December 8, 2009

Stanley Fish finds Sarah Palin's book "compelling and very well done."

Unlike compulsive Sarah haters — like Andrew Sullivan and Michelle Goldberg — Fish looks at the book as the form of literature it is, an autobiography:
[W]hile autobiographers certainly insist that they are telling the truth, the truth the genre promises is the truth about themselves — the kind of persons they are — and even when they are being mendacious or self-serving (and I don’t mean to imply that Palin is either), they are, necessarily, fleshing out that truth. As I remarked in a previous column, autobiographers cannot lie because anything they say will truthfully serve their project, which, again, is not to portray the facts, but to portray themselves.
Since "Going Rogue" is "satisfying and artful" and shows us what Palin is really like, it succeeds. Fish, an expert on literary art, explains the "architectonic structure" of the book in some detail. Go read that.

Now, what's especially cool about Fish's essay is that he confronts the smugness of his readers, the NYT readers. Instead of the chummy, we-hate-Sarah chatter that defines the liberal/lefty blogosphere, Fish slaps his friends in the face. You think you can write this lady off? You're idiots — he says, in so many words:
Do I believe any of [what Palin has written]? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that she does, and that her readers feel they are hearing an authentic voice. I find the voice undeniably authentic... It is the voice of small-town America, with its folk wisdom, regional pride, common sense, distrust of rhetoric (itself a rhetorical trope), love of country and instinctive (not doctrinal) piety. It says, here are some of the great things that have happened to me, but they are not what makes my life great and American. (“An American life is an extraordinary life.”) It says, don’t you agree with me that family, freedom and the beauties of nature are what sustains us? And it also says, vote for me next time. For it is the voice of a politician, of the little girl who thought she could fly, tried it, scraped her knees, dusted herself off and “kept walking.”

In the end, perseverance, the ability to absorb defeat without falling into defeatism, is the key to Palin’s character. It’s what makes her run in both senses of the word and it is no accident that the physical act of running is throughout the book the metaphor for joy and real life. Her handlers in the McCain campaign wouldn’t let her run (a mistake, I think, even at the level of photo-op), no doubt because they feared another opportunity to go “off script,” to “go rogue.”...

The message is clear. America can’t be stopped. I can’t be stopped. I’ve stumbled and fallen, but I always get up and run again.
So look out, you smug fools.  She's real. Like Reagan was real.

Here are some of the great things that have happened to me, but they are not what makes my life great and American. Family, freedom and the beauties of nature are what sustains us....

166 comments:

Mr. Forward said...

[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCwLirQS2-o[/url]
The Fish slapping dance

ricpic said...

Does Fish understand quite what he is conceding when he says that Palin has common sense?

Salamandyr said...

Nice piece. It's a bit more fair minded than I would have imagined.

I find it interesting that Palin apparently spends more time explaining her resignation than dwelling on being asked to be VP. I like the idea "resignation was a decision she is responsible for" as opposed to something she sort of stumbled into like the vice presidency. It says something that she is more concerned with her own actions than those of others.

Bart DePalma said...

Oh my, Stanley Fish of all people pegged why Sarah drives the elite left to distraction while thrilling Joe and Jane Six Pack.

BTW, hundreds are lining up at our local Borders here in Colorado Springs this morning in zero degree weather to see Sarah and get their book signed.

Bill said...

Are you being ironic when you say that Reagan was real? I understand that there are people who believe that, but people believe a lot of things that aren't true, and the myth of St. Ronnie is high on that list for a number of Americans.

John said...

Bill,

Unless you knew Reagan personally, I don't think you are in a position to judge if he was "real" or not. But he was "real" to the very real extent that he connected with the American people and they thought he was real. That is the kind of "real" Fish is talking about.

master cylinder said...

act now!

https://www.sarahpacdonate.com/gbook

Expat(ish) said...

Good lord, Fish says something I agree with. Next up, pigs flying and cats and dogs coming from the clouds.

@Bill re: Ronnie. Well, "Ronnie was dumb" is certainly a trope for some people. I would strongly suggest reading Anderson's great book on Ron and the end of the cold war. Like most good retrospective books on important presidents (there are a number on FDR, Truman, Ike) it challenges your perceptions.

-XC

Bissage said...

Back in the punk days, there was this button that said “No Heroes.”

I never knew what that was supposed to mean, exactly, but I fully agreed with the general sentiment.

Dave said...

'Do I believe any of [what Palin has written]? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that she does, and that her readers feel they are hearing an authentic voice.'

I would hope it matters. When I read novels I want to be convinced of an authentic voice & don't need to pay attention to 'facts'.

Books marketed and sold as non-fiction are a different matter. I want to know that the content is accurate & authentic.

Plus, does anybody really believe that autobiographers cannot lie?

Darwin said...

Here are some of the great things that have happened to me, they are what makes my life great and why you should be proud to be an American.
Read all about it in my books Audacity of Hope and Dreams of My Father.

traditionalguy said...

There is suddenly a movement to defend Sarah from the scurrilous false attack memes that is actually coming from the Government Media types. WTF? Has Obama so much alienated the water carryers of the First Black President with his habit of using known lies, or has Sarah's upbeat authenticity suddenly appeared as light shining in the sea of Obama's darkness? Whatever is happening, it is a massive swing in attitudes when even Chris Mathews cannot get liberals on his show to join in his "kill the Palin" smear memes anymore. Sarah is too authentic for that to work!

jaltcoh said...

I'll repeat what I've said before about these two characters:

I'm not surprised if Stanley Fish is sympathetic with Sarah Palin. They both have a knack for giving a vague impression of bold straight talk without actually making much sense.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Hilarious.

So look out, you smug fools. She's real. Like Reagan was real.

Ha. Exactly.

traditionalguy said...

jalcoh...Have you read the book? Fish was not "being sympathetic". He was reporting on facts to the vast washed intellectuals who would no more buy and read the book, than they would attend a NASCAR Race. He is like Marco Polo telling about the wonders of China and Japan to his homeboys.

garage mahal said...

What's up with the Mao hat anyway.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Dave said...

Plus, does anybody really believe that autobiographers cannot lie?

I think you are missing Fish's point. Of course autobiographers can lie. His point is that those lies reveal important truths about the autobiographer.

That is in contrast with a biography written by someone else, where if the author lies, you learn something about the author, not his subject.

Kirby Olson said...

The myth of the "real" has huge quote marks around it, and is a campy topic in academia, but I think he's also saying that reality has a curious way of persisting, and winning elections. Fish has fishy ways of thinking about the truth, but he does finally acknowledge that the truth isn't just fiction, as global warming is just a fiction, or a myth.

Palin's something else, and is perhaps more myth than hype. But again, just because it's hype, doesn't mean it doesn't attain mythical status.

And just because it exists, it has reality, or myth. Around and around we go as Fish juggles myth, reality, and hype, adding his own spin to each of the terms.

Paglia will no doubt do a similar juggling act, mystifying, and infuriating, and adding to her own myth. I can't wait to see her performance.

To be fair, Fish also recognized the Bush's rhetoric was far sharper, clearer, and more intelligent than that of Kerry.

That said, he was for Kerry.

Fish is slippery. Paglia is slippery.

I think Palin on the other hand is more tangible, and more "real."

Geez, I don't know what anything means after Fish's article.

craig said...

Bill, if you doubt that Reagan was real, just read "Reagan In His Own Hand". (Check it out from the library if you don't want to sully yourself by buying a copy.)

What this book is, is a collection of addresses written by Reagan himself, and apparently delivered on a weekly radio program during the Seventies. All of the major themes of his later presidency are covered in those addresses. In some cases, they have reproduced the originals in his handwriting, just for confirmation that the words and ideas originated with Reagan. In fact, it proves that Reagan's own speechwriting was better, clearer, and more forceful than that of his presidential speechwriters.

Henry said...

Autobiographers rely on memory. And memory lies.

Autobiographers reveal their internal conversations. Internal conversations do not align with material fact. People say one thing and think another. They invent and reinvent motives.

