of his record (community organizing=healing towns hurt by plant closings? um, okay) and less repetition of utter bunk that we know is bunk.

    Bravo Dave, way to cut through the crap!

    Seriously, these last couple weeks the staff at Reason have been terrible advocates for libertarianism. You guys have been going way too easy on Obama, going after McCain non-stop (which is actually good)… but you’ve also been completely unenthusiastic about Barr! Face it, he’s the only chance that real libertarians have in this race, and I have no idea why you guys keep ignoring him.

    Start attacking Obama, its not like you guys have anything to lose except the image of being a bunch of ivory tower pussies. It’s okay to be a “bad boy”, christ man its the image that Gillespie fosters.

  48. I have no idea why you guys keep ignoring him.

    Because he’s ignoring us. Barr isn’t running for the presidency under the Libertarian Party, he’s running for president as a sort-of-libertarianish-Republican using the Libertarian Party.

    And I say that as someone who supported his nomination and supported him until a few weeks ago, when he tried to sue Rick Warren’s church, a private organization, to get into that silly forum.

  49. I completely agree that the speech had very little substance and was full of distortions, just like an Obama speech.

    However, I think her delivery was just as good as Obama’s.

    And yeah, Weigel.
    You have been taking a bit easy on Obama.
    Now we have Obama/Biden.
    So I expect to hear more.

  50. Barr may be the only chance of real libertarians, but he certainly is not the only real chance of libertarians. There is a higher probability of a McCain heart attack and a Palin presidency than one of Barr getting elected. We have a better chance of a Ron Paul getting appointed secretary of State than a Barr presidency. We have a better chance of Lindsey Lohan turning Amish….

  51. David,

    Nevermind the bollocks. You bring up excellent points. Your critics want to like Palin too much to be objective. She may not even be close to being a libertarian. She may even be a secessionist theocrat.

    Like Obama, people seem to want to project their own beliefs and values onto her. Nevertheless, Republicans have lost all of their credibility on libertarian ideals and their biggest sell out is still at the top of the ticket. This is not about his POW record or who he trots out as his VP nominee. What the hell does he want to do as president that has not been filtered through his handlers?

  52. There doesn’t seem to be much of a philosophy about this election floating around REASON. It just seems to be “I hate McCain and I don’t want him to be President.” I guess that shouldn’t be surprising but I can’t really say that it seems reasonable.

  53. Let’s be honest about what we saw: a woman who was thrust into the presidential race in a farce worthy of Preston Sturges, reciting a speech written by Matthew Scully, faking as hard as she could fake, and lying as fast as she could lie.

    Wow, that’s quite a opening statement. Nice to see David as found time in between blogging about his contempt for ridicules Obama rumors pulled from obscure right wing websites to point out that Matthew Scully wrote Palin’s speech.

    By the way, did Obama ever vette Rev. Wright?

  54. For six months I’ve heard Republicans attack Barack Obama, on point, for having nothing to offer but a bunch of speeches.

    Uh so you choose to attack Pulin for it but let Obama get a pass?

    Seriously that is fucked up Weigel.

  55. You bring up excellent points. Your critics want to like Palin too much to be objective. She may not even be close to being a libertarian. She may even be a secessionist theocrat.

    Criticism of Palin is fine but Weigel choose to give a complete pass on Obama for nearly a year and only wrote about crazy Obama rumors rather then point out how his speeches were light on policy and heavy on stretches of truth.

    I could go to Kos if i wanted to read lefty weighted coverage.

  56. I’ll second that, Anonymous Coward. Some things are tolerable, some aren’t. Some forgivable, some not. The GOP can rot in a cold stinking grave.

  57. Are there really so many pro-Obama articles on Reason? I don’t see many, rather, it’s more anti-McCain.

    It is the lack of anti-Obama articles. Obviously Weigel can attack….the above article proves it.

    But why put the mitts for only Obama and use the brass knuckles for McCain?

  58. That is a mighty big assumption, Granger.

    Randall wins the thread. Well done.

    -jcr

  59. But why put the mitts for only Obama and use the brass knuckles for McCain?

    Probably because taking a shot at Obama would kill his social life. DC’s a company town.

    -jcr

  60. To be fair, I could be tougher on Obama’s speeches.

    To be fair, I don’t think anyone paying attention expects you to be at this point.

