LOOKING FOR LIFE BEYOND CABLE NEWS AND FINDING THAT RESISTANCE IS FUTILE
You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy. But you cannot have both.
- Louis Brandeis
Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
- Chinese Proverb
Well, look who came to dinner!
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Tag Archives: Palin
Okay. Choosing Palin was bold. Her Convention acceptance speech, to tens of thousands of Republicans who had never even heard of her, was a knockout. I watched it live and was stunned. She was hot. The faithful fell in love, the media as one dropped to their knees and thanked their respective deities. There was rejoicing in the land.
For a while. And then the cringe began inside the McCain campaign, and it spread. It spread.
Last week, reporting was that Palin would be granted B-list status at the convention and the campaign was dearly hoping she wouldn’t come at all. There was even talk – frivolous probably – that she’d have a shadow convention just to ‘stick it to them’ and feed the beast.
But that was before Ted Cruz, who is going to be the next Senator from Texas. Cruz is a new kind of Tea Party Republican: informed, capable, well-educated, attractive, terrific speaker – a credible candidate, a serious person.
So even though Romney’s people would despair at the idea of being forced to give Palin a prime speaking slot, it’s not as easy a decision as it was last week.
The conventional wisdom has been that Romney chooses Portman, Paultenty or possibly Ryan. (I’ve called it Portman.) Ryan could excite the base, but that would put the Ryan budget front and center and give Obama a really juicy bit to run against.
So what to do? The Palin decision must be made and a veep must be chosen. Might there be a way to have one over-shadow the other?
What if they brought in a shinier toy? What about out-McCain’ing McCain? Is there be a stealth candidate, a better-than-Palin, who could electrify the race?
Wouldn’t that be fun?
Once again, I seem to have taken an unplanned break from the blog. Downtime will, I expect, become a recurring feature here. This time I think the reason is because of what happened on Saturday. It left me speechless.
The killings in Tuscon describe, on too many levels, the story of the tragedy that is us. America has produced too many assassins; some succeed, some fail, but still they discharge their weapons. Just in my own lifetime: Kennedy, King, Kennedy, Ford, Reagan, a few other Congress critters (and I am sorry I don’t remember the names) and now Rep. Gifford. The wife of an astronaut. And those are just the political ones.
Public figures of all kinds – journalists, entertainers, doctors, nurses, municipal officials – it is a list too far. Agencies of the government, the buildings that house them, the innocents who showed up for their jobs that day.
We fiercely defend our guns – even the weapons of war – in the hands of those who mean us ill.
We allow – some embrace – the language of incitement, the mindset that sees government as the enemy off all that is good. A mindset that has taken hold and is endlessly reinforced. We now think it’s okay to yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre.
Rush Limbaugh changed the face of radio and invented today’s shabby genre of talk radio. He’s been on the air for 20 awful years, on thousands of stations around the country (even the military carries him on its stations). How big an impact has this one man had with his endless stream of nonsense-made-real?
Look what Sarah Palin and the Tea Party have wrought in thier primary victories. (per Nate Silver)
Delaware is a blue state, and the electoral prospects of Mr. Castle and Ms. O’Donnell there are wildly divergent. Whereas Mr. Castle is nearly a 95 percent favorite against the Democratic nominee, Chris Coons, according to last week’s FiveThirtyEight forecasting model, Ms. O’Donnell would have just a 17 percent chance of winning a race against Mr. Coons.
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door
Soon to be replaced with these new and wonderfully inspiring words from the Boreal Narcissus* “This Statue of Liberty was gifted to us by foreign leaders, really as a warning to us, it was a warning to us to stay unique and to stay exceptional from other countries. Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies,” Palin said – to cheers from the crowd.Those foreign leaders? They would be the people of France, center of the socialist plague that’s coming to eat your children.
* coined by Dependable Renegade
Here’s a perfect example of the casual use of equivalency in today’s media. Chris Cilizza, a columnist at the Washington Post and a regular on MSNBC, writes about Saturday’s Beckapalooza. He says no one really knows how many attended, saying:
“Estimates on the size of the rally have varied widely. According to one commissioned by CBS News, 87,000 people attended the event. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R), who also spoke at the event, told a reporter afterward that she thought more than 100,000 people had attended. Beck said that the crowd was between 300,000 and 650,000, and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), speaking at her own event after the rally, said that no fewer than 1 million people had been in attendance’
From CBS in their own report: “The company AirPhotosLive.com based the attendance on aerial pictures it took over the rally, which stretched from in front of the Lincoln Memorial along the Reflecting Pool to the Washington Monument. . . . AirPhotosLive.com gave its estimate a margin of error of 9,000, meaning between 78,000 and 96,000 people attended the rally. The photos used to make the estimate were taken at noon Saturday, which is when the company estimated was the rally’s high point.”