Fish is right. If you went and fact-checked Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes (Pulitzer) or Orhan Pamuk's (Nobel) Instanbul like an academic historian, you likely find lots to squawk about -- if getting into a state of indignation is your occupation.

Dave said...

@ Henry

I don't totally disagree with your comments. Espicially when it comes to events in one's childhood or distant past.

But what of events that occured in the past year or the past few years?

MadisonMan said...

It seems odd to call a ghost-written "Autobiography" literature.

I could totally see Palin and H. Clinton sitting around talking shop. That would be a very interesting conversation to record.

There's a series of very interesting YouTube videos where early giants in the TV/Movie Biz are interviewed. I think Palin doing a series of these, interviewing political giants of the day would be fascinating.

Henry said...

The fact that memory lies, even for recent events, is quite established. Studies of eye-witness accounts repeatedly show that people get things wrong, and the eliding and exchanging of eye-witness information starts immediately.

Now I would hope that an autobiographer would task herself with checking the actual record so as not to get too off track from names, dates, quotes, and actions. To the extent that Palin does this (and I couldn't say) it is a mark against her.

But this doesn't mean that a relaying of motives and internal conversations won't completely confuse what we consider fact. People's motives are among the most inscrutable and layered aspects of history. What we tell ourselves we are doing can be at direct odds with the impact on others.

Almost Ali said...

Democreats and Republicans sleep with the same devil.

God help'em when Sarah runs on her own terms.

Photog714 said...

Bill said: Are you being ironic when you say that Reagan was real? I understand that there are people who believe that, but people believe a lot of things that aren't true, and the myth of St. Ronnie is high on that list for a number of Americans.

Perhaps you are in the thrall of the false liberal narrative on Reagan, which portrayed him as an amiable dunce.

I won't name names, but I know one of Reagan's biographers personally. He told me about visiting Reagan at his home when Reagan was governor of California. While Ron and Nancy went to the kitchen to fetch iced tea, my friend perused Reagan's bookshelves. There were classic political works by Bastiat, Tocqueville, Locke, Montesquieu, etc. Thumbing through these volumes, he saw passages underlined, and many marginal notes in Reagan's handwriting.

This amiable dunce had a serious mind. He had read and studied those classic authors, had held little conversations and debates with them in the margins, and had taken their lessons to heart as a political leader.

In Ron and Nancy, my friend found two of the most interesting and genuine people he had ever met -- and being a biographer, his impression was drawn from many meetings and long conversations with them.

The left's narrative on conservatives cannot comprehend any of this. Conservatives are, by definition, stupid and phony. Consequently, to those who swallow the narrative, it sounds like irony at best when someone finds a Reagan or a Palin to be real and serious.

Scott M said...

He nails it for me. While I still think Palin's got some gravitas-building to do, there's simply no denying her as a political force.

My hope is that she is as authentic as she appears to be and can hold that line without erring to one side or another as the political winds blow blindsides.

She'll be better served not running again for the big office (unless the Dems completely implode before 2011), but rather take a significant cabinet post first.

miller said...

I think Stanley Fish enjoys the sound of lib heads exploding in the morning.

MikeR said...

By the way, Ann, did you ever get to go over "a couple more items" from Sullivan's list?

chuck b. said...

I have to say I rather like Sarah Palin even though I disagree with her on some points. As far as politicians go, she's among my least unfavorite.

"So look out, you smug fools. She's real. Like Reagan was real."

This is something Andrew Sullivan does not seem to understand, perhaps because he didn't live here when his conservative icon Reagan was rising in national prominence.

To me, Reagan seemed like the most transparently fake, phony, contrived person ever. He wasn't even a person, he was a persona. In retrospect, perhaps I was very cynical. Or both.

At any rate, Palin boosters don't seem as scary as Reagan boosters did. Maybe because I'm older now. But I think it's because they're actually not as scary.

Kovacs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

In short, is the book a good autobiographical read? I would answer “yes” to both.

There should be no quotes around "yes."

Maybe the editors did him in.

edutcher said...

Fish is doing what is, essentially, an intel analysis of someone who is already becoming the Lefties' worst nightmare. For those who will make a great show of scoffing, consider Dan Riehl's post :http://www.riehlworldview.com/carnivorous_conservative/2009/12/is-rube-sarah-palin-redefining-ecampaigning.html.

Also consider the fact that Rasmussen released a survey showing more people willing to vote for a Tea Party candidate than a Republican. Who more than Miss Sarah dovetails with that attitude and ideology?

The trolls here will continue to make a very public show of sneering at her, but, more and more, it is whistling past the graveyard.

Bissage said...

Back in the punk days, there was this button that said “No Heroes.”

I never knew what that was supposed to mean, exactly, but I fully agreed with the general sentiment.


As a riposte(sp?), may I suggest Petraeus, McChrystal, and the 3 SEALs fighting a PC charge for openers?

Kovacs said...

Family, freedom and the beauties of nature are what sustains us....

So impressed with Fish's ungrammatical bromide that you felt compelled to repeat it, eh? A cruelly neutral reading might suggest that Fish's subject-verb agreement mistake was a way of undermining his own argument and signaling to readers that his take--and by extension, Palin--should not be taken seriously.

Dave said...

'Now, what's especially cool about Fish's essay is that he confronts the smugness of his readers.'

Kind of like you do, Ann?

AllenS said...

MadisonMan said...
"I could totally see Palin and H. Clinton sitting around talking shop. That would be a very interesting conversation to record."

You're in luck. I have the conversation.

Hillary: "I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."

Sarah: "You're lucky I wasn't doing the shooting."

You're quite welcome.

PWS said...

Fish's tone still has a little bit of a feel of looking down from a perch .... seeing a "little girl."

"Folk wisdom" and "regional pride" are a short step from parochial in the pejorative sense.

Not quite a slap in the face. A more subtle judgment.

William said...

Whatever their politics and policies, both Obama and Palin have led exemplary lives. I would say, however, that the raw facts of Obama's early life--abandonment and endless dislocation--would give him greater cause to be evasive of the hard truths about his parents. Palin comes from a solid center and can present with total honesty a much cheerier view of life. She don't need no stinking nuance.

rhhardin said...

Family, freedom and the beauties of nature are what sustains us....

So impressed with Fish's ungrammatical bromide that you felt compelled to repeat it, eh?


Synesis.

rhhardin said...

Fish's motive is to get an essay out of a fore-elaborated lit crit point about autobiography, which is more important to him than politics.

Henry said...

rhhardin - very astute.

People who value ideas more than politics are very confusing to political believers.

PWS said...

The power of Sarah Palin is describing herself and the American experience in narrative terms that resonate. The story: that's what great politicians do.

Heck, that's what popular people do. People love Oprah. Somewhere I read where you don't remember so much what she did or said on her show for 25 years but how she made you feel.

Palin is making people feel good about themselves by her narrative. Fish notices it and summarizes it well.

What is the story that will make Andrew Sullivan feel good about himself? Or put another way, what is it about Sarah Palin's story that makes him so angry? I don't know much about him but he seems unhappy. What does Palin confront in Mr. Sullivan?

Kovacs said...

Synesis.

Gesundheit!

Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

There was a documentary on PBS last night about Andrew Jackson. I saw a lot of similarities to Sarah Palin. Populist. Divisive. American Exceptionalism.

traditionalguy said...

People like to socialise with others having a similar point of view. In Manhatten there is a surface confident point of view that secretly wonders how they have managed to set the American agenda all of these years. What is the trick? The answer is that the rest of the country let them use their superior communications skills and balanced them with a few regional centers like Los Angeles, , Chicago and Boston, and lately even Atlanta and Dallas. So what makes Manhatten intellectuals most fear losing their influence in America? Populism is the answer. Sarah is very scary to educated Manhatten intellectuals, but Fish is reassuring them that Sarah is not an enemy and is instead a potential ally, because when America wins with good leadership, then NYC also wins . Stay tuned.

Eric Johnson-DeBaufre said...

