Archive for the ‘Sarah Palin’ Category.

Does Romney 2012 = McCain 2008?

Like many Republicans I’m concerned selecting Romney as our standard-bearer guarantees a repeat of McCain’s defeat in 2008. Today the “accepted wisdom” by supporters of Gingrich and Santorum is that McCain was too moderate, and that by selecting another moderate as the 2012 Republican nominee we are doomed to lose in November. In order to better evaluate where Romney stands today it’s necessary to consider McCain’s mistakes during the last election cycle from the November 2008 perspective. Thankfully on election night 2008 Jennifer Rubin posted The Top Thirty Errors That Doomed McCain. I’ve reviewed these and divided them up into the following error types: Attack, Domestic Policy, Internal Campaign, Personal, Media Handling and Sarah Palin.

Rubin points out several reasons for McCain’s defeat  related to Sarah Palin. Rubin recognizes that McCain’s campaign team blew Palin’s rollout, and worse, immediately began trashing her in private. Unfortunately for McCain – and a Sarah Palin thrust into the public eye for the first time – things didn’t stop there. The disparaging remarks about Palin began leaking to the press and became public. Instead of recognizing Palin’s innate charisma with average American voters including independents and rolling her out whenever and wherever possible, McCain’s campaign team hid her and treated her as badly as the liberal mainstream media that lampooned her mercilessly as ignorant, “I can see Russia from my backyard,” and a wild-eyed soccer mom drenched in moose blood. Any decent campaign team would have been able to short circuit this treatment with the truth. For instance, Palin actually said about Russia, “They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska,” which anyone who’s ever looked at a globe or even watched an Alaskan themed show on the Discovery Channel would know is true. As for Palin’s hunting acumen, where I live dead deer carcasses are common in the backs of pickup trucks during hunting season, and anyone who’s ever eaten Bambi knows that deer meat is delicious and one of the healthier meats available. Perhaps maybe that’s why Sarah Palin is even more popular today in these parts than her former running mate ever was.

The handling of Sarah Palin points out other mistakes by McCain and his campaign staff. McCain should have shown some integrity by personally canning the staff responsible  for its handling of Palin. In fact McCain should have exhibited much greater hands-on control with his staff throughout his campaign, preventing other errors Rubin points out such as his failure to better control his team, preventing arguments and in-fighting from going public and exhibiting a campaign in apparent disarray. If he had a better campaign team, McCain wouldn’t have wasted time and resources in Iowa instead of putting those into Virginia, a state with more electoral votes at stake.

Of the 30 errors Rubin describes, these mistakes account for just under a quarter. We’ll throw in “Waiting until the final Saturday Night Live before the election to show self-deprecating humor,” to push it over that mark. We could also add McCain’s failure to find a credible economics adviser at a time when economics was the key issue of the election, made worse by McCain’s response to the financial meltdown where he called off the debates in order to show he was serious about handling the crisis, and his failure to come up with a credible economic plan in the final weeks of the campaign. So over a third of his mistakes are related to the internal machinations of McCain’s staff and the apparent bumbling of an old man out of his depth, resorting to public theater to appear relevant.

Will Romney react similarly? First off Economics happens to be Romney’s strength. McCain seemed uncomfortable with economics, much preferring interest in foreign policy. That’s not surprising since foreign policy is one of the few powers reserved for the executive branch. For a former Cold Warrior and POW like McCain economics must seem pointless. After all, a good conservative would know that sometimes the best  economic action is to do nothing, not that McCain was a good conservative (Rubin’s Reason # 28 “Too much hostility toward conservatives offering smart strategy and policy ideas.”) Romney’s business acumen directly translates to economic matters. Secondly there will be no Sarah Palin repeat this round, unless Sarah Palin appears at the convention and accepts the nomination with Romney as her VP (if so, remember folks you read it here first!) Romney will most likely choose a known quantity, a conservative with credentials that could help seal the deal with his base. Ron Paul would be a solid choice, or to allow me to breathe for the next 4 years Rick Santorum, Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal or Tim Pawlenty. The best VP might be another Rick, Rick Perry from Texas. There’s already precedent for a moderate candidate from Massachusetts selecting a conservative from Texas to be his running mate after all. McCain tried to seal the deal with conservatives with Palin, but only a few conservatives knew about her and the MSM was so shocked, and the McCain response to the Palin attacks so lukewarm, that the Media was able to use McCain’s VP choice as a cudgel to beat his campaign into the ground with.

