Palin Condemns Threats but Will Continue Accusations

October 20, 2008

Palin, saying that she has not heard anything inappropriate, stated that threats against Obama were out of line and she would not continue speaking if she heard such things.  This seems a little disingenuous since McCain has had to take a microphone away from a woman who was calling Obama an Arab.  McCain no doubt correctly intuited that this woman was about to launch into an anti-Arab discourse or discussion of Obama as a terrorist.

She still though insists that it is appropriate to claim that Obama “palls around” with a terrorist.  She maintains this position in spite of the fact that this claim has been thoroughly researched and no support for it has been presented.  What is strange is that she supports this with allusions to undocumented claims and asays that there has not been a full explaination or disclosure.  This sounds a lot like McCain’s claim that Acorn is a threat to democracy.  Again no support and all research in circulation supports the opposite conclusion.

These viscious unsupported accusations seem to me to be utterly irresponsible and to bring the McCain ticket’s judgment into sharper question.  To me this demonstrates a willingness to engage in the sort of conduct that got us into a war in the Mid-East and has led to the erosion of the credibility of the presidency.  More than anything this sort of behavior links the McCain ticket with the current administration.

This sort of thing was tried by Goldwater when he was failing as the election approached.  It seems to be wroking aginst McCain and Palin.  When it is launched late in the campaign, voters seem to see it for what it is: a desparate attempt to win at any cost.  It is hard to imagine a campaign that is farther from the standard of “putting America first.”  It fosters hate and suspicion for the goal of getting elected, thereby fracturing a society that very much needs to unify to address its ills.


The Columbian Endorses Obama Based on McCain’s Preferred Issues

October 20, 2008

The Columbian newspaper endorsed Obama recently. This is interesting because it is a fairly conservative newspaper having endorsed Bush last time.

The basis for this endorsement was pretty much the factors that McCain ran on early in his campaign. First, leadership. The newspaper compares the divisiveness that seems to characterize McCain and his supporters with the way in which Obama has been able to unify his party and open it to others, attracting not just independents but according to the newspaper conservatives as well.

McCain has been hammering on the question of Obama’s judgment and it is that issue that The Columbian finds persuasive in supporting Obama. It compares the choices the two candidates have made during the campaign and finds these facts to favor Obama.

The personal attacks on Obama the newspaper finds to be true of McCain as well and it has little trouble discounting the terrorist and Acorn “issues” and it sounds like McCain’s pushing these issues diminishes him in the estimation of the newspaper.

What is interesting about this is that the McCain campaign has been intentionally trying to distract from the issues relating to the economy. (It was barely mentioned during the Republican convention.) McCain strongly prefers to direct attention to “character-related issues.” The Columbian’s endorsement is based entirely on the issues that McCain is pressing. It does not even mention the policy issues on which McCain is most vulnerable.


Hate Literature in America

October 18, 2008

Wow.  Here’s a blogger’s compilation of  hate literature being circulated in swing states.  This compares rather starkly with Factcheck.org’s research on the subject of Bill Ayers.

What interests me is that people get this stuff and circulate false information based on it. No wonder Bush did not adequately fund education and cut back education loans.


You Go, Joe!

October 17, 2008

Here’s a healthy sign:  Bidden denounced a Palin statement.  It has for me been weird hearing her highly inflammatory statements echoing through the news with nothing but denials by Obama and Biden.  Palin has been treated like a little girl who should not be treated severely.  This has given her a sort of immunity to make the most outlandish statements which seems to be mobilizing a segment of the population that everyone prefers not to talk about.

Today Biden called her out for apparently identifying areas of “real America” as apparently opposed to geographical pockets of sedition.  This of course is  (I thought) by now a hackneyed tactic of setting Americans against each other for political gain.  All you need to do is fill some people (a majority) with self-righteous contempt for others or promote righteous doubt about the legitimacy of others, including candidates.  (Palin informs us that Washington D.C. is not pro-America and cities should be viewed with suspicion.) It seems so transparent but it still seems to work to some degree.  At least the tactic does not appear to be effective with a majority of the people.  At least not right now.

Anyway, I say call demagoguery out.  This tactic needs to be aired and revealed for what it is.


Palinisms: We Need Them

October 10, 2008

Here’s a take off on the magazine that Sarah Palin “said” that she reads.