So what we learned from Chris Cilizza this morning (and passed as perfectly good reporting by the Post’s ‘editors’) is this: crowd size guesses pulled from the a**es of the sponsors carry the same weight as those arrived at by outside professionals hired by a news organization. Okay.
So, let’s just review. Estimates by Beck et al, as seen by Cilizza, worthy of reporting (at least they weren’t colluding – obviously), were:
Palin – 100,000
Beck – 300,000 – 650,000 (lottsa wiggle room in this one – either one thing or double that one thing. Somewhere in there.)
Bachman – 1 million by jeebus
. . . .well, sometimes it’s best that he not talk at all. He’s just told a group at the National Press Club that FOX hired Palin as entertainment. So now we know.
What he directly said about Ms. Palin was that she was a ‘commenter’ not a journalist. Fine.
Then he added ” I do believe the public wants good, ethical journalism — but they also want to be entertained . . .”
So sayeth George Will today.
The column was about Palin. Credit to him for this:
” . . . today’s saturation journalism, mesmerized by presidential politics and ravenous for material, requires a steady stream of political novelties. In that role, Palin is united with the media in a relationship of mutual loathing.”
He got that right.
On these brisk mornings-after, I hope the tea party conventioneers still think they got their $100K worth out of Ms. Palin this weekend. I listened to the speech. I looked at the transcript.
This is the most coherent – and at the same time irrelevant and frightening – passage I could find:
I think, kind of tougher to, um, put our arms around, but allowing America’s spirit to rise again by not being afraid to kind of go back to some of our roots as a God fearing nation where we’re not afraid to say, especially in times of potential trouble in the future here, where we’re not afraid to say, you know, we don’t have all the answers as fallible men and women so it would be wise of us to start seeking some divine intervention again in this country, so that we can be safe and secure and prosperous again. To have people involved in government who aren’t afraid to go that route, not so afraid of the political correctness that you know — they have to be afraid of what the media said about them if they were to proclaim their alliance on our creator.
— Sarah Palin, on what should be one of Congress’s top 3 priorities: to wit, ask for divine intervention
Got that? One of what should be Cognress’s top 3 priorities.
Watching, it seemed to me that different parts of her audience were cheering at different points in the speech. These tea partiers have such various agendas, or causes, or issues that their own priorities must conflict quite a bit.
I really like that our darlings in the media covered the event like snow in Washington. Any gathering that can draws as many as 530 paid attendees demands a nation pay close attention.
(There were over half that number at my retirement party. And where were MSNBC and FOX may I ask?)
Hat tip The Constant Weader.
Before I head off to what promises to be a busy day full of meetings, I’d like to share the final paragraph from Frank Rich’s column in the Sunday NYTimes. He’s having some fun examining the antics of Michael Steele and Sarah Palin – both target rich even without the questionable sublimation of political principle to the wonderful world of personal-for-profits.
Rich wraps it with:
The Democrats’ efforts to counter the deprivation and bitterness spawned by the Great Recession are indeed timid and imperfect. The right has a point when it says that the Senate health care votes of Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana were bought with pork. But at least their constituents can share the pigout. Hustlers like Steele and Palin take the money and run. All their followers get in exchange is a lousy tea party T-shirt. Or a ghost-written self-promotional book. Or a tepid racial sideshow far beneath the incendiary standards of the party whose history from Strom to “macaca” has driven away nearly every black American except Steele for the past 40 years.
That’s about right.
So Palin is losing CPAC for hurting their feelings. And she’s losing The American Spectator for hurting CPAC. And the American Spectator is telling her to ‘get over yourself.” Wow.
These are not the moves of a politician seeking office; not unless the candidate is clueless . . . oh.
INTERESTING UPDATE: From Nate Silver via: “[T]here’s going to come a time, probably in July 2011 or so, where the knives are really drawn on Palin and Republican pundits, strategists and candidates start saying in public some of the things they’ve been thinking in private. And that in all likelihood will play very well for her. Although the Establishment’s concerns about Palin’s viability as a general election candidate are well grounded, mostly they’re just terrified of her because she doesn’t need them.”