  61. For six months I’ve heard Republicans attack Barack Obama, on point, for having nothing to offer but a bunch of speeches.

    Uh so you choose to attack Pulin (sic) for it but let Obama get a pass?

    This is the same missed point everyone’s been making. The point is not whether the line of attack is “right” or not. The point is that, for the eleventy-trillionth time since 2000, the Republicans aren’t consistent on their own goddamn line of reasoning. They are the ones who say that Obama had nothing to offer but speeches, while the Democrats pointed to this Senate experience (state/federal) or that book writing experience or campaign running or WTF ever, they are the ones who claim that Obama is nothing but words and no substance, and then they offer up a candidate from the ends of the earth with no record whose record in 72 holiday-weekend hours of press digging contradicts every word out of her mouth. She and the entire GOP are not even internally consistent, and you don’t have to be in the tank for Obama to point that out.

  62. And why are we comparing Obama’s speeches (presidential candidate) to Palin’s (vice-presidential candidate). They aren’t even trying to get the same job and since when is it the vice presidential candidate’s job to provide the concrete ideas and be anything more than an attack dog?

    If McCain gives a speech empty of specifics, then THAT’s worth attacking.

    McCain is, after all, the one running against Obama. That even the anti-libertarian Dave W. has forgotten this might have been the point of Palin’s selection all along. Mission Accomplished.

  63. “For six months I’ve heard Republicans attack Barack Obama, on point, for having nothing to offer but a bunch of speeches”

    The difference is, she is running for vice president while he is on the top of the Dem ticket.

    And he’s not one iota more qualified than she is.

  64. Oh yeah, the paleo-cosmo slap fight is BACK.

    Dave, this post reads like it was written by someone who occasionally rides public transit, and frequently uses deodorant.

  65. Dave, this post reads like it was written by someone who occasionally rides public transit, and frequently uses deodorant.

    It think it reads like it was written by someone who goes to the grocery store and buys Fiji apples instead of McIntosh.

  66. big speeches seem to be all that Obama does, so…..

  67. I hear you stephen, but it’s also got that sort of “stuff besides iceberg lettuce in a salad” vibe to it as well, don’t you think?

  68. Dave, do exactly as posters here tell you and have no opinion of your own. Do you hear me? I ORDER YOU!

  69. Mr. Wiggles is obviously in a panic now that the Messiah he has been — not very secretly — pulling for, may have some serious competition. The almost uniform negative reaction across the Reason commentariat echoes that of many of the sexist “wingtip” conservatives like Brookhiser, Krauthammer, Brooks and the Powerline guys. You’re in really good company.

  70. panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism panic sexism

  71. So we really are going to play the experience card over and over? I think we need to look at policies, but I keep getting laughed at when I say that. Furthermore, we need to look at the policies relative to the two options, not on an absolute level.

    Obama’s experience or speeches aren’t my contention, so neither is your assertion of Palin’s experience or speech-making skills.

    What are their proposed policies and track records? Personally, I was incredibly impressed when she sold the jet and fired the chef. I love that. And Mrs. Obama is frustrated that her young girls won’t get horseback riding lessons if Barack is in office. Sad.

  72. Milena,

    Here’s a place to start.

    The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act
    Introduced by Sen. John McCain in May 2005, and cosponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy. Barack Obama added three amendments to this bill.

    While the bill was never voted on in the Senate, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Acts of 2006 and 2007, respectively, drew heavily upon the wording of this bill.

    The Lugar-Obama Cooperative Threat Reduction.
    Introduced by Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Dick Lugar and Sen. Tom Coburn.

    First introduced in November 2005 and enacted in 2007, this bill expanded upon the successful Nunn-Lugar threat reduction, which helped secure weapons of mass destruction and related infrastructure in former Soviet Union states.

    Lugar-Obama expanded this nonproliferation program to conventional weapons — including shoulder-fired rockets and land mines.

    Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006
    This act of Congress, introduced by Senators Obama and Coburn, required the full disclosure of all entities or organizations receiving federal funds in FY2007.

    Despite a “secret hold” on this bill by Senators Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd, the act passed into law and was signed by President Bush. The act had 43 cosponsors, including John McCain.

    The act created a Web site, which provides citizens with valuable information about government-funded programs.

    Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act

    This law helped specify US policy toward the Congo, and states that the US should work with other donor nations to increase international contributions to the African nation.

