Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Speech

I don't have as much time as I'd like to comment on Palin and her speech. But what I heard and saw was alternately fascinating, encouraging, and distressing. Of course there was some absurdity and bad burlesque: Palin knocking Obama's Greek columns as a seemingly life-size image of Mount Rushmore glowed behind her. I half-expected them to cut to a live shot of Gutzon Borglum chipping away under a floodlight, a new visage just beginning to take shape in the granite.

As I said in a previous post, Palin is clearly a rising star. Wednesday night reinforced my belief that this seems like a case of right candidate, wrong time. But let's see what happens during the next few weeks as she goes sans teleprompter and the press digs deeper in Alaska.

More soon, hopefully. I look forward to reading your comments in the meantime.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please make this a bad dream. Someone please wake me and tell me that angry Evangelicals have really not implanted interceptor pins between the neurons of many American brains.

Am I dreaming, or is a former mayor of Wasilla, Alaska-with 53 employees, and a $6 million budget- really one potential heartbeat away from the most powerful post in the world? But, but, she can dress out a MOOSE!

9/04/2008 1:48 AM  
Blogger Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

9/04/2008 2:04 AM  
Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

What was distressing about it?

9/04/2008 3:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, she gave a good speech for the red-meat crowd, but do the voters really want more and more and more of such divisive, hateful rhetoric and policies? We'll see.

And Mr Cunning, did I really hear you say (so to speak) that you are pro-life? That's a stunner coming from such a level-headed guy. Maybe I read it wrong.

9/04/2008 5:24 AM  
Blogger Spider said...

TCR, Palin "a rising star" in politics?


No seriously, C'MON!!!!

You got to be fucking kidding me!!

I have read ever post from the beginning of you blog and everything you have written has shown me that you have such high intelligence, and you do your homework so well. And even if you're someone who has been a life long conservative, even YOU can see that she is someone whose politics are so antithetical to true conservativism and what the Republican party of Eisenhower or Lincoln ever believed in.

She is an opportunistic bully. Plain and simple.

You, TCR, are more qualified to be vice-president, hell, governor of Alaska, than she.

9/04/2008 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's great. It's about time somebody decided to clean up the Republican Party. Maybe somebody should ask her some specifics on who she would like to see removed from Congress.

9/04/2008 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Well, let me tell you what a mayor does. It's like being a community organizer, but with actual responsibilities."

Such as?


That tells me all I need to know about this speech, this candidate, and this party. Assertion + cheap shot = simulacrum of a substantive argument.

However, it might be that appearing folksy and fluid in front of a TelePrompter is all the Vice-President really needs to be. In that case, go Palin! However, I have an abiding suspicion that perhaps we need a little more than that to sustain this republic.

9/04/2008 9:25 AM  
Blogger phillybikeboy said...

I have to agree, Palin is a rising star (for more, see ), and, for the short-term interst of the party, she is the right candidate. But, for America? Do we really need more of the Culture Wars? More of the same divisive politics that make it impossible to have a real dialog that might result in real solutions to our problems. That was the real promise of Palin's speech. We've spent a over a decade digging this deep hole we're in, and the shit is starting to rain down on us. Palin's solution? More shovels! Keep digging!

9/04/2008 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trailer Trash Evita, Caribou Barbie; what have you.

Palin is a very ambitious, cunning and willing participant in manipulating America to outright corporate fascism and confrontation with Russia, to start, and Iran and China, as well. Down this road lies our Republic’s doom, if its not already fore-doomed.

This Palin speech was a clarion call to the “Volk”, to the home-town values of Empire and duty to the state, to getting what’s “ours”, F the rest of the world. Following Guiliani’s homage to Goerbels (or was it Mussolini?), her appeal to the inner American Exceptionalist in all of us was masterfully performed, by this former professional sportscaster. Mark this day, this woman has marched to the stage as another villianous, tragic character in American history. Beware.

9/04/2008 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems that St. Maverick spent about as much time vetting this "rising star" as the average Arby's assistant manager does when he's looking to hire a new cashier. Apparently, early in her brilliant political career, Palin went the usual Republican cultural commissar route, and tried to fire a librarian who insisted on keeping unorthodox books on the shelves. The Li'l Moosedresser is solidly on board the "Intelligent Design" hokum train. And of course, she's happy to echo the latest GOP shibboleth, that our divinely ordained right to endless rivers of cheap gasoline can be had painlessly, effortlessly, if we just starting drilling. You really gonna trust this "rising star" to run anything above a PTA meeting? Really?!?!?

