Posts Tagged ‘Palin’

¡Viva Sarah Palin!

November 12, 2008

The scariest part of the election of Barack Obama to the presidency is the possibility that our nation’s fling with Sarah Palin may soon be over. Sure, she’s in the midst of a media tour right now, but one can’t help but worry that sooner or later, people may feel that interviewing and investigating her are no longer activities with much journalistic merit. This would make politics a lot less entertaining.

Andrew Sullivan is having none of it. Here is his defense for keeping up the good fight:

This deluded and delusional woman still doesn’t understand what happened to her; still has no self-awareness; and has never been forced to accept her obvious limitations. She cannot keep even the most trivial story straight; she repeats untruths with a ferocity and calm that is reserved only to the clinically unhinged; she has the educational level of a high school drop-out; and regards ignorance as some kind of achievement. It is excruciating to watch her – but more excruciating to watch those who feel obliged to defend her.

Her candidacy, in short, was indefensible. It remains indefensible. Until the mainstream media, the GOP establishment, and the conservative intelligentsia acknowledge the depth of their error, this blog will keep demanding basic accountability.

Although the rest of the post is more worthy of the Patron Saint of Hyperbole (the Despot is looking into the legality of trademarking nicknames for public figures), this summary of Palin and her candidacy strikes me as just about right. And I do think there is merit to dwelling on this beyond the obvious entertainment value. But I don’t get the bit about accountability here. Even if it’s right that, for instance a ,vice-presidential candidate has some sort of tacit obligation to release her medical records (which I doubt- no one on the right seemed too upset by Obama’s equivalent level of disclosure), surely there is no obligation for a former vice-presidential candidate to do so. Now that the election is over, I don’t see how Palin owes us anything in the way of openness. She is accountable only to the people of Alaska now, and if they suddenly have a problem with corrupt lunatics, they have a very odd way of showing it.

She remains, however, a good litmus test (and bludgeon against those who fail it) for conservatives. Simply put: it is so obvious that Palin was an inexcusable pick that anyone who tries to excuse must either be intellectually dishonest or too stupid or crazy to be taken seriously. As I said in my previous post, I think worries about the state of conservatism are incoherent. And plenty of very conservative thinkers pass this test: Sullivan, Hitchens, Buckley, Will, etc. But while conservatism is just fine, a number of formerly serious conservative publications are not. The outdated good reputations of the Wall Street Journal and the National Review in particular have allowed a great number of clowns and hacks to pose as right-wing intellectuals. Focusing on Sarah Palin is a good way to begin correcting this.

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Prediction Wars: the Correct View

October 30, 2008

Drum has the right of it on this one. Palin is, was, and ever shall be a disaster. She will remain a champion of the lunatic base, and, as some have suggested, could do well as a talk show host appealing to those folks. A format in which she could speak off a prompter, ask other people questions, and refuse to answer any herself would work well for her.

If the next presidential election were a year from now, I could imagine the GOP being in enough of a shambles to nominate her. But this two party system of ours, the Republicans simply can’t be reduced to a fringe party for very long, and that is exactly what the Party of Palin would be.

Re: Gas Taxes

October 29, 2008

I think everyone who isn’t crazy is agreed on the point that selling Americans on higher gas taxes will never be politically viable. But it is also true that we are going in to an election in which both candidates have embraced a policy which is slightly less effective than, but more or less equivalent to a carbon tax, and whose sole advantage over such a tax is that it enables supporters to lie to the public and say it’s nothing like a carbon tax. I am not so confident as Sullivan that this means that America will really be able to move ahead with this, but it’s certainly not inconceivable. A lot will depend on how the Republican party attempts to put itself back together after the coming catastrophe. If they tell McCain and his ilk to go fuck themselves and double down on Palinite lunacy, they can probably make enough trouble to ensure that the Dems don’t dare impose a cap and trade system that actually does anything.

Showing up the Skeptics

October 22, 2008

Sarah Palin has been widely mocked for her claim that the VP “is in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes”. As it turns out, her critics were wrong on this one, and, as you can see, she is ready to take control well before day one.

Told ‘ya So!

October 22, 2008

We here at the Enlightened Despot don’t like to toot our own horns, but remember when liberal America was terrified of Sarah Palin? I know it sounds silly now, but really, it was happening. All over the place. The founding issue of this blog was telling people to chill. So, humble as we are, we can’t help but feel just a tiny bit smug about this:

Now, Palin’s qualifications to be president rank as voters’ top concern about McCain’s candidacy – ahead of continuing President Bush’s policies, enacting economic policies that only benefit the rich and keeping too high of a troop presence in Iraq.

