In support of Sarah Palin because in support of Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin as a youth, hunting Hey, I happen to like Sarah Palin too. For whatever her level of experience, she has the right attitude, and that’s still got to be the most important qualification for a president. And to draw a chess metaphor, her pick as vice presidential running mate is like an even exchange of rooks (or something), since it neutralizes whatever attacks Republicans would have about Barack Obama’s lack of experience, while the attacks of the few Democrats who say her experience is substantially lower then Obama’s is easily discredited.

Here’s what’s interesting at this moment in the election process: As the conservative intellectuals line up against her, and as the latest round of criticisms and refutations of the McCain campaign’s claims in her favor (a few e.g’s: 1. Yes, she was for that “bridge to nowhere,” up until it became obvious the Congress would reject it; 2. No, she has not been to Iraq, and has “been to” Ireland, as claimed, in the sense that a plane she never got off stopped there to refuel; 3. as of latest, she will not be cooperating with the troopergate investigation; 4. maybe, this), Bill Bennett, one of the conservative intellectuals still standing in her support, went on the Today Show.

When presented with the latest series series of embarrassments and refutations of the points of experience the McCain campaign has cooked up for Palin, Bennett’s response was something like (paraphrasing), “sure, the Republican party intellectuals are turning against her, but most people don’t care about this stuff, and her support among average voters is still strong.”

We pause now while I confess to a pet peeve. “Begging the question” is a phrase that has gone beyond being abused in casual conversation, and is not being flagrantly abused by people on stages and on the television who ought to know better. I’m not normally a language pedant, but, um, I do not think that expression means what you think it means. “Begs the question,” has a specific meaning which is worth preserving. Try “raises the question” next time you want to use the former expression, and I think you’ll find yourself much better served. And while you’re at it, look up the meaning if you need to, and you’ll find yourself interestingly educated.

Anyway. To the extent that there’s any sense left in the world, people base their opinions in significant part on information they get from the news. So here’s Bill Bennett being asked to respond to the criticisms against Sarah Palin, and his response is (paraphrasing again), “even with all this criticism, people still like her.” Dude! Your job is to tell people what they should think, and that’s the best you got? Addressing this to a guy who should care, you, sir, are begging the question.

Image: photo of Sarah Palin as a youth, shortly after hunging, with her catch. Talk to me about how she wanted to ban books, but do not tell me she is not cool, America.

Posted: Thursday September 18, 2008 by Alesh Houdek · · Comment feed for this post: RSS, atom

 

Comment

  1. Alex    Sep 18, 08:53 AM #  

    That’s the best he got because that’s the best there is. I think I’d like Sarah Palin the person (I have more than a few folksy God-and-ammo relatives and they ARE harmless fun). I don’t, however, want them as vicepresident.

    Her whole appeal is relating to people in a a gut level way and that’s how she is being packaged: slightly off-kilter very fertile hockey mom slash lipsticked pitbull who shoots moose, played basketball and is married to a some stud who races snowmobiles. Teddy Roosevelt in panties. Criticism only props her up. What the Democrats should be doing is ignoring her and giving her enough rope to hang herself.



  2. Alex    Sep 18, 08:57 AM #  

    BTW, you may have read it already, but in case you haven’t, the Hemingway novel to go for is “A Farewell To Arms”.



  3. cb    Sep 18, 10:36 AM #  

    she’s not cool.

    You forgot a number of other issues, here are a few:

    -she doesn’t believe in abortion for rape or incest cases
    -she listens to preachers who say jews are attacked b/c they don’t accept Jesus
    -she runs state business through a yahoo account and uses her zip code as a pw
    -she believes the Iraq War is a task from god
    -she believes the Alaskan pipeline is god’s will
    -she hired at least 5 friends from high school after becoming Gov
    -she fires people who disagree with her
    -she didn’t own a passport until last year
    -she doesn’t understand the Bush Doctrine or Fannie or Freddie

    Cool people are nice to polar bears and believe in dinosaurs.



  4. alesh    Sep 18, 10:45 AM #  

    Alex~

    I agree w.r.t giving her enough rope.

