Posts tagged ‘Sarah Palin’
Tonight I post this blog entry from a conservative blogger who above all else has shown a pattern of fairness in his blogging over the years. This is just one excellent example.
I would also like to add a small elaboration on Sarah Palin. Today on “Face The Nation” Norah O’Donnell asked Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey (recently reelected in a landslide) what his thoughts were on the current nuclear talks with Iran. In a moment virtually NEVER seen on political television, Christie told O’Donnell that there were many folks better able to opine on this than he could. “I am the Governor of New Jersey”. He then refused to offer an opinion.
Now just imagine if Sarah Palin had been asked the same question. We would have gotten five minutes of word salad that would have impressed only those with the lowest of expectations.
There are times when the right answer is “I don’t know”.
So the Iowa pony shows are starting up and at this weekends Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalitions banquet two of the stars were Sarah Palin and Utah Sen. Mike Lee. The former showed she’s still little than a loud mouth rhetoric firebrand the latter showing the potential to be reading the tea leaves.
Sarah still stupid may seem harsh but I never liked this woman and like her even less when she opens her mouth lately. This weekend she exclaimed among other things the following:
“I want to encourage you to make your voice heard, to hold politicians accountable,”
We live in odd times when folks who see racism are called racists. Some people, mostly conservative, follow the logic of Stephen Colbert which goes something like this: “I don’t see race. The only reason I know I’m white is people tell me I am. The only reason I think you’re black is people tell me you are.” Hence anyone who brings up race as an issue must be the only one thinking about it and must be therefore the real racist. If we are honest we acknowledge that we don’t live in a post-racial society, whatever that is, and that the election of the first black President of the United States only made matters worse. Just like the chunk of cheese brings out the mice, the elevation of a black, albeit ethnically complex man to the top job brought out the racists in full force. Since the 1960′s the language that bigots use has for the most part changed because society simply will no longer tolerate n*gger this and n*gger that. The language is a bit more subtle and the racism in some ways more pervasive and harder to pin down and stamp out than it used to be. The fact is in 2012 there are times to play the so-called race card. However, not every dispute involving a person of color comes down to racism. To be credible, we need to learn when to play the race card.
When to Play the Race Card — GOP to Embrace Hispanics and Continue to Ignore Blacks
What have we heard repeatedly in the aftermath of the recent election? The GOP lost the election because they are blind to the changing demographics of America. Every once in a while a pundit will refer to “people of color”. More often the comment is that Hispanics who are “hard-working” need to be embraced by the Republican party. They are a growing demographic. Excuse me? So by implication, we’re back to the same old stereotype of blacks not being “hard-working”, the old saw of shiftless and lazy, to quote Sarah Palin, “shucking and jiving”. Who needs a “growing demographic” when there is a full-grown demographic already ripe for the picking? Where is the wake up call in the Republican party to actively pursue the black vote?
About the only worthwhile moment in Mitt Romney’s campaign was when he spoke in front of the NAACP. He didn’t play games. He didn’t pander. When he referred to “Obamacare” he got booed. So what? He actually treated the audience like adults who could agree or disagree with him. In fact he seemed more comfortable talking to this audience which he viewed as a lost cause for votes than he did talking to some of the folks whose votes he thought he could get.
Allen West and some other conservatives have talked about the new plantation where Democratic benefactors enslave their black voters with promises of handouts. How many times do they deliver that message to black audiences? I’d suggest close to never. It can’t be done you say. Tell that to Bill Cosby who years ago told black audiences that they needed to clean up the dysfunction in their communities. Some blacks were offended while others cheered. It was a dialogue that needed to happen. It needs to happen on a regular basis. Who better to push that conversation than conservatives whose claim to fame is self-sufficiency? Again, not telling the story to white audiences but to black ones.
Conservatives say liberal politics has failed the black community. Fine, then step in and tell a different story to this constituency and win them over. It’s easier just to ignore them, isn’t it? Leave them to rot because they can’t be reasoned with. That is tacit racism at its most destructive.