    The bill marked the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor. Following this legislation’s passage, Obama toured Africa, traveling to South Africa, Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Chad. He spoke forcefully against ethnic rivalries and political corruption in Kenya.

    Honest Leadership and Open Government Act
    In the first month of the 110th Congress, Obama worked with Sen. Russ Feingold to pass this law, which amends and strengthens the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995.

    Specificially, the changes made by Obama and Feingold requires public disclosure of lobbying activity and funding, places more restrictions on gifts for members of Congress and their staff, and provides for mandatory disclosure of earmarks in expenditure bills.

    Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act

    Following the Republican-sponsored voter intimidation tactics seen in mostly black counties in Maryland during the 2006 midterm elections, Obama worked with Sen. Chuck Schumer to introduce this bill.

    The bill has been referred to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Obama said of the bill, “This legislation would ensure that for the first time, these incidents are fully investigated and that those found guilty are punished.”

    The Obama-McCain Climate Change Reduction Bill

    The Obama-McCain bill, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., would cut emissions by two-thirds by 2050.

    Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007

    Introduced by Obama, this binding act would stop the planned troop increase of 21,500 in Iraq, and would also begin a phased redeployment of troops from Iraq with the goal of removing all combat forces by March 31, 2008.

    Amendments to the 2008 Defense Authorization Bill

    Obama worked with Sen. Kit Bond to limit, through this bill, the Pentagon’s use of personality disorder discharges in the FY 2008 Defense Authorization bill.

    This provision would add additional safeguards to discharge procedures and require a thorough review by the Government Accountability Office. This followed news reports that the Pentagon inappropriately used these procedures to discharge service members with service-connected psychological injuries.

    The Comprehensive Nuclear Threat Reduction provision

    Working with Sen. Hagel and Rep. Adam Schiff, Obama authored this provision, which would require the president to develop a comprehensive plan for ensuring that all nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material at vulnerable sites around the world are secure by 2012 from the threats that terrorists have shown they can pose.

    That doesn’t even get into his accomplishments in the Illinois Senate, such as the bill requiring the videotaping of confessions and interrogations in homicide cases – remember the death row scandals in Illinois?

  73. Copied and pasted propaganda from a candidate’s own website don’t really provide for an objective argument that can be taken seriously or believed.

  74. I basically agree with Milena. I don’t like focus on “experience,” which normally means ‘how ingrained into the washington machine are you’. If it were up to me, every candidate for president would be a mayor or governor who could come in to Washington and say “What the hell is going on here?” instead of “I know how the system works.”

  75. Mr Weigel,
    lI don’t like being lied to

    Nobody does. You know how to tell if a politician is lying? They’re talking.

    Sarah Palin was a politician giving a speech. So yeah, lies. But as far as ‘candidate on the campaign trail’ lies go, hers were rather mild. Not anywhere near as flagrant and outrageous as you make them out to be.

    1. Changing positions is not the same as being two faced.
    2. As a hypocrite on earmarks and corruption, her record includes genuine reform to end abuse. That’s more than can be said about… everyone else.
    3. “Thanks but no thanks” Not even close? Come on Dave, I think it’s close.

    Speaking of being lied to, I’m surprised to hear you exclaim that you are “shocked shocked” to hear a politician ‘revise and extend’ her record. This is made even starker when set against the backdrop of your Obama coverage.

  76. “And Mrs. Obama is frustrated that her young girls won’t get horseback riding lessons if Barack is in office. Sad.”

    Whay??? They can’t get an Escalade ride to Warrenton???

  77. What a strange post. Dave, I must agree that it seems a little harsh, what with Obama being, if anything, worse. Palin has done something, at least, and has legitimate credentials as a reformer. Obama? Well, he has been running for president. The fact that she, too, is a politician and has made compromises that offend us, hasn’t always behaved consistently, and employs speechwriters (??) just shows that we don’t generally elect our best and brightest to any office. I won’t defend her spinning of facts any more that I defend anyone else’s, but they all seem to think we should be lied to.

    Palin’s too paleo for my tastes, which is where I think she’s really vulnerable, but I think her accessibility and apparent principles set her off from the two experienced candidates in the race, and I think she’s more interesting and impressive than Obama. All he’s ever done is make some good speeches.

  78. charasmatic, history-making fortysomething who makes reads great speeches

    charasmatic?

