At a humor level . . . eh. At a “did you hear the New York-based Tonight Show audience roar its approval when Sarah Palin appeared?” level, it’s a home run:
Hat tip: The Right Scoop
It turns out that, when Dr. Ben Carson gently chided President Obama’s policies during the National Prayer Breakfast, he was holding back. When he gave a speech CPAC, where he could freely speak his mind, Dr. Carson was more direct: If a hypothetical “somebody” in the White House “wanted to destroy this nation,” he would “coincidentally” do exactly what Obama has already done.
In the lead-up to his stunning accusation against Obama, Dr. Carson repeated a point he made during the National Prayer breakfast, which is that the national debt, standing alone, is well on its way to destroy America:
We’re reacting to what we see as our fiscal woes without planning for the future, without really caring about what is happening to the next generation. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist to understand that if we continue to spend ourselves into oblivion, we are going to destroy our nation.
It was clear that he next intended to imagine what a good presidency would look like. After his first sentence, though, the audience response was so strong that he realized he would have to use a different way to address the issue of White House leadership:
Let’s say you if you could magically make it into the White House (interrupted by wild and sustained applause at the thought of Dr. Carson in the White House). I take it back!
Rather than discuss what a good presidency would look like, Dr. Carson asked the audience to think about a bad, destructive presidency and how it would play out:
But let’s say somebody was there and they wanted to destroy this nation. What would you do? Let me tell you what I would do. First of all, I would create division among the people. I would have everybody pitted against each other because a wise man by the name of Jesus once said “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” And then I would encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality and the principles that made and sustained the country. And then I would undermine the financial stability of the country, and drive us so far into debt that there was absolutely no chance that it could recover. And I would weaken the military and destroy the morale of the military. That’s what I would do and I guarantee you it would work. Now, the question is, it appears coincidentally that those are the very things that are happening right now. And the question is, How do we stop it. Can we stop it?
In that simple hypothetical, Dr. Carson managed to sum up every domestic policy that the Obama administration, working with a Democrat legislature, has enacted: a White House that colludes with the media to harass, demean, insult, and misrepresent every conservative person or conservative idea; a massive stimulus that benefited only preferred political players, followed by constantly rising government expenditures; and fundamental changes to the military by allowing homosexuals to serve openly and women to serve in combat units.
It’s unclear whether Dr. Carson, who has never held political office, is ready simply to dive into the White House in 2016. That’s not really important. What is important is that Dr. Carson is one more reminder that the up-and-coming generation of politically active conservatives has young stars – people like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Allen West, and Ben Carson — who will reach their political peak in waves that wash over every election in the next sixteen years.
(Written by Bookworm; first published at Mr. Conservative)
Earlier today, while my kids were still at school, I wrote about the way in which unions pushed a Leftist agenda into the classroom. I should not have been surprised, therefore, when Little Bookworm came home from high school and told me that, because one of the teachers was absent, they spent classroom time watching Miss Representation instead. Little Bookworm was not pleased with the movie. Why not? Because, according to Little Bookworm, the movie claimed that there had been a right wing takeover of media, and that Fox was a terrible, corrupting influence on the media.
I recall reading about Miss Representation when it first came out, and thinking that it was rather foolish, with its usual Regressive . . . uh, Progressive worldview, one that’s rooted firmly in the early 1970s. In Regressive-land, blacks are perpetually in the back of the bus, while women are barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. (Which is why it’s such a hoot when an arch Regressive such as Paul Krugman tries to ascend the “reality based” soapbox to accuse the Right of factual ignorance. I mean, this is the guy who thinks you can solve the deficit by minting a trillion dollar coin.)
Where was I?
Oh, right — Miss Representation.
Since it seems that Miss Representation isn’t just some silly 1970s retread, I decided to check it out. First, the cast, which already tells you that this is propaganda from one side of the political aisle and not the other:
|Dianne Feinstein||…||Herself (as Sen. Dianne Feinstein)|
Is it just me or, with the exception of Condi rice, are conservatives missing from this list of media and political luminaries? Except for Condi (and I don’t know how she stumbled into this crew of knaves and cutthroats), the speakers in this “documentary” all come from the Left or, failing that, the Far Left, with some of them even emerging from under those rocks that shelter the truly loony Left.
But maybe I’m just being nasty and judgmental. Maybe this stellar cast of Progressive thinkers (ahem) was able to pull a Fox and present a “fair and balanced” approach to the issue of women in the media. As far as I can tell from the reviews that people put on IMDB, the movie is the usual stuff about a male hegemony that deprives women of high visibility roles, which is funny coming from a film that features the highly visible, well-paid Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Gloria Steinem, Jan Yanehiro, Dianne Feinstein, and Geena Davis, to name but a few of the downtrodden women who regularly appear on American airwaves and are very, very, very rich.
The movie also earnestly explains how TV makes women feel ugly, because it’s filled with images of unnaturally beautiful women. Yeah, like that’s never happened before in history:
My point, of course, is that, at all times, in all places, women have been objectified for men’s pleasure. And when men strut around in uncomfortable suits of armor, or ride off to the battlefield, or get their body’s tattooed, they too are preening for the opposite sex. That’s nature, not prejudice.
Moreover, as Thomas Sowell explains in simple (not simplistic) terms in Economic Facts and Fallacies, 2nd edition, is that women fall off the career track, not because of institutional misogyny, but because they have babies. A large number of women, probably the majority, when given the choice, elect to stay at home raising their children. While their husband’s spend 18 years honing their careers (learning skills, climbing the corporate ladder, making contacts), women spend those same 18 years nurturing the up-and-coming generation. It’s a Herculean and important task but, at the end of 18 years, they cannot simply walk into an office an demand a job at the same status and pay as their male counterparts who stayed in the office for those 18 years.
All of the above, in the context of Miss Representation, is the usual squawking that comes from a tired old feminism that, all real world experience to the contrary, continues to demand equality of outcome, rather than equality of opportunity.
The only area in which the movie seemed to try for some sanity was in its attempt to liken the media’s treatment of Hillary Clinton with that of Sarah Palin. I haven’t seen the movie, but this sounds somewhat apples and orangey. Back in the 1990s, Hillary did get challenged, but those challenges came from the right, which had no media outlets, not from the Left. I was there and I remember how Hillary was lauded. She was trumpeted as a career woman and a co-president. She got a 60 Minute segment to forthrightly explain (to media hurrahs) that she wasn’t there just to bake cookies. When the Lewinsky excrement hit the fan, the media loudly and proudly supported this valiant woman.
