Monday, September 01, 2008

And now for something completely different...

The Daily Duck's resident prediction wizard Skipper correctly called the ascension of Alaska governor Sarah Palin to the veep slot for John McCain back in May. I agree with Skipper that Palin will more than hold her own against Joe "Mad Dog" Biden in the debates. But a very bright friend of mine of the liberal and estrogenic persuasions begs to differ with the Daily Duck brain trust on this matter, and in the spirit of bipartisan bridge building (and to earn the blog brownie points ahead of the inevitable re-establishment of the Fairness Doctrine) I offer my loyal readers this editorial by "Libby".
RE: Elbow, elbow, wrist wrist*

Boys, boys, boys... You all seem too intelligent to lean so heavily on stereotypic assumptions and hyperbole. Ardent feminist that I am, it is a criticism I have of my own party as well.

The "heavily contested" point regarding Palin's gubernatorial win is arguable. She garnered backlash votes against an unpopular administration. Remember Jesse Ventura? And her prior position was as a part-time mayor of a community of, I believe, 7000. Her successes in her state are laudable, but can she survive the kiln of Washington, much less the world? She is interesting, refreshingly honest, apparently hardworking, but not articulate or tough enough to represent us to heads of state.

Reports quote her as stating that once she found out what a veep's responsibilities are she would *consider* the position and she questioned what the position would do for her state of Alaska.

But all that is simply the flotsam to throw back and forth over beers (or better, dirty martinis), my main point is this.... (yes, I actually have one)...

Impartial I am not, but it seems mind numbingly wrong to think that her ovaries will garner the sought after Hillary votes. Barak and Hill hold the same opinions and virtually the same approach to the "major" issues. In our camp, it was a decision between two positives -- one familiar with the system, the other a visionary intent on healing the economy, environment, racial tensions and so on. And the fact that one has black heritage and the other is a woman was bonus--- our government should reflect our country.

That Palin holds an opposite view on so many positions held dear to us is enough to get the most disgruntled hairy-legged Hill supporter to cast her vote for Barak. But, the 'pubs could have selected a woman with more chutzpa and made more movement. Who? Not so sure as I am not overly familiar with conservative women, but think of someone like Elizabeth Dole ten years ago, Condie.... Ann Richards ( ;-)

Somewhere on your blog there are references to her using terms like attractive, bringing feminine calm to the white house and other such things. Be careful. It is terms like that that will create a strong backlash against her. The first woman in space, the first several high ranking in the military, the first on the assembly line, the first in commerce all needed to prove that they could play the house rules before they dared to break them. As much as I want to see a woman in the white house, my sista's and I will not accept Anita Bryant, Phylis Schlafly or Mary Kaye. She, who ever she is, needs to be the soldier first, citizen second and woman third. Biden hold back on the debates because she is a woman? As much as I hate a blood bath, I say bring it on.... if she can't handle his craziness and aggressive nature how could she possibly handle negotiations with the middle east?

Bottom line. Good citizen, could prove to be a successful influence on Alaskan politics, but she is out of her league.

In Obama's acceptance speech, he spoke of finding areas in which we could come together... reducing unwanted pregnancy... keeping AK47s from the hands of criminals.... etc, etc. I guess Palin's run as veep is another issue where both sides seem to be smiling.

Hugs and kisses from the fun party,


* For dense conservatives like myself who are unable to get this reference, "elbow elbow wrist wrist" describes the proverbial beauty queen wave.


Blogger Bret said...

Of course Palin won't attract radical left wing feminists. They weren't going to vote for McCain anyway, no matter what.

There may well be a swath of woman voters, however, that were undecided between McCain and Obama who could be swayed by relatively unimportant things like the gender of the VP. That's one group where Palin might help McCain pick up a few votes.

September 01, 2008 11:38 AM  
Blogger erp said...

Post-estrogenic reaction:


September 01, 2008 1:03 PM  
Blogger David said...

Dear Libby:

Thank you for your thoughts.

I understand, and share, your thoughts about identity politics. Women shouldn't vote for McCain/Palin just because Palin is a woman. Nor should those of us who think, as I do, that the lingering effects of slavery are the greatest threat (in fact, the only threat) to the nation, vote for Senator Obama just because he's black.

Of course, what people should do is all well and good, but elections are more concerned with what people will do. I note that people are voting for Senator Obama just because he's black -- and that his campaign carefully skirts around arguing explicitly that they should. I also note that confirmed Dems as famous as Geraldine Ferraro are at least open to the idea of supporting McCain/Palin not just because Palin is a woman, but because they feel that Senator Clinton was ill-treated by the party. In fact, when it comes to experience, the Democratic position does seem to vary depending on the sex of the candidate. Obama v. Clinton: experience is unimportant. Obama v. Palin: Hey look, she has no experience.

