Biden Wins

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In scoring these debates I try to remember not just what the expectations were beforehand, but what the goals were. When Barack Obama picked Joe Biden, what did he want? A safe-sounding (white) old hand who'd convince people that Obama understood them. When John McCain picked Sarah Palin, what did he want? An instant star who'd blow up the electorate, peel off Hillary voters, and purloin the "change" message from Obama.

On those terms there's no question that the Democrats won tonight. Biden spent the night attacking John McCain's record and building up (with detachable honesty) Obama's. Palin spent the night re-selling Sarah Palin. For her it was the day after the Republican convention ended, before the Couric interview, before the Saturday Night Live parodies, when she was still a hockey stick-swingin' shitkicker who got things done. When she wasn't attacking Obama she was re-packaging herself. I don't know how that moved the McCain ball forward.

Both of them had their "on" moments. Here's one of Biden's.

Here's one of hers.

I didn't expect Sarah Palin to melt down, no more than conservatives should have expected Obama to implode without the aide of a teleprompter. You don't get elected governor if every public performance is a Katie Couric interview. But for her to recover the spotlight and the momentum of early September she needed to prove that she knew more than talking points and Wasilla. She didn't. For Biden to implode he needed to lose his cool, invade her space, or talk past the audience. He didn't. Notably, Biden talked about people he knew in Delaware. Palin talked about herself.

As entertaining as the Palin sideshow is, ask yourself: Are people voting on the drama of Feisty Sarah and her battle with the Evil Media? Or are they voting on something else? I'll have to play like a vice presidential candidate for a moment: I'm from Delaware. Many of my best friends still live there. My parents and their friends live there. And I hear them talk about whether they can afford having a kid right now, and joking about the stock market, and fretting over their home values. I don't think they care quite as much about whether the media's mean to Sarah Palin as the average blogger does.

UPDATE: I thought "Bosniak" was a Biden gaffe. I'm dumb: He's right.

NEXT: Poor Gordon Gecko

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  1. David, I think you are wrong about this. Joe won if it was a college-style debate about the issues, but Sarah won if it was about making emotional contact with the audience. I think the latter might be the right interpretation.

  2. I find her looks and mannerisms – smiling while talking with lots of eye movement – to be hypnotic, alluring, and yet offensive.

    I feel like she’s trying too hard to look cute – now maybe it’s not her fault – but I feel like I’m watching a Tony Robbins convert. It makes me distrust what she’s saying, like she’s trying to pull one over on me.

  3. Biden wins.

    Shhh!

    Don’t tell SIV.

  4. Joe won if it was a college-style debate about the issues, but Sarah won if it was about making emotional contact with the audience.

    Was this a debate, or a Dr. Phil appearance?

    C’mon.

  5. Every time Palin accused Obama of voting for the wrong thing, Biden countered that McCain voted the same as Obama. I don’t know if its true or not, but if you’re trying to link McCain to George W. Bush, does it really help that Biden kept saying that McCain voted the same as Obama?

  6. I find her looks and mannerisms – smiling while talking with lots of eye movement – to be hypnotic, alluring, and yet offensive.

    It’s funny to see Democrats and Republicans reverse sides on the “but, she’s such a bitch!” issue.

    Somewhere, Hillary Clinton is laughing her ass off.

  7. “It’s funny to see Democrats and Republicans reverse sides on the “but, she’s such a bitch!” issue.”

    Assuming there’s no distinction between cunning bitch and dumb bitch.

  8. Somewhere, Hillary Clinton is laughing her ass off crying.

    Fixed that for you. I think, actually, the SNL skit got it spot-on.

  9. Was this a debate, or a Dr. Phil appearance?

    Judging by what a debate is in most other western democracies, it was a Dr. Phil appearance.

  10. Assuming there’s no distinction between cunning bitch and dumb bitch.

    Aren’t they both cunning bitches?

  11. that whole thing about the toxic mess on Main Street affecting Wall Street is probably a gaffe, and she’s probably get hammered for it. But not only is it kinda true, there’s probably a lot of people on “Main Street” (such as it is), who will agree with that assessment.

    I can’t tell you the number of stories I’ve heard lately about people’s no-good relatives who bought houses they couldn’t afford and are getting foreclosed on. Just about everyone knows (or knows of) some jerk who was trying to house flip to make a fast buck and is counting on a bailout from the government.

    The media vastly underestimates the ability of ordinary people to recognize corruption in their own class, not just on Wall Street.

  12. Pardon my sexism. You guys know when you’re fightin with the ole lady? The argument is over something where she is obviously wrong? You know how she turns at that point into a mean little ball of nastiness? Gonna win at all costs?
    That’s how Palin came across tonight. A smug, condescending, self righteous twit, in a nice outfit with a big smile and great hair.

  13. “Aren’t they both cunning bitches?”

    Dammit. Yeah. You’re right.

  14. As party politics go, I think her biggest gaff was the answer on rights for same sex couples. The foundation of the party is the Southern Baptist Convention. Southern baptists hate them some homersexuals. That dog won’t hunt.
    Someone said earlier today on a thread here that they thought the fundies would just stay home. I think this reinforces that prediction.

  15. The Obama campaign, partisans and the Media(to the extent they are separable at this point) in “destroying her” set the bar so low she couldn’t help but exceed expectations.She easily defied her image by performing competently, confidently and connecting.McCain is now the only drag on his own campaign.Palin’s performance should be enough to put the focus back where it always is in Presidential contests, the top of the ticket.
    I’d call that a win.

  16. lemme express my complete shock that balko’s question didn’t get asked.

  17. “Southern baptists hate them some homersexuals. That dog won’t hunt.”

    She was talking about long time friends or roommates who enter into contractual relationships, you know, after your wife tragically dies or the elderly who don’t have sex anyway.

    OK, eff all that. How bad did Gwen Ifill suck?

  18. Sheesh.. I didn’t mean to start a bitch-fest.

    I wouldn’t use bitch to describe Palin… I wouldn’t mind downing some Alaskan Amber and capping a few moose with her someday. She just seems… empty and deceptive… maybe a tad manipulative? I don’t think ‘bitch’ is the right word to describe that.

  19. Pardon my sexism. You guys know when you’re fightin with the ole lady? The argument is over something where she is obviously wrong? You know how she turns at that point into a mean little ball of nastiness? Gonna win at all costs?
    That’s how Palin came across tonight. A smug, condescending, self righteous twit, in a nice outfit with a big smile and great hair.

    There seems to be a theme emerging here.

    In the debates, both McCain and Palin seemed to show a contempt (or level of contempt) for their opponent that Obama and Biden did not. It, also, seems that the public is punishing them for it.

    It makes me wonder if Obama and Biden have found a way to campaign by being less mean and calculating than the other guy. How calculating.

  20. “Palin’s performance should be enough to put the focus back where it always is in Presidential contests, the top of the ticket.
    I’d call that a win.”

    One part of me wants to say that this is an interesting spin on a candidate not knowing what she’s talking about, but the cynical part agrees with you.

  21. Nope, Americans lose.

  22. I’m from Delaware. Many of my best friends still live there. My parents and their friends live there. And I hear them talk about whether they can afford having a kid right now, and joking about the stock market, and fretting over their home values.

    How the hell is this relevant? I just watched two politicians spoon feed me sentimental bullshit and now I have to read it here? The name of the magazine is Reason, not Emotionally Appealing Logical Fallacies.

    There’s a lot of implications to sort out from that comment. The most obvious one is that the Vice President has some kind of affect on what actually happens to regular people. Since when? Maybe McCain croaks early, but I think that’s kind of a stretch regardless.

    Lastly, since when did libertarians start voting based what is best for people looking to have kids? I guess I may only be speaking for myself when I say it’s not right to punish the rich for the failures of the less rich. That’s putting aside so many possible objections about government intervention in the economy, as if the real moral problem inherent in redistribution of wealth isn’t enough to make libertarians skeptical.

    Maybe I’m reading too much into that comment, but when you start using class warfare arguments that you see real socialists making then you need to be aware of the implications. I thought this would be obvious to libertarians.

  23. Bidet wins?

    I don’t think so.

    Not that it matters that much to me, I’m still not voting for McCain or Obama.

    I think when you couple the expectation that Palin would do a stage dive into incoherence with Bidet’s vast experience in Foggy Bottom, she did quite well.

    Worst case a draw. Best case, Palin by a couple of lengths.

  24. Bidet wins?

    Even Ferraro was gushing over Palin.

  25. I wouldn’t use bitch to describe Palin… I wouldn’t mind downing some Alaskan Amber and capping a few moose with her someday. She just seems… empty and deceptive… maybe a tad manipulative? I don’t think ‘bitch’ is the right word to describe that.

    First, I don’t think that Palin is any more or less of a bitch than Clinton. They are both bitches in my book.

    Second, being a bitch is not always a bad thing. My wife is a bitch, but she’s MY bitch.

  26. By golly, I think it was clear that Palin rolled up her sleeves, went a-rufflin’ some feathers, winked a few times, was a maverick something something and is not from the East Coast. That’s good enough for me to think she can handle the job.

  27. Given the lack of interesting ANYTHING to come out of either one of them, I am totally mystified why the media seems to lap up this silly “R v. D” drama crap.

    No answers of substance. Nothing new. Yet people are enamored by all this. WTF?

  28. Say it aint so, joe

  29. Way to stack the deck for the messiah there, David; if Biden doesn’t faint and fall off the stage he wins.

  30. The governor didn’t answer the question about deregulation because she doesn’t even know her strong points.

  31. The government from the president on down has sold joe sixpack on the story that the economy is dead.
    The dems are promising what they always do: feel good stuff for the working man. Their platform is basically the same.
    The repubs are in a bit of a pickle. They talk about the tax incentives for the top earners. Not poular with everyone scared of the economy. They don’t appeal to their base at the foot of the cross. They can’t swerve farther left or they lose even more hardliners.
    I don’t know what McCain/Palin can do to pull this thing out. The only thing that comes to mind is a 9/11 size domestic attack or an escalation to war in Pakistan or Iran.

