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Comments

beth

believe me, so am i.

palin is essentially a clever publicity stunt meant to detract from the real issues and steal attention away from obama. while i totally understand the outrage and flabbergastation, around here i'm getting sick of ppl talking about her, just because it's playing into the GOP's hands.

Jaime

Well, you'll have to forgive me. I had not yet witnessed her amazing combination of being totally uniformed and incredibly arrogant... being an election news reader, rather than watcher. We don't have TV here in Praha.

Call me incontinent, but I had to mention it, because...seriously. Seriously?

Tara H.

Have you seen this?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQq4b5IQhq8&feature=related


Zak Girdis

And the REALLY fucked up part is that they are going to win because of her. Watch. It is INSANE.

Not even those people that I know and love who are on the other side of these issues will admit obvious truths, like that back when we were arguing about starting the war in Iraq, everything that I argued would come of it, DID. It all happened.

Somehow I am still a naive liberal idiot with no knowledge of the world....

After years of arguing that totally UNREGULATED free market capitalism might be risky, or bad for those of us who are on the consumer side of the stick, and listening to conservatives proclaiming that government is dumb, the free market is smart, and there is no risk........Our heavily leveraged, greed-crazed financial markets have collapsed under their own weight.

Now we have to pay a bunch of failed wall street banks, investment firms and global insurance companies (read: GAMBLERS) to the tune of $2000 for every man, woman and CHILD in the US. SO FAR...
Hey, thanks....

How about giving a flying fuck about something besides making money and kicking ass in the name of America and Jesus?

And hey, wasn't Jesus kind of a RADICAL LIBERAL? anybody remember that part where he threw out the money-changers?

or maybe the part where he advised us to "first remove the beam from your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

or maybe the part where he says "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." ?

or maybe the part where he says "distribute your bread to the hungry, and bring the poor who are cast out to your house. When you see the naked, cover him; and do not hide yourself from your own flesh" ?

Hmm....

But I guess there is no point in getting upset. human nature has never changed and it never will.

I just wish greedy, power hungry, selfish pricks wouldn't use Jesus as a marketing tool to get their incredibly wrongheaded plans enacted, so that their constituencies' precious taxes won't go up by like $50/year.

That $2000 each we now owe kind of wipes out all those great republican tax breaks, doesn't it?

"Country First" ? Are they talking about land or something? because they certainly aren't talking about people.


Jaime

I think she'll be a net loss for McCain in the end, Zak. Or, maybe that's just wishful thinking. Obama has his best poll numbers of the election process at the moment, so I haven't lost hope.

But yeah, I certainly take your point that it is incredibly ironic that the "religious" among us support so much policy that diametrically opposes the stated will of the God they profess to believe in. I would dearly love for a conservative to give me a clear explanation of how unbridled free-market capitalism can possibly be conceived of as allied with Christian morality, and how a policy that basically amounts to social darwinism can be justified as commensurate with a belief in the teachings of Jesus.

That's truly a riddler.

zak Girdis

Actually, people love Sarah Palin, because she is a straight-talkin' shoot from the hip regular gal. As usual, most people are going to vote for who they can relate to the most, not the best man for the job. Remember, that's how Kerry lost. He seemed almost "French" to Joe American.

Thinkers are boring. From-the-gut Doers, and quick Deciders are much more palatable to most Americans.

What's going on now is that the Bush-appointed Treasury Secretary and Federal Reserve Chief are asking US taxpayers to loan these irresponsible greedheads who gave out loans to people who could not afford it when they jacked up the interest rates 700 billion dollars with the following stipulation on how it is used:

"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

We can't even ask questions, or hold them accountable by law for what they do with it, just cough up the dough to bail out the richest, most irresponsible and most at fault people related to this crisis, and TRUST THEM TO DO THE RIGHT THING WITH IT, and PARDON THEM IN ADVANCE IF THEY SCREW US!!

which amounts to the dreaded "socialism" that conservatives loathe so, only as usual, this help is going to huge corporations who have already been proven incompetent, straight out of our pockets.

I wonder how much medical care that would buy for each american? Why is THIS socialism okay?

And why are they using the same hurry-up tactics they used to pass the patriot act? Could it be so that no one has time to find out how this is all going to work?

And the majority of Americans are convinced as of this moment, that if they do not allow the Treasury and Fed to act BY FRIDAY, it will cause Great Depression II.

SWEET!!

Zak Girdis

Or perhaps you prefer this little tirade from Rolling Stone's Matt Talibi?:

"Here's the thing about Americans. You can send their kids off by the thousands to get their balls blown off in foreign lands for no reason at
all, saddle them with billions in debt year after congressional year while they spend their winters cheerfully watching game shows and football, pull the rug out from under their mortgages, and leave them living off their credit cards and their Wal-Mart salaries while you move their jobs to China and Bangalore.

