Obamas Speech: Dem Health Care Bill Now, With Or Without GOP

Wednesday, September 9, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this posting as of 3:03am CDT on AD 9-10-2009]

President Obama’s speech covered many topics, lets first layout our President’s plan:

I. Keep the health insurance you have now.

1.  Pre-existing symptoms or disabilities no longer will disqualify anyone from coverage.

2.  No spending caps set by insurance companies.

3.  No drop in coverage in the middle of an illness.

4.  Limit on out of pocket expense.

5.  Minimal requirements of coverage.

II. Public Option & Exchange

1.  When losing your job you have the Public Option if you can’t afford insurance.

2.  Insurance exchange markets will be required for insurance companies to participate in.

3.  Tax credits for small businesses.

4.  In theory this will not lead to a government take over.

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39 Responses to Obamas Speech: Dem Health Care Bill Now, With Or Without GOP

  • For me the oddest statement in the President’s speech was the claim that “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period.” I’m not sure this can even by classified as a lie, as lying requires an intent to deceive, and I can’t imagine Obama thought anyone would believe him when he said this (so then why did he say it?)

  • I think President Obama actually believes that statement he said about not a single dime towards our deficits.

    So I’m not sure if he can be accused of saying a lie. But if it does happen, does it qualify as a lie after the fact?

  • This proposal doesn’t come off as “reform.” Rather, it comes off as more of what we currently have: tons of regulations that introduce more cost and curb competition.

  • It’s not clear that Obama could even hold true to his promise for the length of his speech. Nine paragraphs after making his “not one dime . . . Period” pledge, he says that his plan would cost $900 billion, and that “most” of this would be offset by cuts in existing health care programs. Perhaps by most he means $899,999,999,999.91? Or maybe he means his pledge literally. He won’t sign a bill if it adds exactly a dime to the deficit, but if it adds billions that’s okay.

  • For full disclosure, I am not an expert on how the Health Care industry works.

    With that said I do like the first portion of his speech that says pre-existing symptoms or disabilities no longer will disqualify anyone from coverage, no spending caps set by insurance companies will be allowed, coverage won’t be dropped in the middle of an illness, there will be a limit on out of pocket expense, and there will be minimal standards required in basic coverage.

    I’m not sure if this will make insurance costs go up, drive companies out of business, and eventually result in a single payer system over a period of time.

    But if this is possible without any of the above scenarios, I like it!

  • Tito, on another thread I was calling you out, takin it back now.
    Really! If we could fix the pre-existing condition and employer control thing in healthcare, who could argue?

  • Master C,

    I was busy typing up this posting when you left that message.

    I like the portion I outlined, but without the public option.

    If some regulations could be set up for the insurance industry without the public option then that would be ideal!

  • We need this change…YESTERDAY!

    Millions of Americans presently have no health care, others who do, when faced with an illness go bankrupt, and others find out that suddenly they don’t have any healthcare at all and still others are covered but face high costs.

    I’m 52 years old..and my job was outsourced 4 years ago.
    Thankfully I have family but I pay $450.67 per month and my Asthma inhaler costs…$211.00 OUT OF POCKET.

    Others are in worse shape.

    Any Catholic that cannot see the good in this isn’t Catholic!

  • P. Edward Murray,

    I certainly sympathize with the problems that you are facing.

    Though I have to say that just because some of us oppose certain points of President Obama’s speech doesn’t make us not Catholic.

    If you could explain why then we have a starting point, but just simply saying this doesn’t make it so.

    Also you can’t force others to pay for something they don’t want to pay for nor are required to pay for.

  • “Primary school taunting”?

    No, he just told the truth. Would that Palin and FOX NEWS would do the same.

  • Mr. Murray,

    I have no health care. I pray that my health does does fail. I haven’t had a full-time job in nearly a year. I do fear bankruptcy if I experience any health programs.

    That said, anyone who tries to get me health care on the backs of dead babies is not doing me any favors. I’d rather face financial ruin than see one more baby slaughtered.

    In Christ,
    Steve

  • Heather,

    Denying that there are End-of-Life-Decision panels, aka, Death Panels?

  • Steve,

    First, I know quite well where you are..I’ve been out of a job for 4 years…

    I thought I had finally found a good company to work for and was promoted a Team Leader at our Panasonic National Diagnostic Center. So I was part of the management team lowest level.

    One day I came in and learned that my entire office was to be sold. We were. And we were led to believe that we would just move to another location.

    That didn’t happen.

    At one point, we had 75 people working at our facility.

    All the remaining jobs were outsourced to Manila.

    I blame GWB and all Republicans..they didn’t give a care.
    To all of them…outsourcing is just another way of making more profit.

    And that is why I will never vote for another Republican as long as I live.

    The lie and cheat period. They only care about themselves and other rich …very rich people.

    As far as abortion is concerned you needn’t worry because this is what the president said…

    “And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up – under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

    And to anyone else reading…

    We are living in a Depression…currently I have a brother & sister-in-law out of work. I have an Aunt & Uncle..both in their sixties…out of work and they are trying to start business.

    Millions of Americans are in the same boat as Steve and I and if you aren’t yout of work you should be counting your blessings because it isn’t over yet.

    Being unemployed for a long time is very hard but I’m also

  • I’m also caring for my 74 year old mother who has cancer and is still working and is partially disabled with a bad back so I must take her to work and back in a wheelchair.

    This is what George W Bush did.

    I know this is where Jesus wants me to be..to take care of my mother…something that many middle aged Americans face..caring for their elderly parents.

    We need this change and we need the jobs to come back.

    If this doesn’t happen then God help us because there is going to be a heck of a revolution!

    Say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy!

  • Tito…

    Have you ever heard of

    “A living will”?

    Please don’t tell lies.

  • P. Edwards Murray,

    There will be abortion funding in the bill. You know better that the public option will offer coverage for abortion.

    This is your first warning. If you’re unable to keep your emotions in check and call me a lier one more time then you will be banned.

    You know there are End-of-Life Panels, aka, Death Panels, in one of the two congressional bills.

    I can tell you my sob story as well, but I’m not here to score cheap political points.

    If you really believe a revolution will occur if this bill doesn’t pass then you are beyond logic and reason.

    If this bill does go through, one thing is for certain, we’ll have an entirely new executive and legislative branch come 2012. That is change that I can believe in.

  • Personally having witnessed the outrageous statements at my former Parish…St. Ignatius of Antioch Yardley PA..statements made just after the election…that voting

    “The Economy” was wrong and that “Jesus would have something to say to me” I left that Parish in disgust.

    Picking up my mother from her weekly Adoration, I noticed some flyers saying that this health care would include abortion….

    Which it didn’t then and won’t now.

    I’m of the opinion that The American Catholic Church is really split…many proclaim themselves to be Catholic and are more Republican than really Catholic.

    And some are really Catholic.

    I don’t know about you, but I was brought up to believe that being a Christian was more than abortion…

    Did not Jesus say “Feed my Sheep”? Did he not say that if a man has no “cloak” to give him yours? Did he not say to give your money to the poor?

    Do we not sing a song “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me”?

    Yes we sing that song and Pope John Paul II talked about
    “A Consistent Ethic of Life”?

    So remember…

    Your vote is an action and actions speak louder than words.

    Is it better to vote for one who says they are pro life but clearly discounts everything else that Jesus has said?

    For the record, I believe in a “Consistent Ethic of Life” and I am a practicing Catholic and a Democrat.

    One final note…

    When I left St. Ignatius I could hardly believe that any priest or deacon could have said such a thing. Clearly sometimes priests forget that they live by charity.

    The Deacon in question…his other job..is a

  • Tito,

    I will not remain here and will never bother you again.

    Say a Chaplet of Divine Mercy

  • P. Edward Murray,

    You are more than welcome to say your peace, but please say it in charity.

    It seems you are the one struggling with your Catholic identity vs. being a Democrat.

    As for me I am not a Republican nor do I vote a clean GOP ticket.

    I’ve donated all of my money to the local democratic party and have voted for many democrats, yet I vote as a Catholic, not as a republican nor democrat.

    The life of a human being, especially an innocent child, is the utmost important issue.

    If you feel that getting a free bottle of aspirin forcibly paid by someone else is more important than the life of an innocent child, then that is between you and God.

    I’ll put you and your family in my evening prayers.

  • Catholic Anarchist,

    Your disrespectful comments and vicious attack on the writers of this website will not be tolerated.

    It is comments like yours that the American people are fed up with the way you and your ilk demonize those that protest President Obama’s health care bill.

  • “He chastised those that would dare say the Public Option would eventually take over the Health Insurance Industry.”

    A Kool-Aid stand was set up in the lobby for those who have yet to see the light. Name ONE government program that has ever gotten smaller.

    Buehler…BUEHLER…ANYBODY ?

  • “Any Catholic that cannot see the good in [ObamaCare] isn’t Catholic!”

    “I’m of the opinion that The American Catholic Church is really split…many proclaim themselves to be Catholic and are more Republican than really Catholic.”

    “For the record, I believe in a “Consistent Ethic of Life” and I am a practicing Catholic and a Democrat.”

    Taken at face value, these comments add up to saying, essentially, that one must be a Democrat in order to be a “real” Catholic (never mind the Democrat-sponsored legalized murder of all those dead babies).

    “Any Catholic that cannot see the good in [ObamaCare] isn’t Catholic!”

    So, then, unless you support this particular version of health care reform, prepare yourself to be denied the Catholic funeral that that paragon of Catholic virtue Teddy Kennedy received.

    “I’m of the opinion that The American Catholic Church is really split…many proclaim themselves to be Catholic and are more Republican than really Catholic.”

    Mightn’t there be an even greater number that proclaim themselves to be Catholic that are more Democrat than really Catholic? There’s a whole generation of Catholic Democrat politicians, for example, that ignore Church teaching on fundamental issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and marriage. It’s funny: I see very few pro-life Catholics who proclaim themselves members of the Republican Party as readily as this gentleman proclaims himself a Democrat. Tito’s not a Republican. I’m not a Republican. And even those who are self-proclaimed Republicans tend to be willing to vote against the party when it comes to a “pro-choice” candidate (witness Catholics Against Rudy). Sad that we don’t see that same commitment from Catholic Democrats.

    “I don’t know about you, but I was brought up to believe that being a Christian was more than abortion… Did not Jesus say “Feed my Sheep”? Did he not say that if a man has no “cloak” to give him yours? Did he not say to give your money to the poor? … Do we not sing a song “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me”? … For the record, I believe in a “Consistent Ethic of Life” and I am a practicing Catholic and a Democrat.”

    It’s ironic that whevever someone proclaims themselves to have a “consistent ethic of life”, it is almost ALWAYS the unborn who get short shrift, whose right to life is given a lower priority than whatever other policy issues happen to more closely coincide with that person’s own preferences. They proclaim a concern about “the least of these our brothers” without a hint of irony that they’re leaving out of the equation (or at least minimizing) the least of the least of these – the unborn.

    I agree that we should all have a consistent ethic of life. That universal access to health care – in whatever form it is delivered – is part of that consistent ethic. But as long as our culture accepts a legal regime that fails to recognize the inherent humanity in the least of the least of these our brothers, such a consistent ethic of life is impossible. And, quite frankly, a government that provides legal cover for the murder of the innocent is unfit to run anything remotely resembling health care.

    And besides, how dare anyone believe that their other policy priorities somehow take precedence over the very right to experience life that is endowed by the Creator upon the unborn? With apologies to Charles Dickens, it may be, that in the sight of Heaven, the millions of poor children in the womb have a higher priority in seeing the light of day than does someone in having the government pay for their “free” health care. So, yes, let’s have a consistent ethic of life, but let’s get our priorities straight about what that means, and stop using it as a tool for ignoring abortion in favor of a particular party’s big government agenda.

  • “It is comments like yours that the American people are fed up with the way you and your ilk demonize those that protest President Obama’s health care bill.”

    Tito. I know. You’re going to start thinking I’m singling you out. But…the reverse happens just as frequently and just as viciously. And at least on this blog, the latter tends to be quite tolerated.

    Jay,

    I agree. Catholic Democrats really do not live up to their vocation as Catholics. Many are cowards. Many use the “seamless garment” as cover for voting for pro-choice candidates without even resisting pro-abortion legislation while performing some sort of intellectual gymnastics to distract attention from such a reality. But really, we are told that they are really pro-life because they are reducing the number of abortions by expanding access and/or funding to it.

    But…I think concerns that “other issues” — and I’m not talking about everything else on the “progressive” agenda — are unfortunately neglected, or voting for pro-life Republican candidates, which some Catholics imply is mandatory (even you choose to try to opt to not vote for anyone at all over voting for a Democrat), might strike your conscience as endorsing a number of policies that you simply do not agree with and do not believe is good for our country.

    In a sense, there is a sentiment that I don’t totally endorse — but I am very sympathetic to — is that many left-leaning Catholics feel boxed in. It is practically non-negotiable that you support a party that you fundamentally do not agree with and whom we tend to be suspicious about in regard to their commitment to actually stopping the evil of abortion — and I’m not saying the Democrats are the solution. I’m not trying to draw failure of one side to excuse the other. I am merely saying, these concerns — valid or not — usually are dismissed or there is a legitimate sentiment that right-leaning Catholics either totally reject such considerations or really don’t care. Whether that’s true or not is one thing, but it can seem that way. I repeat: it can seem that way. I’m not sure.

    But to the plight of an orthodox pro-life Catholic Democrat, I am very sympathetic. Obviously, I am one. I did not vote for Obama, but if he were pro-life, I probably would have campaigned for him.

  • If Obama were pro-life (and I mean TRULY pro-life, not Harry Reid “pro-life”), I would probably vote for him, just to reward the Democrats for nominating a pro-lifer.

    If the Democrats ever wised up to the fact that being pro-life was actually a political benefit to them, then we could really do something to end abortion in this country, and Democrats would likely become a permanent majority.

  • Eric,

    I know you personally so don’t worry, your intentions are pure and I need someone like you (I have many) to help keep me on the straight and narrow.

    Your comments and critiques of me are appreciated and spiritually humbling.

    🙂

    …and yes, it does go both ways, though for the moment, in my humble opinion, the GOP, conservatives, independents, and moderates are getting more of it than the liberals and democrats.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • Obama spent a rather long time last night composing what I believe will be remembered as the epitaph for ObamaCare. I have never seen a more inept performance by a President addressing a joint session of Congress. He is approaching lame duck status in his first year in office with his party in overwhelming control in both chambers of Congress. In the teeth of an economic and fiscal crisis of vast proportions there is effectively no one directing the ship of state. God help us.

  • Picking up my mother from her weekly Adoration, I noticed some flyers saying that this health care would include abortion….

    Which it didn’t then and won’t now.

    With respect, Mr. Murray, that’s simply not true. It did, and it does, as Michigan Representative (and Democrat) Bart Stupak recognizes.

    http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1918261,00.html

    But you are absolutely right that health care is a human right, and you should have coverage. I just wish the pro-abortion pols would stop jeopardizing the possibility of health care reform with their games.

  • I think there are flaws in Obama’s proposal, I would prefer that any public option only be state- or region-level co-ops, and I’m sceptical of its ability to control healthcare costs as long as most healthcare is fee-for-service. But overall, I think it has a lot of good in it. I wish some pro-life Republicans like Chris Smith would tell Obama that they’d vote for it if it includes the Stupak amendment. With around 20 pro-life Republicans in the house supporting it and the 20 Dems who wrote the letter on abortion and healthcare, that would be enough to pass it and give it some bipartisan credentials, which Obama wants, and it would protect life.

  • You’re right about that, Zak. If the Dem leadership would be willing to maintain the status quo of no federal funding for abortion by including the Stupak amendment, then health care reform would pass with bipartisan support and the blessing of the USCCB.

    I think it telling, however, that the administration that promised to find “common ground” on abortion is not even willing to maintain the Hyde Amendment status quo, despite its being the overwhelming majority view of the American people that tax dollars should not pay for abortions.

  • I think Zak is in the ballpark with the co-ops, but as a Catholic I would rather forget the state/regional level (implies government run) and take it a step further and suggest the the Catholic Church take the lead and reclaim the moral high ground by establish CATHOLIC Co-ops at the diocesan/parish level.

    There are the beginnings of such a move in the diocese of San Antonio TX by the Catholic Medical Association – see:

    http://www.cathmed.org/issues_resources/blog/new_guild_in_san_antonio_forming/

    Imagine a network of Catholic medical clinics around the country (and world) like the Tepeyac Family Center

    http://www.tepeyacfamilycenter.com/

    and Divine Mercy Pharmacy

    http://www.dmcpharm.com/

    Also – Catholic hospitals (like many colleges) need to reclaim their Catholic identity.

  • JB, I like that idea.

  • What these folks who keep talking about a consistent ethic of life don’t seem to get is this very simple concept:

    A consistent ethic of life begins with life.

  • Jb,

    a step further and suggest the the Catholic Church take the lead and reclaim the moral high ground by establish CATHOLIC Co-ops at the diocesan/parish level.

    A fantastic idea. Unfortunately the current regulatory environment (ie. massive government intrusion) makes such an idea very difficult to implement.

  • Matt,
    I don’t know if it would be hard for a diocese to set up a healthcare coop that Catholics could buy into except for government demands to cover certain things. The trouble I see is when the co-op refusedto pay for contraception and gets in trouble with the government like Belmont Abbey College. One fears the government might also eventually mandate that insurance plans participating in its exchanges cover abortion too.

  • Zak,

    agreed, but there’s a lot of other issues in the state level regulations as well regarding non-discrimination and covered procedures, etc.

  • Matt – what came to me as I read your response is to reaffirm what I said about reclaiming the high ground.

    The battle cry of the feminist movement all these years has essentially been “this is MY body” – (sounds vaguely familiar), The regulations (and health care “reform”) have been a steady march towards telling people of faith that “your body has to follow our rules” regarding contraception and abortion – especially when we’re paying the bills.

    Their “solutions” to every problem is always more and more of the same thing that got us into the problem in the first place, and things continue to get worse. It’s like a person that beats their head against the wall every day because it feels so good when they stop.

    I believe that places like the Teyeyac Family Clinic and DM Pharmacy were raised up by God to say to the world “we’re getting off this merry go round”, and the result speak for themselves.

    Many of the Dr’s across the nation that have stopped prescribing contraceptives and referring / performing for abortion have initially seen their practices suffer – only to come roaring back stronger than before.

    To me – the logical place to put these kinds of places is where the people are – in the diocese. That’s how the non-profit Catholic Hospitals got their start – we need to get back to our roots.

    God will do the work if he can just find a “few good men (and women)” to enlist. Now is the time to be bold – not timid. Remember the walls of Jericho !

  • Jay,

    I’m not sure if the absence of abortion would win the bill any new votes. As far as I can tell, people object for various other reasons. But you might be quite right.

    In regard to insurance, I’ve always thought the Knights of Columbus should offer health insurance. I think Catholics would buy it in swarms.

  • In regard to insurance, I’ve always thought the Knights of Columbus should offer health insurance. I think Catholics would buy it in swarms.

    Amen, brother knight.

    Though at this point they are probably effectively barred from it by the fact that you can’t offer health insurance across state lines. If that were removed, and voluntary associations could form pools in the same way as employers, I would think we could see a huge amount of positive change right there.

  • Eric, Darwin… I agree, the KofC seems like an excellent means of offering health insurance. As Darwin aptly noted, they are prevented from doing so by the regulations preventing insurance across state lines. Additionally, removing health insurance coverage as an employment benefit would serve to assist in this endeavor. Voluntary associations with interstate portability… sounds like a winner to me.

A Plan For Palin, A New Contract With America?

Wednesday, July 8, AD 2009

Sarah Palin

[Updates at the bottom of his post]

Governor Sarah Palin recently announced her resignation as governor of the great state of Alaska and there has been a flurry of analysis of her motives, her character, and her future plans.  Some of this analysis were sincere, others were borderline antagonistic.

This is all occurring in the midst of an Obama presidency steering both Democratic controlled chambers of Congress that have substantially increased spending and enlarged the government to the detriment of our freedoms.  Couple this with the lack of a clear Republican plan to challenge all of this, the American people are in need of a leader to guide us out of this wilderness.

I believe Governor Palin can and should play this important role.  She stated in her final address as governor of Alaska that she wants to do what’s best for her state.  If she is a person of principle and a patriot then it is logical to presume that she wants what’s best for America.  And what’s best for America right now is to have a strong and vigorous counterweight to the liberal agenda of President Obama and his enablers in the Congress.

The plan that Governor Palin should pursue is to proactively lead Americans to take back Congress as part of the pact with America.  She should do what then House Leader Newt Gingrich did in 1994 with the Republican Party’s Contract with America that gave the Republicans control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years.

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115 Responses to A Plan For Palin, A New Contract With America?

  • Wow, my first co-post!

  • With due respect my friends,

    I couldn’t disagree more. I do not believe Sarah Palin is a political figure that the majority of Americans outside the active conservative movement will take seriously. I know the pain of supporting such a candidate since I’m a fan of Huckabee. But I think he has a better shot than Palin at being the conservative candidate that the rest of America might listen to.

    The politics of right-wing indignation will not win an election, least of all against Obama. No matter how righteously we trumpet our causes, the only way to beat Obama is to appeal to more people than he did, not make a narrow segment of the population feel more emboldened in their isolation.

    What is needed is a candidate who can transform Cartias Veritate into a political platform and bring life issues together with economic ideas (and perhaps even more importantly, economic rhetoric) that the vast majority of Americans do not believe are completely discredited by the last 30 years.

  • Joe,

    We are advocating she lead the fight to take back Congress in 2010. Not run for president.

  • Even so, most of what I said applies.

  • Joe,

    Huckabee doesn’t have the national standing that Palin has. Nor can he draw the crowds and grab America’s attention.

    Palin isn’t running for office, she’ll be campaigning for congressional representatives and senators.

    You have valid points, but their for Huckabee’s run at the presidency, not for taking back Congress.

  • Joe Hargrave,

    I do not believe Sarah Palin is a political figure that the majority of Americans outside the active conservative movement will take seriously

    Wishful thinking don’t make it so Joe.

    The politics of right-wing indignation will not win an election, least of all against Obama. No matter how righteously we trumpet our causes, the only way to beat Obama is to appeal to more people than he did, not make a narrow segment of the population feel more emboldened in their isolation.

    Who said anything about “right-wing” indignation? That’s not the message at all. Read the link regarding Contract with America, it’s not about right-wing or indignation.

    As far as narrow? Actually 40% of Americans identify themselves as conservative, conversely, less then 25% as liberal or progressive. Besides the fact, despite the rantings of various liberal, and elitist pundits, Palin appeals very significantly to moderates. That doesn’t necessarily translate to a presidential election but it helps to overcome the massive liberal media bias which often prevents the conservative message from getting out.

    I know the pain of supporting such a candidate since I’m a fan of Huckabee. But I think he has a better shot than Palin at being the conservative candidate that the rest of America might listen to.

    Joe, I think you may have accidentally posted to the wrong thread. What Tito and I are saying is that Palin’s mission is not (or at least ought not) to run for office in 2012, but to work towards rallying the country against socialism in 2010.

    I’m a huge fan of Huckabee too, and he’s already working towards this, but he doesn’t draw, and electrify a crowd like Sarah Palin does.

    As to 2012, I’m as reticent as you about Sarah Palin. Unlike liberals, I do care about experience and so, when the field is set, I’ll support the candidate I think will do the best job, and it might not be Palin. If she did get nominated, she would have my full-throated support in any event.

  • I like Sarah Palin because she is a regular person, and she isn’t a regular politician. Cf. the YouTube of John Edwards working on getting his hair just right for an appearance, or, even worse, Barrack Obama transferring out of my alma mater because he needed a “bigger stage.” In other words, he was already planning to run for President when he was still a teenager. People like that scare me, if only because it is so clear that they are driven by personal ambition than by any concept of serving others. Those kinds of people (and they are found in both parties) are a challenge to both faith based values and to a republican (note the lower case!) form of government.

    Palin is the modern day Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. She has been snatched out of obscurity to appear on the big screen. As I said, I like the fact that she isn’t a professional, poofed up, packaged politician, who tries to make everyone think that she agrees with them. Barrack Obama has been quoted as saying that he has a “gift” of being able to do that, a gift that I find repulsive, not because of his positions, but because he finds that sort of skill to be a positive.