For being as wise and experienced as McCain is, he also had Media problems as the Palin episode proved. McCain whined about the Media and he didn’t control it the way Gingrich does. Established GOP figures like Gingrich understand that belly-aching about media bias does not make headlines or win votes, but smacking them around sure does. In fact the minute Romney’s camp feels mistreated by the MSM it should take out their frustrations by having Romney chew the head off the first reporter that gets in his way just as Gingrich did to CNN’s John King. Romney’s team must understand that John King and the media loved Gingrich’s response at the January 19th, 2012 debate almost as much as Gingrich’s audience did. At the same time it could learn from Gingrich’s treatment of the media behind the scenes. No one schmoozes the MSM more than Gingrich. He has treated the press well and never blocked their access to him, whereas McCain’s team cut off access the traveling press’s access to McCain and declared war on the MSM without understanding that such actions are like beating the tide back with a broom. Yes the media is liberal, and it holds conservative candidates to a higher standard, but that hasn’t stopped conservatives like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush from reaching the Oval Office.  There are ways to handle the liberal press that allows the conservative message to get out, but it’s not easy and it shouldn’t be left to amateurs as it was in 2008.

Finally, the key to McCain’s failure according to Rubin’s reasons is what I would describe simply as McCain’s failure to go on the offensive and attack Obama and the Democrats at every opportunity. Four years on I am left with the impression that McCain tried to fight a boxing match according to the Marquess of Queensberry Rules but instead the Democrats mugged him before he even got inside the ring. I’ve identified 13 of Rubin’s 30 reasons as resulting directly or indirectly from McCain’s failure to attack Obama and the Democrats. As Rubin points out the McCain team failed miserably at “oppo” research. They failed to attack Biden for his earmarks and lobbying on behalf of the banking industry, the most powerful industry in Biden’s home state of Delaware. They managed only lukewarm attacks on Obama for his cozy ties to Chicago’s Daly Machine and Big Labor, and failed to make an issue of his ties to the racist Rev. Wright, terrorist Bill Ayers, and indicted financier Tony Rezko. McCain failed to explain the Democrat’s role in the financial meltdown including ties to Countrywide’s CEO Angelo Mozilo, proven by the lucrative deals handed to “the friends of Angelo” like Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi’s son Paul Pelosi jr, Barbara Boxer, James Clyburn and Donna Shalala. McCain could have created a steady drumbeat of scandal that became a rhythm throughout his campaign, tainting the Democrats and particularly their standard-bearer then Senator Obama, but instead McCain wasted his time talking about bipartisanship, allowing the Democrats to dodge their role in the economic meltdown and blame the crisis on the GOP. I’m not sure why McCain chose this path on these issues. Perhaps it’s because he has never had to fight for his political life as a senator in Arizona, or the shellacking he received by the Bush team in the South Carolina primary in 2000 left him feeling that a scorched-earth attack policy wouldn’t sit well with his conscience. Regardless McCain had the opportunity to not only paint Obama as a tool of corrupt interests but the entire leadership of the Democratic Party. Had he successfully done so he could not only have won the election but employed long “coat-tails,” taking back the Senate and maybe even the House for the GOP.

It is too soon to determine whether Romney has held back attacking the President and the Democrats. Unfortunately the Democrats have already inoculated themselves and their president from the charges that could have damaged them in 2008 but won’t today. Romney has focused Obama during most of the debates, but his team has been mostly busy in putting out the fires caused by the insurgencies of the “not Romney” candidacies of Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich and Santorum. Although I have argued that a brutal vetting of our candidates will create a more effective one to go against Obama and his allies, I’m beginning to have my doubts, although it’s good to remember that by this time four years ago Hillary was still the one to beat for the Democratic nomination. Still I’m getting to the point where I believe the GOP is facing diminishing returns by distracting Romney, forcing him to pour his resources into fighting first Gingrich then Santorum instead of developing a consistent attack strategy against Obama.

