Sunday, August 31, 2008

White trash I ain't. Or maybe I is.

McCain being McCain, actually, he would probably find it hilarious.
Actually, it is hilarious, asshole. And adorable. The more I see, the more I like her. Besides, isn't white trash an acceptable pose these days anyway? The imagery isn't going to turn people off automatically.

The comments are pretty funny too.
Hillary who?..., that Sarah girl can sit on the bottom of my ticket anyday.
Posted By: Willam Jefferson Clinton | August 31, 2008 at 06:52 PM

....and to think if I wasn't such a creep I could have debated her.....
Posted By: John Edwards | August 31, 2008 at 06:53 PM

Thanks to Sarah, I just cancled my Viagra prescription.
Posted By: Joe Biden | August 31, 2008 at 06:57 PM

Thank God I don't like women.
Posted By: Algore | August 31, 2008 at 06:57 PM

Speak for yourself there Al.
Posted By: Hillary | August 31, 2008 at 06:58 PM
Although I shuddered a little at the Edwards comment, I'm glad she doesn't have to go near that creep. (I can't believe I actually gave him $$ in 2004!)

Women and Children First!

I cannot believe the insinuations the Dems are making about the Palin family. First the comments about whether the veep can adequately parent a newborn. Then they say that her 17 year old daughter birthed her new son (because Downs happens at such high rates in 17 yo vs. 44 yo, right?) . In doing so, they are committing slander per se against a seventeen year old girl who has not, of her own volition, ever made any attempt to seek the spotlight.

Now the ever-disgusting Alan Colmes claims that Palin didn't get proper prenatal care, gets caught in that disgusting bit of misogyny, and blames his spineless (failed) cover up to "vile" "conservatives" who "invade" (apparently visiting a public website is an invasion now). Proving he still doesn't get it, he says that his position can be summed up as follows:
I love how everyone keeps trying to accuse Alan of accusing Princess Mooseburger of birthing a mentally retarded child on purpose. He asked a judgement question about a 7 month pregnant woman who just had her water break GET ON A 12 HOUR FLIGHT TO GIVE BIRTH after giving a 30 MINUTE SPEECH instead of doing the SENSIBLE THING AND STAYING PUT WITH A DOCTOR.

Because who are you, Sarah Palin, mother of four and expecting your fifth, to decide what's appropriate for your body and your son, because ALAN COLMES and his hateful commenters know better than you about your body and your pregnancy. How dare you suggest otherwise, you uppity freak.

Disgusting. It's almost like the party that's going to save women's "reproductive freedoms" is trying to keep her down because of her uterus. I'm starting to understand why lefties get so emotional on social issues - it's not a great feeling having the villagers with pitchforks coming for my uterus. Apparently reproductive freedom extends only to the freedom to kill - not the freedom to breed.

At least Colmes didn't try to pretend he gave a crap about Trig Palin. Because we all know he's thinking that she should have just killed him in the womb anyway. That, to me, is the more salient judgment question.

An e-mail from the Fred Thompson PAC.


At this crucial moment in our nation’s history, it is vital that we adhere to the fundamental conservative principles that have unified us for over two centuries. On Monday, September 1, Senator Fred Thompson will announce a major new effort to ensure that these conservative principles are supported and defended across our country and at every level of government.

Please stay tuned and join Senator Thompson as he unveils this exciting endeavor.

If only if only was Thompson-Palin. Probably better this way though, McCain's maverick reputation and centrist voting record make the current ticket more electable.

According to the schedule, Thompson wasn't scheduled to speak until Tuesday, September 2. I guess I'll have to watch both days so that I won't miss Fred. Like I wasn't going to watch it all anyway . . .

The horrors of tokenism

James Fallows on Palin:

Always and only the comparison should be with Clarence Thomas -- with this one interesting difference. Thomas was a shrewd choice not simply because his race made it more complicated for Democrats to oppose him . . .
More complicated? Thomas experienced the most vicious attacks on a Supreme Court nominee that has never been seen in this country before or since (led, incidentally, by Joe Biden). At least Bork was never asked about his genitals. Democrats see any Republican use of identity politics as dirty pool - hey, that's OUR gimmick - and so feel compelled to respond by tearing down the individual with the most disgusting racist and sexist tropes they can imagine. Invoke the spectre of the sexually rampaging black man! Send the woman back to the kitchen to take care of her disabled baby! But since the Democrats are protecting blacks and women from 'tokenism,' it's all fine, really. It's not as if they are actually racist or sexist - after all, look how well the Obama/Clinton war was on that front!
but also because, once confirmed, all evidence suggested to conservatives that he'd be the kind of Justice they were looking for. In Palin's case, this seems to be a choice that looks forward to Election Day, and not one day beyond that.
This I don't understand. Conservatives aren't looking beyond election day for Palin? She's more conservative than McCain is. She's perfect on guns and life. She's an expert in energy policy. She's also pretty solid on the division of power between the state and the feds. She has more executive experience than the other candidates.

The only thing she's weak on is foreign policy. But even there, she's made trips to the Middle East and her son is on his way there, so it's not like she's going to take it seriously. Chances are, she's going to have some time to learn on the job. McCain is unlikely to die in the next few months. And what's the alternative? If experience is your primary concern, then your choice is to take it at the top of the ticket or at the bottom.

Why she's a gamechanger.

Read the whole thing.

ETA: See here too.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Anticipating the veep debate

I know that this was a particular pander to a particular crowd (see :00 to :30), but I love that the first self-stroking Biden comes up with is "I'm only a Senator because I was endorsed by the United Steelworkers." Dude, Mr. Palin is IN the United Steelworkers.

