So You Want to be Vice President?

So. It's been awhile since I posted election stuff. So I may as well do that now that I was reminded of it.

As I'm sure everyone knows by now, Obama picked his running mate earlier this week. None other than supreme liberal gas bag himself, Joe Biden. Joe who I hear many of you saying? Yeah, before this election the only other thing I could have told you about him was his looney toons stance on Iraq. He's been one of the leading supporters of the surrender now policy of the hardcore Democratic left. As far as I'm concerned, that's enough to disqualify him outright. His being a tax and spend liberal is less than useful to us as well. But he fits Obama's policies perfectly and since Obama doesn't have clue #1 what he's doing, he needed to bring in someone he thinks does. Sorry, no pictures of Biden. That's just too scary to think about :)

McCain made his pick earlier today in Sarah Palin. Current governor of the state of Alaska. Why her? She's a pro-life, fiscal conservative with solid hard core true Republican values. Exactly what we need to bring the Republican party back to where it should be. A lot of us were looking at Romney, but it became clear this week that he was no longer in the running. The only other name I've heard at all is Tim Pawlenty and I haven't got the first clue who he even is. I've heard of Sarah Palin before because her name has come up as the one who finally put a stop to the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" pork project up in Alaska soon after she took office. A lot of people were mighty pissed off about that but she stood her ground and dealt with it. Obama, apparently scared to death of her, tried to launch an attack calling her a nobody mayor of a town of 9,000 people. Funny, I thought state governorship was something more myself. Then of course in classic liberal style he backpedaled from it when it blew up in his face. Her fiscal experience combined with her conservative base appeal makes her a good compliment to McCain. I can see only good things coming from this.

One way or another, history will be made this election. There's no doubt about that.
.........................
RIP United States of America

July 1776 - November 2012.

       
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Posted on Aug 29, 2008 10:24 pm by Samson in: | 28 comment(s) [Closed]
Comments
I am excited about the choice of Palin. I've been keeping my eye on her for about 6 months now. And have been hoping she would be the VP pick ever since she sued the Federal Government about the Polar Bear extinction act. A good pick and has just made me look at the McCain ticket in a different light. I was honestly going to vote for Bob Barr before this (and then be afraid that obama would win...)

       
We shall see, but my initial reactions are fairly favorable, or at least as favorable as I can be to a social conservative. We seem to disagree on a fair number of issues, but every indication is that she holds the positions she holds because she really believes in them, and what's more doesn't let those positions blind her to doing her job in a fair and consistent manner, which is rare enough amongst politicians of any stripe.

I confess to being slightly worried about the resume, just as I am about Obama's, but my feeling is that both she and he have pretty good heads on their shoulders, and in any case, if we elected based on resume, both Obama and Palin have roughly the same amount of national-level governmental experience as Lincoln, which isn't a whole hell of a lot.

Am still somewhat in the dark about Biden. Will fix this.

       
It's funny, from her acceptance speach yesterday I was sort of thinking that she sounded a bit like Obama with a republican slant.. either way, I very much agree, this is going to definitely be a historical election with the outcome being either that we get our nation's first black president (*shudders at the thought of Obama and Biden in the White House*) or our first female Vice President. Overall, from what little I saw yesterday, and the even less I knew about her before that, I think McCain made a good call this time and while I, like so many others, really only vote for the President rather than his running mate, I think that this may help give McCain the edge he needed to regain in the polls.

       
On further reflection...

The worst I can say thus far about Biden is, his stance on Iraq is whack. I probably disagree with him on a few other things, but nothing disastrously so. We shall see.

As to Palin, I think the blogosphere is summing my further thoughts up well, which involves a good deal of WTF at the idea that a national security Republican, of all possible people, should pick as his running mate somebody who not only doesn't seem to have a stance on the war, but by her own admission doesn't even really know what the hell is going on. I find that sort of thing distinctly uninspiring in somebody who may well end up being President, depending on an election and the health of McCain. Say what you will about Obama and/or Biden, even if they're wrong, they've at least given the matter some thought.

I find that attempts by, oh, Fox News and Cindy McCain to handwave Palin's utter lack of foreign policy experience by saying that Alaska is next to Russia just a tad amusing, to say the least.

I find interesting, on the one hand, the fact that everybody's talking about Palin, nobody's talking about Biden.

I find interesting, on the other hand, or maybe just another hand (which I guess would make me some sort of Hindu deity for the number of arms, but I digress), what various people are saying this whole thing tells us about McCain and his decision-making process. Was she vetted well or not? Is McCain reckless as all hell, is he proving all of that "Candidate McCain" speechifying from the DNC correct? I dunno, but I find the debate interesting.

What I do not find interesting in the least, and in fact find to be somewhere far beyond the pale, is this whole "Did Palin REALLY have her kid with Downs, or is it really her teenage daughter's, who by the way is 17 and having another baby and a wedding to boot?" People, is this the best we can come up with? Is nothing sacred? Just STFU and get to the real issues, PLEASE.

...which would be one thing if it were your garden variety tabloid bloggers blathering about that story, but I find it really bizzare that people on the level of Andrew Sullivan, whose praise and criticism of Palin is otherwise reasonable, find themselves willing to step off the deep end on this one. Just...what the roo, guys?

And for our election humor:



And now for we await our possible RNC speeches. Yay politics.

Our people demand the comment preview.

       
Edited by Samson on Mar 22, 2010 4:26 pm
Nobody is talking about Biden because it's already all been talked to death. He's an anti-military liberal wackjob with no business in office. Then again, exactly the kind of person the media wants there. So talking about him is bad for business since they'd have to invent good things about the guy first.

They're interested in Palin because they're, as you already observed, looking for skeletons in her closet. We all have them. She's likely no different. But it's her principled stand on things liberals hate and so they're going to spend their time between now and November doing the best job they can do to make her out to be naive, inexperienced, and morally bankrupt. Except her record speaks volumes about how that's simply not true. If the media spent even 1/3 of the time digging for the same kind of dirt on Democrats they'd never run out of skeletons to talk about, and they'd find out none of them have the records to back up any of the lies they spew forth.

And the people can demand comment preview all they want. They'll just have to wait for it, if it ever comes :)

       
He's an anti-military liberal wackjob with no business in office.


Samson, your brilliant argument style has totally convinced me. I must vote the McCain-Palin ticket immediately!

Biden is, after all, the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and by all accounts has excellent knowledge of foreign affairs. Being a Democrat does not necessarily entail a loss of allcritical cognitive functions. ;)

       
...so the whole "Obama may be a Muslim terrorist!" and "OMG, Obama's pastor!" things, much less everything Bill Clinton ever went through in the media were...what, exactly?

On that list of "Things I am interested to know about", the question of Palin being for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it, as the saying goes. But.

But on that media note, I think this says everything I feel like saying about Palin and experience, although I think it actually says more about John McCain and his campaign:



Which is a live CNN interview. Which I think maybe restored some of my faith in broadcast journalism. Just a little.

       
Edited by Samson on Mar 22, 2010 4:26 pm
@Regina: Biden is the head of that committee because Nancy Pelosi wanted him there. Not because he's got what it takes to actually be qualified to be there. So you'll forgive me if I don't accept the media puffing him up to look good. :)

@Dwip: Well I don't know what new sources you're watching, because last I checked, Fox, and all the other talk radio shows I listen to don't play the "Barrack Huseein Obama" game. The crackpots do, but I don't listen to crackpots. Much as it might seem I do. That said, his muslim roots are an issue since that's part of his family history and plays into issues with his pastor as well. If the Dems want to make issue of who a candidate's parents are, then Obama is as much fair game as anyone else and we should be allowed to raise issues about it too.

Obama's pastor is a legitimate issue since the guy tried to claim he didn't know his pastor was that volatile and all that, yet had been attending Trinity Baptist for what? 20 years? You can't claim ignorance for that and get away with it. Except in the liberal media who refused to investigate it until Fox, the radio guys, and the blogosphere blew it open. Then suddenly it found its way to the local evening news for a couple of nights as a low key "oh, by the way" kind of story.

Bill Clinton brought everything that happened to him on himself. That's what happens when you go around sexually harassing women, raping them, and hiring contract killers to take people out who have information on you. I feel no sympathy for a thug.

And all I'm going to say about the CNN thing is if they want to discuss Palin being ready to step up as president, perhaps they should remove the rather large and ugly banner mentioning that her daughter is pregnant from the screen while they're doing it. Is the interview about her daughter or about Palin's experience? And it seems pretty weak to play that card when Obama is as inexperienced as they come. He's never done anything other than getting elected Illinois senator in 2004. No executive experience whatsoever.

       
You checked wrong wrt Fox, and 30 seconds of checking got me this:



Which, the YT guy's obvious bias aside, is a CNN clip. The Fox name check is about 3 minutes in, but the whole is pretty worth hearing, though of course at this late date we know all this.

Or we could just go straight to Fox:
'
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,245582,00.html'

Which sure seems to be, I dunno, talking about madrassas and blaming it on Hillary Clinton.

The pastor thing was actually good for at least two weeks of coverage. A lot.

And now as ever there's scant point in discussing Clinton with you, so.

My point is, it's not particularly hard to find the supposedly liberal media digging into skeletons in Dem's closets, witness Obama, witness Hillary Clinton, and if you want to go back about a decade, to when Bill Clinton's skeletons were all anybody ever talked about. There's a further point here about how they'll do it to any celebrity, from OJ to Paris Hilton, because for whatever reason people care, but they're pretty equal opportunity sharks in the media, and Dems bleed just as red as Republicans, oddly enough.

Now, as to Palin, since you're unable to look past a news ticker the reporter had no control over to hear the actual question, which is "Isn't it just a little bit ridiculous to blast Barack Obama for having no real foreign policy experience while maintaining that you offer all the solutions, then turn around and throw up somebody who has even less? And isn't it just a little ridiculous to talk about how the job of the VP is to be ready to step into the President's shoes at any time, and then pick as your VP somebody who manifestly isn't?"

I'll go find you some Republicans saying the same damn things if you want, because the questions aren't so much liberal or conservative as they are fair questions. And the answers to both of them pretty much have to be a resounding "Yes!" especially when you consider that the Republican Party is chock full of people who have all sorts of things to say about foreign affairs. As to Palin, well:

This, for starters, which is Andrew Sullivan linking to a Palin interview from about a year ago:
'
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/08/palin-on-iraq.html'

The takeaway bit is that if your entire expertise on the subject comes from what you heard on the news, that pretty much automatically makes me just as much if not more informed, which is...yeah.

