08 July 2009

Palin's gone? You betcha!

A skimming of our archives will show that I in fact supported the nomination of Gov. Palin as Sen. McCain's running mate from a political perspective. Since then, I've readily admitted that I was probably wrong. Sen. McCain's selection of her -- and my subsequent, almost immediate support -- evince poor judgment on both our parts.

I have, in the months following the election as I've observed Palin, made a few comments in this corner of the blogosphere that have been highly critical of Palin and those people who afford her such idiotic devotion.

Here is one final take on the governor in the wake of her announcement that she is resigning the governorship of Alaska.

If Sarah Palin really considers herself a serious contender for national office, she would have remained in the governorship and made a bid for the U.S. Senate in 2010. That much is clear. I understand her resignation if she has personal or family issues to which she must attend -- and let me say that if such is her reason for resigning, I applaud her -- but she will not win the Republican nomination in 2012 with just two years of governorship experience under her belt. There's no way.

Another, more crucial point: I do not count myself among those people who believe she has been mistreated by the national press. If you step onto the national stage, you had better know what you're getting into. Yes, left-wing moonbats like Maureen Dowd, Daily Kos devotees or certain columnists at Huffington Post have criticized Palin and particularly her family in ways that have stepped over the line. To attack the woman's family and make it the focus of media coverage, instead of the candidate, is a cardinal sin and an inexcusable derogation of one's duty as a member of the media.

But Palin and her supporters have used the unfair treatment from the far left as an excuse for her unfathomably poor performance with the rest of the media.

Do not confuse tough questioning with abject hatred.

There were two turning points for me. The first was the Charlie Gibson interview where Palin had no idea what the Bush Doctrine was. This, of course, to those of us who had not been living in Alaska, was President Bush's declaration that the United States would preemptively strike any country that it believed was a threat to America's national security, or even that provided safe harbor to terrorists. In the wake of the last half-decade's events in Iraq, I was genuinely curious as to whether Palin subscribed to that theory. Whether Gibson was actually trying to trick her is irrelevant -- journalists are more than entitled to test an interviewee's knowledge, especially when she is a candidate for the vice-presidency of the United States! The Bush Doctrine has already made its way into the history books. It's fair game.

The second turning point was during the Katie Couric interview, when lobbed a softball by the CBS host. During a certain line of questioning, Couric appeared to toss her an easy one, and simply asked what magazines or newspapers she read to stay informed on the world's events. I thought this was a very good question, especially given Palin's remoteness from the Beltway up in Alaska. Every serious candidate for national office reads, right?

My response would have included, first of course, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as well as The Economist, U.S. News & World Report, and occasionally, Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. I also would have noted that I flip between all three cable news networks, favoring none, but my favorite cable news show is Hardball with Chris Matthews. My favorite political analysts are Matthews, Joe Scarborough and Chuck Todd at MSNBC, David Gergen and Fareed Zakaria at CNN, Brit Hume and Dick Morris at FOX News, and Michael Barone. My favorite print columnists are George Will and David Brooks.

And, let's be clear, during that time, I was a third-year law student.

Palin's response?

"Well ... all of them."

Huh?

Palin's stammering response indicated to me that she didn't give a crap about reading the news or becoming informed on national or world events. If she took the time to learn and actually pick up a newspaper or magazine, she would have been excited to reveal her sources to Couric. I'm sorry. There is no excuse for not having one single answer to a question like that.

I would have loved -- LOVED -- to have seen Palin sit down for an interview with Tim Russert. There is no doubt she would have stumbled and stammered and peppered her answers with "tax cuts," and thereafter spoken of Russert's desire to take her down in flames.

Like many others, I do believe that the national press on the whole harbors a liberal bias. If you don't agree with this sentiment, as I've noted before, it's probably time to flip off "Countdown" and put down your copy of The Nation. However, virtually every other Republican candidate for national office has dealt with the exact same bias as Palin encountered. Even George W. Bush, as much as Washington outsider as Palin, handled the tough questioning with grace and as best he could. Although he didn't seem to have many allies in the national press corps, he did not attack them and blame antagonistic reporters for his shortcomings.