During the 2008 campaign, the media supported Hillary wholeheartedly, right until they turned against her. But they didn’t turn against her because she was a woman. They turned against her because they’d discovered an even more exciting, more politically correct candidate, and one with a drool-worthy body to boot. (And yes, the media went crazy sexualizing Obama, with New York Times articles detailing women’s Obama-centered sexual fantasies, with photo spreads about his pecs and abs, and with icky stories about female reporters on the plane begging Obama to showcase his manly assets.) Having found an even sexier candidate than Hillary, all that they could do was turn their back on her with stories about her temper. Boo-hoo.
What happened to Hillary was utterly unlike the savagery unleashed against Sarah Palin. She was persecuted in a way hitherto unknown in politics, from garbage can trolling, to mail hacking, to scurrilous rumors about her pregnancies, to unending attacks on her intellect, and on and on and on. This wasn’t because Palin was female, in which case her beauty would have been lauded as a campaign attribute. This was because Palin was a conservative female. She therefore had to be destroyed and, more importantly, her femininity had to be destroyed.
Comparing the media’s treatment of Hillary and Sarah is false equivalency with a vengeance. It elevates Hillary without ever rescuing Sarah.
What really got my knickers in a twist, and what will have me contacting the school tomorrow, is that Little Bookworm told me that the movie aggressively attacks Fox news as emblematic of what the movie claims is a conservative takeover of the news media. Little Bookworm wasn’t exaggerating:
Numbers don’t lie: Women make up 51 per cent of the population, yet comprise just 17 per cent of Congress. That is just one of the facts director Jennifer Siebel Newsom highlights in her debut documentary “Miss Representation.”
The film strings together statistics and interviews with women leaders to underline what it sees as a barrage of criticism and deluge of negative imagery the media rolls out on a daily basis.
“Unfortunately, the media and our culture is sending back to us the message that a woman’s value lies in her beauty and sexuality, and not in her capacity to lead,” Newsom told ABC News’ “Top Line” today.
Mainstream media, Newsom said, is particularly guilty.
The film highlights a jarring headline from New York Magazine juxtaposing Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin: “The Bitch and The Ditz.”
Fox News appears to be a repeat offender. The film shows a montage of the cable news network’s anchors and guests zeroing in on the physical appearance or mood swings of political female leaders.
Fox News is a “repeat offender” only because Ms. Newsom (who is married to San Francisco’s stylishly metrosexual ex-mayor Gavin Newsom) focused on Fox in much the same way that Jon Stewart, as partisan a comedian as one can find, focuses obsessively on Fox coverage, while carefully avoiding the drive-by media’s slavish devotion to Obama, fixation on celebrity (and everybody else’s) sex and sexuality, and general “race to the bottom” culture. I’ll just note that the Leftist media was fascinated by General Petraeus’ fall from grace, but couldn’t be bothered to cover Obama’s drone war or his malfeasance in Benghazi.
Movies such as Miss Representation might have some good points. However, to the extent that they are carried along on a wave of Leftist rhetoric, faulty statistics, a denial of human biology and its real world effects, and a deep and abiding hatred for the single somewhat conservative media outlet in America, they have no place in public school classrooms.
I do believe that vote fraud had an effect on this election, although I don’t know if it was big enough in swing states to change the outcome. Abe Greenwald’s theory makes a lot more sense when it comes to explaining how conservatives could have so completely misread the election outcome:
Barack Obama ushered in America’s first large-scale experiment in personality-cult politics. The experiment continues apace. Obama got reelected because he enjoys a degree of personal popularity disconnected from his record. No modern president has ever been returned to office with employment figures and right-track-wrong-track numbers as poor as those Obama has achieved.
Obama couldn’t run on his record, which proved to be no problem—Americans didn’t vote on his record. According to exit polls, 77 percent of voters said the economy is bad and only 25 percent said they’re better off than they were four years ago. But since six in ten voters claimed the economy as their number one issue, it’s clear this election wasn’t about issues at all.
The president’s reelection is not evidence of a new liberal America, but rather of the illogical and confused experience that is infatuation. For multiple reasons, Americans continue to have a crush on Barack Obama even after his universally panned first term. No longer quite head over heels, they’re at the “I know he’s no good for me, but I can change him” phase. Whatever this means, it surely doesn’t suggest conservatives would be wise to move closer to policies that aren’t even popular among Obama supporters.
(Read more here.)
What we saw on election day was the continuing power of the old media. Indeed, it is flush with power. This year, the old media abandoned any pretense of objectivity and still shaped an election. That’s quite something. For decades, the old media hid its partisanship, believing that doing so was the only way to sway the American people. This year, it learned that it could be hyper-partisan because it is still the gatekeeper.
We in the blogosphere were deluding ourselves about our reach and ability to change the dialog. By ignoring some stories (Benghazi, for example, or the scope of Sandy’s disaster) and by hyping other story’s (Romney’s offshore accounts or dog driving), it kept Obama in office despite the fact that he has failed to fulfill every promise he made and left the country in a perilous state.
I know that the economic numbers were creeping up ever so slightly before the election (improved stock market, slightly improved job numbers), but those would have been irrelevant if the press had been hostile to Obama. This was indeed a “cult of personality” election, as I see regularly on my Facebook page.
There certainly were issues that excited Democrat voters — the elite voted on social issues grounds (lady parts and gay marriage being the things they trumpet most triumphantly) and the 47% vote to keep their government benefits — but those issues were of paramount importance to them because the media colluded with the Obama administration to hide from the public the scope of the coming economic disaster. Had the American people better understood the economy, the elite might have decided that lady parts and gay marriage could wait a while, and the 47% might have realized that no government money means no government benefits.
Here’s the good news, though: Next election, the media doesn’t have Obama to elevate any more. We won’t have Romney, who is a a truly nice man, but whom the media demonized to the proportions of Sarah Palin, who is a truly nice woman. The press will still demonize the Republican candidate, but I’m not certain they’ll have anyone to anoint as the second coming. Neither Hillary nor Elizabeth Warren lend themselves to a personality cult. This hagiography worked once with Obama. I doubt it will work twice with someone else. The American population might be in a “fool me twice, shame on you” frame of mind.
Or, of course, Obama could bring in a new Golden Age in the next four years, in which case all of us will have to retire our animus and rejigger our political views. Currently, I’m not holding my breath on that one.
The Daily Mail created a lovely matched set, showing side-by-side stories that perfectly illustrate the difference between life in a 21st century Sharia state and life in a 21st century Christian state:
Life in a Sharia state: “We, the state, are going to kill gays.”
Life in a Christian state: “I’d like to warn you (admittedly quite rudely) that, in the afterlife God is going to have problems with gays.”