  32. When Biden says that the rich will pay the same that they will under Reagan, only a blind devotion to talking points counters with “I take exception to that wealth redistribution” without addressing the Reagan statement. Was Reagan in favor of wealth redistribution? Has the right’s love affair with Reagan been a sham? How do you let Biden claim the mantle of Reagan? I guess the theory is that thinking people know better, but somehow I suspect thinking people haven’t been impressed with Palin’s performance (unless you factor in low expectations).

  33. “I don’t know what McCain/Palin can do to pull this thing out. The only thing that comes to mind is a 9/11 size domestic attack or an escalation to war in Pakistan or Iran.”

    So they got that goin for ’em, which is nice.

  34. No he did not win. Reason writers are the type of beltway libertarians that I am just about done with. I am going to start calling myself conservative because of their stupidity and eagerness to blow Obama, while attacking the one candidate in this race who actually represents principles that they supposedly agree with. Her record is 100X more libertarian than either Obama or Biden’s and 50 X more libertarian than Mccain’s. Instead the fucking leather coat, look at me I’m independent types here rip her down.

  35. Um, Dave, I am not sure why Hit & Run spends so much time analyzing the debate from a conventional horse race standpoint. Please leave that nonsense to TNR and the Corner.

    It would serve your blog much better to analyze the debate from a LIBERTARIAN perspective. Which of these tickets is better or worse from a libertarain perspective? Did this debate help us answer that question?

  36. Palin was good enough to negate Biden’s supposed “war/foreign policy” domination.

    Biden is a career politician…yet he did not dominate a youngster…another impressive point for Palin.

    I get a kick out of both of them almost ignoring the moderators questions, so they can spew forth their memorised talking points.

    Typical crap.

    ~Lance

  37. Say it aint so, joe

    Even that was as obviously scripted as everything else she said, but at least it wasn’t especially off-putting.

    Their apparent race to agree on lots of douchebaggy issues notwithstanding.

    “I want to spend more money.”
    “No, I do. Plus I love the troops and Israel more.”
    “Do not.”
    “Do too.”
    “MAVRICK!”

  38. I saw Biden once at the Home Depot, where he hangs out a lot. Engaging in a lot of toilet plunger comparison, I suppose.

    Weigel, are you the new Andrew Sullivan or something?

  39. This debate lacked in almost every catergory. It was repetitive, boring, and mostly the same crap we’ve been hearing about Obama and McCain for the last year.

    What was interesting was Palin’s ability to look at the Camera, to connect to middle America. She didn’t connect with me, nor did Biden, but I think a lot of pundits (East and West Coasters, myself included) forget that most of this election is decided by people who for some reason “want to connect with their candidate.” (See Bush 00, 04 is the guy they want to have a beer with). Palin connected, Biden was more techical, but didn’t connect.

    While for the purposes of this blog, I would prefer more on the contrast of nearly everything BOTH PALIN and BIDEN said vs. Libertarian ideas, I can also see where Palin “might have” scored some points for not being an utter disaster.

    Remember folks these facts:

    The encumbent party has had…

    1) 9-11
    2) Enron
    3) Katrina
    4) Iraq
    5) Afghanistan
    6) Credit-Crisis

    All on their watch and they are still pulling like 40-45 plus in the polls. I’d say they (GOP) are doing pretty damn well considering the crap on their plate (both of, and not of their own making). Surprising, when you think about it…

    [Voting 3rd party is the only option that makes sense. These two were clowns up there…nothing made sense, nor was much of anything they said true.]

  40. Not to sound anti-semitic or anything, but why do Jews in America need that much ass-kissing on Israel?

    Wouldn’t it be less embarassing to just have people say “I support Israel’s existence”, and leave it at that?

    Who wants to be covered in worshipful drool all the time?

  41. emotions?

    we are electing a VP who can take us to WW3 if need be, not kiss your boo boo!

  42. I disagree with your stated premiss: McCain chose Palin to shore up the base. The tax cutting, Christian, gun loving, pro life but mostly liberatian parts of the party, that he didn’t have. The fact that Palin was a good looking and a woman was just gravy.

  43. Her record is 100X more libertarian than either Obama or Biden’s and 50 X more libertarian than Mccain’s.

    This suggests that Mr. “So-called First Amendment rights” is twice as libertarian as Obama or Biden. Color me skeptical.

  44. Well, if nothing else, tonight’s little wingding should (hopefully?) put to bed any notion that Palin is in any way, shape or form a libertarian…

  45. Her record is 100X more libertarian than either Obama or Biden’s and 50 X more libertarian than Mccain’s.

    You do realize that any number times zero is still zero, right?

  46. A vote for a third party candidate this time is a vote for more interesting “debates.” (And I’m also in shock Radley’s question for Biden went unasked.)

  47. Even FOX news is saying Biden won with their polling. It’s available on their website.

    Didn’t everyone kind of expect Biden to win anyway?

  48. Little known fact: Bosniaks love apples.

  49. The talking heads on PBS said it was a tie.

  50. Her record is 100X more libertarian than either Obama or Biden’s and 50 X more libertarian than Mccain’s.

    The problem with this statement is that Palin has yet to describe a single facet of the Bush record or the McCain record that she doesn’t agree with. On the contrary, she has endorsed them wholeheartedly. Even when she doesn’t know what the Bush record is [like when she didn’t know what the Bush doctrine was] she makes sure to endorse it.

    This more than cancels out whatever rhetoric she may have employed during local Alaska elections.

    You may discount her endorsement of the current GOP establishment as a necessary lie she’s telling to secure the VP slot – and it may very well be just that. But I am entitled to take her at her word and accept her Bush lovin’ as sincere. And it doesn’t speak well of her attachment to libertarian values that she is willing to spit on them to advance herself.

    And in any event, her record in Alaska seems to mainly consist of seeing how much she can extort from oil companies to buy popularity for herself. “Hey, let them drill everywhere!” is balanced out by “Hey, send all my constituents another $1000 each so they’ll like me!” It seems to me that her record only appears quasi-libertarian because being in Alaska limited who she could steal from and how much.

  51. “No answers of substance. Nothing new. Yet people are enamored by all this. WTF?”

    Well TAO you have to admit it has the appeal of a car accident or the like or an episode of Telia Tequila, awful but hard to look away. And, sadly, one of these two will be the VP of this nation…

    “Not to sound anti-semitic or anything, but why do Jews in America need that much ass-kissing on Israel? ” I think Jews in America, and especially Jews in Israel are more receptive to criticism of some of what Israel’s government does than our politicians would every be willing to express on camera. I think the fawning has more to do with Christian Zionists and their juvenile beliefs.

  52. But I am entitled to take her at her word and accept her Bush lovin’ as sincere

    She may very well have libertarian tendencies. But I think, overall, she is an opportunist. This is an opportunity to jump from “good” (governor) to “great” (first female VP). She’s a politician, for fuck’s sake.

  53. “SIV | October 2, 2008, 10:50pm | #

    MNG,

    I like Palin more than the other candidates because she is more “outside” the system.She is a popular governor of a very free State”

    Palin: “And Alaska-we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.” And she said, “Our state constitution-it lays it out for me, how I’m to conduct business with resource development here as the state C.E.O. It’s to maximize benefits for Alaskans, not an individual company, not some multinational somewhere, but for Alaskans.”

    Sentence below Palin quote in the same article in which quote appears: “Alaska is sometimes described as America’s socialist state, because of its collective ownership of resources-an arrangement that allows permanent residents to collect a dividend on the state’s oil royalties.”

    I get what SIV is saying, but the above is hard to square with Alaska as some type of libertopia (all the federal money they rake in also complicates that image imo)

  54. “Charlie, there’s a dick hole in the bar. I need you to come fill it.”

  55. Clearly Palin won. The fact that someone at REason has to admit that Palin is not retarded says as much. Could Weigel be more full of shit? “You don’t get elected governor if every public performance is a Katie Couric interview.” Oh really? You sure as hell were not saying that last week or any other time. For over a month now it has been nothing but how Palin is a disaster. How she is an ignorant fundie who can’t do an an interview and so forth. Now she does well and it is “well everyone knew she was good.” Weigel that doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

    I don’t think Palin did that well as much as Biden is just a buffoon. I honestly don’t think his IQ is much above 100. If he were a Republican he would be a national joke. It is astounding that someone that dumb could end up in the Senate for so long and may end up being VP.

  56. Sarah Palin showed herself to be the candidate I want to vote for- someone from outside the beltway who has actually lived in the real world and run something.

    Certainly a step up from Biden or Obama.

  57. All that whining about Gwen Ifill is looking pretty idiotic this morning.

  58. “Even when she doesn’t know what the Bush record is [like when she didn’t know what the Bush doctrine was] she makes sure to endorse it.”

    That is because there is no such thing. The “Bush Doctrine” is an invention of the media. It has about four different meanings. It has never been articulated by Bush or the US government in any interview or official communication. It is a dumbshit meaningless term thrown around by journalists who don’t have anything intelligent to say about international law or foreign policy. It either means, “promote democracy and go after the root causes of terrorism” or “premptively attack terrorists” or “attack states that support terrorism” depending on stupid point the journalist is trying to make. I don’t think Gibson knew what he meant when he asked her. She could have given any of the three answers above and the media would have said “but it is not that it is this, she doesn’t know what the Bush Doctrine is”. What a fucking joke.

  59. I don’t think Palin did that well as much as Biden is just a buffoon

    John, you are on the money here. Palin is mediocre, Biden is an ass. Everybody wins.

  60. Gwen Ifill is the new Greek columns, which were the new tire gauges.

  61. John,

    He wrote “Bush record.” Not doctrine.

