September 2, 2008

"The Libertarian Case for Palin."

By David Harsanyi. But wait! She's a big social conservative. How can she count as libertarian?
The choice issue... is complicated, even for many libertarians. And, as I was recently reminded, Ron Paul, the Libertarian champion of the 21st century, also opposes abortion.

Even when advocating for "moral" issues, Palin's approach is a soft sell. Palin does not support gay marriage (neither does Obama, it should be noted). Yet, in 2006, Palin's first veto as Governor was a bill that sought to block state employee benefits and health insurance for same-sex couples.

We cannot bore into Palin's soul to see her true feelings about gay couples, but, at the time, she noted that signing "this bill would be in direct violation of my oath of office" because it was unconstitutional. For most libertarians, the thought of politician following any constitution, rather than their own predilections, morality or the "common good," is a nice change of pace.

On the counterproductive War on Drugs, Palin is no warrior. Her Republican opponent in 2006 primary, incumbent Republican governor Frank Murkowski, made recriminalizing the possession of small amounts of pot a priority. Palin, though she does not support legalization, believes enforcement should be a high priority....

On education, Palin supports school-choice programs. There have already been smears that she backed "creationist" teaching in "public" schools, when in fact, Palin's comment regarding intelligent design should hold some appeal to libertarians. Even if you find the idea inane, in essence, Palin pushed the idea that parents, rather than the state, should decide what children are learning.
Is Palin -- is McCain -- more libertarian than social conservative? That's an important question for me.

229 comments:

1 – 200 of 229   Newer›   Newest»
Simon said...

"The choice issue... is complicated, even for many libertarians. And, as I was recently reminded, Ron Paul, the Libertarian champion of the 21st century, also opposes abortion."

This is silly. I've said it a hundred times: your stance on abortion is primarily governed by your view on when life begins, not your politics. If you're a libertarian who believes that life begins at conception, libertarianism counsels you to be pro-life. If you're a libertarian who believes that life begins at birth, libertarianism compels you to be pro-choice. In neither instance is libertarianism the deciding factor. And why are libertarians interested in gay marriage? Shouldn't libertarians say that the state shouldn't be affording benefits to any marriage, rather than arguing for the extension of benefits to a new class?

I would say that Palin is more socially conservative than McCain; I wouldn't say either of them are particularly libertarian, at least no more so than being for smaller government and less regulation/taxes, which is the nexus between libertarianism and American conservatism. They both seem to fit more precisely into the traditionalist conservative wing of the party with a particular emphasis on good government and limited government.

Sloanasaurus said...

Pro-Life fits into the libertarian view because it is the rights of the child that is the debate not the womans. If you believe that a an unborn child is a person with rights, than any libertarian would be pro-life because the right to life from the child's point of view trumps any right the woman has (except for self defense).

If you live on the Frontier as those in Alaska do relative to the rest of the 48, freedom from the government is cherished above all else.

It will be refreshing to have someone in high office who values freedom in such regard.

Simon said...

And of course, the elephant in the room is that the libertarian case for Palin/McCain is that either that ticket is going to win or the other ticket is going to win, and the other ticket is massively hostile to everything libertarianism represents (here's just the most recent example). No honest libertarian or conservative can look at this election as a close call given the massive and radical changes for the worse - from those perspectives - proposed by the other side. Any reservations about McCain or Palin pale in comparison.

Simon said...

Sloanasaurus said...
"If you live on the Frontier as those in Alaska do relative to the rest of the 48, freedom from the government is cherished above all else."

You've put your finger on something that I've been trying to dredge from my memory. A few years back, I read an excellent article that talked about the difference between western conservatism and southern conservatism. Palin is, as Reagan was and philosophically I am, a western conservative. For western conservatives, federalism - and even "states' rights" (they aren't synonyms) - have very different connotations. Those states have no legacy of slavery; to western conservatives, federalism is about freedom, and states' rights is a state's right to hold the United States to the promise of the Constitution, rather than the freedom to hold one's fellow man in bondage. Wish I could remember where this article was, it was very useful.

MadisonMan said...

I am curious to hear of her views on science, not something I've heard yet. Science is not liberal, conservative or libertarian.

And if she's into parents, not the state, deciding on school curricula, what's she think of NCLBY and unfunded mandates? (What has happened in AK schools since she was elected, for example).

Should I hold my breath waiting to hear substantive issues addressed? I think not.

Host with the Most said...

Simon, sloan,

Best, most pithy explanations on this subject I have ever read.

Thank you

Peter V. Bella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Shouldn't she be opposed to federal govt intrusions into education?

Her views on teaching creationism should be irrelevant. From what I read, I thought her point was that if the subject came up in classroom debate, it shouldn't be censored.

Elliott said...

MM, this is the wrong blog for issues where the resident diva believes that politics is just part of the spectacle of life. It's no coincidence that Ann Coulter and she are both lawyers. (Just to make it clear, I think that neither Ann should be allowed to defend themselves by saying, "can't you take a joke").

It's also no coincidence that both of their schticks play to the more credulous side of the political spectrum.

Peter V. Bella said...

I read this first thing this morning and it touts the problem Palin will have and all Libertarians have when they seek high office or work for government.

Full Article

Josh said...

Libertarian probably isn't the right word. I think McCain and Palin are throwbacks to a time (pre-Bush) when the Republican party ranked social issues very low in priority at the Federal level.

So while they may personally oppose gay marriage or abortion or what have you, they aren't going to crusade the issues and would probably prefer to focus issues like cutting spending, balancing the budget, and promoting national security.

Original Mike said...

Palin, though she does not support legalization, believes enforcement should be a high priority....

Should, or should not, be a high priority? This paragraph does not make sense.

Sloanasaurus said...

Shouldn't she be opposed to federal govt intrusions into education?

What federal government intrusions?

Sloanasaurus said...

So while they may personally oppose gay marriage or abortion or what have you, they aren't going to crusade the issues and would probably prefer to

This is because back in time both parties were socially and religiously conservative. That all changed in the 1960s and 1970s.

MadisonMan said...

elliott, my comment about waiting for substantive discussion was general, not specific to this or any blog.

Simon said...

Ann said...
"Shouldn't she be opposed to federal govt intrusions into education?"

I would hope she is. The federal government has an obvious interest in spending money to promote education, and it has an obvious interest in seeing that money granted is well-spent. That gives Congress the power to intrude into education, but it's a power I would suggest it should use very carefully and lightly. If I could think of a judicially-cognizable test, I'd advocate adult supervision, but I can't, so I guess we just have to rely on Congress' discretion.

Sloanasaurus said...
"What federal government intrusions?"

NCLB and the Department of Education both spring to mind.

EnigmatiCore said...

"From what I read, I thought her point was that if the subject came up in classroom debate, it shouldn't be censored."

It was, and further she said that creationism need not be in the curriculum.

Oxbay said...

Another part of western conservatism is a "live and let live" attitude which lends itself very nicely to libertarianism.

MC said...

Simon:
Excellent post, my thoughts exactly.

It also applies to feminism.

Whether or human life begins at conception or some arbitray stage after it determines if you are pro-life or not. There is no logical connection between that and the position that women should not be discriminated against on the basis of sex. Logically and philosopically speaking, a pro-choice feminist is entirely coherent concept.

PJ said...

From my perspective, Palin may be an a la carte libertarian, but so far she seems to be far and away the most libertarian-friendly of the four current major players. Libertarians have not had a place at the table, much less a respectful hearing, under Clinton or either of the Bushes, and I wasn't expecting that situation to change anytime soon. The Palin selection gives me some hope in that regard.

I agree wholeheartedly with Sloan & Simon on southern vs. western conservatism. McCain has really been a DC insider too long to typify either, but Palin seems to be a classic western conservative.

Terri said...

So while they may personally oppose gay marriage or abortion or what have you, they aren't going to crusade the issues and would probably prefer to focus issues like cutting spending, balancing the budget, and promoting national security.

From your lips to God's (or some deity's) ears.

I personally am sick and tired of those two issues being major points in either campaign. And I don't think I am in the minority in this country.

LoafingOaf said...

She's so libertarian she was apparently the member of an Alaskan political party that put "Alaska first" and advocated Alaska leaving the USA!

Bruce Hayden said...

I agree with Simon on the difference between western and southern conservatism. The western brand is by far the most libertarian. It has something to do with the desire for privacy.

I think one example of this was when I moved to Austin, Texas, IMHO much more a part of the south than the west. It was run as a back slapping good old boy network, and that sort of interaction between people just rubbed my western raised self wrong.

The southern conservatives tend to wear their religion on their sleeves, whereas the western ones are much more likely to just do it privately. It is this desire for privacy that drives their (our) libertarian bent.

Why was I not surprised that the Cheney's were fully supportative of their daughter being a Lesbian? Because they were never social conservatives, but rather western conservatives, who very much have a live-and-let-live view on life.

And there is nowhere in this country more this way than Alaska. The nuts are out in force and the country is riddled with loners. I remember getting off the plane in Anchorage, and seeing this pick up with far out bill boards in its bed driving around. We seemed to see him everywhere. The Alaskan view was that that sort of wacko was one reason why living there was nice.

LoafingOaf said...

If she's against the war on drugs, that would be a definite plus, especially in contrast with Biden (who wanted to crininalize glow sticks at raves).

Simon said...

LoafingOaf said...
"She's so libertarian she was apparently the member of an Alaskan political party that put 'Alaska first' and advocated Alaska leaving the USA!"

You really are desperate, aren't you...

LoafingOaf said...

Simon, that's what's in the news. Is it not true that she was a member of this party? I'm just reading the news. Maybe she was not a member of that strange, nutty party and is being lied about - that would be a relief.

Simon said...

LoafingOaf said...
"Simon, that's what's in the news."

You really are desperate, aren't you...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I believe that Simons' Western Conservative analysis is basically correct. I consider myself to be a conservative, for States rights and in favor of limited government. I actually voted libertarian for many years.

Like many others that I know who also now vote Republican/Libertarian. I am both pro choice and anti abortion. Meaning that I feel people should have the right to chose to have an abortion if they want and at the same time feel that their choice is wrong. As long as the abortions are not being funded by tax dollars and the government isn't involved in a personal decision like this, I remain ambivalent politically.

As to teaching Intelligent Design in schools, I would leave that up to the local school boards as long as they also presented all sides of this and any other issue. The same is true with Global Warming, which I believe to be a scam. But hey if the school district thinks that they want to present this then they damned well better also present the opposing view.

I also think that the reason someone like Sarah Palin resonates with people is that most people are centrists.

EnigmatiCore said...

Not that the relevant facts will stop Loafing Oaf, but:

1) Every time Palin ran for office, she did so as a Republican.
2) When she ran for Governor, the AIP ran a candidate against her.
3) Since being governor, she has not attempted to secede from the union.
4) One does not need to guess as to how she governs, since one can see how she has governed.
5) Relevant to this particular thread, a lot of AIP's stances (outside of secession) are libertarian in nature.

EnigmatiCore said...

And in case it wasn't clear, #3 on my list is both a "duh" comment and is also the one that should bury that smear.

Although, I think both McCain and Palin will appreciate the partisan left making the case that she is not a creature of the old GOP party network.

Too many jims said...