Or, from a couple weeks ago, here's Matt Yglesias linking to a Time interview, the audio of which has Palin showing a decided lack of correction on that whole "I don't know much about the subject" subject. Surge what? Bush negotiates timetables with Iraqis what?
'
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2008/08/palin_on_iraq.php'

Again, the bloggers don't matter at all here except insofar as they're transmitting things Palin actually said, which things do not fill me with great enthusiasm. Say what you will about what both Obama and Biden have said about Iraq and the GWOT in general, and believe me, I'm not really an Obama fan here, and I think Biden's just flat out wrong, but at least they've actually thought about the issue.

If you look hard enough, you start getting to other questions, too - was she for the Bridge to Nowhere before she wasn't, which undermines the anti-corruption thing? In good with Ted Stevens? Former member of a fringe secessionist party in Alaska in the 90s? I care about these things a little, yes, but...ok, look. If you're a fan of involved VPs who take an active hand in Getting Stuff Done, and say whatever you want about Gore and Cheney, they were that VP, both with an active history of actually thinking about important issues relevant to the country. And again, say whatever you will about Biden, he shows every sign of fitting that particular mold.

Palin, well, do I need to dig up a YouTube of her saying she hasn't got a clue what the VP even does day to day?

Again, look. I'll forgive a whole lot of lack of resume, presuming there's a fair dose of active intellectual curiosity on the candidate's part about the issues of our time. McCain has resume and that curiosity. Biden about the same. Obama hasn't got much of a resume, but he has the curiosity in spades. Palin? What's Palin got? As best I can tell, despite the best efforts of Fox News and Cindy McCain to assure me that Palin has foreign experience because Alaska is next to Russia, the answer to all of this is "absolutely nothing."

And in the party that gave us, well, John McCain among others, I find that more than a little sad.

I am again leaving entirely aside whatever this pick tells us about John McCain, a subject which I am still pondering.


Now, on an entirely different note, we've had this discussion before, and I'm sure we'll have it again, but if you wanted to discuss, say, my actual points instead of my random throwaway comments, that might be helpful. Doing so in a fashion that gave an honest hearing to sources would be even better. As a free hint, John McCain or pretty much anybody at all giving me some concrete details about Palin's actual foreign policy experience would be nice.

...I wonder if, given all these links, this will go through. Guess we're about to find out.

       
Edited by Samson on Mar 22, 2010 4:27 pm
Just to continue to make my point:

Here is that whole CNN evisceration of a McCain spokesman over Palin's utter lack of anything remotely related to foreign policy experience video, only this time without offensive ticker bar statements. Or are we not listening because it's CNN? I can never tell.

And here is a nice quote from a Major General in the AKNG who I would expect to know something about the subject, nicely proving the point by saying that outside of Alaska, everything is under federal control. Which is indeed how I understood the process to work.

But anyway.

       
Which sure seems to be, I dunno, talking about madrassas and blaming it on Hillary Clinton.


Maybe she shouldn't have brought it up then and there would have been nothing for Fox to dig up? And if you think about it, perhaps this is the reason Obama has declared Palin's family life off limits. It's a bit hard to point fingers at someone when your own past is at least as colorful, if not more so. If Palin's worst failing is that her daughter is a rebellious teenager who did something stupid and got pregnant at 17 then I feel pretty good about the whole thing. It's a hell of a lot less discomforting than Obama's childhood combined with the folks he hung out with at that church for 20 years. The Nation of Islam does not bring me comfort in a potential world leader.

So what if Palin has no foreign policy experience. That never seems to matter to the dems. Carter, Clinton, Clinton, Gore as VP, and yes, GW Bush too, then Clinton again... are you sensing the pattern here? We've had a lot of leaders who have had little to no experience with it. Obama has less than most. He doesn't even have executive experience. And yet, if he manages to win, he's not a heartbeat AWAY from the office, he's IN the office. So are you truly telling me that you're willing to accept someone with no foreign policy OR executive experience with a very questionable past and some very uncool associations JUST because you don't like McCain?

McCain may not have executive experience but he's been in the Senate for as long as most of us have been alive. He's not an anti-military short sighted tax and spend liberal like Obama who's only concern is how much welfare can he give to more and more illegals. He's not an appeasement first surrender now person like Biden. His foreign policy experience was gained firsthand in active combat duty.

So far all I've seen coming from the left are arguments about how old McCain is, and that he picked a bimbo for a VP. This is what you call serious debate?

       
1. That whole reminder about arguing the arguments I've made, as opposed to the arguments I didn't make.

2. That other reminder that I am not, and you should very well know this by now, "the left", and have my own share of criticisms about them.

That aside:

- I haven't talked about not liking McCain pretty much at all, because in a lot of ways I actually DO like the man, and what's more I can respect him. I don't always AGREE with him, mind you, but for the most part I can feel fairly ok about the man.

...except in regards to Palin. With her, I feel like they're taking the Republican Party's long-held, rather well-deserved reputation for foreign policy expertise, and not so much throwing it out the window as launching it out the window with a catapult. I furthermore find it bizzare that after all this talk of experience and judgement on McCain's part, his VP pick is somebody he barely knows, by all accounts impulsively picked, and somebody who has less state and national experience (and a lot less national experience) than any other candidate.

But then, I'm not anything like a social conservative, which is who she's supposed to appeal to, I guess, nor am I a woman, which is I guess also who she's supposed to appeal to. So there's nothing there.

I've noted you've left Reagan off of your "lacks experience" list. As he has less time in elected office than Bill Clinton, well. But that's not actually my point. I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Yes, resume is important, and if that were our sole qualification, we'd be looking at a McCain vs Biden race, which we are not. And yes, McCain does have significantly more experience with everything that matters than Obama does, and personally, I'm taking that into consideration. But, and this is important, in the absence of sufficient resume, and, hell, even with that resume, you should always look for signs of deep thinking about the issues at hand. Which, be he right or wrong, I find ample evidence that Obama has done.

What I don't find is that Sarah Palin has done so on significant issues such as Iraq at all, ever, and that is of concern to me. I can't say that's a deal breaker in and of itself, but it bothers me a whole hell of a lot.

Finally, I will say this for Obama, and that is that he has repeatedly attempted to take a high road in this election, and not resort to petty personal attacks. I don't think he's always succeeded, but at least he's trying, and I give him some credit for saying what he did about Palin's daughter, because it was the right thing to do. He made a strong, principled stand on the issue, and I applaud him for it, and I think we'd all be better off if all parts of both sides stuck to that. Of course neither side will, witness the madrassa ridiculousness contrasted with the Palin's daughter ridiculousness, but hey, at least he's tried.

       
Well I'm not sure why you think McCain barely knows Palin or why the Republicans are making a mistake in her, but she's been fairly well known as a solid fiscal and social conservative on the issues for years. Many of us have mentioned her name before for her principled stands on the issues she's faced.

I left Reagan off the list of those with a lack of foreign policy experience for a reason. And now I see you're switching the argument again to something it wasn't before. Regan was governor of California. The world's 5th largest economy. By its very nature many have said that governing California provides plenty of foreign policy experience even if it's just trade, economics, and immigration issues. You also can't ignore his previous years serving with the military. Even though it was with the film unit they did plenty that exposed him to the politics, cultures, and beliefs of several nations. So while Clinton have have been governor of Arkansas longer than Reagan was governor of California, nobody considers Arkansas a hotbed of foreign interaction.

Now, you're back on what Obama has and hasn't thought about. You're implying that somehow McCain must not be thinking about the same. But who stood by the surge even when others were calling it an utter failure (Biden)? Who had the guts to say we needed MORE than what Bush was considering committing? While all the dems were hollaring surrender, retreat, withdraw, McCain stood up and said NO, we are there to win and nothing less is acceptable. Turns out he was dead right the whole time.

I am also finding it very interesting that suddenly a whole lot of people are comparing Obama to Palin. Last I checked, Palin isn't running for president, McCain is. But then I am not surprised. The media can't mount a legitimate attack on McCain so they have to pick on someone else to try and prop up Obama's image without at the same time focusing attention on Biden's own ineptness.

       
And another post so as I can talk on some tangents.

I think one of our big problems, as a nation and as a pair of political parties is, we're all still fundamentally talking about the same set of issues we were 10 and 20 years ago. Which means that most people of voting age have already made up their minds one way or the other, and so all we have left is this ridiculous sniping where all the Republicans are soulless minions of evil who gun down babies while piping crude oil into the oceans, and all the Democrats are pinko liberal whackjobs who want to let the evil Chinese-Mexican consortium take over the country while they hold gay orgies under their Che Guevara posters.

Which we rationally know is not the truth, crazies on both sides notwithstanding, but sometimes I wonder if we all got the memo on that.

To again give him credit, I think Obama really, truly does want to be the guy that moves us past all of that. I don't think he's going to succeed, but I think really wants to do it. I think the McCain of old really, truly had that chance, too. I am unsure of the McCain of today. Given Palin, I am even less sure. What I can be sure about is that the second Era of Good Feelings is not just around the corner.

Either way, the debates should be good fun. I think the RNC will, too, if it gets itself going like it's supposed to. We'll see.

Also, as a brief exercise, let us ponder the resumes, via Wikipedia, of all those people you listed, plus Reagan, plus GHW Bush for the sake of completeness, plus our current slate of P/VP candidates. No point to be had here, I'm just curious.

Carter: US Navy Officer, ~7 years; Georgia State Senator, 2 years; Governor of Georgia, 4 years; President, 4 years. [17 total, 10 in office]
Reagan: US Army Reserve, ~8 years; Governor of California, 8 years; President, 8 years. [24 total, 16 in office]
GHW Bush: US Navy Officer, 2 years; US Congressman, 4 years; UN Ambassador, 2 years; Director of CIA, 1 year; Vice President, 8 years, President, 4 years. [17 total, 15 in office]
Bill Clinton: Arkansas Attorney General, 2 years; Governor of Arkansas, 11 years, President, 8 years [19 total, 19 in office]
GW Bush: US Air Force Reserve Officer, 5 years; Governor of Texas, 5 years; US President, 8 years. [18 total, 13 in office]

Gore: US Army, 2 years; US Congressman, 8 years; US Senator, 8 years, Vice President, 8 years. [26 total, 24 in office]
Hillary Clinton:: First Lady, 8 years; US Senator, 8 years (by inauguration date). [16 total, 8 in office] (you could also argue her years as Arkansas First Lady, but.

McCain: US Navy Officer, 23 years; US Congressman, 8 years; US Senator, 22 years (by inauguration date). [53 total, 30 in office]
Palin: Wasilla City Council, 4 years; Mayor of Wasilla, 6 years; Chair, Alaska Oil/Gas Conservation, 1 year; Governor of Alaska, 2 years. [13 total, 13 in office, 3 in state office]

Obama: Illinois Senate, 7 years; US Senate, 4 years (by inaguration date). [14 total, 14 in office]
Biden: New Castle County Council, 2 years; US Senate, 36 years. [38 total, 38 in office, 36 in national office]

I've left out anything that wasn't some form of elected or appointed office. Which cuts down on a fair number of people's time doing Important Things, notably GHW Bush's.