"And none of it matters, so long as you remember a few months before Election Day to offer them a two-bit caricature culled from some
cutting-room-floor episode of Roseanne as part of your presidential ticket.

And if she's a good enough likeness of a loudmouthed Middle American archetype, as Sarah Palin is, John Q. Public will drop his giant sized
bag of Doritos in gratitude, wipe the sizzlin' picante dust from his lips and rush to the booth to vote for her. Not because it makes sense, or because it has a chance of improving his life or anyone else's, but simply because it appeals to the low-humming narcissism that substitutes
for his personality, because that image on TV reminds him of the mean brainless slob he sees in
the mirror every morning.

"Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States. As a representative of our political system, she's a new
low in reptilian villainy, the ultimate cynical masterwork of puppeteers like Karl Rove. But more than that, she is a horrifying symbol of how
little we ask for in return for the total surrender of our political power. Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she's the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud
imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV - and this country is going to eat her up, cheering every step of the way. All because most Americans no longer have the energy to do anything but lie back and allow ourselves to be
jacked off by the calculating thieves who run this grasping consumer paradise we call a nation."

Jaime

I have to say, I'm starting to just feel sorry for her, and think that the really reptilian evil is McCain's setting her up for so much humiliation when even a cursory vetting would have revealed exactly how unready she is. I agree that her nomination is tawdry and a complete farce designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and I am appalled that all the Republicans have to offer is straight up lies and stunt politics, but Sarah Palin isn't the villain in all this, she really is just a basic instinct-driven rube who, through misguided hubris, allowed herself to be led by the nose into becoming a symbol of everything that's wrong with our political process. I mean, yeah, she's a woman I could not disagree with more strongly, but she didn't nominate herself.

John McCain should be ashamed of himself.

Jason

Oh my god. Zak, I just peed myself. Jaime, you wouldn't feel sorry for her if you knew what instrument of cronyism she is. She fires from office those who dare raise even the slightest objections to her policies (these she dubs "haters"), and replaces them with friends from high school. She's a nasty, venal, ignorant, and arrogant person.

McCain should certainly be ashamed. He probably is, in fact. He made his choice precipitously.

beth

jaime, i should've worded my comment better. wasn't totally directed at you...more like, the irresistible urge to rant and focus on sarah palin and her ridiculousness was part of what bumped mccain up in the polls for a while after her nomination - just because i think there were more "low information voters" with a dim idea that john mccain was running for president when answering poll questions.

otherwise, pretty much everything zak said.

Jaime

Oh, I agree with all that, Jason -- she is venal, ignorant, and arrogant. In fact, I think she is arrogant about being ignorant and venal. Also, I think she is an affront an an embarrassment to the cause of feminism. She is like the political version of fucking JEWEL for chrissakes, and I couldn't be more disgusted by the fact that I even have to IMAGINE that she might be president. But I still think she is pitiable. Hateful and pitiable.

The bottom line, for me, is this: we should never have been looking at her. She should be up in Alaska shooting wolves from planes and giving those red state rubes what they voted for, not on my radar.

I blame John McCain; a man who could not have sunk any lower in my estimation than he has over the course of this campaign. Sarah Palin's stupidity is child's play to his complete lack of judgement or honor.

zak girdis

Don't Blame John McCain. He is Fucked. Everyhting he has pointed his life's arrow at is being challenged by some upstart young punk, who ACTUALLY PERSONIFIES (AS AN ACTUAL PERSON!!) the horrors that McCain's generation successfully stifled through assimilation into the marketplace 40 years ago. This is generational.

This is a sea-change in American politics. Remember just a few years ago, when Ronald Reagan was the ultimate Bad Guy for tree-huggin' liberals?

Here was a guy (myopic as he was), with immense imagination, respect for and curiosity about his (foreign) enemies, and actual strong personal belief in his ideas (as fucked up as many of them were).

Sounds like a fucking knight in shining armor compared to what conservatives are chucking about nowadays! Jesus H Fucking Christ!! (if I may be so Un-American as to take someone else's Lord and Savior's name in vain).

I am an American, Godammit, and I have every right to be whatever I want to be, and whatever I can make of myself, no matter what someone else thinks, or what their "Faith" may be. I was told from pre-school that this country is a level playing field. That is what this country is ALL ABOUT, and it is largely what makes me proud to be an American.

Who the fuck do these sick bastards who see themselves as the protectors of "the real America" think they are? They want me to have their values. Fuck them. I have my own. This is the nitty-gritty. It has happened before.