Thanks for posting the crucial quote at the top of your article. This is precisely where Fish's article jumps the shark.

Despite Stanley's wishing it were so, his supposed distinction between biography and autobiography is sheer nonsense, and the key sentence in which he advances this idea shows him taking flight into Cloudcuckooland.

Here's the sentence: "As I remarked in a previous column, autobiographers cannot lie because anything they say will truthfully serve their project, which, again, is not to portray the facts, but to portray themselves."

Logically as well as rhetorically this is a non sequitur. A statement can truthfully serve the aims of the autobiographer and still be false. I still lie if I say that my grandmother's reading Shakespeare to me as a child instilled in me a lifelong love of that author (she never did what I claim) even if it serves my larger project of portraying myself as a lifelong Shakespeare enthusiast.

This is a classic instance of Fish's desire to be a witty contrarian getting the best of him and leading him to talk nonsense. As rhetoric we might be inclined to forgive it its trespass against sense, but as a truth claim it's rubbish.

Jeremy said...

Yeah, there's no doubt this book will be regarded as a true literary classic.

At least according to Ann.

Duh.

Kirk Parker said...

Salamandyr and Expat(ish),

Fish has really drawn back from the pomo/deconstructionist precipice in recent years; almost every time I read him I get that Strange New Respect™ feeling.

Photog714 said...

Kovacs said: A cruelly neutral reading might suggest that Fish's subject-verb agreement mistake was a way of undermining his own argument and ....

Or a reading by someone who hasn't studied grammar. In fact, grammarians have long held different views on the rules for subject-verb agreement in a "what" clause. Start with Fowler and work your way up to Garner and you'll see.

Jeremy said...

"Palin is making people feel good about themselves by her narrative. Fish notices it and summarizes it well."

I have no idea what anyone would base a comment like this on. She spends 99% of her time railing on everything and anything she thinks is wrong with the way she's been treated, is being treated or feels she should be treated.

The book is nothing more than a continuation of her whining and complaining about how horribly mistreated she was by the McCain people (who, by the way are the only reason anyone even knows who this twit is...and has in turn, made her millions of dollars) and currently by those who just don't understand what a wonderful person she really is.

Jeremy said...

Bart (Simpson?) - "BTW, hundreds are lining up at our local Borders here in Colorado Springs this morning in zero degree weather to see Sarah and get their book signed."

Yes, Colorado Springs...a true bastion of open-mindedness.

Duh.

Dogwood said...

What does Palin confront in Mr. Sullivan?

Mommy and God issues.

tonejunkie said...

I am a Sarah Palin hater. I'm speaking of the brand, not the person. Although I could very well hate her if she were my local librarian or bank teller too, that's really not the issue.

What’s key here is that among the group of People Deeply Unqualified to be POTUS -- and we’re a very large group -- Sarah Palin is the only one with the gall to make a run for it anyway with such a phenomenal amount of support. That’s what’s disturbing and I submit Althouse can't understand this because there is no equivalent political figure for her. If she, like virtually all right-wingers, has someone in mind whose initials happen to be B.O., well, apparently she voted for him so that’s not really approaching it. Despite having called her dumb at one point, Althouse obviously doesn’t think Palin is deeply unqualified to be POTUS, at least not as much as we do. So I suggest she try to conjure up someone she thinks is and give that person the same amount of popularity, support, and hype if she wants to understand better those of us she mocks instead of maintaining an unreflective sense of superiority.

John said...

"Sarah Palin is the only one with the gall to make a run for it anyway with such a phenomenal amount of support"

When and where has she ever run for President besides inside your head?

Jeremy said...

I find it embarrassing that any thinking American would, in their wildest dreams, consider Sarah Palin as being a potential candidate for President.

And for a law professor like Ann Althouse to continue insinuating that she herself thinks Palin is somehow qualified is even more embarrassing.

Jeremy said...

"Sarah Palin is the only one with the gall to make a run for it anyway with such a phenomenal amount of support"

And where exactly is this "phenomenal amount of support" thing you refer to??

And leave Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity out of it.

John Stodder said...

I completely get what Fish is saying. One of my favorite courses in college was a study of autobiographies, and his comments are in tune with the discussions I remember from that class. They are nothing like biographies. There is no pretense to objectivity, memories are clearly being presented as stories that connect with the author's themes about his or her life and to that extent can be filtered or mythologized. Do you think everything in Ben Franklin's autobiography happened just like he said it did? As someone else said, fact-checking "Angela's Ashes" would probably yield disappointing results. "Running with Scissors" has outraged the family Augusten Burroughs stayed with, because his memories are at variance with the facts as they recall them. No matter. It's a story.

I had no idea that Palin's autobiography was a story in the same sense. I thought it was just another political autobiography, which means it's temporal and disposable. Fish has me thinking that perhaps I should read it. I hadn't planned to. I enjoy watching Palin, and watching Palin make people squirm, but I can't imagine a scenario where I'd vote for her. I more enjoy her as a unique American character. If she's managed to capture herself in a literary way -- I'd read that.

By the way, ghostwriters are involved in some of the greatest autobiographies, the best example being Malcolm X's. His ghostwriter? (Paul Harvey pause.) Alex Haley.

PWS said...

Jeremy, I think your supporting my point: A lot of Americans feel mistreated so her book and rhetoric resonate with people.

Key word = feel. It's subjective.

Doesn't matter if it's true objectively, to the extent that exists in this area of discussion.

ricpic said...

Liberals constantly talk about how scary conservatives in power are. What are they afraid of....being left alone?

Arturius said...

I find it embarrassing that any thinking American would, in their wildest dreams, consider Sarah Palin as being a potential candidate for President.

Well we have set the bar pretty low in terms of what the electorate deems as qualified for the head office as evidenced by the current occupant.

John said...

"And where exactly is this "phenomenal amount of support" thing you refer to??

And leave Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity out of it."

Her approval ratings are at 46% according to the LA Times, up from a low of 39%. That is only one point below Obama. In fact hers and Obama's numbers are mirror images of each other with huge support among their respective parties and small support among the other party.

Paul said...

Hell at this point I'd settle for a President who simply did not despise and wish to destroy our country.

Alex said...

"Going Rogue" has been fact checked and... the evidence is in. It's all more lies and bunk from Caribou Barbie.

tonejunkie said...

John said...
When and where has she ever run for President besides inside your head?

Believe me, I want to be assured she isn't, but there's plenty of talk of her as a candidate and you know it. If you think a presidential run can't begin before the official announcement, that's your flawed opinion.

Jeremy said...
And where exactly is this "phenomenal amount of support" thing you refer to??

It's phenomenal for someone so unqualified is what I'm saying. You know, someone belonging to the group I described as such. Despite her overall unfavorability, I've seen her in polls second only to Mitt Romney among Republican voters and that was after she quit as governor. I don't know her standing today, but if you don't think that's phenomenal, oh well. I don't feel like arguing over the word.

John said...

"It's phenomenal for someone so unqualified is what I'm saying. You know, someone belonging to the group I described as such. Despite her overall unfavorability, I've seen her in polls second only to Mitt Romney among Republican voters and that was after she quit as governor. I don't know her standing today, but if you don't think that's phenomenal, oh well. I don't feel like arguing over the word."

As far as her being "unqualified", she is no less qualified than obama. Further, I would argue she is more qualified than Romeny. Romeney was a terrible governor. The Mass Healthcare reform that he was responsible for has been a dismal failure and is going to bankrupt Massachusetts. Just because you have held a job doesn't mean you were any good at it. See Obama's record as a Senator for a good example of this.

As far as her popularity, she has brilliant capitalized on a brand and on resentment. A good portion of the country hates and despises the crowd that foisted a two bit leftist community organizer on the country. Supporting Palin is a way, and in fact the way, of telling people like Jeremey to fuck off and they don't own the country. That is very potent. And makes her a very powerful figure and she will continue to be for years to come. The more people like you call her stupid and underestimate her, the more powerful and popular she will become.