Note various qualitative differences in percieved experience, here. Reagan and Gore were both enlisted, though Reagan later became an officer. The others were all combat arms officers, with both McCain and GHW Bush being, you know, war heroes and all that.

I went ahead and included Hillary's time as US First Lady but not her time as the same thing in Arkansas. I was also generous and included Palin's and Biden's local government time, although Biden has a 36 year Senate record to make up for it, while Palin...doesn't so much.

Hadn't realized Gore spent that much time in office. Oi.

Either way, I'll hazard the guess that to get this much experience in one person anywhere on a ticket, you'll need to go back to Nixon or Johnson to get it, but I haven't the time to check just now.

       
Governor Palin has more executive experience than McCain, Biden and Obama put together. She's a Christian creationist, pro-life, pro-gun, pro-capital punishment, rejects anthropomorphic global warming, a budget slasher and doesn't tolerate corruption. Too bad she isn't the top of the ticket. Furthermore I can't help but notice her uncanny resemblance to Wonder Woman. Brilliant pick.

       
I really don't think there's any value in counting someone's time as First Lady to mean much of anything. By that logic Laura Bush is more qualified to be president than Obama :)

BTW, someone out there had this McCain-Palin ticket pegged back in January. Do a whois on the mccainpalin.com domain and see for yourself.

       
Well I'm not sure why you think McCain barely knows Palin


Because you can barely go 3 inches on the internet right now and not read about how McCain met her for the first time in...January, I think, and then not face to face until last Thursday, and what's more, there's some question as to if she got vetted last Wednesday, or even at all. (The latter being representative of many other articles saying the same thing)

I think it somewhat obvious that he knows her a lot less well, in any event, than, say, any of the Senate names that were tossed about, or than Obama knows Biden. I'm not saying that's a really huge thing, certainly not as huge as the whole foreign policy thing, but it does make John McCain look...really impulsive, to say the least. Which I am moderately unsure I want in my leader.

or why the Republicans are making a mistake in her, but she's been fairly well known as a solid fiscal and social conservative on the issues for years. Many of us have mentioned her name before for her principled stands on the issues she's faced.


Oh, I've heard her name too, actually, I just never bothered to really pay attention. The last few days have been pretty informative, and, well, where do I even start here? Without going into the whole daughter thing that I still think people need to STFU on, we have:

- Issues with that whole fiscal reformer image, including the Bridge to Nowhere and being for it before she was against it, as the saying goes. And not that I'm really up on the whole Ted Stevens thing, although on the face of it holy crap, but it seems maybe not so good to have run a fundraising campaign for the guy.

- And if we're going to be talking about who people associate with, let's just be a little concerned with the idea that her husband (not her neighbor like Bill Ayers, and not her pastor - although it would appear that hers is saying some whacked stuff too), was a member of the AIP, which is a fringe secessionist group. Which, correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't secession, like, treason?

...what's that, you say? 360,000 dead Union soldiers and the bloodiest war in US history say that it, well, kind of is?

That Palin seems to be a little friendly with them does not fill me with glee.

- And not that the whole far right Christian thing is exactly a problem for a lot of Republicans (quite the opposite in fact), it IS a problem for the rest of us who now get to take another look at McCain because of it. For me personally, it's a huge problem. But since this is one of those war to the knife things, I don't really expect to be understood on that.

I'm probably forgetting a few things, like the seemingly fanatic need for loyalty, or, oh, I don't know, saying how she has nothing to hide in that whole state police thing, then what's all this, then?

I keep saying there's a lot of reasonable Republicans out there, but I'm not seeing one in Sarah Palin, so much.

I left Reagan off the list of those with a lack of foreign policy experience for a reason. And now I see you're switching the argument again to something it wasn't before.


...what did I just now tell you about throwaway lines? Because I have no idea how to more clearly say that I'm not actually trying to argue anything about Reagan than to say "But that's not actually my point." Which last I checked meant that I am not attempting to make it part of my actual argument. Which, if you read it for comprehension is about the experience of people directly involved in the race. This race. In 2008.

And for further clarification, the following is a tangent. Unrelated to my actual argument, which is back up there, talking about why Sarah Palin doesn't fill me with joy.

Now. A couple of things. While I will grant you the Reagan as governor of CA bit, I will further note that, while I doubt it's equivilent, Bill Clinton actually did a fair bit (he's very proud of it in his book, believe me) to try and drag his state into the global economy. But again, not my point. I could even make the argument that Sarah Palin isn't in much of an international hotbed either, but enh, I think I made that point already.

That having been said...

You also can't ignore his previous years serving with the military. Even though it was with the film unit they did plenty that exposed him to the politics, cultures, and beliefs of several nations.


Really? Seriously? In a stateside unit? During a huge war that shut down international travel and who's impact on local cultures, militarily, was mainly concerned with finding enemy units and destroying them, which Reagan did not do? Making stuff that nowadays is seen as one dimensionally propagandic?

Reality, people. Reality.

Now, off the tangent, back to the actual 2008 argument.

Now, you're back on what Obama has and hasn't thought about. You're implying that somehow McCain must not be thinking about the same. But who stood by the surge even when others were calling it an utter failure (Biden)? Who had the guts to say we needed MORE than what Bush was considering committing? While all the dems were hollaring surrender, retreat, withdraw, McCain stood up and said NO, we are there to win and nothing less is acceptable. Turns out he was dead right the whole time.


Ok, maybe I haven't been clear on that, but yes, I think McCain HAS been thinking about the same issues. I just don't think Palin has, at all.

OTOH, you seem to have missed the fairly numerous IMs, blog posts on my own blog, and comments here and elsewhere about how, yeah, I agree with McCain on those issues, and that the Democratic stance on Iraq has bothered me, for years. Since you were there for pretty much every time I said anything about that, I'm a little confused, but there, now I've said it. Again. I suspect I'll have the opportunity to say a bunch more, either contrasting the two Presidential candidate acceptance speeches, or later come debate time. But.

I am also finding it very interesting that suddenly a whole lot of people are comparing Obama to Palin. Last I checked, Palin isn't running for president, McCain is. But then I am not surprised. The media can't mount a legitimate attack on McCain so they have to pick on someone else to try and prop up Obama's image without at the same time focusing attention on Biden's own ineptness.


I suspect the KISS answer is that, to the media, Palin's pretty new, and we've kind of talked Obama and Biden and McCain to death for the moment. Hence the, er, surge in coverage. I imagine it will equal out.

Too, most of what I've read is under the premise that you have to look at Palin, seriously, as somebody who could actually become President. Because, you know, McCain is a septigenarian former POW who, quite frankly, looks really damn tired every time I see him. Which I think is fair enough. And in any case, he's the only person in the whole race with a comparable resume. And if you're CNN, you further get to point out that Palin's lack of experience makes a laughingstock of everything McCain has ever said about experience and judgement.

Not that I can presume to speak for the whole media, here. For my own part, a few qualities I can get behind notwithstanding, Palin bothers the hell out of me on her own merits, or the demonstrable lack thereof.

Now, back in tangent-land:

Considering what Hillary did with her time as First Lady (remember that whole health care plan?), especially compared to Laura Bush (who is nice enough, but what has she actually DONE?), I'd say it counts at least as much as being mayor of a little roadside town (Palin) or Councilman of some county in Delaware (Biden). For your national experience that matters, I'd make the argument that it's easily of more use than the military experience of any of those other people I've listed except MAYBE McCain.

But Hillary's not really the subject here, now is she.

Speaking of whom, let us leave tangent-land one last time to pick up on a quote I forgot to pick up on yesterday:

His foreign policy experience was gained firsthand in active combat duty.


Really? Seriously? He learned everything he needs to know about, oh, the place of the United States in the world, how to treat with foreign leaders, diplomacy, international terrorism, things like that by...flying attack missions over countries in Southeast Asia from an aircraft carrier thirty some years ago? By being an isolated POW?

As opposed to, oh, I don't know, his long as hell Senate career? Where he actually had to deal with all of the issues I named?

Yeah, I dunno. Logic, man. Logic.

And before you think about going there, believe me, I'll be the first to celebrate McCain's time in the Navy. The heroism is obvious. Strength of character? Yes. I will even give you a fair amount of executive experience, doing really well leading a unit at a time when the entire US military was falling straight apart. Great things.

It's just, you know, a little bit of realism, here.

       
And while I wait for my real comment (which is very long and very full of links, woo!) to go through Akismet, I think this guy says everything what needs saying on the Bristol Palin issue.

       
The Washington Post clearly doesn't know their asses from holes in the ground because even in the material they quoted McCain has had Palin on the list from the beginning. So I don't know where they get the crazy idea that she only got vetted last week, or possibly never. That's just bad reporting if that's what they're really trying to say.

The fiscal reformer link lacks any details about what the hell they're talking about. That's not even a useful source of information other than rumor and speculation. Saying she asked for $300 per person is meaningless without knowing how much in total she asked for and for what purpose. They're trying to make it sound like she just flat out asked for a literal $300 per person in the entire state. Alaska has a population of 683,478 according to Wikipedia. That works out to $205,043,400. Wheras the article says Obama asked for over a billion, and they somehow managed to mention that's $24/person making it *SOUND* like much less but in reality the dollar amount is much MUCH higher. So I'm calling bullshit on this one.

On the "bridge to nowhere" you should have been able to pull the same bit of info I did, even out of that biased as hell smear article. She initially supported the project when it was sticking to its original budgeted amount of $223 million. But go back and read it again, when she pulled the plug just a year later, it was because the project had skyrocketed to $400 million. Now I'm no financial genius, but that smells bad. I'm also less than surprised that drunken spenders are the only people this paper seems to have found to interview for opinions 2 years after the fact. I call typical liberal bias on this one.

Condemning her for an association with Ted Stevens when it's not been proven he's actually done anything wrong reeks of, well, I don't know, but until such time as he's convicted of a crime I think it's premature to label her as corrupt because of having worked with him before. But when has due process ever been respected by the media?

For all the talk about fairness you like to preach, isn't it completely unfair to categorize a political party as an instrument of treason? Have you not forgotten that several states actually did secede from the Union before the first shots were actually fired - by the South if I recall correctly? I don't see anywhere here where the AIP is calling for violent secession. They're calling for a vote by the people to determine if Alaska even has the right to secede. Something I'm not sure the Constitution prohibits. That's a far cry from the treasonous act of launching a military attack against your own country. Talk about a terrible leap of logic.

RE: Youtube link. Would you have preferred she pull something more like "Fuck you people, you're all traitorous dogs and should be shot where you stand!"? Isn't that my exclusive domain? :)

The loyalty test article is entirely unsubstantiated. The writer's spin is clear as day. He's assumed from the outset that the asked them all to resign as a test of loyalty. No, I'd say more likely she asked them to resign because they were incompetent and she knew it. But that's neither here nor there. Without some kind of evidence to back it up, it's just piss in the wind.