Gov. Palin may well be a small government conservative or libertarian but her first budget did not demonstrate that. Her first budget increased the state operating and construction budget by 6%. This is an increase for the state which has the highest expenditures per capita and highest expenditures as a percentage of personal income. (It is true that Alaska faces issues in providing services to its citizens distinct from other states (e.g. distance, harsh weather)).

Alaskans may be libertarian but calling them "small government" is a bit odd. In a sense, Alaska is a modern conservative's dream: a low tax, high service state.

Simon said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
"I consider myself to be a conservative, for States rights and in favor of limited government."

I'd consider myself a federalist rather than being for states' rights - Althouse's scholarship has often pointed to Justice Black's Younger formulation which I think is very nice, simple statement of federalism in America: Our Federalism involves "a proper respect for state functions, a recognition of the fact that the entire country is made up of a Union of separate state governments, and a continuance of the belief that the National Government will fare best if the States and their institutions are left free to perform their separate functions in their separate ways. ... [This] does not mean blind deference to 'States' Rights' any more than it means centralization of control over every important issue in our National Government and its courts." Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. at 44. Or, by your leave in my own, lesser words: "Although we usually think of federalism in the modern age as protecting ... state prerogatives against federal incursion, this is really but a shorthand for saying that the prerogatives of both the states and federal government[] ought to be respected the one by the other, a shorthand that results from the fact that in the modern age, it's usually the federal sphere encroaching on the state sphere rather than vice versa."

Jim Hu said...

David Brooks

When McCain met Sarah Palin last February, he was meeting the rarest of creatures, an American politician who sees the world as he does. Like McCain, Palin does not seem to have an explicit governing philosophy. Her background is socially conservative, but she has not pushed that as governor of Alaska. She seems to find it easier to work with liberal Democrats than the mandarins in her own party.

Instead, she seems to get up in the morning to root out corruption. McCain was meeting a woman who risked her career taking on the corrupt Republican establishment in her own state, who twice defeated the oil companies, who made mortal enemies of the two people McCain has always held up as the carriers of the pork-barrel disease: Young and Stevens.

Many people are conditioned by their life experiences to see this choice of a running mate through the prism of identity politics, but that’s the wrong frame. Sarah Barracuda was picked because she lit up every pattern in McCain’s brain, because she seems so much like himself.


Brooks also notes why this could be a problem for governing.

Simon said...

Too many jims said...
"Gov. Palin may well be a small government conservative or libertarian but her first budget did not demonstrate that. Her first budget increased the state operating and construction budget by 6%."

That's too coarse a measure. Increasing spending is not necessarily incompatible with small government conservatism - it depends what the money is being spent on. All conservatives, and even some libertarians, agree that there are some functions that government can and should undertake. It isn't contrary to small government conservatism to increase defense spending, for example.

TmjUtah said...

The (pardon) elephant in the room is this:

When people on the Left say "Conservative" it means a caricature composed of equal parts of mean spiritedness, troglodyte jingoism, sexism, homophobia, militant religious fundamentalism, xenophobia, and stooopidity. Oh, and endemic UNcool...

Then, whenever it becomes necessary for any of the Left to acknowledge anybody NOT of the Left... the first move is to note that the target is not in character or deed near ANYTHING listed above... so then they get attacked for being a hypocrite.

It didn't begin with Robert Bork, but it became accepted.

What part of "lady getting a tough job done" is so hard to understand?

Simon said...

Jim, Brooks' column ought to inter the memes about Palin being unvetted and being picked for political reasons, but it won't. I've been shocked by how rapidly, viciously and transparently the MSM has set out to rip Palin apart. Check out Gene Robinson and Richard Cohen in today's WaPo, for example, or the last three days of the NYT. It's as if they've abandoned even the faintest pretense of professional journalism - what matters is destroying this new threat to The One, and they are using every tool they can get their hands on.

hdhouse said...

"parents and not the state should decide what children are learning..."

there are places where it is the duty of government, local or otherwise, to step in and create a uniform basis for society. i take the view that those who want government out of the realm of basic societal needs and goals are those who cannot make government work...so why are they running for office? they obviously don't believe in government and can't perform within it or have it perform to the benefit of the general populace so what business do we have putting them in office.

Trevor Jackson said...

"how rapidly, viciously and transparently the MSM has set out to rip Palin apart."

By asking questions that the McCain campaign didn't ask? I'm not saying that any of the answers provided are necessarily disqualifying, but why didn't McCain's team try and learn any of this? Is it because he was forced to pick her at the last minute by James Dobson? Why didn't the Maverick get to go with Lieberman, his first pick? Who's in charge of his campaign?

For someone who regularly attacked Obama supporters as being Kool-Aid drinkers, Simon, you're showing yourself to have some seriously red-stained lips.

former law student said...

If you're a libertarian who believes that life begins at conception, libertarianism counsels you to be pro-life. If you're a libertarian who believes that life begins at birth, libertarianism compels you to be pro-choice.

First time I've heard that controlling other people's reproductive freedom is a libertarian goal.

EnigmatiCore said...

Trevor, can you prove that they didn't ask the questions?

Seems to me like they asked the questions, and realized that the answers were just fine and that if there were going to be attacks, the attacks would likely benefit the campaign.

So far, I see plenty of evidence of this. Some of the poo flinging going on is of the sort that is absolutely going to cost the Democrats votes.

Stephen said...

Sloan said, Shouldn't she be opposed to federal govt intrusions into education? What federal government intrusions?

Simon responded, NCLB and the Department of Education both spring to mind.


Continuing Simon's point, here is the introduction to a 40-page guide on a costly, complicated area of education law:

Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability.

downtownlad said...

She supports a state constitutional amendment which would prevent gay people from getting benefits. That has nothing to do with gay marriage. Hardly libertarian.

More here:

http://www.bilerico.com/2007/01/alaska_gov_veto.php

So yes, thumbs up for respecting the Constitution. But thumbs down for being against gay rights.

Simon said...

Trevor, it's your side that is pushing the meme that she wasn't vetted. Help me to understand: is it that you can't understand why McCain picked her if he had known that [insert preferred "revelation" "unearthed" over the last 72 hours], ergo he must not have vetted her? If that's it, all you're showing is that your side just. doesn't. get it. McCain knew about the pregnancy. Didn't care. He knew about the trooper allegations. Didn't care. It just doesn't seem to occur to you that these pissant little things that you find so concerning might be matters of total indifference to non-liberals.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Simon. I was a huge supporter of Fred Thompson basically because of his Federalism stance, which appeals greatly to my Western Conservative mind set (I like this new term Western Conservative). We didn't plan to vote for McCain but with the addition of Palin my husband and I have decided to vote and opened up our wallets again.

tmjutah has nailed it. The left holds a caricature of what Conservative's think and how we behave. This is why they just cannot understand how a person who claims a conservative title could vote for a person like Palin who is "pro-life" (a term I hate).

All of this whining about not being ready on day one to step into the Presidential spot directed at a VP candidate is just ridiculous. Kerry's choice of Edwards was never treated in this manner. Does anyone in their right mind think that John Edwards was a foreign policy expert and ready to become President should Kerry take a fatal nose dive while wind surfing? NO. The VP spot is a learning position for those types of things. Do we seriously think that Obama has foreign policy credentials? You must be delusional if you say yes. The more the frightened Dems beat this drum, the more it just highlights that their top of the ticket is less qualified that the Repubs second on the ticket.

Keep it up.

Simon said...

Sorry, enigmaticore and I cross-posted; I didn't mean to be duplicative.

downtownlad said...

And it is disingenuous to say that Palin and Obama have the same stance on gay marriage. Obama favors civil unions. And he has stated that he would vote against the constitutional amendment in California that would repeal gay marriage. Thus, he's as closely in favor of gay marriage that you can possibly get without outright advocating for it. Palin on the other hand favors state constitutional amendments that would not only ban gay marriage but would ban benefits for gay people altogether. Same stance as McCain actually.

Richard Dolan said...

Trying to understand McCain or Palin by applying categories such as libertarian vs. social conservative will be hard to do. Neither of them is or wants to be a systematic thinker in that way; my impression is that both of them think about public policy issues in very different terms.

In his NYT column today, Brooks suggests that McCain confuses "moral philosophy with policial philosophy." That seems to me similarly misguided. The truth is that neither McCain nor Palin has any developed philosophy -- moral, political, libertarian or conservative. Both present themselves as pragmatic rather than ideological leaders who want to mix-and-match policies depending on what works and what strikes them as the "right" thing to do. That's why, among other reasons, there's a lot of truth to the notion that they (unlike O) can and do cross the aisle often, why they have often crossed swords with Republican powers-that-be, and why they have worked well with politicians of very different political stripes on lots of issues. Anyone looking for consistency in how McCain or Palin decide what the "right" policy may be in any given situation is in for some disappointment. Ideological consistency just isn't high on their list of values or virtues.

I think Brooks was on sounder ground in saying that McCain's touchstone for right vs. wrong is found in his military background. I think McC views that distinction through the prism of a soldier's creed of personal honor more than anything else. I suspect Gov Palin relies on an instictive sense of right vs. wrong to guide her, informed by her religious values and social views but not determined by any particular one of them.

So, if you're looking for the "libertarian case for Palin" or McCain, I think you're going to conclude that sometimes she tends in a libertarian direction and sometimes she doesn't. Because that's not where she's coming from, I doubt that there will be any consistency with her (or with McC).

Lawgiver said...

And he has stated that he would vote against the constitutional amendment in California that would repeal gay marriage.

Really? How so?

Do US senators get to vote against state constitutional amendments or are you just talking hypothetically?

You're taking him at his word on this like Clinton with DADT?

Too many jims said...

Simon,

That is a fair point though I would note that your example of defense spending is not a very big line item in state budgets. I suppose that roads and highways may be an analog at the state level.

While it is true that Alaska spends a bigger percentage of its budget on roads and highways, it is also true that often times those projects receive dedicated federal funding.

My broad point is that Alaska is a high service state. They have the luxury of providing a high level of service (at least on an expenditure basis) without having to tax its residents too much because they receive so much revenue from sources (related to the oil and gas industry) other than taxes.

Roger J. said...

The "didnt vet her" objection is foolish in the extreme. It assumes that McCain would have applied the same standards the the NYT, MSM or DNC vetters might use. It seems the biggest issue were the firing of the public safety commissioner and the daughter's pregnancy (although I am still perplexed what that is an issue). McCain knew about them and selected her anyway. Not possible? If not, tell me why not, because that what the facts suggest.

Trevor Jackson said...

"is it that you can't understand why McCain picked her if he had known that [insert preferred "revelation" "unearthed" over the last 72 hours], ergo he must not have vetted her?"

No, it's the fact that a team of lawyers just arrived in Alaska to vet her that tells me she wasn't vetted prior to his pick.

downtownlad said...

Lawgiver - Here's the evidence. Like it or not - it's his public stance. McCain has publicly come out on the other side. Again, to say that the candidates have the same position on gay marriage is disingenuous.

http://calitics.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=6307

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-ban2-2008jul02,0,6600669.story

Too many jims said...

McCain was meeting a woman . . .who made mortal enemies of the two people McCain has always held up as the carriers of the pork-barrel disease: Young and Stevens.

Can someone point me in the direction of something that indicates that Palin has been hostile to Stevens. I have seen much about her confrontations with the republican state chair and of course she took on Murkowski. I understand she was not supportive of Young in his recent primary. But what I have seen of her statements on Stevens, she has been reluctant to distance herself from him.

