Saturday, August 30, 2008

Palin [Corrected -twice!]

An over-enthusiastic commenter writes: Already, they are unmasking [Palin's] many flaws and political scandals so she will be discredited soon enough and even if she makes it to the VP debates, Biden will chew her up and spit her out! In another comment she speculates that now conservatives will flock to Obama for some reason.

I have no idea what my commenter is talking about. Conservatives, especially social conservatives, LOVE Palin. But more on that latter.

And if Biden does his usual bully routine, his career will go down the toilet as fast as Rick Lazio's did.

As for Palin's "many flaws and political scandals"....

Well, she has one potential scandal. One of her aids may have pressured another state employee to fire her brother-in-law. That is being investigated. Of course, it could have been that she was upset that her brother-in-law threatened to kill her father, and the government up there took no action. Or something altogether different. That remains to be seen.

However Palin brought down the former Republican governor through electoral means, and took down the corrupt (Republican) state Attorney General and the chair of the state Republican Party. Not to mention standing up to the Alaska's (once) powerful senior US Senator. Her comments about the Bridge to Nowhere ("If we wanted a bridge, we would build it ourselves.") were brilliant politically: She emphasised that (1) Alaska doesn't need DC pork, and (2) that not everything in America must be done by the Federal government. (Contrast this with Democrats who believe that no ass can get wiped without a Federal Department being in charge of it.)

If you want to go after her on the corruption front you are whistling your way to the political graveyard. She has been willing to buck corruption in her own party. But please, talk about political corruption. Let's talk about the lawsuits Biden's sons are involved in from a failed hedge fund. For that matter let's talk about the fact that Biden's sons are involved in hedge funds, which Obama has said are the embodiment of evil. One of Biden's sons has also been a lobbyist, another verboten profession according to Obama. (And wasn't that son working for one of the credit card companies for whom Biden wrote a sweet-heart piece of bankruptcy legislation? Why yes, yes he was!)

Or should we talk about Obama's ties to a crook, and what Obama did for that crook in return for a sweet-heart deal on a house? Feel free to bring it up.

As for Palin's other flaws.... That's another matter. Putting her on the ticket DOES undercut McCain's experience argument against Obama. It doesn't end it, as Palin has more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket. She also has concrete examples of what she has done, which is something Obama doesn't have (note that he didn't mention one single thing he has accomplished in his acceptance speech - because he doesn't have any) and something that Biden won't want to mention (Biden consistently voted for the USA to unilaterally disarm when faced by the Soviet Union, has voted in favor of big business so often that he embarrasses Republicans, etc.)

Palin does have a bunch of strengths, however. First, she's done stuff other than politics - which is a claim that her Democratic opponents can't make. She's owned a business. She's done TV. She's been an athlete and is a sportswoman. I've seen footage of her shooting an M-16 on automatic - she looked completely at home. And she kills and guts her own moose! Her family lives what they believe - she kept a baby with Down Syndrome rather than abort it. (The very first attack I heard from an Obama spokesman CNN reporter Obama spokesman on Palin was someone saying that there was no way a woman with a special needs child could possibly do the workload of the VP. When did Democrats start to hate mothers and say that women couldn't do the work of men if they were mothers? I think that spokesman has already been given concrete boots and a trip to the nearest river.) Her son has joined the Army and deploys to Iraq on September 11. (Note the McCain has sons in the military, an Biden has a son about to deploy to Iraq too. It's interesting and good to see the leadership tied to the military like this.) All in all there are many pluses.

But the three big pluses are

  1. She shores up the social conservative base that has been skeptical of McCain.
  2. Palin is aimed at disaffected Democratic Hillary voters - but not at women as such. Palin is aimed clearly at working class voters, the ones that Biden has fucked over with bankruptcy legislation and the ones that Obama has said bitterly cling to "guns and religion" because they're worried about the price of arugula.
  3. Palin comes across as a real person, and not as a political construct. (Contrast Palin with Romney, for example.) And she hasn't spent her entire fucking life trying to get elected so that she can be someone. (Contrast this with both Clinton's, Biden, Obama, the Bushs, etc.)
This point is probably the thing that impresses me the most. She got into politics because she wanted more paved roads and a police force in her little town in Alaska. In other words, she wanted to actually do something.

But besides the inexperience argument, the biggest problem is this - she has never been involved in a national campaign. From now until the time she is either dead of irrelevant the opposition and the news media will dig into every facet of her life in order to destroy her. (The only candidate I have ever seen the media NOT attempt to destroy is Obama. Hmm, I wonder why that is?) How will she hold up under this scrutiny? Who knows. The pressure could lead to a blow up that could look really bad on TV.

Regardless, it's a gutsy pick, but it has the potential to be a disaster.

Added: I caught another Obama spokesman yesterday asking if Palin had ever even left the country. He asked it with a sneer. Yes she has. That footage I've seen of Palin and the evil assault rifle was shot in Iraq, while she was visiting Alaskan National Guard troops. She could, much to my surprise, be a disaster for the Obama campaign. So far all they've done since Palin was announced is insult mothers, working women, small towns, and working class people. The thing that shocks me most about the Obama campaign is that they are so astoundingly arrogant and stupid, and they keep getting away with it.

[I stand by my contention, though, that VP picks generally don't mean anything unless they are disasters.]

H/T Pastor Jeff, for supplying links about who attacked Palin for having a child with Downs Syndrome.


Pastor_Jeff said...

Great observations.

I think Palin was a smart choice for McCain, although I wish she had a little more experience. How she will handle the rigors of an intense, national election and the attacks of media which are in the tank for Obama is the big unknown. I can guarantee you they'll hammer her with questions they'll never ask Obama or Biden.

And you're right about the tone-deafness of Obama's and his followers' responses so far. That kind of arrogant, disrespectful c**p just plays into McCain's hands. If Obama were a Republican doing this and the media went after him, he's be polling in the 30s.

Suddenly, the next two months are going to be interesting and exciting.

bill said...

Your #1, and her muddled statements on creationism, are what bother me most about her. But otherwise, I'm in complete agreement. It also looks like that most of her accomplishments have avoided the sort of interference with personal lives I fear from social conservatives, so that's a good thing. To be fair, this "government knows best" sort of legislature is something the Democratic party has become quite good with (in this case good = bad).

I don't want to like her, but compared to the negatives I have piled up against McCain, Obama, and Biden, Palin starts to look like a breath of fresh air. Compare her experience to Obama, George W., Clinton (Mr. & Mrs) and I'm kinda OK with the idea of riding shotgun a heartbeat away.

Biden and Palin were both cynical and crass political picks designed to shore up perceived weaknesses with Obama and McCain. Biden interested no one while Palin has been like a shot of adrenaline pumped straight into the heart. I hope she does well and if McCain wasn't such a constitution-abusing dick I'd be truly excited.

Icepick said...

Bill wrote: Your #1, and her muddled statements on creationism, are what bother me most about her.

Yeah, a plus can also be a negative!

Bill also wrote: I hope she does well and if McCain wasn't such a constitution-abusing dick I'd be truly excited.

Yeah, there's still no way I'll vote for McCain, for the reasons you give.