    But, having said that, we get poofed up pols because that’s what the public buys, unfortunately, or, at least, that’s the perception. Yes, Mitt Romney, John Edwards and Hilary Clinton failed, but Barrack Obama succeeded and the perception from the chattering classes is that is the aura that’s required.

    Some argue that the priority for processed bread politicians comes from “main stream media” and their liberal biases, but I think there’s more to it than that. Main stream media clearly did not like either Bush, for example, and they love Clinton and Obama, but all four ended up getting elected. This makes me believe that the public sees being a smooth talking politician as a minimum criteria for holding public office. The press likes to talk about maverick politicians, but they don’t get elected very often (and when they do, there’s almost always an unusual circumstance.) Perhaps you’ve seen the putdowns of Palin as “trailer trash,” not looking or acting like a “real leader.”

    So can Sarah Palin survive in national politics without becoming an ‘every hair in place’ politician? I hope she can but I fear that she doesn’t have the internal fortitude to ignore the sniping from outside the Republican base. As “Mr. Dooley” wrote over 100 years ago, “politics ain’t bean bag.” It’s a blood sport, always has been, always will be, which is one of the reasons I choose not to play myself. Perhaps she can channel Margaret Thatcher, the “green grocer’s daughter” who became Prime Minister and saved Britain from becoming Argentina. Remember how Ronald Reagan would respond to vitriol with a small smile and saying “Well, now there you go again….”

    Palin can not succeed by becoming an attack dog, even in response to what will undoubtedly be heavy personal attacks. That’s not presidential but it’s also not what the country needs.

  • “Unlike liberals, I do care about experience and so, when the field is set, I’ll support the candidate I think will do the best job, and it might not be Palin.”

    I appreciate your honest perspective.

  • Patrick Duffy,

    I agree with you 100% of what you wrote.

    The mainstream media certainly has it out for Governor Palin.

    The main point of the posting is that Governor Palin can make a significant contribution towards taking back one or both chambers of Congress and that as a lightning rod for all the open seats.

  • I know it is popular on both sides to assume the media has an political agenda (amazing how they can be so far-left and far-right, depending on who you listen to, at the same time!), and I’m sure it does. I definitely pick up a cosmopolitan upper-class liberal ‘bias’ from most reporters and anchors.

    But the media will generally treat people the way people treat it. Yes, some candidates and political figures will have to work harder than others due to the biases. But it can be done. John McCain had a great relationship with the press before he started playing the role of “angry conservative” to play to the base. Palin practically declared war on the media before the media even knew who she was at the convention.

    So its a dreadful loop, but I do believe it starts with the candidate (or figure or whoever). The right-wing base doesn’t like the press – having the press hate you gives you right-wing street cred. Will anyone deny this? Will anyone deny that the day Wolf Blitzer is gushing over your speech or your interview is the day a significant number of potential conservative voters tune out?

    The problem is that most of the country isn’t THAT conservative, Matt’s statistics aside. “Conservative” may mean any number of things (I identify more with conservatism today than I ever have in my life). I think the segement of the population that really hates the media a priori is a) not big enough to care about placating, but b) loud enough to make it seem to potential candidates that they are big enough to placate.

    So, I think cultivating a healthy relationship with the press corps and the anchors, instead of an oppositional attitude for the sake of impressing your buddies (which is what it really seems to come down to), goes a long way. McCain used to know it, Huckabee knows it, any successful politician figures it out. The first aggressive and overconfident, and then later closed-off, defensive Palin strategy with the press was absolutely disastrous. If she does want to be a serious political leader, this childish game has to end.

  • I don’t think Palin is the ticket (for Congress, President or whatever). Palin has been drawing crowds, but are they crowds drawn to her or repulsed by something? I think it is the latter.

    That is, Palin represents a rejection, primarily of the politics of Obama and, to a different degree, of John McCain. Palin breathed life in a segment that expected to be entirely ignored and was frustrated by everything it saw. Palin represented a rejection of that.

    The problem is the conservatives need more than that. Decrying socialism isn’t the answer. Something needs to be done, a vision has to be propounded (Caritas in Veritate, anybody?), and someone needs to lead FOR it, not just merely AGAINST something.

    Palin from what I’ve seen has done well capitalizing on the feelings of many Americans who don’t like what’s going on, but she has not done well in showing them a new place to go. She could, and I would be happy to see it, but for right now she’s just not what we need.

    Moreover, for her family’s sake I kinda hope she lays low for a while. Let them breathe a little bit, lest the pressure destroy it ala Jon & Kate.

  • Michael,

    I’m proposing that she help candidates win back Congress, not run for Congress.

    Assume that crowds are there because they reject something, what other politician can do that? Easy, no one but Governor Palin.

    By the way, where’s your Tiger icon ID?

  • Joe Hargrave,

    I know it is popular on both sides to assume the media has an political agenda (amazing how they can be so far-left and far-right, depending on who you listen to, at the same time!), and I’m sure it does. I definitely pick up a cosmopolitan upper-class liberal ‘bias’ from most reporters and anchors.

    But the media will generally treat people the way people treat it. Yes, some candidates and political figures will have to work harder than others due to the biases. But it can be done. John McCain had a great relationship with the press before he started playing the role of “angry conservative” to play to the base. Palin practically declared war on the media before the media even knew who she was at the convention.

    With all do respect, that’s a load of crap. First of all, you’re denying human nature. It’s clear that 90% who work in the media are self admittedly liberal. SO you suggest that they do not act in a biased fashion, unless the subject objects to their transparent lack of objectivity? That’s just not true. The media bias is deep and transparent and it doesn’t matter what the target does. Case in point Bush’s administration was never hostile towards the media and yet was subjected in latter years to massive bias.

    The press was friendly with McCain because he was seen as a moderate, his major sin was going up against Obama, and then bringing in a solid conservative to take the cake. Frankly, they didn’t really go after him anyway, they ignored him (see the coverage on his trips abroad vs Obama’s) which is far worse.

    So its a dreadful loop, but I do believe it starts with the candidate (or figure or whoever). The right-wing base doesn’t like the press – having the press hate you gives you right-wing street cred. Will anyone deny this? Will anyone deny that the day Wolf Blitzer is gushing over your speech or your interview is the day a significant number of potential conservative voters tune out?

    We conservatives like a skeptical but unbiased press. We don’t like to see them gush over anyone frankly, and if a liberal media person gushes over you it’s obvious that you have said something they like, which is probably a bad sign. For example, since Chavez likes Obama’s position on Hondura’s impeached president being returned to power, it’s probably a bad sign.

    The problem is that most of the country isn’t THAT conservative, Matt’s statistics aside. “Conservative” may mean any number of things (I identify more with conservatism today than I ever have in my life). I think the segement of the population that really hates the media a priori is a) not big enough to care about placating, but b) loud enough to make it seem to potential candidates that they are big enough to placate.

    So what? It’s not about hating or not hating the media. The only point I made about media bias is that the Palin overcomes it by getting press wherever she goes. The coverage tends to let the message out, and the vile reactions from press pundits become transparent to the conservatives and moderates.

    So, I think cultivating a healthy relationship with the press corps and the anchors, instead of an oppositional attitude for the sake of impressing your buddies (which is what it really seems to come down to), goes a long way. McCain used to know it, Huckabee knows it, any successful politician figures it out. The first aggressive and overconfident, and then later closed-off, defensive Palin strategy with the press was absolutely disastrous. If she does want to be a serious political leader, this childish game has to end.

    As I said, this is not about antagonizing the press, so much as antagonizing the Obama administration to throw them off their stride, and make their true positions more obvious. Heck, even Helen Thomas has started attacking them for their deceptive actions.

  • “As I said, this is not about antagonizing the press, so much as antagonizing the Obama administration to throw them off their stride”

    If by “this” you mean the initial post, I agree. But two other folks brought up the media angle, so I wanted to comment on that.

  • Also…

    “The media bias is deep and transparent and it doesn’t matter what the target does. Case in point Bush’s administration was never hostile towards the media and yet was subjected in latter years to massive bias.”

    Notice you say, “in latter years”. The relationship deteriorated for a number of reason, but you have to admit, so did the relationship between the Bush administration and the majority of Americans. His approval ratings were abysmal in the ‘latter years’ – why kind of press isn’t going to reflect that in some way?

    The truth is that in the beginning Bush, like McCain, got alone with the press corps. Bush knew how to tell a joke and lighten the mood. He was quite affable with reporters. But as the war dragged on and the administration became more defensive, the media pounced. This always happens – it never pays to be defensive and combative with the media.

    And, like I also acknowledged, because of the bias, some people have to work harder than others. Conservatives have to work harder than liberals. I don’t deny the bias, I don’t deny its influence, I just say, it isn’t insurmountable.

  • I will resist the temptation to point out how ridiculous Palin is, and how she really knows nothing about policy, but I do want to take you to task for the this statement “substantially increased spending and enlarged the government to the detriment of our freedoms.”

    (1) How much is spending and the deficit set to increase over the medium-term and how much is attributible to Obama’s discretionary policies as opposed to the effects of autmomatic stabilizers, cyclical changes in tax elasticities, and the dymanic effects of Bush’s 3 major deficit-enhancing measures (war, tax cuts, medicare part d)?

    (2) The single largest item in the federal government is military spending (which accounts for almost a quarter of total spending). Do you support cutting this drastically to reduce government and enhance your “freedom”?

    (3) What freedoms are you talking about exactly?

    (4) How does this notion of freedom fit with the Catholic notion of freedom which is less concerned with individual automomy and more with serving of what is good and just?

  • Tito:

    I’m proposing that she help candidates win back Congress, not run for Congress.

    I know, though I see I may have been unclear on that. I was responding more to the idea that Palin can be an effective leader for the Republican party.

    Assume that crowds are there because they reject something, what other politician can do that? Easy, no one but Governor Palin.

    True, but the point isn’t merely to draw crowds. It’s to win back the trust of the American people and to persuade people that the conservative movement, particularly the social conservative movement, is not a lost cause. I don’t think Palin can do that; indeed the media has used to her to portray the opposite, and is in fact an sign of a dying cause.

    By the way, where’s your Tiger icon ID?

    I will try to remember to do it tonight. I just hesitate to try to do wordpress while on the work computer.

  • Michael,

    I will try to remember to do it tonight. I just hesitate to try to do wordpress while on the work computer.

    You have a job? In this economy?

    sign of a dying cause

    Only time will tell on this point, but you can’t deny she is helping get out the vote.

    Let’s play on your premise that she only brings out conservatives, remember that the GOP just needs to invigorate the base to come out, not unlike Senator McCain who did nothing to inspire the faithful until he nominated Governor Palin. And her nomination pulled McCain over Obama for the first time in the polling only to drop back when the economy began showing signs of recession.

  • Morning’s Minion,

    I will resist the temptation to point out how ridiculous Palin is, and how she really knows nothing about policy,

    Awesome, thanks for demonstrating the vileness of the response from liberal/leftist/progressives.

    but I do want to take you to task for the this statement “substantially increased spending and enlarged the government to the detriment of our freedoms.”

    (1) How much is spending and the deficit set to increase over the medium-term and how much is attributible to Obama’s discretionary policies as opposed to the effects of autmomatic stabilizers, cyclical changes in tax elasticities, and the dymanic effects of Bush’s 3 major deficit-enhancing measures (war, tax cuts, medicare part d)?


    (2) The single largest item in the federal government is military spending (which accounts for almost a quarter of total spending). Do you support cutting this drastically to reduce government and enhance your “freedom”?

    No. Military spending, and foreign policy spending only infringe on our rights in so far as we have to work to pay for them. Conversely domestic programs almost always involve additional infringements on our liberties.

    (3) What freedoms are you talking about exactly?

    Freedom from government tyrany. A government that is big enough to see to all you need, is powerful enough to take all you have.

    (4) How does this notion of freedom fit with the Catholic notion of freedom which is less concerned with individual automomy and more with serving of what is good and just?

    Perfectly. If the government takes so much of my income for entitlement programs and various other waste, I am not free to give any portion of it to worthy causes, such as caring for my family, seeing to the needs of the Church and effectively aiding the poor.

    Also, the type of government influence your glorious leader is pushing is often immoral (condoms in the schools, funding of abortion etc.).

  • Joe Hargrave,

    “As I said, this is not about antagonizing the press, so much as antagonizing the Obama administration to throw them off their stride”

    If by “this” you mean the initial post, I agree. But two other folks brought up the media angle, so I wanted to comment on that.

    Which posting or comment suggests that antagonizing the press is what this is about?

    “The media bias is deep and transparent and it doesn’t matter what the target does. Case in point Bush’s administration was never hostile towards the media and yet was subjected in latter years to massive bias.”

    Notice you say, “in latter years”. The relationship deteriorated for a number of reason, but you have to admit, so did the relationship between the Bush administration and the majority of Americans. His approval ratings were abysmal in the ‘latter years’ – why kind of press isn’t going to reflect that in some way?

    The media was strongly against Bush by the time of his reelection, obviously far in advance of his popular support being severely downgraded. Either way, he never did get antagonistic towards them. Did you ever consider that the media bias was part of the reason that popular opinion turned against him?

    The truth is that in the beginning Bush, like McCain, got alone with the press corps. Bush knew how to tell a joke and lighten the mood. He was quite affable with reporters. But as the war dragged on and the administration became more defensive, the media pounced.

    No, that’s just not the case. Tony Snow was always affable with reporters, and so was Bush. They never got antagonistic (granted that Tony Snow’s successor was far less effective than he was, but it was a feeding frenzy of hatred by then).

    This always happens – it never pays to be defensive and combative with the media.

    It hasn’t hurt Obama much YET.

    And, like I also acknowledged, because of the bias, some people have to work harder than others. Conservatives have to work harder than liberals. I don’t deny the bias, I don’t deny its influence, I just say, it isn’t insurmountable.

    absolutely. A troll like Gore can get all the press he wants, but a solid conservative generally can’t get a fair shake, so we work harder… like having Palin hold rallies and address the public directly.

  • MM:

    cyclical changes in tax elasticities

    Now I feel stupid. Pray tell, oh minion, what the heck does that mean? lol.

  • With all due respect (is that still the preferred precursor to expressing strong disagreement?), I’m not sure how you can watch Palin resignation speech or the Couric interviews and think she is equipped to effectively present alternative policies. She attracts coverage, but it’s rarely favorable, and she’s actively disliked by a fairly large segment of the population. Unlike Gingrich she’s hardly a policy wonk, and I’ve never heard her articulate a new or creative policy proposal. Frankly, I am looking forward to not having to endure any more speeches like the one she gave last Friday – and, of course, I hope being out of the limelight will give her and her family some peace.

  • John Henry,

    She is disliked by a fringe of Democratic leftist and some Republican elitists.

  • John Henry,

    you’re right, she’s not a policy wonk. So what? The policies she espouses are bang on, and she has done a good job of rallying conservatives and moderates, and that’s exactly what she should do. Whether she can show an ability to be everything that is needed in a president remains to be seen, in the meantime, she can help save the nation from socialism.

  • Matt,

    While you raise some interesting points; don’t you even find it the least disconcerting that she is incapable of even thinking on her feet, which I would think would be a necessary attribute for someone serving the highest office in the land?

  • She is disliked by a fringe of Democratic leftist and some Republican elitists.

    Well, I’m not sure which I am…here’s mixed evidence for your thesis from Gallup:

    A new USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Monday night finds a core of 19% of U.S. voters who say they are “very likely” to vote for her should she run, and an additional 24% who are somewhat likely to do so, giving her a decent reservoir of potential support to build upon. However, nearly as many voters (41%) currently say they would be not at all likely to vote for her.

    I guess it’s no surprise that she’s polarizing, but 41% is a pretty high “not likely at all” rating.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/121514/Americans-Political-Future-Palin.aspx

  • Media bias is a strange animal… Almost as strange as legal bias.

    Law school was a surprising thing to me because I did not suspect that virtually EVERY law professor is a far left leaning wack-job and that the majority of them lean far to the conservative end of the spectrum when it comes to economics and private property. This is to say that law professors, and to a lesser extent, lawyers in general, tend to be socially leftist and rightist on economics.

    I raise this point because I think the same can be said of the vast majority of the media. On the one hand, they desperately need and seek advertising dollars which prevents them from reporting on economic abuses that would push away advertisers and, on the other, they are overwhelmingly rampant social liberals so their affinity is to liberal causes such as homosexual “rights,” abortion on demand, destruction of institutions, and secularization.

    Joe, with respect, the GOP can grovel for positive attention all it wants and it will never be more than a punch-line on late-night TV. We cannot count on and should not court the media as the Dems do. Our vindication lies in actually being RIGHT about the value of traditional institutions, controlling expenses, minimizing government interference, and championing Americanism in the world.

    NOTHING sells like being right.

  • People underestimate Palin. Good. They did the same to Ronald Reagan. In 2008 John McCain dropped 11 points among white men from the totals of Bush in 2004. He dropped only 4 points among white women. The diffence was solely Palin. Without her McCain would have been lucky to crack 40%.

    As Obama’s polls continue to shrink, Palin has an opportunity if she has the stomach for the absolutely outrageous venom heaped upon her and her family by the deranged left. I am not convinced yet that she wants the office of President enough to continue to endure the type of truly despicable attacks she has been under since McCain chose her for Veep. However, with the economy tanking as badly as I think it will under Obama, I suspect Palin will be formidable if she chooses to run in 2012. She is not a conventional politician and by 2012 that is what the country will be crying out for.

  • Donald,

    Puhleeze! Palin is NO Ronald Reagan.

    Pay respect to the memory of the man — especially in our current times where his name is being soiled by the like of folks who’ve even drawn comparison between he and Obama, a Pro-abortionist fiend.

  • e., when it comes to political skills, Palin is definitely Ronald Reagan in a skirt. If she runs for political office again, at the end of the campaign we can compare notes on this point.

  • Don,

    Did you watch the resignation speech? I’ve never seen a successful national politician, let alone Reagan (or Clinton, or Obama, or either Bush) string together such a rambling mess of contradictions and ill-conceived metaphors. I’m baffled by the Reagan comparison; what am I missing?

  • Donald,

    I’ve not ever encountered an interview with Ronald Reagan being as disasterous as most conducted with Palin.

    Even in the neocon networks such as Fox, she appeared regrettably clueless, even with what seemed to me like prepared remarks by her — as it happened to be the case even in her debates, which is amongst the very things that made her appear to me as an automaton of sorts; very mechanical — hardly Reaganesque at all.

    Yet, your insistence that she actually is gives me slight pause and, strangely enough, some glimmer of hope that perhaps I may myself have somehow underestimated her.

    Still, with all the public spectacles I’ve managed to catch of her (and, believe you me, I hardly pay much attention to the MSM, spin doctors, and what have you; for example, I usually watch entire interviews/debates themselves — live, if possible), her performance often seemed deplorably subpar.

    We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.

  • A political natural John Henry. The crowds last year that came out to see Palin were huge and easily compared with most of Obama’s crowds. Her convention speech was the best I have ever heard since Reagan, and given under the most unfavorable of circumstances. She demolished Biden, yeah I realize maybe that wasn’t too hard!, in the Veep debate last year. She has a loyal and devoted following even after a losing campaign. She draws attention like no other political figure since Reagan, with the exception of Obama. That she becomes tongue tied occasionally is of no more moment than Obama’s dependence on a teleprompter. When you are a natural at politics, as in so many areas of life, the normal rules simply do not apply.

  • Donald:

    I was born after Reagan became president, so forgive my lack of history, but did Reagan have to quit the governorship of California?

  • Donald,

    “She demolished Biden…”

    As much as I detest Biden, just which debate are you actually referring to here?

  • Matt,

    “Which posting or comment suggests that antagonizing the press is what this is about?”

    For heaven’s sake, Matt, what in my posts suggests that I made such a claim?

    “No, that’s just not the case. Tony Snow was always affable with reporters, and so was Bush.”

    Tony Snow, who came in after Fleischer and McClellan, and after things for the Bush administration had already gone sour.

    “A troll like Gore can get all the press he wants”

    The media skewered Gore in 2000, though – they kept repeating the stupid lie that he claimed he invented the Internet, when any honest person who reads the full quote sees that he only claimed a role in supporting it, which in fact he did.

    They did the same thing with McCain inventing the Blackberry, only by then, he had so many other (Palin) problems that it was irrelevant.

    And don’t forget what they did to Howard Dean either, with that scream.

  • This is becoming an amusing exchange of irrelevancies. If someone will tell me who is going to win the World Series in a few months, I would be grateful for the information. It will surely be better based than most of the verbiage about 2010 [much less 2012].

    It is interesting to read the term “trailer trash” applied to Mrs. Palin. It happens [accidentally, believe me] that I do know a fair number of reporters and “media people”, having lived in NYC for 70 years. One unmistakeable characteristic is the effort to avoid being taken for “lower class” or “suburban”.

    Becoming a member of the Century Association is taken as a summum bonum. It is astonishing how many boys from Brooklyn have made the effort to go to Harvard.

    It must surely be apparent that the puffed-up hairdo’s of the television commentators [of both sexes] bespeak an emphasis on appearances. It’s OK for women because “a woman’s hair is her glory” [St. Paul].

  • e. check out Reagan’s performance in the first debate with Mondale in 84. Reagan was a trooper but even he had an off day. However, it really didn’t matter because Reagan was a politcal natural too. Bill Clinton had the same gift. Some people are just preternaturally good at politics and I believe Palin is one of them.

  • Matt: “thanks for demonstrating the vileness of the response from liberal/leftist/progressives”

    Matt, from your answer to my questions, you are steeped in liberalism. Yours is an undiluted form of that individualist ideology so condemned by the Church in past centuries. Catholism is about unity, the inherent one-ness of the human race united in communion, and that implies we look out for the common good, not our own individual self interest. In other words, we are persons before individuals. If that’s your position, defend it, but stop pretending you are something you are not.

    On Palin — I really hope your precious Republican party nominates her. Please do — you will almost guarantee an Obama landslde. But I should not be so smug. This is no joke. Rather, it really reflects poorly on people who embrace a leader one is is no unfit for leadership, judged by temperament and (most importantly) by ability to understand the basics of policy. If this is democracy, then I’ll take monarchy, thank you very much.

  • John Henry,

    I think I may have been too “simplistic”, so don’t take any offense. You fall in the good Christian category which I believe the USA Today polling data failed to represent.

    Nonetheless, Governor Palin has “it”. She can draw crowds and fire up the base very well.

    That’s all we need from her at the least when it comes to the 2010 midterms. Believe me, she will do a very well if not exceptionally well come election time in 2010.

    I for one will enjoy anyone and the media to continue to denigrate her for lack of policy, executive, [insert here] experience while she mops up moderate and vulnerable democrats in the congressional and senatorial elections of 2010!

  • “Rather, it really reflects poorly on people who embrace a leader one is is no unfit for leadership, judged by temperament and (most importantly) by ability to understand the basics of policy.”

    I have to agree. Palin is just embarrassing. It saddens me to think that the future of life and family issues could be tied to her performance as a candidate or a party leader.

    However, if by 2012 she cleans up her act, maybe receives some coaching on how to interact with the media, stops the ridiculous attempts at being “folksy” (one wink and I’m done), displays some sort of progress on economic thinking beyond the standard, discredited, and absolutely annoying platitudes about taxes and government spending, and is able to articulate the pro-life case beyond “I would choose life”, then, we’ll see.

  • Joe, John Henry — I couldn’t agree more, as always.

    I would, however, like to advise against tossing around terms like “right-wing”, “leftist”, “elitist,” etc. It really fails to move the debate forward, but rather halts it for petty back-and-forth slanders where cheap slogan and the age-old talking points are thrown back and forth.

    Can a Catholic debate, please look different than one in the American mainstream?

    To a very particular point made, I’m neither a “Democratic leftist or a Republican elitist” and I’m no fan of Sarah Palin. I don’t think marked generalizations assist such a point.

  • Joe, I think you are failing to apply your formula for politics to the GOP.