If you’re gay, neither is very nice, but one is insulting, while the other is deadly. Those who live within a minority community, whether because of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc., might want to think long and hard about whether they want to promote a culture that kills those it dislikes or a culture some of whose members yell at them. I mention this because the Leftist collective backs the first type of culture; while the much-reviled Western conservatives support the second.
(P.S. For those wondering why the Daily Mail is the most popular news website in the world, it might have something to do with the fact that it identifies Ihjaz Ali, Kabir Ahmed, and Razwan Javed as “muslim fanatics.” The American press would have wondered why these three men, who just coincidentally happen to have non-American names, suddenly turned against gays — and then would have posited, loudly and often, that Sarah Palin published an ad or made a speech using coded language that triggered this mass homophobia.)
There is a quality to real leaders called a “command presence”. You know the type: they walk into a room and by their force of presence, command of the facts, unshaken confidence and leadership qualities, they capture the narrative and control the agenda. That command presence is a necessary mark of a good leader.
In part, this is what I’ve been looking for in these debates and the most recent debate in New Hampshire helped crystallize for me what is wrong with the Republican candidates: I have yet to see a convincing command performance.
I’ve seen it with Govs. Christie and Palin. I’ve seen it in Lt. Col. and Florida Congressional Representative Allen West. I thought that I saw it in Cain, Bachman and Gingrich. I’ve been especially Gingrich’s ability to control the moronic chickadees of the MSM.
However, I definitely did not see a command presence when Governor Romney allowed an intellectual lightweight like George Stephanopoulos to control the narrative with his ridiculous obsession with contraception (I sense an inner conflict…care to share, Georgie?). Romney wanted to get along, to find the road to peace and harmony…so, instead, Georgie Stephanopoulos got to drive the agenda instead of getting slapped down and named for the trivial man he is.
So, after that, I was pretty much confirmed in my decision to support Gingrich as the one who best offered a vision and command presence for America. That was. This is now. The fact that Gingrich could not condemn the following ad that was posted by one of his PAC tells me that, when necessary, Gingrich will readily descend into the role of the demagogue, much like those on the Left.
You cannot be a proponent of capitalism while playing upon its worst caricatures for short-term political gain. This ad is vile. Romney was part of a turnaround corporation. Such companies play an important role in supporting the vitality and creative destruction and renewal of capitalist economies. As history has shown over and over again, the alternative is far worse.
After this ad, I can no longer support Gingrich. We’ve already got a demagogue-in-chief. His name is Obama.
So, with great reluctance, I throw my support to Romney. Anybody but Obama!
Yay, there’s another Sarah Palin in American politics.
Mia B. Love – mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah.
Those of you that have read my posts and comments (whether you agree or disagree) know that I am a huge Sarah Palin fan. Frankly, there is a certain breed of all-American women that I hugely admire in this country – those descended from the same character stock that stood side by side with their men, gun in hand, ready to fight to the death for their families. This is the type of person that Sarah Palin typifies: strong, confident, articulate with a clear sense of…common sense.
Now, in Utah, we see that Sarah Palin is hardly alone. In fact, she may have paved the way for a new, assertive voice of American women in politics. Here is Mia Love…watch the video, imagine Liberal-Lefty heads exploding, then read the link (h/t Powerline Blog)
Let a million Palins bloom! We may yet win this country back.
Besides, I think Allen West could use some help.
For the past two days, I’ve been gathering links that I’ve meant to use in stand-alone posts. That’s clearly not going to happen, though, so let me pass the links onto you, in the hope that you find them as interesting as I did.
Here’s something of a public service announcement: if you post your phone number in Facebook, your phone number has suddenly become public property. Please be careful.
Has Sarah Palin acquired a stalker or a legitimate journalist? Inquiring minds want to know.
Elvis Costello joins the ranks of useful idiots to boycott Israel. One Israeli politely takes him to task for his ignorance and inhumanity.
Much as the press loves Obama, Obama does not love the press. They’ll never abandon his ship, though. Even if they have unexpectedly found themselves traveling in steerage, when they thought they’d booked first class accommodations, he’s still taking them to their socialist port of choice.
Have other presidents blown off Memorial Day? Even if they have, it still isn’t as tacky as Obama’s having done so, because no other president has ever shown such manifest disdain and disrespect for the American military. This isn’t a one-off. It’s a package deal of giving the middle finger to the troops he commands. [UPDATE: At American Thinker, they get it.]
Heather MacDonald points to the Emperor’s Nakedness: all the huffing and puffing about the Arizona law hides the fact that Democrats desperately don’t want to enforce border security. They will willingly watch terrorists sneak into the country, they will watch drug dealers destroy our cities, they will see masses of immigrants ruin our economy — all before they will give up the possibility of millions of new Democratic party-line voters.
If you live in North Carolina’s Second District, you should find interesting this interview with Republican candidate Renee Ellmers, another woman who found politics through the Tea Parties.
Nihilism and, inevitably, anarchy. Is that the world’s future? In a post-Judeo-Christian world, Dennis Prager thinks it may well be. America used to be the single brake against this trend, but Obama’s America has jumped upon the bandwagon.
I have no idea why it’s a surprise to learn that, the more government spends, the more businesses retrench rather than joining the spending party. Business people understand what liberal policy wonks don’t: all that spending has to be paid for by taxes; all those taxes suck money out of the economy; and an economy with no money is a perilous business environment. The fact that it took a scholarly study to figure this one out tells us just how removed from reality the Ivory Tower crowd is. [UPDATE: Just wanted to add one more thing. I'm reading Jaques Barzun's The Culture We Deserve for my (conservative) reading group. I'm only two essays in, but he's already explained perfectly why I loathed the liberal arts program at UC Berkeley when I was a student there in the very early 1980s. I've always been a member of the true reality-based community. I therefore never had the stomach for the artificiality of academia. People don't live in petri dishes. They live in the real world, with real problems and, most importantly, real cause and effect.]
Great. The EPA is planning on managing plants in Texas. This should go well (see my previous paragraph).
I commented earlier that Focus on the Family handled the whole Tebow ad brilliantly, by letting the Left get hysterical in advance, only to be confronted by a completely innocuous ad in which Pam Tebow talks about times when she worried about Tim’s life. With its preemptive frothing, the Left managed to show anyone who was paying attention that they care, not about choices (because Pam Tebow made a choice), but about preserving abortion in all forms, at all costs, under all circumstances. (For my by-no-means doctrinaire views on the subject, see here.)