Rubin’s article is just one opinion of why McCain lost, but it goes a long way to rebutting the claim that McCain was somehow too moderate or “Obama-lite” to win that floats around conservative circles these days. The problem wasn’t McCain’s ideology or the lack of fervor he inspired among conservatives, it was the fact that his inept campaign failed to punch back twice as hard. The battle for the presidency isn’t just a euphemism. It is a physical fight, one the Democrats understand instinctively how to win and the GOP recoils from. If there is any lesson to be learned from 2008 it’s that the GOP must develop a stomach for the fight and a willingness to take it to their opponents. Romney’s scorched earth tactics against Gingrich in South Carolina prove that he has both. The only questions are will the GOP nominate him, and once nominated, will Romney do what it takes to win?

The New Misogyny: The Left’s Sexist Treatment of Conservative Women

Recently one of my friends, politically an independent with a serious streak of libertarian, posted on Facebook a link to this article by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone (here’s JoshuaPundit’s take on the piece). I couldn’t make it completely through the article because it suffered from too! many! exclamation points! that have infested poorly written Lefty screeds since the Paris Commune, but the gist of the article is “this woman is a religious nut!” I broke one of my rules about Facebook: Never post about politics on Facebook because most of my Facebook friends are politically left of center, and Facebook friendships aren’t strong enough to debate politics, nor is the medium conducive to thoughtful discussion. But I posted a response, pointing out that Taibbi’s was just a hit-piece by a magazine whose best years were decades behind it, and that Republican women were the only women men could still denigrate and not look like sexist troglodytes.

Consider Sarah Palin. An objective outsider would find it difficult to believe that Sarah Palin was an ex-governor of one of America’s smallest states (population-wise) who didn’t complete a full term and held the #2 spot on a losing ticket. Hundreds if not thousands of articles have been written about her, nearly all demonizing her, criticizing her for mistakes she didn’t make (she never said she could see Russia from her backyard, Tina Fey playing her on Saturday Night Live did, to mention another media enterprise whose best years lay decades in the past). Most recently the Palin emails inspired such a media frenzy that one would have thought that she must have wielded great power. It was like a Wikileaks operation complete with countdown until they were released. Imagine that happening to Obama or even Clinton; I can’t even though those men ruled over 40x more people for 5x longer. The anger directed towards Sarah Palin and the focus of journalistic hit jobs by Andrew Sullivan (who still believes that her son Trig is in fact her daughter Bristol’s – even though the odds of Bristol having a Down’s baby are about the same as Andrew Sullivan writing something that doesn’t mention his homosexuality, while Sarah’s odds were 1 in 10), to editor Bill Keller’s fixation with her at the New York Times, is unprecedented. There is even a term coined for it: Palin Derangement Syndrome.

Now Rolling Stone has begun creatively editing and twisting Bachmann’s remarks, questioning her intelligence, making fun of her appearance all with a hip attitude. If Bachmann star ascends over the coming months one can bet that the mainstream media’s obsession with Sarah Palin will switch to Bachmann and someone will have to coin another term: Bachmann Derangement Syndrome.

Rolling Stone was simply the opening salvo. As Pat Caddell, former pollster for Jimmy Carter noted in a recent interview, the media refuses to compare Bachmann to anyone but Sarah Palin, refusing to acknowledge her own accomplishments in office or her own ideas for changing the country. Washington Post columnist Colby King called Bachmann “Barbie with fangs,” continuing the objectification

Afterward I got to thinking and it just amazed me how every woman I could think of on the Right had been demonized by the Left – going all the way back to Phyllis Schafly and even Anita Bryant. Every. Single. One. It is creepy the way any woman who comes out on the Right is immediately leapt upon and portrayed as crazy or at the very least shrill. There is a certain amount of that directed towards men on the Right, but nothing to the degree that has been thrown at women.