More to the point, other than his race, what reason has Senator Obama given us to vote for him. He was against the war, when being against the war was marginally beneficial for him. I'm for the war, and not just because it's been a stunning success. I was for it from the beginning. But, fine, people who think not fighting the last war is the most important function of the federal government should vote for Senator Obama. Why should anyone else.

He claims to be bipartisan, but isn't. As Cass Sunstein explains at painful (and I think harmful) length, "bipartisan" for Obama means listening to conservatives and not laughing in their face before choosing the farthest left alternative.

He has zero legislative accomplishes, he's never been in charge of anything except his presidential campaign (run for him by David Axelrod) and his friends seem to run from the center-left to the farthest reaches of the bombing left. So, why should we vote for him? Because he's not George Bush? Neither is Senator McCain, more's the pity.

September 02, 2008 9:17 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

What David said, plus ...

She is ... not articulate or tough enough to represent us to heads of state.

In legal terms, I think that is called assuming facts not in evidence, and contrary to the available evidence.

It isn't at all clear to me that representing the US to heads of state requires any more loquacity or toughness than taking domestic political opponents. The geographic scope is different, but the underlying nature of all political problems leads me to think that her success here in Alaska, while not a guarantee of future returns, at least portends well.

Impartial I am not, but it seems mind numbingly wrong to think that her ovaries will garner the sought after Hillary votes.

Considering who HRC's core demographic was, I think far more than Palin's ovaries, particularly since her daughter's pregnancy became public, will garner many of HRC's voters.

HRC appealed largely to working class white women. Palin, completely unlike the other contestants in this election, cannot be characterized as belonging to some elite. Her life, in some thinly fictionalized form, will undoubtedly soon be coming to a Lifetime Channel near you. To put it in religious terms (I can hear irony meters exploding across the intertubes), she bears witness to the lives of most American women. No other candidate for national office has ever been able to make that claim.

In Obama's acceptance speech, he spoke of finding areas in which we could come together... reducing unwanted pregnancy... keeping AK47s from the hands of criminals....

Clearly, I am less impressed by you with Obama's steadfast courage in stating the blindingly obvious. And I am even far less impressed by his complete lack of how behind the what.

September 02, 2008 10:02 AM  
Blogger David said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 02, 2008 10:07 AM  
Blogger David said...

And, for that matter, it's unclear to me on what basis the Democrats are the fun party. It seems to me that the Democrats are the new puritans, kept awake at night worrying that somewhere, someone is having fun. Look at the eagerness with which they are leaping to scold Gov. Palin for maybe having sex (right) before marriage herself and for having a teenage daughter who has sex, too. Republicans, if I remember my polls correctly, have more sex than Democrats, are happier and, apparently, are the only party that knows that having sex is hereditary: you only do it if your parents did.

September 02, 2008 10:12 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

The experience thing is amusing.

Bush had plenty of executive experience, all with bad outcomes. People voted him in anyway and, guess what, he turned out to be a lousy executive.

So they voted him in again.

I am inclined to think that experience is one of those things people will tell people they care about, but they really don't.

September 02, 2008 11:23 AM  
Blogger erp said...

David, more's the pity indeed. We won't see the president's like again any time soon.

September 02, 2008 11:38 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Well, well. More Palin record:

'Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor.'

A matched pair, neither McCain nor Palin believes in the Bill of Rights, it appears.

You can have her, Skipper.

September 03, 2008 10:38 AM  
Blogger David said...

What is it about that that you think violates the Bill of Rights?

September 03, 2008 3:40 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

A government official purging a library based on religious bigotry?

Speaks for itself.

September 03, 2008 4:36 PM  
Blogger erp said...

Harry, you're making the fundamental mistake of believing the media. Odd the librarian in question isn't available for comment. In my experience, librarians are generally pretty far left, but maybe she just isn't ready to lie for the cause.

Bumiller isn't backing down on her allegation that Palin was a member of AIC even though there is incontrovertible proof that she wasn't.

I'd be more impressed if you were clamoring for an investigation of what Obama has to hide by refusing to release his birth certificate, academic, health, and work records and what happened to the 100 mil Annenberg money than a ridiculous charge of book burning in the frozen north.

September 04, 2008 6:07 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Why would Obama release his birth certificate, which is public record in Hawaii and has been examined in public?

I'm not clamoring for any investigations. I'll wait for real reporters to do it.

As, it turns out, they are.

Turns out Palin lied about her religion. She's not undenominational Christian, she's Assembly of God.

Turns out she canceled the bridge to nowhere but did not refuse the money.

Well, well, well.

September 04, 2008 9:26 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...


Which books did she try to have the librarian remove?

She has always been pretty good at playing hardball -- based upon her record since the very early days in question, I suspect she learned what is allowed on the playing field, and what isn't.

