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Double standards

[ 0 ] September 3, 2008 |

My Sarah Palin theory is here. I don’t like to harp on the “imagine if Obama or Hillary” meme, but this situation really cries out for comparisons.

Imagine if Hillary had done what Palin did when Palin had her most recent child. This would needless to say have been taken as incontrivertable proof that she was a career-obsessed feminist bitch, who was legally unfit to be a mother and should have her child taken away from her before she actually killed the poor kid out of sheer callous indifference if not actual malice.

Imagine if Obama’s 17-year-old daughter were pregnant. What do you think that would “prove?”

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Pathetic Concern Troll of the Day

[ 19 ] September 3, 2008 |

This bloke, who just might outrank Paul Cella as Worst Writer on the Internet:

September 2nd, 2008. The 2008 Election ended this morning as a vast cadre of liberals, progressives, Democrats and like minded journalists lifted the white flag and surrendered.

We surrendered something a whole lot more valuable than our vote. We surrendered our principles. We surrendered our core values.

We surrendered all hope. We surrendered our shared dreams that our daughters would inherit a better world, a world of promise, equality, justice, fairness and honor.
We had dreamed of a world where our 17 years old daughters wouldn’t be striped [sic] naked and raped on the front page of the New York Times, above the fold.

We later read that Palin’s daughter has been “gang raped” by the liberal blogosphere and that even Sheriff Obama — no, really — couldn’t prevent “the lynching” of a young girl.

[Pausing several seconds here to ponder the incongruous blend of psycho-sexual hyperbole. Moving on now, without further comment.]

Dude. Drink some orange juice or something. Or at least — if you want to use the pronoun “we” to include liberals, progressives, straw men, gnomes, masturbating pandas, and so on — don’t manage a blog that has a history of whining about anyone who criticizes George Bush; that calls for a “Holy War” in defense of Dutch Danish cartoonists; that brews a mighty froth over potty-mouthed bloggers; and that, like John McCain, never wants to leave Iraq.

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The Lies of Sarah Palin

[ 114 ] September 2, 2008 |

Bob Somerby correctly notes that Palin’s extravagant claim that she “told Congress thanks but no thanks on that Bridge to Nowhere” is simply an “outright lie.” And this is true not only in the sense that she was for it before she was against it, but also because by the time she become governor Congress had given up the earmark. Her self-praise was simply nonsense. And this lie might seem rather consequential, given that her fictitious opposition to federal pork is central to justifying McCain’s selection (cf. David Brooks.)   And this isn’t even getting into the fact that she’s still using federal pork to build a road to nowhere.   And yet, Palin’s lie has been soft-pedaled into a mere “slight exaggeration.” The contrast with how the Times treats Democratic candidates is obvious:

But so it has gone in the past sixteen years, as lying became a Democratic disease in the press corps’ reliable scripts. In the journalism of the past sixteen years, Republicans have been allowed to misstate as much as they pleased. By way of contrast, the press corps has often invented lies, then pretended that Major Democrats said them. Covering Palin, hapless news orgs like the New York Times are enacting this drama again.

Compare the treatment of Palin’s straightforward lie with the treatment of Gore’s (accurate) statements about his role in the development of the internet (let alone the stuff that was entirely made up), and I think it tells you what you need to know.

I do have one quibble, though. Somerby says that “Liberals, of course, are busy examining photos of Palin’s waist-line. Did she really bear that child? Liberals demand to know this!” Certainly, the thigh-rubbing conspiracy theories about Palin’s fifth child are absolutely idiotic. But nor do I think that there has been any significant interest in this non-story from liberal bloggers of any influence (and, no, Andrew Sullivan hardly counts as a liberal.) The idea that “liberals” or “the left” as opposed to “some random, non-front page Daily Kos diarist” or “some blog commenter somewhere” were drooling about Palin’s recent pregnancy is itself a GOP script that shouldn’t be repeated without naming names. I do agree, however, that the lies underlying Palin’s reputation as a pork-buster are a far more important and far more politically fruitful line of attack than her daughter’s pregnancy.

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Still More from Palinland

[ 11 ] September 2, 2008 |

My moment of undeserved relevance continues at the Minnesota Independent, where my thoughts on Palin offer a brief respite from their coverage of the nascent police state in St. Paul.

I wrote the piece Sunday night and sent it out yesterday morning. It already feels hideously antique.

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This is Excellent News!!!!!!! For McCain!!!!!!

[ 24 ] September 2, 2008 |

It always is.

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There’s a pain where there once was a heart

[ 55 ] September 2, 2008 |

I wonder if anyone actually consulted with Levi “Fuckin’ Redneck” Johnston about whether he’s cool with suddenly being drafted to make an honest woman out of Bristol Palin? It sounds as if all this wedding talk may be taking him by surprise.

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Sarah Palin: The Non-American Vice President that America Has Been Waiting For

[ 0 ] September 2, 2008 |

If this is true, my governor is a full-blown lunatic.

