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Woah – the ‘liberal’ media finally wakes up

15 September 2008 213 views 3 Comments

Apparently, McCain picking an inexperienced, provincial wackjob with extreme political views as his VP candidate finally woke up the long slumbering ‘liberal’ media. His choice has completely called into question his own judgement (or if he’s even in charge of his campaign) while totally smacking of a last-ditch effort to get elected – preferably with as little dignity as possible.

The New York Times waited until the media was finally allowed to speak to Palin before writing an editorial on Palin’s worrisome world view.  The strong wording of the editorial reflects the very real concerns about someone with Palin’s views being a major influence in the White House.  But I never expected to see a headline like one of today’s articles: Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes.  Ouch – those small town politics won’t go over very well on Capitol Hill, where you have to work with people in spite of your differences.  And Palin may well be one of the last people I’d want speaking to the head of a country with nuclear capabilities.  I doubt the Putins & Kim Jong Ils of the world would respond very well to a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude or other moronic obstinacy.

More non-Fox, non-neocon responses to McCain & Palin:

The Washington Post: ”It’s hard to think of a presidential campaign with a wider chasm between the seriousness of the issues confronting the country and the triviality, so far anyway, of the political discourse… John McCain is a serious man who promised to wage a serious campaign. Win or lose, will he be able to look back on this one with pride? Right now, it’s hard to see how.”

The sensible and thought-provoking Thomas Friedman: ”Who cares how much steel John McCain has in his gut when the steel that today holds up our bridges, railroads, nuclear reactors and other infrastructure is rusting? McCain talks about how he would build dozens of nuclear power plants. Oh, really? They go for $10 billion a pop. Where is the money going to come from? From lowering taxes? From banning abortions? From borrowing more from China? From having Sarah Palin “reform” Washington — as if she has any more clue how to do that than the first 100 names in the D.C. phonebook?”

The Washington Post: “Overall, this was an unsettling interview, with a frustrating lack of follow-up questions. Voters deserve more opportunities for more searching questioning in the short time left before Election Day.”

The columnist Frank Rich: “No longer able to remember his principles any better than he can distinguish between Sunnis and Shia, McCain stands revealed as a guy who can be easily rolled by anyone who sells him a plan for “victory,” whether in Iraq or in Michigan. A McCain victory on Election Day will usher in a Palin presidency, with McCain serving as a transitional front man, an even weaker Bush to her Cheney… The racial component to this brand of politics was undisguised in St. Paul. Americans saw a virtually all-white audience yuk it up when Giuliani ridiculed Barack Obama’s “only in America” success as an affirmative-action fairy tale — and when he and Palin mocked Obama’s history as a community organizer in Chicago. Neither party has had so few black delegates (1.5 percent) in the 40 years since the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies started keeping a record… How do you run against that flashy flimflam? You don’t. Karl Rove for once gave the Democrats a real tip rather than a bum steer when he wrote last week that if Obama wants to win, “he needs to remember he’s running against John McCain for president,” not Palin for vice president. Obama should keep stepping up the blitz on McCain’s flip-flops, confusion, ignorance and blurriness on major issues (from education to an exit date from Iraq), rather than her gaffes and résumé. If he focuses voters on the 2008 McCain, the Palin question will take care of itself.”

The last point in Rich’s editorial is REALLY strange – Karl Rove, conservative mastermind, giving some useful political advice to the Obama campaign?!  It is, however, a good point – all the attention from McCain has been distracted by Palin, just like his missteps were mostly ignored while Obama & Clinton fought for the Democratic nomination.  Considering the response to the interview, it’s pretty clear that Rove’s right – Obama should focus on McCain and let the Palin issue resolve itself.  (Rove’s editorial was published on Thursday, before Palin’s first interview aired.)


  • Lori said:

    I love reading tinygrass, and have been for some time. I tend to think of myself as republican, due to my beliefs in less government and lower taxes, but am having a lot of trouble trying to decide who to vote for. I think Obama has a lot of great ideas, but feel torn between supporting those ideas and supporting higher taxation, which I think will happen if he’s elected. However, Palin does scare me. Women need someone who will fight for us, not against us. The election of McCain/Palin would be a step back for women, as it would give the illusion of a women breaking the glass ceiling, while keeping the rest of us in place.

  • Arp (author) said:

    I was torn between Obama & Paul, until I learned about Paul’s pro-life stance. Aside from that, Paul spoke the most sense of any candidate – pretty much too much sense to be president. The media did a bang-up job of making sure he wasn’t heard too much. If he believed in personal freedom including a woman’s right to choose, I would probably be voting for him.

    I like a lot of what libertarianism stands for (and that the Republican party gives lip service to). I’d like to see a balance between much lower taxes (perhaps eliminate income tax completely in favor of sales-oriented taxes) and some care for society, to allow people to have their basic needs met. But I do wonder if libertarianism is even realistic – it seems so Wild West. I should probably dig further and see if there any libertarian governments in the world. I think it would be a really hard sell in the US because people are not conditioned to think for themselves.

    The issue of higher taxes is debatable, since the Republican MO for the past 30 years has been to reduce taxes with the real benefits going to the wealthy folks who don’t need any more tax breaks. But perhaps the issue is not taxes but income – an interesting article (as usual, from the NYT) shows that family income grows more under Democratic administrations than Republican: http://tinyurl.com/5swe96

    Palin is a frightening choice. McCain’s first presidential decision confirms my lack of faith in his abilities. But Palin should be old news in a couple of weeks and hopefully we’ll get back to the actual issues. McCain can only hide behind something for so much longer (ie being ignored while Clinton & Obama duked it out, being ignored while Palin grabbed the spotlight). I still can’t believe he could utter the words ‘fundamentally strong’ in describing our economy (then spinning it as a positive look at Americans and not the actual economy after getting smacked around by his handlers).

  • Arp (author) said:

    The conservative press haven’t held their tongues either – the selection of Palin is a concern for David Brooks due to her lack of experience: “What is prudence? It is the ability to grasp the unique pattern of a specific situation. It is the ability to absorb the vast flow of information and still discern the essential current of events — the things that go together and the things that will never go together. It is the ability to engage in complex deliberations and feel which arguments have the most weight.

    How is prudence acquired? Through experience. The prudent leader possesses a repertoire of events, through personal involvement or the study of history, and can apply those models to current circumstances to judge what is important and what is not, who can be persuaded and who can’t, what has worked and what hasn’t.

    Experienced leaders can certainly blunder if their minds have rigidified (see: Rumsfeld, Donald), but the records of leaders without long experience and prudence is not good. As George Will pointed out, the founders used the word “experience” 91 times in the Federalist Papers. Democracy is not average people selecting average leaders. It is average people with the wisdom to select the best prepared.”

    Not to mention David Frum: “Ms. Palin’s experience in government makes Barack Obama look like George C. Marshall. She served two terms on the city council of Wasilla, Alaska, population 9,000. She served two terms as mayor. In November, 2006, she was elected governor of the state, a job she has held for a little more than 18 months. She has zero foreign policy experience, and no record on national security issues.

    All this would matter less, but for this fact: The day that John McCain announced his selection of Sarah Palin was his birthday. His 72nd birthday. Seventy-two is not as old as it used to be, but Mr. McCain had a bout with melanoma seven years ago, and his experience in prison camp has uncertain implications for his future health.

    If anything were to happen to a President McCain, the destiny of the free world would be placed in the hands of a woman who until the day before Friday was a small-town mayor.”