For this, he deserves credit.

I have written here before that Sarah Palin appeals to the lowest common denominator in the Republican Party -- a group that thinks the answer to every problem is tax cuts; Rush Limbaugh devotees who suspect Barack Obama has come to take away their guns and impose a Muslim theocracy on the United States; a group bereft of ideas, who can do nothing more than stomp their feet and shout "no" in response to every administration initiative.

Perhaps the thing that bothers me the most about Palin is that she actually seems proud of the fact that she is derided as a know-nothing by the political establishment. She seizes on this criticism and turns it into applause lines. To me, that's ridiculous. I don't want a leader who is effectively laughing at the notion of an educated, informed mind.

I am no supporter of President Obama's policies on the whole, but he has proven himself to be a minimally competent, reasonably thoughtful chief executive. Even though I fundamentally disagree with most of the the president's initiatives, I cannot imagine voting against him in 2012 if Sarah Palin somehow secures the Republican nomination.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was originally against Palin's nomination, but now I'm beginning to become more supportive of her. She's clearly the least worst of all the Republicans in prominant public view.

Anonymous said...

When she accepted the VP nomination, she knew she needed to bring her professional game up to another level, she never did. She knew that her family would get attacked as did Hilary and Chelsea before her (by even her twin maverick brother McCain in 1998), let face it she knew her family affairs would come out. But now she plays the victim card again, a card she played after those comical first extended interviews that we all enjoyed and SNL immortalized. But for the icing on the cake, she quits, because she does not want to be a lame duck governor, because the lawsuits keep coming, because it was the media’s fault, because seeing Russia from her house finally got to her, because its not fair that Alaskan’s paid her salary while she was running for the VP position, take your pick. So what does she tells us? Dear Mr. President, when things get tough, quit. Dear military men and women, if you are not having fun, quit. Dear son or daughter, if things are not going your way, quit. Sure, I agree when she first was introduced and gave a descent speech, sure the polls went up, but after the extended interviews, they went where they ended, down. She showed her true character, I real hope the book deal, Radio/ TV shows and the lecture circuits make up for what her party has lost by her actions. She may go down in history as the quitter that twittered.

Anonymous said...

"And, let's be clear, during that time, I was a third-year law student"

And now you are a third rate comentator.

You seem to be just another of that wishy washy, with no true core of beliefs moderate.

Because Palin, over handled as she was by the McCain people (and we see how loyal they are now) didn't do well in some interviews with very biased reporters, you are ready to slam her and yet defend them.

Then you want to fall in line with the others you think are so wonderful, Gergen, good god, and cup of Joe Joe, that you seize on the ever popular bash Palin bandwagon.

And Obama is doing an OK job? That right there shows you don't know a damn thing.

Anonymous said...

Clerly, you do not know what the Bush Doctrine was. The term was originallycreated by Charles Krauthamer in respone to his refuesal to abscribe to the Kyoto Treaty. (Please check it!) After 9/11 some referred to the Bush Doctrine as a county either with us or agaist us as you've mentioned. Lastly, some felt it referred to the policyt of the democratization of the Middle East, i.e. Iraq, Lebanon, Afganistan, etc. Palin had it right when she asked Gibson which part of it, you have it completely wrong.

DaSaintFan said...

If you're saying the following:

" I do not count myself among those people who believe she has been mistreated by the national press"

Then maybe you'd care to ask how Carl Cannon (one of those of the national press) came up with the following comment:

"From the beginning, and for the ensuing 10 months, the coverage of this governor consisted of a steamy stew of cultural elitism and partisanship...