    If I understand you correctly, you are articulating the fairly well established common wisdom of being inclusive in politics. To assume a common metaphor for this, you are suggesting that the “umbrella” of the GOP must be broad enough to invite in those who share views on social causes that are further afield than opposition to abortion and those whose economic interests embrace a robust role for government in providing for the poor and disadvantaged. (I take this from the present discussion and other posts and comments of yours that I have read. If I got it wrong, please correct me.)

    However, it is precisely for this reason that you should be happy to have Sarah Palin in the fold.

    My wife did not donate a dime or in any way work to get a candidate elected until Gov. Palin entered the race. Frankly, she was a bit “ho-hum” about even going to the polls for John McCain. It was Sarah Palin’s ability to speak plainly and to the issues that my wife truly cares about that woke her up and excited her about the 2008 race.

    If you truly believe that the GOP umbrella needs to be broader then there must be a place for the “folksy, honest” people under it.

    Oh… And Matt… Speaking of the inarticulate and snarky, have you read what you have written?

  • Matt, My apologies. I meant to tag “Morning Minion” with the last line.

  • I will speculate that the difficulty that Gov. Palin had last fall is attributable largely to her history. Only a modest minority of those who have been on national tickets in the last 70-odd years have had any history as candidates or office-holders in the realm of local politics, and those that did (e.g. Hubert Humphrey and Spiro Agnew and Harry Truman) generally hailed from metropolitan counties and had hundreds of thousands of constituents. Robert Dole cut his teeth in small town and rural politics; however, he has all but admitted his party affiliation was a function of personal ambition and he stood for election as county attorney in 1952 in lieu of setting up shop in private practice. Gov. Palin is thus nearly alone among those on national tickets in recent decades whose political education and interest concerned the sort of commonplace concretes that local officials (most particulary small town mayors) deal with. It is doubtful, given her background, that she is the sort who invests a whole mess of time in conceptual thinking about matters for which she is not palpably responsible at that moment.

    So, what you had was this woman who had a considerable measure of experience in the realms of hiring, firing, budgets, capital improvement projects, public education, the commercial fishing business, the intersection of state government and the oil business, &c. being asked questions about matters she (one suspects) had not had much occasion to think about because it was not her job to do so. Someone else might have spent their spare time cogitating (intelligently or no) on aspects of the federal tax code or the interminable wars between Israel and the Arab states; Gov. Palin’s hobbies run to hunting and sports.

    Ronald Reagan had (by the time he entered office) some serious intellectual deficiencies. While he may have been less intelligent than Gerald Ford or George Bush pere, he had an interest in political ideas and in the schema of policy that they lacked. Robert Kuttner referred to him as a ‘hedgehog’ – a man who held self-consciously to a short list of principles he knew how to apply in assessing policy. I suspect if carefully questioned, Gov. Palin would reveal herself to be unlike either Gerald Ford (a political professional who enjoyed the daily business of political life but had no well articulated convictions and little demonstrated ability to think outside of whatever box the accumulated history of policy had placed him in) or Ronald Reagan (the conviction politician): someone with a strong (if not articulated) cultural-political orientation that colors her reactions to things but also someone whose interest is very much in the tangible world around her, not in abstractions like ‘the Soviet threat’ or ‘the free market’.

    (memo to ‘e.’, when you have under your belt 21 years raising kids and 12 years running public agencies, you are not properly dismissed as a ‘pin up girl’).

  • Well, I’m not sure if anyone would deny that Sarah Palin can speak plainly and to the issues. However, personally, I do not identify with her and I don’t agree with a number of her positions. So, it is hard-pressed for me, as others, to be drawn by her presence. I think that’s the point. In fact, I would rather she lay low for a while.

    In regard to the post itself, I think there would have to be a re-establishment of credibility in regard to the “Republican message of small government, fiscal responsibility, moral values, and security to the American people.”

    It was under the Bush Administration that the government expanded and operated in a fiscally irresponsible manner. In terms of “moral values,” I’m terribly skeptical because I’m usually disturbed in regard to moral priorities or the conclusion of many ethical judgments. If anything, Gov. Sanford might stand in the way of credibility. Though, it would not be fair to project his personal problems on to the entire GOP brand. And in terms of security, I don’t have a real sense of more or less safety between the two Administrations. If anything, I’m more favorable to Obama’s approach to foreign policy, particularly regarding the Middle East, if not just for the tone of reconciliation against the “us” versus “them” mentality. But that is my personal view, of which, I am not “absolutizing.”

    So, I think that’s a hard sell, even to moderates.

  • “Ronald Reagan had (by the time he entered office) some serious intellectual deficiencies.”

    No wonder the man was virtually responsible for reshaping the face of the whole known world then, ending the Cold War, amongst many of other notable & historic feats the man is famously known for (and rightly, too).

    Don’t get me wrong; the man certainly had his failings. Still, there is nothing in Palin that even remotely resembles any of his more endearing qualities (with all due respect to Donald, of course).

  • e., I think you would be hard pressed to find a more devoted fan of Ronald Wilson Reagan than me. If there were space, his face should be carved on Mount Rushmore in my opinion. However, he often got facts wrong in his speeches. The Left made a cottage industry out of this foible. It didn’t make a dime’s worth of difference to most of the American public.

    Like Reagan Palin is hated, truly despised, by the Left in this country. (For me that is an endearing quality!) Like Reagan Palin has a large and devoted following within the rank and file of the party. Like Reagan she also has many enemies within the party leadership. Like Reagan she can draw mass crowds to her speeches as few other politicians can. Like Reagan she draws attention and excitement. She obviously needs a bit more seasoning, like Reagan did in 68 when he made an abortive attempt for the GOP nomination for President, but I think she will gain this seasoning on the campaign trail in 2010 as she becomes the de facto leader of a Republican comeback. (I think such a comeback is assured if the economy tanks into a deeper recession as I fear). Time, as it always does, will tell.

  • “However, it is precisely for this reason that you should be happy to have Sarah Palin in the fold.”

    I don’t see why. Palin mouthed the same tired old rhetoric about taxes and government spending during the campaign. She contributed nothing new or original to the American political debate. What did she do except talk tough and wink for the camera?

    All of the tough talk about taxes and government spending is absolutely toxic. I’m sick of it and the majority of Americans are sick of it. Most Americans think the rich should pay more, that progressive taxes are just, that there should be some redistribution of wealth – and absolutely reject the retarded notion that any such redistribution amounts to “socialism”.

    Personally, I put the integrity of society and the common good above any notion that we are “punishing success”. It is the collective labor of the entire world that makes wealth possible. Good ideas and good management are absolutely worthless without dedicated labor. Everyone who plays a role in making this society function should be able to live in it with dignity and comfort, even if it means a few less billionaires. And that is exactly what Pope Benedict argues in CV, when he says:

    “The world’s wealth is growing in absolute terms, but inequalities are on the increase. In rich countries, new sectors of society are succumbing to poverty and new forms of poverty are emerging. In poorer areas some groups enjoy a sort of “superdevelopment” of a wasteful and consumerist kind which forms an unacceptable contrast with the ongoing situations of dehumanizing deprivation. “The scandal of glaring inequalities” continues.(22)”

    It is an unacceptable contrast, and until Palin or some other GOP candidate says it and believes it (Huckabee doesn’t even say it as candidly as I think he should), I and millions of others will continue to tune them out. We’re done with it, see? Done with the “rich people make the world go ’round so they deserve everything”. It isn’t envy. It’s a legitimate desire for justice and fairness necessary for the functioning of an orderly society, and I thank God our Pope proclaims it from on high.

  • If someone like Obama who had zero executive experience, even less so than Governor Palin, can get elected, then the inverse is possible. Especially when Governor Palin can draw and energize the base.

    I think many of you make “some” valid points, but you’re missing the big picture. The point of the posting is to show that Governor Palin is not running for Congress but can help campaign.

    She will deliver congress to the GOP.

    And to Eric’s point of the Bush record, the Democrats in Congress had an even worse approval rating than Bush, yet they were able to win large margins in both the House and the Senate.

    Many of the arguments don’t hold water because they have been proven to be both wrong and inaccurate. The GOP can win on fiscal responsibility, small government, moral values, and security. Governor Palin needs to do what she is more than capable of doing and that is bring the base to the Polls.

  • Donald:

    I wasn’t suggesting otherwise; in fact, I actually took you to be (quite rightly) my superior better in that regard (i.e., knowledge about Reagan) than anything else (as, in the past, you’ve demonstrated to be quite the aficionado for all things American History).

    In fact, that is the very reason which gave me pause in my own conclusion about Palin.

    Although, I personally may still have reservations about the validity about such a comparison; that doesn’t negate the fact that you are far more superbly equipped to perform such comparison and, indeed, might even be correct in your assessment.

    I don’t dismiss the seemingly inescapable charisma of Palin, which speaks to the enormous crowds she seems to draw; it’s just that I still don’t think, to me, she even measures up to the large, even intimidatingly dominating figure that Reagan is to me.

  • Thank you for your gracious comment e. There will always be only one Reagan. My comparison with Palin and Reagan was only as to political skills.

  • No wonder the man was virtually responsible for reshaping the face of the whole known world then, ending the Cold War, amongst many of other notable & historic feats the man is famously known for (and rightly, too).

    Please see the memoirs of David Stockman and Donald T. Regan on the daily business of contending with Mr. Reagan’s mind, such as it was. While I would not deny Mr. Reagan made some good contingent decisions, it is hardly obvious that the collapse of morale among the political class of Soviet Russia is attributable to his works, much less his works alone. Among the skeptics on this point is Paul Hollander, who is hardly a McGovernite sentimentalist (see http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=paul+hollander&x=0&y=0).

    Don’t get me wrong; the man certainly had his failings. Still, there is nothing in Palin that even remotely resembles any of his more endearing qualities (with all due respect to Donald, of course).

    Endearing? Affable, perhaps. I would refer you not only to Donald T. Regan (who had an axe to grind), but also to the opinions of Lyn Nofziger, who did not. Mr. Reagan built an abnormally affectionate marriage with a woman who was not the sweetest person God ever created. However, he manifested little ability or interest in building authentic friendships. Mr. Nofziger said the man was a loner at heart, and did not really need friends; Regan offered that neither Mr. Reagan nor his wife were loyal to people. The contrast with Richard Nixon, who was anything but a people person but who had a small but devoted circle of friends and whose immediate associates (Rose Mary Woods, Manolo Sanchez, Ronald Ziegler, and even Henry Kissinger in a qualified sort of way) were likewise devoted, is stark.

    Your children have minds of their own, and one ought be very careful about holding parents culpable for the sins of their offspring. That having been said, the buffoonery of all four of his children is disconcerting. How could that have happened?

  • If there were space, [Reagan’s] face should be carved on Mount Rushmore in my opinion.

    Actually, armed with a little talent and a lot of dynamite someone could easily replace Jefferson with Reagan. I’m sure Paul would be happy to take up a collection.
    😉

  • Joe… Such passion against those who disagree is unbecoming.

    You slander those of us who believe, with equal conviction, that redistribution of wealth amounts to little less than ripping the fabric of the modern world out from under it. You may believe that these supposed “rich” should be soaked and a cushion placed under society so that no one can fall too hard but there are many fewer of you than there are of us who are not so sure that Capitalism ought to be shoved under the Progressive bus.

    I am have never argued that Capitalism was a perfect system. It is simply the best economic system that the world has ever known and has delivered, over the last 400 years increasingly greater and better distributed benefits than you give it credit for doing. At its core, Capitalism requires that a person be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

    Now, if you are saying that people in the modern world universally, or at least very broadly, want the more brutish qualities of our economic system mitigated, then I am with you. However, that argument carries with it necessary discussions of government intrusiveness, utility of tax codes, and natural law fairness.

    For my part, I look continue to earn and save and invest with sincere hopes that I can acquire sufficient assets to care for my family, one day retire, and give generously through the whole. Those goals do not lend themselves well to a government that sees my earnings as unfairly acquired because I earn more than someone else.

    Furthermore, the Progressivism of which you speak is one of the most worn out and tired themes in the Western world. It is the title given to populist and utopian movements by their adherents who envision a perfect world based upon love and sharing. It is this “perfectability” that is the downfall of EVERY Progressive movement.

    It doesn’t appear that you have noticed that the Sons of Adam are a pretty sorry lot. We are base, cruel, self-centered, wretched creatures, undeserving of any of the blessings we enjoy. For these reasons, Progressive movements are ALWAYS doomed to failure.

    Only systems that acknowledge the baser realities of human kind accomplish anything at all. So it is with Capitalism which harnesses itself to the human impulse to acquire and preserve.

    I mean no disrespect but the Progressive thing is incredibly juvenile and it is astounding that generation after generation has to endure a new version of it. Time and time again mankind is invited to sign on, sacrifice, and suffer only to discover that the leaders of every one of these movements are just as greedy, mean spirited, thick headed, and self serving as any other person has ever been.

    All Progressivism gets us is a delay in human progress, a diversion from a straighter path towards a more universal prosperity.

  • G-Veg,

    My passion is for what is right and just. I don’t mind reasonable disagreement, though I’ll stand by my remark that equating all wealth redistribution with ‘socialism’ is stupid (and would make the Church a socialist institution). If I did have a problem with disagreement, I wouldn’t contribute to this blog.

    “It is simply the best economic system that the world has ever known and has delivered, over the last 400 years increasingly greater and better distributed benefits than you give it credit for doing.”

    I completely disagree. This system only is what it is because institutions both secular and religious held it to moral account. Without the intervention of the Church and secular labor movements we would have ended up with Herbert Spencer’s vision of Social Darwinism.

    “For my part, I look continue to earn and save and invest with sincere hopes that I can acquire sufficient assets to care for my family, one day retire, and give generously through the whole.”

    Do you need a billion dollars to do that? No. If you aren’t in the category of people who the Pope describes as taking part in this “superdevelopment”, in these obscene displays of wealth that generate a contrast he calls “unacceptable”, then what is the problem?

    “Furthermore, the Progressivism of which you speak is one of the most worn out and tired themes in the Western world. ”

    Did I ever use the word “Progressiveism”? I’m a distributist, not a “progressive”. I believe in wealth redistribution with the specific aim of helping people help themselves. It has nothing to do, for instance, with welfare or other forms of bureaucratic assistance. I might share the same means as “progressives” but I have a different end.

    “Only systems that acknowledge the baser realities of human kind accomplish anything at all. So it is with Capitalism which harnesses itself to the human impulse to acquire and preserve.”

    Someone tell the Pope, then. It is one thing to acknowledge “baser realities”, it is another thing to endorse an economic system that thrives on them. Part of the problem with unregulated markets is that they appeal relentlessly to man’s lower nature – to violent, sexual, exploitative instincts – instead of cultivating the higher nature. It is easier to exploit and manipulate the lower nature, to create addiction instead of fostering self-control.

    I have certainly never proposed any utopian project, but merely proposed that an already-existing model that works receive the help and support of the political establishment. Part of that means a decentralization of wealth and power.

    “All Progressivism gets us is a delay in human progress, a diversion from a straighter path towards a more universal prosperity.”

    Define “human progress”. Is it just a build up of material wealth? If so, then your perspective couldn’t be more distant from that of the Church’s. Benedict spoke at length about the moral and spiritual poverty of many in the West even in the presence of great wealth.

    Is he just blowing smoke? There is a delay in human progress alright – it comes from the apologists of concentrated wealth and power, defenders of the status quo of obscene inequalities and the subordination of every aspect of economic life to the maximization of profit. That is what holds humanity back.

  • Morning’s Minion, you are one prideful dude. Try some humility, man.

  • Joe,

    Forgive me for equating your positions with the Progressivism that is so popular in America right now. I am having a hard time differentiating between the two since I am quite familiar with the other and only passingly familiar with your views.

    Perhaps I am misreading you and, thereby, doing an injustice.

    At its core, I believe that Man’s fallen nature is a permanent and unyielding bar to perfection by other than Christ. I accept this condition as the truth at the center of the Bible.

    Since Man is utterly contemptible, no institution or other creation of Man can be enduring. The pyramids fall, the canals fill up, and the lofty thoughts of man blow away like dust in a storm.

    Nothing endures.

    I think we agree on this baseline; indeed, I don’t think one can call oneself a Christian and believe otherwise.

    On what basis then should man create?

    Forgive me for not having read the teachings of the Church as fully as I should for this discussion. I have never made a study of the encyclicals and find it quite difficult to simply complete my devotions and regular religious obligations. It is my hope that, one day, I will have the time and ability to become better acquainted with the deeper teachings of the Church.

    For now, I will simply take you at your word on what those encyclicals say since you have the credentials to assert at least some of their meanings.

    So, then, Pope Benedict XVI calls us to integrate economic systems, social responsibilities, and our faith. Very good.

    Shouldn’t we begin with reason informed by experience? After all, the Gospels call us to the optimal, not the mundane.

    Consider, for example, Christ’s response to the wealthy young man who crowed about having lived the Law throughout his life. Christ congratulated him and then told him to do one thing more; give everything up and follow Christ.

    I don’t think Jesus was telling this young man to metaphorically follow Him. I think He was telling the young man to do as Peter and James had done – drop everything and follow Christ!

    This is the optimal, the saintly, the “as close to perfect as Man can come in this life.” Nowhere in the Gospels does Christ call us to do less than the optimal so, if one is to live out the Gospels fully, nothing short of a perfect following of Him, setting aside ambitions and duties of this life, will do. We should all, if we are true followers of Christ, become religious – oh, not the kind that are prideful about having followed Him but more like Paul – fully aware of how flawed and unworthy he was and yet utterly devoted, awaiting his death with anticipation, like a bridegroom on the morning of his wedding.

    Unfortunately, I am not Paul. I am not even Thomas with his doubting nature. I am more like Judas in that I KNOW what is true but choose a darker path because it is easier and, in the short term, seems more reasonable. The bad news is I have company… a LOT of company.

    The company that I keep is a hypocritical lot. It makes oaths that it doesn’t intend to keep, it steals, swindles, lies, injures, and maligns. It is a prideful, boastful, hedonistic camp which seeks every manner of evil, while trying to appear good and right. It masks its evil in the language of the good to give it power and authority.

    I keep evil company.

    Man cannot be perfected by other than Christ and man-made institutions are ALWAYS corrupt. We create those institutions anyway because reason dictates that we must have order if we are to survive. That order is set in our baser inclinations because, at its root, that is what Man IS – base and awful.

    Basing institutions on man’s better nature has never been other than utopian. This sort of “take from the rich and give to the poor” exists only on paper. The reality is more like Animal Farm than Robin Hood.

    I, therefore, spark whenever in get a whiff of progressivism because, at its core, any institution that is set upon the “better nature of man” is set on a sand bar a mile off the beach. Call it pragmatic or jaundiced but human experience seems to bear out the truth that ONLY by letting a man keep what he produces will he continue to produce.

    The result of this uncomfortable truth is that fewer persons are hungry, homeless, ignorant, or enslaved in 2008 than in 1900. This is the product of two things and two things alone: Capitalism and Representative Democracy.

  • On a another note. Someone said something very interesting to me today. It really might not matter all that which of the well qualified Republicans run in 2012. We may win the same way Reagan did:

    Reagan vs. Carter October 28, 1980

    ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we’re as strong as we were four years ago?

  • “I, therefore, spark whenever in get a whiff of progressivism because, at its core, any institution that is set upon the “better nature of man” is set on a sand bar a mile off the beach. Call it pragmatic or jaundiced but human experience seems to bear out the truth that ONLY by letting a man keep what he produces will he continue to produce.”

    Then that is an argument for wealth redistribution, since labor contributes as much to the wealth of nations as any other factor. I don’t believe in absolute equality but I do believe that there is a material minimum below which a human being’s dignity is not respected, and I think it was summed up nicely as Benedict talked about the “decent work” in CV.

    The long-term health of society, at any rate, demands that everyone contribute to its maintenance. Man can produce nothing in isolation. He can sell nothing in isolation. Man always functions as a part of society, as a part of a culture and a community. I certainly don’t believe in taking more from a person than he needs to life a comfortable and dignified existence. But I have no qualms about setting limits on what is obviously an excess beyond these conditions.

    If the future of humanity is inseparable from allowing the top 1% of Americans or the top 1% of the world to accumulate unlimited wealth, then humanity has no future. We have rule by sociopathy, a rule that says, “I will do nothing for my fellow man, for society, for the planet, unless I can live as a mortal God”. This attitude is unjustifiable and I refuse to believe that there aren’t enough good men and women, Christians, believers, and even secularists with both the intelligence and the moral sense to make the world run without holding it hostage.

    “The result of this uncomfortable truth is that fewer persons are hungry, homeless, ignorant, or enslaved in 2008 than in 1900. This is the product of two things and two things alone: Capitalism and Representative Democracy.”

    It’s the product of technological development, to be sure – but if you look at all of the societies besides America that have industrialized, the American right does not typically consider their governments to be “capitalist”. Europe, Canada, Japan, East Asia – all developed under mixed regimes that leaned far more towards government management than free enterprise for most of their formative years. Only after long periods of state-guided development did liberalization become an attractive option.

    And I repeat that even these things would not have sufficed without the moral influence of Christianity and even the pressure of revolutionary movements such as Marxism (which served as a prompt for the development of Catholic social teaching in the firt place). Capitalism on its own did not generate justice and prosperity for all. It took decades of bitter political struggles and moral condemnations to create a society that curbed the worst excesses of this system.

  • I do not take issue with the immorality of acquiring wealth. Christ was explicit in his condemnation of wealth acquisition and the early Christian adherence to “from each according to his gifts and to each according to his needs” was extolled in Acts. Further, there is intellectual resonance to the idea that, while our nature is so base and depraved as to DESERVE nothing, that we are blessed beyond our deserving calls us to be charitable with that which was freely given to us.

    This is a question of morality and it is noble and right and good.

    If Man were noble and right and good, we could craft a system of government and economics around that theme and all would be well. Unfortunately, Man is not of that mold and, that you have not taken issue with any of my characterization of his base nature or the conclusions one must reach about it, suggests we are in agreement on that point too.

    So, what we are talking about is TWO systems for Man: one that is based upon what we are called to do and one which is based upon what we are want to do.

    I will leave the “called to” to you since this is clearly the realm of the theoretical and spiritual. It informs and calls but has, in human experience, had little direct success in this world.

    The “want to do” is the realm of reason and experience.

    Contrary to your assertion above, efforts to mitigate the worst effects of Capitalism were not tied to love or charity but to rational reactions to violence, danger to the system of economics and government. We PERMITTED labor unions, not because it was “right” or “noble” – that was merely the spin put on it after the fact – but because workers threatened to bring the system of economics down through destruction of the means of production and distribution.

    In each and every case, the mitigation of capitalist excess has been the product of accomodation so as to avoid danger to the system as a whole. These accomodations are little more than mediciney cough syrup for a sore economic throat.

    This does, indeed, argue for greater distribution of wealth, but for no more than is necessary to accomodate the demand and restore the system to a fully working order. Nor is this an evaluation of “rightness,” but merely an application of reason.

    It may be that Western Capitalism is in the throes of another illness and that the sickness has reached Representative Democracy as well. We may need to mitigate the harms of Capitalism and Representative Democracy by taking on greater distribution of wealth and control over policy making. However, too much of anything is dangerous.

    Too much medicine can kill. Too much redistribution brings production to a hault and too much Democracy can lead to anarchy.

    Joe, it does not appear that we are disagreeing about the need to distribute wealth from a moral point of view. I agree with you on that score. We are disagreeing about HOW MUCH redistribution our economic system can take and still remain viable.

    Since you bring it up, our socialist allies across the pond went too far down the road of distribution and, when it killed thier economic progress, began the long march back. This is not a path we should follow since we already know where it leads. We should also be careful to recognize that the brightest minds in Socialist thought were and are European. That they couldn’t make it work is not a reflection on their lack of committment or competence but on the impossibility of the underlying system.

    Again, Man is advanced in material goods ONLY by being able to keep the benefits of his labor. Coupled with a shared control over the political system that makes and maintains law, Man is able to amass wealth with which to fulfil his obligations.

    Ask such a one to give up the benefit of that bargain and keep only what he needs and, like the wealth man before Christ, he walks away.