    Defensive much, jumpy?

  62. Episariarch,

    Palin was totally out of the spotlight and thrust into the most insane media spectacle maybe ever. The entire establishment went after her and tried to destroy her. It was really just the Katrina trick tried again. In Katrina the media learned that they can do real damage to Republicans if they all get together and go after it as hard as possible. If they do that, facts and complications don’t matter. They tried the same thing with Palin and almost succeeded. Last night showed she survived and is just okay as a candidate but getting better. How much better will she be in four years? Think of it this way, Biden has been in the Senate and running for President since 1988 and still can’t win a debate against a rookie governor from Alaska.

  63. [like when she didn’t know what the Bush doctrine was]

    did you miss that part Joe or does my internet in a different universe than yours?

  64. Maybe it was because he was more coherent, but Biden was much scarier. Has the man ever seen a problem not caused by the free market, or one that can’t be solved by the government? Is there a military intervention he won’t support?

  65. joe,

    Actually, I don’t agree. The appearance of impropriety was the issue, not whether she actually steered things in Obama/Biden’s favor. The issue for me, anyway. I’m sure GOP partisans see it all as some master plot.

    Ifill should’ve bowed out or never taken on the responsibility in the first place. It corrupts the process and, from your perspective, it may have limited her ability to really rough up Palin, too. I hesitate to say her remaining in the role was unethical–she wasn’t judging them, after all–but it was improper.

  66. Republicans shouldn’t whine but Ifill deserves a large heaping of abuse. If you want to write a propeganda book for Obama good for you, but don’t masquerade as a journalist while you are doing it. How can you expect an honest opinion from someone who has a book deal riding on the election?

  67. John, if you misspell my name again I will hunt you down and teabag you. Or maybe gorilla mask you.

    I don’t really care about Palin’s performance. All media is biased, first of all, and even if “THE MEDIA” are after Palin, then she will have to deal with that.

    Who said politics is fair?

  68. Epi, as scary as it is, I must ask,what is gorilla masking?

  69. Fluffy,

    In Palin’s defense, you read over the statements she made prior to being selected VP, and it seems clear she was against the surge and highly skeptical of the war itself. I think that’s a pretty substantial difference from either Bush or McCain. Obviously she’s humming a different tune now, but that’s a reflection of our absurd convention that VP’s are supposed to merely parrot the top of the ticket’s views instead of revealing their own (which makes the VP debates themselves utterly pointless).

    The bottom line is that whoever wins, we’re going to have a dangerous idiot in the White House. All other things being equal (and they are) I’d rather somebody who is pretty. I just wish Palin would have worn something last night that highlighted her yams a little better.

  70. >>>It is a dumbshit meaningless term thrown around by journalists who don’t have anything intelligent to say about international law or foreign policy

  71. John, just curious, were you as defensive when the msm was whackin on Obama?

  72. Gorilla mask: shaving off your pubic hair and then gluing it to someone’s face while they are sleeping/passed out.

  73. Wow, you’ve read the book, John?

    That’s odd, because it’s not finished.

    We know she’s biased, because she wrote a book about him. We know it’s a “propeganda book for him” because we know she’s biased.

    Uh huh. That must be why her bias shone through so clearly last night.

  74. brotherben,

    Golrilla Mask

    SFW, Urban Dictionary (has some variations on Epi’s definition.)

  75. Didn’t have the chance to watch the whole thing, but Christ I just don’t understand how anyone can listen to her 8th grade run on sentences and not want to vomit. Her answer on the global warming question made absolutely no sense, from a basic English language skills point of view.

  76. Or, rather, wrote a book with his name in the title. Apparantly, there is one chapter about him.

  77. John,

    What would it have taken for Palin to lose? An anxiety attack? I guess you’re saying that she won because she was expected to be a total idiot, and she was merely a babbling idiot. One second she’s going to reel in the Wall Street bastards, then three seconds later she’s going to get the government out of the way. They ask her about the middle east and she talks about energy. They ask her about energy and she talks about taxes. She name-drops a general to seem ‘in the know’ and bungles it. I can’t think of a single issue where she showed any understanding.

    And if Palin had a clue, she would have given the answer about the Bush Doctrine that you just gave. Don’t you find it disturbing that you are more qualified than she is?

  78. Nope, John, sorry, no way.

    I bet Monroe never said the words, “I am today promulgating a doctrine I will call ‘The Monroe Doctrine’,” but you know what? Anyone who doesn’t know what the Monroe Doctrine was is a fucking idiot.

    This entire dodge about the ambiguity of the Bush Doctrine is a post-hoc rationalization made up by people desperately trying to cover for the fact that Palin is a fucking idiot.

    Palin’s performance last night didn’t change my mind a bit. The more I see of her, the more I know who she is:

    She’s a pretty girl who went to a state school and majored in “journalism”, although I’ll bet it was secretly just a pimped-up Communications degree. She was supposed to be a weathergirl or sportsdesk girl somewhere, but because of a series of freak accidents and because Alaska is a tiny state with a shallow pool of political talent, she ended up first as governor of the state and then a VP candidate.

    And I can tell you this much: I went to a top tier school, and even there the pretty girls who wanted to be weathergirls were vacuous nonentities who would, in fact, stare blankly at you if you used an expression like “Achilles’ heel”, and would stutter at you and say, “Gosh, lots and lots!” if you asked them what books and magazines they read.

    Palin isn’t quite Chauncey Gardiner, but she’s the 21st century equivalent. Her current position has more to do with the fact that she has a big head and is therefore subject to the Merv Griffin rule than it has with any intellectual acumen she might have.

    **I don’t give a shit if the above sounds sexist. I don’t apologize for the expression “weathergirl” one bit, and I don’t apologize for chalking a good part of Palin’s success up to her looks. Her life story clearly shows that her looks have always driven her career path. When you enter beauty pageants and then go to school to get Hannah Storm’s job, I’m entitled to draw this conclusion.

  79. I’m not interesting in understanding what caused global warming, I just want to know how to solve it. Did I mention that dinosaurs walked with man?

    Alaska is America’s only arctic state, so when the global warming really kinda starts to rear its head up into America’s airspace, where is it?

    Alaska.

  80. Yeah Joe,

    I am sure the book is going to be so critical of Obama and will sell so well if Obama loses. Come on. Stop denying reality. Maybe Ifill really is writing a hard hitting investigative book on Obama. Maybe I will be voting for Obama and becoming a liberal sometime soon to. You never know, but I doubt it.

  81. You know, for a magazine called Reason ….

  82. Her current position has more to do with the fact that she has a big head and is therefore subject to the Merv Griffin rule than it has with any intellectual acumen she might have

    Fucking great. I just want to break in and say that. “Merv Griffin rule”; I love it.

  83. Oh, boy, a “Yeah Joe” comment.

    Let me guess – did I used to be a reasonable person, but now I’m become all mean and partisan and stuff?

    Maybe Ifill really is writing a hard hitting investigative book on Obama. Or maybe it’s a book about how black politics and politicians are different now than they were during and immediately after the civil rights era, and one can discuss such a topic, and even notice that Barack Obama is a pretty good example of that, and still do a fair and professional job moderating a presidential debate.

  84. …even while being a black person. Imagine!

  85. And dammit, Bosniak sounds like a made-up word! It should be a made-up word.

    But it’s not, and that’s just not fair.

  86. If you think Palin won, then you are using a standard under which Palin could not have lost. If all she had to do to win was not cry and run off the stage, then yes, she won. If all she had to do was show conservatives that she can read from a list of tired talking points instead of, say, crying and running off the stage, then she won.

    But if we’re talking about even bets, I don’t see how not knowing anything substantive helped her.

  87. Fluffy,

    The Monroe Doctrine was articulated in Monroe’s 1823 inaugural address. Unlike the Bush Doctrine, it meant one thing and was stated clearly by the President in an important address. The two are just not comparable.

    I spent a lot of the last 10 years thinking and working in international law and the law of war. I am not an renown expert or anything, but I know the basics and talked to a lot of people who are experts. In that entire time, I don’t remember the “Bush Doctrine” ever coming up in a class or a discussion. I don’t ever remember hearing about it that much in the media until Palin’s alleged gaffe. In fact, the Corner had an excerpt from an interview with the head of the Wilson school and when some idiot reporter asked her the same question her response was the same one I would have had which was “what do you mean by the Bush Docrtine”. The idea that it was some established term that everyone used and knew what it meant like the Monroe Doctrine is a myth invented by people who either don’t know any better or just want to play gottcha with Palin.

  88. At this point, the bar has been set so low for Gov. Palin, that young Trigg uses it as a therapeutic aid. Reminds me of the scene in “Porkys: the Day After” where the kids lead the kkk into a gym full of seminole indians. The repubs are tryin real hard to keep supportin her, but it’s gettin tougher every day.

    Question: if McCain dumped her from the ticket today, replaced her with Huckabee, would the Jesus Lemmings? that make up the foundation of the party come flocking to the polls?

  89. You can keep flailing, John, but on Gibson’s third try, he told her “It’s a docrtrine of pre-emptive war articulated in September 2002.”

    Still nothing. A complete cipher.

    She didn’t fail to recognize the name; she doesn’t know the issue existed.

  90. Joe,

    If Obama loses the election, no one will read Ifill’s book or care about it because there will be no “Age of Obama.” Ifill has a direct rooting interest in the outcome of the election. Maybe she can put that aside and be fair. I don’t know and I don’t care. What matters is that because she has a direct financial interest in the outcome, you will never know if she is giving you the truth or her spin to help Obama. It disqualifies her as a journalist on this subject. If she wants to write the book, she ought to stop covering Obama and just write it and not mediate debates.

  91. “Still nothing. A complete cipher.”

    And she just kicked Biden’s ass in a televised national debate. What does that say for him? You would be a little more credible on Palin if you would admit what an obvious embarassment Biden is.

