Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Sarah Palin and the Neo-Con dream

by Frank Schnittger Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 02:22:47 PM EST

At the heart of the Neo-conservative dream has been the contention that the USA is now in command of the World and that it no longer has to play ball with the realities of power as represented by other major nations.  Their mission is to create new realities, not to negotiate with the old.  President Bush's imperviousness to facts which contradict this vision has been well documented.  His determination to wage war with enemies rather than negotiate with adversaries has been the defining feature of his Presidency.

And so we have McCain nominating Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential nominee.  By any objective measure she is spectacularly unqualified to act as Commander-in-Chief on day one and  

"strengthen us to confront the transcendent challenge of our time: the threat of radical Islamic terrorism" - John McCain 2008 - John McCain for President

So why is Sarah Palin the ideal pick for the neo-con project?


First, let us recall some words from one of the architects of the neo-con project:New Realities in the Media Age: A Conversation with Donald Rumsfeld [Rush Transcript; Federal News Service, Inc.] - Council on Foreign Relations

The U.S. government will have to develop an institutional capability to anticipate and act within the same news cycle. That will require instituting 24-hour press operation centers, elevating Internet operations and other channels of communication to the equal status with the traditional 20th Century press relations. It will result in much less reliance on the traditional print press, just as the publics of the U.S. and the world are relying less on newspapers as their principal source of information. And it will require attracting more experts in these areas from the private sector to government service. This also will likely mean embracing new institutions to engage people across the world.

In other words, there is a war on, and it is being fought through the media.  And what you need, if you want to win that war is photogenic and telegenic personalities who embody the right values and project the right vision.  The fact that they may have not the slightest qualifications for the Office, and only the flimsiest grasp of the facts is neither here no there.

You have to identify the enemy, define it in your terms, and then sell your product as the solution to the fears you have raised.  Thus "the surge is working", America is the leader of the free world,  and Democrats don't understand the nature of the threats that republicans have defined with their mastery of the MSM.

They are right about one thing.  There is a war on.  And Sarah Palin can be presented as innocent of all the victims so far created.  What works in small town Alaska can be presented as the model and symbol for middle America as a whole.  It's the Democrats who are messing with the American dream by bringing in nasty realities like urban degeneration, energy dependency, economic recession and military defeatism.

You appeal to the values of small town America and let all imagine that the world is just an extension of that worldview.  Then you blame the Democrats for spoiling the party.  Attacking Sarah Palin will be like attacking your next door neighbour.  She is the soccer mom, the local corruption reformer, the beauty queen.

Reduce the world to a scale that "ordinary" people can understand and experience in their daily lives.  And then blame democrats for making it seem so horribly complicated.

And what happens if Sarah Palin actually becomes President?  She will be the perfect front for the Neo-con project pulling the strings assiduously behind. Its the neo-American way.

At Das Monde's request I am adding a poll based mainly on his suggestions. Further suggestions welcome.

Poll
What does McCain's pick of Sarah Palin mean?
. Desperation, baby 15%
. A nice stab to equality adoring liberals 0%
. Giving some confidence to backers that McCain will do anything crazy to win 7%
. McCain is having time of his life 7%
. The election does not matter. Bush will go for dictatorship 7%
. Alaska is becoming a new world power 7%
. To put the fear of God into Putin 0%
. To build a Bridge to Russia 15%
. To lock up the small town small minded vote 23%
. He's gonna win the election 15%

Votes: 13
Results | Other Polls
Display:
Sarah Palin: Icon of Nostalgia for the Rugged Frontier and Small Town Values.  The ticket becomes Gigit and The Geezer.  Towards the end of his career, after again becoming "romantically" involved with a lovely and talented acolyte, Carl Jung, in self defense, coined a new Architype: John the Baptist and Salome.  

Frank's analysis coincides perfectly with that of George Lakoff in The Political Mind. George's first chapter is entitled "Anna Nicole on the Brain."  He correctly asserts that you cannot understand American politics if you can't understand the appeal of Anna Nicole to a vast portion of the American Public.  Even if Anna Nicole had lived, she could never be an acceptable Vice Presidential candidate, but Sarah Palin can be.  She is a former beauty queen, has shot moose, has helped out with the salmon catch on her husband's boat, and can be portrayed a reformer who fought the establishment in her own party to become governor and clean up government in Alaska.  Next, Gigit goes to Washington.