When Not to Play the Race Card — Obama’s Enemies Attack Susan Rice
UN Ambassador Susan Rice went on a series of Sunday morning gab-fests shortly after the September 11 murder of diplomat Chris Stevens and lied about the nature of his murder. Now before my liberal friends burst a blood vessel, there are innocent lies and there are malicious lies. I happen to believe that Susan Rice repeated talking points that had been sanitized as they traveled from the CIA through a bunch of bureaucrats and eventually into her hands. I do not believe her intention was to deceive. To the extent that a lie is something contrary to the truth, she lied. Unwittingly lied, but lied nonetheless. Enter, stage right, Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain who call for Rice’s head on a platter. McCain says that if she is named as Hillary Clinton’s replacement for Secretary of State, he will block the appointment.
What are several pundits saying now? They say the “optics” of this are very bad. They say in the aftermath of an election where the GOP appeared tone-deaf to minorities they are now persecuting a black woman. I say screw the “optics”. This is the kind of charge that discredits legitimate claims of racism. The folks who are attacking Susan Rice don’t like Obama. It is as simple as that. They want to turn the tragedy of Benghazi into a scandal that irreparably damages the President. Already we’ve heard “what did he know and when did he know it” regarding security problems at the consulate. Susan Rice is nothing but a pawn in the game of Obama’s enemies. It is unfortunate that her outstanding career hangs in the balance but it has nothing to do with her being a woman or being black. She actually shares something with the white, penis owning Governor of New Jersey who has been attacked recently by conservatives: guilt by association with Obama. It is as simple as that.
Racism in America did not magically disappear when Obama got elected. Far too many blacks and whites don’t trust or like each other for reasons entirely juvenile and ignorant. We can only hope to bridge the chasm between the races by talking honestly about how to lift all of us together from our hardships. Accusations of racism where none exists only serve to keep the goal of racial harmony out of reach. Similarly, talking about blacks as if they were a monolith incapable of being persuaded, a group only worth judging from a distance, snuffs out any hope for positive change.
I am not a professional blogger. I don’t get paid for my work. Yet I do have a self-imposed pressure to publish. There are weeks when, quite frankly, nothing really interests me and I wonder “what do I write about today?” So I was very amused to find a video by blogger Jay Smooth about the consequences of pressure to produce. Sometimes the pressure is so great that pure crap is the product.
Whether or not you like Michelle Obama or Beyonce, Jay’s video about linking the two for the sake of a story is pretty funny and on point.
Jay’s video closes with the following advice:
When you’re really stumped
About where to take a dump
Just go look for Trump
He always deserves it. That’s the one public service he provides.
As many of my regular readers would attest, my fallback tends not to be Trump. It’s Sarah Palin.
Last Saturday evening, HBO premiered the docudrama film Game Change based on the non-fiction book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. The only reason I refer to the film as docudrama is that actors played the primary characters in the film but you might as well have been watching a documentary. The book focused on the 2008 presidential race from both the Democratic and Republican perspectives. The film makers chose to focus on the juicier of the two stories, the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate and the disaster that ensued from that selection.
Those who claim this is fiction or a Palin hatchet job simply don’t know what they’re talking about. The film tracks very closely to the book which was well sourced and painstakingly detailed. What stands out for me is that when two key McCain campaign operatives, Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace are asked about the film, they both say it is like living through the events all over again. For those who say these sources have an axe to grind and that others close to the McCain campaign call the book and film bunk, I say look where the different witnesses to history sit now. Both Schmidt and Wallace have essentially left politics and have nothing to lose from telling the truth. Those who call the film bunk are still playing the game and can’t afford to endanger their standing. McCain himself has called Schmidt’s defense of the film “unfortunate” but that is completely consistent with the John McCain portrayed in the film and the John McCain we’ve seen since 2008. McCain considers it a matter of honor and loyalty to never speak ill of Palin. To his credit, he has never violated his code on this.