I'm only catching snippets of this idiotic convention on the car radio, on C-SPAN. But EVERYTHING I've heard tells me that the Republican Party is absolutely determined to look in only two directions -- inwards, and backwards. These yahoos dare not look at the last eight years, i.e., THEIR OWN WORK. Nope, instead they've got to glom on to the totems of the beloved St. Ronnie -- not much of a man himself, but happily wrapped in gauzy nostalgia.

The Dems are as underwhelming as ever, true. But at least they don't make a fetish of being proudly, ostentatiously ignorant.
-- sglover

9/04/2008 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly wtf is wrong with being a community organizer anyway?

9/04/2008 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gutzon Borglum. Heh!

9/04/2008 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a Republican, so maybe it's inevitable that I would be put off by all the sneering and snarking about Obama being a community organizer and so on and so forth. But really, I don't get it -- this impressed you, CR? It feels like the culture war carried on via high-school level insults (with apologies to my 16-yr-old nephew). Not to mention the fact that she has lied several times already (probably because she has no real-world experience and some questionable items on her record). Secessionism? Bridge to nowhere? Commander in chief of . . . the Alaskan National Guard? Oy,

Like I said, I don't get it.

9/04/2008 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is telling that the centerpiece of Palin's credentials as a reformer - her claim to have opposed the Ketchikan bridge project -- is an utter, complete, abject lie. A lie which Palin repeats over and over again with a big aggressive smile and gunslinger eyes. She DARES you to call her on it.

So what do we know after just one week? We know plenty. Palin is a vicious culture warrior and a partisan hater. And she is a remorseless, pathological liar when it suits her. And she is vaultingly ambitious. She intimidates and misuses her authority, and exploits both her foes and allies alike. And she is also very, very good at what she does.

The nation doesn't need another polarizing and destructive politician like this on the national stage. Not after the last eight years. But that is what we are going to get.

9/04/2008 1:35 PM  
Blogger Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

Bokonon nails it. Karl Rove could not have created a more perfect creature. Furthermore, this 'right candidate' conservative has left a town of 9,780 some $40MM in debt. (scroll down for budget figures). Assuming, as in the following quote, Palin began with $20MM in debt outstanding, her administration doubled the debt load from $2k to $4k for every citizen (including babies of unwed mothers).

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a 'fiscal conservative'.
During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general
government expenditures by over 33%. During those same
6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City
increased by 38%. This was during a period of low
inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property
taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed
even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited
large corporate property owners way more than they
benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral
administration weren't enough to fund everything on her
wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She
inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with
indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin
encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the
infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage
treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library?
No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a
multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to
build on a piece of property that the City didn't even
have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs
later--to the delight of the lawyers involved! The
sports complex itself is a nice addition to the
community but a huge money pit, not the profit-
generator she claimed it would be. She also supported
bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been
done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

9/04/2008 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is there silence from the right about the fact she has installed a huge windfall profits tax on oil company production profits?

An article I read last March quoted some exec from BP stating that Alaska now had the highest oil production taxes in the world.

9/04/2008 2:10 PM  
Blogger Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

At the hand of Dick Cheney, we now have the most powerful Office of the Vice President ever in the history of the Republic. On the assumption that we could generally agree that the task of the next Administration will include restoration of the Executive branch and re-balancing of powers, would Sarah Palin be the right choice? Furthermore, given McCain's admitted weakness in economics, and Palin's history with the use of executive powers, does the GOP have a viable ticket to address the challenges they'll be facing on January 21, 2009?

9/04/2008 2:14 PM  
Blogger Miss Bliss said...

Honestly her speech did exactly what Karl Rove wanted it to do...bring it all back around to a bar fight that has nothing to do with identifying how the McCaine Administration will solve any the problems facing America today...because most of those problems have been caused by the Bush Administrations policies. The GOP really does not want to start discussing that particular situation. But, CR, I'm more interested in what you thought of Mitt Romney's speech about financial regulation...or his call for less of it to solve the problems created by...not enough regulation and oversight in the financial industry???

9/04/2008 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a former Republican who has been driven out of the party by right-wing nuts who somehow think that they are more "American" than I because they (a) hunt moose, (b) support the Iraq War, and (c) have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Nonetheless, I think that some of the emotion directed by Obama supporters toward Palin is unwarranted and over-the-top.