So if you weren't trying to argue about Regan, why point out that I left him off the list? If you didn't want to go there, why did you? Now, if Palin isn't reasonable, who is? You repeat the "there are reasonable Republicans" line often enough but I don't recall you ever getting down to naming names, listing people, etc. Maybe you'd care to do so now? And I'm sure you can guess by now I'm satisfied with the choice, having been aware of her for a lot longer than you or apparently the liberal mainstream media. Helps to get information from more than such biased news sources :)

Addressing the Hillary tangent. You're seriously going to call her complete failure of a health care plan experience? As in foreign policy experience? That is the kind of experience we're still talking about, right? If not, then, uh... executive experience? No, still don't think so. and frankly if Bill was giving her that kind of access shouldn't we be calling his judgment into question? I don't recall it ever being listed that the First Lady is a real government position. It's a title at best, and they sure as hell shouldn't be getting involved in actual policy making. Advising their husbands perhaps, but actual policy making? No. And yes, I'm sure Laura has given George some advice too. Again, actual policy making. I don't recall her trying to spearhead an actual policy process other than giving support for things George wants done. [Waits for storm of links seemingly proving me wrong....]

Uh. Yes. I would seriously argue that McCain learned everything he needs to learn about the evil of Communist and totalitarian governments. Which covers 90% of southeast Asia s I recall. That counts for a hell of a lot more than Obama for sure. Remember, this race is about McCain running against Obama. Not Obama running against Palin, because the last I checked we weren't voting for Palin during the primaries. Though I can assure you if we had been I would have cast my vote for her then. And as much as I value McCain's time in the Senate, I'm hesitant to think that really means a hell of a lot in terms of foreign policy since the Senate's primary function is domestic issues. Obama and Biden certain demonstrate that being there doesn't make you a world diplomat.

And Akismet didn't hold up your post. It flagged it as spam and the blog held up the post. The Akismet process is virtually instantaneous, even if you can't exactly see that from your end :)

       
The Washington Post clearly doesn't know their asses from holes in the ground because even in the material they quoted McCain has had Palin on the list from the beginning. So I don't know where they get the crazy idea that she only got vetted last week, or possibly never. That's just bad reporting if that's what they're really trying to say.


My point there was that, depending on who you want to listen to, you have about three choices:

- Listen to the McCain campaign, in which case yes, she got, like, totally vetted! By the FBI! Except the FBI doesn't do background checks for campaigns, and...oh, we misspoke on that, sorry! But she still got totally vetted! Honest! And, really, why is the media making such a big deal out of this?

- Listen to the Post there, in which case yeah, they vetted her, but did such a piss poor job that the whole media is now doing it for us. And we've now had, what, a solid week of nothing but Palin scandals? Yeah, about that.

- Listen to the plethora of sources, of which my second link in that series is but one of a very many, who point out that like nobody in Alaska had any clue about any supposed vetting, including people you'd think either would've been asked, or would know. Which isn't altogether incongruous with the second option, but either way isn't what I'd call inspiring.

In either case, it's not like there's some deep working relationship here.

The fiscal reformer link lacks any details about what the hell they're talking about. That's not even a useful source of information other than rumor and speculation. Saying she asked for $300 per person is meaningless without knowing how much in total she asked for and for what purpose. They're trying to make it sound like she just flat out asked for a literal $300 per person in the entire state. Alaska has a population of 683,478 according to Wikipedia. That works out to $205,043,400. Wheras the article says Obama asked for over a billion, and they somehow managed to mention that's $24/person making it *SOUND* like much less but in reality the dollar amount is much MUCH higher. So I'm calling bullshit on this one.


I suggest you read a little harder for comprehension there.

We'll start with the factual innacuracy. The article clearly states that Obama asked for $1 billion over a THREE year period, not a ONE year period. What he asked for over a ONE year period was $311 million, which if you do the back of the envelope math works out to about $24 per person - actually $24.20 or so per person if you use Wikipedia's population numbers. So that's pretty consistant over a three year period on Obama's part.

Hell, per capita, the three year $1 billion divided per person Obama number is still about 20 cents shy of $78 per person.

The real point is this. Here you have a reform, spending cutting Republican governor for, you know, small government, in a state with 5% of the population of Illinois, asking for a hint shy of 2/3 the amount of money in a year as somebody who is supposed to be the most liberal person in the Senate (although that label gets traded a lot every time somebody needs to be dissed, but I digress) asked for.

The real point here is, if you take per capita numbers like this as a useful measurement between states or nations, as we have done for basically ever, the numbers for Alaska are ridiculous. Even if you cheat like mad and make Obama use his three year figure of a billion dollars, it STILL looks ridiculous for Alaska.

This utterly and completely ignores the fact that one of Palin's claims to fame is that she's supposed to be against earmarks in the first place. One of the hallmarks of Republican government is that we're all supposed to believe in small government. So why is Alaska using all of this Federal money?

Do I need to make this clearer? Because it's pretty obvious.

I think that this just makes my point a little more.

On the "bridge to nowhere" you should have been able to pull the same bit of info I did, even out of that biased as hell smear article. She initially supported the project when it was sticking to its original budgeted amount of $223 million. But go back and read it again, when she pulled the plug just a year later, it was because the project had skyrocketed to $400 million. Now I'm no financial genius, but that smells bad. I'm also less than surprised that drunken spenders are the only people this paper seems to have found to interview for opinions 2 years after the fact. I call typical liberal bias on this one.


It was one of a whole damn lot, to be sure. Again, the for it before she was against it is bad enough, but the real issue, to my mind, is that after canceling it, she kept the money.

I mean, I dunno, I'd think you'd return the money to the Feds instead of using it for whatever. But that may just be me. Again, earmarks, what? Reform candidate what?

As to the article itself, the article quotes a whole bunch of self-described Republicans saying most of this stuff. So hey, if Republicans are now liberals, who the hell is conservative enough to be a reliable source? And really, isn't that "The sources must be ideologically pure!" thing awfully, oh, I don't know, Communist?

Also, seriously. Just please stop using the word liberal, because I don't think it necessarily means what you want it to mean. And if you want to tell that the Republican National Convention, too, that would be a plus. If I ever get around to talking about the conventions I'll talk on this more, but you'd all seriously be a whole lot better off if you started talking about actual facts and positions instead of sticking your fingers in your ears and chanting "liberal liberal liberal!" a lot.

Just saying.

Condemning her for an association with Ted Stevens when it's not been proven he's actually done anything wrong reeks of, well, I don't know, but until such time as he's convicted of a crime I think it's premature to label her as corrupt because of having worked with him before. But when has due process ever been respected by the media?


Like I said, not a thing I'm totally up on myself, and there appears to be a complicated history there. Nevertheless, it looks odd to a lot of people who are not me, and who are much less forgiving than I am.

For all the talk about fairness you like to preach, isn't it completely unfair to categorize a political party as an instrument of treason? Have you not forgotten that several states actually did secede from the Union before the first shots were actually fired - by the South if I recall correctly? I don't see anywhere here where the AIP is calling for violent secession. They're calling for a vote by the people to determine if Alaska even has the right to secede. Something I'm not sure the Constitution prohibits. That's a far cry from the treasonous act of launching a military attack against your own country. Talk about a terrible leap of logic.


Ah...yes, actually, it is kind of fair to characterize it as such, or should I say the action of secession is, since, hey, I'm for about as much free speech as you want. At least as treasonous as half the penny ante BS that gets labeled as such by the right these days, but, yeah, ok. Look. This entire question got solved once and for all in 1865 when the Confederate States of America lost the war. And, well, you know, secession got to be treason, and all that. Last I checked that's still the case.

That aside, there's also a marked difference between actual illegality, and things that are both crazy and not at all comforting to have in a candidate. Similarly, the revelation that the party founder got murdered in a plastic explosive deal gone bad doesn't really help matters.

But again, if y'all are going to tar Obama with the Jeremiah Wright brush, it's just as fair to tar Palin with this one. It'd be even more poetic to tar her with the brush that her own pastor is ok with anti-Jewish terror, not to mention the not so awesome Jews for Jesus, but as best I can tell we have about as much evidence Palin actually believes that stuff as we do that Obama believes Wright, which is to say nothing. So I'll be sticking with the "weird fringe parties aren't cool" line.

RE: Youtube link. Would you have preferred she pull something more like "Fuck you people, you're all traitorous dogs and should be shot where you stand!"? Isn't that my exclusive domain? :)


Or just ignore them. It's not like they were holding a gun to her head saying "YOU MUST SEND A MESSAGE OF SUPPORT!" or anything. Like I said, it's not comforting, in much the same way that people with unrepudiated ties to the KKK are not comforting.

...you also forget that I get to have people shot, too. Also eaten by alligators. Muahahahahahaha!

The loyalty test article is entirely unsubstantiated. The writer's spin is clear as day. He's assumed from the outset that the asked them all to resign as a test of loyalty. No, I'd say more likely she asked them to resign because they were incompetent and she knew it. But that's neither here nor there. Without some kind of evidence to back it up, it's just piss in the wind.


Really? I don't even care about the liberal guy. Did you read that article image he posted? If it was a little unclear, try this one, which quotes Palin herself on the issue, said quotage basically supporting the allegation. And it's not like that's a sole source, either, merely the first or second one to hand at the time. Would you like some more? Would you like me to further bring up the librarian protests? I can.

Hell, I didn't even bring up the whole Troopergate thing. (aside to the media. Can we please stop affixing -gate to everything? It was awesome like twice. A little old now. Thanks.)

Again, reading for comprehension and facts. Not so hard, really.

So if you weren't trying to argue about Regan, why point out that I left him off the list? If you didn't want to go there, why did you?


Because I am given to making quick rhetorical asides, a fact which you ought to know about me after...not quite 13 years? Where does the time go? Anyway. In that case, to briefly raise the point that Reagan isn't exactly the most experienced person we've ever put into the office of President. Especially when you compare him to his own VP. We're talking about enough stuff here, I figured there was room for a little thing.

Now, if Palin isn't reasonable, who is? You repeat the "there are reasonable Republicans" line often enough but I don't recall you ever getting down to naming names, listing people, etc. Maybe you'd care to do so now?


In specific? John McCain is one of those people. Probably Giuliani, of the other presidential candidates. GHW Bush among others. As an Oregon resident I think we've done moderately ok with Gordon Smith. At 2am I don't particularly feel like going down the list of every Republican in the land, but I'll generalize a bit.

In general, there is a wing, albeit to my eyes a rapidly shrinking wing of the Republican party that concerns itself with things like fiscal policy and foreign policy over social policy, and those people can be worked with, as it was in the good old days before the alliance with the religious right.