Arturius said...

It's phenomenal for someone so unqualified is what I'm saying.

Quite so. When I think of qualifications, I think of someone who has actually a measurable level of accomplishment through the course of their career which could be applied to the position of President. Since the presidential nomination process eliminated those particular individuals from the running, we were then left with a charasmatic but clueless 47 year old junior Senator and an aging war veteran whose biggest accomplishment in politics was, well I'll get back to you on that.

It would indeed be a refreshing change of pace if the Palin and Obama supporters would simply admit being smitten by personality and style rather than by a perceived ability to actually handle the job.

Jeremy said...

PWS said..."Jeremy, I think your supporting my point: A lot of Americans feel mistreated so her book and rhetoric resonate with people."

How many people who think they can be President "feel mistreated"...and leave out Nixon.

Arturius said...

The more people like you call her stupid and underestimate her, the more powerful and popular she will become.

And here I thought Obi wan Kenobi was the last of the Jedi Knights.

Jeremy said...

tonejunkie said..."I've seen her in polls second only to Mitt Romney among Republican voters and that was after she quit as governor."

Well, sure...among die hard conservatives, tea baggers and wing nuts...and even then she's still behind Rush Limbaugh.

Where does she stand among the overall voting public?

Jeremy said...

Arturius - "It would indeed be a refreshing change of pace if the Palin and Obama supporters would simply admit being smitten by personality and style rather than by a perceived ability to actually handle the job."

Get real.

You actually think President Obama was elected because the American public was merely "smitten?"

You, like many here, really need to read more...and blather less.

Alex said...

Jeremy - are you saying that only lefties have felt genuine oppression?

Rich B said...

Jeremy-

Just finished reading The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. He along with many other colonials, felt mistreated by England. They did something about it.

BTW - your new medications are an improvement. They've taken off a bit of the nasty edge, while allowing your devastating putdowns to shine through.

John said...

"Where does she stand among the overall voting public?"

Exactly one point below Obama. Her and Obama have nearly identical numbers with 8/10 support among their own party and very unfavorable among the other party.

If Palin is down to just the fanatics, so is Obama.




http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/11/not-that-it-matters-politically-because-shes-a-republican-idiot-and-hes-a-democrat-geniusbut-sarah-palins-poll-numbers-are-c.html

John said...

"You actually think President Obama was elected because the American public was merely "smitten?""

No he was elected because large numbers of guilty white people wanted to prove they were not racist by voting for a black man.

Jeremy said...

John - "A good portion of the country hates and despises the crowd that foisted a two bit leftist community organizer on the country."

This "good portion of the country" you refer to also loves Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh...so what exactly is your point?

President Obama is an educated, hard working American who has been highly successful in literally every aspect of his life (unlike the Princess...who is nothing more than a money grubbing quitter)...and he's doing a very good job, the country's economy will turn around, he'll get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan...and he'll be re-elected in 2012.

Princess Sarah will eventually become another ignorant right wing talking head for Fox.

And when it's all over and done with, you and the rest of the wing nuts (who voted for Bush...twice) can continue your whining and bitching about how "mistreated" you are.

Boo-fucking-hoo.

Jeremy said...

John said..."No he was elected because large numbers of guilty white people wanted to prove they were not racist by voting for a black man."

Good lord...you're even dumber than I thought.

And rather ignorant, too.

Jeremy said...

John - The approval rating of some twit running around the country hawking a book, with absolutely NO real responsibilities can't be compared to someone who is the leader of the free world.

George Clooney has terrific approval ratings but I don't think anyone is considering him as a Presidential candidate.

What are you...twelve years old?

Arturius said...

and he's doing a very good job, the country's economy will turn around,

Which country is that?

Jeremy said...

Alex said..."Jeremy - are you saying that only lefties have felt genuine oppression?"

So now you not only feel "mistreated," but also "oppressed?"

Why not stop feeling sorry for yourself and try to be more of an American, and support your President?

This site and it's loyal Queen Ann sycophants has to be the whining and bitching capital of the internet.

Eric Johnson-DeBaufre said...

PWS wrote:

"Palin is making people feel good about themselves by her narrative."


The same could be (and has been) said for Faith, the two-legged dog who walks on its hind legs, but I like her chances for the Presidency about as much as Palin's.

John said...

"President Obama is an educated, hard working American who has been highly successful in literally every aspect of his life (unlike the Princess...who is nothing more than a money grubbing quitter)...and he's doing a very good job, the country's economy will turn around, he'll get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan...and he'll be re-elected in 2012."


You are a comedian. We are not going to be out Iraq much less AFghanistan in 2012 and we will probably be in Pakistan. Do you plan to volunteer to fight Obama's wars? Or just like to sit back and send other people to fight his wars? Do you support his threats to invade Pakistan without UN or Congressional authorization? I recall Nixon invading Cambodia was one of the impeachment charges against him.

We have 10% unemployment. The stimulus was a failure. Banks continue to fail and the value of the dollar is declining. Even the fed admits that unemployment is likly to stay above 10% for the forseable future.

If you think Obama can get re-elected with 10% unemployment and two or maybe three wars if you count Pakistan going on, you are more dellusional than you seem.

As far as Obama's life, he never accomplished anything beyond win elections. He was never a successful lawyer. He was never a successful legal scholar. He admits in his books his community organizing efforts failed. He has literally done nothing except convince guilty stupid white people like yourself to vote for him.


As as far as Palin's popularity, the polls speak for themselves. Her and Obama are right now nearly mirror images of each other.

John said...

"John - The approval rating of some twit running around the country hawking a book, with absolutely NO real responsibilities can't be compared to someone who is the leader of the free world."


So Presidents never have high approval ratings? I recall Clinton and Reagan having very high approval ratings for much of their terms in office. But they were you know successful Presidents who were smart enough to speak in complete sentences without a telprompter, unlike our current special needs President.

And I thought only fantatics liked Palin? That is a lot of fanatics out there.

Jeremy said...

Arturius - Can I assume you don't read the business section or any newspapers or books for that matter?

The economy is most certainly on the upswing, the relevant numbers released this past week are all good, the interest rates are staying where they are, the DOW is UP about over 20% in the past 6 months, unemployment claims have leveled off, manufacturing has picked up...yet YOU and the rest of the whiners and bitchers just can't bring yourself to accept the fact that our President is doing a good job.

And to this day, you continue to think Bush did a bang up job.

That's how fucking dumb you are.

Jeremy said...

John - "So Presidents never have high approval ratings? I recall Clinton and Reagan having very high approval ratings for much of their terms in office."

Clinton and Reagan's approval ratings at this point in their first terms were almost identical to President Obama's.

Before posting drivel, why not do some research...so you don't sound like such an uneducated and uninformed dolt.

Jeremy said...

John - From Pollster.com

"Of the ten post-war presidents in the chart, Reagan and Obama currently stand as the two lowest at this point in their first term. (Clinton fell lower early, but was recovering at this point before another decline and rise.) Reagan finished as the second lowest just before his midterm in 1982, ahead of only Truman."

John said...

"Clinton and Reagan's approval ratings at this point in their first terms were almost identical to President Obama's."


But their disapproval ratings were not nearly as high. And their approval ratings hadn't fallen as far or as fast as BOs. And both of them managed to turn the economy around, something Obama's own fed admits is not going to happen before 2012. The Dems are going to be destroyed in 2010 and Obama is going to take the blame for 10% or more unemployment in 2012. He is destroying your party and you are too stupid to realize it.

John said...

"Reagan and Obama currently stand as the two lowest at this point in their first term."

Oh so he is only the second lowest approval rating ever. What an accomplishment. Again, Regean had that disapproval rating while Paul Volker was ending inflation and setting the stage for the biggest boom in AMerican history. Obama has it while Pelosi and Reid are looting the treasury and Bernake is destroying the dollar. Things don't look good for the community organizer in chief.

Eric Johnson-DeBaufre said...