    Please continue to call us to the good and the right but recognize that we live in THIS world and that our imperfect nature makes that pill a hard one to swallow.

  • Matt,

    Reagan:

    “Ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we’re as strong as we were four years ago?”

    The Catholic Bishops:

    Politics in this election year and beyond should be about an old idea with new power–the common good. The central question should not be, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” It should be, “How can ‘we’–all of us, especially the weak and vulnerable–be better off in the years ahead? How can we protect and promote human life and dignity? How can we pursue greater justice and peace?”

    In the face of all these challenges, we offer once again a simple image–a table.2 Who has a place at the table of life? Where is the place at the table for a million of our nation’s children who are destroyed every year before they are born? How can we secure a place at the table for the hungry and those who lack health care in our own land and around the world? Where is the place at the table for those in our world who lack the freedom to practice their faith or stand up for what they believe? How do we ensure that families in our inner cities and rural communities, in barrios in Latin America and villages in Africa and Asia have a place at the table–enough to eat, decent work and wages, education for their children, adequate health care and housing, and most of all, hope for the future?

    We remember especially the people who are now missing at the table of life–those lost in the terror of September 11, in the service of our nation, and in the bloody conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Africa.

    A table is also a place where important decisions are made in our communities, nation, and world. How can the poorest people on Earth and those who are vulnerable in our land, including immigrants and those who suffer discrimination, have a real place at the tables where policies and priorities are set?

    I’m sure Reagan was getting there 🙂

  • Eric,

    if the majority of people are worse off than they were 4 years ago, they should not be foolish enough to recommend continuing on the same path. That’s what Reagan said, that’s the point. How is it good for the “common good” if most people are worse off??? It can’t be, it isn’t.

  • While left-wing media bias does exist, I worry that some conservatives use it as an excuse to dismiss any criticism, justified or not, and to stoop to the same level as those whom they criticize.

  • Elaine,

    I don’t detect that at all. Fox news had plenty of criticism for President Bush, and conservatives did not dismiss it, in fact many conservatives were deeply critical of Bush.

    On the other hand…. Yesterday President Obama out and out lied about meeting his wife at college when they met at a prestigious law firm, while she was strolling NYC with a $6000 purse… mainstream media? chirp, chirp, chirp… not a word, and that includes Fox as far as I can tell.

    In any event. Some here think that media was brought up in order to attack them, or that it’s an excuse for not getting the message out. Go back and read the post, media was only brought up as an obstacle that Sarah Palin’s high profile helps to overcome. No excuses, just a plan for going forward. I know this is tough to swallow for Palin-haters, but look at the alternative…

  • It bears repeating… I am not pushing Palin for president at this time, there are others out there that I believe would do a better job, I don’t know if this move helps her or not, I’m concerned principally with halting the advance of socialism in 2010 and will worry about 2012 once we see the ground.

  • mea culpa here, regarding the story on Michelle’s purse….she was NOT carrying a $6000 purse around NYC…

    It was in fact a clutch, and it was being carried in Russia… oh, it’s alligator and made in Italy!

    http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/fashion/2009/07/09/2009-07-09_michelle_obama_flashes_expensive_taste_carries_5950_black_bag_alligator_russia_.html

  • Is Palin winkin’ at Tito and Matt personally?
    You betcha.

    And you two America lovers, remember, in a full court press and as a point guard, you have to keep your eye on the basket and pass the ball whenever necessary. Especially if the press is by the evil media, who just won’t listen to what you are clearly sayin’. Cuz these days, of course, omly dead fish go with the flow. Support the troops.

  • Matt,

    It depends on what “well off” meets and what “most” means. If the majority of America is “well off” and there are those who are living in a standard contrary to their dignity, then the “common good” has not been met. That was my only point.

  • No way, said the White House, which countered that the First Lady was carrying an $875 VBH patent leather clutch.

    $875 for a purse?

  • Maybe she’ll leave it in Ghana as a means of redistributing wealth. 😉

  • Uhhhh… guys, I hate to break it to you; but back in university, I had went with an Asian girl that purchased a purse (and practically everything else) at around that price at the Mall.

    It isn’t really all that exceptionally remarkable; at least, when it comes to high-maint. girls, that is.

  • Eric Brown,
    It depends on what “well off” meets and what “most” means. If the majority of America is “well off” and there are those who are living in a standard contrary to their dignity, then the “common good” has not been met. That was my only point.

    Who said anything about “well off”??? I said better off. If the majority is not better off than they were 4 years ago, then it almost certainly means that the common good has NOT been served.

    Given the context “most” has only one meaning Eric: It means the majority; 50%+1; more than not, etc.

  • ps. sorry for passing on the erroneous news on the “purse”… it seems funny though, that this wife of a man of the people i walking around with even an $875 purse….I guess she got her student loans paid off finally. Is an $875 purse worse than a $400 haircut, or no?

    any word on the supposed “meeting” in college before they met?

  • Matt,

    ps. sorry for passing on the erroneous news on the purse; it seems funny though, that this wife of a man of the people i walking around with even an $875 purse;.I guess she got her student loans paid off finally.

    1. Where bad journalism often report erroneous facts at almost a regular basis; at the very least, you’ve acknowledged your error rather than avoiding such admission.

    2. Kindly take a course that will somehow remedy your penchant for grammatical infelicities, as I had no clue whatsoever at what you were attempting to express in your above comment, my friend. ;^)

  • Matt,

    If consistently the same, lets say, 51% of the country asks itself: am I better off? And the answer is repeatedly ‘yes,’ and for the other 49% it is repeatedly ‘no’ — and that bottom 49% includes much of the middle class and the poor, then the questions the Bishops ask Catholics to think of are more than relevant.

    My point was, someone can ask the “I” question and get one answer that doesn’t *necessarily* square them on voting for a political entity that might best serve the common good. That’s why I would not rather everyone individually ask the “I” question but rather look at society comprehensively and actually be willing not to seize the opportunity to be “better off” if it as the expense of going before and progressing ahead of those being crushed at the margins of society.

    In other words, I think the question can be — not is, but can be — a selfish question. Hence, I liked the Bishops’ approach better.

  • e.,

    kindly take a course in skydiving.

    Eric,

    f consistently the same, lets say, 51% of the country asks itself: am I better off? And the answer is repeatedly ‘yes,’ and for the other 49% it is repeatedly ‘no’ — and that bottom 49% includes much of the middle class and the poor, then the questions the Bishops ask Catholics to think of are more than relevant.

    Yes, in your bizarro world theoretical example, it would not be the common good, but reality is that this would never be the case, at least not the one we’re addressing. Bad economies ultimately hurt the poor disproportionately worse than the “well off”.

    in other words, I think the question can be — not is, but can be — a selfish question. Hence, I liked the Bishops’ approach better.

    I was not proposing that good Catholics need to have the “am I better off than I was 4 years ago speech”. Good Catholics NEVER vote for rabid pro-abortionists like President Obama, the “am I better off” is directed at those who vote based on some other value system.

    In any event the USCCB approach is designed to not say anything so as to leave open the possibility of supporting the rabid pro-abortionist, President Obama.

  • Matt,

    Why are you such an abrasive person to dialogue with? Can you not find charitable terms or craft sentences using diction that is not condescending, or at least, can be perceived that way?

    In the first sentence, you could have made the same point leaving out “bizarro world.”

    I understand the effects of bad economies on the poor and vulnerable.

    Secondly, I have no idea where I was endorsing the “voting for rabid pro-abortionists like President Obama.”

    It was unclear to me that the “am I better off” is directed at “some other value system” because I thought you were giving credit to the words of Reagan, which I thought you were identifying as a valuable insight. Correct me, if I’m wrong.

    Moreover, we disagree on the USCCB. We’ll leave it at that. The problem is not the text, it is catechesis. I, again, fail to see how President Obama fits into this discussion.

    Though, I’d really prefer it that you dialogue with me differently or just not reply. Thank you.

  • Matt:

    e. – kindly take a course in skydiving.

    So long as you don’t deprive me of my parachute.

    Eric:

    “bizarro world”

    Actually, not to add to whatever lingering antagonism you might yourself be experiencing; however, your example even to me appeared something of the “bizarro world” as well — especially considering the stats you provided (51% vs. 49%) where even a real world standard error of +/-3% would have rendered them essentially equal.

  • My point in using the numbers had nothing to do with statistics or raw data. It was merely the point that the “common good” was not achieved directly in answering the question — of how “well off am I?” My problem was that this orientation is toward personal success and does not immediately put at the forefront of one’s consciousness, the common good. Wherein fact, one’s material and financial success — becoming more well off — could be at the expense of those less fortunate. I would not seek to move ahead and be more “well off” than I was four years ago if that were the case. I would rather prioritize helping those crushing at the margins of society rise up first. I didn’t think the question adequately addressed the problem or was the first question one should ask before voting.

    And that the “common good” could not have be said to have been met even if the slimmest majority (51-49) were more “well off” than they were four years ago. Thus, I wanted to re-emphasize, the universality of the common good and indicate — whether Matt argued it or not — that it is not merely the status of the majority. So, perhaps, that clears up the misunderstanding. I can admit that the example might not have served my point greatly. Thank you for good constructive criticism.

    However, I don’t think it really makes me more tolerable of the way Matt talks to people on this blog.

  • Eric,

    aren’t you really just the pot calling the kettle black? I mean honestly, look at your own log first.

  • Speaking of media bias. Yesterday a supreme court justice made a stunning revelation of belief that Roe could be used as a means of eugenic abortion against populations that we “don’t want to have too many of”. The mainstream media response? Chirp, chirp, chirp…

    Was it that evil right wing nasty Scalia? or the non-black Clarence Thomas? Nope, if it was one of them you can be assured it would be the lead story on all networks, and front page of all papers.

    Justice Ginsberg originally thought Roe v Wade was about control of undesirable populations

    Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.

  • Peggy Noonon on Ms. Palin:

    In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them. She couldn’t say what she read because she didn’t read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it: It was evidence of her authenticity. She experienced criticism as both partisan and cruel because she could see no truth in any of it. She wasn’t thoughtful enough to know she wasn’t thoughtful enough. Her presentation up to the end has been scattered, illogical, manipulative and self-referential to the point of self-reverence. “I’m not wired that way,” “I’m not a quitter,” “I’m standing up for our values.” I’m, I’m, I’m.

  • Peggy Noonan has proven herself to be a conservative elitist. She generally has made herself begin falling further into irrelevancy.

  • It seems to me that there are several elements in this discussion which are being overlooked.
    Now the purpose of charity is not to help the poor [who will always be with us]. The chief purpose is to help ourselves get into heaven. We must above all learn to share personally, as our mothers taught us when we quite small.
    Government largess is merely taking from us willy nilly to distribute at the whim of a bureaucrat [including the USCCB bureaucracy]. The danger in this was noted by Chesterton some 80 years ago: it was maintaining people on the dole with cinemas to keep them happy. Bread and circuses it was called by the Romans, trying to placate the mobs. It is curious how this human trait surfaces regularly. Consider the football hoodlums in England, who are mostly on the dole.

  • If elitism now means only the hope for semi-coherent explanations and remotely credible narratives, then its stature sure has fallen of late.

  • Beyond the Palin: Why the GOP is falling out of love with gun-toting, churchgoing, working-class whites.

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/206098

    The conservative opinion elite is divided—irreconcilably so—about Sarah Palin’s decision to quit the Alaska governorship. One faction says good riddance: The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer had already judged her unfit for national office 24 hours before her announcement, and The New York Times’s Ross Douthat now refers to her “brief sojourn on the national stage” in the past tense. On the other side, the Post’s William Kristol called Palin’s quitting a “high-risk move” designed to catapult her to greater public prominence. Taking the longer view, though, the clash is symptomatic of the deepest strategic debate in Republican circles since the disciples of the Reagan revolution captured Congress in 1994.

    For decades it has remained a Republican article of faith: white, lower-middle-class, “heartland” masses, fundamentally socially conservative, were an inexhaustible electoral resource. So much so that Bill Clinton made re-earning their trust—he called them the Americans who “worked hard and played by the rules”—the central challenge in rebuilding Democratic fortunes in the 1990s. And in 2008 the somewhat aristocratic John McCain seemed to regard bringing these folks back into the Republican fold so imperative that he was moved to make the election’s most exciting strategic move: drafting churchgoing, gun-toting unknown Sarah Palin onto the GOP ticket.

    But beneath the surface, some Republicans have been chafing at the ideological wages of right-wing populism. In intel-lectual circles, writers like David Brooks and Richard Brookhiser have argued for a conservatism inspired by Alexander Hamilton, the least democratic of the Founding Fathers, over one spiritually rooted in Thomas Jefferson, the most democratic. After Barack Obama’s victory, you heard thinkers like author and federal judge Richard Posner lamenting on his blog that “the face of the Republican Party had become Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber. Conservative intellectuals had no party.”

  • “[R]ight wing populism” – heh.

    Yep… I ges we is all figur’d out now. We jus caint think as good as all them smurt folks in thu R’publican Party. We shuld probly jus go out an shoot aselves.

    What a load of crap!!! Like there would even BE a GOP representative in office of the “rank-and-file” Republicans stayed home on election day. Give me a break!

    What moron wants social conservatives who believe in the 2nd Amendment and the fundamental duty to work and defend their country to leave the party? Surely the supposed intellectuals to which the article alludes make up a miniscule percentage of the GOP strategists.

    Frankly, this sounds like more media nonsense; unresearched speculation, put into the information stream to fill space until the next big story.

  • Without social conservatives the GOP would be lucky to elect 50 members of the House of Representatives. They are not a wing of the party, they are the core of the party. Of course many social conservatives are also economic conservatives and advocates of a strong national defense. I certainly fit in this category. The people interviewed by Newsweek for this type of bilge are the same sort of “leaders” who have zero involvement with the Republican party. Attending a local meeting of the Republican party in most of the nation would be an eye-opening experience for them. At the grass roots level social conservatives easily make up 60-70 percent of local Republican chairmen and women, precinct committee heads, etc.

  • Matt,

    I never judged you as a person. I judged an action. I’ll gladly do an examination of conscience, if you’ll join me in it.

  • I believe that not enough attention has been given to the idea of conservative. I do not mean the intellectual toy represented by writers. I mean the simple fact that most people will, of necessity, be conservative.

    If you own a house, do you want someone to redraw the boundaries regularly? Do you not want schools where children can learn the basics? Do we not want streets properly maintained?

    I was surprised that Mr. Obama was not elected by a larger margin. The most serious argument for his election was, I believe, the simple “throw the bums out”. They have made a mess. He can’t be any worse.

    I have also heard the oft-repeated “most catholics” voted for Mr. Obama. I think the most in “most catholics” had to do with the marriage vow, and what we may call the rules spelled out in Humanae Vitae. Perhaps one had to be there to recognize the shock that the Holy Father caused by disallowing the pill. The “most catholics” wanted the benefits of the pill, which if does not work leads to abortion. Recognizing what “most catholics” wanted, the bishops pulled back. They blew it. Msgr. George Kelly described this cowardice very clearly.
    “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (I Corinthians 14:8].

  • Gabriel,

    I am interested in your point but I am not sure that I understand.

    Could you delve into two points more fully?

    1. Are you suggesting that “conservative” means something quite basic that most Americans would sign onto but that has been stated too obliquely or are you saying that there are two concepts of “conservative,” one that is tied to the preservation of one’s position and one that is the rallying cry of the GOP?

    2. Are you saying that American Catholics rejected papal authority as early as the 1960s because of birth control?

  • “It’s apparent that President Obama is thin skinned and narcissistic…

    Should not you say this instead about the woman who cried daily about criticism and quit as a result?

  • Do you have a precise quotation in mind, Mark DeFrancisis?

    I watched her speech and she made mention of the staff time that went in to filling Freedom of Information requests, the legal bills she and her husband now have to pay, and, in one sentence, that her older children did not care for the ridicule of her youngest son. She also said her family preferred she do something else and she herself was of the view that the task was not properly handled by her anymore. All of this was delivered quite briefly and amiably enough; the speech was 19 minutes long and consisted mostly of boosterish cotton candy. How does this disposition qualify as ‘narcissistic’? (Presuming you do not understand ‘narcissism’ to mean a deficit of concision).

  • G-Veg Says Friday, July 10, 2009 A.D. at 4:40 pm
    “Gabriel,
    I am interested in your point but I am not sure that I understand.
    Could you delve into two points more fully?

    “1. Are you suggesting that “conservative” means something quite basic that most Americans would sign onto but that has been stated too obliquely …

    Consider the facts of daily routine. Would not [do not] most people prefer that things do not change continuously, but that most [almost all] things remain the same so that we may plan our lives.

    “or are you saying that there are two concepts of conservative,” one that is tied to the preservation of one’s position and one that is the rallying cry of the GOP?”

    I disbelieve that the GOP as a party worries much about the basic concerns of people. The makers and breakers are too far removed from these concerns. Until recently, such preserves as the Detroit of General Motors were Republican territory. Now the failing companies are failing, and the big money is going to the Democratic Party; which has largely rewarded the money mavens.

    “2. Are you saying that American Catholics rejected papal authority as early as the 1960s because of birth control?”

    Absolutely. Consider the difference in tone between Garry Wills’ two books: POLITICS AND CATHOLIC FREEDOM [1964] and BARE RUINED CHOIRS [1972]. Have a look at Msgr. George Kelly’s various books. He lays the blame at the doorstep of the bishops, who were too pusillanimous to insist on the truth of HUMANAE VITAE which chiefly echoed the previous encyclicals of Pius XI and Pius XII. It was the cause of the great sea change in Catholicism in the U.S.

  • This is perhaps not the string to bring up the matter of immigration, but might we discuss that? I confess – son of an immigrant – that I have no solutions, nor even clear ideas. I abominate what I understand to be the general Republican position [quietly shared by many Democrats] of keep ’em out.
    I recall that FDR once addressed a meeting of the DAR “Fellow immigrants…”.
    And with the discussion of the economy, perhaps one could recall that many of the New Deal programs were the suggestions of Herbert Hoover, who had been so successful in preventing mass starvation in Europe after the 1914;18 War. FDR kept the country in depression with his tight money policies in 1937.

  • Gabriel,

    are you referring to foreigners entering the country illegally (or violating the terms of their entry), or legal immigration? Those are two separate issues. For the most part Republicans are in favor of enforcing the laws on the books. Most Republicans are in favor of allowing immigration through legal channels. On the other hand most believe, legal immigration must be curtailed due to the vast number who are here illegally. Immigration limits are based on the job market and ability to assimilate, which is greatly affected by illegals.

  • I think there is a well publicized cadre of persons who hold the “keep em out” view. This, I think, is a pretty small group but the media LOVES the xenophobe, the racist, the anti-semite, etc. so they get press out of keeping with their numbers. it doesn’t hurt that xenophobia fits into the myth of “nativist, right-wing, militia.”

    There are, as Mr. McDonald states, at least two separate issues and we conflate them at the cost of confusion and paralysis. The number of persons admitted lawfully and the ease of that admission to permanent residence is a separate issue from “what to do with those who are present without lawful status.”

    As to the first, there are fair questions as to how many visas should be granted in each category, whether those awaiting visas should be permitted to enter the United States as a sort of “temporary permanent resident,” whether the Diversity Lottery Program should continue or not, what to do with the fraud in Asylum and Refugee programs, and whether the immigration reforms of 1996 rendered too many persons deportable for criminal offenses. (There are many more issues than I listed here.) The key here is that there is a LOT of room for political compromise because the data is easily available and there is a lot of common ground between immigration advocates and those who favor strict immigration enforcement.

    Far less agreement is possible on the issue of those present in the US in violation of law.

    There are lots of issues that would have to be covered in any fair analysis but I would like to concentrate on two of the most problematic:

    1. How many persons are unlawfully present? I would suggest that the 12 million number that is thrown about is utterly invalid. This number may not be knowable with certainty but a review of the statistics and models set forth by immigration advocates and the government through the Office of Immigration Statistics reveals the significant lack of information on which all sides of the debate hang their hats. We need information and it is nothing short of dereliction of duty on the part of Congress over the last 20 years that no meaningful studies have been budgeted for and no significant hearings have been held to determine this number. It matters because, for any policy to be effective, it must be aligned to its purpose and whether there are 6, 12, or 30 million persons whose status needs to be regularized, makes a big difference.

    2. Simple is better and none of the proposals have sufficient simplicity that those affected can determine whether or not they qualify without legal aid. The more complicated the plan, the less likely it is to be effectively and fairly administered. So too, complex plans invite fraud.

    The short of it is that this is an incredibly complicated issue and, while I appreciate and share the Church’s desire for justice and fairness, both sides of the debate engage in outright lies and manipulations to create fear and anger in hopes of driving the politics. Meanwhile, Congress has done absolutely nothing to determine the true situation or inform the public.

    For these reasons, and many others, I favor doing nothing. The system is not so broken that it cannot wait for the kind of up-front work that leads to good policy.

  • Update:
    Palin’s audacity of the unconventional
    But whereas pundits have now almost uniformly written her off, 70% in a new USA Today/Gallup poll say Palin’s resignation has “no effect” on their opinion of her. Of the remainder, 9 percent say they now see her “more favorably” and 17 percent “less favorably.”

    Moreover, in the same poll, 43 percent (and 72 percent of Republicans) say they would at least “somewhat likely” vote for her if she runs in 2012.

  • G-veg,

    I largely agree with your For these reasons, and many others, I favor doing nothing. The system is not so broken that it cannot wait for the kind of up-front work that leads to good policy.

    Can you clarify what you mean by “doing nothing”?

    In my mind it is absolutely critical that the porous border be resolved, this is not a reform, but simply enforcing the existing laws. Continuing the moderate expansion of interior enforcement seems like the right thing to do as well, especially focused on lawbreakers, and that includes employers who hire foreigners illegally. No mass deportations should be pursued as that would not be good for anybody. As it is now, each deportation from the interior should be judged on the specific situation, those caught at or near the border should continue to be expedited.

  • Matt McDonald Says Sunday, July 12, 2009 A.D. at 2:53
    “Gabriel,
    are you referring to foreigners entering the country illegally (or violating the terms of their entry), or legal immigration? Those are two separate issues. For the most part Republicans are in favor of enforcing the laws on the books. Most Republicans are in favor of allowing immigration through legal channels. On the other hand most believe, legal immigration must be curtailed due to the vast number who are here illegally. Immigration limits are based on the job market and ability to assimilate, which is greatly affected by illegals”.

    Allowing [which I am uncertain is true] that there are 11 million illegal immigrants, how does this affect the 300 million population of the U.S.
    Put another way, might not the 11 million be a good replacement for the 40 million killed by abortion?
    I believe that one must rethink the whole question of immigration. Not only what does it mean to be illegally in this country, but what does it mean to be here legally.
    I add to this [perhaps just to confuse the issue] a note I read a few years back that some small towns in the Mid West were willing to subside farmers who took over abandoned farms.

  • G-Veg Says Sunday, July 12, 2009 A.D. at 5:52 pm
    “I think there is a well publicized cadre of persons who hold the “keep em out” view. This, I think, is a pretty small group but the media LOVES the xenophobe, the racist, the anti-semite, etc. so they get press out of keeping with their numbers. it doesn’t hurt that xenophobia fits into the myth of “nativist, right-wing, militia.”

    To which add the views of a Supreme Court justice, views which are not uncommon in educated liberal circles.

    “it is nothing short of dereliction of duty on the part of Congress over the last 20 years…”.

    Are you accusing our only professional criminal class of dereliction of duty?

  • Gabriel,

    Allowing [which I am uncertain is true] that there are 11 million illegal immigrants, how does this affect the 300 million population of the U.S.</i<

    How does what affect the 300 million? Their continued presence, growth in those numbers, or mass deportation of them all? I don't know what you're asking about.

    Put another way, might not the 11 million be a good replacement for the 40 million killed by abortion?

    A replacement perhaps, but not a good one, no. You can replace 40 million American children with 11 million Mexican etc. children. Economically, socially, culturally, people are not interchangeable. It’s a big question mark on the math anyway. Some studies suggest that abortion tends to delay having born children, more than it actually eliminates born children. A woman has an abortion and then two kids and has her tubes tied has no net difference on regeneration rates than just having two children who are allowed to be born.