On social policy, and that wing of the Republican party that concerns itself primarily with those issues, cannot be dealt with in any other fashion than war to the knife, primarily because they themselves have made it that way and are unable to discuss the issues anything like rationally. And that's a problem.

And, frankly, Sarah Palin is...I'll just quote Tyche here:

She's a Christian creationist, pro-life, pro-gun, pro-capital punishment, rejects anthropomorphic global warming, a budget slasher and doesn't tolerate corruption.


Barring the not quite truthful as I am proving budget/possible corruption issues, the Christian creationist and pro-life bits aren't features from my side of things, they're bugs. Guns? Capital punishment? Global warming? We can have reasonable conversations on those topics maybe 50% of the time. The other two, not so much. I've tried having that discussion more than once, and on a national level we've tried plenty of times, and it keeps failing because they can't let it succeed.

Addressing the Hillary tangent. You're seriously going to call her complete failure of a health care plan experience? As in foreign policy experience? That is the kind of experience we're still talking about, right? If not, then, uh... executive experience? No, still don't think so. and frankly if Bill was giving her that kind of access shouldn't we be calling his judgment into question?


As in experience with national issues. As in she acted in whatever capacity on the national stage, including a heavy role in putting that health plan together. As in, that is experience of a sort, dealing with issues affecting all Americans. I'm not saying it's McCain levels of experience, or even necessarily Obama levels of experience, but it's more national experience than being a mayor is going to get you, unless you're Rudy Giuliani.

And judgement? Well, I guess if was going to get advice on stuff, like, say, potential laws, asking my wife who is a lawyer about it seems like it might be a good idea. But hey, what do I know?

And honestly, I can't think of a single thing Laura Bush has done over the past 7 years. Take that as you will.

Uh. Yes. I would seriously argue that McCain learned everything he needs to learn about the evil of Communist and totalitarian governments. Which covers 90% of southeast Asia s I recall.


Really? Seriously? And SE Asia is the whole world? Because here, in 2008, International Communism is the primary threat to national security? And because flying attack jets from aircraft carriers gives you expertise in international Islamic terrorism? In dealing with our NATO and non-NATO allies, much less the UN? In talking to world leaders? In solving world economic issues, global disease issues, world hunger, that sort of thing?

Man, I knew we built awesome military hardware, but I guess I just didn't have any idea. Does this mean the F-22 Raptor is going to solve global warming and poverty, too?

Look, let's get real here. If it, for serious, took McCain until he got to Vietnam some ten years or so into his career to figure out that totalitarianism and Communism are bad, all that proves is that he's an idiot. And I know he's not an idiot. Because, well, really? These are not hard lessons to learn. Which, personally, I learned somewhere prior to 5th grade in elementary school. Granted I was a pretty smart straight-A kinda kid, but seriously here.

Foreign policy involves more than simply knowing the difference between good and evil. This is obvious to anyone who cares to pay attention to world affairs, much less anybody who has any sort of grasp of the history of diplomacy.

And, seriously, you're trying to argue an argument you didn't even need to make, when you could have simply noted that McCain has ridiculous amounts of foreign policy experience because he's been in the Senate since I was...about a year old, I think. Maybe longer.

But oh, wait. That would mean granting that his fellow Senator, Obama, might have actually done something during that time, even if it was manifestly less, which obviously it would have to be.

And...oh, wait. You haven't actually read the Constitution, or the Federalist Papers, or any of that, so you wouldn't actually know that one of the major duties of the Senate is foreign policy. Declaring war, ratifying treaties? Sound familiar at all? We have a Senate Foreign Affairs Committee that's sort of active, lots of Senators travel all over the world on fact-finding trips, things like that? Does any of this ring a bell? Because it really should. We're talking High School US Government stuff, here.

Remember, this race is about McCain running against Obama. Not Obama running against Palin, because the last I checked we weren't voting for Palin during the primaries.


Actually, as a registered independent, I don't get to vote in CT primaries, nor did I as an independent in OR, for that matter, but that's really besides the point - we're not voting for Obama and invisible VP versus McCain and invisible VP, we're voting for an Obama/Biden ticket versus a McCain/Palin ticket. And since one of the things about the VP is that they could be President at any time, and indeed that has happened several times in this nation's history, it makes just a little bit of sense to examine the VP candidates as potential Presidents.

Also, you may want to tell John McCain that, since he's been running ads comparing Obama to Palin with no mention of himself anywhere in there.

Re: Akismet - all I know is, blog told me I got flagged as spam by Akismet. So, yknow, a bit of shorthand referring to the situation.

       
Somehow this is all becoming quite confusing to follow, and I suspect its because you're folding back upon yourself. Or, it's because it's approaching 1am my time and it's just not best brain power time.

Washington Post said:

Last weekend, two campaign officials told The Washington Post that the background investigation of the finalists included an FBI check of any possible ongoing criminal investigations. That information was incorrect. A knowledgeable official said Tuesday that the vetting team had hoped to run such a check but that FBI officials declined to do so because that type of inquiry is reserved for people nominated for senior administration jobs. The official also said the FBI was uncomfortable providing the information to a political campaign, rather than to government officials.


Notice the problem here. It's clear upon reading between the lines that ye olde Post picked two random boobs who heard a rumor or something that the FBI was going to do background checks. Maybe it was 1am their time when the Post called to ask? I don't know. But seriously, they obviously were not the right people to ask. Office rumor mills being what they are, these people may have overheard part of a conversation and relayed information out of context. Of course, the Post being the Post, they ran with it and had to correct themselves later. Hence why they came back with the whole knowledgeable official who told them in pretty clear terms that they wanted to run FBI checks but the FBI said no way.

Dwip said:

So why is Alaska using all of this Federal money?


You might try looking into a lot of what makes Alaska Alaska. There's a whole slew of benefits that were setup from the beginning in which people who move there and live there for a year or longer get all these weird federal grants and such. I'm not going to bother hunting it all down right now because, well, I figure if I know about it surely you must. But I could be wrong, so if need be I'll look it all up later. But I'd say offhand that perhaps Alaska is using all their federal money the way their existing federal grants mandate it be used. And you do know that once a handout is given it's damn hard to take it away again. Political suicide and all that. Palin is a politician after all and I doubt she wanted to lose an election by campaigning to revoke all that stuff. She may not even have the authority to end it anyway.

All of this grant stuff likely figures in to why the biased article only bothered to mention $300/person as though it was horrible and evil. I'm betting they didn't look into the details nor even consider that she may not be allowed to cut those benefits. Last I checked Illinois has no such programs in place so it makes me wonder just why Obama needed all that money. I'm also left to wonder if a detailed breakdown of just what was asked for wouldn't shed better light on it all. You'll note the media didn't bother to do that for us, which would have helped. No, they were after the outrageous headline knowing full well most people won't even get into it at the level we have here. They'll simply see $300/person and be outraged by it, whereas they'll see $24/person in Illinois and be outraged that it's not fair and equal. Except they won't say why isn't Alaska only getting $24, they'll be whining about why Illinois isn't getting $300 too.

I think that this just makes my point a little more.


Christ. So you're going to condemn her based on one dumbass scribble in the margin where she mentions that it doesn't even cover the airport funding? Do you have any evidence to back up that it was an earmark and not a legally obtained grant funded by the FAA ( as is normal btw )? And while we're on the subject, do I hear a shout out about Obama getting an earmark for Michelle's hospital and then seeing her salary skyrocket? Oh, wait, no, because he's the guy you support. I get it :) And um... again... isn't McCain running against Obama? Maybe dig up some dirt on him and go toe to toe, candidate to candidate. I notice nobody daring to put up Biden against Palin, could it be because Biden is even worse than Obama and they just don't want that kind of exposure? If Palin securing money for a small town project is a bad thing, maybe we should start digging up the things Biden secured while he was county supervisor or whatever it was. Or perhaps we can go trolling through his abuse of earmarks while in the Senate? It's all well and good to hold people accountable, isn't it? So lets hold Obama and Biden accountable while we're at it. We all know where McCain stand on issues like this and his record speaks loudly about it, which is likely why it's not being dragged into all this.

It was one of a whole damn lot, to be sure. Again, the for it before she was against it is bad enough, but the real issue, to my mind, is that after canceling it, she kept the money.


So do we know if the Feds wanted it back? Do we know if she asked if they'd like it back? Do we know if she was legally obligated to give it back? No. Because the press article stopped with "she kept the money" as you put it. I don't think I need to keep going over this, but the press is very deeply biased in favor of the left and Palin is decidedly not on the left. There are plenty of studies. Larry Elder and Bill O'Reilly discuss them regularly, with media people even. They've admitted it in live radio interviews that millions of people listened to. All the proof of liberal media bias is out there if you'd care to look. That's why I don't rely on the NBC Nightly News or the Los Angeles Times as sole sources. It's why I visit Fox News, listen to talk radio, read blogs, and hell, actually talk to real live people in the real live world. Shocking, I know. Coupled with personal experiences that simply don't jive with what the left claims to be the truth of the majority. So no, you'll have to excuse me if I don't accept bits and pieces of 10 year old one-sided news stories with little or no research done as some kind of hard truth.

And liberal in this sense means exactly what I want it to mean. I get much amusement out of how it doesn't mean what liberals want it to mean anymore, which is why you find them calling themselves "progressives" now instead. But O'Reilly has a nice name for them too "secular progressives" and it fits. They're still trying to brand themselves as the exact opposite of what they really are. George Orwell wasn't writing about conservatives in 1984.

I'm also not sure what convention you've been watching but I've seen plenty of good speeches and loads of positions and ideas. I can't help it if you don't agree with them, but really, that's not my problem. I sure as hell don't agree with vague "we need change" statements that Obama keeps repeating over and over. At this point when he says "we need change" I can't help but think he means my pocket change because he can't hope to pay for the mess he wants to create. I'm honestly not even sure he knows what he means. Perhaps because he's got no experience. He's a media created celebrity.

On secession:

Wikipedia said:

A 2008 Zogby International poll revealed that 22% of Americans believe that "any state or region has the right to peaceably secede and become an independent republic.


So is Zogby instigating treasonous acts? Are 22% of the people of this country traitors for thinking this?

Is the United States itself born of a treasonous act? The Revolution could certainly be seen as a secessionist action, by force, which succeeded in its goal.