As for the film being a hatchet job on Palin, that is simply wishful thinking for the Palin-as-victim brigade. As a backdrop, let’s start with the following fact. Wasilla is not New York City and Alaska is not California. So, comparing the Mayor of Wasilla to Michael Bloomberg or the Governor of Alaska to Jerry Brown is absurd. With that understood, out of the blue Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska, with no national reputation, gets a call from the McCain campaign to be his Vice Presidential running mate. Can you imagine how overwhelming that is? The film portrays Palin in just that way, a woman immersed in local/regional issues raising a large family who is suddenly thrust into not just the national spotlight but the world spotlight.
If there is any villain in Game Change it is the McCain campaign machine which took this leader of a remote state and tried to transform her overnight into a worldly, savvy stateswoman. Steve Schmidt has said that the choice of Palin was the intersection of loyalty and ambition. It was a matter of loyalty to McCain to do whatever it took to make him competitive and a matter of ambition to win at all costs. The notion of picking a VP nominee on the basis that she might be President one day didn’t even occur to the McCain staff until they learned how far off Palin was from being ready. Their top priority was shaking things up to catapult McCain over Obama. Palin was basically their prop. In a scene that rings true, Palin screams at Nicolle Wallace over the phone “I am not your puppet.” Her frustration was understandable after the team had literally dressed her and fed her the lines they wanted her to say.
The press and the media don’t get a free ride in Game Change either. Their interest in everything from TrooperGate to when exactly Palin’s water broke during her son’s birth is portrayed as over the top. We see how the invasive inquiry and the mocking from the likes of Tina Fey, take Palin by surprise and make her understandably hurt and angry.
To some extent, Game Change the movie is about what happens when an independent woman gets sucked into a male dominated world where she will be a strategic piece in a puzzle she has no control over. It is also a cautionary tale about campaigns that don’t operate in the country’s best interest. It is telling that Nicolle Wallace was so unnerved by Sarah Palin’s unreadiness for the job that Wallace did not vote in the election. Although loyal to McCain, she just could not put Palin one heart beat from the Presidency.
A few weeks ago, no one expected Rick Santorum to come in second in the Iowa Presidential Caucus. Therefore the speech he gave that night was less a concession speech and more a victory speech. And that is as it should be. Santorum pulled off quite an upset. I’ve been prepared to hate Santorum for quite some time given the only thing I really knew about him was his record of homophobia. Yet I must admit that the Santorum that I saw last Tuesday night was a down-to-Earth, sincere guy. I’m even almost willing to forgive him his attitudes about homosexuality because I don’t think they come from hate. I think they come from sincere Christian-based beliefs. The reference he made to his grandfather who made a life for the Santorum family in America, fleeing from Mussolini’s Italy was quite moving.
Later in his speech, Rick mentioned his youngest daughter who suffers from Edwards Syndrome, a severe genetic disorder. His daughter has already defied the odds relative to expected life span. Most children with Edwards Syndrome die within the first year of life. As I thought more about this, my mind flashed back to 2008.
In 2008, the Sarah Palin haters leveled valid and totally invalid claims against her. One of the invalid claims was how could a woman with a special needs child (in Sarah’s case, a child with Downs Syndrome) be on the campaign trail or even want the demanding job of President when she had that child to take care of? The charge, of course, was ridiculous on its face. As long as parents make arrangements for the proper care of their children, it’s nobody’s business if they choose to pursue a career, no matter how demanding. Still, this was a major bullet in the arsenal of the anti-Sarah faction.
So, in 2012 I wonder to myself where is all the outrage about Rick Santorum pursuing the Presidency when he has a special needs child at home who needs attention? The knee jerk answer is that his wife, Karen, is currently a full-time homemaker taking care of their daughter. Isn’t it interesting that no one asked why Todd Palin couldn’t stay home to tend to his disabled child? The responsibility was immediately assumed to be Sarah’s.