    I believe that one must rethink the whole question of immigration. Not only what does it mean to be illegally in this country, but what does it mean to be here legally.

    I don’t see how or why? Certainly our demographic problems (regardless of the major cause) impact our need for immigration, but that doesn’t change the fact that those who apply legally, in justice and fairness should be welcomed first, and that a system which allows uncontrolled immigration is untenable in the current situation.

    I add to this [perhaps just to confuse the issue] a note I read a few years back that some small towns in the Mid West were willing to subside farmers who took over abandoned farms.

    Of course, and if there was a shortage of immigrants, as their was in various areas in the past, then benefits would be paid to those with the requisite attributes willing to come.

    It sounds like you’re arguing in favor of expanded legal immigration, which few disagree with, except that it must be acknowledged that each foreigner illegally present is holding a place which should go to a citizen or legal immigrant.

  • If immigration “amnesty” is the act of regularizing someone’s status so that they can lawfully remain in the US, then the US has engaged in at least three of them.

    Section 249 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for the “registration” of persons who can demonstrate that they were here prior to 1972. It does not limit the number of persons who can acquire such registration and is relatively simple in that it provides permanent residence, in line with every other “greencard” holder, without hurdles particular to that program.

    Section 245A of the INA provided for the “legalization” of aliens who were living and working in the US prior to 1986. It did not limit the number of persons who could acquire “legalization” of their status but was a complicated political compromise in that one first acquired “temporary” status and then petitioned for permanent residence. There also were a number of document hurdles that had to be overcome by the applicant and permanent bars to the use of information against applicants by the government.

    Section 245(i) of the INA provided for a form of penalty whereby aliens who had “entered without inspection” (EWI) could pay a penalty and adjust their status into one of the already existing classifications (e.g. IR6 – Spouse of an USC, DV6 Diversity Lottery Winner, etc.)

    I am suggesting that the earlier amnesty attempt, by providing a simple acknowledgment that those unlawfully present are “connected” to the US through business or personal relationships in such a way that their admission to permanent residence is better for the US than their continued unlawful presence. By making eligibility simple – “can you document to a reasonable degree of certainty that you were physically present in the US for more than a visit prior to…?”, eligibility was easy to ascertain, there was no need for expensive legal counsel, there was little impetus to falsify documentation, and the “first come, first served” approach gave some semblance of order to the proceeding. By leaving the section in place and not “sunsetting” it, Congress cut off potential litigation by providing an effectively “permanent” resolution.

    245A cuts the other way in that a more deeply flawed section of law is difficult to imagine. It required documentation of seasons worked in the US from private individuals and corporations; thereby spawning an industry, dedicated to providing false documents. It was so complicated that even the eligible dared not go it alone, thereby enriching lawyers and bringing the most crooked of them out of the woodwork. The fraud was so bad that the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) had, by 1991, so many applications designated as “probable fraud” that Congress worked with the Administration to require a mass approval of known fraud cases, simply to “clear the deck.” Worst of all, the Act specifically barred the use of false statements or submission of fraudulent documents against the applicants in any administrative proceeding. By creating a “sunset” date, Congress embroiled the INS and her descendant agency, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in litigation that was only finally resolved, after having spent millions in litigation fees, last year.

    245(i) had some good points about it in that it didn’t try to create any new classifications (as did 245A) and didn’t place any new eligibility criteria on the applicants. It also, in some ways, “paid for itself” in that the fee was designed to be higher than the costs of adjudication. However, it also invited a massive amount of fraud because there remained a significant bar to admission as a permanent resident if you entered the US through fraud but eradicated the bar for an EWI. The result is that those who entered through fraud engaged in a second fraud in order to claim to have entered without inspection.

    Any immigration reform, to my mind, must be simple and easy to understand and apply for. If it requires a lawyer to figure out or help one document eligibility for, it is too complicated. In order for this, or any immigration reform to work we need to know, within a few million or so, how many potential applicants there will be.

    The present immigration system, with all of its flaws, appears to meet the needs of the vast majority of the persons seeking status through lawful means. Forgive me if it sounds cold but there are consequences to violating the law and having to live in fear of being found out is among them. So, I would rather take the system that we have, with all of its flaws than take on another half-baked “reform.”

    As to what I mean by the comment that we ought to leave things as they are until Congress does its job investigating and legislating, I am only too happy to have the laws enforced in addition to waiting Congress out.

  • We should immediately terminate the tide of incoming immigrants; especially those of particular races and religions — most especially, since it egregiously contaminates what remains of our pristine American lands of the remaining citizenry of genuine colonial descent.

    Remember when America failed to take action in the past and allowed unrestricted entry of the vile Romanists, who now unfortunately plague our lands and have even multiplied that infestation of papist centers of indoctrination, otherwise known as Catholic schools?

    If only the Americans were faithful enough took take certain necessary action and advocated much needed provisions as the Blaine Amendment!

    Therefore, I implore the faithful American citizens of this blog to prevent the same travesty from occuring as regards current immigration!

    We failed preventing the Papists to infect our lands; do you really want the Mexicans, the Puerto Ricans and, even worse, the Muslims to do so to such extent as well???

    The following link serves as a poignant reminder to a particularly ominous portrait that should’ve been rightly hailed as an ultimatum to all fellow American patriots, but unfortunately seemingly largely ignored by most:


    “The American River Ganges,” Harper’s Weekly,
    September 30, 1871, p.916. Wood engraving.

    By the middle of the nineteenth century, large numbers of Catholic children had withdrawn from the significantly Protestant American public schools to attend newly organized Roman Catholic schools. With a large and influential Irish Catholic constituency, the powerful New York City Democratic machine centered at Tammany Hall persuaded the Democratic state legislature to provide public support for the Irish schools. A firestorm of controversy ensued, especially in states like Ohio and Illinois,where the Catholic hierarchy had made similar requests. The controversy re-ignited smouldering Republican nativism, a policy of protecting the interests of indigenous residents against immigrants; and it suddenly became attractive as a vote-getter since that Reconstruction issues appeared to have been resolved. Tammany politicians are shown dropping little children into the “American River Ganges,” infested with crocodilian bishops. The American flag flies upside down, the universal signal of distress, from the ruins of a public school. Linking Roman Catholicism to the Ganges, the sacred river of Hinduism, suggested its exotic un-Americanism and also linked it with what Americans then considered a primitive and fanatical religion.

    Remember, as a wise man once said — those who do not learn from the Past are doomed to repeat it!

  • Uh, e? Do you mean to imply that the discussion has taken some sort of a “nativist” turn? I don’t see it so the joke is lost on me.

  • G-Veg: You must look up the meaning of sarcastic [or is it ironic?]. What is charming about the American Ganges, is the assumption that America began with the Protestant invasion, includng the importation of slaves, an English trade. [I am old enough to recall hearing that there were Bible readings [KJVersion] at the beginning of lasses in rural New Jersey in 1948].

    Having written which, I thank you for your citations from the current immigration law[s].
    My efforts have been directed at an attempt to get a more solid [political? moral? religious?] basis for the attitude towards immigration. On what basis should it be permitted? on what basis refused?

    There is that peculiar echo of the Declaration in the Constitution which bestowed citizenship on babies born within the U.S. [or on U.S. ships, &c]. Alaso that it is not possible to renounce [or have terminated] such citizenship.

  • Gabriel Austin:

    Much obliged; at least, somebody was clever enough to get it.

    Also, I am also grateful with much of your contributions, which provides some rather interesting facts (as did, admittedly, G-Veg).

  • e.,

    I understood the sarcasm but could not figure out who the attack was aimed at.

    What can I say, rubes like me are often confounded by the machinations of the wise.

  • You are just too subtle for us e.!

  • Gabriel,

    I am not qualified to speak to the Church’s teachings on immigration. There are contributors to this blog who may be qualified, but I am not one of them.

    If I have anything to offer the discussion, it is based upon my knowledge, such as it is, on the legal and practical matters that attend the American immigration system.

    As to the question of citizenship, there are four basic premises to US Citizenship: Law of the Land, Law of the Blood, Naturalization, and Derivation.

    From inception, American citizenship law embraced the idea that one born on our territory derived citizenship from that accident and that one born to Americans anywhere were Americans by virtue of the blood in their veins. (This statement is oversimplified because it was only in the second half of the 20th century that the blood of a woman transmitted citizenship in the same manner as that of an American man.)

    Naturalization and derivation have evolved and the authority to grant citizenship has changed between entities many times in our history. At present, the authority is shared between the Executive Branch and the Judiciary.

    Renouncing US citizenship is easier than you think it is just not often done. The process is administered through the Department of State. (I think this is because, if one could renounce one’s citizenship here in the US, one would become deportable. What a mess that would be!!!) Most of the cases I have encountered were of draft dodgers from the Vietnam era who went to Canada, renounced their citizenship and then sought to reclaim it as they aged. I have also encountered individuals who renounced citizenship in order to obtain exclusive citizenship overseas in order to shield their assets from taxation.

    Again, it is not often done so this is probably not a significant issue of law to concentrate on. More interesting is the notion that intending immigrants come to the US pregnant so that their child can be born a citizen and act as a sort of “anchor” to their own residence.

    Like most characterizations, there is some truth to it and significant misrepresentation.

    I have encountered individuals who did precisely this for precisely this reason. However, US immigration law is more complicated than this and, while it may sway an immigration judge where there is discretion, one still must be eligible for a visa to begin with.

    In most cases that I have dealt with, they wanted their children to have US citizenship because they wanted an irrevocable guarantee for their children’s futures. All in all, this is a laudable impulse and, from a practical point of view, it is not a bad choice. In particular, this is a good choice for those who, though unlawfully present themselves, have brothers and sisters in the States legally who could raise their children if they were, themselves, deported.

    Any other questions? (I’m kinda liking the chance to share.)

  • First point: could this thread be opened independently of Mrs. Palin [whom I like, and especially compared to the present incumbent and his horde of hangers-on].

    Secondo: on renunciation. An U.S. citizen moved to Israel, voted in elections, paid taxes, &c. One day she wanted to visit the U.S. and applied for her passport. This was denied her by the State Dept. as she had voted &c&c. The Supreme Court slapped the State Dept on the wrist, noting that nothing in the Constitution gives a basis for denying citizenship. [The problem that could arise is if she took arms against the U.S. That would be liable to get her hanged].

    I [more or less] understand the rest [including that descendants of Lafayette, for example, are automatically citizens because he was].

    But what I am aiming at is an attempt to derive a basis for the claim to citizenship on a more general ground. What might be a good reason[s] to bestow citizenship? What might be good reasons to deny it?

    If I understand correctly, political suppression back in the old country might be a good reason for such bestowal, but severe poverty is not. If I may say, that distinction stinks to high heaven and further. Consider the slums of the Latin American countries. Consider the slums of Puerto Rico.

  • Gabriel,

    If I understand correctly, political suppression back in the old country might be a good reason for such bestowal, but severe poverty is not. If I may say, that distinction stinks to high heaven and further. Consider the slums of the Latin American countries. Consider the slums of Puerto Rico.

    none of these issues are considered reasons to grant citizenship currently, nor should they ever. They are grounds to consider refugee status or some other immigrant classification, which may ultimately lead to citizenship.

  • Gabriel,

    I don’t know the particular case that you reference but I will be happy to look at it if you can give me a citation.

    There is a difference between “renunciation of citizenship” and “rejection of a citizenship claim.” Individuals who already possess citizenship can renounce it through the Dept. of State overseas. it is an affirmative act by the holder of the benefit. Those who do not possess citizenship or who seek evidence of their citizenship may have their citizenship applications or applications for evidence of citizenship denied or rejected. This happens through US Citizenship and Immigration Services and through the Dept. of State.

    I would rather not speculate about the circumstances that you cite and would rather read teh story and comment thereafter.

    The reasons for granting citizenship to those born on US soil are many. Historically, it was tied to the idea that Man naturally has an affinity for the soil of his birth and those ties bind him in a way that makes him particularly interested in its defense. Similar reasons attach to the Law of the Blood.

    As applied to the US, even in the early period of our Republic, the percentage of immigrants among our citizenry was very high and the ties of blood and land were too exclusive. The essential American character is one of ties by ideals and ideas and America has been fairly liberal in granting permission to immigrate and acquire citizenship.

    As was sarcastically noted above, America hasn’t been as welcoming when large groups seek to immigrate as when individuals come in small, almost imperceptible numbers. Each time a “wave” of immigration occurs the Majority express a dilution of the essential American character. Each time, these groups assimilated and the America that followed their admission to full citizenship thrived.

    We should be quite protective of the “immigrant” nature of America. Unquestionably, there are significant benefits in terms of demographics and economics to a robust immigration regime. For these reasons, I favor a liberal immigration policy that invites persons from as broadly as possible, subject to the appropriate checks to verify that they are not known criminals, terrorists, etc.

    A harder question is whether we should create bars to persons whose ability to contribute to America is hampered by personal traits of general concern such as disease, old age, and handicaps. As a Christian, I see a problem with exclusion of those most in need of the benefits of a modern social network. However, there is this tugging at my conscience for the concern that America should not be used solely for the benefit of the immigrant, that there must be an expectation that the immigrant is giving as much as they are getting from our Republic. (Elderly refugees fit squarely in this concern set.)

    Citizenship, as was noted by Matt, is a secondary question, based first on the admission of an alien for permanent residence. In the public debate, I see “a path to citizenship” as a bit of a red herring since we are really talking about permanent residence.

Palin Resigns

Friday, July 3, AD 2009

Governor Sarah Palin announced today that she will not run for a second term as governor of Alaska, and that she will be stepping down shortly and handing the reigns over to the Lt. Governor. Among reasons cited are desire to take public scrutiny off her family, and the fact that Alaskan law does not allow a sitting governor to collect any kind of donations or outside payments — which means that her personal legal bills in defending herself against frivolous ethics complaints have left the family in very significant debt. (The resignation would allow her to make money from a book contract or speaking events.)

Governor Palin provoked a wide range of reactions as McCain’s running mate during the ’08 campaign, and provoked a truly revealing hate-fest among some partisan Democrats which was deeply revealing about their real attitudes towards class and women. Many Republicans hoped to see Gov. Palin make a run for the presidency in 2012 or 2016, while many others questioned whether she had the abilities and experience to be president.

Others may disagree, but I would tend to think that resigning before the end of her first time as governor indicates that she does not have future political plans. I don’t see the “quitter” reputation as being something one could overcome, regardless of the reason.

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50 Responses to Palin Resigns

  • Palin is not, and never has been, a conventional politician. Assuming she does wish to stay in politics, my guess is that she believes that Obama may be vulnerable in 2012, and she wishes to build up a mass organization to confront him. If that is the case I find the resignation refreshing rather than just ignoring the job she is paid to do, which is what most serving governors do when they run for President. She might also be ready to retire from politics altogether, sickened by the unending assaults on her family. Too little data to judge at the moment, although I suspect it will become clear rather quickly.

  • My impression is that Gov. Palin and her family have thrived in the very particular environment that is Alaska, and might not in some other locale, so it would be wise for her to forget about national politics.

    What was revealing about the reaction to her among not only the political opposition but among the chatterati with an affinity for the Republican Party (one thinks of David Frum and George Will and Megan McArdle) is that the only candidate running who had any experience as a political executive was derided as a lightweight while a thoroughgoing dilletente stood at the head of the Democratic Party’s ticket. Gov. Palin is likely not familiar with peculiarly federal issues, but does anyone think a man with less than three years under his belt as a working member of Congress is exactly seasoned? Most particularly when he appears to have made no effort to familiarize himself with possible pathyways out of the hideous banking crisis the world is in (“Sweden had, like, five banks.” No, Sen. Obama, Sweden had 114 banks.)?

    The whole business was another demonstration of Thomas Sowell’s observation that people fancy intelligence can substitute for expertise, and that to be articulate is the same as to be intelligent. And who traded in these confusions? People who make their living as word merchants.

  • While this decision is justified and understandable for many reasons it does not favor her running for president in 2012. If she couldn’t do her job as governor because of attacks by liberals, financial and family concerns, etc. how could she expect anyone to believe she could handle being president?

    However, she’s only 45 years old so time is on her side. She could take a break from politics for 2-4 years, then serve in Congress or get a Cabinet appointment (Interior? Energy?) under the next GOP president, then run for president in 2020 or 2024 (when she would be 60 years old, same age as Hillary Clinton was in ’08).

  • As far as GOP prospects for 2012, looks like Bobby Jindal or Tim Pawlenty may be the last candidates standing (at least among the governors).

  • More information on “grassroots” supporters gathering across the nation to support Sarah Palin for President in 2012 can be found online at http://www.palin4pres2012.com

    Note, the website is in danger of crashing due to the flood of readers and supporters signing up to show their interest in a Palin Candidacy. The GOP establishment had better watch out, Sarah Palin and Ron Paul combined with the power of the internet will remove the stranglehold of GOP special interests and the elites who have brought the party to its knees in defeat in the 2008 elections.

  • In 15 years, her daughter Piper will be (one wagers) done with her schooling and her husband will be nearing retirement age. Not sure Todd will be impressed with the hunting in West Virginia, but maybe past sixty he will be ready to downshift.

    Some time working in the business world in the intervening years and then some time in Washington (a couple of terms in Congress and or some time in charge of a federal agency) might render her well prepared. Certainly better prepared than some of the characters who have held the office in the last several decades.

  • Possibly her “You’re Not Going To Have Dick Nixon To Kick Around Anymore” moment?

  • Yeah, don’t get me wrong: I like Palin at a gut level. And while I think she had some pretty poor interview moments, the accusation that she’s inexperienced is pretty laughable considering the tenderfoot who sat at the top of the other ticket (and the bozo who plays second fiddle to him.)

    I must admit, this looks to me like a decision to leave politics. Otherwise, why not serve out the term? But I’d agree with the thought that if she did a come back in 2-4 years and spent some time in congress and/or at cabinet level she’d be a good prospect a says down the pike.

    I’m with Elaine on 2012. It’s a thin field, though I have hopes for Jindal. A smart, capable, Indian-American-Catholic with an expertise in healthcare is not a bad short for this next year, though I don’t know if he’ll be done with LA at that point or is thinking 2016.

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  • I’m thinking Palin does not plan on running for the presidency. Perhaps she may one day run for the Senate or the House, but I don’t see it any time soon.

    The Republican field continues to shrink and lack inspiration. I’m still one of those guys that believes the GOP must return to its core principles in practice (not rhetoric) if it wishes to stop loosing voters.

  • “As far as GOP prospects for 2012, looks like Bobby Jindal or Tim Pawlenty may be the last candidates standing”

    JIndal will not be running for President in 2012. All indications are that he is going to run for Governor in 2010. He cannot do that and just months later win the early crucial primary States that takes a huge amount of time and money. NOT HAPPENING

    Further JIndal to be honest is limited by MOther Nature. A major Hurricane is well always likely. Thought the tv cameras left after New Orelans survived the latest ones much of SOuth Louisiana looked like a War Zone. Bobby was sdielined for over a month dealing with it. Also a limitation on him during the crucial 2011 GOP primary campaigning mohts of July through Sept.

  • One other thought. My gut is telling me she is sick of it. The fact she is in Alaska make her not able to respond to the vicious campaign against her

    If that is the case I think it is sad and we are all partly to balme . Even Conservatives. We have an amazing ability to eat our own and cast the worst accusations on our friends in the poltical field. I saw this too Bush to a certain extent from many conservatives because he dared to take a view that was different on immigration reform. All last year there were in comment sections “they are all the same” and “they are just using us”. There is nothing wrong being cynical but at some point it becomes destructive

    Palin had her own foes in the various conservative camps and factions.

    Still it is worth noting that all the pundits we pay attention and who throw the criticism we all lap up rarely run for elective office. If they do they rarely win which should be telling.

    We bloggers that are experts on everything under the sun and are examning every flaw and threatening to take our toys home with us if poltician x does not do y rarely run for elected Office(with one notable Catholic exception of a person that comments here). I think we all know that the shoe would be on the other foot and it is not so much fun being “them” and getting the heat.

    Maybe this average person that had a great bit of smarts said the heck with it. I refuse. If that is the case well it is sad day.

  • Actually, time would be even more on Jindal’s side since — if I’m not mistaken — he’s only in his late 30s. He too has plenty of time to wait to run for president, if indeed he really WANTS to run for president. Cleaning up Louisiana (both politically and from the inevitable hurricanes) is a big job in itself and it requires his full attention.

  • On the other hand… there are also reports in the blogosphere of a possible scandal about to surface dating back to her tenure as mayor of Wasilla, involving the construction company which built both her home and the Wasilla Sports Complex.

    I really, really hate to say this, but that sounds plausible to me and would explain her “sudden” and “baffling” decision to resign. The contract issue apparently is something political junkies and statehouse reporters in Alaska have been following for a long time — the same way Illinois political junkies and statehouse reporters followed all the pay-to-play allegations against Blago long before the national media ever heard of him. It would NOT surprise me at all to discover that the national MSM totally missed the real story which Alaskans knew all along.

  • All that rumor among the “nutroots” lacks Elaine is any alleged factual basis to support it. I think it will join the long list of ethics complaints filed against Palin since she was the GOP veep nominee last year and found to be wanting.

    http://www.adn.com/palin/story/838912.html

    Of course this type of allegation against her by her opponents is what has caused her to accumulate a personal debt of $500,000 in legal fees responding to this type of tripe.

    I suspect that Mark Steyn may have got to the crux of the matter:

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=N2ZiOTA5MmU0MjQ0ODJmNWI3OGQ4ZTg2ZGE1Nzg5NmE=

  • Actually, the report I’m referring to is NOT among the 15 ethics complaints referred to above; it’s much more serious in that it MAY carry the potential for federal indictments. Also, I discovered it from a usually reliable and libertarian-leaning blogger and former journalist who is not given to spreading unsubstantiated rumors (Peoria Pundit).

    Mark Steyn’s article also raises an important point: when local and state media are tough on local/state level pols, their toughness tends to be based on actual knowledge of the person and how they govern, not on a “caricature” created by “malign late night comedians.” This is something local and state media in Alaska have been following, not just Daily Kos or other “nutroots.”

    You and I know that was true in Illinois; Blago was not impeached just for selling Obama’s Senate seat, or for having bad hair — it went way beyond that, and the situation had been brewing for years. But to the national talking heads who never heard of him before Dec. 9, it looked like a “rush to judgment.”

    Now, I’m not saying that Palin is necessarily guilty of anything or that these charges have merit. (Sen. Ted Stevens’ conviction was thrown out, so perhaps federal prosecutors and juries in Alaska are too aggressive.) I’m simply saying this goes beyond the “frivolous ethics complaints” we’ve been hearing about, and that it would provide a plausible explanation for her actions that the national media seems to have completely missed.

  • Elaine I realized the rumor you mentioned was not among the ethics complaint I referred to as I believe my comment made clear. I was merely noting that Palin’s foes have engaged in this type of baseless smear frequently and I suspect this is more of the same.

    Did your source give you any facts to support the allegations of the rumor? If not, I contend this is more of the same until such time as facts, those “stubborn things” in the words of John Adams, are brought forth.

  • Here is what Peoria Pundit wrote.

    http://peoriapundit.com/blogpeoria/2009/07/03/bloggers-not-mainstream-media-has-the-scoop-on-palin-resignation/#comments

    Here is the Brad Blog post, a rather far left blog, which is his “source”.

    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7280

  • Elaine,

    Peoria Pundit cites two sources. One is Max Blumenthal of “The Nation Institute”, writing in The Daily Beast. Victor Navasky’s The Nation is an opinion magazine of low quality, not a venue for original reporting. After a discussion of ‘rumors’ that ‘federal investigators’ had been rummaging through the business records of a local building supplies company, Blumenthal offers this:

    Just months before Palin left city hall to campaign for governor, she awarded a contract to SBS to help build the $13 million Wasilla Sports Complex. The most expensive building project in Wasilla history, the complex cost the city an additional $1.3 million in legal fees and threw it into severe long-term debt. For SBS, however, the bloated and bungled project was a cash cow.

    Gov. Palin completed her second term as Mayor of Wasilla in 2002 and took up a position as chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission in 2003. She did not run for Governor until 2006. (The bond issues and tax increases to fund the sports complex were approved by referenda, by the way).