    Do you recommend A Farewell to Arms over For Whom the Bell Tolls? Because if so, I’m bailing out now — it’s a big book and if I finish it I’m through with Hemingway awhile.

    cb~

    Similar to Republican attacks on Obama, many of the Democratic attacks on Palin are overblown. Just to take the first couple:

    - She’s “against” abortion, but conspicuously chose not do anything while governor to limit abortion rights. Her position is a split hair away from Biden’s. – “Listens” to preachers? What does that MEAN? I “listen” to preachers when I flip past them on the TV sunday mornings, does that make me responsible for what they say? And is she the only (ahem) politician with preacher problems?

    Religiosity brings with it belief in many dumb things, but you’ll observe that ALL politicians profess their religiosity.



  5. Alex    Sep 18, 12:32 PM #  

    It’s a matter of personal taste, of course, but I find “A Farewell To Arms” gripping and tense while “For Whom The Bell Tolls” is plodding and preachy at times (and yes, long). But the definitive Hemingway is in the short stories. “The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber” is one of my favorite pieces of literature.



  6. LIZ    Sep 18, 03:18 PM #  

    Alesh, come on. She is a member of a parish, and therefore a member of a community, that tries to convert gays to straights. I know many of us have tried to do this before, as there is a world of fine gay men out there, but let me tell ya now, ain’t gonna happen.

    Obama’s preacher was outspoken, but that was his preacher speaking, not the community speaking. And Obama renounced his preacher, who I thought had some good points. The white devil is out there.

    You may think that 2.5 years in the Senate is not a lot of experience, but it’s more DC and federal experience than being the Gov. of Alaska, which, let’s be honest, is barely a state.

    I know you’re a world traveller, so you must accept how much traveling is important to the development of a person who will be placed in such an important role. The VP needs to have some miles under their belt, they do quite a bit of diplomacy overseas. You need to know what currency goes with which country, should be fluent in other languages, etc. This is only my opinion, but I expect my pres and VP to be BETTER than I am. I like Oxford on the resume. Though I think he’ll make a shitty president, at least McCain is educated and well-traveled.

    Whatever, I’m just babbling. I think Palin cannot be VP b/c: she would be neglecting her newborn with Downs- which is terrible, and she can’t even govern her own household, with the knocked up 17 year old. She’s not better than us, she’s even more WT.
    Lastly, I don’t trust pro-lifers. Seriously get out of my uterus, I will abort as I please. My body, my gays, my nature! Hands off, Palin!



  7. I was there    Sep 18, 04:02 PM #  

    I’m scared.

    Sarah Palin has the same amount [or more] of that “good ole lovable country bumkin” appeal that Geore W. Bush has.

    She’s old fashioned. Remember the good days? when women stayed home and raised the kids, gays were in the closet and blacks knew their place?!

    Although she has even more of it! It’s hard to imagine a bigger arrogant asshole than G.W. Bush and along comes Palin!

    Please wake me up!



  8. CL Jahn    Sep 18, 10:32 PM #  

    cb -she doesn’t believe in abortion for rape or incest cases”

    Alex -She’s “against” abortion, but conspicuously chose not do anything while governor to limit abortion rights.”

    During her whole year and a half in office? I’m underwhelmed.

    As for “listening to preachers;” she pays attention to what they say, and acknowledges their input on the record. It’s scary. She’s scary, and the fact that anyone fails to see that she’s a nutcase is itself a serious condemnation of education in America.



  9. CB    Sep 18, 11:16 PM #  

    ““Listens” to preachers? What does that MEAN? “

    Don’t play stupid. It means that she sat in the congregation as a preacher said Jews are attacked by terrorists because they haven’t accepted Christ. It’s ‘listening’ to anti-semitism as the highest ranking member in the state and not speaking out against it. Ridiculous. As stated above, Obama denounced his preacher after statements made while Obama was not present.

    She’s a religious nut.



  10. Palin For President    Sep 19, 01:42 AM #  

    “She’s old fashioned. Remember the good days? when women stayed home and raised the kids, gays were in the closet and blacks knew their place?”