... that wasn't the woman journalism's reigning feminists had envisioned for the glass ceiling-breaking role of First Female President (or Vice President). Hillary Rodham Clinton was more like what they had in mind – and Sarah, well, she was the un-Hillary.


So one of the media says "yes, we mistreated her..." because she wasn't 'Hillary-like'?

Paul said...

Who would you chose to get a surgery from a person who worked hard and received an Ivy League education, or one who does not care about education (especially science) and drifts and somehow manages to get a degree. She showed her true character, by quitting (cut and run) just like her college years. She couldn’t even give a decent exit speech (her railing against the media was sweet until she ask them to go with her on a fishing trip to clarify her “Rambling Rose” comments). She was right for Alaska (with a population of less than 700,000), and her education matches it (journalism degree from the University of Idaho in 1987). But if you think and anyone who wants to get our country back on track after the fiasco of the last administration with our economy and the fabricated two wars then you along with the republican party are completely lost (are you surprise about the election results?). For the previous eight years we put up with a dullard president, but no more, you may try in 2012 but our eyes are open. I have heard that Republicans lost because God was against them, I can only say look at the candidates the Republican party put forward on their national ticket and don’t make the same mistake again. Mavericks, please, more like flash over substance (she quit and he fumbled) and the majority of voters saw it. We both know that she is cashing out, book deal, a show (Radio/TV), speaking engagements, she will keep her followers as long as she keeps the possibility open for running in 2012.

Alfred said...

As to the "cut and run" criticism, it is now coming out that Palin's office was slowly being paralyzed by Freedom of Info. filings and spurious ethics complaints (that were amounting to $500k in personal legal expenses to the Palin family). Her agenda was being stymied by a once cooperative Democrat state assembly that in light of her potential as a national leader for the Repubs, has taken a decidedly oppositional stance to anything she initiates. Her rationale was that she couldn't take Alaska's money to serve as a lame-duck governor for the next year and a bit.
That being said, I think it was a huge mistake for her to have said 'yes' to McCain. Better for her to have emerged as a national figure later, after a successful governorship. True, she wouldn't have had the profile a former VP candidate has, but the vilification of her would have been forestalled until she had finished up in Alaska.

Warren said...

I do not count myself among those people who believe she has been mistreated by the national press.

OK, I guess you weren't paying much attention. You'll be relevant when you return to this planet.

The Commissioner said...

Sorry, "alanstorm," if you're looking to call names like a third-grader, you've come to the wrong place. Go spout your fanatical hyperpartisan drivel elsewhere. May I suggest Right Wing News or Michelle Malkin's site? I'm sure you'll find the far-right circle jerks offered by both sites more to your liking. Additionally, you will be able to post there without turning on your brain.

A poster makes a comment about Palin's education and intelligence, and you call him a "moron"? Give me a break. How about explaining exactly why you think Palin is somehow intellectually fit to be a national candidate? In all seriousness, I'd love to hear your explanation, assuming I could keep myself from falling out of my chair.

And regardless of what you think of the president, don't come here and call him an idiot. First, it's completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. Second, it's childish. Disagree with his policies all you'd like, but to suggest he somehow has a lack of mental faculties is absurd.

If you can't handle the adult dialogue here, go somewhere else.

roger said...

Before I begin, nice site.

I was for the most part neutral whe it came to Sarah Palin. She and I agree on an awful lot of topics, but she was on the ballot because she's a woman, period. The GOP simply felt this was the only way to counter a black Democrat in 2008. When it comes to being President (or VP), though, neither had any real experience to speak of, either public or private.

As for this article, I was with you pretty much all the way, but the article sort of went off-the-rails at this point:

Sarah Palin appeals to the lowest common denominator in the Republican Party -- a group that thinks the answer to every problem is tax cuts

Some us, even non-Palin types, actually do believe that tax cuts really are the answer to an awful lot. Since drastically cutting the Federal government is impossible at this point, pushing for tax cuts is about all we have left.

a group bereft of ideas, who can do nothing more than stomp their feet and shout "no" in response to every administration initiative.