McCain looked like the cat who ate the canary as he introduced her.  In the clip I saw he stood to the side behind her and was looking toward her and down.  I wondered if he was fixated by her derriere.  We had better hope she is a gaffe machine, or hope that McCain sees her as his "date" to the Tailhook Revival.  Watch out, Cindi!  It could be you this time!  Hope you have a good prenup.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 02:52:48 PM EST
ARGeezer:
has shot moose,

My apologies.  I forgot about this important qualification.   Putin - watch out!!!

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 03:05:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thought you were going to say Kodiak bear.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sun Aug 31st, 2008 at 10:25:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
McCain is more at home with the "moderate" neo-cons than Palin. From all indications, Palin is a Buchananite, a supporter of the wing of the Republican party that looks askance at the neo-liberal transformation of the Republican party.  They harken back to when the GOP was an isolationist party that believed in economic nationalist policies.

They piss social liberals off to no end because they are at odds with both gay marriage and abortion, but foreign policy is an area where they disagree vigourously with the Bushies.  As the title of one of Buchanan's books aptly put it America is a Repubic, not an Empire.  

They are the polar opposite of the neo-cons.  They are paleocons, and to be honest I find a lot of common ground with them on economic issues.  And I'm willing to see social issues put on the backburner to reel in the neo-liberal agenda that's been at the heart of both the McCain and Obama campaigns.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 03:57:32 PM EST
They're not particularly good on economic issues, unless you believe protectionism is all we need. They're also seriously isolationist - not just in the ways you like, but the ways you would dislike - goodbye UN, goodbye any treaties whether economic, environmental, or other, goodbye foreign aid. Furthermore they have a nasty racist streak. It is true that their popular base tends to be a lot closer to a progressive economic agenda than the leaders.

But I never understand what people are trying to say when they suggest 'putting social issues on the backburner' or similar phrases. They're hard core on that - if you want to win them over to the dem side against a solid traditional Repub conservative you'd need to do some serious rollback on women's rights and gay rights.

Even if you're willing to pay that price, it's a huge political risk - say goodbye to social liberal economically centrist suburban voters, and enjoy lower support among blacks and hispanics. Or in other words hope that a rise in support in the bible belt compensates for turning the northeast and pacific coast into swing states.

by MarekNYC on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 04:11:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that the hype about Buchanan being the reincarnation of Hitler has the stench of TINA (There is No Alternative) policies.  Having read through what Mr. Buchanan has written in his books, and following what he's had to say for the past 8 years I don't see a racist.  I see traditional conservative that is thoroughly at odds with the neo-liberal dogma that's passed for politics in the US for the past 8 years. And I see hyperbole thrown in his direction in order to sustain the belief that there is no alternative to globalization, deregulation, and economic liberalism.

As for the politics of the matter.  The 2008 election will be won and lost in the economically depressed Great Lakes states: Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania.  The lesson of the 2006 elections was that Democrats win when they get the votes of small town and rural voters.  

Those are the seats that Democrat won in 2006, not suburban seats.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 04:29:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have got to be kidding me. Either you actually haven't read Buchanan, or you think that anyone who isn't a paid up member of the KKK isn't a racist.

As for which seats Dems won - first that's not completely true, secondly I'm talking about the base - goodbye suburban NYC, DC, Bay Area, Boston, Chicago. Enjoy seeing hispanic majority seats as highly competitive. And if they play their cards right, and the Dems were to embrace the likes of Buchanan, then black seats might become competitive. The white socially conservative low and middle income folks are not a majority in this country.

Given the choice between Buchanan and John McCain I'd vote for the latter, just like I would have for Chirac six years ago.

by MarekNYC on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 04:51:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have got to be kidding me. Either you actually haven't read Buchanan, or you think that anyone who isn't a paid up member of the KKK isn't a racist.

I disagree you, therefore I must be a Klansman.  This is precisely the hyperbole I'm talking about.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:09:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't say you must be a Klansman, I said that you must think that anything short of being a Klansman means someone isn't racist. Or in other words that you seem to have a blindspot on racism.
by MarekNYC on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:13:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
me the other day same applies to Buchanan.
by MarekNYC on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:18:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you need to do a little homework on Pat Buchanan.  The only economic view he has which is, in any way, nationalistic, is the belief that Mexicans should stay in Mexico.  Buchanan, you'll recall, helped to orchestrate the opening of favorable trade conditions with Mao.

Buchanan's conservatism is classic SW Virginia conservatism: It's racism and xenophobia, but with the more intellectual sound of someone who's been to the top of the mountain in political consulting.