Declaration of Independence said:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government


Thomas Jefferson. Traitor and evil bastard? Hardly. So would that make him a hypocrite? No, still don't think so. But it would certainly make anyone in the US who calls secession an act of treason a bit of one, especially since our entire government is supposed to have been founded on principles in the Declaration.
'
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secession_in_the_United_States' goes into a great bit of detail on the issue even. Yet nowhere on that page do I find a definitive declaration that to secede is to be treasonous. Except for a Supreme Court ruling in Alaska, ironically enough, declaring secession to be illegal there. Wikipedia isn't exactly the best source of information but it'll have to do for now. There's also an interesting tidbit there about Montana's compact when it entered the Union in 1889 that seems to imply they reserved a right of secession. Obviously after the Civil War, and I see no talk of it being treasonous either. The basic point here being, attacking Palin over her husband having once been a member of the AIP, which spoke actively of secession, is just stupid and reeks of political pettiness. Really. Either that or Wikipedia is keeping a list of all the known rebel instigators of our time who should all be shot or something. Secession = treason? Evidence says no. I'd nee to see proof otherwise.

And please. Palin is bad because the leader of the AIP was murdered? And you call me crazy for mentioning that the Clintons had Vince Foster killed? Not guilty of harboring a double standard are we?

So let me get this straight. Palin is in church one day, 2 weeks ago, and Brickner says something decidedly stupid. In what so far seems like an isolated one-off moment of absolute moronicness ( its a word, I invented it! ). Jeremiah Wright has been spewing Nation of Islam hate speech for 20 years, and Obama has been there the whole time. We also have Obama's hesitance to denounce Mr. Wright and total flip-flopping on the issue in the last few months too. Excuse me while I fail to find this a useful comparison with Palin, or why this has jack shit to do with Obama's actual opponent: John McCain.

Like I said, it's not comforting, in much the same way that people with unrepudiated ties to the KKK are not comforting.


Deep end, meet Dwip. Uh... was he supposed to jump off you like that? Are you serious here? Palin making nice with the AIP is akin to being linked directly to the KKK? I'm not even sure that deserves a response other than WTFOMGBBQ!

RE: Loyalty article.
Palin said:

Wasilla is moving forward in a positive direction. This is the time for the department heads to let me know if they plan to move forward or if it's time for a change."
Yes. I read the bloody article. I skipped over the liberal blatherings once I realized there was a direct link to the scanned article. Her quote doesn't say "I asked them all to resign because I'm an evil overlord Muahahahahah!" as much as says "I'd like to know who's going to work with me and who I need to consider replacing". It says nothing at all either way about asking them to resign as a test of loyalty. Besides, shades of Clinton anyone? Fire all 93 of your prosecutors when you take office? Yeah. That sort of craziness I don't see here. The very next paragraph of the article says she was elected on a platform of cutting government. It's not unreasonable to conclude she was looking for places to cut fat and that sometimes means cutting the overpaid bureaucrats.

And I think you're being a bit insulting at assuming I'm not comprehending what I'm reading. I think I'm doing just fine thank you. I don't happen to agree with the spun conclusions I'm being offered as evidence of Bad Things(tm).

Tyche pegged Palin pretty damn well. Her status as a Christian creationist isn't relevant except when liberals need a reason to hate someone. She's not trying to shove that down anyone's throat that I can see. She supports gun rights, doesn't believe man is responsible for causing global warming, is indeed a budget slasher, and is definitely a crusader against corruption. These are all values the conservatives in America hold. Not to mention she doesn't believe in baby murder either, which I find to be a healthy reassurance given McCain's position on that issue.

You have not shown me one shred of anything that amounts to more than trumped up New York Times style press bashing and yellow journalism. Which I was told ended in the late 1800s. Maybe it did. But it's back now and with a vengeance.

And you keep saying you like McCain, but every time his experience is pointed out as a valid qualification, we get this stuff here about how serving in a war and being a victim of the very enemy we still face today is somehow crackpotness and worth jack shit. That tactic may have worked on Bob Dole in 1996 when the press trashed him for being a war hero, but it's not going to fly here in 2008. McCain's experience with being held as a POW is every bit as valid as having served in the Senate for as long as he has.

And please, stop with the insulting remarks about what I do or don't know about how our government works. On paper you're exactly right. In practice I think you need to reexamine what the Senate spends most of its time doing these days, and has been spending it over the last 16 years or so. Not so much heavy involvement in world affairs as it has been in domestic issues. For better or worse, the executive branch has been handling more and more of that going back as long as I can remember. Oh, and the world didn't end either. Nobody dropped the A-bomb as a result.

Now, I truly hope all this crap I just typed makes sense. It's now 2:15am and um... yeah. Why the bloody hell is it still so hot in this room!!!!

       
Somehow this is all becoming quite confusing to follow, and I suspect its because you're folding back upon yourself. Or, it's because it's approaching 1am my time and it's just not best brain power time.


I encourage you to blame the latter. At least on my end, I'm trying to be as clear as I can be. I may be failing at that, but I'm trying as best I can.

Notice the problem here. It's clear upon reading between the lines that ye olde Post picked two random boobs who heard a rumor or something that the FBI was going to do background checks. Maybe it was 1am their time when the Post called to ask? I don't know. But seriously, they obviously were not the right people to ask. Office rumor mills being what they are, these people may have overheard part of a conversation and relayed information out of context. Of course, the Post being the Post, they ran with it and had to correct themselves later. Hence why they came back with the whole knowledgeable official who told them in pretty clear terms that they wanted to run FBI checks but the FBI said no way.


Really? You know who overheard what and who said what when? Or are you speculating? I suspect you're speculating.

That aside, do note that I provided two links there originally for a reason, suggesting that there is currently some dispute over the issue, and, while I'm not in a position to know, for my own part as a voter not only does that dispute raise questions in my mind, that Campbell Brown/Tucker Bounds CNN interview suggests a lot to me in concrete terms, and the fact that everybody in the campaign up to John McCain is trying to peddle this business about "she has tons of experience because Alaska is next to Russia" and "because she's commander of the Alaska National Guard", both of which are flatly and obviously ridiculous., never mind being unworthy of a man such as John McCain in the first place.

As a practical matter, the press is digging up all sorts of things about Palin, which is frankly exactly what they should be doing, and I have yet to see any response from the campaign other than seclusion, hand waving, and a sort of "these aren't the droids you're looking for" response. But hey, if you have evidence otherwise, I'm all ears. Quotes and cites are always nice.

You might try looking into a lot of what makes Alaska Alaska. There's a whole slew of benefits that were setup from the beginning in which people who move there and live there for a year or longer get all these weird federal grants and such. I'm not going to bother hunting it all down right now because, well, I figure if I know about it surely you must. But I could be wrong, so if need be I'll look it all up later.


The only one I've ever heard of that's Alaska specific is the Alaska Permanent Fund, which is an Alaska state fund funded via oil money, not a Federal fund. If you know of others, by all means let's see them, but I suggest you are thinking of this one, which is Federal.

But I'd say offhand that perhaps Alaska is using all their federal money the way their existing federal grants mandate it be used. And you do know that once a handout is given it's damn hard to take it away again. Political suicide and all that. Palin is a politician after all and I doubt she wanted to lose an election by campaigning to revoke all that stuff. She may not even have the authority to end it anyway.


Where do I start, here?

First, my understanding of the earmark system, which involves...asking for money. Either way, it doesn't particularly invalidate my point.

But, ok, let me get this straight. It's political suicide for a supposedly reform-minded, fiscally responsible governor in a Republican/Libertarian sort of state, a state where she has an 80%+ popularity, in a party that constantly trumpets its fiscal responsiblity and small government principles, who is, furthermore, now running for Vice President on a platform including fiscal responsibility and smaller government, to refuse Federal money? And not just not refuse it, but to take vast amounts of it? And not just vast amounts, but vast amounts that dwarf, per capita, the amounts requested by a supposed fiscally irresponsible big government Democrat?

Am I the only one who sees the glaring contradiction here? Seriously, how is this a sign of Republican fiscal responsibility? How is this a sign of Sarah Palin's fiscal responsibility?

Palin is a politician after all and I doubt she wanted to lose an election by campaigning to revoke all that stuff.


But isn't that precisely what she did?

Or was all that rhetoric about taking on corruption even within the party and bringing fiscal responsibility and all that just a lie?

And would you like me to do the research on the one where apparently she took Wasilla from a balanced budget to umpteen millions in debt in the 1990s of all decades? Because I can if you want. But honestly, I think this is probably enough to illustrate the point.

The record in executive effectiveness in curbing rampant spending is just blinding, here.

They'll simply see $300/person and be outraged by it, whereas they'll see $24/person in Illinois and be outraged that it's not fair and equal. Except they won't say why isn't Alaska only getting $24, they'll be whining about why Illinois isn't getting $300 too.


I won't speak for all voters here, and your other readers can make up their own minds what they think about the numbers and the sources I've presented, but for my own part, my issue is with the discrepancy in per capita earmarks between the two states. I don't really care if it's $24 or $300 or something in between, although obviously we'd all rather it was lower, but I do expect it to be sane and logical. And I can't begin to figure out how this is sane and logical. Where the hell is all that money going?

Christ. So you're going to condemn her based on one dumbass scribble in the margin where she mentions that it doesn't even cover the airport funding? Do you have any evidence to back up that it was an earmark and not a legally obtained grant funded by the FAA ( as is normal btw )?


Since I haven't seen the documents in question, and since USASpending.gov, which may or may not have the information, the best I can do is to trust the research. Which I know since those guys aren't ideologically pure enough you're not going to accept, but you can deal with it. I guess you won't trust the LA Times either, because you just aren't going to like what they have to say, but the record seems to be clear enough.

And, you know, it's not so much that it was an earmark, which is legal enough if perhaps distasteful, or a straight grant, again legal, and like I said, I haven't seen the documents, it's about hypocricy. You don't get to talk a whole lot about opposing spending, and then go out and get ridiculous levels of Federal money.

I'm not sure why I'm having to explain this to Republicans.

And while we're on the subject, do I hear a shout out about Obama getting an earmark for Michelle's hospital and then seeing her salary skyrocket?


Cite, please.

Oh, wait, no, because he's the guy you support. I get it :)


Cite, please. Where have I said one way or atother which candidate in specific I support?

And um... again... isn't McCain running against Obama? Maybe dig up some dirt on him and go toe to toe, candidate to candidate.


I think I've adequately explained why I think it's important to look at the whole ticket. But it's pretty much immaterial who the other half of that particular spending argument is, when the subject is Palin's spending in relation to that of other states. Go use New York or Indiana or something. I suspect the same applies.

I notice nobody daring to put up Biden against Palin, could it be because Biden is even worse than Obama and they just don't want that kind of exposure?


Please, go right ahead.

If Palin securing money for a small town project is a bad thing, maybe we should start digging up the things Biden secured while he was county supervisor or whatever it was. Or perhaps we can go trolling through his abuse of earmarks while in the Senate? It's all well and good to hold people accountable, isn't it? So lets hold Obama and Biden accountable while we're at it.


Please do.

We all know where McCain stand on issues like this and his record speaks loudly about it, which is likely why it's not being dragged into all this.