As a person on the left, I find myself in a weird position. John is right that we will likely be in Iraq and Afghanistan until way past 2012. This is a tragedy and Obama's expansion of the Afghan war will (I suspect) be regarded as one of his significant failings when the books are written.

But John is wrong (in large measure) that the stimulus has failed. Without the stimulus the country would be in even more horrific shape, so stopping the bleeding has to be considered some kind of victory.

That said, unemployment certainly has not peaked yet. Remember that statistically only those who are seeking work (and not finding it) are counted as unemployed by the federal government. There are still plenty of people out there who aren't seeking work (because they don't think the prospects are good). Once they start looking for work the unemployment rate will rise.

Is Obama a good/bad president? He has done some things on the economic front that are doing some good, although more needs to be done. His handling of the war, however, has been hugely disappointing and is misguided.

John said...

"But John is wrong (in large measure) that the stimulus has failed. Without the stimulus the country would be in even more horrific shape, so stopping the bleeding has to be considered some kind of victory."

What evidence is there of that beyond your faith? First, a lot of the stimulus hasn't been spent. Second, that that has has largely gone to support existing state budgets. It went to prop up medicaide and to keep public employees from taking pay cuts. It wasn't even a keynsian stimulus. It was a Democratic theft program.

John said...

"His handling of the war, however, has been hugely disappointing and is misguided."

I am not an obama supporter, but I can't see how you can say his handling of the war has been a disapointment. He said that he was going to go big into Afghanistan and pakistan. He said all along that was the war that should be fought. He was never an anti-war candidate. Going with the surge into Afghanistan is the one campaign promise he has kept.

I can see how people can say he is wrong to do that. But I don't see how anyone can be surprised or disapointed that he is doing it. He said he was all along.

Roy Lofquist said...

Unqualified? Might I suggest that Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman would also have been termed unqualified by your definition.

Jeremy, you called me a tea bagger. I'm calling you the deformed issue of a syphilitic whore who fellates young boys.

Eric Johnson-DeBaufre said...

"What evidence is there of that beyond your faith?"

Ummm....stuff like this and this.

The fact that a pretty large number of actual economists see evidence of its moderate success tends to rate higher with me than conservative punditry interested only in denying Obama any and all success whatsoever.

I'm crazy like that. Data and stuff actually has a place in my worldview. As a result, I'm also reasonably sure that the world is neither 4,500 years old nor flat.

Alex said...

Eric - by what objective measure has the economy improved via the Stimulus? Unemployment is up, foreclosures are up, business investment is down! You lie.

Synova said...

I thought it would take a long time to get caught up on this thread but there was so much I could skip after about half-way through.

"What’s key here is that among the group of People Deeply Unqualified to be POTUS -- and we’re a very large group -- Sarah Palin is the only one with the gall to make a run for it anyway with such a phenomenal amount of support. That’s what’s disturbing..."

What I found profoundly disturbing was a local op-ed that started out saying how Sarah Palin with her journalism degree and ordinary back ground made the author feel like she could be president, too.

And for a moment I was filled with warm feelings of hope because isn't that the absolute typically American thing? Any child can grow up to be President? When I was a child this was still a foundational element of our national mythos. No matter who you were you really could dream that big.

But then I continued reading and quickly realized that the author was being sarcastic.

What has happened to us that now we make a joke of the person of modest roots who is uppity enough to have dreams past their station? Why is it so vitally important to find someone better than us to rule us?

And that's it, isn't it?

As we cede ever more power to our government over our very lives it becomes vital that the person put into power exceed human capability, so we end up looking for a candidate that we can *pretend* meets that standard.

People pretended pretty hard with Kerry, who we know wasn't any smarter than Bush. But boy oh boy that was the central theme of his campaign in 2004. We're pretending with Obama with more success because he apparently is slightly more intelligent than average... not that I can see that he's doing a better job than more normally intelligent people have done. His list of unforced errors is impressive and his actual decisions on issues like Honduras and what domestic issues to prioritize are just plain wrong. *I* could do better.

I'm convinced that Palin could do better on those decisions. It's not difficult to know who to support in Honduras (and props to them for standing against the biggest bully on the continent) or what ought to be the highest domestic priorities (jobs and energy). Evidently being super-smart has little to nothing to do with leadership decisions.

But in the very end? I don't have a need to find a candidate *worthy* to rule me because I reject the very notion that I, and our society, must be ruled.

Have we become Israelites demanding a King?

Synova said...

"I am not an obama supporter, but I can't see how you can say his handling of the war has been a disapointment. He said that he was going to go big into Afghanistan and pakistan. He said all along that was the war that should be fought. He was never an anti-war candidate. Going with the surge into Afghanistan is the one campaign promise he has kept."

He should took his time and made certain that he did so without any untoward expressions of confidence.

But yeah... anyone who was expecting something else wasn't listening to what the man said.

Rich B said...

EJD-

"I'm crazy like that. Data and stuff actually has a place in my worldview. As a result, I'm also reasonably sure that the world is neither 4,500 years old nor flat."

Pretty funny stuff - however your cites are long on opinion and short on data. I especially enjoyed the one from September - things were really looking up then.

The faith-based stimulus believers remind me of the old days when primitive peoples used to beat on the drums to bring the sun back after an eclipse. Recessions end without pissing away a pile of cash to the politically well connected. We were supposed to be doing so much better, weren't we, according to the predictions back when the porkulus was rammed past a dumbfounded electorate. Oh, but it's much worse than we thought! Damn Bushco!

Eric Johnson-DeBaufre said...

Alex--

Read the links, although I doubt they are likely to move you from being a Joe Wilson impersonator.

It's a mark of the pathetic state of conservative thought in this country (not that I'm really complaining) that it can neither honestly engage with reality nor concede that anyone outside the conservative orbit might actually be able to achieve something.

Enjoy your hole, Mr. Ostrich.

traditionalguy said...

Jeremy...Have you read the book? It will surprise you as it did Fish. I remember reading a remembrance of childhood and growing up novel written by my Uncle (that had been serialised in New Yorker Magazine) It dealt with scenes that included my father's actions. My father used to say it was mostly lies, but as a grown man I saw that the personalities were so very true that most of his remembered facts were probably true too. Use an open mind and read the Rogue's memories.

Alex said...

Eric - read This and weep. It costs 4x as much to create a stimulus job as the private sector does. You are the ostrich.

Synova said...

"I'm crazy like that. Data and stuff actually has a place in my worldview. As a result, I'm also reasonably sure that the world is neither 4,500 years old nor flat."

I read the links.

Now I'm going to get Princess Bride riffs stuck in my head for the rest of the day because, "I do not think that means what you think it means."

Calling it a moderate success because federal funds are paying for state or local government employees who were already employed and calling it "jobs saved" while taking the money to do so out of the economy where it might have been used not *just* to employ just as many people but create wealth that will endure after the money is gone... well, that's trying real hard to be up-beat, I think.

I've lived on savings before... a chunk of cash very like the stimulus... and it holds you over. That's all it does. And either you get a job, eventually, or you run out of money.

One of the articles even ended with the question that no one can answer (at least not as an affirmative) which is... when the money is gone will things have improved?

Harsh Pencil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric Johnson-DeBaufre said...

Alex,

That article is laughable on many levels.

It assumes that the stimulus plan was a job creation bill (it wasn't) and then uses this to come up with the absurd figure and headline.

They'd have earned their right to laugh if the stimulus plan had been a job creation plan. Since it was never primarily that (go back and have a look at the bill, the congressional discussion, and amendments to it) the article only shows that even jackasses can type.

Has the stimulus created some jobs? Yes. That's an economic consequence of some of the stimulus money going to various state programs and projects. But don't fool yourself into thinking this was a job creation plan.

Harsh Pencil said...

To be qualified to be President you need to be

1) 35 years old or older.
2) A natural born citizen.
3) Not been president before for the majority of two terms.

So Sarah Palin is qualified.

But let's get into a little more squishy definition. She was the governor of freakin state you morons! That's the either the most common or second most common route.