    Old fashioned? Sarah Palin is about as modern as they get.

    In fact, she is even beginning to refer to her and McCain as the Palin/McCain administraion.

    That don’t sound like she is staying home.

    I think the problem is that many people, including feminists, fear a strong woman.

    And so what if she is religious?

    Hasn’t anyone heard God Bless America?

    Or pledged allegiance to the flag belonging to one nation under God?

    Or freely spent dollars In God We Trust?

    I not only want to have a beer with Palin, I want to buy her a beer.

    Besides, even if she were elected, we have nothing to fear because God will be her co-pilot.



  11. I was there    Sep 19, 07:21 AM #  

    Palin is old fashioned in a modern way!
    She pretends to have those old fashioned good ole america values, but she is a STRAIGHT UP NUT JOB! she should be launched into space with a one way ticket. Never to return to earth.



  12. alesh    Sep 19, 08:46 AM #  

    For me, there is a ground floor to how much contempt I can feel for them for their views if those views are religious-based. If you’re the sort who does a full buy-in on whatever your particular religion happens to be, you get a moderate contempt for me mixed in with a little pity and I just leave it at that. Converting gays? Pro-life? Pro-genital mutilation? Want to put the ten commandments in front of your courthouse? Printing “in God we trust” on your currency? Teaching intelligent design? To me, it’s all a sad part of the world, and I have a hard time holding a lot of the individual beliefs against the individuals.

    And yes, I think Jeremiah Wright was exactly right about a lot of stuff (not to mention treated unfairly, as far as that goes).

    ‘Palin’s commitment to pro-life legislation has been questioned back home.’

    This is not a pro-Palin post, but you people accusing her of being of being anti-Semetic and racist need to provide some documentation (kind of like the Palin/McCain link did, above). And the stuff about women staying home is absurd on its face, no? Not that that in any way would make her tolerable as VP, much less president.

    (One last thing: homophobia is evil, but I don’t see Barack Obama supporting gay marriage, which I think ought to temper our contempt.)



  13. CB    Sep 19, 09:06 AM #  

    “Hasn’t anyone heard God Bless America? “

    Haven’t you heard of separation of church and state? I don’t want her crazy interpretation of God affecting me in any way.

    “I think the problem is that many people, including feminists, fear a strong woman.”

    Sorry, but I wouldn’t want a guy like her either.

    Here’s the anti-semitism charge on MSNBC. 2 mins in.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-Q7fgiNVoc

    Here is audio of the preacher:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-fvg6Q_TyE



  14. Squathole    Sep 19, 11:46 AM #  

    You people are sooooo shallow.

    I like Gov Palin because at one time in her life she had herself some truly fabulous tits, and even now, after 5 kids, this grandma is a MILF. Make that, GILF.



  15. Palin For President    Sep 19, 05:14 PM #  

    Squathole,

    That’s exactly what I’m saying. A woman who can five kids and still look that good. That shows discipline. And it also means her maternal instinct is honed.

    That’s what this country needs.



  16. ross    Sep 20, 01:05 AM #  

    Palin is horrifing, but does represent a sizable population of these United States… But, oh Lord, is her voice grading and vowel pronunciation flat and grotesque. Also, having no international experience, even real TRAVEL experience, is terrible. Still, it’s just her politics I’m really concerned about.

    This being said, I can understand her appeal so entirely as this kick-ass, do-it-yourself, designer glasses baby machine. Let’s forget her record or lack thereof, because this has obviously dissolved into a popularity contest. I think what’s more interesting than the caricatures that presidential elections create is the way voters respond to these representations of actual candidates. Americans so often vote with our hearts and our guts.

    I’m as liberal as you could possibly get with nearly no room for budging, but I understand that Americas make up a seething mass of different opinion, making it so hard to govern and please us. Still, I have to draw the line at nonsense like making abortion illegal, actually banning homosexual marriage, bringing religion into government and ignoring evolution. It’s just embarrassing and out of touch from a national that has been so historically out of touch with the rest of the 1st world. Also, I want to be Liz’s friend.