Buchanan is, to put it bluntly, a fascist.  And, quite literally, a Nazi sympathizer.

Yes, Pat opposed the war, and -- bless his hollow chest -- he was right.  Pat's an isolationist, and I sympathize with that, although I'm more in line with Ron Paul, which I'd call "non-interventionism".  And Pat is, if nothing else, a pretty impressive observer and commentator.  But don't take that to mean that Buchanan is anything but a lunatic.

You're also going to find that Palin is more of a neoliberal than you can imagine, and that her voting for Buchanan has a lot more to do with hating gays and wanting Roe overturned than it does with economics.

And you'll note, too, that Buchanan was one of the conservatives ridiculing Palin.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 04:23:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you ever read any of Buchanan's books?


And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 04:30:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have, actually.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 04:31:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which one?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 04:34:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where the Right Went Wrong and a chunk of State of Emergency.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 04:39:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good. Not my favorite Buchanan books, but that's a good start.

I disagree with a lot of what he has to say, but there are two places where I strongly agree.

1)That the United States needs to limit how it acts overseas, and needs to use economic power in place of military power.

2) That the foundations of American economic power need to be secured, and that the idea that "free trade" is going to accomplish that is foolish. Buchanan never comes out and says this, but I think that he gets List's distinction between wealth and productive power.  And that he undestands that productive power, not wealth is the basis of national power and sovereignty. This distinction is non-existent to neo-liberals, beacuse there's this blind faith that everyone behaves as the market says they should.  That state power created the market and sustains it through enforcing its rules is lost on neo-liberals.

Why do you think that Palin is more neo-liberal than Buchanan?  I just haven't heard anything that suggests that, but I'm interested if you can point me in the right directon.


And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 04:52:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On those two points, I'm generally in agreement with Pat.  Like I said, he's not all wrong.  Few are.  And, studying the mechanics of campaigns, I have a great deal of respect for Buchanan as an observer and commentator.  "He's crazy, not stupid" is generally my take on him.

Palin obviously hasn't taken many stands on national issues, but her view on health care should serve as a warning, especially for guys like you who are extremely skeptical of market-based approaches, because her stance is essentially "Let the market decide."  Her view was to support greater information to consumers rather than have active government involvement.

That she calls herself a Bush Republican and has agreed to the veep slot with McCain, who is most certainly a free-marketeer, should also serve as a red flag in comparisons with Buchanan.

She was very big on pushing the big-box retailers while mayor of Wisella.  I'm inclined to not put too much stock in that, for the record.  But what I gather, reading about her, is that you're essentially going to see a Bush Republican with harsher views on social issues.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:19:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is troubling.

Health care must be market-and business-driven

Governor Sarah Palin today introduced the Alaska Health Care Transparency Act which will provide more effective tools to help Alaskans access affordable health care, and to ensure our health care system is responsive to changing demographics and market conditions.

The bill would establish an Alaska health care information office to give consumers factual information on quality, cost and other important matters to help them make better-informed decisions about health care in the state. Recognizing that health care must be market-and business-driven, rather than restricted by government, Governor Palin is proposing a repeal of the Certificate of Need program (CON). CON is a regulatory process that requires certain health care providers to obtain state approval before offering certain new or expanded services. [Palin's administration] concluded that the CON program does not benefit the citizens of Alaska, given the litigious environment surrounding it.

Source: Governor's office press release, "Health Care Transparency" Jan 19, 2008

Flexibility in government regulations to allow competition

I look forward to working with affected parties to find the necessary solutions that will lead to more affordable health care for Alaskans. I support flexibility in government regulations that allow competition in health care that is needed, and is proven to be good for the consumer, which will drive down health care costs and reduce the need for government subsidies. I also support patients in their rightful demands to have access to full medical billing information.

Source: Campaign website, www.palinforgovernor.com, "Issues" Nov 7, 2006

I disagree with market based approaches to healthcare, but I think that the recognition that there's a need to get more information about there.  I think that assymetric information is behind a lot of the cost i healthcare, and that's one of the principle reasons that I think the government needs to intervene, because the marginal cost of gathering information are much lower than for individuals.
t get a better price.