Lawgiver said...

Lawgiver - Here's the evidence...

Oh, I get it. You don't actually mean what you say. You use the words "vote against" when what you mean is Obama "opposes."

Like Clinton saying he "opposes" discrimination against gays, but then enacts DADT. Gotcha.

EnigmatiCore said...

"No, it's the fact that a team of lawyers just arrived in Alaska to vet her"

Lawyers are not needed to vet.

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Trevor Jackson said...
"No, it's the fact that a team of lawyers just arrived in Alaska to vet her that tells me she wasn't vetted prior to his pick."

Let's assume that it's in fact true that a team of McCain lawyers just arrived in Alaska. I have no dog in that fight. And let's even assume that they're there to vet her, which I would note is an unsupported assertion on your part. Even with all this stipulated, why would you assume, contrary to all reason, that they are there to vet her for the first time? Trevor, I know you probably don't follow events in conservative circles closely, but we have been talking about Palin for months, and Palin was talking to McCain's vetting team months ago. This pick was not, repeat, not "out of the blue" as the MSM seem to characterize it. Palin was vetted. All the evidence says she was vetted, and the idea that she wasn't is ludicrous - it just doesn't pass the laugh test. The people pushing this meme that the pick was sudden, rash and out of the blue are simply revealing that they're out of their depth.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I personally am sick and tired of those two issues [gay marriage & abortion] being major points in either campaign. And I don't think I am in the minority in this country.

Amen.

Lawgiver said...

DTL,

Thanks for the link. I did not realize that Obama had actually put into print that he supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.

Simon said...

Richard Dolan said...
"Trying to understand McCain or Palin by applying categories such as libertarian vs. social conservative will be hard to do. Neither of them is or wants to be a systematic thinker in that way...."

And doesn't Althouse find the people who would be on the other side of that dichotomy, those who would be characterized as systematic thinkers within that rubric, "strange and -- if they have power -- frightening"?

downtownlad said...

DADT was an incremental improvement over what existed previously.

Trevor Jackson said...

OK, then, a "deeper vet" it is.

I'll concede that McCain's team examined her as a potential running mate months ago, but the fact that they didn't finish the job indicates that they initially rejected her as a pick. Why did McCain change his mind? Did his first pick say no or did he cave to Rush Limbaugh and James Dobson? Why did he make such a hasty decision?

Simon said...

This piece is also fatal to the "she wasn't vetted" meme. Are the left going to can this dishonest trope, or are they going to further disgrace themselves?

EnigmatiCore said...

"The people pushing this meme that the pick was sudden, rash and out of the blue are simply revealing that they're out of their depth."

Actually, I think they are simply revealing that they are more concerned with making political attacks (the New York Times? No way!) than in the truth.

kynefski said...

I'd be interested in knowing what people think is being censored in the science classroom. Parents do decide what their children learn, but that doesn't obligate the state to support deception, as is now the case in Louisiana.

Simon said...

You're going to cite Andrea Mitchell as evidence? This Andrea Mitchell? What credible, non-anecdotal evidence do you have that Culvahouse "didn't finish the job" the first time round? You're still stuck on this misbegotten premise that the things that have come out in the last 72 hours "prove" that she wasn't fully vetted before. But that premise is false, as I explained above.

P. Rich said...

Simon said: "what matters is destroying this new threat to The One, and they are using every tool they can get their hands on."

Yes. It's disgusting, both because it happens and because so many on the left will see it as normal and proper behavior of a fair media.

On another note: McCain will in many respects be acting as a mentor for Palin as she familiarizes herself with the Byzantine maze that is Washington politics. I don't think he is going to change her mind on much of anything, but he will be a great source of practical advice, information and contacts. Given that Palin is smart and tough, I can forsee her becoming a formidable force in short order. I hope she is allowed to grow and develop in what can be, depending upon the Chief Exec, an insignificant office.

Simon said...

(Clarification: last comment was replying to Trevor)

Trevor Jackson said...

Simon, from your link:

Asked whether everything that came up as a possible red flag during the review already has been made public, Culvahouse said: "I think so. Yeah, I think so. Correct."

Not exactly inspiring confidence. What else are we going to find out?

MadisonMan said...

Simon, sometime over the weekend I read an interview with a Republican operative somewhere up in AK -- and he *claimed* that if a vetting was going on, he would have heard about it, and he heard nothing. Now, I don't know if this person is exaggerating his own importance or if nothing actually happened. I'm suspicious enough of anyone in a campaign to know that of course when asked if they did something sensible that they'll try to prove that they did. Anyway, I'll look around to see if I can re-find the article.

Invisible Man said...

Trevor, I know you probably don't follow events in conservative circles closely, but we have been talking about Palin for months, and Palin was talking to McCain's vetting team months ago. This pick was not, repeat, not "out of the blue" as the MSM seem to characterize it. Palin was vetted.

Simon,
There is a difference between vetting for a job and "presidential" vetting. If she was set to become say the head of the OMB a quick investigation of her record, a few interviews from her and advocates and a background check might do, but we are talking about a VP pick in the modern age. Obama may have done a little overkill, but he had 3 people and I'm assuming a staff of dozens scrubbing every detail of potential candidates lives.

This is about degrees of due diligence here and McCain didn't treat this like the "Massively" important decision that it should be. If he can't spend time vetting the second most powerful position in the US government, what do you think will happen when he seeks Cabinet officers and other major positions(Brownie?). I just don't think that there is anyway to spin this as anything other than a short-circuited process that was more intent on shock and awe than on competent decision making. And as we can see with the example of Rumsfeld and Iraq, those gains are very short term.

downtownlad said...

And it looks like she tried to get the librarian fired in her home town, because the librarian wouldn't remove certain books from the library.

So it looks like she's in favor of censorship. All signs point towards social conservatism, not libertarianism.

Doyle said...

You're still stuck on this misbegotten premise that the things that have come out in the last 72 hours "prove" that she wasn't fully vetted before.

Doesn't the fact that an oppo researcher was the first to request the archives of her hometown newspaper "prove" she wasn't fully vetted? Why would you be objecting so strenuously to this anyway (other than it makes McCain look impulsive)? Why not just admit that there wasn't an in-depth vetting of the sort normally required for running mates and focus on why mooseburgers prove she loves America?

Trevor Jackson said...

Simon asked about "this" Andrea Mitchell, implying that she's secretly trying to help Obama or deep-six McCain.

Yes, this Andrea Mitchell, who has also been fairly or unfairly critical of Obama.

Doyle said...

Yeah since when is Mrs. Greenspan the second coming of Jeneane Garofalo?

Roger J. said...

Trevor: I am curious as to what you mean by "finish the job." You don't think its remotely possible that McCain knew about the issues that seem to be driving some people nuts and chose here anyway?

Here are some other things to ponder: Her selection locks up the conservative base and gets evangelicals on board; she is a maverick like John McCain and rose to power in AK by opposing establishment republicans--in other words they share a similar governing philosophy; and she might peel off some Ohio and PA middle class voters who went for Hillary in the final primaries. In a close race, thats significant in those BG states. So to me its a no brainer. I have heard absolutely nothing yet that calls McCain's judgment into question the howls from some on the left notwithstanding. YMMV And we will find out in November how it worked out.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm truly amazed that the left are just in a tizzy that a presidential candidate that they have no intention of voting for didn't fully vet his VP choice.

What was it that kid in Jerry McGuire said? Dogs and bees can smell fear?

Heh....It's gettin stinky out there in the lefty blogosphere.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Trevor Jackson said...
"Simon, from your link: Asked whether everything that came up as a possible red flag during the review already has been made public, Culvahouse said: 'I think so. Yeah, I think so. Correct.' Not exactly inspiring confidence. What else are we going to find out?"

In what way is that statement false? First, what new information has come to light in the 15 hours since that report was published? Second, you are reading your own ideas of what is a "possible red flag" into the article. Is Bristol being pregnant a "red flag"? It probably is, but it isn't a red flag just because you think it is. It does not follow that if new information hits the media, it didn't come out in the vetting, and even if it didn't, it wouldn't follow that the vetting wasn't thorough.

Invisible Man said...
"Simon, There is a difference between vetting for a job and "presidential" vetting."

Yes, there is. Do you think Culvahouse was in Alaska back in May to vet Palin for a job at Steak & Shake? Because I'd assumed -- call me crazy if you will -- that McCain's veep vetting committee was probably in Alaska to vet Palin for McCain's veep slot.

MadisonMan said...
"Simon, sometime over the weekend I read an interview with a Republican operative somewhere up in AK -- and he *claimed* that if a vetting was going on, he would have heard about it, and he heard nothing. Now, I don't know if this person is exaggerating his own importance or if nothing actually happened."

We already know that she was vetted, so the answer is pretty obviously that this "Republican operative somewhere up in AK" is wrong.

Trevor Jackson said...

Roger J, to answer your question about what it means to "finish the job" check out Invisible Man's comment at 10:38. He said it better than I could.

The fact that they're still digging into her past tells me that McCain made a rash choice. Whether it will pay off for him or not is irrelevant, as far as I'm concerned, to the fact that such a serious decision was given relatively short shrift.

I'm not keen on someone gambling with my security.

former law student said...

McCain knew about the pregnancy. Didn't care.

Palin was vetted. All the evidence says she was vetted, and the idea that she wasn't is ludicrous - it just doesn't pass the laugh test.


So, why then, when McCain introduced Mrs. Palin and her lovely family, did he not note that the Palins would be blessed with a grandbaby come December?

The story would come out at some point, especially if the candidate continued to use her children as props, as most do. Why appear to be covering it up?

Roger J. said...

Trevor, then you have your basis for voting against John McCain using the Palin pick as a reflection of bad judgment. Me? I thought it was an inspired choice for the reasons I laid out aabove, but had already decided to vote against Obama thus for McCain. We clearly arent going to change each others minds on this issue so to quote the man: lets move on.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter V. Bella said...

I personally am sick and tired of those two issues [gay marriage & abortion] being major points in either campaign. And I don't think I am in the minority in this country.

Add sex education and sex in general and that is what the entire fringe minority with the loudest voices care about. It appears that the adults have turned into prurient teenagers in the lockeroom.

EnigmatiCore said...

"So, why then, when McCain introduced Mrs. Palin and her lovely family, did he not note that the Palins would be blessed with a grandbaby come December?

The story would come out at some point, especially if the candidate continued to use her children as props, as most do. Why appear to be covering it up?"

If you read that Time magazine article, you would have realized that no one was trying to cover it up. We can merely speculate the reasons they chose not to mention it on Friday. One possibility is that it is none of anyone's business, and the best way to express that is by not saying anything until forced.

Another possibility is that they knew the rumors were out there (again, see the Time article) and deduced that their political opponents would immediately make fools out of themselves. Which they did, and continue to do.

Simon said...

Oh, I nearly forgot:

Invisible Man said...
"Obama may have done a little overkill, but he had 3 people and I'm assuming a staff of dozens scrubbing every detail of potential candidates lives."

And yet that process came out with Xerox Joe! You want to pay close attention to what Roger J. said above, at 10:45 AM, and to what I said here. For the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone can think of this selection as anything but a slam dunk, and so the idea that it was done on a whim, without any vetting process, comes across as even more totally ludicrous than it would otherwise. She was vetted. The only things that came out seem to be things that outrage people for whom the only thing that could prevent their voting for Obama is being hit by a bus on the way to the polling station.