  92. if McCain dumped her from the ticket today

    Instant suicide, it will never happen. I can’t think of anything that would make him look weaker. Well, besides him trying to hit a pinata or something else requiring him to raise his arms above his head.

  93. “The idea that it was some established term that everyone used and knew what it meant like the Monroe Doctrine is a myth invented by people who either don’t know any better or just want to play gotcha with Palin.”

    “The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction- and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.” – The National Security Strategy, 2002.

    Now you know.

  94. If she so completely kicked his ass in the debate, then I scream foul on Gwen. She was obviously concerned about the appearance of bias and was way too hard on Biden to compensate.

    Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  95. “You can keep flailing, John, but on Gibson’s third try, he told her “It’s a docrtrine of pre-emptive war articulated in September 2002.”

    That says more about Gibson’s ignorance than Palin’s. Why didn’t he just say “it was a doctrine of preemptive war I made up for this interview.”? It would have made as much sense. It was a stupid question asked by a stupid interviewer. It is not surprising it illicited a stupid answer. Palin has had gafes. The Couric interview was terrible. But the “Bush Doctrine” just isn’t one of them.

  96. why the hate for gwen ifill? the news hour is just about the only watchable evening news show left on tv. cnn is for zombie idiots who think newsweek is hard-hitting journalism and fox is for zombie idiots who think newsweek is hard-hitting propaganda for the gay liberal agenda.

    the news hour actually assumes you know how to read without bullet points outlining what the pretty person on screen just said. it’s refreshingly basic, if a little sad. (morning call on bloomberg gets props for asking decent questions at the same clip as the micromachine man)

  97. ps john, ifill’s book is about black politicians in america. i don’t think it’s called obama’s really great and stuff but perhaps you have an advanced copy somewhere.

  98. John, WTF? Why the hell are you defending Palin? She’s out of her depth. You’re not a stupid guy; so I just don’t understand this.

  99. Lamar,

    That is called national strategy and pre-emption, but where was it ever called “the Bush Doctrine”. Further, some people refer to the “Bush Doctrine” as the need to spread democracy and stop the root causes of terrorism. If a month ago, you had asked me the question that is what I would have thought of as the “Bush Doctrine”. I don’t consider the paragraph you quote anything new in US policy. The idea of spreading Democracy is and can rightly be called something that Bush has injected into foreign policy.

  100. Omigosh, joe, you mean Gibson was referring to the same document I just quoted, and it isn’t just some gotcha game made up in 2008 to scramble the brains of a hockey mom?

    John, read the darn document. I knew what it was, joe knew, you had a vague clue, and now you say Gibson made it up for an interview?

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss/2002/index.html

  101. If Obama loses the election, no one will read Ifill’s book or care about it because there will be no “Age of Obama.”

    Really? If the first black person to get a major party’s nomination for the presidency (by beating the Clinton machine, btw) only gets 49.6% of the vote, his candidacy isn’t going to be a symbol of the changing role of black politicians in our political culture?

    I’m pretty sure you’re wrong about that, John.

    Maybe she can put that aside and be fair. I don’t know and I don’t care. No, you don’t care. For all of this whining about her bias and how the debate was going to be skewed in Biden’t favor, neither you nor anybody else pushing this bullshit actually cares about whether or not she was fair. It’s just a talking point to help spin the debate and advance a “poor persecuted Republicans” political line.

  102. Epi, I went to a titty bar the other night. It was amazing. All the dancers were in love with me and they really really wanted to have some nasty sex too!

  103. “John, WTF? Why the hell are you defending Palin? She’s out of her depth. You’re not a stupid guy; so I just don’t understand this.”

    I don’t think she is any more out of her depth than Joe Biden, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd or about 90% of Congress. It is not that I think that Palin is that great. It is that I realize how awful most policians are and I would like people to either hold them to the same standard people hold Palin or get off Palin’s back.

  104. And she just kicked Biden’s ass in a televised national debate.

    Sure she did, John. All the national polling says otherwise because they’re biased like Gwen Ifill.

    Why can’t I just be nice and admit that whatever you say to make the Republicans look better is true? Bad joe. Bad!

  105. Epi, I went to a titty bar the other night. It was amazing. All the dancers were in love with me and they really really wanted to have some nasty sex too!

    That’s my experience every time. It isn’t yours?

  106. Why didn’t he just say “it was a doctrine of preemptive war I made up for this interview.”?

    Because he didn’t make it up, John. Are you really so completely ignorant about your chosen profession that you don’t even realize the 2002 National Defense Strategy articulated a novel doctrine of pre-emptive war?

  107. It is that I realize how awful most policians are and I would like people to either hold them to the same standard people hold Palin or get off Palin’s back.

    Who cares? Fuck her. Beatdowns on politicians are great, I enjoy them all. Sure, I’d like to see more on McCain, Biden, and Obama, but you have to take what’s offered.

  108. Lamar,

    No one that I ever dealt with in the international law community, and I dealt with a fair number of people, ever referred to the idea of pre-emption as the “Bush Doctrine”. That it ever meant that in any meaningful way is a figment of people’s imagination and it means any number of things besides pre-emption to any number of people. If Gibson wanted to know what she thought of pre-emptive war, he should have asked that.

  109. “That is called national strategy and pre-emption, but where was it ever called “‘the Bush Doctrine'”

    And Monroe’s national strategy led to the Monroe Doctrine. President Monroe never said, “and henceforth this policy shall be known as”….Monroe said it in a speech, and Bush said it in his National Security Strategy (as well as a lot of speeches).

  110. That is called national strategy and pre-emption, but where was it ever called “the Bush Doctrine”. Further, some people refer to the “Bush Doctrine” as the need to spread democracy and stop the root causes of terrorism.

    So he tells her that it was the doctrine of pre-emptive war articulated in September 2002, and…nothing. A complete cipher. She didn’t know anything, even in the aftermath of the Iraq War, about a change in our doctrine of pre-emption.

    Totally, let’s swear THAT in if bin Laden blows up the White House.

  111. No Joe, it is just not called the “Bush Doctrine”. It is called preemption. Only boobs in the media who don’t know any better refer to it as the Bush Doctrine. I am frankly even they referrred to as that until they realized they could say something bad about Palin.

  112. If Gibson wanted to know what she thought of pre-emptive war, he should have asked that.

    HE DID!!!

  113. Didn’t anyone notice that Palin only noted 3 policy areas she would oversee as vice president, and one of them was mental retardation?

    Seriously, the “most libertarian” candidate is going to spend 1/3 of her time expanding the federal government’s role in mental retardation?

  114. God damn it, John, as much as it pains me to agree with joe, he is correct in this situation. Just stop, dude.

  115. John, we had a discussion, you and me, about this. I explained to you, and you acknowledged, the Bush Doctrine articulated in the September 2002 National Defense Strategy was a particular doctrine of pre-emption, one that is different from previous doctrines of pre-emption, one that authorizes the use of military force not just against imminent threats (as we’ve always done) but against what Bush and Cheney spent several years calling “gathering threats.”

    We’ve had this conversation already. You acknowledged that point, and then went on to defend it. You are not being honest here.

    What are you doing? Are you trying to pretend to be as ignorant as you can so Sarah Palin looks better by comparison?

  116. Further, some people refer to the “Bush Doctrine” as the need to spread democracy and stop the root causes of terrorism. If a month ago, you had asked me the question that is what I would have thought of as the “Bush Doctrine”.

    You would have been wrong.

    And I think this only highlights the issue.

    When the United States adopted the position that it would wage preemptive wars not just to prevent imminent attacks, but to defuse potential threats, it was major news everywhere else in the world.

    It wasn’t major news here, because the media was too busy cheerleading for Bush to actually examine the content of anything he was saying. But to every other nation on Earth, the fact that the most powerful nation in the world had announced that it was taking upon itself the right to attack any nation it considered a potential threat was chilling and frightening.

    Basically you’re arguing that because you weren’t paying attention and didn’t notice it and were not concerned about the issues involved anyway, that makes it OK that Palin wasn’t paying attention either. And that’s BS.

  117. “If Gibson wanted to know what she thought of pre-emptive war, he should have asked that.”

    He did!!! Here’s a quote from that Gibson interview: “The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?”

  118. As entertaining as the Palin sideshow is, ask yourself: Are people voting on the drama of Feisty Sarah and her battle with the Evil Media?

    I know of one voter (not me) who is for sure, and a couple others for whom the Palin nomination is probably 70% of their interest.

    And as far as who won, I’d say Biden did pretty soundly. I justify that by the fact that he repeatedly put forth specific details, while Palin repeatedly had to retreat to rehearsed generalities. I thought McCain won the first debate by a length. I’d say Biden won by a lap.

    Still, I thought Palin vastly outperformed her recently televised self.

  119. dhex,

    Personally, I think these debates are a waste of time, but they still shouldn’t be tainted in any way. Whether Ifill likes, hates, or is indifferent to Obama is beside the point. She has a vested interest in his success and it really wasn’t entirely proper for her to be the moderator.

    Maybe this is one time being an attorney overly influences me, because it’s not that I’m accusing Ifill of any actually articulated bias. I just think it’s better that these things are totally above board. In some respects, she’s better than other moderators, who’ve been former employees of one party’s national committee or worse.

    I guess I’m just old fashioned.

    John,

    I don’t think Palin’s quite as awful as she’s being made out to be, but the Bush Doctrine wasn’t a completely made up thing, either. There’s a good argument that the term has changed meaning multiple times during the administration, so Gibson probably should’ve just asked her opinion about preemptive war up front (joe’s right, he did after a couple of tries), but it wasn’t some huge non sequitur, either, like asking about the airspeed of an African swallow.

    Incidentally, I used Gibson’s questions to Palin as fodder for a fake interview with VP candidate George Takei at Urkobold. I took a little liberty and changed a couple of things to make it make sense in context, but those are pretty much the questions he asked in the interview.