So the principal function of the insurance company is to reduce information assymetries, but the companies use this to screw over their policy holders.  This wasn't such a big problem before the demutualization of the insurance industry, but that's another story.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm perfectly fine with getting consumers more information as an incremental step.  Of course.  But -- and the Dems deserve the most criticism here (since the Reps are at least doing what they say they'll do) -- the model using insurance is simply an inherently inefficient model.  We can talk about technology and new medicines and all that other stuff, but at the end of the day, insurance companies' missions are to get all they can in premiums and not pay out.  That's just stupid, because it places the incentive on insurance companies to hire armies of lawyers and bean counters to find loopholes, which obviously costs a shitload of money.

A "Medicare-for-All" kind of program would be the best first step, in my opinion.  Just raise the taxes and repeal the "over 65/67" bit in the bill.  It'd cost an amazingly small sum -- so small that it'd be a steal at twice the price.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:59:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My brother worked in Seattle as a doctor for a while.  As a European he was amazed that he had to spend half his time negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of patients as to which tests/procedures he could authorise that they would pay for.  He ended up having to do a lot of horse trading - I won't do test X if you let me do Y and z.  

He said it was incredibly inefficient in terms of doctor time.  In Ireland health care, whether public or private, simply doesn't involve a prior conversation with an insurance company.  If a doctor authorises a test/procedure, its covered in terms of the general provisions of the policy.  There is no individual negotiation.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 06:14:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Overhead for Medicare is somewhere between 1/7 and 1/2 of   similiar costs for private insurers.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 06:24:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know the feeling.  I grew up watching my mom, who managed a cardiologist's office, fight insurance companies all day.

The doctors are getting fucked constantly, which is why you've seen the AMA switch allegiances -- going from strong opposition to reform (they blasted Hillary back in the '90s) to support for universal care.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 06:27:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Demutualization, Drew.  Demutualization drove a lot of this, because it took mutually owned insurance and turned it over to the market.  I think that a remutualized insurance industry where the company is owned by policyholders not shareholders would be almost as good as  a government run plan. It's the imperative to make money that makes insurance companies do evil things.

If they owed their loyalties to policyholders instead of shareholders they wouldn't be putting profits over people.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 06:33:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was a fan of the Edwards plan, because it brought people into the Medicare system voluntarily.  Which smashed a lot of the arguments that government involvement in healthcare means that we are slipping into  becoming the Soviet Union.

Information assymetry is what drives health care inflation. Which is what is limiting access for most working Americans. Limiting that would reduce healthcare costs, but much less so than government run insurance.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 06:17:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A deliberate policy of fucking over the little people drives health care inflation.

Information isn't relevant, because it's not a proper market, it's an oligopoly with huge and very aggressive players who aren't subject to oversight or useful regulation.

The insurance companies are in the annual dividends business, not the health care business. Their only interest in health care is when it distracts from profits.

And while it's been a singularly American tragedy so far, we have our own proponents of exactly the same scam in the UK, who are pushing 'patient choice' as a substitute for high quality free primary care.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 07:56:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All this argument over whether Palin is a neo-con, paleo-con, or neo-liberal has been confused.  Is there any evidence that she has a very well developed economic or political ideology at all - beyond overturning the local GOP establishment.  I know she supported Buchanan in the past - so it must feel like a kick in the teeth for him to ridicule her - but the simple fact is she hasn't been a player in any particular intellectual movement.  She's a local politician who has taken stances on local issues.  Is there any evidence she has any worked out positions on anything in the larger world of politics and economics?

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 04:41:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The local GOP establishment in Alaska is notoriously corrupt, as you already know.  Ted Stevens is the obvious example, mainly because he's the most publicly stupid yet powerful of all, but it goes all the way down the line.

Her main policies in Wasilla seem to have been pushing big-box retailers servicing the Anchorage suburbs.

Her policies as governor have basically been about pushing some Canadian pipeline, along with the obligatory (in Alaska) drilling in ANWR.  (On drilling, she and McCain are, of course, perfectly in line.)  The one positive note I can find is that her views on taxing the oil companies fall more in line with Obama than McCain, as she signed a windfall profits tax on the oil revenues to fund a tax rebate, which is one of Obama's proposals.

Other than that -- and you can bet that, by tomorrow, she'll have never signed that tax hike for fear that it'd piss off the Club for Growth -- she's a standard-issue Bushie, but with even more conservative views on gay marriage, abortion, etc.  She's a Creationist, as ATinNM noted.

Think of her as a non-cynical (on social issues), female Bush.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 04:51:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One note about that Canadian pipeline.

As I understand it, the reason that there was a push for a pipeline was to deliver North Slope gas to the lower 48 instead of liquefying it and sending it to Asia.