The truth is that Palin's selection means that the Republicans know that they can't win, so they have thrown a meaningless bone to the Evangelicals by nominating "one of them" to run a race that she won't win. But her selection will have re-energized the "base," which was wavering because of McCain and (to some degree) Bush.

Off-topic, what the heck is a "community organizer"? What are the duties? Who pays for such a job?

Tillman Fan

9/04/2008 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's community organizer? Well, in Obama's case, he was working for an outreach program run by the Catholic Church to help parishoners in the south side of Chicago cope with the job losses from the closing of steel mills. This included helping them navigate through the bureaucracy to get job training and other assistance. He turned down a Wall St. job to do that. Sure, he probably had a political career in mind, but he still did it. Sarah Palin has no clue what a community organizer does in a big city like Chicago, so she was talking out her ass. Rudi should know better as a former mayor, but he's just an asshole.

Palin a rising star? I normally appreciate your insights, but you're way off base here. I think she may already on a downward slope. Obama raised $8M after the Palin speech.

9/04/2008 5:31 PM  
Blogger J. said...

You know what happens to stars that shine too brightly, they go supernova -- or collapse into black holes. Here's hoping.

For a reality check, check out "11 Things You (and the McCain Camp) May Not Have Known About GOP VP Pick Sarah Palin Before This Week."

9/04/2008 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry CR, all evidence points to Palin being a world class con woman and sociopath. If this fork-tongued Christianist, creationist, pork-devouring shakedown artist is your idea of conservative, you've lost this longtime reader for good. Stop the insanity.

9/04/2008 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unimpressed. Unappealing. Scary. Disappointed in the continual divisiveness. Disappointed in the attempts to silence those that question. Why attach Obama's wife. Four more years of the same, or worse. Icks!

What I don't understand about the Republican Party, are we suppose to forget what Rove and the cronies said about McCain in 2000? They even called us at our homes saying McCain was unfit and other negative things. In 2000, Rove and cronies, told us McCain was mentally unstable because of his POW experience and age. You mean 8 years later, now at the age of 72, things have reversed? Quick, get the AMA. This is a medical miracle, or do we dare say, divine intervention.

They told us McCain was awful compared to Bush in 2000, and we now have seen what a Bush admin was like for 8 years, doesn't it stand that now in 2008 McCain would be worse than Bush? It's like they aren't even trying to give us a ticket we can vote for.

We tried an old man in Reagan (he was actually a few years younger), and his last years were spent with dementia/Alzheimer’s. Do we really need to repeat that? If this is the path chosen by the Republican Power Party, then the current VP pick is even more of a disaster.

We have a minimum age, but since people are living longer, I think Congress needs to establish a maximum age. It doesn't make our Nation stronger and we need the depth of experience and knowledge. I mean no offense, but old folks let go, and teach if you must. Share your knowledge with the next generation to strengthen the depths of our Nation.

9/04/2008 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting divergence of opinion here. She certainly added a new element to the mix. Even if McCain loses, I agree she's the future, for good or ill.

9/04/2008 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe those community organizers will organize against this Republican ticket?

Maybe America will just stay home.

"And the Liberal, with a small 'l', cries in front of the TV. As another demonstration passes on to history"
-Billy Bragg

9/04/2008 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone compared the Republican party/ticket to the movie Juno. But it's really more like a Soap, maybe even the TV series Soap. You have the old man with cancer, who was a rebel in his youth, and trying to recapture that youth and excitement, repeatedly tells us stories of what happened more than 40 years ago. Along the way, he dumps his wife for a hot younger wife, who happens to be an heir to a beer estate and denies her half-sibling. A bible-toting, gun-slinging, book-banning, anti-science, extremist who is being investigated, becomes his partner. Then finally, we have a disabled child, pregnant teen, and a shotgun wedding. And the homosexual is in the Minneapolis airport bathroom. Now that's a sitcom. I'm sure I saw this before on Soap.

9/04/2008 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Commenter on Steve Clemons' blog: "She played well on TV and will which was no surprise to me. She has given speeches for years, was trained and worked in broadcast journalism, and was a beauty queen. And she is very confident because she knows God is on her side."

9/04/2008 10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The right candidate for what? The Constitution Party?
And when would be the right time for the a candidate Palin?
Reformer with Results? Remember that one? The Republican Party is hollow.