  120. Can’t every journalist be said to have “a vested interest in the success” of any candidate they write about, using exactly the same logic?

  121. I dunno, joe. I have to agree with ProLibs here. If she wrote a chapter in a book about one of the candidates, then she should be out. Maybe she biases towards Biden, maybe she overcompensates to avoid that perception, or maybe it doesn’t affect her questioning either way. Doesn’t matter, because its the perception that matters. Palin slung a lot of dumb, nonsensical answers, and Ifill never really asked her what she meant. Conflict?

  122. John go a-googling?

  123. joe,

    Not for any one candidate, no. Look, I’m not asking you to agree with me, I’m just saying that I’d prefer that these kinds of conflicts not occur. They weaken the integrity of the process. . .whatever integrity is left in it, anyway.

    My take on the debate is that we have incredibly weak VP candidates to match our incredibly weak presidential candidates. Perfect symmetry! America can’t win!

  124. For a party that says “pull yourself up by your bootstraps!”, talks about “personal responsibility”, and professes that they hate victim politics, the Republicans sure have done a lot of whining, bitching, moaning, and victim card playing in the last month.

  125. Lamar, political journalists write about politicians. That’s what they do.

    I don’t think the standard for judging the appearance of impropriety should be “Can the Republicans come up with a way of accusing a journalist of bias?”

    BTW, I resigned from the board of my local Habitat for Humanity chapter because they were going to be doing a project in a town I was working for, so I understand this conflict stuff. Being a political journalist who wrote about a candidate doesn’t come close to failing any kind of ethical standard.

  126. The GOP aren’t socialists, too? Since when?

  127. The Economist is an Elite Socialist Eurabian rag.

  128. America can’t win!

    Dude, we’re America. We always win, even when we lose.

    ROCK, FLAG, AND EAGLE.

  129. Was this a debate, or a Dr. Phil appearance?

    It’s about garnering votes from a very intellectually diverse electorate. Thus, it was both.

  130. joe,

    Like I said, I don’t expect you to agree, but I do think it matters. Like Lamar said, she may very well have been biased in fact against Biden to avoid the appearance of bias, so it’s not just a matter of who she really favors.

    I think we could probably find a moderator who had less of a conflict. Like a former POW or something ?

  131. How about we just say fuck it and get Sean Hannity to host the next debate? It’d be worth it just not have to hear conservative bitching about how TheMedia is out to get them.

  132. Even libertarians, who are supposedly non-partisan, are unable to have their minds changed about who won. Hmm.

  133. “You can keep flailing, John, but on Gibson’s third try, he told her “It’s a docrtrine of pre-emptive war articulated in September 2002.”

    Still nothing. A complete cipher.

    She didn’t fail to recognize the name; she doesn’t know the issue existed.”

    Be fair. The Bush Doctrine wasn’t covered in all of the newpapers and magazines that Palin reads that are put in front of her. But the ones that are put in front of her, she’s read them all. She especially likes “Highlights Magazine”. She’s a master of the “Hidden Pictures” section.

  134. BDB,

    Oh, please. I’m not a conservative. I’m voting for Babar. It is a conflict of interest, and I don’t blame any great media plot for it, either. I actually agree that there’s nothing wrong with a journalist writing a book on someone. However, when they’re called to act in the role of moderator, their objectivity should be largely unquestionable. There are journalists who clearly wear they’re politics on their sleeve–they should be excluded, too.

    Like I said, I’m old fashioned when it comes to stuff like this. Why not allow conflicts? Shoot, they should let Stevens off, too, ’cause he didn’t really do anything wrong.

  135. Pro L, even Cheney called her “fair”.

  136. Giuliani, too, just the other day said she was 100% objective.

  137. prolib, i see your point, if only in terms of avoiding the appearance of the appearance of an appearance of impropriety.

    on the other hand, if you’re writing a book about black politicians in america, etc etc and so forth…

  138. I don’t appreciate your condescention, gmatts.

    Sarah Palin knows more about energy than anyone in America. There are, like, 310 million people in America. Some of them are, like, physicists and shit.

    I don’t see why it’s so implausible that someone like that would read all the newspapers.

  139. Whats more, the book was announced in July.

    They had MONTHS to request another moderator, but for some reason waited until 48 hours before the debate to complain about it, like it was some kind of surprise.

    It’s so damn transparent it’s ridiculous.

  140. BDB,

    You arrived with a conclusion without paying attention to what I’m saying.

    dhex,

    I don’t think it’s that tenuous, but I don’t want to come off as joining the Hannity crowd, either. I don’t think it mattered that much as far as the execution of the debate went, but it was improper. Think about this–what if Ifill had done something that really tripped up Biden? What would the left be saying now? They’d be saying that Ifill went overboard trying to overcome any appearance of bias.

  141. If Gwin Ifill has an appearance of impropriety for writing about a politician running for president this year, we have to exclude every political journalist in America on the same grounds.

    That’s nuts.

    BDB, I don’t think this was just the normal conservative ref-working about the media. Palin’s lack of recognition of the term “Achilles Heel,” and her habit of completely ignoring the question, and her little speech about “I’m not going to answer them maybe the way you or THE MODERATOR would like” suggest something else.

    They needed to give Palin an excuse to ignore the questions and turn right to talking points, because the campaign realized that she was likely to pull another “Bush Doctrine.” They knew she was going to not know what Ifill was talking about at least once, and needed to plant the idea that she was ignoring the question and talking about something else for some other reason.

  142. Let’s over-analyze this, people. What the fuck else would we do?

  143. Pro L–

    I know you’re not drinking the Kool Aid on this, I’m just really tired of hearing people like John complaining about TheMedia, when that is not why they’re losing.

    They’re losing because they have a crappy candidate running a ridiculous, non-strategic campaign in a toxic environment for Republicans. And they can’t admit that. It’s like the leftists four years ago that blamed all their troubles on Diebold and TheCorporations, even though they lost because Kerry sucked as a candidate.

  144. Reversibility, kids.

    If a Fox News reporter writing a book called Breakthrough: Politics and War in the Age of McCain moderated the debate, would Democrats being howling with indignation?

    Of course they would. And they’d have every right too.

  145. For a moment, lets consider why we hear all the paeans to “Joe Six-pack”.

    From the CDC

    Binge drinking is a common pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks, and when women consume 4 or more drinks, in about 2 hours. [emphasis added]

    Why don’t these Joe Six-pack binge drinkers get off their fucking asses and start contributing to society? 🙂

  146. In the 1980 debate, there was a moderator who was writing a book about Reagan, SF.

  147. It was Lou Cannon (if you’re so inclined to look it up).

  148. BDB,

    Under conflict of interest laws (and their equivalent professional standards), one needs to avoid not just impropriety, but the appearance of impropriety. For example, when you’re on the zoning board, and your brother applies for a permit, you don’t just make super duper extra sure you’re being fair; you remove yourself from the case entirely. That way, no one can accuse you of being biased in his favor if he wins, he can’t accuse you of going extra hard on him to protect your image if he loses, people can’t accuse him of getting special treatment, and the general public can be confident that the process is fair. The point isn’t to answer the question “Were you fair?” correctly, but to make it impossible that anyone could even ask that question.

    That said, there is no appearance of impropriety here.

  149. “That said, there is no appearance of impropriety here.”

    It appeared improper to me. What am I, mincemeat?

  150. Not to sound anti-semitic or anything, but why do Jews in America need that much ass-kissing on Israel?

    They balanced it out buy bashing the Jews on Wall Street.

  151. If they thought this was improper, why didn’t they bring it up back in July?

    There was even a Time Magazine story about this book the first week of August.

  152. If a Fox News reporter writing a book called Breakthrough: Politics and War in the Age of McCain moderated the debate, would Democrats being howling with indignation?

    I would object to any Fox News reporter moderating a debate. I don’t think they have a straight journalist in the entire crew.

    But political journalists write about politics, and they write about contemporary politics. That’s what they do.

  153. Lamar,

    Being able to imagine a scenario where an individual could be biased is not the standard for judging there to be the appearance of a conflict.

    Heck, John imagines that Katic Couric was being biased. We see charges of bias thrown around every time a reporter writes something unflattering about a Republican.

  154. I am not 100% sure where I stand on the Ifill conflict question, but who would you use in her place?

    If you give me enough information I bet I can find a conflict of some kind that would disqualify virtually every “name” TV journalist out there.

    Should we use somebody who regularly relaxes at one of the McCain barbecues instead?

    Political news coverage is an incestuous world.

  155. I would object to any Fox News reporter moderating a debate

    Dude, some of their news bitches are hot. Why deprive yourself of something to look at? Palin’s OK, but not great.

  156. John is totally right. Who gives a shit about Ifill’s book? After all, Palin so clearly won the debate that the moderator’s obvious bias was completely nullified.

  157. AHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  158. I don’t think they have a straight journalist in the entire crew.

    And that’s what a lot of the right thinks about PBS.* That’s my point.

    It’s OK to argue Ifill is not biased, but it is a hypocritical stance to dismiss concerns about Ifill’s bias as automatically illegitimate.

    I think she did OK. It was a thankless job and anyone who really wanted to tear Palin apart could have with ease and gotten away with it. Clueless babbler.

    *Except for Dobbs and his BrownMenace obsession, of course.

  159. Epi, if you reference It’s Always Sunny one more time, so help me God, I’m going to go America all over your ass!!!

  160. but who would you use in her place?

    The president of that college, for one. Yes, they could be bias as all hell, but it doesn’t take a journalist of any stripe to ask fairly softball follow-ups and clarifications.

  161. Can anybody direct me to a site that is discussing the debate from a libertiarian viewpoint?

  162. “Alaska is sometimes described as America’s socialist state, because of its collective ownership of resources-an arrangement that allows permanent residents to collect a dividend on the state’s oil royalties.”