That suggests to me that she's not really a neo-liberal.  Particularly since Alaska is unique in that it gains revenue off of oil and gas extraction in the state.  And putting that gas on to the  world market would likely have made the state more money than sending it to the lower 48.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 04:55:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Possible but doubtful.  Remember that Todd Palin is a BP guy, and BP has, potentially, a good-sized stake in that pipeline.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:28:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I really think that she's sort of a wild card.  But to be  honest, the more I learn about her, the more I like.

I was suspicous because of the whole troppergate, but if the Washingon Post is right, then I think that Palin was on the ball trying to get his ass fired.  I mean this stuff is crazy.

Todd Palin, the governor's husband, had brought Monegan a dossier of information on Wooten compiled by Todd and a private investigator. Monegan looked at the information and determined that, "There was no new evidence, no new complaints." In 2005, when Gov. Palin's sister filed for divorce, her father had lodged several complaints with state police against Wooten: using a Taser on his 10-year-old stepson, shooting a moose without a permit and drinking beer while driving a patrol car.

An investigation sustained the allegations regarding the moose hunt and the Taser, and later also sustained the drinking charge after at first finding it unsupported. Documents say Wooten was reprimanded and suspended.

This guy that Palin is said to have gone after looks like he had it coming.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:59:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And of course, a maverick like McSame.  But if McCain was simply trying to sew up the evangelical vote, why not nominate Mike Huckabee?  It doesn't look like she's going to help with the female vote.  Surely McCain's team ran the numbers on that?

If anything, she silences the critics that Obama didn't pick Hillary - Biden is a real heavyweight by comparison.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:01:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huckabee gets you nothing outside the Deep South, and he would really piss off the business wing of the GOP.  Remmeber how groups like the Club for Growth and Americans for Tax Fairness (or whatever they're called) went after him in the primaries.  They're already uncomfortable with McCain.

Like I said yesterday, this was a Hail Mary, in American football terms.  Hillary gave a great speech Tuesday, and the polls immediately showed her people -- "conservative" Dems -- coming to Obama.

But Hillary's voters, while more likely to be low-info than Obama's (among males, not females), are not stupid.  Those female voters are older feminists.  The conservative Dems are working-class whites.  The female ones are able to see this for what it is: Tokenism.  That's pretty insulting, when you think about it, and I think they probably have (and will).  McCain essentially said, "Hey, Palin's a chick.  You're all chicks.  How 'bout it?"

Which is why I think you've seen a lot of Clinton supporters react so angrily, and no obvious slip in the polls for Obama.  I think it's going to become more obvious that this is pathetic and cynical as people learn more about Palin, particularly if she makes an ass out of herself going up against Biden.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:38:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
Huckabee gets you nothing outside the Deep South

Aren't there evangelicals everywhere?

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is true.  While their influence is particularly strong in the south, it is not to be sneezed at in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio, etc.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:48:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Especially Ohio.

I'm here now, and I've got to tell you that it's sort of crazy.  There's a 75 foot statue of Jesus outside a church just north of Cincinatti.

And all my cousins from here in Ohio are very evangelical.  In the area around Columbus, evangelical turnout matters a lot.  It's basically at the same level that black turnout is for the Democratic party.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 06:01:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, the Ohio River Valley is very much that way.  Scots-Irish have been there and in what is now West Virginia since they arrived in North America.  Doesn't matter what we think of Palin, they are likely to love her and her being on the ticket will increase their turnout. Fortunately, Michigan and Pennsylvania are different.  Biden will help with Catholics. The Catholics are more likely to exhibit what we would consider to be a social conscience than are most evangelicals, although this is changing with younger evangelicals.  The effects of that change might start to be significant by the next election.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 08:01:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
and no obvious slip in the polls for Obama

I'm having great difficulty getting any up to date polling information.  There's very little new on RealClearPolitics or Pollster or http://election-projection.net/.

What are the best sites for detailed polling stuff?

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:47:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody's doing polls right now, so I wouldn't bother.  Elections become very volatile during conventions, so the pollsters tend to not waste the money.

Intrade is probably a good place to watch if you want up-to-the-minute, decent reaction to events.  The betting tends to be very accurate, although they don't always get it right.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:52:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What Drew said.

A committed political junkie and poll obsesser (not that that describes anyone on ET :) would look at the daily national trackers to see if McCain gets the standard 3.5% convention bounce.  More than that is Good, less is Bad.

Not that it means much.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 06:00:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I check electoral-vote.com for an overview every morning.  And pollster.com is the best for finding new polls.