    Brad Blog recycles Blumenthal’s column and adds some material cribbed from the Village Voice. There is not the slightest discussion of the process by which the contracts to build the Wasilla sports complex were awarded. Both authors would prefer their readers draw a conclusion that there is something sinister about the fact that Todd Palin procured building supplies for his house from the same company, SBS, that sold supplies to the town to build the sports complex. However, Brad Blog’s sources describe SBS as Alaska’s leading provider of building supplies. They also would like you to believe that Todd Palin has been misleading the public by stating that he had built that house with the help of friends, though (apparently) he procured building supplies from SBS. Seriously, would anyone have interpreted Todd Palin’s remarks to mean that he and his buddies had milled their own lumber and manufactured their own cement?

    The contracts to construct the Wasilla sports complex were awarded seven years ago. I would think it unusual for a statute of limitations for embezzlement to extend to such a length of time. Blumenthal and ‘Brad’ report that a federal investigation is underway. Perhaps Mr. McClarey might inform us as to what statutes of limitations usually are under the U.S. Code, and whether, given that, it is at all likely that federal investigators would be at work here.

  • Palin’s move puts yet more pressure on Obama to finally get some results, as the soaring rhetoric isn’t hypnotizing the plebes like it used to. This week Helen Thomas, Colin Powell, and Warren Buffet all turned on him. Polls are looking droopy for The One lately.

    Obama’s porkulus program is a train wreck, all it’s done is bump interest rates and tank the dollar. We are being laughed at by bad guys like Tehran, Pyongyang, and Al Qaida who amazingly turned-down Barack’s friend-requests.

    Palin could trounce him in 2012, when Americans would vote for the Gipper-in-Heels in droves- while begging for lower taxes, free enterpise, a defense posture with some backbone… an end to the radical, anti-American nightmare we’ve got now.

    Go get ‘em Sarah-

  • Thank you Art for another informative comment. Most crimes under the Federal Code have a statute of limitations of five years, with a few exceptions that I do not believe would be relevant here. In my experience most federal investigations leak out to the press within a few months of their inception. Considering the microscopic and hostile media focus on Palin, if there were a federal investigation it has been a minor miracle that the media has not heard of it.

    Update: Below we have a link to proposed legislation introduced in January to have the statute of limitations on public corruption increased from five to six years, so it is clear that the relevant statute would be five years.

    http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200901/010609a.html

  • I don’t dislike Palin, but I’m not a big fan either. Her style of speech seems to get more and more disjointed to me, in comparison to her performance at the RNC convention where she pretty much went for the jugular.

    Whatever her reasons for this move, I do love seeing all the talking-head know-it-alls get wound up.

  • Perhaps the most revealing comment about the pistol-packing mama is
    “Governor Palin provoked a wide range of reactions as McCain’s running mate during the ‘08 campaign, and provoked a truly revealing hate-fest among some partisan Democrats which was deeply revealing about their real attitudes towards class and women”.

  • OK, maybe those usually reliable bloggers weren’t so reliable this time. Perhaps those “rumors” are more wishful thinking along the lines of predictions in 2005 that Karl Rove and Dick Cheney faced imminent indictment in the Valerie Plame case. (The term “Fitzmas,” referring to federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, originally was coined by Daily Kos bloggers to express the high level of anticipation of such indictments among that crowd.)

    It would be pretty difficult to hide a full-blown federal investigation of Palin from the press, or for journalists in Alaska not to notice it. However, again, I note that in the case of Blago a lot of the national media seemed not to be aware, or not to care, that he had been under federal investigation for over 3 years at the time of his arrest. Then again, he was not a presidential or vice presidential candidate at the time (though he had hoped and schemed to become one from the moment he became governor, if not before).

    Still, even the mere possibility of federal investigation or indictment is a whole new ballgame compared to “bogus” state ethics complaints. It would also explain her sudden decision to resign — trying to defend herself against those kind of charges, whether founded or not, would make it pretty much impossible for her to function as governor.

  • Elaine,

    She left office as Mayor of Wasilla in the fall of 2002. A federal indictment on corruption charges derived from her tenure in that post would be invalid due to the passage of time.

    The obvious questions to ask about this sort of controversy are as follows:

    1. Was there a competitive bidding process for the various elements of the construction of the sports complex;

    2. Is there any evidence of the bidding being rigged?;

    3. Is there any evidence that the contract(s) were written in such a way as to preclude enterprises other than a firm targeted to receive patronage from bidding on or winning the contract(s)?;

    Your ‘normally reliable bloggers’ pose none of these questions. That the statute of limitations might call into question the veracity of ‘rumors’ about a federal investigation seem not to have occurred to them either. If I interpret them correctly, they also seem to think that the mere possession of building materials by Todd Palin is suspicious, as if it cannot be assumed by default that he pays for drywall and lumber. I do not think I would pay too much attention to these three characters in the future.

    A better explanation of why she elected to resign is that she has to raise money to pay her legal fees; efforts by friends and admirers to do resulted in…another ethics charge (filed 27 April).

  • Perhaps the most revealing comment about the pistol-packing mama is

    Revealing about whom, and why?

  • I guess I’ve been looking at all political developments through Blago-colored glasses a little too long 🙂

    However, even if all these “bogus ethics complaints” are unfounded and merely a smear campaign, it does not change my belief that she was NOT adequately prepared to run for national office in ’08, and probably won’t be for some time to come.

  • I think most of her problem last year Elaine was that intially she was badly served by McCain’s handlers. Having her give interviews in hostile venues shortly after arriving on the national stage was simply bizarre. She performed much better as the campaign progressed and she did what she thought best and stopped listening to the McCain advisors. She bested Biden in the Veep debate, although since Joe truly is a blithering idiot, perhaps that wasn’t the hardest accomplishment in the world. Without Palin on the ticket McCain would have been lucky to break 40%. McCain lost 11 points among white men compared to the totals for Bush in 2004 and only lost four points among white women. There is only one reason for that difference: Palin.

    http://thehill.com/dick-morris/sarah-palin-saved-gop-from-landslide-defeat-2008-11-11.html

  • Here is a link to a statement from Palin’s legal counsel on the nutroots’ Wasilla Sports Complex fantasy.

    http://www.conservatives4palin.com/2009/07/statement-from-gov-palins-legal-counsel.html

  • Oh great, I hope I didn’t get you all in trouble! Maybe it’s not too late to give up blogging for Lent 🙂

  • Ha! Don’t worry Elaine, that is what second mortagages are for! 🙂

    The threat of litigation from Palin’s attorney is probably a bluff since Palin is a public figure whether or not she is governor of Alaska. However the facts he cites he finds I find persuasive. This is probably a shot across the bow to Palin’s more crazed critics and an indication that now that she is no longer an elected official she will no longer be constrained in the manner in which she responds to the endless slurs that are heaped upon her and her family every day.

  • The FBI now absolutely denies (in a statement to the L.A. Times) that there is or ever has been ANY federal investigation of Palin’s activities. Sorry to have gotten all worked up over the blogosphere reports. They sounded plausible to me at the time as an explanation for why she would resign so abruptly.

    Also plausible to me was the claim by a blogger who usually DOES cover events in his area far better than the local newspaper does (which probably says more about the low quality of the local paper than the crack journalistic skills of the blogger in question), that bloggers had beat the MSM to the punch on the “real” story. That is obviously not always the case.

  • I’ll paraphrase a friend and say my first thought was: Life just got a little less embarrassing for Republicans. I was a Palin fan when she was announced, and really liked the convention speech. I viewed her sympathetically because of the weird and deranged attacks and the irresponsible rumor-mongering facilitated by the major media outlets. But she is not a national politician, and nothing captured that better than her rambling, incoherent, contradictory resignation speech. She has been erratic and petulant since the Couric interviews; hopefully the resignation will bring her and her family some peace.

  • The talk shows had it down, she’s not some Ivy league graduate, she doesn’t fit in to some of the establishment. Who’d keep on making fun of a veep candidate 7 months after that side of the party lost,,, Michelle Ferrara or whomever. They are scared of her. $500,000 in debt from defending oneself against the smears of her detractors.

    Viva Sarah!

  • EXCERPT:

    “She resigned because of the tremendous pressure, time and financial burden of a litany of ethics complaints in the past several months, she said. The complaints were without merit and took away from the job she wanted to do for Alaskans, Palin said.”

    SOURCE: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/07/palin.resignation/

    So this is ‘presidential material’?

    If she can’t stand all this while merely governor, how much more if president?

    She’s proven to be nothing more than a pin-up babe.

    What an utter disappointment!

    I initially had high hopes for her last year due to her sanctity for life record; however, there’s much left to be desired unfortunately — especially given all the remarkably deplorable interviews she gave last year (most notably, the Katie Couric one), which merely demonstrated her immense ineptitude.

    As much as I abhor Hillary Clinton and her liberal breed; at the very least, she isn’t so dense and puerile as Palin.

  • Would you care to be saddled with her legal bills, ‘e.’?

    Can you please explain how the term ‘puerile’ applies to a 45 year old woman married 21 years with five children and a history of taking on unusual challenges?

  • ‘Puerile’ as in:

    “Waaah–Waaah, everybody’s pickin’ on lil’ ole me; I no more wanna be gov’ner!”

    As for taking on unusual challenges, I suppose honorably serving out her full term in spite of these seemingly hostile forces is just beyond her.

    For this, strangely enough, I bear greater respect for George W. Bush; at the very least, though he experienced considerably greater antagonism (much of which he deserved, by the way) and, yet, in spite of all these fierce obstacles which taunted him both physically & mentally (which perhaps taxed his already much too beleaguered congnitive abilities), still, he made the best of it.

  • ‘e.’, her legal bills are not a product of her attitude, but of defects in the Alaska Revised Statutes and defects in Alaska’s political culture. A different attitude is not going to pay her legal bills.

    She is under no obligation to continue in public life and there is no dishonor in departing public life to attend to matters that have priority. Politicians are replaceable. Members of your family are not.

    The campaign of harrassment against Gov. Palin has been unusual, to say the least, and the financial dimension of it leaves her with little room for maneuver. Your reaction to this is to describe her as ‘puerile’ and ‘nothing but a pin up girl’. One other reason she may want out of public life is the realization that the years you have are too short to squander them in the company of jerks.

  • ‘Art Deco’:

    Perhaps — if the latter you’ve suggested is even actually the case.

    If she is aiming for the highest office in the land(as some out there still suspect), I fail to see how bailing out on your responsiblities midway as governor of a state makes you out to be deserving of even greater responsibilities, such as President of the United States.

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  • e.

    I fail to see how bailing out on your responsiblities midway as governor of a state makes you out to be deserving of even greater responsibilities, such as President of the United States.

    Granted, that not serving at least a full term in office is a detriment, let’s be honest, Obama didn’t serve even 2 years as a senator. I think you’re missing a key point. If her remaining in office as governor is a detriment to the people of Alaska, it is not irresponsible. Remember, in addition to the distractions, the state has spent $2,000,000 in her defense against absurd accusations. This may be a small number if you live in Texas, but in Alaska where the population is less than $1,000,000 it is not.

    It’s not possible to predict whether this will help or hurt her chances in 2012, it’s far too soon for that. It seems likely that her focus will be on 2010 at least for now (see the new post about a plan for Palin).

  • Please people, do not get behind this woman. She is quitting. She offers us no cogent reasons. She can not put together complete thoughts and has offered nothing in the way of initiatives or ways forward. Move on, and not to that insane version of a Catholic Jindahl.

  • She offered cogent reasons – she and her husband are now $500,000 in hock due to bogus ethics complaints.

  • Those are not monies that are not her responsibilities, they are part of the state
    budget. And, she herself opened up some of those investigations. What is she up to?

  • Her legal bills are her responsibility. Which of the ethics complaints lacked a plaintiff?

  • Art,

    Her legal bills are her responsibility. Which of the ethics complaints lacked a plaintiff?

    most of the costs of defending the governor in her official capacity are borne by the taxpayers of Alaska, that totals about $2,000,000. A portion were personally incurred, totaling about $500,000.

    I believe Palin requested that allegations be investigated to avoid the appearance of a coverup.

  • Back in September 2008, we saw her wagging her finger at Hillary Clinton, that Hillary should not whine about tough media coverage, she was not doing women any good, she should just plow through it, she should have known what she was getting into and should just try harder and prove herself. “WOW”, I guess she loves measuring others by standards that she does not follow. What a hypocrite, but expected from most political false prophets types. I guess all other “lame duck” governors should take her lead and quit (cut and run). Thank you for leading by example.

  • If you Paul had been subject to a tenth of the abuse that Palin and her family has been through you would have been screeching for your mommy long ago. The attack on her by the deranged left is beneath contempt.

  • Donald,

    What Palin’s suffering is not even a tenth of that which G.W. Bush suffered/continues to suffer.

  • e., somehow I do not recall Bush being accused of anything approaching faking the birth of a child, being forced to incur personal expenses of $500,000.00 in legal fees fighting off baseless ethics complaints, having a comedian suggesting the rape of a daughter, and the list could go on for considerable length. The vials of hatred poured on that woman and her family are a complete disgrace.

Letterman Apologizes, Palin Accepts

Tuesday, June 16, AD 2009

Governor Sarah Palin accepted David Letterman’s sincere apology which he gave last night on his CBS show regarding his crude joke at the expense of Governor Palin’s 14 year-old daughter:

Viewing the video I am impressed by his sincerity as well as his apology.  Anyone willing to continue to berate Mr. Letterman are probably doing it for political reasons as of now.  I for one appreciate that he took the time to say it during his show.

Others such as James Poniewozik of TIME magazine, Michael Russnow of the Huffington Post, and others continue to play political games and see in it more than a man expressing regret and contrition.  It is unfortunate that there are those still caught up in this scenario playing out their perceived grievances and political agendas.

Governor Palin has accepted and so should we, I do.

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24 Responses to Letterman Apologizes, Palin Accepts

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  • A good apology and a gracious acceptance.

  • Yes, it was a good apology. It reminds me of the David Letterman of old which was (or still is) endearing.

    I’m impressed in this day and age of non-apologies and bipartisan bickering. He certainly impressed me.

  • This reminds me of the situation when a business caves from a boycott by dropping support for some element of the “homosexual agenda”, there’s nothing sincere about it, however, if we continue to boycott, there is no motivation to reform. Sometimes you have to settle for the best we can get.

    I think it is time to accept this apology based on the Palin’s lead, but let’s not get all blithery over Letterman.

    I am really curious about what he means by his “intent”.

  • I’m mystified as to why anybody watches Letterman. He’s not funny and don’t people have to go to work in the mornings? Who stays up that late?

  • “He’s not funny”

    Amen to that, although he has a loyal following…!

  • I remember a fairly decent SNL skit that parodied Letterman nicely 😉 Wish I could find it…

  • First, let me say I would much prefer Palin as the GOP presidential candidate in 2012 than Mitt “vapid pretty boy” Romney or Newt “my third wife has made me a good Catlick” Gingrich.

    But let’s face it I find it absolutely amazing anyone would continue to portray Palin and her family as the ideal for family values in this country: Sarah plays up her MILF image every chance she gets and then gets upset when she is refered to as “slutty”; prior to the presidential election it was emphasized how Bristol and her baby’s father were going to do “the right thing” and get married but after the election it was obvious that it was a shotgun marriage in that the father couldn’t distance himself fast and far enough from Bristol and her family; Palin is far from the ideal mother in that her children’s well being has obviously been sacrificed on the altar of her political career, i.e. maybe if she had been at home minding the kids one wouldn’t have gotten knocked up and her son wouldn’t have had to been shipped off to the miltary to keep him out of trouble.

    Poor Dave. Anybody with a lick of sense knew he was referring to the older Palin daughter of questionable morals, but Palin saw her chance to portray herself as a victim and jumped at twiting Leterman’s comment so that it appeared he was referring to Palin’s younger daughter. Republicans like Democrats are not above distoring the facts to create favorabble perceptions of themselves.

    I know I’ll take my lumps on this website from the Palin fan club, but to you I say that I recommend that you spend some extra time in the confessional dscussing the unhealthy amount of time you spend surfing the photos on the State of Alaska website.

  • Tito:

    As a college student myself, I can safely say that I know absolutely no one who watches Letterman. The Daily Show and the Colbert Report are the favorites, with a few Conan fans.

    Neither Leno or Letterman are big in the college community from what I can tell.

  • Michael,

    Intoxicated college students watch Letterman, hence why they can’t remember.

  • Michael Russnow writes “The media coverage was unfair”. A phenomenon known as the biter bit.

  • Tito:

    We at the proud institution of LSU are quite able to handle our alcohol at the relatively early time of 10:30, and so would be very able to recall whether or not we watched Letterman.

    Besides, if the stoned kids can remember watching Jon Stewart the drunk ones can remember Letterman 😉

  • Michael,

    LSU students start drinking at 10:30am? WOW, how times have changed.

    How about a WordPress pic ID?

  • Tito:

    I know, I know. Anti-drinking campaigns have worked wonders pushing the time back to 10:30. It’s weird having sober kids in the 8:00 classes. 😉

    In truth, I meant 10:30 pm, which is when those shows come on in the central time zone. By that point, the drinking has just begun.

    10:30 am is a bit early especially for a weekday, even in South Louisiana…unless it’s gameday. On gameday in the shadows of Death Valley…well, interesting things happen on gameday. Geaux Tigers!

  • On the WordPress ID, I need to sign up for a blog, but I use blogger. I have a pic ID there; I just haven’t dedicated myself to downloading wordpress to get the picture.

    Besides, I kinda like the blue square…ish thing I have right now.

  • Michael,

    “blue square…ish” is better than a “purple and gold tiger”?

    😉

  • Tito:

    You’re good. You’re darn good. Mentioning the prospect of promoting at a time when my LSU pride is high due to our performance in Omaha at the College World Series?

    You have skills.

  • “I know I’ll take my lumps on this website from the Palin fan club, but to you I say that I recommend that you spend some extra time in the confessional discussing the unhealthy amount of time you spend surfing the photos on the State of Alaska website.”

    Good one awakaman 🙂

    I admire Sarah Palin’s convictions. I am sure she was a good mayor and as far as I know, has been a good governor. Yes, she has a somewhat messy family life but so do a lot of good people. No family is perfect.

    But, that being said, I cannot believe she was really the best possible GOP veep candidate McCain could come up with, and it became painfully obvious to me during the campaign that she was in way over her head. I say that not to insult her intelligence or moral character, but as a simple statement of fact. And I do not think I am being a traitor to the pro-life or conservative cause to suggest this.

  • And all that being said, I think Letterman’s apology was sincere, Palin showed class in accepting it, and the matter should be considered closed.

  • End of the day it’s a nothing. He made a boorish crack. Went too far and caught some backlash. Apology (sincere or otherwise) is the end of it. He isn’t losing any audience over this issue as any of us who would be angered by his garbage weren’t likely to watch his show anyway.

  • I am really curious about what he means by his “intent”

    I believe all he meant was the fact that he was referring to the 18 year old troubled kid, not the 14 year old kid. His intent was to make a joke about the former, not the latter.

    awakaman – You’re right.

    Neither Leno or Letterman are big in the college community from what I can tell.

    Letterman was still pretty big when I was in college. Tito and I are showing our age. It does not surprise me that college kids are not watching Letterman. Leno is for older folks, of course. (And he is terrible. Also more offensive.)

    Besides, if the stoned kids can remember watching Jon Stewart the drunk ones can remember Letterman

    The effects of alcohol and pot are different.

    Letterman is obviously a moral giant — and the bigger person — compared to Sarah Palin.

  • Letterman is obviously a moral giant — and the bigger person — compared to Sarah Palin.

    I’m glad we have you here to tell us these things…

  • I’m glad we have you here to tell us these things…

    I wholeheartedly agree with you.

The Degenerate David Letterman

Saturday, June 13, AD 2009

David Letterman Degenerate

[Updates at the end of this post below]

I enjoyed viewing David Letterman when he first came out.  He was nerdy, goofy, and most importantly funny.  I eventually stopped viewing his show not because he wasn’t funny anymore, but because I was no longer in college and I needed a good nights rest for the real world, ie, a job.  Once in a while I would catch his show and remember fondly my days of cold pizza and late night study sessions.

I was well aware of his politics, but unlike most liberals, conservatives do have a sense of humor, especially at our own expense.  I was able to suspend my politics to enjoy good humor because I loved to laugh.

Sadly Mr. Letterman went too far recently in one of his jokes.  Maybe he has been doing this for awhile, but I haven’t noticed since I no longer watch his show for the reasons I mentioned above.

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40 Responses to The Degenerate David Letterman

  • I stopped watching him years ago for the same reasons. I also gave up cable and broadcast TV for similar reasons (everything I need to know news, weather, or entertainment-wise I can find online anyway).

    Why, oh why, did Letterman have to follow up the excellent fisking he did on Governor Blago — which was actually better by far than a lot of “straight news” MSM interviews that were done with him — with crap like this? I suppose it was a case of a stopped clock being right twice a day 🙂

  • Yes, I stopped watching cable. And since I haven’t gotten my digital converter box, I haven’t watched rabbit ears television since this past Thursday. And I might add that it’s a good thing.

    You are correct, all the news I need I can get online and unfiltered, ie, without the leftist bias you get from most broadcast and cable networks.

  • Although as a former (newspaper) journalist I can’t help but feel there is something not so good about people being able to pick and choose only the news they WANT to hear, ignore what they don’t agree with, and find “evidence” to confirm just about any theory no matter how ridiculous.

    Of course, I realize that in the allegedly good old days when everybody watched Big Three network news, read daily newspapers, etc. they were not getting an entirely objective point of view. I make an effort to read a variety of news and politics blogs and I even listen to (gasp!) NPR News, which, no matter how liberally biased it may be, gives you information you don’t get anywhere else.

    To me the real problem with broadcast television news is that the amount of information it can provide is severely limited and inevitably lacks perspective. Plus, the nature of the medium requires visuals and relies heavily on conflict to attract attention.

    There’s nothing like watching on TV a story you just covered for a newspaper, or actually lived through or been part of, to make you turn off TV news for good 🙂

  • You make excellent points.

    But I find that I can get more accurate information online than I can watching Katie Couric babble on about the latest liberal talking points.

  • It’s disingenuous to say Letterman made the joke about Willow Palin. He later said that wasn’t what he meant, and we have no reason to assume Letterman even knew Sarah had brought Willow to New York. I didn’t know, and I automatically understood the joke to be about Bristol Palin. Bristol is 18, so the joke didn’t involve rape. Making the joke about an 18-year-old girl is bad, but not as bad as about a 14-year-old girl. David Letterman’s degeneracy ought to be evaluated on the basis of accurate information.

  • Disingenuous?

    It was Willow that attended the game.

    Regardless if it was either one of them the joke is simply disgusting.

  • Sarah Palin looks so pathetic and desparate. IMO, It’s Palin who is embarrasing her daughter.

  • Yep Palin is the one who looks pathetic and desperate, not the aging 62 year old comedian making sex “jokes” about the teenage daughters of a politician he hates in an attempt to convince the public that he is still edgy and cutting edge and not a tired man near the end of his career, who is so out of it that he can’t be bothered to get the facts straight on a news item before making an insipid attempt at humor.

  • I didn’t know most liberals don’t have a sense of humor.

  • Dave said that his joke was in bad taste and he regrets it but that he was talking about the adult Bristol Palin. He said he agreed with Sarah Palin that sexual jokes about minors are off limits. IMO, Sarah Palin is in the wrong for assuming the worst of Dave. Dave never makes any mention of under-age girls. In fact, the joke would only make sense if they were referring to Bristol Palin.

  • A first rate post on this subject at Protein Wisdom:

    http://proteinwisdom.com/pub/?p=2844

  • Too bad a Hoosier and a maybe somewhat basketballer has gone down this road. He’s real far from his roots. I attended Mass a few times in Evansville, southern part and even down there, there were Notre Dame coats and everything, this about 12 years ago.

    I saw Gov. Palin on CNN today but wasn’t able to watch the interview. I think she did well in responding to this, a well-balanced response.