Officials of the Alaskan Independence Party say that Palin was once so independent, she was once a member of their party, which, since the 1970s, has been pushing for a legal vote for Alaskans to decide whether or not residents of the 49th state can secede from the United States.

And while McCain’s motto — as seen in a new TV ad — is “Country First,” the AIP’s motto is the exact opposite — “Alaska First — Alaska Always.”

Lynette Clark, the chairman of the AIP, tells ABC News that Palin and her husband Todd were members in 1994, even attending the 1994 statewide convention in Wasilla. Clark was AIP secretary at the time.

“We are a state’s rights party,” says Clark, a self-employed goldminer. The AIP has “a plank that challenges the legality of the Alaskan statehood vote as illegal and in violation of United Nations charter and international law.”

The AIP are essentially hard core libertarians whose animating principle is the belief that our statehood vote in 1958 was illegitimate because — contrary to Article 73 of the UN Charter — the “non-self-governing territory” of Alaska was not properly offered the option of independence. (You can read the ponderous legal argument here.) The most hardcore AIPs genuinely want Alaska to be a separate nation; others would prefer to become a commonwealth; still others would seek to meld our fortunes with these folks, who are equally disgruntled with their semi-colonial status. Mostly, though, they just want to dismantle the government and shoot anything that sets foot on their property.

To further their agenda, the AIP has endorsed the nomination of Chuck Baldwin, the Constitutional Party member and gurgling madman who ended Alan Keyes’ run for the presidency. (UPDATE: KEYESMENTUM!)

I’ve secured footage from a recent AIP meeting to give everyone a glmpse of the intellectual atmosphere that Sarah Palin breathed during the early years of her political ascent:

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Poor Michael Goldfarb….

[ 46 ] September 2, 2008 |

Guess that no one tells him anything. Tim Cavanaugh:

In an unguarded moment last night, McCain Report blogger Michael Goldfarb replied to my question of whether there’s any truth to the rumor that Sarah Palin’s Down Syndrome child is actually her daughter’s with the following less-than-confidence-inspiring comment: “Well, I don’t…think so.” He added that the whole thing, like Hurricane Gustav, will have played out, one way or another, within the next 24 hours.

That wasn’t enough for the pretty pro-McCain crowd he was talking to, and when one interlocutor (not me) accused McCain of not having properly vetted his nominee, Goldfarb dropped the M bomb. “He’s a maverick,” he said. “That’s the way mavericks do things!”

This is just hilarious. We now know that the rumor can’t possibly be true, but it turns out that McCain’s own people gave it enough credence to try to obfuscate the issue. The McCain campaign sure is one hell of a well oiled machine…

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John Adams Wrote the Pledge of Allegiance, Right?

[ 0 ] September 1, 2008 |

I appreciate gmack’s injunction not to make his head explode by referring to more inane Palin trivia. But I can’t let this slide:

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

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

A-hem. Is there… uh, is there a defensible interpretation? This is something I’d expect from a garden variety internet wingnut, which I suppose is part of the point of the Palin selection, but still; we’re talking about someone who might be President in a year.

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Nice to See Some Respect for Her Right to Decide, But…

[ 34 ] September 1, 2008 |

Ann Friedman makes the critical point regarding the McCain campaign’s announcement that Bristol Palin “made the decision on her own to keep the baby”:

I mean, John McCain and Sarah Palin don’t believe women have a right to choose. It’s absolutely absurd for the campaign to emphasize the fact that Bristol “made this decision,” and then push for policies that take away that choice

Right. She made the decision on her own. Sarah Palin and John McCain would prefer that the state coerce young women into having children.

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Places Not To Go

[ 20 ] September 1, 2008 |

Monika Bauerlein is, of course, correct that it would be grossly sexist to bring up Palin’s youngest child or his disability with any implication that this makes her running for vice president inappropriate. To state the obvious, nobody would bring such things up about a male vice presidential candidate, just as when people bring up family issues to explain the gross underrepresentation of women clerking for the Supreme Court they never seem to question how Antonin Scalia has had a long career as an appellate judge with nine kids. Men are also capable of being caregivers, and the assumption that Palin should have the primary responsibility for caring for her children is just sexism, full stop. There are very good reasons to oppose her — most notably such rather more important things as her very reactionary political views and her lack of knowledge about most important domestic and foreign policy issues — but the fact that she has become a state leader while being a mother of five is emphatically not one of them.

And while I’m not suggesting that it’s on the same level, somebody also needs to have a long talk with Joe Biden.

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Pete Townshend: Not a Handsome Man

[ 12 ] September 1, 2008 |

Back in the spring of 2001, the grad students at the University of Washington went on strike to gain recognition of union affiliation. Watkins, Lemieux and I walked the line at 45th and 17th NE, right across from frat row. The frat boys decided to “support” our efforts by blasting Keep On Working on repeat as loud as they could. Then the cops came and made them turn the music off.

Happy Labor Day!

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