I think that latest CNN polls out of swing states are pretty amazing.  Third party candidate are going to matter a lot.  Nader is trying to get into the debates, and if he does I think that he will pick up a lot of voters.


Colorado (670 RV, 4%)
McCain 47, Obama 46
McCain 43, Obama 42, Nader 7, Barr 3, McKinney 2

Nevada (625 RV, 4%)
Obama 49, McCain 44
Obama 41, McCain 41, Nader 6, Barr 5, McKinney 3

New Mexico (659 RV, 4%)
Obama 53, McCain 40
Obama 50, McCain 36, Nader 8, Barr/McKinney 0

Pennsylvania (669 RV, 4%)
Obama 48, McCain 43
Obama 47, McCain 38, Nader 7, Barr 1

Nader's numbers are with zero media coverage and no ads.  If he gets into the debates I only see that going up.  The extent to which the Nader vote is a vote for him and to what extent it's a "none of the above" vote is something that's not clear to me.  For all the coverage of this election, I think that there's a lot of disaffected people on both sides.

I think that the Palin pick solidified McCain's position with the social conservatives.

I don't think that Obama has done the same with working class whites.  And working class whites are going to be the bloc that decides Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 06:08:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.

David Frum's Diary on National Review Online

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?



Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 06:24:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just heard Sarah Palin speak on CNN.

This election is over.  She's got this very working class look, and her husband is going to interesting to hear from as well.

Alaska has the third highest unionization rate in the country, and Todd Palin is a member of the United Steelworkers.  So long as he doesn't make a lot of gaffes, he could be a real asset if they set him down in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 06:44:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I pulled some video from (ugh...) Fox, and she's good on the stand.

People don't vote for principles, they vote for... themselves, and the candidate who most reminds them of themselves.

Obama loses badly on that score with the low information types, because he's black, he's cool, he's intelligent, and he's confident to the point of edging close to the wrong edge of slick.

He's not like anyone most of these people will know personally. And he's certainly not someone the low information types can see themselves as.

The R's one and only talent is conning the low information types into believing that they're just like ordinary folk. And Palin is going to be a winner at that.

The fact that she is, clearly, completely insane from a reality based point of view isn't going to be any more of a problem than it usually is.

But... I think Obama knows this, and he's working supremely hard on his ground game, on voter registration, and GOTV efforts to compensate for the GOP's looming lemming-like love of stupid.

So while the race just got tighter, it's not over yet.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 08:20:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Normally, the effect of this announcement should depend on reaction from Obama and other Dems. But I don't expect much effective reaction.

I shouldn't talk like this yet, but Dems are really good in... let's say, staying away from exactly right decisions. One thing that Palin's pick projects is that there is nothing really exceptional, let alone menacing, developing in America (and in the world). It all looks like just another political Super Bowl between Value Republicans and Democ Rats, with nothing but fun at stake for regular folks. Even terrorism gets a "wink wink".

Democrats had been really silent of how radical are transformations of this Bush (and speaking of Reagan only respectfully). They never tried to argue that things are not really normal American. I do not really believe this is merely a self-hurting trend. If big money can buy presidents and all the media, can't it buy convenient type of political opponents and "consensus" candidates? Isn't the whole nomination "process" of Dems this year a perfect set up for Palin's entrance?

I still think that Obama should win, but I won't be surprised with a creeping meltdown of his campaign, just as it was with Kerry, Dean, Gore, Dukakis and what else? Show something else, Obama!

by das monde on Sun Aug 31st, 2008 at 06:00:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I still think, Obama will win the election - big. I think ~95% chance, that Obama wins, ~5% risk, that McCain wins.

However, as a non-American with domestic things like health care not exactly a top priority in my judgment about US politicians, I think Palin wouldn't make a McCain presidency worse. If she is kind of an isolationist or even a better a non-interventionist, then contrary to the notion some have made, McCain NOT diing would be the risk, not vice versa. (That's not saying I wish McCain to be dead. I wish him a quiet live, without the trouble of the political circus)

With respect to climate change, the legislative could bring measures into law, without the executive doing anything. But going for war seems to be pretty much a president thing. At least the legislative seems to be incapable of requireing to bring troops home.
To get a 60+ majority in the senate, might be as good in many senses for many issues, as to get the president.