Given the treatment of Hillary Clinton by conservatives, treatment that I personally believe was sexist too, I know there would be plenty of evidence to support the broader contention that sexism still exists regardless of the political leanings of the attackers. But due to the 2012 presidential election, the focus for now must pertain to conservative women.

To best examine this sexist attacks on conservative women, Lexis Nexis searches could be conducted using the names of prominent conservative women partnered with derogatory and inflammatory words, then compare it against the names of prominent liberal women and the same terms. Unfortunately, I do not have access to this tool and so cannot support my hypothesis that this bias statistically exists. Instead I have to rely on Google searchers which leave me open to cherry picking the results; I would recommend that anyone believing that is what I have done should try such Google searches for themselves to see that if I am indeed cherry picking the data, there are whole “orchards” of “cherries” to choose from on Google.

Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona. Salon: “This week in crazy: Jan Brewer.” San Francisco Chronicle: “Jan Brewer kills ethnic studies, proves racism.” Youtube: “if i ever meet that C*ntessa Brewer b**ch,i’ll kick her right´╗┐ in the Vag.” Phuckpolitics: “Jan Brewer is one dumb c**t.” PoliticalArticlesNet: “Ugly Quivering Witch, Governor Jan Brewer Meets With Obama.”

Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina. DemocraticUnderground (in a sexist two-fer): Bachmann schedules batshit crazy “private sit-down” with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Wonkette: “Another South Carolina Republican Dude Claims He Banged Nikki Haley.” Wonkette pt 2: “LATEST NIKKI HALEY SCANDAL: Did You Know She Isn’t Even WHITE??” SouthPawBeagle: “Two Men Who Have Not Slept With Nikki Haley Captured Today in South Carolina”

Delaware Senate Candidate Christine O’Donnell. Huff-Po: The Craziest Things Christine O’Donnell Has Ever Said. The Guardian: “Christine O’Donnell ‘seen as nut job’, says John McCain’s daughter.” LiberalValuesBlog: “GOP Senate Candidate Christine O’Donnell Is Something Which Rhymes with “Bitch””

This doesn’t even touch the surface of the vitriol that has been unleashed against Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin – the latter of which has not only been the target of sexist attacks, but as with Nikki Haley racist ones as well.

Again, I don’t argue that there have been sexist attacks against liberal women. But such attacks should not take away from the garbage being thrown by those who should know better at Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and every other woman who dares to question liberal orthodoxy.

Palin Derangement Syndrome-Struck Media Strikes Out

24000 emails and all they can find are death threats she received.

It’s pretty amazing that someone who doesn’t hold public office incites such madness. I thought the Right went nuts over Hillary but this is bordering on pathological. The Brits see it that way too:

She is, however, viewed with a kind of horrified fascination by many in the media, who faithfully records everything she says and does while at the same time decrying her as ignorant and even evil.

She’s an attractive woman who likes raising children instead of aborting them, and likes hunting and guns. She’s the anti-Hillary – so it’s no surprise I suppose that the Media would lose its senses over her. A shame, because Andrew Sullivan used to be a decent writer, before everything he wrote became about him.

If she ran, I’d vote for her if only just to watch the Left have a collective nervous breakdown.

Why Two Friends Hate Sarah Palin

I belong to Facebook and the vast majority of the friends that I have accumulated over the years happen to be liberals. While I’ve learned to avoid discussing politics there, most of my Facebook friends don’t and neither do their friends, providing me a window into the average liberal’s mind. Granted since the Left dominates the Media there is a veritable sea of glass out there exposing every Leftist feeling, half-baked idea and inkling, one really doesn’t need another portal into their bipolar world. Still, it’s the world conservatives live in and at the very least provides fodder for lengthy essays and diatribes.

Recently, one of my friends – an independent and budding libertarian – wrote a very vulgar comment about Palin. Several of his friends added to it, as did another friend of mine, a future conservative that is in the process of getting mugged by reality. I’ve worked closely with both and held many deep conversations about politics with them. While they aren’t anywhere near as liberal as some of my college friends who border on the anarchist and Stalinist fringes, both detest Palin as much as my hard-core leftist friends – so I asked them why. Here’s what they said.

