I Can’t Stop Thinking About Sarah Palin

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I have never in all my years been quite as in love with politics as I am right now. I have been politically engaged for about twenty years, since I was a teenager, and I am hard-pressed to remember a time when politics made me so happy.

As I write, I am grinning from ear-to-ear. Every time I read a neocon article supporting Sarah Palin, I feel an angel gets its wings. I love it.

Am I making sense right now?

Probably not. But what the hell, I’m giddy. Even though the MSM is taking the pick seriously and, it seems, the NRO, Weekly Standard crew, and neocon commentators everywhere have finally received the talking points from the McCain camp, I know they are reeling.

And that’s why I love it.

Because finally, after eight long years, America is on verge of a comeback.

Friends, don’t let this moment slip away. I’m not going to stop fighting until the election is over and neither should you. Join the brown bag campaign and give to Obama until it hurts.

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Karl Rove’s Secret Plan to Sabotage McCain

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A loyal Bushie to the end, Karl Rove and his sinister team have taken the politics of personal destruction to a new extreme by hijacking the McCain campaign and forcing him to take Sarah Palin as his VP. The secret plan, hatched inside Rove’s secret lair under the Fox “News” studios, is an effort to make sure that the hated GOP maverick, the man who dared take on Bush in 2000 (and didn’t even vote for him), will never be president.

“Why not?” an anonymous source close to Rove said. “We’re going to lose this year, anyway. Better to teach a lesson to the party by making an example of grandpa. Step out of line, and you pay the price.”

The lesson appears to be taking hold as conservative politicians and commentators are shocked and baffled by the choice.

“They must be trying sabotage his campaign,” an unnamed conservative commentator stated. “It’s a lesson for us all. Rove is spanking McCain in public.”

The Republican nominee, for his part, seems equally baffled and shocked by his choice. Wearing a chilly perma-grin while reading the remarks prepared for him at a recent campaign stop, McCain seemed confused and underwhelmed. The lesson may be sinking in.

But some in the GOP are hopeful that Rove’s “prank” won’t push the campaign completely off the map.

Rumors continue to swirl in Washington that Sarah Palin is Harriet Miers redux.

While by all accounts, Palin is a nice woman and a decent local politician, she is clearly not presidential material. And despite what has been described as “comically dishonest” cheerleading for Palin in the more craven precincts of the GOP, most conservatives are in agreement that she is the worst vice-presidential pick in, certainly, recent American history.

These conservatives speculate that the pick could just be part of “old Karl’s” master plan.

Which is described as playing out like this:

Palin, who has a four month-old son with Down’s Syndrome, campaigns for a week or two, through the convention at least, and then drops out citing her family. Everyone understands. She bit off more than she could chew.

McCain can claim to have broadened the party by bringing in the young people and women, shaking up the status quo like a true maverick. He will then turn around and accept the establishment candidate Mitt Romney. The GOP will hail the change as brilliant, like Samuel Alito after Harriet Miers. With a feeling of massive relief, the whole country will close their eyes and press the lever for McCain/Romney.

At least that’s the hope.

Will Rove’s masterplan succeed? Time will tell.


I’m Beginning to Feel Bad for McCain

Sunday, August 31, 2008

As it begins to sink in that John McCain has really chosen Sarah Palin as his VP, I’ve begun to actually pity the man. Watching her initial remarks, McCain stood there with that creepy frozen grin on his face looking, for all the world, like he wished he could take it back. Every time I’ve seen them together since, I get the same impression.

Forget winning the White House. His legacy is trashed. What would his father think?

He is going down in a spiral of Bush-like incompetence and poor judgment.


Hurricane Irony

Saturday, August 30, 2008

With rich novelistic irony, Hurricane Gustav continues to bear down on New Orleans just in time for the GOP convention.

Of course, this is real life, and not a novel, so one hopes and prays that no one will be hurt.

That said, it would be deeply unnatural in our religious society (and, indeed, among humans more generally throughout history) not to see this as a sign from God.

For Americans, Gustav reverberates with meaning far greater than the power of its winds. Wherever your place on the political spectrum, Gustav symbolizes, in this moment, not only the utter failure of the Bush/McCain GOP, but God’s judgment upon them.

Let us all hope that, at least, we are prepared this time.


Conservatives on Sarah Palin

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Here are thoughts from some prominent conservatives on Sarah Palin:

Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review:

Palin has been governor for about two minutes. Thanks to McCain’s decision, Palin could be commander-in-chief next year. That may strike people as a reckless choice; it strikes me that way. And McCain’s age raised the stakes on this issue.