From a simpel techical/craftsmen perspective a 2 years ministerpresident in Germany would be more qualified to govern, than a 20 years Member of the Bundestag. Experience in foreign policy in the last 20 years in the US means experience of breaking international law, bullying smaller nations, kidnapping and torture. Common sense and willingness to hear what others say would give a better policy than the current one, I guess.


Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Sun Aug 31st, 2008 at 10:56:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The one positive note I can find is that her views on taxing the oil companies fall more in line with Obama than McCain, as she signed a windfall profits tax on the oil revenues to fund a tax rebate, which is one of Obama's proposals.

Hum, strange. Your link above to her positions on various issues states that she opposes a windfall profit tax because it would "limit investment." Maybe she changed her mind?


I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sun Aug 31st, 2008 at 10:55:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't like gloating at anyone's misfortune, but wouldn't it be ironic if Hurricane Gustav severely disrupted the GOP convention?  Talk about God sending a message on Global Warming!

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:06:29 PM EST
Ironic, yes.  But I really hope it doesn't hit NOLA, after spending a week there.  They're really wonderful people, and New Orleans is a truly wonderful city.  And they're trying to pick themselves up despite the failures of the federal government.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:22:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gustavo could hit anywhere from New Orleans to Houston.  It will almost certainly hurt oil production in the Gulf. Hannah could hit from Florida to North Carolina.  If it hits Florida, is suppose it is possible that it could cross Florida, enter the Gulf, regain strength and hit again anywhere in the Gulf. Worse, there appears to be an entire sequence of disturbances lined up back to Cape Verde.  It could be a September and an October like 2005.

Should this happen, I wonder if many of the church going fundamentalists will begin to wonder if God is trying to tell them something?  Could it be like in China when the Emperor loosed the mandate of heaven?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 05:26:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Electoral-vote.com: President, Senate, House Updated Daily
The Veep: A Short Play in One Act

Sometimes fiction is a better vehicle for getting inside someone's mind. Besides, it's all we have. Here is a short play for two actors. Let's call them Schmidt, a tough, savvy consultant, and McCain, a candidate. All names have been changed to protect the innocent. Schmidt: McCain, Get your ass over here and look at this map.

McCain: It's the U.S. with the states red and blue. Seen it before. What's your point?

Schmidt: Obama's gonna win all the Kerry States. You have a small chance to pick off New Hampshire but 60% of the people think you're pro choice. When they find out you've been pro life for 25 years, forget New Hampshire.

McCain: Where does that leave me?

Schmidt: Bush won 286 to 252.

McCain: Fine with me.

Schmidt: But wait a minute. Obama campaigned like crazy in Iowa. Won the caucuses big time. You barely set foot in the state. The people of Iowa take their caucuses very, very seriously. You insulted them. Make that 279 to 259.

McCain: I still win.

Schmidt: We're not done yet. Obama has been leading in New Mexico all year. State's full of Latinos. They preferred Clinton but they're still Democrats at heart. I think we're toast there. Now its 274 to 264.

McCain: A win is a win. Still better than Florida was.

Schmidt: Yeah, but now Obama is just 5 EVs short of a tie (which means it goes to the House and he'll win there) and 6 EVs short of a clean win. Look, there are six swing states this time: Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, and Nevada. We have to win all six of them. Can't lose a single state or we're dead meat.

McCain: I'm a fighter. You know that. The gooks couldn't break me. I'll campaign like hell in all six. Don't worry.

Schmidt: I'm worried. We're 50-50 on all six. It's like flipping a coin six times and getting six heads. One chance in 64, roughly 2%. We have to do something dramatic. Something that will throw all calculations out the window. Something that completely shakes up everything. Something that gives us a fresh start. Gotta hit the RESET button.

McCain: Have something in mind?

Schmidt: Yeah. Pick a black or a woman for Veep.

McCain: You mean I can't pick Joe? He's my friend and a great guy.

Schmidt: Half the convention would walk out. Besides, Jews aren't a novelty any more. Thank Gore for that.

McCain:. Shit. But blacks are fine with me. Colin Powell is a great American and one of the most respected people in the country.

Schmidt: He doesn't want the job

McCain: No sweat. Condi's the smartest woman I know. Mind like a bear trap. She'll run rings around Biden at the debate. She'll say: "I've been there. I talk to Putin every week. You're just an old windbag"

Schmidt: She's got "BUSH III" emblazoned on her forehead. And Obama is a happily married man with two adorable little girls, Condi's a single black woman who is apparently not much into families. Won't work. What about Kay [Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)]?