  79. Charasmatic. Could mean the conveying a sense of lake-covering algae or maybe the exuding of character.

  80. heh.

    This post and the responses really just makes it clear to me that when it comes to politics, everyone ends up losing their fucking mind and any and all hope for objective analysis.

    Accentuate the failures and extremes of the other side, promote and play up the positives of your side, and repeat.

  81. If there needs to be a liberal voice at reason, coul you guys maybe trade Weigel for Greenwald?

  82. stephen the goldberger,

    The fact that so many view politics as a competitive sport rather than the process of picking our overlords is why we have such poor candidates and such bad government.

  83. 3. “Thanks but no thanks” Not even close? Come on Dave, I think it’s close.

    I would say the fact that she kept the money but didn’t build the bridge makes “not even close” a fair assessment of this claim.

    “Thanks for the money, we’ll use it for something else” is not the same as “No thanks.”

  84. Raphael | September 4, 2008, 9:38am | #

    Copied and pasted propaganda from a candidate’s own website don’t really provide for an objective argument that can be taken seriously or believed.

    Then get off your ass, you lazy p.o.s., and google the bills. They were either written and passed as described, or they weren’t.

    You can use The Google better than your candidate I hope.

  85. All he’s ever done is make some good speeches.

    It’s astounding how adverse this line of bullshit is to evidence.

  86. Not even close to true.

    Actually, it is true, in the sense that she did actually say that.

    Of course, she had to reverse her earlier position to do so, but still . . . .

    PL pretty much nails it for me.

  87. joe,

    What’s astounding is that you’re spending so much credibility trying to make a lightweight into something he isn’t. The Democrats have a number of candidates who appear qualified, but, for some reason, decided to borrow a page from the GOP handbook (GWB edition) and go for someone who obviously didn’t belong in office. Rather than defend someone who isn’t defensible, I’d be bitching to people within the party. Neither Obama nor Clinton nor Edwards should’ve had a hope of getting nominated. Period.

    McCain shouldn’t be the nominee, either, you Republican partisans. Nor should Barr, you Libertarian wackos.

    I think I’m growing tired of this campaign.

  88. You can keep saying that, Pro Libertate. In the face of the rather long list of significant and meaningful pieces of legislation, you can keep repeating your assertion.

    I have actual, you know, facts and evidence and stuff. And you have your feelings.

  89. Barack Obama has a list of major legislative initiatives that take two screens worth of scrolling to get through, and Sarah Palin has a speech she gave in 2008.

  90. joe,

    My feelings have nothing to do with it. By the logic you’re using, Obama should quit now and apologize to McCain for daring to run against him. If you want to argue that Obama has inherent qualifications that have nothing to do with experience, fine. But the more you try to make his limited time in office significant, the more you highlight his insignificance.

    In any case, experience to me is more about us getting an opportunity to observe the candidate in action. Obama and Palin both fail in that regard. McCain and Biden don’t fail in the time served, but they do fail in what they did during that time. As cynical as I can be about politics, I’m absolutely flabbergasted that we have the candidates we have today.

    Be ashamed, America. Be very ashamed.

  91. I have actual, you know, facts and evidence and stuff. And you have your feelings.

    Well done, joe. You insult a guy who is always, always civil to you. You really are socially retarded, aren’t you. Full Retard.

    1. It’s OK, Epi. joe will soon run away and never return, becuse defending Obama’s incompetence is a task too big for a soul even as liberal as his.

  92. By the logic you’re using, Obama should quit now and apologize to McCain for daring to run against him.

    Nope.

    I’m not making a case about experience. I’m refuting one. You threw out the charge that Obama has a think resume and no accomplishment, and I disproved that charge.

    The positive case for Obama is about judgement, change, and issues.

    Episiarch, I’ll block out some time to take social advice from you just as soon as I’m done listening to this Gloria Steinham speech about applying make-up.

  93. Let’s not forget too that president is an executive position, not a legislative one. That doesn’t mean that experience in Congress means nothing, but it does mean that only one of the four has any executive experience, as limited as it may be.

    And, while I’m thinking about the various overblown claims coming from both sides, the foreign policy crap is just that–we’re 0 for 4 in that regard. It’s a totally different issue to be on a committee that oversees some aspect of foreign policy than to actually engage in it. Ideally, a Sec. of Stateship should be on the properly prepared candidate’s resume, along with a governorship and a stint in Congress. Maybe the Romans had the right idea when they required candidates for the consulship to hold other magistracies first.