    MNG,

    Off shore oil leases, grazing and timber leases, etc. etc. etc.
    Granted, because the feds couldn’t balance a budget with double the revenue they receive now, these revenues are not sent bacvk to the American people. Instaead they are tossed into the government revenue stream. Compared to Alaska’s distribution of mineral revenues, that is a distinction without a difference.

  163. Having worked around journalists for part of my career, it was pretty obvious that as a group they tend to lean left, and that the bias does tend to show through on their reporting.

    However, if we assume that it’s a commonly known fact that the mass media leans left and is generally more critical of Republicans than Democrats, what does it say about the Republicans when they opt to pick someone who’s a total lightweight?

  164. SugarFree,

    And that’s what a lot of the right thinks about PBS. Funny, I thought this had something to do with a particular book this particular journalist was writing. So this really is just about the whole “Teh Media is Democrat!” thing. OK, if you say so.

    Lou Dobbs works for CNN.

  165. I’d like to know when the US and France kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon.

  166. Epi, if you reference It’s Always Sunny one more time, so help me God, I’m going to go America all over your ass!!!

    That’s it, I’m faking my death. Do you have any beans?

  167. The president of that college, for one.

    Hey, if you want to say that political journalists as a class should be excluded from moderating these things, I’ll have to think about that.

    My point is that there is no detectable difference between Gwen Ifill and any other political journalist going on here. The whole kerfluffle was a canard to give Palin an excuse if she failed.

    Gwen Ifill writes about Barack Obama in 2008. Yeah, no kidding.

  168. “The whole kerfluffle was a canard to give Palin an excuse if she failed.”

    Well that’s obvious. But let’s at least distinguish a book deal from a broadcasting gig.

  169. joe,

    I never argued it was all about the book. I was only responding to the fact that you discredited all of Fox News, and I was pointing out a similar “guilt by association” on the right against PBS.

    Dobbs: I ignore him so completely I think I might have mixed him up with Jim Lehrer. My apologies to Mr. Lehrer.

  170. Jim Lehrer: Beady-eyed and kind of stiff.
    Lou Dobbs: Wide-eyed and cah-rah-zeeee!

  171. No, you didn’t argue that, SugarFree. I acknowledged that.

    But the McCain campaign and their media allies, like NRO and Fox, have been hammering the book, and making a case quite different from the generic “reporters are Democrats” line.

  172. I broke my broadcast/cable news addiction the day I watched Columbine unfold. Turned it off and never went back.

  173. joe,

    OK, if you say so.

    That makes it seem you were responding to me, not a amorphous McCain campaign.

  174. Can’t every journalist be said to have “a vested interest in the success” of any candidate they write about, using exactly the same logic?

    I don’t see how. Ifill will make quite a bit more money if Obama wins the election, and the title (something something “The Age of Obama”)and release date of her book (inauguration day) are calculated to maximize her return if he wins.

    Reporters don’t have that kind of direct, and intentional, financial gain from the outcome of an election. Their financial stake is mcuh more indirect (they are on salary, and will gain sometime later if their employer does well financially).

    Whether their employer does well financially is probably only weakly affected by who wins; indeed, a publication with a Dem-leaning readership may do better if the Repub wins; outrage sells better than cheerleading.

    If you give me enough information I bet I can find a conflict of some kind that would disqualify virtually every “name” TV journalist out there.

    I don’t think you could, if you limit yourself to the hard core of financial conflicts of interest. That’s what is so extraordinary about Ifill – she will profit directly from Obama’s election. Very few journalists can say that.

    This isn’t “the appearance of impropriety” as that term is used in analyzing conflicts of interest. This is a direct conflict of interest that would be disqualifying to, say, a corporate board member or officer.

  175. SugarFree,

    And that’s what a lot of the right thinks about PBS. Just how much of the right do you consider yourself to be?

  176. BDB,

    Fair enough. I’m old enough now that I’m sitting here wondering how much worse our candidates are going to get before we hit bottom. The last president we had who probably should’ve been elected was Old Man Bush. I still can’t believe that GW Bush was the nominee in 2000. Let alone the winner. I honestly feel the same about Obama–not yet ready for prime time, yet he’s the nominee. And McCain, well, we know all too much about him–and he couldn’t even beat Bush.

    As for past improprieties and the timing of the objections, they don’t change anything. Past wrongs remain

    joe,

    Of course there is. This doesn’t rise to the level of a judge needing to recuse himself, but I’m not concerned about something hopelessly ethereal, either. There is an appearance of bias, whether or not she behaved like Solomon and threatened to cut the candidates in half or not. Wait, that might’ve been a good idea.

  177. Barack Obama’s candidacy wouldn’t be a story if he doesn’t win?

  178. OK… can anybody actually point to Ifill being biased. Since when can use the job she did as opposed to the job she might do…

    It seems to me that Ifill could have destroyed Palin simply by making her answered the questions that were asked.

  179. Biden may have won this thing if it were an actual debate.He did actually answer more questions and had a greater sense of ease. Of course his answers mostly varied between wrong and dihonest, but he sure made his points with conviction.

    However, since these “debates” are really more about giving candidates a platform to spew platitudes at each other, Palin may have “won” in her ability to connect with viewers and give uncomplicated answers that people could relate to and remember the next morning. Is that an elitist view? Maybe, but who cares.

  180. joe,

    None at all. I am libertarian.

    You comment on the mindset and beliefs of the the right and conservatives all the time. Are you, therefore, a conservative?

  181. Think about this–what if Ifill had done something that really tripped up Biden? What would the left be saying now? They’d be saying that Ifill went overboard trying to overcome any appearance of bias.

    yeah, i see what you mean. my kneejerk is to say that you’ll always have a john or a joe getting mad about the small things to help cover up the larger things, but that’s probably irrelevant too.

  182. I’ve a challenge for anybody who’s game.

    Describe the “Bush Doctrine” in twenty five words or less.

    An example using the well known “Monroe Doctrine” –

    Europe, keep your troops out of the this hemisphere. If you have a problem, talk to us.

    Have at it, you foreign policy and political wonks.

  183. “Barack Obama’s candidacy wouldn’t be a story if he doesn’t win?”

    Yes, and Ifill would cover that story, just like every other journalist. But Ifill, just like every other journalist, would also have a story to cover if McCain won. But then if McCain wins, her book tanks and she loses a lot of money, so the theory goes.

  184. Bush doctrine: Whatever Dick told me to do this morning.

  185. “Describe the “Bush Doctrine” in twenty five words or less.”

    Look at us funny and we will f*ck you up.

  186. SugarFree,

    If you aren’t “a lot of the right,” then why would you suppose I was talking about your personal opinion, rather than that of “a lot of the right,” when I responded with “if you say so” to your characterization of “a lot of the right?”

  187. THE URKOBOLD WATCHED THE DEBATE. THIS WOMAN, THIS SARAH PALIN, KEPT STARING AT THE URKOBOLD. WINKING. LICKING HER LIPS. THE URKOBOLD THINKS SHE WANTS HIM.

    THE URKOBOLD MUST LEAVE THIS THREAD TO VISIT HIS BUNK. PLEASE CONTINUE YOUR POINTLESS, INANE CONVERSATION.

  188. my kneejerk is to say that you’ll always have a john or a joe getting mad about the small things to help cover up the larger things, but that’s probably irrelevant too.

    Uh, excuse me. I wrote that John McCain won the presidential debate a few days ago. Your knee is jerking when you put me in the same category as John.

  189. J sub D,

    The Bush Doctrine: We will attack countries that might pose a future threat, even if they do not pose one now, instead of pre-empting only imminent threats.

  190. “Describe the “Bush Doctrine” in twenty five words or less.”

    Blindfold yourself, throw darts at a map of the Middle East, insert Army. If the shit hits the fan, hand out medals to the architects.

  191. Before I read this article I didn’t know that, by reading it, I would be wasting my time. What surprised me is that I willingly and knowlingly wasted my time by reading all of the comments when I knew that I would be wasting my time, all the while thinking that nothing important is being discussed. The only way I felt like I could justify wasting my time was by participating in this conversation, which is wasteful itself, but I felt like I had to represent all of the people who might feel as I do–but didn’t ask for my representation in the first place. Nonetheless, some people will like what I’ve said even though they didn’t ask for that representation, some people won’t because I’ve spoken at all–about nothing. And yet, I feel like I just summed up what most political arguments and campaigns focus on . . . Let’s keep the discussion of non-essential topics going.

    I feel like I’m reading content from The View, albeit with a bit more testosterone.

  192. My wife is a bitch, but she’s MY bitch.

    Sleep on the couch last night?

  193. joe,

    Yes. However could I imagine that the word “you” was directed at me?

    You are a idiot, joe. But see, by “you” I don’t mean joe the person, I mean some abstract group that you were commenting on. Not “you,” but “you.” Why can’t “you” see the difference, joe?

    Anymore semantic abortions you’d like to perform this morning?

  194. “I feel like I’m reading content from The View, albeit with a bit more testosterone.”

    Give me a freaking break. Everybody says their piece in their first comment or two, then everybody sort of riffs off of the conversation. Welcome to every message board ever.

  195. Can anybody direct me to a site that is discussing the debate from a libertiarian viewpoint?

    No.

    Drink!

  196. Yes. However could I imagine that the word “you” was directed at me?

    It was directed at you. You made a statement about what “a lot of the right” felt, and I disputed your characterization of what “a lot of the right” felt.

    I don’t think you accurately characterized their argument, so I wrote “If you say so.”

    This is not hard. If you don’t want me to have to explain semantic points to you, try not to be so obtuse.