Showing that they can’t quit when they’re behind, the Lefties, this time in the form of an op-ed at The Nation magazine, continue to opine idiotically on the subject. I’ve interjected a little common sense:
Folks – the Tim Tebow/Pam Tebow ad has finally aired and it is about as vanilla as an Andy Williams Christmas Special. This is none too surprising. After all, CBS actually co-produced the ad to run seamlessly with the rest of its slick Super Bowl coverage. This has the anti-choice right wing on the blogs mocking the National Organization for Women and Planned Parenthood for “making a big deal over nothing.”
Yes, that would be me being one of the mockers, sort of. I’m delighted that they made a big deal over nothing, because it helped highlight what matters to those folks rejoicing under the Orwellian name of “pro-choice.”
But the concerns of NOW and Planned Parenthood were absolutely spot on when you saw the final shot of the ad: “This message is brought to you by Focus on the Family.” The idea that Focus on the Family – an organization that believes in reparative therapy for LGBT people, that likens abortion rights to the Nazi holocaust, and that has shadowy connections to open hate groups – gets this kind of a mammoth public forum is an absolute disgrace.
This is where the Left is suffering from a pretty embarrassing logic gap. The only reason anyone paid any attention to that ad (raising the possibility that people might check out Focus on the Family) is because the Left got so hysterical. Had they adopted a wait-and-see attitude, and then let the ad sink like a very expensive stone when it was obvious how “vanilla” it was, that would have been the end of the fight. The Tebows would have had their little say, and everyone would have gone home.
But the whole kerfuffle wasn’t about the ad itself. It was about pro-life and true pro-choice advocates baiting the Left to show that it’s agenda isn’t the misnomer “pro-choice,” but is instead a eugenic commitment: the Left finds it heinous that people would go ahead with high risk pregnancies. The true believers, when it comes to abortion rights, think that high risk pregnancies should narrow down to one choice — abortion. And if you don’t believe me, look at the splenetic response “pro-choice” people had regarding Sarah Palin’s choice to have a child she knew would be mentally disabled.
As for the ad, Pam Tebow speaks about the choice to ignore her doctor’s advice and risk her own life. She has every right to stand on a soap box with her hunky, Heisman winning son, and tell other women about the benefits of ignoring your doctor. But the idea that CBS would provide the platform for such a message without so much as a medical disclaimer, is simply wrong.
I can see the medical disclaimer now: “Two out of five doctors believe that, if you’re advised that your baby might be stillborn, you should have an abortion to preclude the possibility that it might be born alive and healthy.”
What kind of verkakte talk is that? Please keep in mind that Pam Tebow, in both ads, here and here, talked about her worries about Tim’s health, not about her worries about her own health. In other words, unless viewers, intrigued by the uproar, went to the focus on the family website, they’d never hear Pam say, as The Nation falsely states, that she chose “to ignore her doctor’s advice and risk her own life.”
Also, the idea that Focus on the Family, an organization which stands unequivocally for the view that other women should be denied Pam Tebow’s choice would get this kind of prime commercial real estate, exposes CBS as a frighteningly fraudulent operation. They should offer free commercial time to Planned Parenthood.
Focus on the Family paid to run what even The Nation admits is a completely innocuous commercial that talks about what even The Nation admits is “Pam Tebow’s choice.” The pro-choice nature of the ad so infuriates The Nation’s editors that they proclaim that the only antidote is to give the frequently governmentally-funded Planned Parenthood free airtime?
Again, I like it. How about this ad: “Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood because she recognized that sometimes, Mother Nature just doesn’t get things quite right. Left to her own devices, Mother Nature produces ‘retarded’ people, Negroes, Jews, and other undesirables. So when the doctor tells you there’s a possibility that you’re going to be bringing another undesirable into the world, Planned Parenthood is there to serve you, and to make sure that Mother Nature gets a helping hand.”
And if Roe vs. Wade is ever deemed unconstitutional, I hope the executives at CBS ponder their role in this process. Maybe it’ll cross their minds when they are taking their daughters on a first class trip to France for legal, safe abortions. Somewhere, Edward R. Murrow weeps.
Roe v. Wade has been unconstitutional from the get-go. Honest lawyers, even pro-”choice” honest lawyers acknowledge that it creates a right out of whole cloth.
As y’all know, I am not rabidly anti-abortion. I believe it has a definite place, and I believe that there are gray areas where black-and-white law makes for very bad outcomes. However, I also believe that the Left’s obsession with fetal deaths, its hysterical assertions that changing the law one iota will throw us back to some 1850 horror show of coat hangers and bloodied rooms, is ridiculous. Times have changed. Birth control has changed. Single parenthood has changed. Social stigmas have changed. Maternal mortality has changed. It’s a cheap and shoddy debate to pretend that, as to abortion alone, time has frozen, and there can be no movement.
My admiration for Focus on the Family, a group that holds views that are much more extreme than any I hold regarding abortion, gays, etc., continues to grow. Conservatives generally could learn from this technique of allowing the Left to rip back its own curtain, exposing the totalitarianism hiding behind the cooing words of love and compassion.
UPDATE: Fellow Watcher’s Council member Omri Ceren, at Mere Rhetoric, has a great post explaining that the new meme, attacking the commercial for celebrating violence against women, simply exposes — again — the staggering hypocrisy that animates the Left. Oh, wait! I forgot. They’re not hypocritical at all. If I remember correctly the Left was saying that the violent imagery in the attacks against Palin was okay, because she wasn’t really a woman. And what was one of the things that made her not a woman? Her refusal to abort a Down child. It always comes full circle, doesn’t it?
The Dems have launched a new attack against Brown, in order to cause voters to react in Pavlovian revulsion when they hear his name: They’re now contending that (a) Brown thinks Sarah Palin is a decent human being and (b) Brown indicated skepticism about the fact that Barack Obama’s mother was married to his father, back in 1961. Both charges, of course, are enough, in Democratic eyes, to make one a candidate for a deadly lightening bolt from God:
Insofar as Scott Brown committed the grave sin of defending Sarah Palin, Greyhawk has it nailed:
I see Brown defending those who accept responsibility here. I have no idea how he completed the sentence (re: Obama’s mother) “But more importantly, the fact that she had him when she was 18 years old…” but obviously it would reveal whatever Brown thought was more important. Based on context (and the fact that a Coakley support site cut the video off right there) I’d have to suspect it might be something Coakley supporters don’t want to hear.
The second point, of course, re Palin, is that the gross sexism leveled at her was entirely unrelated to her myriad virtues as a business woman, politician and mother, who teamed with her whole family to make things happen.