Just as Bill Clinton’s antics provided comics with grist for years, Palin seems to be a constant source of material for comics and satirists.

This campaign has presented a number of vivid memories and images. The chant “drill, baby, drill” at the Republican convention will always stick in my mind. Everyone knows that offshore drilling will not have an effect on gas prices, that it creates environmental risks and that the only real incentive is profit for oil companies. The crowd at the Republican convention deliriously and defiantly shouting their chant for me was a vivid image of how the intoxicating effect of personal profit can smother a sense of community and the general good.

Obama’s speech on race was a bit of history that we were privileged to witness. McCain’s comeback after being viciously smeared in North Carolina during the 2000 campaign for the nomination , then faltering early in this nomination campaign was stirring.

Even with all that, Palin’s interviews have been priceless. She makes the campaign seem a little like a Shakespearian play, providing comic relief and perspective on the process.


Palin’s Attacks Continue to Backfire

October 9, 2008

Not only is McCain vulnerable to many of the attacks launched by Governor Palin but the attacks are increasingly being seen as hypocritical.  First, she is not so well established that her attacks resonate with anyone but an audience of true believers.  It is a little uncomfortable to be learning about her while she assails others.   If she were a know commodity, her attacks might have more traction.

She is increasingly though catching flack for making accusations against Obama that are in fact true of her.  Who could say that he or she has never associated even in a casual manner with someone accused of terrorism.  It is simply impossible to know that, so any denial would be spurious.

It turns out that Sarah does not have an abhorrence of convicted felons associated with terrorism.  She wanted to hired G. Gordon Liddy and appear on his talk show.

The AlaskaReport asks these questions:

Did Palin know Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, burglary, wiretapping, contempt of court and contempt of Congress? Did Palin know Liddy was willing to kill a janitor and a journalist as part of the Watergate cover-up? Did Palin know Liddy admitted plotting to firebomb the Brookings Institution? What about the plan to kidnap protesters at the 1972 Republican National Convention?

If she did not know these things, then she must acknowledge that the guilt by association game is a sleazy one.  If she knew Libby’s background then obviously she feels that people change and that it is not impermissible to innocently associate with someone who has a dark past.


Palin Keeps Opening Doors McCain Does Not Want to Enter

October 6, 2008

Remember ten days ago or so when Palin mocked Biden’s age?  This of course made us wonder how much she respected her party’s nominee for president.  This weekend of course Palin accused Obama of associating with terrorists, which I hope is such a shockingly untrue accusation that there will be serious blowback. Palin’s weekend attack on Obama has two very strong negatives:  It makes her ticket look cheap and spiteful; and it again opens the door to unflattering comparisons with McCain.

Palin’s use of the media while complaining about it may have contributed to a growing impatience with her inability to address subjects substantively.  Given the many questions about her, the recent attack strategy has Republicans wondering about the campaign’s direction.  Interestingly we rarely here anything about integrity in this context.  The discussion seems to be entirely focused on efficacy of what were once thought unworthy methods.  Thankfully some media feel it is incumbent on them to at least check the truth of scurrilous accusations.

In opening the door of past associations she has exposed an area of extreme vulnerability to McCain.  McCain actually was one of the Keating Five at the heart of the financial crisis of the 1980’s.

Look at this discussion of one of McCain associations:

Palin is accusing Obama of association with a terrorist by his being on the board of directors of a nonprofit corporation when also sitting on the board was a university professor who had helped found the Weathermen twenty years earlier.  That’s it.  There was no further association.  It’s actually rather high praise for an individual if that is the closest association the person has ever had with a person who had a questionable background. Would you do better?

n contrast to Obama, McCain was in the middle of our last financial crisis, from 1988 to 1991.  He was one of the Keating Five who caused havoc with the economy and McCain was never exonerated from the charges, but never criminally charged either.  His role was investigated by the Senate and the F.B.I. which concluded that he had bad judgment but that there was not enough evidence of criminal activity on his part to sanction him.

This guilt by association accusation triggered a multimedia assault by the Obama campaign, featuring the video on this website.  Politico has a review of the this counterattack.I

As many other have pointed out Palin seems to find more to fear in Obama’s sitting near this professor at the annual meeting than her husbands membership in an American government hating secessionist group.