    I worked in the business office of a Middle School which had a bunch of that age girls, including a lot of those Hmong we have in St. Paul. Just no way should one say these things and if there is confusion about who Letterman meant, he shouldn’t have said it or at least clearly identified who he meant.

  • Dang, Donald–Mr. Protein is spot on.
    The Palins also have a lot more in common with my redneck neighbors than do most of the inside-the-beltway-types. And she’s popular here in Geawgia.
    (One bumper sticker I noticed on a dusty pickup during the campaign last year stated, “I’m for Palin and the white-haired guy.”)

  • He is nothing more than a degenerate human being…. Oh, and lets not forget that we do need to pray for him…

    Oh brother, Tito!

    Surely you’ve written countless blog posts about Rush Limbaugh’s sexist humor, right? I mean, that’s way more common. Can you link to some of your posts on him in which you call him a “degenerate human being”?

  • Yeah, you just have to LOVE the response of those defending Letterman and slamming Palin because “he was really talking about Bristol” and she’s “assuming the worst about poor misunderstood Dave”.

    Is that REALLY how low we’ve sunk to in this country? Since when were the kids of politicians EVER fair game for this kind of crap? It wasn’t cool when Limbaugh made fun of Chelsea Clinton’s looks and it’s not cool now when EVERYONE piles on Palin’s kids.

  • Yes. I despise double standards.

  • This response “The Palins also have a lot more in common with my redneck neighbors than do most of the inside-the-beltway-types. And she’s popular here in Geawgia.
    (One bumper sticker I noticed on a dusty pickup during the campaign last year stated, “I’m for Palin and the white-haired guy.”)”

    It absolutely baffles me as to why she gets such criticism.

  • CMinor: So, would you find Palin more tolerable and likeable if she was making jokes about mentally challenged children on National Television? Is that what you are saying??

  • Tom your last two comments seem odd to me. I am pretty certain that cminor was not criticizing Palin, and I do not believe that cminor made any comment in this thread that is applicable to your last comment.

  • I do not have a problem with political jokes. Period.

    I expect the late night shows to poke fun at the political class.

    I laughed when Clinton was beat every night with jokes. I laugh at those about Obama, and did so with the latest Palin ones.

    I do not think we need to have anyone say if a joke is over the line or not. Folks at home can make that decision with the remote. To be honest I did not hear about the jokes until Palin let the press release fly. Had I been watching I would have laughed and not been insulted.

    Bristol, is an adult. She is fair game. She goes on national TV for interviews and has now put herself out there.

    In a larger context, I think once Sarah Palin put her whole family `out there’ for political purposes in 2008, her son the warrior in Iraq, her troubled daughter who was pregnant, her husband who had worked with a group to have Alaska secede from the Union, then I think Sarah made them all fair game. Politics is a tough business. That is not news. Sarah however decided her goals were/are more important than that of her family.

    And NO ONE..execpt Sarah Palin when she tried to make a political point about Letterman by USING her family again in a press release….thought Letterman was talking about anyone except for Bristol Palin. NO ONE. And NO ONE thought there was any rape at all in the joke. NO ONE…except Sarah Palin who wanted some press……at her family’s expense.

    Sarah Palin uses her family, and then some conservatives get all excited because she gets what she wants with the media hype.

    Sarah can not have it both ways.

    So in conclusion…….

    Listen to the Letterman joke then…..

    Read the Palin press release….

    Since there was no mention of the 14 year old in the joke….

    But there was mention of the 14 year old in the press release…..

    Ask yourself who is really to blame for this whole affair.

  • “Ask yourself who is really to blame for this whole affair.”

    An idiot fading comedian who gets cheap laughs attacking the teenage daughters of a politician he despises in order to hang on to his moment in the spotlight, and people sick enough to think the hatred disguised as humor is funny.

  • I also love the comments blaming Palin for “putting her kids in the spotlight.” As if Andrew Sullivan hadn’t spent months sickly obessessing about who Trig’s “real” mother was. As if the Palin family wasn’t trashed mercilessly by the media from the second they appeared at the GOP convention. Obama and Biden had their children onstage at the conventions too, but only conservative Republicans “exploit” their children, it seems.

    Now Palin has found she can’t even take her daughter to a sports event in New York without being slimed. I’m convinced that liberal hatred of Palin’s pro-life views is at the heart of this. Palin committed the unforgivable sin of giving birth to a Downs syndrome child. Her daughter had an out-of-wedlock baby instead of an abortion. For that the Palins must be ridiculed endlessly, months after the election.

  • Having been brought up in the television days of Jack Benny and Bob Hope and such good comedians, I think I am missing a point. Was Mr. Letterman’s crude remark about an 18 year old girl a joke?

  • Willow was the one at the game, not Bristol. So the comment was directed at her. Not that the same joke leveled at an 18 year woman is somehow OK. Actually, if I were A-Rod, I’d also be offended at the insinuation that I’d molest a 14 year old if given the chance.

    In the meantime, I’ve somehow missed Letterman’s “edgy” jokes about Biden’s kid with the drug addiction. (And yes, I thought Limbaugh’s joke about Chelsea’s looks was mean and uncalled for.)

    Even NOW, an organization with little love for Palin, has criticized Letterman. But those whose partisanship has dulled their sense of decency will go on excusing that unfunny old has-been.

  • Donna V:
    I believe that you nailed it – Palin’s pro-life stand is what the libs truly hate.

  • This is just absurd. It was not a joke, it was an obscene smear. It was not political, it was personal.

    Look how far we have come from the days when insulting a young girl or a woman’s honor was completely forbidden and was likely to get the offender disgraced, discredited, lights punched out and quite often shot…. Hey, there’s an idea. Dave vs. Todd? Hah… that’s not even fair, how about Dave vs. Sarah? What’s your pleasure? Fisticuffs? Pistols at 10 paces? leg wrestling? It wouldn’t really matter…same result. Sarah Palin 1 – Dave Letterman 0.

  • Eric,

    I said “most” liberals, not “all” liberals don’t have a sense of humor.

    Deke,

    Of course you would defend a 60+ year old man in making disgusting jokes about a 14 year girl being raped. You’re part of the problem.

  • Michael,

    I don’t listen to Rush and I don’t bother with him.

    Besides, when he made those Chelsea comments this website wasn’t in existence.

  • That’s still quite a broad generalization, unfair, and I’m not even sure on what the assumption is based upon.

    I surely wouldn’t say *all* conservatives don’t care for the poor. I wouldn’t think saying *most* conservatives would make it any better.

    The problem isn’t the joke–I agree with you. I am just saddened that everything takes a liberal-conservative divide when it’s unnecessary. David Letterman may be “liberal,” but I’m not sure if that subscribes every “liberal” to his specific views or brand of humor.

    I actually use the term “conservative” to describe myself. I might add (and I frequently do) that Rush Limbaugh doesn’t speak for me.

    So instead of this being a matter solely focus on the incident–which should not have happened; it took a political spin and pit liberals against conservatives, which I find to be unnecessary.

  • Eric,

    I’ve based it on my personal experience in my engagement with my liberal friends. I have been viciously attacked for clean jokes toward liberal politicians.

    I do I understand where you are coming from, but my personal experience has shown otherwise, I leave my posting as is.

    Sadly, most liberals do not have a sense of humor.

  • Tito – I’m glad you don’t listen to Rush. You get a point for that. However, you also said you no longer watch Letterman. So why single him out for his supposedly “degenerate” humor and comments and say absolutely nothing when folks like Rush and Ann Coulter do the exact same thing and with more regularity? (I’m not only talking about “that Chelsea comment.”)

    I believe that you nailed it – Palin’s pro-life stand is what the libs truly hate.

    This is kind of a stupid comment. I’m pro-life. You would no doubt describe me as a “lib.” I appreciate that Sarah Palin is against abortion (I hesitate to call her “pro-life” in any meaningful sense). I and many other “libs” in fact dislike Palin for other reasons that don’t fit into your binary and abortion-obsessed views.

  • I can’t keep track of what everybody says.

    Plus I don’t recall them saying anything offensive about other politicians under-age daughters.

  • Michael: we know you have reasons of your own to hate Palin. She’s a Republican. Her son is serving in the U.S. Army (horrors!). The Palins hunt and own guns (man, how you must despise the people of your own home state then. WVA also has, I believe, one of the highest percentages of veterans in the country. I’m surprised you can bear to set foot there.)

    The pro-life Catholic left is dwarfed by the secular left (and would be tossed overboard by the secular left in a heartbeat, come the revolution). My point stands: Palin is hated by them because she is not only pro-life but has walked the walk.

  • Ann Althouse, a University of Wisconsin law professor who leans left, but is a fair-minded woman, chides Andrew Sullivan:

    Nearly all politicians display their families. Do they brandish them? Brandish means to shake or wave (as a weapon) menacingly/to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner. Occasionally, one reads of some criminal swinging a baby around like a cudgel, but with politicians, the displaying of the family is non-aggressive and without any weapon connotations. Obama displayed and continues to display Sasha and Malia in the conventional political way, and I’m sure Sullivan would be steamed if anyone mocked them or said anything sexual about them.

    Bristol Palin’s abstinence effort seems pretty silly to me too, but there’s no reason to view that as opening her up to all sorts of vicious mockery. She found herself in an awfully uncomfortable spot. It’s embarrassing enough for a teenager to become pregnant by accident, but to endure this in the crossfire of a political campaign had to be excruciating. But she put up with it somehow, didn’t take the out of abortion, kept smiling, and tried to turn herself into a good lesson for others. How is this sowing something that she deserves to reap?

    Or — oh — it’s Palin who reaps what she sows. Is the girl not a person worthy of any regard? What did the girl do? “Family’s off limits. You don’t talk about my family.” Obama said that. It was intended to bind his harshest opponents to a standard of behavior. Sullivan offers absolutely no reason why the same principle does not protect Palin’s family.

  • Donna V.

    I’m surprised you can bear to set foot there.

    He lives in Toronto right now, so perhaps he can’t. 😉

  • Uhhhh…TomSVDP?

    I was replying to Donald regarding the essay he linked at Protein Wisdom. That would be the one proposing that Sarah Palin’s flyover-country normality is what has her detractors in such a lather, and makes her such a hit with those of us in flyover country.

    For the record, I like and respect my redneck neighbors (husband, relatives,)very much, and would rather deal with them than with any large random sampling of inside-the-Beltway government or media types. I’m also favorably impressed with Palin.

    In any case, I would never take a permissive view of attempts at humor that demean women or the handicapped. By anyone.

    The chivalry is appreciated, Donald.

  • By the way, dekerivers,
    Do you really think that it’s funny to imply that a young woman is a slut because she imprudently succumbed to an all-too-human weakness during a time in her life not normally associated with rational judgement or long-term thinking?

    What is it about Bristol Palin’s having reached the magic age of 18 or having made a few public statements (most of which seem to have been on the theme, “Single parenting is tough, girls; don’t make the same mistake I did,”) that makes it okay to label her a scarlet woman for the purpose of humor, or any other purpose?

    You suggest that Sarah Palin “used her family” to score popularity points–did you fail to notice the Obamas trotting out their cute daughters during the campaign, or the enthusiasm of a certain McCain child for the limelight? They aren’t being ridiculed on national television.

    By your logic, no parent should run for public office, or at least no parent who holds opinions that run counter to the sacred cows of the entertainment industry.

  • Speaking of the degenerate left. Could someone PLEASE call Obama or Biden and tell them that there is a struggling democratic movement developing in Iran, and if they would only lend it moral support it may be successful. If he won’t do it for moral reasons, perhaps pragmatism. Our problems with that totalitarian regime may some day come to an end, or at least be greatly diminished if this movement were to succeed….

    so far… nothing but twiddling of thumbs from the “One”.

  • Oh know, this link below may elongate the page, I don’t like it when that happens.

    I’m forgiving but Imus got such harsh treatment and I don’t know all of the ins and outs of that.

    One advertiser is dropping Letterman’s show and a “fire Letterman” move is underway. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2009/06/15/2009-06-15_fire_david_letterman_campaign_takes_root_protest_planned_over_comment_on_sarah_p.html

  • Pingback: Letterman Apologizes, Palin Accepts « The American Catholic

Palin, Steele, & Populism

Friday, March 13, AD 2009

Daniel Larison on why conservatives have been critical of Michael Steele, but defended Sarah Palin:

Steele does not have the benefit of a verbose, mistake-prone counterpart to distract us [like Palin did with Biden], but even if he did the reaction to Steele would have been nothing like the response to Palin. In other words, Steele’s blunders on substance are treated as badly damaging and activists insist that they require immediate correction, while Palin’s blunders were spun as imaginatively and desperately as any politician’s answers have ever been spun. This is a bigger problem than pushing unprepared leaders into the spotlight–it is a clear preference for one kind of style, namely the combative pseudo-populist act, over whatever style Steele has at the expense of any consideration of the merits of what these leaders say. The takeaway is that Steele is being ripped apart for making statements that are not terribly different from Palin’s campaign statements on the very same issues, and somehow she is still considered a rising star by the very activists who are ripping Steele.

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15 Responses to Palin, Steele, & Populism

  • I think John Henry’s explanation is much better and more substantive than Larison’s. As John notes, these are very different circumstances. But more importantly, Sarah’s “flubs” were essentially awkward moments during interviews, whereas Steele’s flubs indicate that he holds positions at odds with pro-lifers. It’s not just style, it’s substance.

  • Precisely, Paul. First he says we’re getting tough and pushing the mooshy moderates out. Then flubs bigtime on this CNN show quickly cancelled because no one watching but host and immediate family. But enough to cause ruckus. Specifically- he was baited to dump on Rush. Bad idea to The Base. Then this Catholic school grad started weebling and wobbling on abortion. Now backpedalling and What I Really Meant-ing and oh dear if GOP can’t strike it rich in 2010 why open the doors in the morning. Sarah’s gaffes come from not being accustomed to scrutiny by chattering classes. Next time around she’ll handle it better. Steele is still questionable.

  • John Henry, Paul, and Gerard may be on to something.

    I am just trying to hide my face whenever Mr. Steele stumbles in an interview. Maybe he isn’t polished when answering questions on his feet. Maybe he is just getting adjusted to being under the spotlight.

    Probably we should give him the benefit of the doubt. Stop piling on him and defend him to the hilt. Hopefully Mr. Steele will get his sea legs while being under the spotlight.

    He is human so mistakes can happen. Maybe he’ll be a stud-GOP-Pro-Life-Catholic and deliver both houses of Congress to the Pro-Life camp.

    He should be given the benefit of the doubt. He’s articulate, educated on the faith, and photogenic. All powerful variables that we need to advance the pro-life agenda.

    We should definitely circle the wagons around him, rally to his side, and fight like Macabees. He’s one of our own and we shouldn’t stand idly by while others rip him apart.

  • Possibly, Tito. But the flubs have got to go. Saw Jim Cramer defending his very existence to Jon Stewart last evening. By the 20 minute mark was getting painful. Was prepared to yell at screen see what your lib New York friends think of you now Jim and imagine what Rush endures every single day so knock off the mea culpas and go back to work. Memo to Mr. Steele- no more interviews. The GQ piece was done by Lisa DePaulo- tabloidy journalist who worked her way up from Philadelphia magazine by making current Gov. Fast Eddie Rendell look dopey. And he’s a Dem. Mr. Steele and Mr. Cramer- they do not like you. And they never will. Get over it.

  • I think John Henry nails it:

    People would be defending Steele a lot more if he had been drafted as a national candidate in the middle of a high stakes campaign; and he would be forgiven a lot more if he seemed inarticulate but sound on principles rather than potentially fudging on principles.

  • I don’t entirely buy that Steele is flubbing. In the sense that he isn’t clearly articulating what he wants to say – maybe he is flubbing. But that depends somewhat on what he wants to say!

    It seems pretty clear to me that Steele believes that the fiscal and economic policies of the GOP are ‘winners’ and that the ‘values’ positions are losers. So he is doing his best to soft pedal values and reach toward the middle. Steele clearly wants to put all value issues aside. He only wants to give them just enough lip service to not lose votes he thinks the GOP owns anyway.

    Any hope we might have ever had for the GOP should be promptly forgotten. It is time to seriously work on finding another way to move forward!

  • GNW_Paul,

    I think you’re probably right about Steele, although even he seems confused about what his real position is. That said, I find your conclusion puzzling. Here’s the sequence as I understand it:

    1) Steele sounds squishy/incoherent on pro-life issues.
    2) Steele is widely denounced by the GOP rank and file.
    3) Ergo, you argue, pro-lifers should abandon the GOP.

    Setting aside other legitimate grievances for the moment, could it be that Steele, rather than the GOP base, needs to go?

  • John Henry,

    If only it were just Steele. Looking back to the primaries, it is clear that a large portion of the power structure (money) in the GOP is right there with him. If they are upset with Steele, it is only because he hasn’t managed to not make it obvious that values voters are considered a liability.

    Besides, I don’t think our association (in the public view) with the most extreme elements in the GOP (anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-regulation – again the extremes) does Catholic and family values voters any favors.

  • The GOP is the only game in town for pro-life voters. That is not an opinion but simply a statement of fact. Third party options are an exercise in futility and the Democrats are a lost cause on abortion.

  • Donald,

    You are right.

    Which is exactly why the GOP figures they can sideline us and our issues without losing our votes.

    We need to change the game. Not saying it is easy. But the first thing is the acknowledge that the GOP leadership doesn’t give a rip about us or our issues. They just like our votes.

  • GNW_Paul,

    It depends on what happens the next 4-8 years, and who the candidates are. As bad as Bush was on many issues, I think Roberts and Alito were good picks (time will tell). If so, pro-lifers are one vote away from returning abortion to the states, which in turn creates more opportunities for more restrictions on abortion and ultimately less abortions.

    If the GOP nominates McCain/Steele-style candidates, then pro-lifers have little incentive to turn out for the GOP (a large part of the enthusiasm for Palin in many circles was her perceived strength on pro-life issues). But if it’s someone like Huckabee or Jindal who appears to be genuinely concerned about pro-life issues, then I think pro-lifers have good reasons to support the GOP. In the meantime, even some Congressional Republicans might be useful to oppose piecemeal implementation of FOCA-type legislation. To be clear, I don’t think FOCA is going to pass, but I think some aspects of FOCA may be included in other legislation.

  • The answer is clear. WE can not let the GOP meander into the pro-death camp, it is not time to “wait and see” what the GOP will do… it is time to stand up and LEAD the GOP to be more strongly in the pro-life camp. Get involved in your precinct, district and county. These are relatively small organizations, it only takes a few of us with loud voices to move them into a stronger pro-life position.

    When the primaries come around help the most pro-life candidate in each position from dog-catcher to POTUS any way you can. With a 100% pro-life leader and the evidence of Obama’s pro-death position laid bare, go after your liberal Catholic friends, confront them on the hypocrisy of supporting Obama after his evil actions.

  • Agreed with all of the above, but adding that we should also do everything in our power to keep the highly endangered species of Pro-Life Democrat from becoming completely extinct.

    Pro-life is an issue that CANNOT be allowed to become the exclusive “property” of a single political party. At the very least, there should be as many pro-life Democrats as there are pro-choice Republicans.

    I do not think the Democratic Party is necessarily a lost cause on the abortion issue, at least not in the long term, especially with Hispanic voters (who tend to be either Catholic or evangelical Protestant) becoming more and more of a force. One thing’s for sure, writing off the Democrats as a lost cause isn’t going to improve things.

    Please note that I am NOT talking about the wishy-washy Doug Kmiec kind of “pro life” Democrat, I mean genuinely pro-life Democrats, like the late Bob Casey Sr., and Glenn Poshard. (Imagine the grief we Illinois residents would have been spared for the last 10 years if only we had elected Poshard governor!) Yes, I know Casey is dead and Poshard is out of politics, but all the more reason to start working on getting more people like them in the game!

    Although I consider myself Republican, if given a choice between a Bob Casey Sr. type of pro-life Democrat vs. a pro-life Republican, I’d choose the Democrat, because I think pro-life Democrats are in greater need of support.

  • That’s a good point Elaine. As I’ve written elsewhere, I would be happy to vote for a pro-life Dem; unfortunately, there is frequently some false advertising involved (e.g. the current Sen. Casey). Still, it’s important to support genuinely pro-life Dems whenever possible. As the African-American experience with Democrats and urban education shows, it’s never good for a political party to not have to worry about your votes.

  • Pingback: Daniel Larison, Talking Sense « The American Catholic

Levin on the Palin Phenomenon

Thursday, February 5, AD 2009

As the election becomes more a matter of history than immediate emotion, it is a good time for sober analysis of what went on in the 2008 election. Yuval Levin has a very good analysis in Commentary Magazine of the phenomenon that was Sarah Palin’s candidacy. In framing the controversy he makes an interesting distinction:

In American politics, the distinction between populism and elitism is further subdivided into cultural and economic populism and elitism. And for at least the last forty years, the two parties have broken down distinctly along this double axis. The Republican party has been the party of cultural populism and economic elitism, and the Democrats have been the party of cultural elitism and economic populism. Republicans tend to identify with the traditional values, unabashedly patriotic, anti-cosmopolitan, non-nuanced Joe Sixpack, even as they pursue an economic policy that aims at elite investor-driven growth. Democrats identify with the mistreated, underpaid, overworked, crushed-by-the-corporation “people against the powerful,” but tend to look down on those people’s religion, education, and way of life. Republicans tend to believe the dynamism of the market is for the best but that cultural change can be dangerously disruptive; Democrats tend to believe dynamic social change stretches the boundaries of inclusion for the better but that economic dynamism is often ruinous and unjust.

Both economic and cultural populism are politically potent, but in America, unlike in Europe, cultural populism has always been much more powerful. Americans do not resent the success of others, but they do resent arrogance, and especially intellectual arrogance.

Addressing how Palin’s candidacy turned this cultural fact into a firestorm, he says:

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12 Responses to Levin on the Palin Phenomenon

  • But she’s winkin’ at you, DC, as she holds that hard-metal, big semi.

  • It’s an interesting article. I would argue that there is not one flavor of economic populism… when it comes to taxation for example, low taxes are populist aren’t they? Being unfettered by excessive government regulation is populist isn’t it?

    I would definitely agree that the deep philosophical underpinnings to modern US conservatism, sadly have been little expounded of late.

  • In retrospect, she was too soon, too late. The McCain campaign was trucking along on its own speed- designed to become as moderate and milktoast as possible when she joined the team. Then September 15- the Sunday that triggered the Great Financial Sector Meltdown. Any incumbent party would have also melted down. The vicious, borderline insane attacks by Chattering Class members should be saved by her upcoming campaign and used for political literature three years hence. Meanwhile she looks better and better each day. More tax troubles for Obamaites. Senate hearings into nomination of Rep. Hilda Solis for Labor Secretary cancelled. This after US Today reported Solis’ businessperson hubbo just settled with various gummint agencies for about 16 years worth of tax liens. Mindful of complaint by Casey Stengel when the Ol’ Perfesser managed woeful 1962 NY Mets- “can’t anybody here play this game?” As though there was conspiracy within DNC to bring our Sarah to forefront. Or more like vetting of Cabinet officials consists of rubber stamp use.

  • Interviews hurt her image — at least, I became less impressed.

  • I would argue that there is not one flavor of economic populism… when it comes to taxation for example, low taxes are populist aren’t they? Being unfettered by excessive government regulation is populist isn’t it?

    Agreed. And note, the Democrats have in turn grabbed on to “tax cuts” for “most Americans” as well.

    Actually, I doubt one could define economic populism very clearly because it’s fairly contradictory.

  • DC,

    maybe it’s easier to define what is NOT economic populism:

    – taxpayer funding of large corporations
    – taxpayer funding of activities that most people find objectionable (abortion)
    – taxpayer funding activities that most people find of little value (the arts)

  • I’d agree with that.

    And I think the following are probably populist as well:

    -Keep American jobs from going overseas.
    -Tax the rich but leave money in “ordinary people’s” pockets.
    -Reign in “Wall Street” up help “Main Street”
    -Generously fund “worthy” programs but never “waste”

  • DC,

    populism is sometimes right, as in my example, and sometimes wrong as in yours (except maybe the first one)… in my opinion anyway.