You may not like her, agree with her, think she's a moron, or whatever, but this "not qualified" crap is just an assertion by the chattering classes that they somehow get a veto power - the right to decide who is "qualified" and who isn't.

Synova said...

"It assumes that the stimulus plan was a job creation bill (it wasn't) and then uses this to come up with the absurd figure and headline."

Oh, dear God.

What was it then?

A "spend money to do nothing" bill?

It was supposed to recover and stimulate the economy.... but not create jobs?

Alex said...

Eric - you liar. Obama promised 600K jobs: Link

You are a fool.

Henry said...

@Eric Johnson-DeBaufre - Nice work.

Bush Administration Senior Economic Advisor Keith Hennessey has pointed out for months that the stimulus can't help but improve the economy. If you borrow a lot of off-shore money and spend it domestically, things are going to look better.

The question is how much time will go by before the debt turns us into Argentina. The answer is not right away.

But it will happen.

Henry said...

Hennessey also points out the Obama administration's claims about job creation are largely bogus, but that's a different controversy than whether or not the stimulus has had a positive effect.

Synova said...

All you have to do to get larger "jobs saved" numbers is "guess" how many jobs would have been lost... and guess *bigger*.

bagoh20 said...

I don't know enough yet to say if Palin would make a good President (incidentally she never ran for that office), but I do imagine that in a dire situation where people were faced with life or death survival, that she would emerge as a leader and very valuable member of the group. I think many Palin critics hate her for this more than anything. She makes them feel their real world inadequacies, their need for the trappings of society. The structures necessary for them to be useful. She does not get her value or purpose from those things.

I know if we do someday face a post apocalyptic world, I want someone like her as a leader, a mate, a fellow provider.

She possesses the kind of qualities a majority of us used to value, and maybe still do, but the elite of academia, media, and politics have for some reason abandoned. I suspect they have mostly out of a need to self-aggrandize and justify all the effort spent learning the trappings and neglecting the substance.

This is not true of all in that group. There are many who can still respect a woman who is still feminine while being strong and capable; even if it means in traditional male ways. I'm not talking just getting a job and convincing someone to pay you. That's still relying on someone else. I mean a truly independent person capable of surviving and providing for others without the child-safe contraption of modern society.

Anyway, it is very attractive in a modern person, only in part because of it's rarely. Most because of it's reality.

John Stodder said...

tonejunkie, I see you've met Jeremy. He is so dumb he doesn't realize he's on your side.

Once you get past this little misunderstanding, I'm sure you'll be chums.

garage mahal said...

Exactly one point below Obama. Her and Obama have nearly identical numbers with 8/10 support among their own party and very unfavorable among the other party.

The poll was based on job approval. One has a job, the other does not. You FAIL yet again!

tonejunkie said...

bagho20 said...
I don't know enough yet to say if Palin would make a good President (incidentally she never ran for that office)...

This popular technical excuse of Palin-never-ran-for-President used by her defenders to correct those of us who criticize her in that role is pathetic and frankly rather telling of their own lack of confidence in her since she did in fact run for VPOTUS which should be considered completely qualified as the POTUS and taken just as seriously.

Eric Johnson-DeBaufre said...

Wow. I'm sorry but I don't have all day to teach economics to the likes of Synova and Alex.

The economy can be stimulated in all sorts of ways. Job creation is one of those ways (and a very good one in both the long and medium term), but it can also be stimulated by through a variety of means that don't have as their primary (NB: "primary") goal the creation of new jobs.

For example (and this should be close to the heart of the conservatives around here), one way to try to stimulate the economy is through tax rebates. The idea is to put extra cash into peoples' hands and get them to spend it with the hope that this influx of money into the system will stimulate production of goods, etc. Note: the primary goal of the tax rebate approach is not the creation of new jobs, yet it too is an economic stimulus approach.

Honestly this is very basic stuff, folks.

Now the reason why the stimulus plan was not primarily a job creation plan are many and complex. Frankly, blame for the fact that it wasn't the latter lies with both democrats and Republicans in the Congress. Nevertheless, some jobs (always a good thing) have been created as a byproduct of the plan. However, to claim that the Congress has spent $243,000 to create each new job is simply chicanery because it assumes that all of the $157 billion spent so far was solely put towards job creation. That's a fine instance of how to use simple mathematics to deceive a gullible populace.

@Alex: you've got to fess up to a problem. Your earlier link to the LA Times article uses the administration's figure of 640,000 new jobs created in 11 months on which to create its bogus $243,000 per job figure. Now you seem to be saying that he promised 600,000 jobs and hasn't delivered. Which of your two crappy articles is right? Clearly you are just so desperate to find every instance of failure that you can that you don't even bother to note that the first link (the LA Times piece) refutes your second link.

Have

master cylinder said...

Obama pretty much has all the faithful here in a tizz....so yes, seeing every instance of failure in everything he does is what they are all bout. That doesnt surprise me, but the support for SP does.

Rich B said...

EJD-

Your condescendsion is pretty amusing as you try to lecture everyone on economics. It's pretty clear that you don't know much.

Tax rebates are routinely criticized as having little stimulative effect, since they are one time cash infusions and don't affect behavior like a permanent tax rate cut. Until the 2008 FY, "experts" were continually amazed when revenue came in stronger than expected after the 2003 tax rate cuts.

tonejunkie said...

John Stodder said...
tonejunkie, I see you've met Jeremy. He is so dumb he doesn't realize he's on your side.

That or you're another typical lockstep right-winger whose morality places a high value on Ingroup Loyalty over speaking one's individual mind and is surprised by such freewheeling conduct.

Titus said...

Sarah never came to Cambridge.

I am devastated.

How rude.

Hello, we love her too in The People's Republic.

Synova said...

Eric... you can use words like "moderate" success and complain that the stimulus and other things are not "primarily" about job creation.

I would like you, now, to say without the equivocating that the economy can be stimulated and grow and be strong *without* attendant employment strength.

I do not believe you can actually be arguing that the economy and jobs are not tied, irrevocably, together.

But I don't think you can because otherwise why put all the "primarily" about jobs stuff in there? You know as well as I do, for all of your implications of special understanding, that the argument that jobs is not the initial focus of the program (if that's even true) isn't any sort of argument at all that jobs are not supposed to be part of the end result.

Eric Johnson-DeBaufre said...

Rich,

I never said that tax rebates made for a very effective, long-term economic stimulus. Nevertheless, past presidents have tried to stimulate the economy with them at various points in our history. (am I the only one who can remember back to January of 2008?)

bagoh20 said...

"This popular technical excuse of Palin-never-ran-for-President used by her defenders to correct those of us who criticize her in that role is pathetic"

It's something we call a fact. My point by it is that she is the most examined person to NEVER run for President. Why is that, and why do you take mention of it as a criticism?

Your claim that: "she did in fact run for VPOTUS which should be considered completely qualified as the POTUS and taken just as seriously." is a wish not a fact. Where was the examination of Biden? Where is it now. He actually is an office holder and could be President by the end of the day.

Synova said...

"That or you're another typical lockstep right-winger whose morality places a high value on Ingroup Loyalty over speaking one's individual mind and is surprised by such freewheeling conduct."

John Stodder, I see you've met tonejunkie, who is so tone-deaf he can't even recognize that you're, more often than not, on his side.

:-D

I mean seriously... accusing John Stodder of "ingroup loyalty" or "lock step right wing-ism" is a hoot.

Titus said...

I don't approve of "stimulus spending". All it means is more government and union jobs which I think are gross.

What about corporate America? I know Wall Street and The Car Company's-pieces of shit, got money, but those of us in the real economy asked for nothing because we actually create a product that is in demand.

I am not making $270k annually for the government to subsidize me. Fuck that. I am corporate and fabulous. No handouts here girlfriends.

Titus said...

Is it bad that I have a difficult time conversing with others that don't make a minimum of 100k?

bagoh20 said...