My question: when she’s done reducing the Republican Party to a laughing-stock, does she get to keep the clothes?

McCain Camp Fails to Vet Philadelphia

October 12, 2008

Really, what did they think would happen? And what kind of mother exposes her children to Philly sports fans?

In other news, the Despot has been slow lately because I have been enroute to Michigan to witness the election in an erstwhile swing state firsthand. I will be too busy here to maintain my former volume, but my posts will now be filled with such mind-boggling insight from the frontish lines that you would be a fool to stop reading us.

In yet other news, while driving here, I solved the financial crisis. I’m too tired to get into it right now, but stay tuned.

Today’s Big Palin Story

October 10, 2008

Whatever the Legislative Council releases today will almost certainly be the most visible Palin story of the day. But unless that report found much more than it was expected to, the more important story is this:

A lawsuit aimed at forcing Gov. Sarah Palin to preserve any private e-mails she wrote involving state business hits the courtroom today.

Former state employee Andree McLeod filed the suit a week ago. The goal, she said, is to make Palin retrieve e-mails from her private accounts that involve state business and make them part of the state’s public records.

The Despot has long argued that these emails are the most likely place to find a smoking gun in Palin’s past. A one sentence summary: based on the times and subject headings of emails Palin has withheld on the grounds of executive privilege, there is strong circumstantial evidence to suggest that Palin knew about, or perhaps even ordered, the phone call from Frank Bailey to Rodney Dial that has been the most damning piece of evidence in the scandal so far. If anything of the sort is in those emails, and the court rules that they be made public before the election, it would be a complete disaster for John McCain.

As usual with this story, the coverage is pretty slim. In fact, if you follow the link above to the story at the (excellent) ADN, you’ll see that it is only a few paragraphs above a longer story about Ted Stevens’ “Neck and Neck” reelection campaign. This is what makes Alaskan politics so fun to read about: electoral victory is never guarunteed, even with a slogan like “I Definitely Won’t be in Prison for Corruption on Election Day!”

Troopergate Report Forthcoming

October 10, 2008

All legal challenges having failed, the Alaska Legislature’s report into Sarah Palin’s behavior surrounding the firing of Walter Monegan is now ready for release:

The Legislative Council is expected to vote sometime today whether to make the 263-page report public. The legislators will first meet behind closed doors, starting around 9 a.m. this morning, to receive a briefing from Steve Branchflower, the investigator they hired to look into the governor’s dismissal of her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, and whether she improperly pressured him to fire a state trooper divorced from her sister.

9 AM takes its time getting to Anchorage, so don’t expect to hear anything before this evening. In any case, it’s not clear how much there will be to hear, given the limitations of the investigation. Nevertheless, Palin’s people are doing some preemptive damage control:

Within hours of the court ruling, the McCain-Palin campaign looked to discredit the investigator’s report without having seen it. The campaign claimed the Legislative Council’s investigation is politically driven and that Palin replaced Monegan as public safety commissioner because of budget differences.

Palin has refused to cooperate with the Legislature’s investigation, although the campaign says she is cooperating with a separate probe by the state personnel board. Palin’s lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, said the Branchflower report won’t be complete because the investigator didn’t interview key witnesses including the governor and her former chief of staff, Mike Tibbles.

“They didn’t even try to interview the governor. You want to know why she reassigned Monegan, it would be nice to talk to her. They didn’t even try,” Van Flein said.

“It’s a report that’s going to be half-done at best. And anything that’s half-done will likely be half-baked.”

I couldn’t agree more about that last point, but the claim that ‘they didn’t even try to interview the governor’ is bizarre. For one thing, it’s a lie, though there’s nothing all that bizarre about that. The lie falls a little flat, however, given that the investigators very publicly tried and failed to get the testimony of Palin’s husband and aides, employing the generally effective strategy of issuing subpoenas.

Our Democracy has a Reservation there too

October 6, 2008

While I have found the prospect of a Palin presidency a terrifying one since I first heard of her, I have generally found Palin herself to be a delightful spectacle to watch. But this clip, frankly, scares the shit out of me:

(h/t Orr, who points out that Palin is lying about the quote)

Winner of the VP Debate

October 3, 2008

Clearly whoever negotiated the debate format for the McCain team.  In a land of 90 second answers and no follow up questions, inch deep policy knowledge was deep enough.  The Patron Saint of Hyperbole (and a damn fine blogger!) is right to want a press conference: that format will destroy her.