    Is Palin hot?? This I wasn’t aware of. She looks a little like a porn librarian sometimes.

    Of course, everything being said, this is dissolving into a Liberal circle jerk, but that’s comforting in a way.



  17. Met    Sep 22, 12:38 AM #  

    You’re wrong, my friend.

    There’s an insider information site that revels more about Sarah Palin, her interests, and her party’s interest and a good deal about the doings and undoings in washington.

    www.tbrnews.org

    Headline from the site:

    “Only in America do we use the word ‘politics’ to describe the process so well: ‘Poli’ in Greek meaning ‘many’ and ‘tics’ meaning ‘bloodsucking creatures”

    Sarah Palin is dangerous.



  18. LIZ    Sep 22, 01:33 PM #  

    So, Obama hasn’t come out supporting gay marriage (this is why all my gay friends love Hillary), although, you must admit, he isn’t trying to turn them straight. McCain does offer some support for gay rights, but in the end, Biden is the one who supports the natural evolution of marriage which will eventually include gay marriage. Here’s some proof, with quotes.

    From the Washington Times, Biden on gay marriage/rights:
    “It’s going to be something we have to go through as part of the maturation process of the nation,” said Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat. Mr. Biden told “Fox News Sunday” that homosexuals are entitled to the same rights as other Americans, but that getting there will “be an incredibly difficult thing for America to grapple with.”
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2003/nov/24/20031124-120303-4131r/

    Back to Obama and McCain…

    This is from the LA Times:
    For one thing, McCain and Barack Obama are closer to one another on social issues than many believe. Both oppose same-sex marriage (though Obama has come out against Proposition 8, which would forbid it in California). Both also oppose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would limit marriage to a pact between men and women only. The significant difference concerns abortion. McCain likely would appoint Supreme Court justices who would rein in, or even reverse, Roe vs. Wade. Obama would do the opposite.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-ed-values18-2008sep18,0,3485092.story



  19. alesh    Sep 23, 11:29 AM #  

    Ross~ Yeah, I guess she’s horrifying, if for no other reason then that the low-intelligence majority of the republican party is so drawn to her and so willing to ignore her myriad flaws.

    Met~ I’m not sure if I’m prepared to trust a site that takes its slogan from Dave Barry? (Sounds like Barry, anyway.)

    Liz~ Obama obviously is in favor of gay marriage in his heart of hearts, right? He doesn’t come out and proclaim that support for political reasons. So us liberal-minded folks forgive him that because we understand political pragmatism.

    My point would be that we should understand that republicans make the same political calculations with their positions, too (more so, actually, since republican voters on average are much less intelligent then democrat voters and independents). So when Sarah Palin makes all this anti-abortion noise, it’s important to look at her record and see that, given the opportunity, she conspicuously avoided taking steps to limit abortion rights.

    Not that there isn’t plenty of other fault to find with her, and — wait, Hillary supported gay marriage?



  20. nonee moose    Sep 23, 02:42 PM #  

    -she doesn’t understand the Bush Doctrine or Fannie or Freddie

    How would you, or anyone, know?

    She worries me too, but for only a few of the reasons mentioned. But what worries me the most is that Mac picked her, wither knowing her weaknesses or in spite of them, and presumably understanding the percentages as regards current lifespans, and presumably believing all the BS his campaign is spewing re Obama’s lack of experience. Do as I say, not as I do…?



  21. MrRealist    Sep 25, 10:39 AM #  

    I want Hillary back!



  22. alesh    Sep 25, 11:29 AM #  

    A fairly amazing slideshow/discussion about Sara Palin as VP by Lessig.

    Puts a little more context on nonee’s point.

    And for the last time — Hillary did NOT support gay marriage.



  23. MrRealist    Sep 26, 03:18 PM #  

    True and though it’s an important issue, it’s not nearly as important as other issues that plague this country. No candidate is perfect. In my honest opinion she would be much better then Obama or McCain.

    In anycase, I’m writing in Jessy the Body Ventura, so there! lol.



  24. todd    Oct 1, 05:27 PM #  

    http://www.palinpoll.com



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