  94. Perhaps, Episiarch, your confusion about my behavior stems from the fact that the internet is not MY primary social outlet.

  95. Perhaps, Episiarch, your confusion about my behavior stems from the fact that the internet is not MY primary social outlet.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  96. Well, I don’t see his lack of experience refuted at all. I already knew he’d been in the Senate for half a term. If you want to say that he’s got qualities that you want in a president, that’s fine. I don’t see those myself and think you’re projecting a bit, but that’s a judgment call. Maybe he’s secretly George Washington–who knows?

    I will confess one thing. If some complete tyro ran as a true blue libertarian, I’d take the gamble and vote for him. That’s an easier risk to take these days, because libertarian values don’t even get much lip service, much less actually implementation, but it would still be a gamble.

  97. I think I’m growing tired of this campaign.

    Good news, P L! Only two months to go; of course, the recriminations and elbow-throwing as the candidates begin ramping up Campaign 2012 will be in full swing by Christmas.

    What we should do is put the losers to the sword, as part of the inauguration festivities; at least then I could get some honest enjoyment out of this shit.

  98. That doesn’t mean that experience in Congress means nothing, but it does mean that only one of the four has any executive experience, as limited as it may be.

    Executive experience + no foreign policy experience.

    Foreign policy experience + no executive experience.

    That, by itself, looks like a wash.

    Next, is the consideration of the amount of experience. Obama has been a Senator twice as long as Palin has been a governor.

    Next, look at accomplishments. Obama’s are right there to see. Palin sold the governor’s plane, as I understand. And signed a proclamation about jury nullification. Oh, she rescinded some oil leases, and got more payments out of the oil companies. OK. Let’s put that up with, say, expanding Nunn-Lugar and setting a timetable to withdraw from Iraq.

    But by all means, if there is a record of Palin having meaningful accomplishments in office, like I just posted for Obama, I’d love to see it.

  99. Well, I don’t see his lack of experience refuted at all. I already knew he’d been in the Senate for half a term.

    And apparently, you didn’t realize that he’d sponsored and written a considerable list of significant legislative initiatives, or else you wouldn’t have written, All he’s ever done is make some good speeches.

  100. Here’s another modest proposal; we should require any sitting Legislator to resign its seat to run for another office.

  101. Hmmm. I don’t know about Episiarch, but for me, Hit & Run and Urkobold are a way for me not to go insane at work. Contracts and my other legal duties rob my soul, like a ringwraith.

    joe, I still think you should avoid the Palin-Obama experience comparisons. I honestly believe that was the primary reason she was selected, to rope-a-dope the other side into fighting that precise fight. No matter how you parse it, they have comparable backgrounds, whether you give her a nod for being a governor or give him one for being in Washington longer. Either way, they’re both weak, but only one has the arrogance to think that thin background is enough to run for president on. Compare Obama with Warner, who is going to add Senator to his experience as governor.

    As for legislation he’s been associated with, yeah, so what? Like I said, I knew he’d been in the Senate for three years. Senators are going to co-sponsor bills, make speeches, throw in earmarks, etc. His record is not at all remarkable, and he hasn’t been the prime mover behind any major legislation. Fluffy and fluffier.

    P Brooks,

    I’d like to use Thunderdome for this race. I suspect that Palin would win that, with her crazy Alaskan ways, but the proof is in the actual dirty infighting, not what’s on paper.

    And yes, I don’t like sitting anybody running for office–whether they hold a state or federal position.

  102. No matter how you parse it, they have comparable backgrounds

    Evidence?

    Back-up?

    Proof?

    Support?

    What has she ever done?

    joe, I still think you should avoid the Palin-Obama experience comparisons. If you’ll notice, I’ve never brought the issue up. I’ve just smacked it down when others have brought it up.

    Of course the Democrats aren’t going to push the experience argument. They’ve just got a whole lotta ammunition now for when the Republicans bring it up.

  103. joe,

    Very well, I concede to your amazingly compelling argument that Obama is substantially more experienced and qualified for office than Sarah Palin. Therefore, I should vote for McCain, who has vastly more experience than either.

    Like I said, it’s a loser’s path to compare your presidential candidate to their VP candidate. Besides, when Obama replaces Biden with Takei, none of this will matter.