The disconnect between the left and reality since the Palin announcement is just staggering. Are they serious? "Republican veep pick unifies and energizes GOP; infuriates liberals." Fucking hell, what a misfire that was! To bastardize Pyrrhus, a few more mistakes like that by McCain and Obama is undone!

EnigmatiCore said...

Time article here.

Peter V. Bella said...

Hey, Downtowlad, you are at the convention

Gedaliya said...

Simon is dead-on correct. Palin's selection is a triumph for McCain.

The key to this election are the rural and suburban voters in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Palin will ensure McCain carries all three states.

I agree with Camille Paglia about Palin: Either in 2012 or 2016, Sarah Palin will be elected the first woman president of the United States.

Trevor Jackson said...

Simon asks, "First, what new information has come to light in the 15 hours since that report was published?"

Membership in a secessionist movement, which the McCain camp has "no comment" on.

Her love of lobbyists as a mayor, bringing in over $27 million over four years?

Those are just a couple.

As for the desperation and fear of Palin as a game-changing winner of a choice that is being smelled? Not at all. By all means, keep McCain's second-choice on the ticket. You may get your energized fundie base, but it also reveals to the rest of the electorate that your candidate is a pandering cynic.

Gordon said...

TMJ -

Alaska does spend a higher proportion of money than most state governments, but then Alaska is a rather special case. In much of the state, there is no local government, the state acts directly as county and town levels would. This tends to be bad for its political culture, as does the resource revenue, but does justify this higher ratio on a conservative basis.

As to the increase in spending - the timing matches up with dramatic increases in the price of fuel and of an economic boom in that part of the globe. Alaska uses far more barrels of oil per $ of GDP thanks to the Arctic conditions (much higher heating costs, plus lighting for never ending night in winter) and transportation challenges (so isolated from all population centers in North America, no Interstate or Rail links to lower 48, minimal roads, very small population per mile traveled so minimal economies of scale in transport)

Beyond the challenge of oil prices, all commodities have increased in price, which hits construction particularly hard. Massive projects in northern and western Canada have driven up the local costs of construction materials even more than the world price - Alberta's oil sands have had more than $50B in projects launched and announced. Oil & Gas rushes are also happening in British Columbia (right beside Alaska) and Saskatchewan (north of Montana), further driving up the cost of materials. A massive labor shortage also exists, with workers being recruited from South America. This has driven up construction labor costs and is liable to have exerted considerable pressure on the Alaskan economy and wage rates.

In Calgary (energy capital of Alberta, 190 miles from US border, not a hardship post) help wanted signs are offering $15/hr (US $15) to work a takeout stand. In northern Alberta, overnight shift at a fast-food drive-in is offering more than $25/h plus benefits. These are not arctic positions and are the absolute floor on wages - not even McDonald's here but local stores without national standards and hiring policies.

Too many people are spouting off without actually knowing what they are talking about. Even some non-trolls!

As to the scariness of the AIP - it got a governor elected around the time of her apparent membership (he subsequently joined the Republicans). The feds own 69% of Alaskan territory and this is a serious point of contention, as it is in most Western states. It means that everyone in the US gets a vote on nearly development, while eastern states have hardly any Federal ownership and get to decide locally what happens. Compare with less than 2% Fed ownership of NY, CN, IA, ME, RI, KS, NE, AL, IL, and OH http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/291-federal-lands-in-the-us/
Clutching your pearls over private ownership of resources... they just wanted a situation like TX, PA, AL, LA, and NY where resources under your property are yours, instead of the state owning it all.

Invisible Man said...

She was vetted. The only things that came out seem to be things that outrage people for whom the only thing that could prevent their voting for Obama is being hit by a bus on the way to the polling station.

Simon,

If she was so vetted, then why is McCain's campaign so flat-flooted in its responses to all of these issues. As Trevor wrote, being part of a party that is still considering seccession from the Union as an option should have been something that they were prepared to answer.

Knowing her resume is not the same as knowing her full record. Rush and other conservatives may know all about her current resume booster via the "Bridge to Nowhere", but I'm sure that none of them looked close enough to see that she advocated for it a year before, and that's why professional's are brought in to do this job. I hear your arguments, but it just doesn't seem plausible on its face.

Lastly, conservatives can ignore all of this as noise but neither they nor liberals are going to decide this election. You can advocate for her as the next Lincoln or whoever, but undecided's with no familiarity with Palin will make the judgment. And I doubt they will give the same benefit of the doubt that your giving.

Peter V. Bella said...

Obama picked Xerox Joe for the same reason JFK picked LBJ; he needs someone who can get legislation passed. LBJ and Biden, love or hate aside, were and are master politicians and legislators able to work both sides of the aisle. Obama needed someone who could get things done; things he could never accomplish on his own or with Hillary due to her lack of legislative experience and lack of seniority.

McCain needed someone who can appeal to the vast numbers of disaffected voters who just might sit out the election. Palin fitsthat bill to a tee. She is a beltway outsider, she represents everywoman and working man, she is not an elitist or even a lawyer. Her family is blue collar. She is the American success story; work hard, play by the rules, succeed. She is a small town country type person. But she is also tough as nails.

Both men filled their needs; the blank holes in their tickets.

Beldar said...

Re the quote from ___ in the original post, and downtownlad's 9:46am comment, on benefits for gay partners:

This subject was raised in the final gubernatorial debate in the 2006 general election, which Palin won. PrestoPundit has the full video clip, which runs 84 minutes. The important background facts to know are that in 1999 or so, Alaska voters had passed an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Notwithstanding this decision, the state supreme court had ruled that the state could not legally refuse to pay the same benefits to gay partners of state employees that spouses receive.

Palin said in the debate that she disagreed with the court, in that she believed that the voters had intended, by implication from the constitutional amendment, to decide such issues as whether non-spouses were entitled to spousal benefits. She went on to say, however, that (a) she would enforce the supreme court's decision if she became governor (which explains the veto of the bill trying to end-run that decision), and (b) she would support an effort by the legislature to return to the citizens for yet another constitutional amendment to undo the court decision.

I agree that she appears to end up as being very respectful of the rule of law and the relative functions of the different branches of state government. And she will not trample the rule of law to promote an anti-gay agenda. But neither is she herself a supporter of at least this particular assertion of rights.

I think that's pretty close to McCain's views too.

John said...

Most norman people who have lives and are not movement conservatives or old perverts obsessed with the sex life of 17 year old girls, are going to listen to Palin's speech this week and watch her in the debate. Those two things will determine what they think of her. Judging by her speech Friday, she is going to do great but time will tell. One thing is for sure, all of this crapola that the Dems are throwing out right now is doing nothing but firing up the Republican base, which is something I didn't think was possible this year.

Beldar said...

Bah, meant to fill in that blank above with "Harsanyi."

Roger J. said...

I am going to make one last comment re the Palin pick for some our liberal friends: Republican don't care what your concerns are and we will find out come November if we were right or wrong. Now return to your concerns which will only be mutually reinforcing to Democrats.

EnigmatiCore said...

Ooops, there goes another attack talking point.

Palin has been a registered Republican since 1982.

http://www.johnmccain.com/mccainreport/Read.aspx?guid=5f9faddd-4d87-4b78-a1e9-ef2826498d31

dick said...

DTL,

You really must tell us how DADT is really any different from what was in place before. All it did was say that if you told you were gay, you got a get out of the military card right away. Before that if you were gay and kept your mouth shut, you were just fine. I know because I served with several gays and am gay myself and I made sergeant in the Army in 14 months with no problem. You realy don't know what you are talking about on this one at all.

Beldar said...

Re the Alaska Independent Party stuff that dKos and other Hard Left sites have been promoting for the last day or so, and which has now been picked up by Jake Tapper and Marc Ambinder: I haven't seen any credible evidence -- like a direct quote or written document from Sarah Palin herself -- confirming that she was ever even briefly a member of this party.

On Friday and Saturday, you'll recall that the Hard Left was promoting the meme that Palin was a Buchanan supporter. Turned out that that was wrong, she had just welcomed him to Alaska and, as part of that, put on a campaign button she'd just been handed.

It seems entirely possible to me that the folks who are claiming Sarah Palin's "membership" may be exaggerating, misinterpreting, or confused. I think we at least owe the candidate a chance to respond to this before drawing any conclusions.

Or is anyone here in favor of drawing a firm conclusion regardless of what she says?

Paddy O. said...

they were never social conservatives, but rather western conservatives

It needs to be emphasized that the contrast isn't between social conservatives and western conservatives but western conservatives and southern conservatives.

Many western conservative are social conservatives. If an issue is put before them, or if asked in other ways, they will fall in line with social conservative priorities. The difference, and it's such a strong difference that it's often perceived as hypocrisy, is that western conservatives are very much indeed live and let live. They don't see the state as the means of enforcing conservative morality. Such people can disagree, and disapprove, without having to make a law about it--unless someone, like the courts, forces the issue to the front and makes such people choose between two 'official' stances.

We'd rather not get the authorities involved at all, but if they show up there's a surprising social conservatism shown.

Paddy O. said...

Exactly right, John.

EnigmatiCore said...

"If she was so vetted, then why is McCain's campaign so flat-flooted in its responses to all of these issues. As Trevor wrote, being part of a party that is still considering seccession from the Union as an option should have been something that they were prepared to answer."

Actually, the responses have been very timely. Everything has been responded to in less than a full day.

And I guess the McCain camp is naive in assuming that reporters would, you know, investigate before passing along Kos inspired rumors. Or would at least call the McCain camp asking for a response. On the AIP crap, they did neither. As it turns out, Palin has never been an AIP member but has been a registered Republican since 1982.

Whoops there goes another attempted smear.

Beldar said...

(Oh -- and as for the video of Palin welcoming the AIP delegates to their convention -- that's nothing more than chamber-of-commerce type PR. There's not a single word in that video which suggests that she agrees with a single position of their party. To the contrary, she says she welcomes "competing views," which impliedly sets her own views up against theirs. For another example of her being charming in such a video, refer back to Craig Ferguson's "naughty librarian vibe" video, in which he says (jokingly) of her enthusiastic welcome of him to the state, "I think she was kind of coming on to me!" (Or something to that effect.) Sarah Palin is so friendly and approachable that she probably makes lots of people believe she's their friend an ally; in some cases, they may assume too much.

j said...

The media treatment of palin is really ironic. Sarah Palin truly seems to have a kind of grace and integrity that leaves her above the media nastiness. It is also funny to see how the arrogance of the media play out here. They believe that in two days they can dig up more dirt about her than the mccain camp did during the vetting process. It really shows their confidence in McCain and just an utter arrogance. Anyway, watching this officially makes me a Palin Democrat!

Hoosier Daddy said...

By all means, keep McCain's second-choice on the ticket. You may get your energized fundie base, but it also reveals to the rest of the electorate that your candidate is a pandering cynic

You're kidding right? So Obama picking Biden, a 35 year establishsment senator who is pretty tight with John McCain is the hope and change he's been spewing for the last 2 years?

McCain and Palin are about the only true reform candidates out there at this point and have the records to show for it.

Simon said...