McCain: She's tired of the Washington rat race. She wants to go back to Texas. Be governor or something, you know like Ma Ferguson.

Schmidt: Ma's husband, the governor, was impeached and convicted. Ann Richards would be a better role model. What other women do we have?

McCain: Jodi [Rell] and Olympia [Snowe] are smart and popular but pro choice. The Base distrusts me already. They'd mutiny.

Schmidt: Elizabeth Dole? Susan Collins?

McCain: With either of those we lose a Senate seat. I don't want to have 60 Democrats to deal with over there. Reid might grow a spine. Can't encourage that.

Schmidt: Lisa Murkowski?

McCain: Her dad appointed her. She won on her own later, but I don't need to deal with nepotism and cronyism. Smells like Bush. I'm a maverick, remember?

Schmidt: Got it. Some businesswomen? Sarah Palin?

McCain: Carly [Fiorina] is great on economics, but she nearly she ran her company into the ground so the board fired her and then gave her $40 million so she wouldn't feel bad. The 20,000 people she fired aren't too keen on her. Meg Whitman did a fantastic job at eBay but nobody's ever heard of her.

Schmidt: So Palin's the only one left? What about her?

McCain: I met her once, at a governors meeting. Cute as a button. She ran for Miss Alaska. Came in second. I woulda voted for her. But it's a real Hail Mary pass. She's popular up north there where the sun never shines (except for some minor problems when she tried to fire her state trooper brother-in-law). She was pregnant with a Down syndrome baby and didn't abort him. The Base will love that. Her hobbies are riding her motorcycle and hunting moose. The coal miners in Appalachia will go wild over her. How fast can we print a million 8x10 color photos of her for their lockers?

Schmidt: Fast. But what about her experience. I mean, she's only been governor a year and a half. What did she do before that?

McCain: I think she was mayor of some village with six igloos. Who cares? I think you're right we have to shake things up completely. Change the game. The Base will eat her up on abortion, the Hillary fans will see that we respect women (unlike their guy). We grab the mantle of reformers. The white guys will be transfixed by this hot chick who hunts moose. I get to be Maverick-in-chief. Sounds like a winner.

Schmidt: What about the debate with Biden? What if the moderator says: "What would you do if Russia invaded Georgia again?" and she says: "I'll get on Air Force One and fly to Atlanta immediately."

McCain: Most Americans can't find Georgia the state on a map, let alone Georgia the country. I'll get Lugar to tutor her on foreign policy. He knows everything about it. I'm sold. Let's go for it.
Curtain falls.

Plus Palin is the only one of the women contenders who's taller than McCain and doesn't make him look like a LITTLE old man.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 06:44:02 PM EST
Can someone more creative that I please write a one act play in which President Palin is negotiating with Putin to get Russian Troops out of Georgia?

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 07:47:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that one goes:

Palin: And what does this button do?

[Curtain]

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 08:25:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My poll. What does McCain's pick of Sarah Palin mean?

A. Desperation, baby.
B. A nice stab to equality adoring liberals.
C. Giving some confidence to backers that McCain will do anything crazy to win.
D. McCain is having time of his life.
E. The election does not matter. Bush will go for dictatorship.

by das monde on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 07:40:51 PM EST
I'll add your poll if you want, but note that  ManfromMiddletown thinks Sarah is a brilliant pick who is going to win the election for McCain - see above.

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 07:43:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be fine for me. Feel free to add your own options then.
by das monde on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 07:45:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I forgot one more option:

F. Alaska is becoming a new world power.

by das monde on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 07:44:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Darn - tried adding poll - doesn't seem to work in edit mode once a diary has been published.  

My own suggestions:

  1. To put the fear of God into Putin
  2. To build a Bridge to Russia
  3. To lock up the small town small minded vote


Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 07:59:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can see the poll, so I think it did work.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Aug 30th, 2008 at 11:38:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.  So can I. Now.  Don't know if there was a glitch or it was just 1.00am syndrome!

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 31st, 2008 at 04:40:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or to put the fear of Putin into Americans? McCain/Palin will need his help only for election purposes, I think.
by das monde on Sun Aug 31st, 2008 at 05:28:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries

In defense of tree-huggers

by Cyrille - Apr 18
11 comments

Budapest Metro Line M4

by DoDo - Apr 19
3 comments

Elections in Orbánistan

by DoDo - Apr 6
39 comments

An unfair test

by Cyrille - Apr 8
6 comments

Might INET be a Trojan Horse?

by ARGeezer - Mar 31
10 comments