As for the “unconscionable” slur of bastardy against Obama, a couple of things. First of all, nowadays, out-of-wedlock births are practically normative, so it’s no insult. Second, Scott Brown was merely agreeing with . . . Michelle Obama who was speaking back in mid-2008 (emphasis mine):
Obama used the roundtable audience, as she did yesterday, to describe her husband’s understanding of women’s issues through the prism of the strong — but sometimes struggling — women in his life.
His own mother, she said at the beginning of her remarks, was “very young and very single when she had him.” And, Obama added, he has observed his wife’s attempts to reconcile motherhood with her career aspirations.
(Hat tip: Kim Priestap)
Every first year law student knows, truth is the best defense to a libel charge.
As for me, I don’t care whether Obama was born in or out of wedlock about 50 years ago. I do care very much about his current political ideology. I also care a great deal that a politician who spoke the truth is not slandered with the accusation that he voiced a lie.
Last week, I recommended that you read Carl Cannon’s Sarah “Barracuda” Palin and the Piranhas of the Press. Cannon, who holds no brief for Palin, nevertheless thinks that the press’s behavior once she was on the national scene demonstrates that the American media is in freefall.
Cannon begins by pointing out that, after offering their opinions (“Sarah is an idiot”) as fact, the media moved on to relaying rumors as actual news stories. These rumors included (but certainly are not limited to) the claims that Trig was in fact Bristol’s son, that she advocated book burning, and that she was a Patrick Buchanan supporter. Minimal investigation, of the type the MSM was unwilling to make, would instantly have disproven each of these scurrilous charges.
What particularly incensed Cannon, though, was the media’s handling of the Vice Presidential debate. While Palin’s showing was unpolished and she made errors, Biden went off the deep end with lies, lies, and idiocies. A fair media would have reported on both side’s errors. Our media, however, attacked Cannon and gave Biden a free pass.
This is old history for you, although Cannon sews it together so well. What’s new is the reaction I got from one of my very liberal friends when I posted a link to Cannon’s article on facebook, along with my comment that it’s time for the American media to become like the British media, and simply announce its political orientation up front.
My liberal friend was incensed by the article. What was so funny was his justification for thinking it was a bad article. I won’t quote my friend here, but the bottom line was his belief that Cannon’s essay should not be taken seriously because Palin was such an unserious figure. In other words, the press was under no obligation to report honestly about her (or about Biden), because she didn’t deserve to be elected.
Think about that: my friend believes that it is the media’s responsibility to weed out bad candidates by whatever means possible, including lying to and withholding information from the American people. I’ve heard of monarchies, oligarchies, theocracies, democracies, but my friend is now proposing a media-ocracy (a concept that sounds remarkably close to mediocrity). I don’t know about you, but that’s one of the scariest damn things I’ve ever heard.
You all know by now that Palin is abruptly quitting her job as Alaska’s governor. Speculation is rife as to her motives. Many see her as planning for her next political office. I don’t believe that. Nobody’s going to want a quitter in the White House. There’s got to be something more going on here.
I hope it’s not ill health on anyone’s part. It may just be that the attacks on her family have gotten too vicious. While I suspect she can take it, maybe they can’t. Or maybe she can’t take it either. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such vicious personal attack in my entire life. It would be sad, though, if the politics of personal destruction — a tactic that’s entirely unrelated to her politics or competence — proved so spectacularly successful.
If you’re over thirty, you remember the shampoo commercials that had the tag line “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” If you’ve forgotten, let me refresh your memory:
That slogan started repeating itself in my head with the attacks on Sarah Palin. I won’t repeat here (or link to) the startling savagery of the hatred heaped upon her, but I’ll remind you that it included denying that she was a woman at all, asserting that she was manifestly stupid, and calling her a traitor to her sex.
The same slogan has now moved to the forefront of my brain with the savage attacks on Carrie Prejean. Believe me, if a less attractive woman had said precisely the same thing that brought Prejean such notoriety, the Left would have sneered and moved on. It’s the fact that a beautiful woman had the temerity politely to state that she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman that drives the Left into a frenzy of abuse.
The flip side of this deep hatred the Left has for beautiful women with whom it disagrees is it’s fanatic desire to convince Americans (nay, the world) that its female political icons are beautiful. Bloggers are starting to take notice of the fact that those on the Left, not satisfied with saturating the media with pictures of Mrs. Obama, are now trying to elevate her to the pantheon of Goddesses, a woman not merely beautiful, but one whose beauty makes her an amalgam of Mother Earth and Venus. The latest to advance this notion is the always reliably silly Sally Quinn, who waxes lyrical about Michelle’s arms:
Michelle Obama’s arms, we determined, were transformational. Her arms are representative of a new kind of woman: young, strong, vigorous, intelligent, accomplished, sexual, powerful, embracing and, most of all, loving.
Today is Mother’s Day. Today we should celebrate Michelle Obama’s arms as the arms of a mother.
This is a woman who has the courage to say “I am mom in chief” and make her children and her family — unapologetically — her No. 1 priority. She is able to do this because she is so intelligent and accomplished that she doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone. She is healthy enough to be able to say, this is who I am, these are my values and my priorities.
Reading stuff like that (and it goes on and on and on, far beyond what I just quoted), I’m beginning to think there is some virtue to the Roman idea of a vomitorium. I could use one right now.
Just so we’re clear here: The Left verbally brutalized a truly beautiful woman who had reached one of the highest echelons of American politics by denying her any claim even to being female. Now, it engages in hagiography by taking an ordinary woman who abandoned her career to support her husband and celebrating her old-fashioned role as mom. As you know, I have no problem with the old-fashioned role of Mom, but the Left certainly has had that problem — except when it came to Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Obama.
As for me, when I see Michelle Obama, I think two things: nice enough and, when her face is in repose, angry. It’s the latter that makes her the perfect poster child for the Left, but they can’t admit that. It would be impossible for them to elevate her to their pantheon as some sort of vengeful warrior goddess. Instead, she must be objectified as the personification of all female virtues. They don’t have to worry that you’ll hate Michelle because she’s beautiful — she isn’t. But they’re going to force you to love her because she’s a Leftist female without hair in her pits.
(By the way, check out Ann Coulter talking about attacks on Prejean.)
An email friend of mine advanced the notion of General Petraeus running in 2012. The man has shown himself to be incredibly competent, but I don’t know much more about him. He certainly has executive experience. My friend, who knows (or knows of him) quite well says that he has many of the virtues that would make both a good candidate and a good president. I have no knowledge of whether he wants to run, but it’s an interesting concept.
Since 2012 is coming upon us quickly (thank goodness), I was interested in your preferences and created a poll. Since I’m new to poll creating, the “none of the above” option is unanchored, and drifts, but I trust you’ll figure it out. Also, if you don’t see a potential candidate you like in my poll, leave a comment with the person’s name.