Trevor Jackson said...
"Simon asks, 'First, what new information has come to light in the 15 hours since that report was published?' Membership in a secessionist movement, which the McCain camp has 'no comment' on."

That wasn't new information. That video has been on youtube for months, and IIRC, LoafingOaf started repeating the claim on Saturday.

"By all means, keep McCain's second-choice on the ticket."

Got any evidence that she was McCain's second choice? And I mean real evidence, not "well, I think he really wanted Lieberman"?

" You may get your energized fundie base, but it also reveals to the rest of the electorate that your candidate is a pandering cynic."

Trevor, I'm trying really hard to give you credit, but this really goes over the edge. If you really think this, you're an idiot. I'm not a fundamentalist, or even a Christian at all, and I'm thrilled with the choice. There are several commenters here who are not evangelicals who literally danced with joy at this pick - Ruth Anne, I'm looking at you. Look at Althouse's reaction - she seems pretty pleased by it, so do you think she's a "fundie"? Trevor, I will ask again: explain to me why picking Palin - a choice that has united and energized the GOP while driving the left into counterproductive apoplexy - is a misstep by McCain.

Gordon said...

Simon -

It's obviously a mistake because Obama's friends KNOW how conservatives will react. They'll believe everything DKos says and will damn Palin and her daughter as harlots. What do conservatives, libertarians, and swing voters know about their own concerns? Liberals are enlightened and are the experts, donchaknow?

Just look at these highly educated Liberals showing their expertise: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/30/late-night-jokes-of-the-w_n_122682.html
See Jimmy Kimmel 20 seconds in. HAHAHA

Roger J. said...

Because--Because, Simon its CYNICAL (word also used frequently yesterday and by the WAPO this AM. Ya think it focus grouped well? And gee--a politician is CYNICAL--who knew.
The more the critics rail the sillier they become.

I am just sorry McCain lost Trevor's vote because of this and Obama is going to get it.

Johng said...

So the criticizms against the Palin pick are

-Her daughter is pregnant with her second... er ... first child and is unmarried (though engaged to the father)

-She may have tried to get her dangerous brother-in-law fired as a state trooper

-She was a small town mayor before she was a governor (but we never talk about her being a governor, except in relation to "troopergate"

-She has kids and should be taking care of them instead of running for VP

-She was a beauty queen

-Because McCain ignored all of the above, she wasn't fully vetted


I think it's pretty clear that libs have NOTHING to attack Palin with if this is the best that can be done. I suspect that by November, McCain, and not Palin, will be seen as the weaker link on the ticket.

Trevor Jackson said...

Simon asks, "Got any evidence that she was McCain's second choice?"

Besides the preponderance of quotes from people involved in Alaska politics who were never interviewed there's this from today's Times story:

“They didn’t seriously consider her until four or five days from the time she was picked, before she was asked, maybe the Thursday or Friday before,” said a Republican close to the campaign. “This was really kind of rushed at the end, because John didn’t get what he wanted. He wanted to do Joe or Ridge.”

This isn't game-set-match, I realize. But I can recall a number of stories in the previous weeks indicating that McCain was leaning in Lieberman's or Ridge's direction. That is, until the outcry from Rush and Dobson showed just how badly either choice would be greeted.

Just because non-fundies (yourself and Althouse included) are excited by Palin doesn't change my view that the bulk of Palin's appeal appears directed at anti-choice creationists. Initially, her gender led me to believe that McCain hoped he could also win over former Hillary supporters, but that seems unlikely once her position on choice became clear. This is McCain's "misstep" in my view. His pick will not have any greater appeal beyond those who needed a reason to NOT stay home.

Again, others may be apoplectic over Palin, but not me. I don't see her as a threat. I see her as a distraction.

(Also that membership/non-membership in AIP was news to me and lots of independents I know, so its surprise value may be tough to judge.)

K said...

Ann,

To type an longer 'dash' (technically an 'en dash'), hold down the 'Alt' key and type '0150' on the numeric keypad (unless you're using a Mac). It looks so much better ... [Apologies for nit-picking your own-line comment at the end.]

Michael said...

Whether she's a Libertarian or not, Sarah apparently needs to bone up on a few thisng.

She thinks the Founding Fathers wrote the Pledge of Allegiance—including the phrase ‘under God’.

From an Eagle Forum Candidate Questionnaire:

Q: Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

PALIN: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the Founding Fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

*The phrase "under God" was added in 1954.

Michael said...

Before everybody piles on my typo: "things."

Trevor Jackson said...

Roger J on the word "cynical": You're seeing it used a lot because some initially read his pick of a woman as an attempt to sway Hillary voters, many of whom disagree fundamentally with Palin's positions. What other word besides "cynical" would you use to describe that strategy?

Michael said...

trevor,
I posted the link to an extensive NYT's article (directly to simon) that specifically addressed the vetting process, and of course McCain had many others he considered, and it's been reported via many networks and media outlets that his real choice was Lieberman.

simon doesn't cotton to any form of disagreement with what he already believes.

EnigmatiCore said...

You are leaving out that she was a member of the AIP, except that she wasn't.

And that she was a Buchanan supporter, except that she wasn't (she was a part of the Forbes campaign).

And that she ran a Stevens 527. Except that she didn't run it, was only on the board of it, and the 527 was set up not to benefit Stevens but to promote female Alaska Republican candidates, like Palin.

Oh, and that she once got a felony, except it was for fishing, and it wasn't a felony, but had been keyed in incorrectly by some clerk.

Oh, and her hubby once had a DUI. 24 years ago.

Oh, and Bristol's boyfriend has a Myspace page where he swears, calls himself a redneck, and says he doesn't want kids.

How will she ever survive this onslaught?

Michael said...

MC: Logically and philosopically speaking, a pro-choice feminist is entirely coherent concept.

If there is anything less feminine than willfully killing off your own offspring while in your womb, I am unaware of it.

Michael said...

Johng,
My criticism of Palin is that she is thoroughly unqualified to be the V.P. and the thought of her actually becoming President due to McCain's death is terrifying.

Are you saying you really feel this woman could serve as President of the United States?

EnigmatiCore said...

"But I can recall a number of stories in the previous weeks indicating that McCain was leaning..."

And there were all of those stories about how Obama was leaning towards Kaine, or leaning towards Chet, or leaning towards Sebelius, or leaning towards a dog named boo.

Imagine that- a campaign keeping their thinking to themselves. How devious!

Gedaliya said...

Palin was interviewed today and she asked the reporter:

"Do you know the difference between this hockey mom and a pit bull"?

The report replied, "What"?

Palin responded: "Lipstick."

EnigmatiCore said...

"Are you saying you really feel this woman could serve as President of the United States?"

Why not? She has more proven executive experience than Obama.

Kirk Parker said...

Trevor,

"Why didn't the Maverick get to go with Lieberman?"

Hopefully, it's because McCain was perfectly aware that doing so would guarantee he would lose.

stephen,

The IEP is a perfect illustration of how unconstitutional federal intervention into education can be. Is there any student who wouldn't benefit from such careful tailoring of the educational process? But we don't, because we of course can't afford to. But here's the federalist part: what part of the Constitution gives the federal government the slightest power to tell individual states what kind of enhanced help, and how much, must be given to disabled students, or where to draw the line between disable and non-disabled for this purpose? Not a single jot or tittle as far as I can see.

Michael said...

So, we have more than one michael here?

I certainly did not post this tripe: "If there is anything less feminine than willfully killing off your own offspring while in your womb, I am unaware of it."

Guess I'll have to add something to any of my postings so people don't confuse me with this fool.

Michael said...

From the smart michael:

EnigmatiCore: Yeah, just keep telling yourself that.

Maybe someday you'll actually believe it.

Gedaliya said...

"Are you saying you really feel this woman could serve as President of the United States?"

Absolutely.

chickenlittle said...

Simon said This piece is also fatal to the "she wasn't vetted" meme. Are the left going to can this dishonest trope, or are they going to further disgrace themselves?

The "she wasn't vetted" meme will blowover when Sarah Palin speaks at the convention. It will then become obvious that the lefty nutroots haven't vetted the voting public.

They'll move on to something else. The "Daily Dish" and TPM usually break wind first in these matters.

Trevor Jackson said...

"One Republican strategist with close ties to the campaign described the candidate's closest supporters as "keeping their fingers crossed" in hopes that additional information does not force McCain to revisit the decision. According to this Republican, who would discuss internal campaign strategizing only on condition of anonymity, the McCain team used little more than a Google Internet search as part of a rushed effort to review Palin's potential pitfalls. Just over a week ago, Palin was not on McCain's short list of potential running mates, the Republican said."

Link to the LATimes story

John Stodder said...

Obama picked Xerox Joe for the same reason JFK picked LBJ; he needs someone who can get legislation passed. LBJ and Biden, love or hate aside, were and are master politicians and legislators able to work both sides of the aisle.

This comment is absurd. You're comparing LBJ, the master Senate leader of all time, a genius at manipulating egos to achieve both high and low objectives, whose acumen and stamina forced the passage of key civil rights bills in 1957 (when he was majority leader), 1964 and 1965, with Joe Biden, who has an utterly routine legislative record despite having spent triple the amount of time in the Senate.

Biden's two biggest achievements in the Senate are the Violence Against Women Act, which merely inserted the feds (in part unconstitutionally, as it turned out) into what is clearly a state matter that states were mostly handling appropriately; and the creation of the Drug Czar, which I think most thinking people would describe as yet another milestone of failure in the futile drug war. I'm sure Biden fans (are there Biden fans?) could describe a few more pieces of nice legislation their guy has cooked up, but what he's most known for is the opposite of what LBJ was known for. Biden is a master grandstander. Before Obama picked him, Biden was a bipartisan joke for his long-winded, half-baked and generally unpersuasive perorations, his self-indulgent performances at hearings on any and all topics. LBJ worked behind the scenes, one on one, and was famous for "the treatment," the dizzying combination of flattery, promises and threats that got senators to vote with him on issues where they had been previously reluctant to do so. He failed to develop an effective media image, and that cost him later when he achieved the presidency, but if he had put his mind to it, I'm sure he would have come up with something better than Biden's tiresome Ted Baxter act.

On the SAT test, it would say:

LBJ -> Biden: Lou Gehrig -> Melky Cabrera. And that's probably not fair to Cabrera. Biden is the Senate's Zelig. He was there, he got noticed, but what did he do? Your comparison of Biden with LBJ is going to cause an earthquake in whatever part of Texas LBJ's body rests.

Simon said...

Trevor Jackson said...
"This isn't game-set-match, I realize."

On that evidence, this isn't even deuce. And arguendo, let's play "let's pretend": is it really such a bad thing if a candidate is on the verge of making a catastrophic mistake and has the wisdom to listen to his advisors and not make the mistake? Suppose Obama had desperately wanted to pick Jeb Bush as his running mate; every advisor he had told him that this was a loony idea that was going to result in the base walking and the other side winning fifty states (which is what would have happened if McCain picked Joe). Would it then be a reasonable criticism of Biden that he was Obama's second choice?


"Initially, her gender led me to believe that McCain hoped he could also win over former Hillary supporters, but that seems unlikely once her position on choice became clear."

That was never the primary reason that people like me advocated his picking Palin, and as David Brooks says in today's NYT, it wasn't the reason McCain picked her, either. This idea that it was an affirmative action pick is a liberal canard.