  104. PL, if you weren’t hiding behind your computer I’d punch you in the fucking mouth, pussy. Now kindly fuck off, child.

  105. Okay, who is trying to incite violence here? I know that wasn’t joe.

  106. Confess!

  107. Therefore, I should vote for McCain, who has vastly more experience than either.

    If experience is your only criteria, you probably should.

    For me, it’s more a matter of clearing a bar of minimal qualification, and beyond that, a tie-breaker.

  108. It’s Fluffy, obviously.

  109. Very well, then I’ll continue to prepare to vote for Barr with lukewarm support, and you continue to support Obama.

    Shame on you Fluffy or other joe-substitute. joe would never risk his taint by threatening an employee of the Urkobold.

  110. Meanwhile, the sitting Vice President is demonstrating the subtle wisdom gained from years of foreign policy experience by whacking the hornets’ nest which is the former Soviet Union with a stick.

    Take your Beltway experience and stick it up yer ass.

  111. P Brooks,

    What did Cheney do? I heard on NPR this morning that he made a relatively mild criticism of Russia while in Georgia. Did he say something worse? Of course, even being there is potentially an issue.

    Maybe Europe should start doing this stuff itself. It’s hard to see a direct American interest in further engaging the Sovi–I mean Russia.

  112. It’s possible(!) I am predisposed to assume the worst from those clowns in the White House, but what I heard on the BBC News this morning sounded like Cheney was in Georgia, pledging solidiarity (and money for rebuilding, and quite possibly more arms deals) and generally giving Putin the big “Fuck you”.

    Of course, we could look on the bright side: maybe Cheney has offered hiumself up as a human shield.

  113. joe would never risk his taint by threatening an employee of the Urkobold.

    URKOBOLD PH’TANG!!!

  114. Russia presents us with a major quandary right now. If we totally back down, then we definitely will encourage more fun and games. On the other hand, if we act all aggressive and threatening, the ascendant nationalists will just use that to justify further wackery.

    I think Europe should take the lead in developing alternative pipelines and tell Russia to piss off until it can behave. One big problem for Russia is that high-priced oil will not carry them forever. They are still a huge mess and are a one-trick pony. Take away the oil, and things will get really bad, really quickly. If the leadership weren’t so bad, they see the advantages to liberalizing their government and their economy, if for no other reason than to diversify things.

  115. “Barack Obama has a list of major legislative initiatives that take two screens worth of scrolling to get through, and Sarah Palin has a speech she gave in 2008.”

    Big win there.

  116. I confess, I have a lot of scorn about legislators and their “accomplishments” from my own brief stint in DC. Co-sponsorships mean little, especially if the real weight is borne by the senior member, and it’s rare that a legislator actually has much to do with the actual drafting (or reading) of bills. Obama has never been viewed as a major player in the Senate. Part of that may be due to him being a presidential pretender from Day One in 2005, but that doesn’t change the facts.

    Of course, this same criticism could be leveled at the other Senators in the race. However, McCain and Biden both have been quite influential, regardless of the actual legislation they’ve been associated with.

  117. It comes from him being a freshman Senator, not because hes a lightweight. Freshman Senators rarely get big bills through, especially if they were in the minority for half the time and running for President the other half.

  118. BDB,

    Shouldn’t he have to prove that he’s ready for prime time? I mean, why should I rely on his assurances that he is?

    As I mentioned somewhere, maybe here, I’m more impressed by Warner’s path to the White House–governor, Senator (probably), and so on. If he runs at the right time after all of that, he should be a formidable candidate for the Democrats.

  119. The only part of the Palin speech that matters is when she looked at the camera and said that Obama is going to “raise your taxes.” That identifies her only audience, the richest 5% of Americans. Everyone else can go fuck themselves with a barracuda.

  120. Looks like The Corner sent its troopers over here. Palin is a creationism-supporting, book-banning theocrat–as far from libertarianism as Joe Lieberman.

  121. “It comes from him being a freshman Senator, not because hes a lightweight. Freshman Senators rarely get big bills through, especially if they were in the minority for half the time and running for President the other half.”

    I wonder how many high schools elect a freshman for senior class president?

  122. The truly laughable aspect of the Palinoscopy is that it’s being done to forward the fiction that a Senator who’s been in D.C. for 26 years without showing any leadership whatsoever or making the slightest bit of difference is about to become the New Sheriff in Town and turn everything upside down, even though Congress will be controlled by the other party.