BTW, to save you time, the answer to my question is: no books.

September 04, 2008 9:28 AM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

"Why would Obama release his birth certificate, which is public record in Hawaii and has been examined in public?"

You ought to try to keep your story straight for the entire sentence. If the birth certificate is public, how could Obama release it? Which is it? Why didn't you wonder about that?

Also, Obama's birth certificate has not been examined in public. It was shown to a very selective few.

As for real reporters clamoring for investigations, one might note who is the target of those clamors — a VP candidate or the Presidential one. If "real reporters" want to investigate to learn about candidates, shouldn't the be clamoring for the Annenberg Challenge records? Shouldn't they have been doing that for months, if not years? I am honestly surprised at how incurious you are about Obama.

September 04, 2008 10:10 AM  
Blogger David said...

Presumably, Harry, you're not under the impression that the Bill of Rights requires that only librarians can set the standards for books in the public library. Your implication that belonging to the Assemblies of God (not that Gov. Palin does) makes someone unqualified for the Presidency seems at odds with your expansive reading of your favorite constitutional clause.

I know that I've read you stating that, if they dared tell the truth, many politicians would come out as atheists, but the national antipathy towards atheists forces them to lie.

September 04, 2008 10:41 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Yes, Skipper, she backed down on the books. She didn't get any removed. But she wanted to. Same difference.

She belonged to Assembly of God almost her whole life. I can understand why, when she embarked on a political career, she decided she didn't want to have to say, 'I belong to Jimmy Swaggart's church.'

But if we're holding Obama to his 20 years with Wright, then we get to hold Palin to her 20 years (and more) with the Assembly of God.

Maybe the MSM ought to ask Palin about her views on divorce.

I didn't say, by the way, that belonging to Assembly of God disqualifies her for the presidency, although rational people will raise their eyebrows about that. I said she lied.

I see the press has revived the accusation against Biden for what may or may not have been an equivalent fib. Even steven.

Guy, I don't get your comment. If you care enough, you can walk into the Bureau of Conveyances in Honolulu and ask for the original certificate. People have done that, even reported that they could rub their fingers over the ridges in the seal.

Obama cannot 'release' the original. It's public property. And since the accusers have already charged that reproductions can be faked (which is true), what would you have him do?

I am incurious about Obama because of his treatment of his granma and his lifelong attendance at a racist church.
What more bad do I need to know?

He's going to be president, which is a shame, but we lived through Reagan, we'll live through President Obama.

September 04, 2008 1:46 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

Mr. Eagar;

I have not seen a single report of anyone getting access to the document. I have seen numerous reports of state officials explicitly denying access with the claim that they can only release with Obama's permission (for instance). The copies that have been examined have been from Obama (e.g. here), not from Hawaii. Do you have any evidence to support your claim, or did you not think you needed any?

P.S. Now, that said, I always thought the whole issue was driven by Obama (or his crew) keeping it hidden to create smoke without a fire, so as to distract from his real problems. And it's working — you immediately went for that instead of the far more troubling Annenberg issue. Nice feint!

September 04, 2008 6:35 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Got my info from that notorious lefty site Little Green Footballs.

You asked about the certificate, I answered what I've seen. Sorry.

I'm puzzled about your stance on the Annenberg papers. I haven't tracked it closely -- no interest -- but last I heard the ownership of and authorization to release the papers were under advisement by the custodians, who claim to be restricted by the gift indenture. Are you suggesting the press should stage a Watergate operation and steal them?

I have a longish memory. A year ago, the Rezko trial was going to pull the pillars down around Obama's head. The MSM followed the trial. Nada, or very little that wasn't already out there.

As I said at Restating the Obvious ("The Kestner rule," Sept. 1), my practice is to wait for the event to happen, then report it.

September 04, 2008 8:39 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

Ah, you mean info like this?

"Pajamas Media attempted to have the Hawaiian Department of Health (DOH) verify that the information publicly released in the COLB on the Obama site was accurate, making the argument that a public display of the document was in essence “disclosed by a public figure in a public venue for examination.” Janice Okubo, director of communications for the DOH, responded in an email message this morning:

Our attorney general advised us that Hawaii state law prohibits the Dept. of Health from verifying information contained in a vital record for anyone without a tangible interest. If Sen. Obama or his official representative requests a public verification that can be legally provided. Practically speaking, I believe that only the individual posting a document on a website can verify its authenticity.

The Hawaiian government can only release Obama’s birth records upon Obama’s request, and Obama won’t. Though they have twice been contacted by Pajamas Media regarding these allegations over the past month — and no doubt by other journalists and bloggers — the campaign has thus far refused to release the DOH from its obligation."

That seems to totally contradict your claims. No wonder you don't provide links.