"Also that membership/non-membership in AIP was news to me and lots of independents I know, so its surprise value may be tough to judge."

It isn't clear that she was, and Beldar debunked the strongest piece of evidence yet adduced above.

EnigmatiCore said...

"smart michael"

Debatable, at best.

"Yeah, just keep telling yourself that."

Why sure! I'll even add to it.

You are leaving out that she was a member of the AIP, except that she wasn't. Her voter registration shows she's been a Republican since registering back in 1982.

And that she was a Buchanan supporter, except that she wasn't (she was a part of the Forbes campaign), as press releases show. Similarly, press releases from the time by Buchanan are notable for the absence of her name, and Bay Buchanan (who ran Pat's campaign) says they may have met her once, at a fundraiser for a different Alaska Republican.

And that she ran a Stevens 527. Except that she didn't run it, was only on the board of it, and the 527 was set up not to benefit Stevens but to promote female Alaska Republican candidates, like Palin. Actually, nothing to add here.

Oh, and that she once got a felony, except it was for fishing, and it wasn't a felony, but had been keyed in incorrectly by some clerk. Actually, nothing to add here.

Oh, and her hubby once had a DUI. 24 years ago. Again, nothing to add here.

Oh, and Bristol's boyfriend has a Myspace page where he swears, calls himself a redneck, and says he doesn't want kids. Again, nothing to add here, except amazement that the press finds him relevant.

How will she ever survive this onslaught?

Now, do you want to quibble with these inconvenient facts to your spins, Michael?

Simon said...

Michael said...
"Whether she's a Libertarian or not, Sarah apparently needs to bone up on a few thisng. [sic] ¶ She thinks the Founding Fathers wrote the Pledge of Allegiance—including the phrase ‘under God’."

You really are desperate, aren't you...

Who do you think this crap plays to? I mean, really - you think that most Americans are going to worry about whether Palin does or doesn't know when "under God" was added to the pledge? Or do you think they'll look incredulously at the fact that this claim is being spread by a party that thinks that having those words in the pledge is unconstitutional? The opportunism is stunning.

former law student said...

So the criticizms against the Palin pick are

-She may have tried to get her dangerous brother-in-law fired as a state trooper


No. She may have fired the Alaska Public Safety Commissioner in retaliation for his not firing her ex-brother-in-law. A credible allegation of abuse of power must be investigated for anyone running on the top ticket.

John Stodder said...

Just over a week ago, Palin was not on McCain's short list of potential running mates, the Republican said."

And you believe this? The Washington Post reported the precise opposite yesterday.

http://tinyurl.com/5lkkp3

The phony-sorrowful "gee I wish McCain had vetted Palin so we wouldn't have to do it" meme is hot on the Internets right now. But it's bullshit. It was tried here last night and collapsed from lack of factual support.

The LA Times' "Republican source" is probably the same guy who told the NY Times that he heard that somebody thought he heard somebody say that someone else was worried McCain might be sleeping with a lobbyist. That story sure had legs, didn't it?

Simon said...

Michael said...
"My criticism of Palin is that she is thoroughly unqualified to be the V.P. and the thought of her actually becoming President due to McCain's death is terrifying."

And I think I speak for all of us when I say that you must be the biggest clot on earth if you don't see why this is an example of astonishing cognitive dissonance. You're talking about our veep pick, who, as it turns out, is better-qualified to take over than the person you want to elect as President. She may have to be President, if elected. He will be President, if elected. And he's less well qualified than she is. This is an argument you want to have? Don't you get how totally, embarrassingly ridiculous you look making this argument?

"Are you saying you really feel this woman could serve as President of the United States?"

If the need arose, yes; but that isn't the question. The question is whether I feel she could better serve as President of the United States than Barack Obama or Joe Biden, and the answer to that is without any doubt.

EnigmatiCore said...

It should most certainly be investigated, FLS.

How credible it is? Not very. We would need to assume that she 1) did not have a valid reason for firing him, 2) waited for a year to do so rather than doing so right away, and 3) decided to fire Monegan who wasn't directly responsible for the trooper rather than Julia Grimes, who was, for some reason that has not even been speculated.

But it should be investigated. No question.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Michael said EnigmatiCore: Yeah, just keep telling yourself that.

Maybe someday you'll actually believe it.


Why not, it's factually correct. Can you kindly point to what exactly qualifies Obama as President of the United States (the 50 state one versus the 57 state one)

Trevor Jackson said...

"Would it then be a reasonable criticism of Biden that he was Obama's second choice?"

No, it would be a reasonable criticism of Obama that his initial impulse was to pick someone so anathema to the party he was nominated to represent. That he would have had to be forced by the base to adhere to his own platform would make me question whether I could trust him to remember me once elected.

John Stodder said...

She may have fired the Alaska Public Safety Commissioner in retaliation for his not firing her ex-brother-in-law. A credible allegation of abuse of power must be investigated for anyone running on the top ticket.

What Palin did wrong here was to not fire this guy the day she took office. He was a holdover from the previous, corrupt administration, which she toppled. He was serving in a political position, at the pleasure of the governor, and could be fired for any reason or no reason. He was never threatened with firing over the matter, nor was he or anyone else told this was why he was fired.

You are saying he was fired over the tasering-his-stepson trooper because you want it to be so, but you have no evidence. Moreover, even if it was true, it's not an "abuse of power." He had no rights to his job, and he was an idiot for pissing off a boss that had complete discretion to kick him to the curb. This whole matter is Alaska stuff, and the left is taking sides with the "bridge-to-nowhere" pimps.

Michael said...

Michael: So, we have more than one michael here?

For quite some time, actually. I've been posting here for years.

John Stodder said...

She thinks the Founding Fathers wrote the Pledge of Allegiance—including the phrase ‘under God’.

From an Eagle Forum Candidate Questionnaire:

Q: Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

PALIN: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the Founding Fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

*The phrase "under God" was added in 1954.


I don't think she's saying what you think she's saying here.

Whether she knows or not when "Under God" was added to the Pledge, "God" appears in the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence. My guess is that she was referring to the rather open religiosity of some (though not all) of the Founding Fathers. So what she's saying is that if uttering the word "God" was good enough for the Declaration, it is not inappropriate to have put it in the Pledge.

I don't agree with her that "under God" belongs in the Pledge, but that's another matter. This is another weak point against Palin that won't fly.

former law student said...

He was serving in a political position, at the pleasure of the governor, and could be fired for any reason or no reason.

But not for an improper reason. Let us say Monica Lewinsky had refused to "pay lip service" to Clinton, and then Clinton fired her. Saying that Clinton was free to fire her at any time would not excuse his actions.

Too many jims said...

Gordon,

In my original post I recognized that Alaska faces some peculiar issues in terms of its expenditures (I wasn't clear before but I was talking about combined state and local expenditures). I will readily grant that it costs more to provide services to a population spread out over vast distances particularly when terrain and weather issues are tossed in for good measure.

I suppose it is possible that the Alaska budget is as lean as possible. At the same time, I kind of doubt it precisely because Alaska is a special case -- tax collections account for less than half of state revenues.

Roger J. said...

Trevor--read my 10:45 post--its self explanatory. And what is cynical about trying to peel off some disaffected Hillaryites, who by judging from the comments on HillaryClintonforum seem quite taken by the pick. It isnt cynical at all--its good politics aimed at the republican base. The fact that its driving the establishment libs crazy is just a bonus effect.

Now if you wish to look at the reasons I put forward in my 10:45 post and critique them, I'll be happy to listen; --if all you want to do is label them "cynical" thats fine too--I simply do not care what you think--It isnt important to me or any other McCain supporters. We don't give a HRA what you think. Please argue with someone else, Trevor.

Roger J. said...

Oh and Trevor: It isnt important what the MSM or liberal commenters think about the pick--The only thing that counts is why McCain did it. I would suspect theres a bit of mirror imaging going on, but I am not a psychologist even though I did stay at a holiday inn express recently.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But not for an improper reason. Let us say Monica Lewinsky had refused to "pay lip service" to Clinton, and then Clinton fired her. Saying that Clinton was free to fire her at any time would not excuse his actions.

Bad analogy unless you're making that parallel argument that Palin was soliciting oral sex, was turned down and then fired the guy in retaliation.

At this point, it appears that the only implication of impropriety is her relationship by marriage to the poor excuse for a state trooper who it seems should have never been a cop from day one.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I would suspect theres a bit of mirror imaging going on, but I am not a psychologist even though I did stay at a holiday inn express recently.

But did you save any money on your car insurance?

Doyle said...

The Palin Bump!

vbspurs said...

MadMan wrote:

I am curious to hear of her views on science, not something I've heard yet. Science is not liberal, conservative or libertarian.

I'm just curious to hear her views, full stop.

I want to enjoy her speech on Wednesday, but she needs to start doing interviews and getting the third degree from rabidly partisan journalists.

If she can present her views in a clear, principled way like John McCain, then the ticket wins.

If she fudges, or hesitates, or is made to look foolish (because in part, she let herself be), then the ticket flounders.

See, Americans often don't vote for the people they agree with, hook, line and sinker.

They go with the ones who know their minds, even if it's unpopular.

That bodes well for Senator Obama, BTW, on one level. Unfortunately, his eggheady replies undermine his plans.

Cheers,
Victoria

Trevor Jackson said...

Roger J: I recognize that I'm not likely to change your mind about your support for Palin. Though I think her reputation as a reformer/anti-establishment may be a bit overstated given her support for pork as mayor and even the bridge flip-flop.

In the end and honestly, I'm glad that people are excited to vote, whichever way they choose to vote. I would certainly rather the ticket I support win on its platform than getting people to vote against the other ticket. I think one of the problems Bush had in governing from 2005 on was that he had no mandate for his platform, instead campaigning on being "better" than Kerry.

I'm done talking about Palin and even speculating on McCain's intentions in picking her. I hope the rest of the RNC this week can make a case FOR McCain rather than a case AGAINST Obama.

Doyle said...

If she can present her views in a clear, principled way like John McCain, then the ticket wins.

Reading some of this self-delusional nonsense around here you'd think it was last Friday instead of today.

John Stodder said...

But not for an improper reason.

Was he a whistleblower?

Assuming he wasn't fired for his age, race, gender or because he had HIV or a disability, then he would have to be claiming he was a whistleblower for his firing to be challenged. He was a political employee.

Do you think if Obama wins he should be forced to keep, indefinitely, Bush's White House staff? Or do you think that, as a Democrat, he shouldn't have to have a staff full of Republicans loyal to his predecessor. That's why political appointees don't have rights to their jobs.

vbspurs said...

Is it because he was forced to pick her at the last minute by James Dobson? Why didn't the Maverick get to go with Lieberman, his first pick?

Why didn't Republicans make a big song and dance about John Kerry wanting John McCain?

I love how the "Lieberman" line somehow infers that McCain only had one name at the top of the list, and that's it.

Democrats are going to push this meme forever, and I'm going to push back with counter-evidence, of which there is plenty, that she was part of the Top 3 choices, according to Nicolle Wallace, the knockout spokeswoman doing the rounds of all the talk shows today.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Reading some of this self-delusional nonsense around here you'd think it was last Friday instead of today.

That's rich coming from you.

garage mahal said...

The Palin Bump!

Game changer!

Doyle said...

I love how the "Lieberman" line somehow infers that McCain only had one name at the top of the list, and that's it.