JH:When i first heard of Palin I thought her biggest blessing was her biggest curse…the fact that she’s from AK and not the lower 48. I thought she would have a fresh outlook on DC and the political system being from there (which, honestly, might as well be Mars) and that might help her as she would lack the preconceived notion of “how things are done”...then she opened her mouth. I have no tolerance for anyone who cannot speak well, and even less for someone who speaks and makes unintelligent statements (I zone out on executives here once they say “um” more than twice during an announcement). Her speeches are mainly composed of good ole’ boy euphemisms and she panders to the lowest common denominator of intelligence level; that might work in AK but it doesn’t work here. Now, being part of the “intelligentsia” is not anything to write home about either, as evidenced by BarryO and his “highly academically educated staff” (Geithner, et al), but Palin’s whole “folksy” approach gets on my last nerve. Just because you hunt and fish doesn’t mean you’re a “down home normal person”, and I think she keeps trying to work that angle and she’s created more of a cult of personality (Dear Sarah?) than an actual political stance. When asked about issues she seems to parrot the GOP hyper conservative party line, which I can’t tell if that’s what she really feels or if that’s what she thinks she needs to say to keep her constituency behind her.

The other friend offers his view:

DS: Everything about her bothers me. Specifically, though, she does a horrible job of presenting herself as a leader. She gave a few interviews in ‘08 that made me literally turn off the TV and take a long walk. She comes from a state that is barely American, and that the culture – while awesome – does NOT translate to the majority of the lower 48. Alaska is far more Canadian than American. She has a daughter who had a child with a douchebag out of wedlock, but speaks out loudly for abstinence (rather than the more practical education of sex). It’s the blatant hypocrisy there. She’s just another puppet for backroom Republican power whores, like Bush was for Rove/Cheney, and Obama was/is for his far left masters. She’s the antithesis to Pelosi, which, in my opinion, is just as bad.

What’s interesting to me is that my friend JH’s chief criticism of her is her style. It isn’t until the end of his commentary that he mentions his disagreement with her “hyper conservative party line,” and because of his trouble accepting her style he admits that he cannot determine whether Palin’s policy statements are genuine or not. The problem with his focus on her style instead of Palin’s substance is that it can easily be manipulated by an antagonistic media and “intelligentsia”. Consider the way Palin has been mocked and pilloried by the likes of Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg – not for her stances or positions but for her style and her verbal gaffes – and it’s easy to see how one could form a negative opinion about her. Even the Dessicated Carcass known as Cher spouted nasty things about her. It’s not that JH is being shallow; it’s just that his opinion of Palin has been filtered through the mass media that has completely ignored her executive experience (more than the current occupant of the oval office) while focusing solely on her gaffes (which are fewer in number than those made by our current vice president.)

DS’s criticism is subject to the same filter, but he suggests that Palin isn’t a good leader because the culture of Alaska and her experience there differs too much from the mainstream in the Continental 48. He’s also disturbed by the hypocrisy of a spokesperson of “family values” having a libertine daughter who then preaches abstinence in public service announcements. Both of these criticisms have their merits, but he ends with the common assumption on the Left (and the lunatic libertarian fringe) that Palin is just a puppet Bush – who in turn was himself a puppet of Cheney, who was himself the puppet of Bush I, who was himself the puppet of… If we go back far enough I’m sure we end up with the Illuminati or the Knights Templar. This ignores the fact that Palin has had considerable trouble with the Republican establishment in her home state of Alaska – as represented by her long-running feud with the Murkowski family and the recent salvos by Karl Rove questioning the suitability of Palin for the presidency. Even Charles Krauthammer, a favorite among neo-cons (yours truly included) and the Republican establishment does not view Palin as a serious candidate.

But as her support among Republicans continues to grow, the antipathy of the media coupled with her outsider status with the Republican establishment are formidable obstacles that Palin will have to overcome if she seriously intends to make history on January 20th, 2013. The views of my friends, two independents that will decide the presidency in 2012, merely reflect this challenge.