  197. Why Certainly,

    You’re metawasting. I think my discussion of essential topics ended when I started talking about either major party’s candidates, who will help further expand the reach of government and are otherwise inadequate in pretty much anyway I care about. And they’ll trash America with the connivance of Congress. Wonder how easily the House bailout bill will pass now, with all of the yummy pork thrown in?

    Bush Doctrine: We may invade.

  198. Your knee is jerking when you put me in the same category as John.

    You’re smarter, can spell, and probably wear glasses, but you are a partisan.

  199. One of those partisans who scored the other party’s candidate higher than the general public did, I guess.

    Like the complaints about Gwen Ifill, this charge that what I write is skewed or biased runs up against the facts.

  200. I’m not a Democrat by any stretch, but Biden had facts and figures in his answers, while Palin said, what, that she’s from Alaska, an energy-producing state. And she smirks. I am so sick of politicians smirking.

    BTW, if she’d said the word “Maverick” one more time I was going to throw something heavy through my TV set, which I will never be able to replace, because no one on the face of the planet can possibly get any sort of loan, ever, ever again, unless we flush $810 billion down the hole.

  201. Bush Doctrine: We will attack you if we suspect you will attack us.

    Next?

  202. Here’s a point to ponder: Tina Fey, who may be worshiped as a goddess by the left before this is all over and who almost certainly is a leftist herself, undoubtedly prays nightly for a McCain victory. If only my self-interest were tied to a particular candidate–I could vote with a smile. As it is, even the kinda sorta libertarian candidate (in fact, the Libertarian candidate) gives me a headache.

    joe,

    You may enjoy the political gamesmanship enough to score it, but if you aren’t a partisan, then the word has no meaning. Take a moment for self-analysis and contemplation. And stop touching yourself [ed. Normally obscure movie quote except on this blog; not intended as personal insult or suggestion that politics serves joe in any sexual manner–unless he has a desire to grudge fuck Gov. Palin].

    Bush Doctrine: Obey.

  203. Palin is new to the federal scene.
    She appears unfinished, that is, not yet comfortably conversant with the federal dialog.
    Perhaps improvement is in her future.

    Who cares about foreign policy EXPERIENCE?
    All that means is that one is conversant with current U.S. foreign policy…and supports same.

    That is a big negative in my book.

  204. “Give me a freaking break.”
    A handout? How democratic! 😉

    “You’re metawasting.”
    That was my point–and thank you for noticing. And since Lamar was the first one to bitch about my bitching, he should be the first one to receive an unnecessary break, not because he deserves it, but because he said, “Give me.” 😛

    Did I mention that I was wasting my time? My discussion of essential topics never existed . . .

  205. joe,

    Once again. And I’ll go real slow this time.

    You dismissed all of Fox News as an illegitimate choice for debate moderator.

    I would object to any Fox News reporter moderating a debate. I don’t think they have a straight journalist in the entire crew.

    I pointed out that is the same thing the right does with PBS.

    And that’s all I did. I wasn’t commenting on the book at all. You read something in my comment that wasn’t there. I know it’s a favorite bullshit tactic of yours, but I didn’t say what you wanted me to say so you had to make something up.

    Since I can’t make it any clearer to you, that’s all I’m going to say about. I am sick of giving you remedial reading classes for free.

    Do your little dance and think you’ve “won.”

  206. There are two kinds of partisan:

    1)The Joe/John type partisan (favoring their side but don’t go THAT far in denying reailty)

    2)The Guy Montag/TallDave type partisan (experts at setting up strawmen/giving non-answers, if the other side said the sky was blue they would spam with links to War Blogs saying the sky is in fact purple)

  207. Joe-

    And you’re possessed of a higher-than-average level of honesty.

    I wasn’t trying to accuse you of being a troll. You’re one of two Democrats I interact with on a regular basis who’s capable of presenting Democratic ideas in a reasonable way.

  208. The Bush Doctrine: We will attack countries that might pose a future threat, even if they do not pose one now, instead of pre-empting only imminent threats.

    Contentious to the point of being flat out wrong.

    As formulated, the joe doctrine would require the US to attack every single country on the planet, because every country “might pose a future threat, even if they do not pose one now”, and so “we will” not might, but will “attack” them.

    When talking about the pre-emptive attack version of the Bush Doctrine, I think its more accurate to say something like:

    “We reserve the right to launch a pre-emptive attack on a country that poses a threat to the United States, even if that threat is not yet imminent.”

  209. Bush Doctrine:

    [Cartman voice]Wha’evah, I do what I want![/Cartman voice]

  210. RC,

    The only difference between what you posted and what joe posted is desire.

    I think the doctrine if applied literally and unhypocritically would in fact require or allow the US to attack every country on the planet. That’s why it’s a shitty doctrine – because it is protected from being ludicrous only as long as it isn’t taken literally.

  211. Pro Lib,

    Partisan does have a meaning, and it is not “has observable political opionions.” It’s usually used to refer to someone whose opinions and statements are observably skewed in a partisan direction. You know, sort of like someone saying his party’s candidate clearly won a debate when the rest of the universe says the opposite. It is not usually used to refer to someone who says his candidate LOST a debate when the rest of the universe says he won.

    I don’t come on these threads and say that everyone whose opinions reflect a libertarian point of view is partisan hack, because that would be foolish. Merely having an point of view is not bias.

    SugarFree, don’t talk down to me. You characterized the opinion of right-wingers about Ifill’s moderation, and I disagreed with you. They were not complaining about general PBS bias, they were making a specific complaint about Ifill and her book. You mischaracterized their argument. Is that slow enough for you?

    Since I can’t make it any clearer to you, that’s all I’m going to say about. Please please please please please please please please please please let that be true.

    mediageek, thank you.

  212. RC,

    There is nothing in my statement requiring an attack, or stating the level of potential threat that would trigger an attack, any more than saying “I will drink beers that have a richy, hoppy flavor” commits me to drinking every beer.

  213. RC,

    I’ll note that the Monroe Doctrine is in full effect, and we did not take military action against Britain when they launched the Faulklands War.

  214. joe,

    I think you tend to have blinders on about your views, but not always. I’ll grant that it’s easier for a libertarian, who has no real representation in either major party, to stand outside of this and sit in judgment. However, I think you do have substantial bias to defend Democratic positions, right or wrong. At least you don’t do it every time, which would be really annoying. And you definitely enjoy the gamesmanship of politics, which gives you an outsider’s position on occasion (like saying that McCain won the debate).

    I don’t mean to offend you with this. Besides, it’s not like I don’t have biases–I tend to trust the market and “civil society” more than I do government. I think that’s the right position to have, but it is a bias against government nonetheless.

    I feel like I just wrote a Match.com entry for joe, who also enjoys sailing, blogging, and watching teams from Massachusetts lose when it matters the most.

  215. Does anyone think that Ifill’s questions were, in actuality, biased? I didn’t. I thought her questions were decidedly vanilla. Could it be inferred that asking for her to choose not to moderate the debate be a microcosm of the idea of pre-emptive attacks–because she had the potential of being biased?

    Never mind who won the debate . . . if anyone did “win,” what was won?

  216. Here’s a debate transcript. I don’t think Ifill showed any actual bias, incidentally.

    Palin won by not failing, as did Biden. America lost, however.

  217. Did anyone else catch her talking about “General McClellan”?

    I half expected her to say, “We’ll whip those rebs at Antietam, by golly!”

  218. I’ll grant that it’s easier for a libertarian, who has no real representation in either major party, to stand outside of this and sit in judgment.

    I think that’s bullshit, and leads to even greater political blinders.

    Democrats and Republicans at least realize that their political leanings can lead to bias, whereas you are claiming that your political orientation is, itself, an innoculation against bias. This fallacy makes it difficult to recognize when one is falling into confirmation bias, because the fact that a statement about parties or politics fits the “non-partisan partisan’s” preconceived notions is taken as evidence of a lack of partisan bias.

    For example, joe must be comparable to John in his perceptions of who wins debates, because joe is a Democrat and John a Republican. Except, hey, look at that, joe said the Republican won a debate that most people think the Democrat won, while John is claiming that a Republican won the debate most people said the Democrat won.

    Everyone has “blinders about their views,” to one degree or another. I’d say mine are less than most people’s, and the fact that I hold a minority political opinion on these threads doesn’t make me any more biased.

  219. “Partisan does have a meaning, and it is not “has observable political opionions.” It’s usually used to refer to someone whose opinions and statements are observably skewed in a partisan direction.”

    OK, but I DO remember seeing this:

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/124239.html#870636

  220. You know, that would make a humdinger of a debate question. “Please defend some aspect of the South’s position in the Civil War.” Some candidates might faint at having to answer something like that. A smart candidate would talk about tariffs, of course.

    joe,

    I probably shouldn’t have said anything. I will say that I don’t think you and John are mirror images. In his defense, I’ve seen him turn on the GOP more than I’ve seen you turn on the Democrats, but he has odd blind spots, too. Oh, good, now I’m insulting John. Sorry, sorry, I’ll shut up now.

  221. However, I think you do have substantial bias to defend Democratic positions, right or wrong.

    Most positions aren’t objectively right or wrong. IMHO joe defends Dem positions not becuase they are Dem positions, but because the positions he thinks are right tend to be the Dem positions.

    That isn’t partisan, that is just having a belief system.

  222. Thank you for the link, Lamar:

    joe | January 6, 2008, 11:47am | #

    Randall, I am a liberal Democrat who wouldn’t vote for the, ahem, racial traditionalist Ron Paul if you put a gun to my head, and might not even vote for him if you replaced the gun with Hillary Clinton.

    Nonetheless, Ron Paul has done more to advance libertarianism’s appeal and familiarity among the American public than any other person in my lifetime. And that will remain true even if he doesn’t win a single delegate.

    My two statements do indeed show the difference between having a political orientation (the first sentence) and being able to perceive objective reality despite that orientation (the second sentence).

    See, the key is the self-awareness that comes from understanding that one does have a political lean. It allows you to realize that your own response to people or events isn’t the objective measure of all things.