  123. “A speechwriter wrote Biden’s, O’bama’s and McCain’s speeches, too.”

    Sorry, Obama writes all of his own speeches. Since you didn’t know that, I assume you know little else about him.

    “McCain’s squadron about 1,000 men
    Obama’s campaign, like 2,500
    Alaska has about 670,000”

    Sorry, Sarah Palin did not manage every citizen in Alaska. Her staff was 53 people. The producer of the TV show I work for is responsible for a few hundred.

    So let’s revise:

    McCain’s squadron: about 1,000 men
    Obama’s campaign: 2,500+
    Obama’s community organizing: Thousands+++
    Palin: 53

    Hell, your average Wal-Mart manager has more than 53 people on staff, and operates a business that rakes-in millions more than the budget of Alaska.

  124. I must be taking crazy pills.

  125. I thought she might try to move into Obama’s territory and be inspiring but she went for the usual right wing claptrap like Pat Buchanan did in ’92, mean and spiteful trying to drag us into another culture war.

    Same old crap from a has-been party.

  126. Preston Sturges! Beautiful and spot on.

    The Queen of Alaska is laughable.

  127. Pro L-

    Evan Bayh tried that and it didn’t get him much.

    I think Obama realized he has to strike when the iron is hot if you’re a Senator and want the Presidency. Otherwise you kind of end up as, well, Joe Biden. The Senate is where smart people go to die if they stay there too long.

  128. Here’s my question: Why should I vote for Obama? He’s given me no tangible reason. For many, the reason is that he’s the Democratic nominee or that he meets some abstract symbolic value that I’m admittedly incapable of understanding. However, as much as the conventional wisdom says the opposite, I see this as McCain’s to lose. All Obama really represents is not-McCain. I don’t think that’s enough. McCain may be a loose cannon, but he’s one without much hope of Congressional support if he runs too far afield.

  129. Pro L, you really think Congressional Democrats will stand up to McCain anymore than they stood up to Bush?

    Actually, my ideal federal government is Democratic President and Republican Congress (they both seem to show their better sides in those respective roles) but I’m not sure how to bring that about.

  130. Make no mistake about it–with McCain you get Democratic domestic policies from the Congress while getting a Bush foreign policy on steroids. He will cave into the Democrats (probably up to and including socialized health care) in exchange for them giving him a blank check on foreign policy. Bet on it.

  131. No, not really. Where I think he might get resistance is if he goes cowboy on foreign policy (which I think is actually highly unlikely, despite his loose lips). My concern is that he’s socialistic enough to make compromises that I find unacceptable on domestic issues. However, Obama and a Democratic Congress would certainly be worse. McCain would at least think veto occasionally.

    Maybe Barr will save us all? Just kidding, we’re friggin’ doomed.

  132. Jeebus, this is where all the wingnut trolls hide during daylight.

  133. Pro L Obama is bad but a degree or two better than McCain.

    I’ll take lethal injection when the alternative is the electric chair, how about you?

  134. BTW it really sucks for me because I’d freaking love to vote for Barr but now Virginia has become a swing state so I actually have to make a decision if its still close in October. 🙁

  135. McCain is loony, but he plays around in the middle, usually. Obama is largely a mysterious cipher. Maybe he won’t suck. Maybe.

    Babar is our only hope. Too bad for us.

  136. Pro L my calculus tells me that Obama won’t be very far left because anything he does will ALREADY be seen as radical by the very fact hes black. He will be forced to be centrist.

    That’s just my thought on the matter. YMMV.

  137. I wish Bob Barr would run for Georgia Senate on the Libertarian ticket. He’d have a good shot of winning, from what I understand he has a lot of goodwill in the state.

  138. What did Cheney do? I heard on NPR this morning that he made a relatively mild criticism of Russia while in Georgia. Did he say something worse?

    He said that Georgia will be part of NATO, full stop.

    Sorry, Sarah Palin did not manage every citizen in Alaska. Her staff was 53 people.

    I am pretty sure the government of Alaska has more than 53 people in it. Technically, if your number is correct and there are 53 people directly under Palin who oversee others, she oversees them as well. I believe the number is several thousand by the time you are done.

    In other words she has more executive experience than McCain, Obama, or Biden…but significantly less than GWB had when he became president.