I can't wait to hear the rhetorical differences between Palin and Biden during their debate. She's got so many colorful stories, I hope she uses them. Like this one about the time she sold the state jet on eBay. What's Biden going to say: "Remember that time I was an asshole to Clarence Thomas on tv?"

Can the abortion middle-grounders be flipped?

Much as people like to think that “Disaffected Hillary voters” are a "McCain concocted myth," anecdotes abound to the contrary. I've spoken with two women recently - one formerly on the fence, one a committed Dem/Hillary voter, both of whom now have tentative plans to vote for McCain (although the latter swore me to secrecy). Because McCain's been "the maverick" foreover and Hillary is more of a centrist than many Democrats, there can be a substantial overlap among undecided non-ideologically driven voters. I think that people are overestimating the degree to these voters will reject Palin for her pro-life views. This in particular seems overblown.

Sarah Palin is not a supporter of women’s civil rights. She’s rabidly anti women’s right to self-determination, which means she’s the conservatives’ darling. But she’s got bigger problems than relegating females to second class citizens. McCain’s against equal pay, so it’s not like he’s picking Palin out of respect. This is desperation time for the Republicans.

Right or wrong, many people's attitudes toward a position are going to be shaped by who is conveying the message. There are lots of people who use otherwise reasonable ideas as cover to promote more nefarious goals. Whether or not an idea is "cover" for something worse is going to be examined, like it or not. Much as those at the edges may not be able to believe it, I think there are lots of American women who are ambivalent or undecided on the abortion question.

Polling data shows that American women are, on whole, deeply uncomfortable about the idea of abortion (ie: they would never personally do it). I would bet that many are, however, worried about whether men use anti-abortion rhetoric as a means to control women. The day-to-day chance that men (husbands, bosses, doctors) are going to try to control their bodies in various ways (get up, go to bed, don't eat that) is a lot higher than the chance they're going to need or want an abortion. Especially when you're pregnant, it seems like the whole world wants to micromanage everything you do. For crying out loud, strangers touch you like they own you. It's also very difficult to be pregnant and find out how little doctors actually know, how little choice you actually have (try telling a doctor to save your 22 week miscarriage and watch how hospital policy trumps respect for the patients' body and choice). The NYTimes reported this week about women being upset at their doctors treating them as constantly "prepregnant." And yet, all those people that are so concerned with what's going inside you disappear instantly when there's actual parenting to do.

I think there is a wide middle ground on the issue of abortion pragmatists who think: abortion is horrible, but so is pregnancy itself. For those women, let them pick the side that prevents still more people from interfering in our day-to-day lives. I think the control issue may be more of an emotional hot-button than the abortion itself. That's not because the decision to abort isn't emotional, but the stakes of that decision are more evenly balanced and more removed from most women's daily lives.

I don't see Palin setting off the "here's someone else to micromanage my life" alarm. This isn't a showily pious evangelist preaching pro-life out of "respect for women" while occasionally battering his wife. Nor is she the stereotypical Kool-Aid drinking wife-and-mother spouting traditional orthodoxy without recognition of the burdens imposed by the position. Palin may be a hardliner on the issue, but I don't see women thinking that the desire to control and subjugate women is the actual driving force behind the decision. She's someone whose lived her life the way she's seen fit, made a decision, and lived by it, taking the bad along with the good.

Because seriously, come on. Does this look like someone whose coming for your uterus?
This isn't someone who is pro-fetus because she's anti-you. This isn't someone who looks like she would take the suffering involved in pregnancy lightly and just expect you to deal with it just because that's what women are supposed to do. I mean really, she announces her candidacy and then goes right backstage to feed and change the baby.

The Blackberries, diapers, and wipes on the table wholly encapsulate the plight of today's working women. (I love that she uses the same store-brand babywipes that I do.) And since quite a few of those women were Hillary voters, they may very well be looking for someone else who understands them and their interests. I don't see the pro-life position as a dealbreaker for them.

Note to a Liberal: Things Exist

Sometimes, I get into political discussions with my brother, even though he sometimes says things like "commuter rail [the one that requires a sales tax increase and costs $100 million dollars per mile to build] is going to be the greatest thing to happen to poor people EVER." Today he tried to trump an Obama versus Palin discussion with "Who can know what's right and what's wrong?" and "You have no real-world experience, so don't think your 'facts' from 'reality' are going to win this discussion."

Yep, scare quotes for "reality."

At least in his case, I think his Obama vote is an act of willful blindness more than anything else (even though I think it's generally unproductive to assume your opponent is arguing in bad faith). Pretty interesting that the discussion came up within days of seeing for the first time what John C. Wright calls the "Unified Field Theory of Modern Liberalism." Thus he provides more "evidence" from "reality" that this guy's theory is pretty spot on.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Coburn-Palin-Jindal Fan Club

That's how I'm thinking of this for right now at least. We need more like them; I'm tired of hearing that conservatism is the sole province of the elderly, heartless, and corrupt. There have to be other people who believe in conservatism as an active force for increasing the good in the world. I wonder whether the old-guard of the party thinks it can be.

I spent my early twenties sliding away from the left. After a lengthy and intimate affair with libertarianism, I've come to see the wisdom of the conservative philosophy. It's probably no coincidence that I also spent that time going to law school and then working as a lawyer. I like evidence, and the evidence I've seen continues to build up in favor of a conservative philosophy as the best means to the end of making a better future for humanity (on both and individual and a societal level). Since the Republicans are the ostensible purveyors of conservatism, I suppose that makes me a Republican.

That doesn't mean I want everything that Republicans have to offer. I'm getting sick of having Trent Lott and Ted Stevens thrown in my face every time I have a political discussion. There's more to this party and better people are coming up. Maybe highlighting the new conservatives and outlining a positive vision for conservative change may make it easier for some people to have a similar change of heart. At the very least, this blog will help to corral the evidence and hone my arguments.