Palin’s pass

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.

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”

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.)

Who would you vote for as the next President?

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.

The inspirational president *UPDATED*

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?

The media did its job well *UPDATED*

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).

And yet…..

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.

Obama’s positions — some of which you might not like

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.

Remember thatr PBS poll I told you about?

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:

http://www.pbs.org/now/polls/poll-435.html

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.)

Don’t believe everything — or even anything — that you read in the papers

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!

Keeping the faith *UPDATED*

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.

UPDATEA 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.

A few comments about the debate *UPDATED*

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)

Lorie Byrd at Wizbang

Steve Schippert at Wizbang

Cheat-Seeking Missiles

Brutally Honest

Flopping Aces

If you think someone wrote a particularly good debate post, please feel free to link in the comments.

The debate

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.