9/05/2008 12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's great! Right candidate wrong time! You got it!

9/05/2008 5:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5 colleges in 6 years to get a B.A. in journamalism! Tell me you are not being serious!

9/05/2008 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meh, I didn't watch. There is no way I'm voting Republican, so what's the point? I suppose I should watch, just to keep current on my propaganda. But there is just so much inanity and abject bullshit that it's annoying to watch. It's the same reason I stopped watching Bush's speeches years ago; I just don't get anything out of it.

9/05/2008 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Faith healing...holy rolling..Iraq "devine will" subordiates like the Bush DOJ.... What is not to love about "THE FUTURE" of the republican party!

Oh yeah...and former member of secessionist AIP....but that is cool, because if she become Pres....many will want to suceed!

9/05/2008 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The former mayor of Waaasilla that preceeded her was not a "real christian"...he was a me'. Palin was the first "christian mayor" of Wuusilla propelled by the 617 votes she received!

9/05/2008 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rising star, I sure hope not. I find her to be very scary indeed. Partly because the lies roll off so easy. Bridge to nowhere... she supported it before she was against it. But, she took the money!!! Sell the jet on E-Bay, for a profit, not exactly. And she left her small town with debt, which they didn't have before she was mayor. Not to mention her tendency to "fire" folks for not being supportive.

To me she looks like a female, pretty version of George Bush. And I'm sure the Christian Right are thrilled with her. So if that is what you meant by rising star, you are correct.

I just find it so scary for my grandchildren, I can't hardly stand it. So I donated more to Obama.


9/06/2008 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palin is cleary a smart savy politician. She is no stumble bum like Bush. Politics is about giving the masses what they want...she did that perfectly. The Republicans are great at throwing around a bunch of mud and seeing what sticks. It really doesn't matter much if what she says is true or not. It just reinforces the impression that the Democrats are a bunch of limp wristed crybabies. There is sooooooo much material on the McCain that the democrats could smear him endlessly with the truth! They just refuse to get their hands dirty. The democrats should win this election easily. I'm not sure they will though. Palin is a great pick. All the criticism's are pointless because you people don't get it. The faithful right will vote if they get emotional. They will be out in force to vote for her. She is a proud mother of five who proudly displays the child any democrat would have aborted. Do you see what I'm getting at? She is trying to convince you dummies to vote for her. She knows you won't. The religious right will be out in force again. Fanatically going after the vote. Purging voting records and making last minute changes in times and voting places in poor districts. They will be motivated now. Highly motivated.

9/06/2008 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glenn, the rare smart liberal, pointing out what should be blatantly obvious... but seems to go over the heads of every liberal posting here at TCR

Every four years, the GOP unleashes unrestrained personality attacks on Democrats and exploits cultural resentments. Every four years, Democrats tell themselves that such attacks don't work and are counter-productive. And every four years, that belief is disproven. These "character" issues end up mattering largely because Democrats, in election after election, allow wars over "character" to be waged in a largely one-sided fashion.

9/06/2008 11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gov Palin is Pat Buchanan with two X chromosomes and a nice dress or two -- except that Gov. Palin told more outright lies than Buchanan did when he was the red-meat speaker at the RNC.

I expect her to have a long and very public career in far-right culture-warrior politics, just as Buchanan has had.

9/07/2008 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A future star?

If Gov. Palin's vita is just what we need in politics, I'm speechless.

CR, please post on why you think that Palin fits our bill. That's something that your entire readership would like to know.

9/07/2008 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel you are way off base. Pat Buchanan is not loved by the Republican party. He is the black sheep of the Republican party for not being pro Israel and pro war.

9/07/2008 11:14 AM  
Blogger Cristalle said...

You are too smart to believe that Sarah Palin is anything beyond a social conservative. She is charming and gives good speech, but her penchant for abuse of her power, even when her heart is in the right place, is more than disconcerting. Plus her flavor for earmarks belies her supposed fiscal conservatism. She has great social conservative creds, but that is the extent of her worth to McCain. Her image as a "maverick" is a lie.

9/08/2008 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But it doesn't matter if it is a lie. This is politics. I don't trust her one bit but I can see her attraction to the masses. The masses don't think. They just want to be entertained and given a good show. Palin brings that to the table.

9/08/2008 3:38 PM  

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