  • But having finally gotten voters to listen, neither Palin nor McCain could think of anything to say to them.

    And is that because Palin actually had nothing to say or because she was horribly mismanaged by the McCain campaign? We really don’t know yet. I agree with DarwinCatholic that if she can present the nation with a coherent worldview and vision her national career is far from over, despite the disdain of the elites. I have a sneaking suspicion that the elites won’t be looking so good 4 years down the road. Heck, we’re barely into The One’s first term and they’re not looking so hot right now. Palin is supposedly dumb and Nancy (“500 million unemployed”) Pelosi is a rocket scientist? The Dems love taxes, but apparently actually paying them is for the little people. When Andrew Sullivan’s obsessions with Palin’s uterus and Keith Olberman’s goofy swooning over The One qualify them for membership in the “cultural elite,” it’s pretty clear that the bar is set pretty low.

  • My wife and daughter are members of Team Sarah, as is my mother-in-law, a life-long Democrat. I think Palin has a bright political future, especially if, as I think likely, the Obama administration crashes and burns.
    Even she couldn’t save McCain, who, after the convention, faced an economic collapse combined with a dithering campaign to tranform him into last year’s Bob Dole. In 2012 or 2016 Palin will be able to run her own type of campaign and I think she will prove a formidable candidate.

  • Matt,

    Agreed,

    Jason,

    There should be one on the second sentence of the article. (Though I’d originally failed to provide it and added it a few minutes after publishing.) Sorry about that…

Class and Classless

Friday, October 31, AD 2008

In this election there have been a spate of conservatives who have endorsed Obama, including Christopher Buckley, the son of William F. Buckley, founder of National Review.  Most of these Obamacons have chastised Senator McCain for choosing Governor Palin as his running mate.  I have been struck by how much of the Palin hatred is simple class snobbery.

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27 Responses to Class and Classless

  • Puh-LEASE.

    The republican party — suddenly gaining “class consciousness”?!

    Hahaha!

  • I can understand why you are amused Catholic Anarchist. Horny handed son of toil grad student that you are.

  • Horny handed son of toil grad student that you are.

    You some kind of a pervert?

  • No, Catholic Anarchist, although my own hands are softer than they used to be.

  • Sarah freaks those who believe that all national political types should be vetted by the D.C. Chattering Classes. Attend the right cocktail parties. Leave cell phone number to producers of all D.C. cable teevee shows. Come from The Right School. The Right Political Mentor, The Right Image. Thus we have a logjam of folks who spout the same cliches in slightly modified form. We have not even mentioned how Sarah violates basic tenets of Official Feminists. Ew she hunts and fishes. Ew she had five kids. Ew she holds lifetime membership in the NRA. Double triple ew her baby is a gasp retard. But it’s all good. Sarah’s star will shine brightly should the GOP ticket burn out on November 4. Attention Obama- take a look at your 2012 opponent should you win out next week. This means you too Hillary. Thus The Future Of The GOP on display for all to see. Rhyme definitely intended.

  • As always Gerard I agree with your sentiments and stand in awe of your way of presenting them!

  • For those who, like me, came of age after the English language had ceased to be used to describe anything other than the excretory and reproductive systems (and who failed to sufficiently immerse themselves in the prose of ages past in order to get past that modern degeneracy) “horny handed” refers to someone with heavily callused hands.

    A horny handed son of toil is, thus, someone whose hands are calloused from long years of manual labor.

    What Don was doing, Michael, was questioning your cred as a representative of the working classes.

  • Perhaps Michael I. wouldn’t qualify for cocktail parties either. Do you really want Palin as the nominee in 2012? I haven’t been that impressed. I like her more than Huckabee…or McCain…or Giuliani. But Jindal is a much better representative of the party I would like to support.

  • “Do you really want Palin as the nominee in 2012?”

    Depends upon what conditions are in 2012, but as of now yes. I haven’t seen a candidate with better political skills since Reagan, she draws massive crowds wherever she goes and I believe she beat Biden hands down in the debate. If she were the nominee instead of McCain, with a year of campaigning for the public to get to know her, I think she would be up 3 points even in the current polls with the partisan id slanted to the Dems. She has done incredibly well for a candidate who arrived on the national scene only two months ago and in the teeth of the most hostile media environment I can recall for any national candidate.

    Jindal is also impressive. As of now I would be happy with either of them being the standard bearer.

  • Was Michael just kidding, or is his vocabulary that limited?

  • What Don was doing, Michael, was questioning your cred as a representative of the working classes.

    I don’t claim to represent anyone. But you republicans who think 1) that Sarah Palin represents working people and 2) that criticism of Palin is “classist” are unbelievably out of touch.

    Was Michael just kidding, or is his vocabulary that limited?

    Yes, I was joking, in that I didn’t really think Donald’s comment had anything to do with that meaning of the word “horny.” But no, I have not heard the term “horny handed” before. Probably an age thing.

  • Catholic Anarchist, Sarah Palin is much closer to actual blue collar voters than the Harvard trained attorney and his career politician side-kick. The best conservative candidates can establish such a linkage between themselves and blue collar families, the same type of family I came from.

    As to horny handed, I feel so old! Tip O’Neill, then Democrat Speaker of the House, and President Reagan once had a minor dust-up when they attempted to “out poverty” each other regarding which one of them had the humbler start in life. A columnist referred to the horny handed sons of toil multi-millionnaires and the phrase stuck with me.

  • Donald,

    In Western PA, most ‘bread and butter’ people think that Sarah Palin is a joke.

  • -But no, I have not heard the term “horny handed” before. Probably an age thing.-

    You probably don’t read very much.

  • “In Western PA, most ‘bread and butter’ people think that Sarah Palin is a joke.”

    You’ve talked to them all Mr. DeFrancisis? I suspect that the joke this election cycle in western PA is Murtha lambasting his constituents as racists and rednecks.

    Palin draws massive crowds at all her events in PA. For example in eastern PA Biden and Palin had dueling campaign events in Williamsport last Thursday. Biden drew 700. Palin drew 13,000. Her political opponents underestimate this woman at their peril.

  • “Her political opponents underestimate this woman at their peril.”

    Not this election cycle. I certainly over-estimated her prior to the Katie Couric interviews. She has a serious credibility problem; not necessarily among evangelicals or talk radio, but among independents/MSM. The independents tend to follow the MSM conventional wisdom, and Palin has a lot of work to do if she wants to run successfully for national office. She might be able to win a Republican primary, but her approval ratings indicate she would be a tough sell to non-Republicans.

  • “Not this election cycle.”

    Hmmm, the most accurate poll in 2004 has it now as a 2 point race. I guess we’ll find out how successful Palin has been this election cycle on Tuesday night.

    http://www.ibdeditorials.com/series13.aspx?src=POLLTOPN

  • Though I was politically aware enough to be massively upset by the outcome, I wasn’t a very deep reader of political commentary in ’92. However, I do remember that at Bush’s concession speech there were GOP supporters there waving “Quayle ’96” signs. Despite four years of relentless media pile-on, at least some of the conservative base still clearly loved the guy. But come ’96, he wasn’t even talked about in the primaries that I recall. (Not that the GOP disported itself well in the ’96 primaries.)

    Now, unlike Quayle, Palin has a strong ability to work a crowd. She can electrify an event in a way that few people (Reagan and Obama are the only examples springing to mind) can. The question is: will she succeed in building up a viable mainstream political persona over the next four years — which would mean having solid speeches on a range of topics which she’s able to give convincingly, something resembling a stated political philosophy (Obama’s would fit on an index card, but he does have one); and successfully going up against Meet The Press and other major venues.

    If she walks away from this with a solid team of advisers and puts in the work that work, she might well turn into a very viable candidate in ’12, with a “she was hobbled by McCain’s bumbling campaign” narrative smoothly coming into existence.

    Right now I wouldn’t have a problem with her as number two, but she doesn’t strike me as having the gravitas to be a president.

    As for the polls — I’m starting to think that we pretty much have a 47/47 electorate with very little swing actually in play no matter who the two parties run. There have been precious view victories by more than 4% in recent memory. So while I think it’s true that selecting Palin got McCain a much needed degree of loyalty out of the base, I wonder how much the polls would be different if he’d picked someone safe like Pawlenty.

  • Catholic Anarchist, Sarah Palin is much closer to actual blue collar voters than the Harvard trained attorney and his career politician side-kick.

    There must be vastly different factions among blue collar workers, then. From what I can see, Mark is quite right.

    BTW I simply can’t wait for Palin to become the new face of the republicans. Their demise will be sealed. And the real conservatives know it!

  • Given that the nation is roughly equally split between supporters of each candidate — it seems a no-brainer that there must be radically different groups of “blue collar” workers out there.

    Who do you consider to be the “real conservatives”, Michael?

    It’s all very well to vaunt over the idea that an intellectual/political movement one dislikes is about to meet its demise — but honestly if conservatism could survive GOP nominees ranging from Nixon to Dole and progressivism could survive Democratic nominees like Mondale, Dukakis and Kerry, it would seem clear that lousy presidential nominees (if Palin were both nominated and lousy) are incapable of destroying a movement.

  • Please Catholic Anarchist. Real conservatives? You have as much of an ability to determine who is a “true” conservative as I do who is a “true” anarchist.

  • Seriously, when did Michael I. and Mark become the arbiters of conservatism (or western PA)?

  • You have as much of an ability to determine who is a “true” conservative as I do who is a “true” anarchist.

    Then I expect you will shut the hell up from now on?

  • “The question is: will she succeed in building up a viable mainstream political persona over the next four year…successfully going up against Meet The Press and other major venues….Right now I wouldn’t have a problem with her as number two, but she doesn’t strike me as having the gravitas to be a president.”

    Agree completely. I’m inclined to say it won’t work, but I’m open to be proven wrong. The GOP doesn’t have a very deep bench right now, although Jindal shows promise (if everything goes well in LA – a big ‘if’)

  • -Then I expect you will shut the hell up from now on?-

    Did your mama raise you to talk like that?

Sarah's Going Rogue

Sunday, October 26, AD 2008

See here and here.

I’m perfectly fine with that… maybe she’s not the hope for the future of populist conservatism that many believe she is or was, but I’d rather have her in the mix than not. And while she certainly bears some responsibility for some of her poor performances in interviews, an equal amount goes to the campaign for mishandling those aspects of her rollout.

(HT: Rod Dreher.)

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14 Responses to Sarah's Going Rogue

  • Sarah’s biggest problem is that she does not know how much of an amateur she is…and how much she does not know…

    And a reformer?

    Maybe in an artificial ‘reality-tv’ show…probably her next destination…if not Faux Noise…

  • Naturally I disagree, Mark. 🙂 I think Sarah is well aware of how much she doesn’t know… I just think the whole prep process for her rollout was bungled by the campaign.

  • What is her appeal…sexually-charged bigotry, demagoguery and anti-intelectualism?

    Oh..I know..she’s pro-life…as her trophy baby proves…

  • Mark, let’s focus on one thing: the charge of anti-intellectualism. Not being an intellectual isn’t the same as being anti-intellectual. Nor is disdain for *some* intellectuals the same as anti-intellectualism.

  • You know Obama is not such an intellectual. Have you ever seen him for something he hasn’t reheased for (the debates) or without a pre-written speech? He stutters for days, he can’t find words, and he really reminds me of George Bush.

  • Is it me or is it that ‘W’ doesn’t try nor care to work on his speech impediment(s)? It can get irritating sometimes… and I like the guy, but sheesh it does get irritating at times.

  • Mark needs to find another blog, more in tune with his thinking. Here’s one…

    http://brands.kraftfoods.com/koolaid/KoolSpace/

  • Mark,

    When this blog was started, you said, “I’m outta here!”

    Well, leave… I’m tired of your leftist-Koolaid drinking self.

  • Wingnut loons,

    So am I a socialist for believing in the progressive tax code we’ve had in this country over the past umpteen years?

  • So am I a socialist

    Wow, not only are you a vile partisan who makes disgusting comments about Palin, you obviously don’t have tremendous reading skills. No one actually called you a socialist.

  • No,

    it is your bigotry, demagoguery and anti-intelectualism that is not wanted here while you pretend to be Pro – Life.

  • Mark,

    You wouldn’t find random name calling with little relation to reality convincing if it was aimed at Senator Obama. Why do you think it woudl convince your opponents? Or are you just wanting to be unpleasant at the moment.

    You’re capable of reasonable discourse at time, but other times you just seem to want to cause trouble.

    And if you show up being offensive and trying to cause trouble, don’t get all surprised if you get rhetorically dogpiled.

  • To answer your question, Mark, yes you are “a socialist for believing in the progressive tax code…” Perhaps you’re not as committed a socialist true-believer as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles who made progressively punitive taxation of incomes a major demand of their Communist Manifesto (1848). Perhaps you’re a soft core socialist who lacks the courage to honestly admit and follow the convictions you proclaim. Still, you’ve announced that your allegiance is to the socialist program. To use a bit of the old time Marxist lingo, Mark you are objectively a socialist.

13 Responses to Culture of Life

  • Thanks for a good post on Palin. For what it’s worth, I seem to have been banned by Henry over at Vox Nova, because I dared to say that he had no evidence for his claims that Alaskans “realize they had been had with [Palin]; when looking for a way out of corruption, they got someone WORSE.” Oh well, it’s all for the best; commenting there is like trying to wrestle with a pig.

  • You are more than welcome to comment here SB.

  • Don Mac- ad multos annos to you and your homies. When I sniffed out at Dale’s blog that you were part of this dance party, I rejoiced. Your wisdom and uncompromising nature on All Matters Life-Oriented have always been of great admiration by me. May you and the boys continue to cry aloud and spare not. 48.5 million lost souls are counting on us.

  • High words of praise Gerard for which I thank you. I have always stood in awe of your skill in whipping mere words into elegant creatures of your will in comboxes! We will win the struggle for the unborn no matter how long the road or how uphill the fight.

  • Dear Donald,

    Please don’t t think ill of me for saying this, but Sarah hasn’t always been a friend to the “special needs” community.

    Shortly after she took office, she slashed the SN budget by 60%.

    Perhaps, blessing her with a special needs child of her own was God’s way of making her see that our children really do matter.

    Based on her change of heart, I’d say that His plan is working beautifully.

    Sincerely,

    Adonya Wong

    Author/Autism Warrior
    “In My Mind: The World through the Eyes of Autism” (Tate Publishing, 2008)

  • Actually Ms. Wong she didn’t. Here is the truth of the matter:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2008/09/newest_palin_smear_she_cut_spe.asp

  • Humorous post.

    My wife and I just had a kid yesterday under the Canadian system. Feel free to email me for details on what a “culture of life” really looks like. I’m willing to share.

  • Congrats on the new birth, Michael! Meant to say something at VN, but this works, too.

  • Congratulations on the child Catholic Anarchist! Kids, in my humble opinion, really do put so much zest in life! I know mine do, and I can say that even after my daughter, and youngest, tied with me in a “bowling for babies” event yesterday to raise funds for the crisis pregnancy center in my county. I figure that next year when she is 14 she will complete my humiliation on the bowling lanes!

  • What kind of sick mind dismisses this post as “humorous”?

  • Come on SB, give the Catholic Anarchist some slack. Anyone who can attempt to mix Catholicism and Anarchism with a straight face obviously is engaged in some sort of comedy enterprise that we in this frame of reality find difficult to comprehend.

  • What kind of sick mind dismisses this post as “humorous”?

    The humorous part is the insinuation that Sarah Palin is pro-life.

  • To insinuate that Palin is pro-life is not inherently any more humorous than insinuating that you are pro-life, Michael.

    You are in no lesser need (indeed, given the pride your studies give you — perhaps somewhat more) than far right wing pro-lifers of recalling that the definition of pro-life is not “agrees with me on every conceivable issue”.

What Palin Reads

Tuesday, October 14, AD 2008

Some may recall that there was an episode of media hysteria a couple weeks ago over fears that the GOP vice presidential nominee couldn’t read — based upon Governor Palin’s failure (or refusal) in an interview with Katie Couric to name magazines and newspapers that had “formed her worldview”.

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8 Responses to What Palin Reads

  • I hope you’re right. But the elitist in me still wishes she was able to name some magazine or thinker or journal she reads to inform herself. It’s not essential, but wouldn’t it be nice?

    At the time I imagined she was told not to say anything for fear of incriminating herself. But who knows, maybe she doesn’t read much. With 5 kids, it’s certainly understandable.

  • Exactly what magazines or journals produced by pagan modernity are worth basing one’s world views on? The Christianity that imbues works by CS Lewis and the life of George Sheehan is sufficient (and the ONLY thing on which we ought to base our world views). The great St. Paul was an apostle for Christ first and foremost, and a Roman secondarily. Liberal elitism that demands a pagan substitute for Christian virtues must be defeated – and in the end, it will be defeated, for we know the conclusion of the story – Christ wins, not some politician, left or right.

  • Zach,

    My impression from her picks (and how she described them) is that she is probably not an extensive or deep reader. I’d guess that like several Christian executive types that I know, she reads books and articles about Christian living (I’d bet she’s read Purpose Driven Life) and about her hobbies. She probably doesn’t read any particular newspapers or magazines all the time, but reads a lot of individual articles that get pointed out or emailed to her.

  • Ross Douthat has been on fire lately in his comments about the necessity of elites and the directions of anti-intellectual, populist party politics.

  • On fire he’s been, though I only agree with about half of what he has to say.

    I do certainly think that a party needs intellectuals (and to listen to its intellectuals — though I think many of the pundits streaming towards the exits of the conservative building have in fact failed, and long failed, to provide a coherent intellectual case for conservatism) but I’m not at all clear that the vice presidential or even presidential candidate need be intellectuals themselves.

  • I’ve been impressed with how swifty she has improved as the campaign has gone on. Her stump speeches are some of the best I’ve heard since Reagan rode into the sunset. She probably isn’t well read, but I believe she has a quick and agile mind. At 44 she is going to be a power in Republican politics and the nation for a long time to come.

  • But Darwin, certainly there is a difference between being an intellectual and being able to answer simple interview questions coherently. Palin’s inability to answer questions like ‘what kind of periodicals do you read?’ or ‘why have you cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia….?’ or questions on the bailout or Supreme Court cases suggested an ignorance deeper than ‘not being an intellectual.’ George Bush is no intellectual and he could have easily handled those questions.

    Douthat is simply acknowledging that Palin came across as woefully unprepared in those interviews. She has other talents, and, with time, she may develop her own voice and a coherent political philosophy. Nevertheless, she’s similar to a very talented high school basketball player at this point. She could be Kobe Bryant or she could be Kwame Brown.

  • Actually — it’s not so much Douthat’s assessment of Palin that I disagree with (I get the impression he’s still basically rooting for her but feels she was pulled national four years too early, which may be true) but his assessment of the important of figures like David Brooks and George Will and Christopher Buckley in the wider conservative movement. While I agree with Douthat that the movement needs its intellectuals, I don’t think those are necessarily important ones for the movement (nor that their departure on this campaign or even permanently is a bad sign) because I don’t think they agree with the modern conservative movement on many key issues.

Sarah Palin and Small Town America

Monday, October 13, AD 2008

When Sara and I were working through our marriage preparation last fall, Fr. Gallinger warned all of us that we should make sure to have the marriage license ready before the ceremony. After all, there’s nothing like reaching Saturday and finding out that the courthouses are closed. I assume this is a general cautionary for people getting married elsewhere, for he continued in a humorous vein: “Of course, in Wyoming, if you can’t get into the courthouse, you know someone who knows someone who has the keys to let you in.”

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One Response to Sarah Palin and Small Town America

  • Dear Ryan,
    Very good!! I was amused by the small town “keys of the courthouse”:) story. I think you may be right about the small town factors. I like living in Wyoming, too.
    Take good care.
    Sincerely yours,
    Lisa
    p.s. Because of your giving me the Catholic websites, I realized that it was the debate tonight, and I ran over to the Newman Center and saw the entire final presidential debate. Thank you so much for that!

Palin On Abortion In Johnstown, Pennsylvania-October 11

Saturday, October 11, AD 2008

For years pro-lifers have dreamed about a national candidate who is not only pro-life, but who actually talks about it, and not just to pro-life groups.  We have such a candidate in Sarah Palin.  Here is the text of the relevant portion of her remarks at a rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania today:

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13 Responses to Palin On Abortion In Johnstown, Pennsylvania-October 11

  • One of my favorite quotes from Governor Palin:

    “as defenders of the culture of life”.

    One of the most despicable quotes I’ve heard from Senator Obama:

    “punished with a baby”

    This is the far left position that Senator holds that can be summed up nicely by the late “Senator Moynihan, a Democrat, described partial-birth abortion as “too close to infanticide.” Barack Obama thinks it’s a constitutional right, but he is wrong.”

    For a full disclosure, I’m voting for the McCain/Palin ticket.

    With that, I believe this rally today is the turning point of the election right now for the Pro-Life ticket to pull ahead of the Pro-Abortion ticket for the POTUS.

  • If McCain wins, and in the teeth of adverse polls I believe he still has a decent chance, it will be because he was dragged across the finish line by Sarah Palin.

  • Donald,

    I have no delusions of the predicament that the McCain/Palin ticket find themselves in. I agree, if McCain wins, it’s because Palin dragged him across the finish line.

    Regardless of the outcome, we need to remember not to make the mistake of nominating McCain (of course if we can nominate the Democrat, we would try, but it isn’t happening because of the party’s embrace of the culture of death). We should definitely follow up with Palin as a nominee. And ram it through the primaries in 2012.

  • I’m really glad to see some solid words out of Palin on this topic. Goodness knows, if there is someone who has the standing to say them, it is she. And I hope they win — though if the stock market doesn’t stabilize fast I don’t see how it’ll happen.

    But I’ve got to admit that I’m not clear yet how Palin would be as presidential material. We’ll have to see how she develops on the national stage over the next four or eight years — win or lose.

    Certainly, we’re desperately short of solid conservative talent on the national scene right now, but right now she strikes me more as a potentially solid number two than top of ticket material.

  • What if…..Palin were Catholic? Would she have been in this? And if still chosen, how roasted would she have been? A pro-life Catholic candidate would not be allowed…..? As far as ever being #1, who’s in support would be the deal maker or breaker.

  • -What if…..Palin were Catholic? Would she have been in this?-

    That is an interesting question. I think the answer is absolutely not. There is no way any candidate would have picked a pro-life Catholic to run with him. Palin’s selection was surprising enough, but a pro-life Catholic would suggest the “bowing to Rome”, which would drive away liberals as well as conservatives.

  • Actually two pro-life Catholics were seriously considered for Veep: Governor Jindal of Louisiana and Senator Brownback of Kansas. Jindal is quite impressive, only 37, and I think he will ultimately be not only the GOP
    nominee for President, but will one day hold that office. A Palin-Jindal or Jindal-Palin ticket would be my idea of political heaven!

  • Criticism of Senator Obama’s record on abortion is needed, but we also need pro-life leaders who can effectively negotiate the twists and turns of politics in their representation of the unborn and who will make building a culture of life a top priority. We need pro-life leaders who will give the life issues the kind of attention that President Bush has given to terrorism and the Iraq War. How precisely would a McCain/Palin administration defend the unborn when faced with a Democratic controlled congress and a culture that largely celebrates choice? What priority would they give to ending abortion?

  • Donald,

    That would be the strongest ticket ever! I pray for that day!

  • This is one of the many reason this woman rocks!!!!!!!!!

    http://michellemalkin.com/2008/10/16/your-spirit-lifter-of-the-day/

Reagan in a Skirt

Monday, October 6, AD 2008

 

Michael Reagan has written how strongly Sarah Palin reminds him of his adoptive father Ronald Reagan.  I fully concur.  Palin is a political talent of the first order.  Here is my take on her performance in her debate with the hapless Joe Biden:

1. Palin brought home the fact that she and her family lead lives much closer to the lives of middle class Americans than any of the other candidates running on the national tickets, and in a year when Congress and the President have shrinkingly small approval ratings that is important.

2. She ignored some of the questions from the moderator and talked about what she wanted to talk about. Great!!! Political debates aren’t academic exercises, they are part of a political struggle and Palin, as opposed to Biden, understood that.

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