Yesterday, Mr. Bookworm and I found ourselves in a car heading south. As we passed the Marriott at which Sarah Palin spoke (a speech I got to hear in person), this dialog ensued:
Me: That’s where Sarah Palin spoke.
Mr. Bookworm: Really? Are you still going to tell me that she wouldn’t have been a disaster as Vice President?
Me: I think she would have made a fine Vice President. She certainly would have been better than Joe Biden. Say, did you hear what he said the other day? He said he was the best Vice President since, well, anybody. [I mangled the quote a little bit. This is what he actually said: “I’m the most experienced vice president since anybody.”]
Mr. Bookworm: That’s so not true. He never said that. You live in right wing fantasy world. I defy you to find that for me. Anyway, Palin would have been a laughingstock.
Me: Come on. She has more executive experience than Obama and you voted for him.
Mr. Bookworm: That is a totally specious argument. This is not about executive experience.
Me: Yes, it is. The president is the executive office.
Mr. Bookworm: That is total B.S. The presidency has nothing to do with being an executive.
Me: Babe, it’s in the Constitution. The President is the “executive.”
Mr. Bookworm: That doesn’t mean anything anymore. Presidents aren’t really executives. The office is inspirational. All the best Presidents haven’t been executives; they’ve been inspirational leaders.
This interesting conversation ended abruptly at this point when one of the kids started throwing up in the back seat, but I certainly would have liked to have pursued it.
UPDATED: Just got off the phone from a call with another relative, a very liberal gal who lives in a liberal enclave back East. After listening to her soundly berating Sarah Palin for being an idiot because she doesn’t speak well and lauding Obama because he does, I asked her my standard question: “What has Obama accomplished?” Her answer: “He’s an inspirational symbol. He doesn’t need to have accomplished anything.”
Are they all reading from the same playbook or have they all independently arrived at the conclusion that this is the only possible answer to cover Obama’s abysmal lack of concrete accomplishments?
This is about the most depressing video I’ve seen in a long time:
It’s obvious that the media effectively got its message across — and it’s impressive how unperturbed these voters are by their abysmal ignorance. The last woman, who is also the most charming, openly professes surprise at her ignorance, but discounts any possibility that more information might have changed her mind. Aargh!!!!
If you watch this video, you should also read Paul Kengor’s article about the way in which modern education has drained students of any ability to think independently or analyze data, and has turned them into mindless Leftist drones.
UPDATE: Deanna left a comment worrying that Democrats will simply discount this video, because it’s a small sample, and we don’t know the selection process. However, in this case, the Dems can’t colorably make that argument, because this pathetic simply of ill-informed individuals (fed by NPR, CNN, the New York Times, or nothing at all) are actually perfectly representative of a poll Zogby conducted showing the voters’ profound ignorance of basic political facts:
512 Obama Voters 11/13/08-11/15/08 MOE +/- 4.4 points
97.1% High School Graduate or higher, 55% College Graduates
Results to 12 simple Multiple Choice Questions
57.4% could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)
81.8% could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)
82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)
88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)
56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).
Only 13.7% failed to identify Sarah Palin as the person on which their party spent $150,000 in clothes
Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter
And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her “house,” even though that was Tina Fey who said that!!
Only 2.4% got at least 11 correct.
Only .5% got all of them correct. (And we “gave” one answer that was technically not Palin, but actually Tina Fey)
There is no doubt that Democrats will discount this video, but that reason will be denied them.
I was sitting near two women and overheard part of their conversation. After a lengthy back and forth praising Oprah, this gem came out: “Sarah Palin is stupid but she communicates really well to Americans because most Americans are stupid.”
At HotAir, you can read this long, detailed and thoughtful post examining Obama’s positions on myriad issues. As you read the post, think about what I was trying to say yesterday: figure out what beliefs you hold, and then match them to the candidate. We’ve been so personality driven this election, that it’s been all too easy to say Obama = smart, dumb, honest, crooked, inspired, drab, inexperienced, etc., or Palin = savvy, idiotic, conservative, wacky, intelligent, inexperienced, experienced, etc. All these adjectives are easy to throw around, but neither adjective in this war of words (or invective) presents an honest assessment of the beliefs these two lightening rods hold.
As I said before, if your fundamental belief is that government is the answer, Obama, whether he’s smart, dumb, honest, dishonest, or whatever, is your candidate. (Although you might want to heed Biden’s warning that America will be attacked by a foreign entity and Obama’s response will challenge even the faithful.)
On the other hand, if you think government’s role is to protect Americans’ freedom as much as possible, and to step in only to police deviations from honesty, than the McCain-Palin ticket is your answer, and that’s true regardless of whether you think McCain is old, experienced, too aggressive, not aggressive enough, or whatever. Incidentally, I’d add to this that you’re a McCain-Palin kind of voter if you don’t like OPEC manipulating world oil prices to our detriment and pouring the profits into funding radical Islam around the world.
Anyway, ignore the personalities and the invective. Look at your beliefs, align them with the candidates’ records (not their rhetoric), and vote accordingly.
One other reminder: For those who are pro-Choice, but are in all other respects aligned with the McCain-Palin ticket, please don’t let that stop you from voting for them. The worst that will happen is what should have happened all along, before the dishonest Roe v. Wade opinion (and even abortion proponents concede its dishonesty): The issue will be recognized as one that is not a proper matter for federal involvement and will be returned to the States.
In blue states, it will remain entirely legal. In purple states, it will remain entirely or mostly legal. In the handful of true, blue red states, it might, might be narrowed, although it will always be available in cases of rape, incest or risk to the mother.
I know this is an important issue for conservative pro-Choicers, but don’t let it narrow your frame of reference so much that it blinds you to all the other important issues, many of which will have more and greater impact on the greatest number of Americans than abortion ever will.
The other day, I asked you to respond to the poll because we individualists (my new, Century-appropriate name for conservatives) didn’t want it to be one-sided (as in limited only to liberal, or statist, PBS viewers). It turns out that the PBS viewers are also worried about the outcome. That’s why I got this in an email (emphasis mine):
This seems to be important, it only takes about 5 seconds. Thought you’d want to know.
PBS has an online poll posted asking if Sarah Palin is qualified. Apparently the right wing knew about this in advance and are flooding the voting with YES votes. The poll will be reported on PBS and picked up by mainstream media. It can influence undecided voters in swing states.
Please do two things — takes 20 seconds.
1) Click on link and vote yourself.