  223. Most positions aren’t objectively right or wrong.

    I forgot to add:

    Except for the positions I disagree with — those positions are always inherently wrong! 🙂

  224. ChicagoTom gets it.

    How many times have you attacked the libertarian position, Pro Lib?

  225. How many times have you attacked the libertarian position, Pro Lib?

    He once said that Picard was better than Kirk, and that’s FUCKING BLASPHEMY, dude!

  226. Anyone else remember when David Weigel wasn’t a partisan hack?

    When Biden gets something wrong, it’s an accident- a genuine mistake.

    When Palin gets something wrong, it’s because she’s of the mouth-breathing bucolic, a retard, a bumpkin, an idiot, a fool, an empty pantsuit, a trophy VP, a simpering wench who opens her legs and flaps her gums with equal enthusiasm.

    Right, David Weigel?

  227. Actually, that’s not a very good question, because 1) Pro Lib isn’t terribly dogmatic and 2) every libertarian is a party unto himself, and happy to explain why his position is, in fact, the libertarian position.

  228. “No.

    Drink!”

    Thanks, I will. Not this early in the day though, that’s how I found this little coffee klatch to begin with.
    But I take your point, so let me try again.
    The philosophy of “fairness” re: taxation was espoused last night. Personally as an amateur libertarian any time a member of the aristocracy uses the term fair, someone is about to have something taken from them, be it life, liberty, or property, by force if necessary. Maybe I am overly sensitive to the term, and perhaps its been discussed to death elsewhere on this site, but the lack of any commentary on the concept in the discussion is…. strange.

  229. Honestly folks after last night I would take her over the other 3 jokers anyday for President. At this point my hope would be for a McCain win and then a few weeks after swearing in he kicks it and she takes over.

    She would be the closest thing to a REAL AMERICAN that has been even close to being President. Everyone says oh experience this and knowledge about that. Well let me ask what has all this experience and knowledge gotten us over the past 36 years that Biden has been in office. If he and the rest of these professional politicians is so damn smart and knowledge filled shouldn’t we already be riding on easy street and not be 10 trillion plus in the hole and growing?

    Give me a real American woman that hunts and fishes over any of these other fools anyday. Their “experience” fails to impress me and their real experience is in getting re-elected time after time. They are the problem with everything and the solution to nothing. Unless of course your interpretation of success is 10+ trillion in the shitter and diving deeper by the minute.

    Perhaps a plain ordinary American is just what we need to get the people to see just how out of touch Both houses of Congress are with the people that make this country go.

    IMO if that was the best Biden could do with all that coveted experience he has she being new to the whole experience spanked him pretty good.

    So experience in sinking a country is not something I want to get behind. Also if Biden has a kid going to Iraq why would he not be upset that Obama voted against providing our troops with funds. Sorry but if your against the war that is fine but our military is all volunteer and if you have them in harms way fighting a war you sent them to fight you should provide them with the needed tools to stay alive and do the job you ask of them. Otherwise just bring them home, after all they didn’t choose to go there on their own.

  230. Personally as an amateur libertarian any time a member of the aristocracy uses the term fair, someone is about to have something taken from them, be it life, liberty, or property, by force if necessary.

    The question was whether to give a tax cut to large corporations or to middle class individuals and couples.

    Why, exactly, is one of these force and the other not?

  231. Does anyone find it just a LITTLE disturbing that the Republican base is voting for McCain while openly wishing he would die the first year in office?

  232. Actually, I am dogmatic. Kirk is totally superior to Picard! Damn you and your damned lies, Episiarch!

    What saves me from being a libertarian dogmatist is that I have a strong utilitarian streak. I can even tolerate our imperfect system; I just want it freer and wealthier. With cooler technology. Probably the strongest single bias I have is a distrust of government. That is the starting point of most of my analyses, but I think I’m right to operate that way. In fact, I wish more people thought that way, too, even if their politics are completely different.

  233. “The question was whether to give a tax cut to large corporations or to middle class individuals and couples.

    Why, exactly, is one of these force and the other not?”

    Well for starters the “give” in that statement isnt really giving anything, is it? It’s really “taking” less of what belongs to the corporation or incividual, isnt it? I belive that force would manifest itself fairly quickly where the corporation or individual delcine the invitation to taken from.

  234. Damn you and your damned lies, Episiarch!

    Sorry, dude, I have had WAY too much caffeine AND a Vicodin and I’m making shit up as I go right now.

  235. I’ll ask you again, How Did I Get Here: how is lowering taxes on middle class individuals rather than on large corporations/rich people more or less of a use of force?

    Is it just more forcey when you do it to rich people?

  236. Well for starters the “give” in that statement isnt really giving anything, is it?

    Is it giving exactly as much when the tax cuts go lower on the income scale as when they go higher.

    What makes tax cuts for the middle class more forcey than tax cuts for the wealthy?

  237. Pro Liberate-

    Well, you can count on me as a person who starts with the reality, not just the premise, that government and its agents and its supporters can not be trusted.

  238. Dee-

    A real amercian woman? You mean the type that blindly supports Zionism? The kind that says we should continue to take the bread out of the mouth of labor in order to give it to the zionist apartheid state of Israel?

    No thanks.

  239. Does anyone find it just a LITTLE disturbing that the Republican base is voting for McCain while openly wishing he would die the first year in office?

    It’s disturbing that a major party could put forward such a flawed candidate. It’s understandable to hope for a William Henry in this case. Some find Obama completely unacceptable and simultaneously find McCain the worst GOPer possible.

    I expect almost no Dems pray for a Biden presidency. I know only 26 have ever voted for one.

  240. joe,

    The use or threat of force comes in at the taking of taxes which is where the whole merry-go-round starts. I do not claim that taking less from one individual than another necessitates the use of force, though the individual on the smelly end of that stick would almost certainly experience it were they to resist the reformulated rate of taking. My point is rather that the use of the concept of “fairness” to justify taking more from one that another seems to be a decidedly un-libertarian concept.

  241. “I half expected her to say, “We’ll whip those rebs at Antietam, by golly!”

    Actually, I’d expect her to be on the other side of the Union in that one.

  242. Nah, she’s a yankee. Listen to her accent for God’s sake. Unless she would have been like that traitor Governor from Ohio (I forget his name).

  243. “So experience in sinking a country is not something I want to get behind. Also if Biden has a kid going to Iraq why would he not be upset that Obama voted against providing our troops with funds. Sorry but if your against the war that is fine but our military is all volunteer and if you have them in harms way fighting a war you sent them to fight you should provide them with the needed tools to stay alive and do the job you ask of them. Otherwise just bring them home, after all they didn’t choose to go there on their own.”

    Just admit it: you like Palin because she shares your affinity for run-on sentences.

  244. “Nah, she’s a yankee”

    But she’s had a little bit of seccessionsit in her on at least 5 occasions.

  245. “But she’s had a little bit of seccessionsit in her on at least 5 occasions.”

    Ah, I forgot about the AIP thing. You’re right!

  246. You don’t need to explain to me anymore that tax collection involves force.

    Round three – why is collecting taxes on wealthy people more forcey than collecting them from middle-class people.

    More. That’s the word here. You’re making an argugment that cutting the taxes of middle class people instead of the wealthiest means that more force will be used – that by arguing for this tax cut instead of that tax cut, Joe Biden is arguing for more force by the government on taxpayers.

    The word is more. Why would there be more force? The people “on the stinky end of the stick” are having exactly the same force brought to bear on them. The people who get the tax cut are having less force brought to bear on them.

    BTW, do you think talking about fairness in taxation is unlibertarian when the issue is the flat tax?

  247. These libertarians (especuially “Jeffersonian”) going gaga over Palin and trying to convince themselves that she is one of them are a pitiful bunch. The Republican Party is now more un-libertarian than its ever been and Palin is no exception.
    Here’s a news flash for you guys: No matter how much you continue to suck up to Republicans, they’re never going to accept you or see you as anything other than a pothead liberal who just happens to hate paying taxes (or a pro-bestiality, pro-terrorist anti-Semite, if one believes LGF troll Underzog).

    And it isn’t just “Beltway libertarians” who don’t like Palin. Go check out the LewRockwell.com blog.

    Not supporting Palin doesn’t automatically mean being in the tank for Obama or the Democrats, either, so just stop it with that already.

  248. Epi-

    Blasphemy? Okay, I’m wading into waters that I could not possibly navigate as well as you, but what about THAT VOICE?

  249. especuially=especially
    its=it’s

  250. QUERY: DOES ANYONE BELIEVE THAT PALIN WILL NOT BE OFFERED AT LEAST $1 MILLION TO POSE NUDE AFTER THE ELECTION?

    THE URKOBOLD BELIEVES THAT PALIN IS LIBERTARIAN, IN THAT SHE WILL FREE HER BOSOM FOR HIM AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME. FREEE-DOM!

  251. There is nothing in my statement requiring an attack,

    Generally speaking, the word “will” means “will”, not “may.” If you want to amend your statement so that it says the US “may” attack, etc. Go right ahead. Using the word “will” is contentious and misleading, which was my point all along.

    or stating the level of potential threat that would trigger an attack,

    No you didn’t. You said we will attack them regardless of the level or imminence of threat they pose. Contentious and misleading, is all I’m saying.

  252. I will drink beers from my fridge this evening. Will I drink all of them? Dunno. You can’t tell from the statement.

    You’re just being contentious for the sake of being contentious, RC.

  253. Biden sure is stupid. His ticket wants to put NATO in Lebanon?

    Holy crap he makes Bush look good.

  254. Goobers, wink-wink click~ Gotcha!

    UUuuh? Uuuh? What about that Sarah Palin, Uuuuh? UuuuH?

    What a big fat JOKE!

    It’s like America can get no more backward as it is right now, RIGHT?

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