The Part of No, huh? Saying "yes" to an initiative that you believe to be hugely destructive is responsible behavior, then? If more politicians would say "no" to anything on occasion, we'd be far better off right now. If the GOP actually did say "no" as often as their critics claim they do, I'd register as a Republican once again.

Even though I fundamentally disagree with most of the the president's initiatives, I cannot imagine voting against him in 2012 if Sarah Palin somehow secures the Republican nomination.

I cannot fathom why anyone would ever willingly vote for someone who shares almost no political goals and/or beliefs. If you don't like Palin, or any other GOP candidate, don't vote for them. That doesn't mean you have to support the other major candidate by default.

That reminds me of a very good, very conservative friend of mine... A month or so ago he told me that he voted for Barack Obama. After I picked my jaw off the floor, I asked him why. He said, "because I can't stand John McCain".

Oh well, sometimes otherwise very smart people do dumb, impulsive things. I've done many myself, but voting for President Obama isn't one of them.

Diego said...

"A poster makes a comment about Palin's education and intelligence, and you call him a "moron"? Give me a break. How about explaining exactly why you think Palin is somehow intellectually fit to be a national candidate? In all seriousness, I'd love to hear your explanation, assuming I could keep myself from falling out of my chair.

And regardless of what you think of the president, don't come here and call him an idiot. First, it's completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. Second, it's childish. Disagree with his policies all you'd like, but to suggest he somehow has a lack of mental faculties is absurd."

Translation: How dare you call Obama dumb. Sarah Palin is dumb. I'll laugh at you when you tell me she isn't dumb. Don't call Obama dumb.

lagibby said...

Then there's Joe "the Brain" Biden.

Paul said...

Can anyone real tell me that you were impressed by her exit speech? You can’t real believe that she is the only person that can win in 2012. You know, if she can’t take a joke, don’t get in the game, its politics, they all get kicked around. Let me paint you a picture, in my opinion, for the last eight years where the mantra was no regulation and no oversight and spread to all federal agencies and the justice department was filled by unqualified religious types and the dullard (ex-drunk) religious president started two wars of choice with extreme tax dollar spending, is anyone surprised with our current economic situation because of those choices. Sure “W” sucker the religious right to vote for him and that’s why he placed unqualified people in positions of responsibility and they failed (almost a “plan to fail”), do you forget Katrina, where the Director of FEMA Michael D. Brown, was relieved of his duties because of incompetence? Or can you forget disgraced White House correspondent James Guckert, AKA Jeff Gannon, the male escort, why was a male escort getting into the Whitehouse, hmmm? I know it was Barney Frank’s fault, he controls the county and republicans had their hands tied (even though 7 of the last 8 years they had the majority and the presidency to do something (fact or fiction?), but not the will to act). Oh, by the way I read that God blog, very funny, it reminds me of those TV evangelists who claim the talk to God and want so and so foreign country leader to be killed or such and such a us state to be punished by God for a court ruling that intelligent design is just another word for religion. We had enough of religious dullards in our government. If you believe that the USA has strayed from God then go out to your communities and preach to your neighbors, the sick, the shut ins, the poor and invite them to take part in your church, build a community. But I know that’s hard work we want a government official to do that for us, well they tried that and look where it left us, in the gutter, but our country does not quit and we will rise again. Do you remember how Ronald Reagan got us out of a recession? By spending and we will do the same. But she is just another “W” in heels and she is stringing the religious right along, she will sell you her books, her radio/TV shows and speaking engagements. Lastly, I do not want you to believe what I believe, so please keep writing, feel free, I am starting to enjoy this.

The Commissioner said...

Even though I agree with your underlying premise that Palin is seriously unfit for national office, I'm not entirely sure how 75% of that was relevant at all. I'm not sure it even made any sense.

Sorry, a post like that invites such a response from the guy in charge.