    Hell, your average Wal-Mart manager has more than 53 people on staff, and operates a business that rakes-in millions more than the budget of Alaska.

    You are under the impression that the average Wal-Mart manager operates a business that rakes in more than 8 Billion a year?

  139. Well, “Senator from Georgia” I should say.

  140. Jon Stewart had the bestest clip ever of Rove trashing Tim Kaine as a potential running mate for Obama because of his weak resume (mayor of Richmond, such a pitifully small city) and calling ti a completely political choice, and then praising Palin for the same, if not worse, resume, calling her totally qualified.

    Hypocrites, all of them!

  141. Richmond is about as big as the largest city in Alaska.

    The metro area, on a crowded holiday weekend, has more people than the whole state of Alaska.

  142. Neu Mejican,

    Is that anything new? I’m not denying that the NATO expansion is potentially a problem, but it’s been going on for a while. It’s hard not to remember how awfully the Soviets treated all of those client states, so I’m divided a bit on this issue. Georgia isn’t Ukraine, Poland, or the Czech Republic, of course.

  143. Isn’t anyone here just plainly pissed of that we now have two candidates (one presidential, the other vice presidential) that shouldn’t be anywhere near the whitehouse?

    I mean, seriously, no matter how much you like Obama or Palin, there’s a clear problem here with standards. Their levels of competence, experience, wisdom and judgment (whomever you choose to put over the other) are really not up to snuff. So if you nancies want to argue about who’s got the better underoos, fine, I’ll be over here thoroughly pissed that “it’s come to this.”

    I am -not- happy that I am going to probably vote for McCain. If Biden were the top of the Dem ticket, I’d probably feel differently.

    You’re all a bunch of suckas.

  144. “I don’t like being lied to,…”-David Weigel

    You sure about that? You bought into the notion that such a thing as a Libertarian Democrat existed.

  145. Dave…

    Could you review the New Lindsey Buckingham album?
    Thanks,Babble and Chem trails.

  146. Anytime somebody critiques Sarah Palin, people call him/her “sexist” or “scared.” Pretty soon, people are going to stop buying it. I thought the speech was terrible. It was shrill, strident, full of lies, and it sounded like a speech for high school president. I didn’t think she had to the gravitas to run a shoe store, much less this country. I’m not scared; I’m not sexist; I’m bored. Can we have some real candidates who could actually run our country please? This is NOT a reality show, but I’m more interested in whether Levi marries Bristol than in anything their incompetent mother has to say.

  147. The fact the Republicans are falling down on their knees over Sarah Palin is really pathetic. This party is so bankrupt of talent that this pathetic poser rose to the top of this group in 3 days. Boy, she has really paid her dues. She worked her way up over that 3 day period, gave her blood, sweat, and tears, wore glasses, put her hair in an updo, put her family in the spotlight, made a joke about pitbulls, and then clawed her way to the top. What a journey.

  148. Mr. Weigel, you obviously don’t get it. Palin is certainly NOT the GOP’s answer to Obama, nor is the GOP seeking an Obama-alike on its ticket. If I understand Obama’s appeal to those of you who support him, it is that he is such a stark contrast to President Bush. He is a supposed intellectual, while Bush is supposedly not. He is eloquent, while Bush stutters and stumbles. He would reason with the world when Bush would wield military might. To his fans, Obama promises to be everything Bush is not, and Obama never misses a chance to drive this point home, campaigning first against Bush, and only secondarily against McCain.

    Palin’s appeal has nothing to do with any of those things. Palin’s draw is that she is most obviously coming at this from way outside the Beltway, in a way Obama, Biden and even McCain can never claim. She does not pretend to be intellectual or hip, nor does she want to be perceived as such. Rather, she is real, straightforward, and practical — or at least, that is how most people are so far perceiving her, despite your angry claims that she is a faker and liar. Being straightforward and practical, although not direct opposites to Obama’s perceived virtues, are quite a bit different from being intellectual, nuanced, diplomatic and philosophical.

    It is amusing to watch the nation’s intellectuals and philosophical dreamers continue to scratch their heads about Palin. It just doesn’t occur to them (you and your readers) that the majority of Americans don’t want an intellectual or a dreamer leading the way. Obama would make a great college professor. But as a leader, Palin comes closer to what many Americans have been looking for than any candidate who has come along in a while.

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