Here’s the link:
2) Then send this to every single Obama-Biden voter you know, and urge them to vote and pass it on.
The last thing we need is PBS saying their viewers think Sarah Palin is qualified.
God forbid that a taxpayer funded media organization should represent alternative political views, right?
(BTW, don’t bother to go to the poll. As we already discovered, it’s old and dysfunctional.)
From James Taranto’s Best of the Web Today:
The McCain campaign has released Todd and Sarah Palin’s 2006 and 2007 tax returns, the Associated Press notes in a brief dispatch, which ends as follows:
The McCain-Palin campaign had said the tax returns would be released Monday, but it suddenly put them out Friday afternoon–a time long used by government to reveal embarrassing news because few people watch TV or read newspapers Friday evening and Saturday.
And the Palins’ tax returns are embarrassing because . . . well, the AP doesn’t say in its brief (129-word) dispatch. A later, longer version of the dispatch, which contains the same closing paragraph about “embarrassing news,” reveals that the Palins’ tax liability for 2007 turned out to be greater than they thought when they filed for an extension in April. As a result they may owe the IRS interest but not penalties. That’s embarrassing?
Could it be that the AP just throws in that disclaimer about “embarrassing news” on all Friday afternoon stories? Nope, NewsBusters.org notes that when Joe and Jill Biden released their tax returns three Fridays earlier, no such disclaimer was included in the AP’s report.
It did, however, mention that “the Bidens’ move is designed to pressure Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin to release her financial records.” Apparently in the AP’s eyes, all news is embarrassing to Sarah Palin.
A hilarious example of press bias against Palin occurred last FridayI on “The Diane Rehm Show,” a production of Washington’s WAMU-FM. The exchange between hostess Rehm, caller Tom of Norwich, Vt., and Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne begins at about 46:10 of the “10:00 News Roundup”:
Tom: I just wonder why not more has been made of the statement by Palin during the debate last night that “Maliki and the Talabani”–this is a quote from the transcript–”also in working with us are knowing again that we are getting closer and closer to the point of victory.” The Talibani obviously are our absolute enemy and have been since 9/11; Maliki, our central ally in Iraq. This to me is a tremendous blunder, revealing a very superficial familiarity with these sorts of terms.
Rehm: Thanks for calling, Tom. . . . E.J.?
Dionne: I think that “superficial” is absolutely the right word for the knowledge or the lack of knowledge Palin showed yesterday. I’m glad the caller raised that one, and I suspect there is going to be a scouring of that transcript for exactly that sort of gaffe. That has echoes of some of the stuff she said to Katie Couric.
If you look at the debate transcript, however, you will see that the reference is not to “the Talabani” but to Talabani–as in Jalal Talabani, the president of Iraq.
Unlike Tom and Dionne’s misunderstanding, Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi‘s misquotation of Palin can’t be chalked up to superficiality. Her Sunday column included the following correction of her Friday column:
My column on the vice presidential debate incorrectly quoted Sarah Palin. Here is the correct quote: “And I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I’m going to talk straight to the American people.”
The correction is a bit of a misquote too. Palin actually said, “I may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator or you want to hear,” as the official transcript confirms; some media transcripts missed the two italicized words.
Although the Web version of Vennochi’s Friday column has the almost-correct quote, we were able to retrieve the original column from Factiva. Here is how Vennochi quoted Palin:
The strategy for John McCain’s running mate was clear. Be folksy and perky. Her answers were sprinkled with “darn right,” and “betcha.” Early on, Palin told moderator Gwen Ifill she could ask whatever she wanted; “I’m gonna answer whatever I want.”
The most charitable explanation for this is that Vennochi, making notes during the debate, wrote down her interpretation of what Palin said and then mistook it for an actual quote.
Oh, the Sunday column that includes the correction is headlined, “Instead of Hype, How About Honesty?” Good question!
I did something kind of special today: I went to a big fundraiser and heard Sarah Palin speak before a relatively small audience (1,200 of her closest friends in Northern California). There are definitely perks to being a political volunteer.
I had a wonderful time, too. I got to check people in, and everybody was so very happy to be there. If things were a little wrong with the contents of their envelope (tickets, name tags, etc), they were so cheerful about it, just because they felt that they were in a special place, at a special time.
Once my volunteer stint finished, I was able to go into the large ballroom, pull up a chair, have a lovely brunch, and listen to Sarah Palin speak. She didn’t say anything you haven’t already heard: she spoke about her accomplishments, about John McCain’s accomplishments, about cleaning house in Washington, and about Obama’s association with Bill Ayers. She gave a funny apology for the Couric interview, saying that the fault was hers, because she wanted to talk about substance, and Couric kept asking her insubstantial questions that frustrated her.
It’s always interesting to see in person someone you’ve only seen on TV, especially someone you’ve seen only in two settings: before hostile interviewers or before tens of thousands of adoring fans. In the more “intimate” setting of an approving, well-informed audience of 1,200, she was a true star. Her rhythm is just great. She knows how to time things, and she makes the whole speech sound very personal.
Palin had no teleprompter, just some notes in front of her, to which she referred occasionally. She sounded very conversational and, the more conversational she sounded, the more charming she got. Everyone sitting there (and everyone reading this post) knows and admires a woman just like her. These women work with you, they carpool with you, they hang out at your kids sports with you, they’re at the bus stop, and sometimes you just socialize with them: they’re funny, warm, incredibly competent, well-organized, attractive without being threatening. It’s of these women that you always hear other women say “I’d hate her if she wasn’t so nice” — with “hate” being the operative term for, “I’m incredibly jealous of this woman who makes me look lazy and incompetent,” but she’s just too delightful not to enjoy.
Watching Sarah, and feeling the enthusiasm and warmth in the room, made me realize that there is still hope for this campaign. McCain has been declared politically dead over and over in the past two years, and he keeps coming back. He’s a warrior, not some weenie guy who slinks away in the night. And William Kristol reminds us that, in the waning days of the most bizarre campaign in American history, despair is our enemy (emphasis mine):
The odds are against John McCain and Sarah Palin winning this election. It’s not easy to make up a 6-point deficit in the last four weeks. But it can be done.
Look at history. The Gore-Lieberman ticket gained about 6 points in the final two weeks of the 2000 campaign. Ford-Dole came back more than 20 points in less than two months in the fall of 1976. Both tickets were from the party holding the White House, and both were running against inexperienced, and arguably risky, opponents.
What’s more, this year’s race has already–twice–moved by more than 6 points over a span of only a few weeks. The race went from McCain up 2 (these are the Real Clear Politics averages) on September 14 to Obama plus 6 on October 2, less than three weeks later. In the four weeks before that, the race had moved from Obama plus 5 on August 12 to McCain plus 2 on September 12.