Titus, I've been homeless and I've been rich, the only thing I've found better about the rich is their signature on a check (by definition). Incidentally, your salary while in the top percentile is not rich in many places in this country. You probably couldn't even qualify for a house in my neighborhood. My hog is hoggier too.

JAL said...

Synova, tonejunkie wasn't here when John Stodder told us he voted for Obama.

Heh.

makes tj's stuff really uninformed.

Funny thing, John Stodder has way more cred on his blog than tj will ever have.

Eric Johnson-DeBaufre said...

Synova,

America's medium and long term economic health unequivocally requires positive job growth (i.e. not only to replace the jobs that have been lost every month since the crisis began but beyond such losses).

Frankly, many liberal and left leaning economists complained quite strenuously that a problem of the original economic stimulus plan was that it wasn't primarily focused on the creation of new jobs and that the plan might only postpone the crisis in the short-term, kicking the can down the road so to speak.

That may or may not prove true, although I'm enough of a pessimist about both the SP's long-term prospects and the Obama administration's continuation of Bush-era policies in the form of commitment to the extraordinarily costly Iraq and Afghanistan wars (over $1 trillion dollars so far) that I'm betting it will.

JAL said...

Thta's "this" blog, above.

Titus said...

Baggy Waggy I totally hear you.

My salary allows for me to have a modest 1 bedroom loft, approximately 1500 square feet in Cambridge, Mass. My condo fees are 600.00 a month which is very average.

Yes, it is fab and my fellow residents are Harvard Docs and Lawyers and MIT PHd's that work for Newsweek writing on the Japan blog, in Japanese but hardly rich.

Oh and did I mentione George Bush's personal assistant for 6 years lives in my building? He is now working for a "consulting firm" after graduating with a Harvard MBA, minus a undergrad. His name is Blake Gottesman, look him up-we park next to each other. He has US plates.
My place costs over 800,000k which is about average in Cambridge. It does have parking though which is totally val and my Beamer is happy.

Titus said...

And Baggy Waggy I will be 40 in 2010, just so you know.

If I was 50 making that salary, so what? But 39 making it is a little better. A Very Little.

bagoh20 said...

Titus,
You got ripped off. Wait, ignore that. I don't want to ruin the fabulousity for you. Fabulosity cannot be valued in dollars. It's like charity, but in reverse.

bagoh20 said...

39 is hot. I can almost remember it.

Darcy said...

@craig:

Reagan, In His Own Hand is a beautiful book. He was a very bright and thoughtful, loving man.

I wish I'd appreciated him while in office. I really detested him at the time and regret that immensely. I fell for the "stupid" meme.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

A "spend money to do nothing" bill?

It was supposed to recover and stimulate the economy.... but not create jobs?


Maybe they meant titillating instead of stimulating?

JAL said...

Where was it I read that with Bush's tax cuts the feds took in way above what was projected and the deficit was decreasing even as we were at war?

On a website / blog I perused in the last three days ....

I'll see if I can find it later.

bagoh20 said...

Reagan, more than anyone in politics changed me from a liberal to a conservative. I voted against him and then was amazed at how wrong I and everyone I listened to then turned out to be. Most kept saying the same things in the face of history and facts - I grew up. The most important factor, even more than Reagan was working my way through school and life and doing it in the world he spoke of and that I had taken for granted before that. His words came true for me.

Darcy said...

You were smart, bagoh20. It wasn't until I had a child to raise and support that my whole political perspective started changing. I voted for Clinton while pregnant and voted against him for re-election.

John Stodder said...

Well, my vote for Obama hasn't turned out too well. Jeez, the guy's rush to turn the US into 70s Argentina is not something I anticipated. I bought the "moderate...thoughtful...post-partisan..." meme and, bizarrely, I trusted the media. Seriously. I'm as critical of media bias as anyone else, but choosing a president is a very big deal, and I didn't really think the mainstream political press would go so far out on a limb for a candidate if, up close, it wasn't apparent he had the bonafides. As in a business deal, there are people you assign the task of due diligence who you are supposed to be able to trust. In the case of a presidential election, that job is given to each party's leadership and the bigfoot press. Clearly, in 2008, we had a major breakdown both at the top of the Democratic Party and especially in the media. I will never "hire" either of them again.

(But, to defend my vote, after eight years of Bush and the lousy way he and the GOP Congress ran things, and after watching McCain seemingly make himself appear less qualified by the day as his campaign rolled on, I figured, "how could Obama be any worse? At least he seems smart.")

But thanks for sticking up for me guys. I don't always deserve it, but thanks anyway.

Darcy said...

You were extremely thoughtful during the lead up to the election, John Stodder. I appreciated your thoughts then and still appreciate them.

And McCain was pretty frightening.

garage mahal said...

Well, my vote for Obama hasn't turned out too well. Jeez, the guy's rush to turn the US into 70s Argentina is not something I anticipated.

Oh Jesus.

bagoh20 said...

John,

Your explanation strikes me as the most honest I've heard. I share your dismay with the press. If not for the internet we would be living in an information world not much different from Bejing.

I appreciate your honesty and I understand your vote considering who you listened to.

John Stodder said...

Garage, so what do you call it when we run up debt like and become supine to the world, while at the same time throwing business into such uncertainty that we'll see years of anemic economic growth, and thus disappointing tax revenues?

This is a bad "new normal." And it's indefensible for a major US political party to try to sell this shit as shinola.

Jeremy said...

John Stodder said..."Well, my vote for Obama hasn't turned out too well. Jeez, the guy's rush to turn the US into 70s Argentina is not something I anticipated."

Well, maybe you should move...dolt.

Jeremy said...

Darcy thinks we're becoming the Argentina of thee 70's...because Stoddard told her so.

Duh II.

Synova said...

Going back toward the beginning of the comments where several people mentioned populism in relationship to Palin...

As far as I can tell, Palin is an old school Democrat.

I'm serious about that, at least to the extent that only one label includes the most elements of what seems to be her beliefs.

She seems to be a little bit of a lot of things. Not populist, but a bit populist in some respects. A little bit libertarian, but pro-government, too, in the respect that government is supposed to do stuff for the people. Certainly she's pro public education. She's not going to be anti union at all. She doesn't see big corporations as some unmitigated good, but a useful force that needs to be kept in line. What she's not going to be, and this on the basis of her actual record, is willing to look at any of those "pros" and give that constituency a blank check.

So, populist in the sense that it's always about "the people." Libertarian in the sense of small government and personal freedom. Enough for labor not to think that big business can do no wrong. Enough capitalist to understand the money has to come from somewhere.

And enough of a unique set of political beliefs that it's possible she's thought about it a bit.

Jeremy said...

JAL said..."Where was it I read that with Bush's tax cuts the feds took in way above what was projected and the deficit was decreasing even as we were at war?"

You dreamed that in the wasteland you call a brain.

Bush blew the surplus, and the deficit certainly did NOT decrease as the Iraqi fiasco wore on.

# President Bush expanded the federal budget by a historic $700 billion through 2008.

# President Bush began a string of expensive finan­cial bailouts.

# President Bush created a Medicare drug entitle­ment that will cost an estimated $800 billion in its first decade.

# President Bush presided over a $2.5 trillion increase in the public debt through 2008.

And, because of the current worldwide economic situation, President Obama will add to what was already in motion.

Jeremy said...

Synova - "As far as I can tell, Palin is an old school Democrat."

You believe that someone who is pro-guns, anti-choice, anti-stem cell research, pro-drilling for oil everywhere and anywhere, does not believe in global warming, and who evidently doesn't particularly like to read or know what she does read...is really a Democrat...disguised as a rabid right wing ideologue??

Do you have any of what you're smoking for sale?

Synova said...

Seeing, Jeremy, that almost that entire list you just listed exists only in liberal fantasy...

No smoking is required, at least not on the side of actually knowing what Palin's views and established record seem to be.

chickenlittle said...

Nasty, Brutish & Short Wrote:

There was a documentary on PBS last night about Andrew Jackson. I saw a lot of similarities to Sarah Palin. Populist. Divisive. American Exceptionalism.