It actually "implies" that McCain only had one name at the top of the list, and a lot of the reporting suggests that Lieberman was indeed his first choice, with Ridge second.

It's lucky for us Dems that the Taliban wing of the GOP wouldn't stand for it. We'd hardly be in a position to argue Holy Joe wasn't qualified. A turncoat and a sniveling, un-American henchman for the worst president ever, maybe, but not unqualified.

Michael said...

Hoosier: "Can you kindly point to what exactly qualifies Obama as President of the United States"

VIA The Smart Michael:

Obama's qualifications: Constitutional Law Professor, State Senator for 7 years, U.S. Senator for 2 years.

Either many here have no idea of what a Senator does or they don't remember that McCain himself has been a Senator for decades (which makes the Biden; inside the beltway mentality rather silly), with literally no other experience except for service in the military, where he crashed at least 3-4 planes, adultery and marrying into a fortune.

*Ohhhhh, and in regards to his intellect, he graduated 594th out of 599 at the academy...now that is impressive.

P. Rich said...

I'm enjoying a fantasy of Sarah showing up to debate Biden wearing an Army green t-shirt and a ball cap that says NRA in large letters. I can hear the liberal howls. Heh.

Michael said...

The Smart Michael -

So much for integrity:

Former officials of Sen. John McCain’s 2000 campaign expressed shock and disbelief Monday to learn than the GOP presidential nominee had hired South Carolina political consultant Tucker Eskew.

Eskew, along with Warren Tompkins and Neal Rhodes, were key members of then-Gov. George W. Bush’s South Carolina team during the 2000 primaries.

McCain and his team long held Bush, Tompkins, Rhodes and Eskew responsible for the various smears against McCain and his family in the Palmetto state during that contentious contest.

Michael said...

p. rich: Would she be wearing a bra under the T-Shirt?

mcg said...

*Ohhhhh, and in regards to his intellect, he graduated 594th out of 599 at the academy...now that is impressive.

A hell of a lot better than you'd do, idiot.

Johng said...

Other than holding office and signing his name onto Republican written, bipartisan bills passed by voice vote, what exactly has Obama accomplished that makes anyone believe he is qualified for the Presidency?

And yes I believe Palin is fully qualified to be Vice President since she has an actual record of accomplishment as a corruption buster and spending slasher.

Michael said...

The Smart Michael"

Three months before she was thrust into the national political spotlight, Gov. Sarah Palin, addressing the graduating class of commission students at her one-time church, Wasilla Assembly of God.

Speaking before the Pentecostal church, Palin painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out the will of the Lord.

"Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God," she exhorted the congregants.

"That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

And yet another politician with a direct pipeline to God?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Obama's qualifications: Constitutional Law Professor, State Senator for 7 years, U.S. Senator for 2 years.

Yes because we all know those are top notch credentials for being President of the United States. Oh and Palin accomplished more as Governor for 2 years than Obama has Senator. Aside from voting present and finding the time to write two memoirs.

Either many here have no idea of what a Senator does or they don't remember that McCain himself has been a Senator for decades

And few conservatives on here are enamored with McCain nor tout his experience as a Senator as his strong points for being President.

Again, if you want to play the who has more experience game with Palin v. Obama, bring it.

Michael said...

mcg,
That's your defense of John McCain graduating at damn near the very bottom of his class...assuming I wouldn't do better?

Well, first of all, I'm not running for President, and I can assure you that I graduated one hell of a lot higher in my class than Mr. McCain did in his.

But are you actually saying you want someone who graduated above 6 out of 599 people as your next President?

Doyle said...

Don't act so shocked Michael. Look who they recently elected twice.

Intelligence is a liability to these clowns.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But are you actually saying you want someone who graduated above 6 out of 599 people as your next President?

Well if McCain had gone to Bumfuck Community College, I suppose you'd have a point.

Intelligence is a liability to these clowns

That's right Doyle. Everyone who graduated in the lower half at Annapolis is ignorant.

But please, do continue to hammer away those brilliant points.

Michael said...

Hoosier,
Yeah being the Governor of a state that has a population smaller than districts in Illinois (about the size of Fort Worth) for a grand total of about 20 months is much more impressive than this:

Obama: Obama at Harvard Law School he was elected president of the Law Review, functioning as editor-in-chief and supervising the law review's staff of 80 editors.He was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review and graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) magna cum laude from in 1991.

He then taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years, as a Lecturer for four years and as a Senior Lecturer for eight years.

He was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, reelected in 1998, and again in 2002.

He was sworn in as a senator on January 4, 2005 and was the fifth African American Senator in U.S. history.

He sponsored the following legislation:

1. Requiring nuclear plant owners to notify state and local authorities of radioactive leaks.

2. Co-sponsored the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.

3. Introduced a bill to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections.

4. Introduced the Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007.

5. Sponsored an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act adding safeguards for personality disorder military discharges.

6. Sponsored the "Iran Sanctions Enabling Act" supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran's oil and gas industry.

7. Co-sponsored legislation to reduce risks of nuclear terrorism.8. He also sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program providing one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries.

Michael said...

Hoosier,
When you say: "Well if McCain had gone to Bumfuck Community College, I suppose you'd have a point."

Are you implying attendance at the U.S. Naval Academy doesn't really require any kind of good grades or stature relating to where you graduate in the class?

You're kidding, right?

Michael said...

Hoosier - "Everyone who graduated in the lower half at Annapolis is ignorant."

McCain didn't graduate in the "lower half," he graduated at about the 99% lowest level possible.

That's quite a bit different wouldn't you say?

former law student said...

But not for an improper reason.

Was he a whistleblower?


Where do you get this notion, that whistleblowing is the only exception to at-will employment?

He was a political employee.

Do you think if Obama wins he should be forced to keep, indefinitely, Bush's White House staff?


Would you give Obama a pass on this? (From alaskareport.com)

Monegan has also raised questions about the propriety of the First Gentleman, Todd Palin, meeting with Monegan right after the Governor was elected to discuss security concerns surrounding a state trooper. That meeting occurred following standard questioning of any newly-elected Governor and First Family members regarding security detail concerns. The First Gentleman was specifically told to meet with Monegan by the Governor’s top security detail, Special Agent Bob Cockrell, to forward serious concerns that were substantiated in an internal trooper investigation. The concerns regarding the trooper included: using a Taser stun gun on his stepson, illegally killing a moose and driving with an open container in his patrol car. The First Gentleman also expressed concern over death threats made against a family member by the trooper.

In any event, firing an officer is an official act that advances a personal interest, namely punishing one's ex-brother-in-law by depriving him of his livelihood. As such, it is a potential violation of Section 39.52.110 of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act, which applies even to the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General.

Chapter 39.52 ALASKA EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS ACT

Section 39.52.010 DECLARATION OF POLICY.

(a) It is declared (1) that high moral and ethical standards among public officers in the executive branch are essential to the conduct of free government; and (2) that the legislature believes that a code of ethics for the guidance of public officers will discourage those officers from acting upon personal or financial interests in the performance of their public responsibilities, will improve standards of public service, and will promote and strengthen the faith and confidence of the people of this state in their public officers. It is further declared that holding public office or employment is a public trust and that as one safeguard of that trust, the people require public officers to adhere to a code of ethics.

(b) The legislature declares that it is the policy of the state, when a public employee is appointed to serve on a state board or commission, that the holding of such offices does not constitute the holding of incompatible offices unless expressly prohibited by the Alaska Constitution, this chapter and any opinions or decisions rendered under it, or another statute.

Section 39.52.110 SCOPE OF CODE.

(a) The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.

Section 39.52.310 COMPLAINTS.

(a) The attorney general may initiate a complaint, or elect to treat as a complaint any matter disclosed under AS 39.52.210 , 39.52.220, 39.52.250, or 39.52.260.

(b) A person may file a complaint with the attorney general regarding the conduct of a current or former public officer. A complaint must be in writing, be signed under oath, and contain a clear statement of the details of the alleged violation.

(c) If a complaint alleges a violation of AS 39.52.110 - 39.52.190 by the governor, lieutenant governor, or the attorney general, the matter shall be referred to the personnel board. The personnel board shall retain independent counsel who shall act in the place of the attorney general under (d) - (i) of this section, AS 39.52.320 - 39.52.350, and 39.52.360(c) and (d).

Gedaliya said...

Don't act so shocked Michael. Look who they recently elected twice.

Like Wm. F. Buckley once famously said, I'd rather be governed by the first 100 names in the Boston phone directory than by the entire faculty of Harvard University.

Roger J. said...

Michael: this phoney issue of where McCain graduated has been discussed ad nauseum in other threads on this blog--I will tell you as a graduate of the military academy that class standings exist primarily to determine things like early grad school, which branch of service you get to choose; and most important how cadets are sectioned in class during their four year stay. The service academies use what is called the Thayer method where cadets are placed in small classroom standing based on their class rank--the theory being these groups can be proceed at their own pace. Class standing at the academies is primarily for internal consumption.

garage mahal said...

Chapter blah blah blah Section blah blah blah. The guy was scum according to Palin. That's the only word I'm going by, because, I'm in love!

Do you guys want to see the poem I wrote to her? Gosh, I haven't felt this way in SO Long!

Roger J. said...

As I mentioned in those fabulous discussions with AL, the last man in my class is now a Professor of Medicine at a distinguished med school in the NW.

And to be clear the reason class standing should not be used as a gauge of "intelligence" is that every cadet and middie have to meet a very high bar for admission-Any cadet that gets in is intelligent. -What you can infeer from class standing is one's particular interest in applying themselves to get the best possible grade. Even the cadets at the bottom of the class have taken two years of mathmatics through DE, Mechanics of Fluids and Solids, Thermodynamics, ordnance engineering, chemistry, physics and structural engineering--wether they wanted to or not. There are also an equal assortment of liberal arts stuff. Last but not least you are graded on physical ability, team sport participation, and orientation toward military service. Thats why its called an academy and not a college or university.

LoafingOaf said...

Is this claim by a resident of Wassilla who knew Palin true?

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected
City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from
the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents
rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's
attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew
her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the
Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.


Has this been confirmed? If so, what books did the censorious beauty queen want removed? Has someone interviewed this librarian?

Revenant said...

If you believe that a an unborn child is a person with rights, than any libertarian would be pro-life because the right to life from the child's point of view trumps any right the woman has (except for self defense).

That is not quite correct. First of all Libertarians don't believe in a "right to life" -- they/we believe in a right not to be killed. If I have two kidneys and you'll die if I don't give you one, it is still arguably within my rights to say "I'm not giving you a kidney".

All libertarians frown on coercing Party A in order to prevent harm to Party B, although all libertarians believe that there are cases in which it is justifiable (people who don't are properly termed "anarchists"). Even if a fetus is a human being, the question of whether or not the mother can be forced to use her body to keep it alive is open to debate. Arguments over this usually come down to whether or not the mother implicitly agreed to carry a child to term when she had sex (although of course that wouldn't be the case in rape).

So libertarians -- even ones who think fetuses are people -- still end up all over the pro-life/pro-choice spectrum.

Revenant said...

Are you saying you really feel this woman could serve as President of the United States?

Of the four people on the Republican and Democratic tickets, she's the one I'm most comfortable with as President. Not only is she the only one with executive experience, she's also the only one who doesn't have a past history of pissing on the Constitution.