As for the Annenberg papers, you should read up on that as well. When first contacted,the library treated them as public records. Almost immediately afterwards, though, this "donor permission" issue came up. But leave that. You ask "Are you suggesting the press should stage a Watergate operation and steal them?" Why not? It never stops the press when it's helpful to Senator Obama (e.g., Ryan's sealed divorce records). Or any of the New York Times' public revelations of secret data. Squads of reporters are apparently descending on Alaska to check out Governor Palin's records. How many were sent to Chicago to check out Obama's, that they didn't find the Annenberg data?

September 05, 2008 7:59 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Here's a couple of other hot items the MSM is ignoring"

'Prayer as Attempted Murder?

'A reader asks an interesting question: Some Christian Reconstructionists are urging their fellows to pray for the death of John McCain so that Sarah Palin will be become President.'

Bob Barr sent me an email(seeing as we're close buddies) on Aug. 27 saying that the Dems and Republicans had missed the Aug. 26 deadline and neither party would have its candidate on the Texas ballot.'

Will you blogosphere guys get right on these? They must be important.

September 05, 2008 7:14 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

Clearly, those two items are far more important in making a judgment in the current Presidential election than Obama's record on what little executive experience he might have.

September 06, 2008 5:54 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Tell it to the MSM, which inexplicably has ignored both in favor of writing about the experience issue.

September 06, 2008 9:32 AM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

Sorry, forgot the sarcasm tag. I thought those two things were so obviously either bogus or irrelevant that you were being sarcastic or disingenuous in mentioning them. Do you seriously think what some fringe whackos write about via email constitutes important information that should be dug out by Old Media? Or this is another disconnected cite like your cite of LGF just above?

At this point I have no idea what point you're trying to make, or what evidence you consider supporting it.

September 06, 2008 11:32 AM  
Blogger David said...

Presumably, no one but a libertarian thinks that Texas should take itself out of the Presidential election. That would be the sort of mindless toadying to technicalities that people usually hold against lawyers.

September 06, 2008 3:10 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

I dunno. What do you expect the Annenberg papers to reveal: That they were going to dress Michelle Obama in a burqa and send her to bomb Water Tower Place?

If you cannot believe an official press release from the Libertarian Party, who can you believe? Larry Johnson?

September 06, 2008 3:56 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

"What do you expect the Annenberg papers to reveal [...]?"

Lots of detail on how Senator Obama handles a leadership position, and what he does with government money under his control or influence. I have to say I remain stunned at your total lack of interest in actual records of a current Presidential candidate's public activities and your presumption that no one else should find it interesting either.

Given the general scrutiny anything ever written in public by, say, a Supreme Court nominee, how can these records not be the object of similar scrutiny?

September 06, 2008 4:23 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Lord, I dunno. We've even seen analyses of M. Obama's juvenilia at Princeton, although what that contributed to the political discussion is beyond me.

No doubt if Obama becomes president maybe even if he doesn't, someday the Annenberg papers will provide some mid-grade poli sci grad student at U. of Illinois-Chicago Circle with a thesis or even a dissertation.

When that happens, I don't think you will get anybody to read it, even at gunpoint.

I'm just not seeing the scandal here, although the clamor from the right would make it sound like it was as significant as those cocaine murders that Gov. Clinton ordered.

September 06, 2008 8:25 PM  
Blogger erp said...

One hundred mil fell into a black hole. I'd like to know more about that and if they knew anything about it, I'll bet a lot of other people would as well. Perhaps Woodward would like to do investigative reportage on that.

September 07, 2008 5:43 AM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

I am not the one claiming Senator Obama's college thesis if of any interest. Nor am I claiming that the scandal involving the Annenberg Challenge papers is Obama's. What scandal there is now belongs to Old Media, given the contrast between their pursuit of the tiniest details (and willingness to simply make things up when that fails) of Governor Palin.

As erp notes, the Challenge group spent a lot of money, involved an interesting set of people, and is one (and only?) place where Obama exercised any of his executive talent. If that's not relevant, what is? And if there's nothing, what does that say about Obama and his qualifications to be President?

September 07, 2008 6:11 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

As they say in the law courts, asked and answered.

If the custodian says the indenture limits the documents, then the MSM doesn't have any greater means of access than you do. Send 'em a postcard and ask for a look.

September 07, 2008 10:41 AM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

So, you think I could have gotten Jack Ryan's divorce records unsealed like the Chicago Tribune did?

September 07, 2008 11:49 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...


I got the supersecret refinery documents just by walking into the state office and asking for the file.

They were supposed to be sealed but somebody forgot.

You'd be surprised how often that works.

I'd like to know what Cheney and the oil barons talked about, I'd like to know who got the containerloads of dollars that were shipped into Iraq in 2003. There are lots of things I'd like to know.

The Annenberg papers are far down the list.

September 07, 2008 5:03 PM  

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