For all the gains the women’s movement has made, the old attitudes still linger. Even with many families having two income earners, the woman is still assumed to bear the main responsibility of child rearing, especially for young children. Where Rick Santorum doesn’t get a second look for running an all-consuming campaign, Sarah Palin got smacked for supposedly abandoning her maternal duties.
You may have come a long way baby, but you’ve got a long way to go.
The Myth of Reagan
Sometimes the legend is way more powerful than the man behind it. The hero of conservatism is Ronald Reagan, President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Every cockeyed idea coming out of the GOP lately supposedly has Reagan’s mark of approval all over it. That’s why it was refreshing to see ThinkProgress remind us that Reagan was just as guilty of “class warfare” as our current president.
In fact, not only did Reagan condemn under-taxation of the rich, he actually raised taxes several times during his administration (albeit after cutting them massively at the beginning). The truth is that the Ronald Reagan of the 80′s could not get nominated by today’s GOP. The fact that they re-imagine Reagan to justify their current policies is completely consistent with a party that lives in an alternate reality.
Now Can She Please Just Go Away?
After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States.
You have to hand it to Sarah Palin. Unlike Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, at least Sarah listens to God. You see, God is the ultimate political strategist and there is no way He advised Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann to run for President. At least Sarah took the Almighty’s advice. Now the question remains what lies ahead? In an interview with Fox’s Greta Van Susteren, Sarah discussed and dismissed the possibility that she might be politically dead with this decision. I think she should think again. Now that the long tease is over, Palin is irrelevant. The only reason there was to tolerate her word salad foolishness was the possibility she might make headlines with a Presidential run. With that possibility gone, Sarah is now a truly powerless ditz.
If you need proof, just look at the interview with Van Susteren. Greta started the interview not by discussing Sarah’s decision but by asking her what she thought of Apple genius Steve Jobs’ untimely death. In effect, Greta was saying, “before we talk about the end of your footnote to history, let’s discuss some consequential news.”
While I hope Ms. Palin simply returns to Alaska to be with her family, it doesn’t really matter. Regardless of how much we see her on Fox News, ultimately she will end up being nothing more than the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question.
Photo credit: Ronald Reagan via Wikipedia
Anyone who has been following the race for the GOP Presidential nomination has noticed that Mitt Romney, although the front-runner, just doesn’t seem to make his party happy. So, the party keeps searching for someone with more of a pulse than Romney. Like clients of an online dating service, the GOP electorate reads the profiles and looks at the pretty pictures but then leaves the actual date dissatisfied. They’ve gone out with Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann and most recently Rick Perry and in each case the dating game did not result in a love connection.
With the odds 99.999% against Jeb Bush or Paul Ryan throwing their hat into the ring, only two names remain as possible alternatives to Mitt. One has repeatedly said he won’t run and the other repeatedly teases us that she might. However both have made statements on video that are tailor-made for their opponent to use should they decide to enter the race. Interestingly, their statements disqualify them for completely opposite reasons.
I’m Not Ready
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has offered Barack Obama the best possible campaign ad imaginable. Just look at these quotes from Christie:
“I don’t feel like I’m ready to run.”
“First you have to have it in your heart, you have to want it more than anything else … I don’t want it that badly.”
“You have to believe in your heart and your soul and your mind that you’re ready and I don’t believe that about myself right now.”
“You have to believe in your heart that you’re ready to walk into the Oval Office and lead the nation and I don’t feel that I’m ready.”
The Governor has been consistent in his message and heaven help him if he changes his mind because his quotes will be played in a continuous loop by the Obama campaign.
The Presidency Isn’t Big Enough For Me
Now, every time Alaska half-Governor Sarah Palin opens her mouth she provides fodder for opposing campaign ads but her latest salvo really takes the cake. In an interview with CNN’s Greta Van Susteren, Palin suggests that the presidency is just a title and that the role might “shackle” her. She wouldn’t be free to be that maverick rogue that we’ve all come to know and love. This should not surprise us since four years ago Sarah wasn’t sure the Vice Presidency of the United States would be a productive enough job for her.