Revenant said...

Has this been confirmed? If so, what books did the censorious beauty queen want removed? Has someone interviewed this librarian?

I see the Oaf has given up pushing the "Palin is a secessionist" story and has moved on to a fresh one.

Tomorrow, he plans to push the story that Palin regularly drove 57 miles per hour in a 55mph zone. Has she been asked about this shocking disrespect for basic road safety?

Roger J. said...

Rev: you better splain that one to Michael--I don't think he gets it. McCain Feingold is indeed a gross restriction on political speech and that almost was enough to make me sit this one out.

Doyle said...

Like Wm. F. Buckley once famously said, I'd rather be governed by the first 100 names in the Boston phone directory

George W. Bush never lived in Boston, but most people agree his being a moron didn't make him a great president.

Gedaliya said...

Of the four people on the Republican and Democratic tickets, she's the one I'm most comfortable with as President. Not only is she the only one with executive experience, she's also the only one who doesn't have a past history of pissing on the Constitution.

Bravo.

Simon said...

LoafingOaf said...
"Is this claim by a resident of Wassilla who knew Palin true? ... Has this been confirmed? If so, what books did the censorious beauty queen want removed? Has someone interviewed this librarian?"

Translation: "I have no evidence, but I'm going to spread this rumor and demand other people do my research for me." Tell you what, LoafingOaf, why don't you go off and do some research, finf out the answers to those questions, and report back. Try not to use "sources" like DailyKos, the NYT and TPM.

John K. said...

I think one can believe that life begins at conception and yet still be "pro-choice" (and every decent bone in my body recoils from that label) so far as criminalizing abortion goes, based largely on pragmatic considerations. Not all violations of natural law, even the worst kinds, lend themselves to prosecution under the criminal law. The cure can be worse than the disease.

amba said...

Christopher of Betwixt and Between, commenting at my blog here and here, said (with links provided) that Palin is not gay-friendly. She is a constitutionalist, however.

Revenant said...

I think one can believe that life begins at conception and yet still be "pro-choice" (and every decent bone in my body recoils from that label) so far as criminalizing abortion goes, based largely on pragmatic considerations.

What's the pragmatic consideration weighing against prosecuting doctors who perform abortions? If you're talking about the problems associated with prosecuting the women, I agree, but prosecuting the doctors is practical and easier to justify.

It is a bit like the problem of child pornography. The purchasers aren't harming children; they're simply paying others to harm children. They are also much more numerous and harder to identify than the producers who actually harm children. The producers themselves need to advertise their services and maintain at least some supporting infrastructure in order to create the product.

garage mahal said...

I see the Oaf has given up pushing the "Palin is a secessionist" story and has moved on to a fresh one.

Who is saying that Palin is a "secessionist" ?

Several have pointed that AIP is a fringe party with secessionists in it, she has stated she thinks they should have that vote to secede from the Union, and among other things the AIP endorsed a 9/11 Truther for President who believes in the New World Order.

amba said...

I personally am sick and tired of those two issues being major points in either campaign. And I don't think I am in the minority in this country.

Me too, Terri, and I'm also sick of gender and race being major points in either campaign. The four tired old warhorses of the Apocalypse.

Roger J. said...

Governor Palin's is the only one of those three gasbags that has one scintilla of recent executive experience. The McCain ticket gets my vote ONLY because he picked her.

John K. said...

Revenant said: "What's the pragmatic consideration weighing against prosecuting doctors who perform abortions?"

I think the law needs to be both pragmatic AND principled. The pragmatic considerations weighing against prosecuting women for procuring an abortion include: if a woman who is pregnant as a result of rape should be able to procure an abortion without punishment, as I think she should, how are we going to determine whether she was raped, and what violations of privacy would be entailed in making such determinations? Is every woman who has a miscarriage going to become a potential suspect in an abortion charge?

On the other hand, the law would appear unprincipled if it prosecuted abortion doctors but not the women who hired the doctors to kill their unborn child. A man who hires a hit man to kill his wife is just as culpable as the hit man who carries out the murder.

Revenant said...

Who is saying that Palin is a "secessionist"?

"Invisible Man" and LoafingOaf made the claim yesterday. IM's description was that Palin was "pro-secession" and LO confirmed that he'd been trying to get people to respond to that claim.

Several have pointed that AIP is a fringe party

It may well be. But since Palin has apparently been a registered member of the Republican Party since she was old enough to vote it doesn't matter if the AIP is a fringe party or not.

I would ask, though -- if you're not suggesting she's a secessionist, what AIP position are you worried she might have?

John Stodder said...

I love the way Loafing Oaf quotes that Palin enemy, who in full context reads like a nut job, and asks if it's true.

His hero Joe McCarthy would be proud. He would pick him out for an award of special merit, in fact, if Daily Kos, Andrew Sullivan and Campbell Brown weren't ahead of him in line.

In case he's wondering there are people in Delaware who don't like Joe Biden, people in Chicago who don't like Barack Obama, and people in Arizona who don't like John McCain. Amazingly enough, there are also people in Alaska who don't like Sarah Palin. They're amusing, though. They say things like "Don't believe her high approval ratings because I hate her!"

I think the Alaska establishment was going to try to bring her down even if McCain hadn't nominated her. She's pissed off a lot of powerful people. Now that she might become VP, they're even more determined to stop her. It's the heighth of "strange bedfellows," because you've got oil, gas and mineral interests and corrupt Republicans who have obtained sudden infallibility from the left and the media.

LoafingOaf said...

Oh, I'm sorry, I'm not supposed to be curious about people in her town saying she tried to have books removed from the library and tried to get the librarian fired over it.

Just trying to get a picture of who this woman is, this unknown woman McCain wants to put second-in-line to be Commander in Chief of a superpower during war.

People are still wanting anwers about the AIP stuff. It's now been confirmed that Palin's husband was a registered member of the AIP. Apparently the AIP is affiliated with the pro-theocracy American Constitution Party. Her association with these fringe groups would go along with her desire to censor books in the library, if that is true. There's also some speculaton that Palin's possible "Alaska First" sympathies explain why she felt it so important her child be born on Alaskan soil, but maybe that's a stretch. Maybe all she really likes about the AIP is that they're plugged in with the American Constitution Party.

What we need is for Palin to start giving interviews and answer for herself. McCain's people made a big to-do over Palin never having been a registered member of the AIP, but they failed to mention that her husband was. The McCain campaign must feel overloaded trying to justify the selection of Palin. They tried to suggest she has national security experience via the Alaska National Guard, but as Governor she had no role whatsoever in national defense activities with the National Guard, just in-state stuff like natural disaster response and so forth. DailyKos nuked that lie from McCain. I'd never join DailyKos myself, but they do have a lot of info!

I dunno. I guess Palin is holed up somewhere cramming on the issues at the last minute, praying to God to help her seem authoritative on them. McCain's donations are spiking from the Religious Right. He caved to them. They're happy. After all, she didn't abort the Downs Syndrome baby. And she looks hot with a gun. And she eats mooseburgers. What else could you want in a person who may end up running a superpower during war? Maybe she'll ease all our concerns and knock our socks off and win us over. What's painfully clear, however, is that folks like Simon do not need to know anything more than that she's down with mooseburgers, looks hot, but is not down with killing babies. And somehow these reckless people (reckless with the fate of my country) manipulated McCain into bypassing better candidates for someone he barely knew anything about.

With that, I have to go to the liquor store to prep for this GOP convention. *sigh*

Revenant said...

The pragmatic considerations weighing against prosecuting women for procuring an abortion include: [snip]

I already conceded that there were pragmatic considerations against prosecuting the women.

On the other hand, the law would appear unprincipled if it prosecuted abortion doctors but not the women who hired the doctors to kill their unborn child.

Not at all, because there is no principled argument for prosecuting the women in the first place. The argument for banning the offering of money for murder (or the offering of money for abortion) is that while the act of offering causes no actual harm to anyone, it has the practical effect of encouraging harm. The person offering the money hasn't harmed anyone; he or she has merely created a situation in which the incentive exists for greedy and immoral people to do harm.

There is no need for a principled argument against prosecuting pregnant women. There is just a need to show that the harm done by pursuing the women exceeds the harm done by not pursuing them.

Revenant said...

Oh, I'm sorry, I'm not supposed to be curious about people in her town saying she tried to have books removed from the library and tried to get the librarian fired over it.

Curiosity implies you care if the allegations you're making are true or not. The fact that you've repeatedly publicized them without making any attempt to check on their veracity demonstrates that you don't.

LoafingOaf said...

I love the way Loafing Oaf quotes that Palin enemy, who in full context reads like a nut job, and asks if it's true.

His hero Joe McCarthy would be proud.


Is she now, or has she ever been, a member of the Alaska Independence Party? :)

No, I saw Downtownlad had mentioned the library stuff upthread. Then I saw it mentioned in that letter from the person in her town. I figured that whatever the agenda of the person who wrote the letter, the basic facts of something like that could easily be confirmed. Either she did or she did not go book burning at the library. Either she did or did not go after the library. I don't know if she did or not. I was just asking if its been confirmed. I guess we'll know soon. Finally she's being vetted!

John Stodder said...

In response to former law student on the firing of Monegan...what you're overlooking is that you have zero evidence that Monegan was fired because the Palins wanted the trooper investigated. She's denied it, and there is no paper trail to contradict her. Because he is an at-will, political appointee, she doesn't need to do the kind of documentation normally required to fire an executive. He was not fired "for cause."

Now, you can speculate, as Monegan has done, that the firing was a vindictive act. You might even persuade me. But it's irrelevant. Unless she came into his office and told him in front of witnesses that she was firing him for this reason, it's all innuendo. She doesn't have to come up with any cause of action. "I am the governor and I didn't want Monegan to work for me anymore," is entirely sufficient.

An at-will employee who gets fired can sue for employment discrimination, but only on narrow grounds, as you surely know. If he had called the AG to complain about the pressure on him to fire the trooper, and alleged some malfeasance with regard to it, and then she fired him for speaking to the AG, he'd have a good case because it would be an act of retaliation against a whistleblower. (Or if she fired him because of his age, ethnicity, gender orientation or disability.) Short of that, he's got nothing. The investigation will raise some dust clouds, but it won't end up hurting her.

Politically, the Dems siding with this particular trooper, which is inescapably part of the story you're advocating, also seems paradoxical to say the least. I assume you'd have fired a trooper, too, if he used his state-issued weapon against a child and threatened to kill his father in law, no matter who his father in law was.

LoafingOaf said...

Rev: I only mentioned the library thing one time. Downtownlad mentioned it first. I saw that hours ago and wondered if it was true. Then I was reading a letter from someone from Palin's town who talked about it. Either she did or did not go after a librarian. Either she did or did not go after books in the library. Simple confirmation from Palin or McCain would suffice. After all, McCain knows everything about her because he rigorously vetted her.

Revenant said...

I personally am sick and tired of [gay marriage and abortion] being major points in either campaign.

Minor point -- how is gay marriage "an issue", let alone a major one, in the Presidential race? Obama's against it; McCain's against it. Four years ago Kerry and Bush were against it.

Supporters of gay marriage might hope that Obama is lying, and that's probably a safe bet. But the only issue in this campaign is whether Obama or McCain will produce the most bloviation on the subject of their ostensible respect for the institution of heterosexual marriage.

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