Which is exactly correct. Palin, however, is no John McCain.

So do we know if the Feds wanted it back? Do we know if she asked if they'd like it back? Do we know if she was legally obligated to give it back? No. Because the press article stopped with "she kept the money" as you put it.


Again, the big point here is that if you're all about fiscal responsibility, it looks insanely ridiculous to support the bridge, then not support the bridge, then not give back the money that was...for the bridge. In any event, I find it really hard to believe that the Feds wouldn't take their money back, or that if they wouldn't, that a politician of Palin's caliber wouldn't then turn around and say "Oh woe is me! I tried to give this evil bridge money back to the Feds, but they wouldn't take it back! Corrupt government! Ohnoes!" Or a non-snarky version of same.

I guess I got brought up wrong on what to do when people loan you money for specific things though.

I don't think I need to keep going over this, but the press is very deeply biased in favor of the left and Palin is decidedly not on the left. There are plenty of studies. Larry Elder and Bill O'Reilly discuss them regularly, with media people even. They've admitted it in live radio interviews that millions of people listened to. All the proof of liberal media bias is out there if you'd care to look.


...what? Right-wing media commentators find evidence of left-wing media bias? How can this BE!?

I find your continued insistance on ideological purity in your information quite disturbing, and a little reminiscent of the way Communist states do business, to be honest.

That aside, let's be perfectly clear, here. You're talking to somebody who trained as a historian, and is at the last semester of training in an information field. I suppose this is going to wind up being evidence of some bullshit liberal academia conspiracy, but I can think of at least three seperate occasions of getting As doing that exact same sort of study to varying degrees of intensity, plus a B in a class devoted solely to teaching us how to detect and work through biased and inaccurate sources while striving for a neutral point of view.

By which I mean that, even if you ignore the obvious biases of some of those sources, which I've done my best to point out by the by, there remains a body of evidence (of actual numbers and actual quotes) that I find does not present a compelling case for Sarah Palin.

...what the left claims to be the truth of the majority.


Yet you just attempted to make a point to me solely on the basis of millions of people simply HEARING something? That's not even believing, which is bad enough. That's like saying that millions of people have heard that Elvis is still alive, so it must be true.

And liberal in this sense means exactly what I want it to mean. I get much amusement out of how it doesn't mean what liberals want it to mean anymore, which is why you find them calling themselves "progressives" now instead. But O'Reilly has a nice name for them too "secular progressives" and it fits. They're still trying to brand themselves as the exact opposite of what they really are. George Orwell wasn't writing about conservatives in 1984.


Wow, a book talking about the evils of Communism isn't about conservatives? I had no idea. If you want to play that game, The other end of that spectrum got us Hitler. But that whole road is BS and we both know it, so let's just not go there.

And not to play semantics, because I haven't got that kind of energy and this is all tangental anyway, but as best I can figure it, and if I caught Mitt Romney's speech last night he thinks this too, liberal is apparently some kind of blanket definition for evil, which is manifestly not the case, which makes the whole thing a bit ludicrous. That aside, I have a suspicion I could get behind being a secular progressive, since, hey, yay for secularism, and yay for recalling the memory of a century old political party that got us some decent things in this country.

But if you all like sounding irrationally rabid, that's cool too.

I'm also not sure what convention you've been watching but I've seen plenty of good speeches and loads of positions and ideas. I can't help it if you don't agree with them, but really, that's not my problem.


Really? Because I've seen all the speeches at the DNC except Michelle Obama's, and I've seen all the speeches at the RNC except the last half of Giuliani and all of Palin (both of which I checked transcripts for, I'll get the videos later), and I'm waiting for McCain's.

To be fair, most of the actual concrete policy talk came from Obama's speech, so I imagine McCain's will be the big one, so I can't make a full judgement on the RNC just yet.

There's a tonal difference between the two conventions, however, which was pretty obvious to my ears. While there was plenty of "Woohoo, this is the life of Barack Obama!" stuff at the DNC, and believe me there was, and I'd have to rewatch both Clintons to make sure on this, but while there were criticisms of John McCain, they were all, or at least a majority were on specific issues.

Of the RNC guys, off top of my head...

GW Bush: 6 minutes of bland uselessness about John McCain being a maverick.
Fred Thompson: Biographical speech on McCain.
Huckabee: Actually, I'm not sure - I mainly remember the desk story, which was good. But it was a good persuasive speech I'll clearly need to rewatch. Also the only one with the class to NOT mock Obama.
Romney: Frothing. Was there a point in here besides rage and name-calling? Because if there was, I missed it, and apparently so did everyone else.
Giuliani: A little less frothing, more "Yay Sarah Palin!" except the part where apparently all liberals are big city cosmopolitan snobs, which considering you can't get a whole lot more backwoods than where I grew up I'm confused by, but. I admit I need to rewatch, but that last bit was pretty clear.
Palin: "No, I'm really an ok candidate! Really! Also, I have a kid! See!?" Again, need to rewatch.

Overall, the message I got out of the DNC was along the lines of "Let's work together to solve America's problems. Also, John McCain may be out of touch." What I got out of the RNC was "LIBRULS BAD! DRILL BABY DRILL! Everything is ok! Really! Trust us! Libruls are bad!"

I am not inspired by name-calling and positioning yourselves as the anti-party.

I mean, I could be wrong here, and if you want to sit down and tell me where all of these policy decisions were, that would be great, but right now I just don't see it, though I do want to hear what John McCain has to say.

lots of stuff about secession and treason


I'm going to freely admit here that this is me, and any actual secession would likely get dealt with in a different manner as the government saw fit. But I see it thusly:

1. Treason towards the United States involves a citizen aiding or abetting enemies of the United States.
2. Secession, which involves taking part of said United States and abscounding with it, is treason unless, and it's a big unless, the government of the United States, in this case Congress and the President under the (really obvious) bits of the Constitution, let you go.
3. I don't know the relevant British law, but since everybody involved in our Revolution seemed to be under the impression that rebels were going to die for treason, I think it's safe to assume that it probably was.
4. To quote John Blackthorne on a similar matter, there are no mitigating circumstances here, unless you win the war.
5. The Southern Confederacy in any case profoundly lost their particular war, after which some of the leaders were, yes, indicted (though not prosecuted for the obvious national healing reasons), for treason, among other legal penalties.

In any event, we have a Consitution that among other protects the right to believe and say whatever you damn well please on whatever subject, so those 22% of Americans can just go on doing their thing. Unless they actually attempt secession, in which case traitors the lot of them.

That having been said, the basic issue here, and my whole point of objection here is that by seeking high political office in the United States, the idea is that you will be working for the good of the citizenry of said United States. I find it highly inconcievable that secession is in any way shape or form, and especially not in the AIP's form, beneficial to the citizens of the United States, of whom I am one. So you will excuse me if I decline to believe in their beneficience.

What this means in concrete terms is that I can trust Todd Palin not at all, which is ok, he's not running for office. But by a set of rules laid down by Republicans, Sarah Palin then becomes somewhat suspect.

Although, speaking as a voter, there are whole rafts of other problems with her that disqualify her from my consideration before this one.

And please. Palin is bad because the leader of the AIP was murdered?


No, but the questionable activities of said leader makes the AIP questionable. Or more questionable than it already was.

So let me get this straight. Palin is in church one day, 2 weeks ago, and Brickner says something decidedly stupid. In what so far seems like an isolated one-off moment of absolute moronicness ( its a word, I invented it! ). Jeremiah Wright has been spewing Nation of Islam hate speech for 20 years, and Obama has been there the whole time. We also have Obama's hesitance to denounce Mr. Wright and total flip-flopping on the issue in the last few months too. Excuse me while I fail to find this a useful comparison with Palin, or why this has jack shit to do with Obama's actual opponent: John McCain.


Understand that I don't actually care about this whole issue, because as I say, there are plenty of other things to find fault in Palin for, but:

- As best I can tell, Palin's been a member of that church for ~7 years or so.
- This isn't like it's the first time, here.
- 7 is not magically a better number than 20.
- But at least Obama finally did denounce it. Which is more than I've seen from Palin so far.
- Again, the point here is that it's all legitimate criticism based on Republican ground rules. Magically moving the goalposts and throwing out John McCain's name like it somehow makes it all better don't really change that.

Again, I find it a little bit silly, and I don't actually care about either pastor at question here unless a candidate gives me reason to believe otherwise, but there you have it.

Deep end, meet Dwip. Uh... was he supposed to jump off you like that? Are you serious here? Palin making nice with the AIP is akin to being linked directly to the KKK? I'm not even sure that deserves a response other than WTFOMGBBQ!


Analogy omgwtflol. Although, as I said on ICQ, neoconfederates are probably a closer example than the actual KKK, which is actively, well, evil, in a way that the AIP is not. The point was the secession aspect, which just isn't something I want in my politicians.

Yes. I read the bloody article. I skipped over the liberal blatherings once I realized there was a direct link to the scanned article. Her quote doesn't say "I asked them all to resign because I'm an evil overlord Muahahahahah!" as much as says "I'd like to know who's going to work with me and who I need to consider replacing". It says nothing at all either way about asking them to resign as a test of loyalty. Besides, shades of Clinton anyone? Fire all 93 of your prosecutors when you take office? Yeah. That sort of craziness I don't see here.


...so if I can't mention Palin and Obama in the same sentence, why is it that you get to mention Clinton, who isn't even running for office and, frankly, isn't even the subject here? Just curious.

Either way, apparently we read the same thing rather differently. I guess if it were me, I'd wait and see who I actually could work with. As opposed to starting with the firings. But hey, what do I know.

The very next paragraph of the article says she was elected on a platform of cutting government. It's not unreasonable to conclude she was looking for places to cut fat and that sometimes means cutting the overpaid bureaucrats.


Which I guess goes on to perfectly explain all that Federal money. Fiscal responsibility and all that.

Tyche pegged Palin pretty damn well. Her status as a Christian creationist isn't relevant except when liberals need a reason to hate someone. She's not trying to shove that down anyone's throat that I can see. She supports gun rights, doesn't believe man is responsible for causing global warming, is indeed a budget slasher, and is definitely a crusader against corruption. These are all values the conservatives in America hold. Not to mention she doesn't believe in baby murder either, which I find to be a healthy reassurance given McCain's position on that issue.


The thing I'm going to say for Palin here is, she's taken stands on constitutionality over pushing that Christian agenda, which is a whole lot more than a lot of other people have done. Speaking as an athiest, I find that comforting. Sort of.

...budget slasher, though? I'll try to lay off the reading comprehension thing, but really, seriously, I don't think your argument on that score means what you want it to mean. Bridge money what?

You have not shown me one shred of anything that amounts to more than trumped up New York Times style press bashing and yellow journalism. Which I was told ended in the late 1800s. Maybe it did. But it's back now and with a vengeance.