If Sarah runs, all the DNC has to do is replay her dismissal of the importance of the Presidency over and over again.
I have clearly chosen the wrong avocation. I need to go work for the Democratic Party because the GOP would make my job so easy for me.
Photo credit: David Shankbone via Wikipedia
The joke begins, “who would make a great President in 2013?” and the punchline is “Donald Trump”. I would post the George Stephanopoulos interview with the Donald but the piece MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell (“Crazy Larry”) did Tuesday night is so much better because he takes the best of George’s questions and Donald’s lame answers and then interjects his own special brand of snark.
Why should anyone supporting a Trump presidential run get their head examined? Let me count the ways:
- The likelihood that Trump has sent “investigators” to Hawaii to find the “truth” about Obama is just about zero.
- Trump was pro-choice before he was pro-life and has no understanding of Roe v. Wade.
- Trump, a serial exaggerator (i.e. liar) claims a net worth not supported by any third-party account.
- Trump’s explanation for bankruptcy is at best a lie and at worst evidence of serious ethics problems. Apparently, if you believe his explanation, bankruptcy is a great way to not pay your bills and get a “good deal” on partial payments. And that’s his positive defense!
One theory about Trump’s current appeal as a candidate among Republicans is his supposed business savvy which a country in dire financial condition badly needs. NBC investigative reporter Michael Isikoff interviewed Trump about his business acumen and his bankruptcy shenanigans were the tip of the iceberg. My favorite scam is “Trump University”, an “educational program” that I actually considered “enrolling” in a couple of years ago. Something told me it would be a waste of my money. Apparently some states attorneys general agree with me.
One thing I got out of watching Trump’s foolishness is a new appreciation for Sarah Palin. I kid you not. The sexism on display by Trump’s meteoric political rise when he is as dumb as Sarah ever was is mind-boggling. While Sarah has “spunk”, she can’t sell her stupidity to the average intelligent voter. Trump on the other hand turns on the aggressive take-no-prisoners overkill and for a minute you find yourself believing he can move mountains.
My favorite bit of Trump braggadocio is his put-down of Mitt Romney as a small business man. While I’m no big fan of Romney, based on the Isikoff interview, I’d trust Romney with my money a whole lot sooner than Trump.
But let me end where I began with my buddy Crazy Larry. On another segment of his show, O’Donnell discussed possible campaign slogans sent in by viewers. My favorite:
Washington Post political writer and frequent “This Week” panelist, George F. Will just bought himself an excommunication from the Republican party and perhaps the conservative movement as a whole. Like few of his peers, David Frum comes to mind, Will dared to speak truth about the insanity that is far right-wing politics and its damaging effect on GOP chances in 2012.
The trigger for Will’s excellent column in Sunday’s paper was damn-fool Mike Huckabee’s assertion that Obama’s fictional biography of growing up in Kenya influenced his world outlook to the detriment of the United States. Will writes:
If pessimism is not creeping on little cat’s feet into Republicans’ thinking about their 2012 presidential prospects, that is another reason for pessimism. This is because it indicates they do not understand that sensible Americans, who pay scant attention to presidential politics at this point in the electoral cycle, must nevertheless be detecting vibrations of weirdness emanating from people associated with the party.
The most recent vibrator is Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas …
Huckabee was “provoked” into his preposterous hypothesis by radio show host Steve Malzberg questioning just how much do we really know about “this guy” Obama. Will goes on to say:
Republicans should understand that when self-described conservatives such as Malzberg voice question-rants like the one above and Republicans do not recoil from them, the conservative party is indirectly injured. As it is directly when Newt Gingrich, who seems to be theatrically tiptoeing toward a presidential candidacy, speculates about Obama having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” mentality.
To the notion that Obama has a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview, the sensible response is: If only. Obama’s natural habitat is as American as the nearest faculty club; he is a distillation of America’s academic mentality; he is as American as the other professor-president, Woodrow Wilson. A question for former history professor Gingrich: Why implicate Kenya?