As a political matter, it undercuts the case against Obama. Conservatives are pointing out that it is tricky for the Obama campaign to raise the issue of her inexperience given his own, and note that the presidency matters more than the vice-presidency. But that gets things backward. To the extent the experience, qualifications, and national-security arguments are taken off the table, Obama wins.

And it’s not just foreign policy. Palin has no experience dealing with national domestic issues, either.

Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic Monthly:

Think about what the Palin pick really says about how McCain views this campaign and how he views his potential responsibilities in national security.

Think about what it says about the sincerity of McCain’s own central criticism of Obama these past two months in foreign affairs.

Think about how he picked a woman to be a heartbeat away from a war presidency who hadn’t even thought much, by her own admission, about the Iraq war as late as 2007.

Think about how he made this decision barely knowing the woman.

Think about the fact that the most McCain could say about his potential war-time vice-president in foreign affairs and national security when selecting her is that she commanded Alaska’s National Guard as governor and has a son in the military.

Think about the men and women serving this country who have every right to trust that their potential commander-in-chief, whatever their party, would have some record of even interest in foreign policy before assuming office.

Think about how the key factor in this decision was not who could defend this country were something dreadful happen to McCain in office but how to tread as much on Obama’s convention bounce and use women’s equality as a wedge issue among Democrats because it might secure a few points here or there. Oh, and everyone would be surprised. And even Rove would be annoyed.

This is his sense of honor and judgment. This is his sense of responsibility and service.

Here’s the real slogan the McCain campaign should now adopt:

Putting. Country. Last.

The profoundly ugly (and despicable) Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post:

McCain had been steadily gaining on Obama (before the inevitable convention bounce) and had the race in a dead heat in a year in which the generic Democrat is running ten points ahead of the generic Republican. He had succeeded in making this a referendum on Obama. The devastating line of attack was, “Is he ready to lead?”

The Palin selection completely undercuts the argument about Obama’s inexperience and readiness to lead — on the theory that because Palin is a maverick and a corruption fighter, she bolsters McCain’s claim to be the reformer in this campaign. In her rollout today, Palin spoke a lot about change. McCain is now trying to steal “change” from Obama, a contest McCain will lose in an overwhelmingly Democratic year with an overwhelmingly unpopular incumbent Republican administration. At the same time, he’s weakening his strong suit — readiness vs. unreadiness.

The McCain campaign is reveling in the fact that Palin is a game changer. But why a game changer when you’ve been gaining? To gratuitously undercut the remarkably successful “Is he ready to lead” line of attack seems near suicidal.

David Frum posting on the National Review:

It’s a wild gamble, undertaken by our oldest ever first-time candidate for president in hopes of changing the board of this election campaign. Maybe it will work. But maybe (and at least as likely) it will reinforce a theme that I’d be pounding home if I were the Obama campaign: that it’s John McCain for all his white hair who represents the risky choice, while it is Barack Obama who offers cautious, steady, predictable governance.

Here’s I fear the worst harm that may be done by this selection. The McCain campaign’s slogan is “country first.” It’s a good slogan, and it aptly describes John McCain, one of the most self-sacrificing, gallant, and honorable men ever to seek the presidency.

But question: If it were your decision, and you were putting your country first, would you put an untested small-town mayor a heartbeat away from the presidency?

I could post more, but you get the point…


McCain’s Last Line of Attack? Race

Saturday, August 30, 2008

And so now it’s coming.

By cutting off (obliterating) the one avenue of attack that, though inaccurate, had an element of relative legitimacy – Obama’s inexperience – McCain has just reduced his campaign to tatters. Around the Internet conservatives are lamenting the pick and wondering how McCain will attack Obama now.

The answer?

Race.

What? You thought it would disappear?

As I wrote yesterday, look for Jeremiah Wright commercials, questions about Obama’s “rootless” life, nasty insinuations about his connection to Islam, and so on. Rove’s team is in charge and they’re going for the jugular. This is the cynical heart of GOP politics.

These men believe that in the deep recesses of the minds of white people lies a genuine, almost primal, dislike (discomfort, revulsion) of black people, particularly the idea of a black president and first lady. They feel this way, because it is what they feel themselves.

And to some degree, they are right. I don’t know how many Americans do harbor these feelings, but some must. The GOP is banking that more do than not.

The bottom line? The Palin pick was a desperate tactic by a desperate candidate of a desperate party. And that desperation will only grow more extreme. The race issue is coming after the convention. Just watch.


Gallup Daily Tracking Poll: Obama +8

Friday, August 29, 2008

See it here.