Ok, so if numbers and quotes aren't good enough, then what the hell do you want?

And you keep saying you like McCain, but every time his experience is pointed out as a valid qualification, we get this stuff here about how serving in a war and being a victim of the very enemy we still face today is somehow crackpotness and worth jack shit. That tactic may have worked on Bob Dole in 1996 when the press trashed him for being a war hero, but it's not going to fly here in 2008. McCain's experience with being held as a POW is every bit as valid as having served in the Senate for as long as he has.


...ok, look. If you want me to stop beating on you about reading comprehension, then you need to read what I actually write. In particular, this:

I'll be the first to celebrate McCain's time in the Navy. The heroism is obvious. Strength of character? Yes. I will even give you a fair amount of executive experience, doing really well leading a unit at a time when the entire US military was falling straight apart. Great things.


Trust me, I think John McCain is a great man for his service to our country, both in the Navy and in the Senate. That having been said, some things give you foreign policy experience, and some things don't. Please do not take the fact that I think you're making a ludicrous argument about the man that doesn't need to be made and try and say I'm attempting to bash John McCain, because that's not even remotely true.

But please, don't take my word for it. Take that of Fred Thompson in his RNC speech, where he says after a great speech praising McCain, and I quote:

Now, being a POW certainly doesn’t qualify anyone to be President. But it does reveal character.


And I'll certainly get behind that.

And please, stop with the insulting remarks about what I do or don't know about how our government works. On paper you're exactly right. In practice I think you need to reexamine what the Senate spends most of its time doing these days, and has been spending it over the last 16 years or so. Not so much heavy involvement in world affairs as it has been in domestic issues. For better or worse, the executive branch has been handling more and more of that going back as long as I can remember. Oh, and the world didn't end either. Nobody dropped the A-bomb as a result.


See, I dunno. I guess the last 16 years, nevermind the last 5 years, of hearing all about Senators traipsing this way and that all over the world, including Russia, Iraq, Kuwait, Europe, Uzbekistan, and what have you were figments of my imagination? And, you know, I guess the Senate Committee On Foreign Relations and their schedule and their legislation may disagree with you slightly. Our government isn't a one man show, here.

Which leaves aside military oversight, of course, which has also been somewhat in the news lately for some reason, and is of course John McCain's big committee.

Seriously, though, I'm having a really hard time figuring out what's making McCain's Senate experience irrelevant here.

       
Look, I don't know about you, but at this point I'm really sick and tired of rehashing myself over and over again, so I'll summarize you in your own words:

Overall, the message I got out of the DNC was along the lines of "Let's work together to solve America's problems. Also, John McCain may be out of touch." What I got out of the RNC was "LIBRULS BAD! DRILL BABY DRILL! Everything is ok! Really! Trust us! Libruls are bad!"


Clearly you are not watching or listening to the same materials I've been watching and listening to. Granted, I've been seriously out of the loop on a lot of what went on at the RNC, and already knew nothing good was coming from the DNC for me, so I didn't bother until I happened upon the last half of Palin's speech. Sarcastic, witty, jibing, but all 100% truthful about Obama and Biden. I also saw McCain's speech tonite, which you may not have, and I was quite impressed. Though I can reliably predict you'll find no substance and lots of "look at me, I'm John McCain" in it. The substance is there, but I truly appreciate a politician who is not afraid to talk about who they are and what made them the person they've become, and is not afraid to risk pissing off his own political base to do it. Sarah Palin is the same way. She's pissed off plenty of people in all parties so it's no surprise there's plenty of nasty things to say about her. Vengeful people do vengeful things when they think it will hurt the person they hate.

So far all you're bringing to the table is a debunked flip-flopper argument on the bridge project when it's been clearly explained now several times by media analysts who seem to know what they're talking about that the project was scrapped after it had a budget overrun explosion. Which is entirely consistent with her fiscal policy. Nobody liked the outcome, so they're all piling on hoping to make her out to be a big bad evil corrupt Republican. It's not working and the polling results are showing it. Seriously, if all you have is the bridge, the AIP issue, and her husband's 22 year old DUI arrest, well, I don't really know where else to go at this point.

       
Just now finished with Palin's and McCain's speeches that I couldn't get to earlier. Say what you will about the New York Times, they're about as fast putting up the videos as anybody.

For Palin's part, she did a good job. I didn't get the version with the apparent baby theatrics everyone else seemed to have got (and honestly they really are beating on Palin for things Biden got a pass for in this case), but I liked the family bit, and I liked a lot of the rest, even when I disagreed with it (and even when I thought large parts of it were lies), except when she mocked Obama, but I'll come back to that in a sec.

I was, save for a couple of times when he randomly biffed in the middle of the speech (sounded like he skipped a whole chunk at one point), highly impressed with McCain's speech. No, I'm not going to beat on it for lack of substance. No, it didn't give us the detailed plans we ought to want, but he laid it out clearly enough at about the level of detail Obama did, and that's about what I wanted.

Now, I caught, so far as I am aware, basically all of the major speeches of both conventions, barring the wives of both candidates. And I have a few things to say about the experience.

- I found it interesting that they were basically the same convention with flavor changes. You had the "Introduce the Candidate" guy. You had the "See how wrong the other guy is?" guy. You had the "rally the base" guy. Followed by the VP candidate who spent about half the time hyping the Presidential candidate. And finally the Presidential candidate who gave the big "here's how it's gonna be" speech.

That aside, there were some serious, serious tonal differences.

Now, the DNC had guys that went after John McCain, and you go catch Kerry and Gore for that (both gave good speeches, IMHO). That having been said, there was a fundamental respect for McCain by I think universally everyone, and it was clear that, while they might not agree with him, they respected him. That continued straight on up to Obama, who gave a pretty decent speech.

As to the RNC, well, here's the tonal shift. Holy fuck, the derision. Leaving aside the 6 minutes of Bush that they apparently should have given to Giuliani a couple days later, and with the marked exception of Huckabee, no respect for the other side, at all. I wasn't sure if Romney was going to make it there for a while he was going so hard. And that went straight on up through Palin.

Which I guess made it even more touching that John McCain took the time to make a statement, and a strong statement, saying...oh hell, it's so awesome I'll just quote it:

And, finally, a word to Sen. Obama and his supporters. We'll go at it -- we'll go at it over the next two months -- you know that's the nature of this business -- and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and my admiration.

Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, and that's an association that means more to me than any other.

We're dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our creator with inalienable rights. No country -- no country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn't be an American worthy of the name if I didn't honor Sen. Obama and his supporters for their achievement.


That's some real class, people. And I've got to say that I really admire him for saying that.

Yes, I do believe in civility during elections, why do you ask?

A few highlights:

- Speeches by Gore and Kerry, who were...interesting, to say the least.
- Huckabee, a man about whom I recently read a comment saying "You know, I like Huckabee. Even though I disagree with him about just about everything, and I can't explain to you why, I like the man." And I think that about sums up my reaction to him.
- Romney's meltdown.
- It was kinda crazy how they kept flashing to Cindy McCain, who so far as I can tell sat in one spot for the whole damn convention with the same smile on her face like some kind of battleship matriarch of old, smiling down on the children. I'm not quite sure if that's scary, awesome, or just ...dude, but it was something.
- McCain's class act, not to mention the part where he gets up in front of a crowd of Republicans and pretty much takes them all to task, and for good measure throws down on the other side too, because when you're John McCain you get to do that.

But you know what my favorite part of the conventions was? The absolutely most perfect, most utterly sublime moment in the entire two weeks?

...when Joe Lieberman gets up there and gets an entire convention hall full of Republicans to cheer for Bill Clinton of all possible people.

About the only way that could possibly have been any awesomer is if somebody had got a whole crowd of Democrats at their convention to cheer George W Bush. Sheer visceral partisan hatred for the men, and all that.

And my anti-favorite moment:

...for real here, anti-war protesters. Please fuck off. You're not being awesome. Nobody thinks you're awesome, trying to fuck up McCain's speech. There's a time and a place, if you've gotta.

...and also if we could all seriously find something to chant besides USA. I'm kinda done with that particular chant. You wore it out.

actual argument stuff


If you want to be done, then we shall be done. I think I've made my point pretty compellingly, over a broad range of issues, but enough, let's be done with it if you want to be done with it.

...with the exception of one last factual correction. I never once touched Todd Palin's DUI. Frankly, I don't even care about it.

       
...one more thing about the RNC, then I'm going to bed.

Triggering off of this article at Andrew Sullivan.

You know, I've always thought there was something to the Republican Party's message of old about responsibility in fiscal matters, personal matters, foreign affairs, most of what Sullivan talks about in that post. And I've always firmly believed, as I attempted to explain up a few comments, that fundamentally, Republicans are people that Democrats can work with to make the country a better place, disagreements aside. It's why I'm registered Independent - I've always thought both parties had something to offer the discussion.

And yet I have never voted for a Republican in my voting life, which as of this election will be a decade, and I've never seriously considered voting for one for basically the entire time I have been politically aware.

Why? I came of age during the Clinton years. I was there for those long years of the most vicious attacks. Guilty or no, nobody deserves that. And no, I don't really approve of doing the same to Bush, but I dunno. It seems to me that there's that extra edge of viciousness in those Republican attacks, a willingness to say anything, do anything, use anything. A willingness to take the whole other side of the aisle and turn them into minions of evil. I cannot abide the culture warriors on either side because they're so filled with hate that they've all gone blind, but I especially cannot abide how those same people have hijacked the Republican Party and turned it into a mockery of itself.

Disagree with that if you want, but that's how I see it. Either way it's hard being a social liberal and a foreign policy conservative right about now, which is what I am.

And I gotta tell you, those RNC speeches, they scared me, and they scared me a lot. You've got Mitt Romney up there screaming about liberal this and liberal that and liberal the other thing with no respect for millions of Americans let alone ME, and you've got a crowd of Republicans just eating it up.

And I'm thinking well, here we go, another campaign season of the same old shit. Republicans are lost to me again because they still hate me. But hey, at least Barack Obama's better than that. I don't entirely agree with him, but I can work with him.

So, then you get John McCain, who goes up there, and he's talking about working together, and he's not spouting the same old rhetorical shit, and he's got a decency and a respect about him for everybody. And that gives me some hope. And, well, I don't know if he's gonna be able to kick his poor old party along down the path with him on this, and he'll never get O'Rielly and Buchanan and Limbaugh and that crowd, but maybe he'll try. And somebody's gotta.

And for that matter, I think Obama's trying to do the same thing on his side. It's not as bad over there, but it's not always been good, either. And it's about damn time.

We'll see who gets my vote, and I'll probably get cynical again tomorrow, because hell, it's 4am and I get weird at this hour, but.

...I suppose Andrew Sullivan feels like this pretty much all the time.

       
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