Then Will elegantly and directly delivers the coup de grâce:
Let us not mince words. There are at most five plausible Republican presidents on the horizon – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Utah governor and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts governor Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.
So the Republican winnowing process is far advanced. But the nominee may emerge much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.
And to be clear, when Will references “careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates”, he is referring to Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann to name a few doozies.
Sadly, the already lost members of the far right will label George Will a traitor in much the same way they dismiss David Frum. Yet the fact remains that Will and Frum are two of too few folks on the conservative side willing to call out the loonies. It is safe to say that by November of 2012, our country will have made insufficient progress for Obama’s reelection to be a slam dunk. The one way to ensure Obama’s reelection is for the GOP to ignore the voice of George Will. Judging from the popularity of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, liberals like me are counting on Will being ignored and another four years of Barack Obama being an inevitability.
Bush in 2012, Really
Rich Lowry’s penis has finally stopped making his decisions for him and he seems to have gotten off the Sarah Palin train. In a recent article in National Review Online, Rich offers eight reasons why Jeb Bush should run for President in 2012. I’ll paraphrase Rich’s points from a liberal perspective:
1. Nobody else worth a damn is running or as Rich puts it, it’s a wide open field.
2. By 2016, Jeb’s resume will be stale.
3. By 2016 the current crop of newbies (Christie, Rubio, etc.) will be seasoned enough to jump into the ring.
4. Brother George is enjoying a perverse sort of nostalgia right now.
5. Regardless of George’s stink, Jeb will still be a Bush in 2016 so he might as well jump now.
6. He’s not like Dad or Brother — see my additional reason #9 below!
7. Jeb might be a GOP uniter. This is where Rich throws Sarah under the bus (cue the moose death groan) saying she is too polarizing and implying that Romney is too bland.
8. Better to run too soon than too late. Of course this fails Rich’s own internal logic from reason #3. If it’s better to run too soon, why is he not advocating for Christie or Rubio now?
And now my two extra reasons for Bush in 2012:
9. Jeb was the smart one. From everything I’ve seen, read and heard, it was Jeb who should have sought the nomination back in 2000, not his dumb-ass brother. Jeb lacks George’s swagger and seems to have replaced it with some real intellect. If I’m not mistaken, he also speaks fluent Spanish.
10. It’s enough to give Presidential historians an orgasm. I’m a bit rusty now but I used to be a Presidential history buff. Jeb, if he won, would add another great first to the annals of Pres history. We have John Adams and his son John Quincy (so George 43 broke no records there), we had William Henry Harrison and his grandson Benjamin and of course we had Teddy Roosevelt and his cousin Franklin. Jeb taking the oath in 2013 would give us the first case of a President (George Herbert Walker) having TWO sons in the White House.
Honestly, I’d like to see a worthy adversary go against Barack in 2012 for one simple reason. I don’t trust this country not to throw Obama out for a knucklehead so if Obama has to lose to someone (and I don’t think that is a foregone conclusion), I’d like it to be someone I could minimally respect. And speaking of respect …
A Tasty Sip of Tea
Well ever since they took the oath in January in the 112th Congress, we’ve been waiting to see what those racist fear mongering Teabaggers would do and I’m shocked to say this but I actually respect their very first major move. So much so, I shall officially retire the term “teabagger” from my vocabulary. Yesterday, Tea Party caucus members were key players in not extending three provisions of the Patriot Act including warrantless wire tapping.
Who would have thought this early in the game that Tea Party members and liberals would be on the same page regarding civil liberties and government over reach? Heck, if not being able to spell and totally misunderstanding the Constitution gets these great results I may have to completely reevaluate my Tea Party stand. I think I’ve got enough bags left in my Red Rose box in the cupboard to start working on my hat. Oh and I’ll have to buy a gun. This sounds like the start of a great relationship.