Sarah Palin has every right to be who she is, to believe what she believes, to have unfettered access to everything written or said that may support her views, and to RUN FOR VICE PRESIDENT.

She is just like you or me. That's her appeal. The fact that she is being used to massage the delicate bruised egos of those who have been DENIED THE MEANS, by the very party that offers her up, TO DISCERN between a serious minded public servant who deserves the office , and a peer who has been propped up like a frickin' Trojan Horse, is the crime. And it should be prosecutable.


Jaime

I couldn't agree more, Zak. I think that the point, exactly, is that she is propped up like a trojan horse, and I agree that she has every right to be who she is, to think what she thinks, and to run for Vice President. It's the proppers up who do, you're absolutely right, want to weld the scales into the eyes of their constituents, who deserve prosecution. Sarah Palin is just being herself.

zak girdis

After a lot of reading and thinking lately, I have come to what I think scares me the most:

The election process has been changed in ways that no one could have forseen this time around.

Obama is indeed a huge phenomenon, the likes of which have not been seen in a long time. add to that the fact that we are all interconnected at light speed, and that everyone has access to powerful tools of communication that were not available until recently, and we have a huge escalation of the whole process.

The tone of this election would not have been possible just a few years ago.

Sarh Palin's nomination is the direct result of this escalation. because of the phenomenon of Obama, her party had no choice but to create it's own, and they have succeeded in doing that.

What frightens me is that Palin's party took a look at the celebrity of Obama, and concluded that they would have to make a Faustian bargain in order to energize conservative-leaning voters.

Now here is the really difficult part for me: if McCain loses, Sarah Palin will become the future of the Republican party. She will be the icon to be measured against, and she will run in 2012 against Obama.

Journalist david Brooks gave a talk recently, and brought up a point made by conservative writer William Buckley:

"Bill Buckley famously said he'd rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty. But he didn't think those were the only two options. He thought it was important to have people on the conservative side who celebrated ideas, who celebrated learning. And his whole life was based on that, and that was also true for a lot of the other conservatives in the Reagan era. Reagan had an immense faith in the power of ideas. But there has been a counter, more populist tradition, which is not only to scorn liberal ideas but to scorn ideas entirely. And I'm afraid that Sarah Palin has those prejudices. I think President Bush has those prejudices."

That this populist tradition that scorns ideas, is terrified of losing it's grip on the status quo, particularly culturally would take over one of the two dominant political parties in this country does not bode well for the future of America, or the world.

David brooks, who openly feels that Obama is "a VERY mediocre senator, went on to tell the following story about one of his interactions with Obama, a bit of attempted "gotcha journalism":

"I was interviewing Obama a couple years ago, and I'm getting nowhere with the interview, it's late in the night, he's on the phone, walking off the Senate floor, he's cranky. Out of the blue I say, 'Ever read a guy named Reinhold Niebuhr?' And he says, 'Yeah.' So i say, 'What did Niebuhr mean to you?' For the next 20 minutes, he gave me a perfect description of Reinhold Niebuhr's thought, which is a very subtle thought process based on the idea that you have to use power while it corrupts you. And I was dazzled, I felt the tingle up my knee as Chris Matthews would say."

That is not only the kind of intellect that the leader of the free world should possess, but the kind of subjects he should be thinking about as he navigates his career.

I am sure Sarah Palin is a great person, a wonderful mother, and she is clearly a successful politician.
I am also sure that her nomination was a cold, cynical calculated bid to enflame those of us who are suspicious of the complexities and grey areas that exist in human culture and interaction.

She is an attempt to appeal to those who think in black and white terms. She represents "the good guys." The problem is that there are no pure good guys. There is only humanity, with all it's flaws, and every one of us share that. Even Sarah Palin. Even Barack Obama, and John McCain.

Now, What's the best path?

For respectable, intelligent conservatives in this country to turn their party over to this idea of populism versus elitism, and the fight that it will lead to, would be beyond tragic, and it scares the shit out of me.

Jaime

You are absolutely right, Zak. As you know, I have been trying to debate the issues with a certain well-known conservative, and have been amazed at how many of the central tenets of his political and economic creed are taken on fundamentally uninformed faith. It is amazing to me that, while ferociously avowing principles that are currently demonstrating their ineffectiveness and potential for disaster on a massive level, he follow it up by saying that economics is all 'witchcraft' to him. Despite that, there is no alternative idea that can possibly penetrate, and it is truly fascinating.

However, maybe I`m being overly optimistic, here, but I don`t believe Sarah Palin will last that long, or be the future of the party. What it means, I think, is that there will be a battle for the soul of the Republican party. As ambitious as she is, she has been damaged in this campaign, which has basically used her to do it`s dirty work, and dirty work that has, frankly, never been dirtier.

More later...

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