Very astute. I think we'll be hearing more about that comparison in the future.

Synova said...

Also, Jeremy, I'm thinking that the notion of "old school" and "Democrat" is confusing your progressive mind.

bagoh20 said...

Jeremy, you must be terribly torn: Do you love Obama's wasteful spending or that of his mentor Bush?

I know, neither. If bush didn't start it, Obama would be a fiscal conservative and you would love that too. You are so flexible.

bagoh20 said...

Synova,

I love your take on Palin, and I think you could be right, especially about the "unique set of political beliefs". It is a pretty unusual combo for a current political figure, but I think very common among the electorate, me for one. People with that set of values do not usually get a candidate to vote for and are funneled toward one side or the other.

That said, I hope she does not run as a third party candidate, or we will get Argentina act 2.

The big question for people in the middle is: Is she up to the job, in terms of intelligence, knowledge of the facts and debating the media and opponents.

Bookish intelligence is vastly overrated in most endeavors and especially in leadership where it usually gets in the way and dithers into "thoughtfulness". But knowing the issues and being able to explain her ideas and defend them eloquently is absolutely required. She will not get the luxury of a lazy press accepting platitudes and skipping tough questions like Obama enjoyed and will again no doubt.

I have no idea if she will have that ability. Have not seen it enough yet.

craig said...

Jeremy, I can't vouch for whether Sarah Palin is for all the things you deride, but your list is indeed a reasonable description of an "old school" Democrat -- namely, one prior to the New Left takeover of the party which started in about 1968.

Rich B said...

Actually Jeremy, I just checked the OMB and receipts were higher for 2003 to 2008 compared to estimates.

John Stodder said...

Darcy thinks we're becoming the Argentina of thee 70's...because Stoddard told her so.

Duh II.


Argentina! What kind of dolt would compare the U.S. to Argentina!?

Oh, wait:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/07/AR2009120703984.html?hpid=topnews

"Right now, this year, we have 1.6 trillion in debt coming due. That's roughly twice individual income tax revenue. Our only plausible strategy for paying that back is to borrow more money," says Leonard Burman, an economist at Syracuse University.

Under some grim scenarios, the cumulative debt of the United States could rise to several times the nation's annual GDP by mid-century. David M. Walker, a former U.S. comptroller who has long thundered about unfunded government obligations running to the tens of trillions, recently testified before Congress that because of long-term entitlement obligations, "our total federal financial hole is about $10 trillion more than the current estimated net worth of all Americans and the gap has been growing."


Note: I'm not saying this is all Obama's fault. In fact, the story says he's going to make a "major speech" about it soon. He, the story says, "have to perform one of the great fiscal pirouettes of all time."

How many of you are confident he's got the executive skill to do that?

P.S. For those who love computer models of the environment, do you like this one?

(Leonard) Burman, the (Syracuse) economist, says he has developed a computer model that shows that a "catastrophic budget failure" is a possibility.

"I try not to get too depressed, because if I really thought it was going to play out the way this model works, I would just move to a cabin in Montana and stockpile gold and guns," he says.


I'm sure he's a "dolt" too.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that what scares the left so much about Sarah Palin is that she really is the best descendant we have today of Andrew Jackson. His followers at the time were anti-intellectual, anti-elite, and anti-establishment.

This sort of populism has had a strong current of following throughout our history. There are a lot of Americans who instinctively distrust the NE intellectual elite, and have been doing so for most of the last 200 years.

The problem for Democrats is that this is a typically Democratic constituency, at least since Jackson. Sure, Reagan won them, and, to some extent, so did Nixon and GWB. But they have been part of the Democratic Big Tent for a long time.

This is where that suggestion that Palin is a traditional Democrat comes in. How can she be strongly anti-union, when her husband has spent much of his adult life in union jobs? Opposing union bosses is easy - they are little different from any other Democratic power brokers. But not the rank and file of the non-public employee unions.

This demographic tends to be relatively religious, relatively pro-gun, strongly patriotic, more likely to go to public college than private, and more willing than most other sectors to serve in the military. Part of the change though over the last 70 years is that many Roman Catholics have joined their Protestant brethren here.

An example of a modern Democrat who does a good job with this Demographic is Sen. Webb of Va.

But Democrat who does very poorly with this demographic is President Obama. It is instructive that they were voting in such numbers for Hillary, despite her also being a NE elite. But her husband could turn on that anti-establishment good-old-boy charm when needed.

Right now, more than any time in our memory, the Democratic ruling class is constituted strongly from the NE elites, as well as the academy, which is based in the NE, and reveres those who have Ivy League educations. They are having their chance to run this country, and they are blowing it totally.

One of the things that she does that is so attractive to so many is that she refuses to accept the innate superiority of those with such Ivy League credentials. This is also one reason why so many on the left despise her - she refuses to accept their starting position. She just doesn't see those running the country right now, and esp. the Democratic party as being any better than any of the rest of us, and, indeed, maybe even a bit worse, given their general socialist anti-American views.

It is threatening for the leftist ruling elites for a couple of reasons. First, it deligitimizes their claim to superiority, and thus, power. And secondly, it makes her extremely compelling for many in the center, ranging from conservative Democrats through independents, into the Republican ranks. They need these people to maintain their power, and those people like Palin better than they do Obama, and the longer Obama is in power, the more this is true, because she represents much of what is wrong with Obama, the Democrats, the MSM, etc.

Bruce Hayden said...

You believe that someone who is pro-guns, anti-choice, anti-stem cell research, pro-drilling for oil everywhere and anywhere, does not believe in global warming, and who evidently doesn't particularly like to read or know what she does read...is really a Democrat...disguised as a rabid right wing ideologue??

Notice how Jeremy intentionally confuses things. The opposition to stem cell research was for "embryonic" stem cell research, based on the view that life begins at conception. It just happens that embryonic stem cells turn out to be significantly more cancerous than other types of stem cells, which research was supported by Bush, et al. Never mind that, the Obama Administration and the Democrats in Congress have run out and proved their liberal bona fides by spending billions to federally fund embryonic stem cell research, despite the fact that non-embryonic stem cells are more promising right now.

And, he talks about "reading", but what he really means is that they are unwilling to read the same biased sources that he gains his liberal insights and talking points from. If only they would read the right sources, like the NY Times, they would realize that President Obama was the Second Coming.

Of course, they are pro-gun, since they basically don't trust people, like Jeremy, who think that they are so much smarter than any one else that they use the government to tell the rest of us what to do.

And, no wonder they aren't rabidly pro-choice. Many of them actually go to church regularly, and, yes, believe in the sanctity of life. (And notice his bias in calling them anti-choice, instead of pro-life. We might as well call him pro-death, instead of pro-choice).

And I think only people like Jeremy who are limited in their reading materials right now to those in the liberal echo box of the MSM still believe that AGW is likely and a major threat to the environment, or that Al Gore is anything but a con artist making tens of millions of dollars shilling his global warming nonsense (yes, the same Al Gore who did such a poor job Photoshopping the photos in his latest book). Every day we find new reasons to distrust and doubt the AGW warmist fanatics.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Garage, so what do you call it when we run up debt like and become supine to the world, while at the same time throwing business into such uncertainty that we'll see years of anemic economic growth, and thus disappointing tax revenues? "

I call it clueless ignorant slavish following of discredited liberal socialist economics, philosophy, and religion.

Kirk Parker said...

J.,

"You believe that someone who is pro-gun [blah, blah, blah, blah...]"

Actually, yeah: tweak a minor detail her or there, and it sounds like Hubert Humphrey to me! Ever read his defense of the 2nd Amendment?

Stephen said...

I suppose quitting your job to go on national book tour isn't really "defeatest" in the most common sense of the word...

Dusted herself off and “kept walking” indeed.

Floridan said...

"It is the voice of small-town America . . . "

I've lived in enough small towns to know that this is BS. It may reflect the voice of some people who live in small towns (as well as some who live in urban areas), but there are plenty of small towners who are not buying what SP is selling.

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