So while there’s reason for McCain-Palin supporters to worry, there’s no reason to despair.
Despair is what the Obama campaign is hoping and working for. If a campaign can convince supporters of the other candidate that the race is effectively over, the enthusiasm and volunteer efforts drop off–as does, ultimately, their turnout on Election Day. Just as important, undecided and loosely affiliated voters become persuaded there’s no real contest and lose any incentive to look closely at the candidates. This explains the efforts of the Obama campaign–aided by a colluding media–to sell the notion that the race is over, that McCain supporters should give up, and undecided voters should tune out.
Don’t despair. It’s not over ’til it’s over. Obama is worse than we thought, and McCain is better than we often give him credit for being. And Sarah is a great politician, with a wonderful future no matter what happens. All is not lost.
UPDATE: A post from another blogger who was there and felt that same enthusiasm, with a bit more substance, too, than my impressionistic post.
UPDATE II: Despite the enthusiasm, Melanie Morgan (who was there too) says that some of the movers and shakers want McCain to get off his derriere and do some moving and shaking of his own — and Palin did promise that he would.
I’ve watched almost all of the debate, but it’s bedtime now, and I’ll have to save the rest for later. Three comments:
1. The first, the most obvious, and the most pressing question: How many botoxes did they kill to create that abnormally smooth, completely motionless forehead Biden was sporting? That was creepy.
2. Was I the only who noticed that Biden speaks in the language of class warfare, while Palin talks of American exceptionalism?
3. Regarding the debacle on Wall Street, I wish someone would explain clearly the difference between deregulation, and the issue of oversight, which would have prevented this from happening.
The problem on Wall Street wasn’t deregulation. Instead, it was a problem of too much regulation — that is, the government started telling banks how to loan money. The instructions required loans that went against banks’ financial interests, so banks started doing funny-money stuff to protect themselves — and they did so with Fannie’s and Freddie’s active participation. That was the Democratic side.
None of this would have happened if there had been oversight. Oversight doesn’t mean telling Wall Street what to do, it means policing Wall Street to make sure that, when it makes business decisions, it does so honestly.
Obama/Biden want to increase how much government dictates to Wall Street, and we’ve seen what a disaster that is. McCain/Palin want to get government out of bossing Wall Street around, and get government to do its more natural and appropriate role of policing Wall Street.
Those two concepts are hugely different from each other but, because nobody’s articulating this difference, including McCain and Palin, Obama and Biden are getting away with conflating the terms, muddying the waters, and besmirching McCain’s reputation and foresight.
Overall, Biden smirked but didn’t gaffe; Palin was a little nervous, but hit the high points.
UPDATE: I see I was not the only one to notice Biden’s forehead shield.
UPDATE II: I’m sure you’ve already read what the top bloggers have to say. Here are links to what some of my friends (some of whom are coincidentally pretty top bloggers themselves) have to say:
The Anchoress (who has wonderful links)
If you think someone wrote a particularly good debate post, please feel free to link in the comments.
I haven’t watched the debate yet. I’ve been doing volunteer work (yes, we selfish conservatives sometimes give generously of our time), getting food, preparing dinner, and wrapping up a brief that needs to be filed tomorrow. What I thought I’d do, therefore, is reprint here a prediction I made about the debate in an email I sent a friend early this afternoon. Since I probably won’t get to watch Sarah in action until the weekend, you can tell me if I’m right or wrong. Here’s my email:
I can predict the only possible outcomes for this debate:
Whether she does well or not, the MSM will savage her.
If she truly does well (outside of MSM perceptions), the conservative blogosphere will celebrate and hope for an 11th hour victory among ordinary Americans.
If she truly does badly (outside of MSM perceptions), we’ll be enveloped in despair, because the election will be over. Barring a true October surprise showing something not just awful, but new and awful about Obama, it will have ended tonight.
If she does medium well (outside of MSM perceptions), we will still have lost, because the media savagery will control the public perceptions.
In other words, there’s only one possibility for a good outcome, and that’s if Palin truly shines. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Since the moment Palin burst onto the scene, the media has engaged in the most sustained attack I’ve ever seen on a single political candidate. Outright lies, partial lies, rumors, half-truths, full truths — it doesn’t matter. There’s just a giant information dump onto the public radar, with the hope that most people will never sort through the information, but will just be left with a general impression that Palin is an idiot who lies, cheats, steals, slaughters animals indiscriminately, hunts and burns witches, sleeps with her whole family, censors books (but probably can’t read ‘em), and (worst of all) believes in God.
The McCain campaign has now set up a pretty cute little website aimed at countering the worst of the smears against her. It’s called, appropriately enough, Palin Truth Files, and it deserves some attention.
In 1992, I watched the three way Vice-Presidential debate, pitting Al Gore, Dan Quayle and last-minute Perot pick Admiral James B. Stockdale. I saw 90 minutes during which Admiral Stockdale opened with two philosophical questions (“Who am I? Why am I here?”) that made him look befuddled, not thoughtful, and then I watched him vanish in the melee that was the Gore-Quayle verbal fist-fight.
As a die-hard Clintonite, I resented his being there (although I’ve since realized that it was Perot’s and Stockdale’s presence on the ticket that enabled Clinton to win), and I was not inclined to take the man seriously. I’m sorry now that I didn’t. His son has written a lovely homage to him, one that explains the way in which he was brutally dragged into an alien political landscape and exposed to a great deal of public humiliation. Mr. Stockdale also tells us precisely what kind of a man his father was, and how even this gauntlet didn’t touch his true core:
As everyone saw that evening, he was not a politician. He was a fighter-pilot ace, a Medal of Honor recipient, and a wonderful dad and human being. During his eight years as a POW, he slit his scalp and beat his face with a stool to prevent his captors from parading him in the streets for propaganda purposes. He gave starving men his food rations when he himself was starving. And at home, after his release in 1973, he was a respected leader, scholar and writer. He considered himself a philosopher.
He studied the Greeks — specifically Epictetus, an ancient slave and stoic who espoused the idea that individuals have free will and absolute autonomy over all matters within their control. He believed we must not wallow in self-pity when the chips are down, but rather recognize that we have the power to choose how to respond to everything.
My father adopted this philosophy while a graduate student at Stanford University in the early 1960s. So he never took pity on himself — ever. Not as a POW when he was tortured, forced to wear leg irons and to live in solitary confinement. And not after the debate. He knew he had put himself into that arena.
Mr. Stockdale wraps up his article with a great deal of sympathy of what has been and will be happening to Sarah Palin.