September 4, 2008

Palin comparison

I'm a little confused about Sarah Palin. Apparently one of her chief qualifications for office is that she's a "hockey mom." The Republicans seem to bring it up every time they mention her name. Of the first 45 words of Palin's convention speech, the only ones that weren't "thank" or "you" or "so much" were, yes, "hockey" and "moms."

But don't dare ask who she's a hockey mom of. That's Off Limits.

So let's stick to the issues. Today's call to arms from Palin is, "The misinformation and flat-out lies must be corrected." Fine. Here's a good start. Oh, but that doesn't count, because that's the Media doing the correcting and the media is sexist and biased. (By the way, Karl, Wasilla isn't exactly the second largest city in Alaska. It's fourth. Which I know still sounds impressive, until you see a drop off of about 30,000 after #3. Also, it's only just recently edged out Sitka, which has genuine cachet as the setting of the Yiddish Policeman's Union and the place where I worked fish the summer before my senior year.)

Amazingly, Republicans have settled on the experience argument as their defense of Palin. So give them credit for balls, which, it has to be admitted, is more than can be said for Democrats. Even McCain himself spouted the National Guard=national security experience lie. Of course, we now know that Palin may not want to take credit for running the Alaska Guard. But I'm sure that's just another unfair, what do you call it, fact.

Yesterday I showed why the Palin pick didn't actually burnish McCain's maverick credentials, but that still seemed to me a more effective narrative than this one. Indeed, the more Palin and her consorts (and make no mistake, she's at the top of the ticket now) hype the experience line, the more ridiculous they look. I'm having an optimistic day, so here's how I see it: Once the initial glow from the utterly predictable and meaningless praise wears off — she's been in the public eye less than a week, remember — the electorate isn't likely to believe that Sarah Palin has the necessary experience to run the country. But they are likely to believe that anyone who says so is a cynical fraud.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Great post Daniel! Thank you!

It's like Rossanne (albeit a better looking version) is on the ticket. Can't you just imagine her with that twangy, aw-shucks voice offering gems like:

"Am I ready to face down terroists? Well if you've ever been stuck in traffic in your mini-van with cranky toddlers in the back seat, I think you know the answer to that!"


"Can I handle climate change? Hey, if I can handle diaper change..."


"I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend my money at Sam's Club than send it to the IRS!"



I wish I fully shared your optimism about what the electorate is likely to believe, given what a large percentage of them still believe, for example, that the 9/11 attacks were masterminded by Saddam Hussein.

Actually, that hadn't even occurred to me - who is she a hockey mom of? One's in the army, one's knocked up, one's an infant and another is like six. So it's the 12 year old girl? And when is hockey season in Alaska, anyway? Seriously, is anyone in the Palin household currently on a hockey team?

Frank: Excellent question. Presumably hockey moms are like marines: there's no such thing as a former one. So if the oldest son was the hockey player, she could still count.

These folks are also asking the question. I particularly like this comment: "The two oldest girls have been playing tongue hockey with some local boys. Does that count?"

Update: Funnest sentence you'll ever read outside a Dr. Seuss book:

"Sarah Palin made an impression on Michiganders while her son played midget major hockey in Kalamazoo."

You "worked fish"? srsly?

Yeah, I'm with Rubrick: This post is a little whistling-past-the-graveyard-y. In any sensible, logical world the absurdity of picking Palin would have instantly doomed the ticket. But that's clearly not the world we live in. Al in la is spot-on as to the level of logical argument we're likely to see (and similarly, the level of media analysis of said arguments).

And as for cynical, how cynical does a Reublican pundit have to be to acknowledge into an open mic that McCain's pick is "cynical" and "gimmicky," then once caught, to write an exhaustive mea culpa that picks apart and explains away every part of the conversation without ever mentioning that last, arguably most damning, one?

They constantly lie constantly. That's their strategy and that's why they have a chance. But I think, I'd like to believe, that 50 + 1 people in swing states are a little sick of it. Haven't they just lied a little too far with this one? Sure, semi-literate, borderline mental defective for eight years notwithstanding.


(yes, the Radish worked fish, I was there to witness (and work a few fish myself))

Gosh, I guess I'm an optimist, but I feel like Palin is just god news for us. She makes McCain look old and out of touch and as time goes by the media will stop being enamored by her winning smile and start to really look at her as a potential president for the country. Right now she's a curveball that we're still trying to wrap our minds around, but that won't last more than a few weeks.

Yes, I'm sure Obama will win, just like I was sure Gore and Kerry we're going to win!

"Palin is just god news for us". Freudian?

Sarah Palin: Now hiding out from the media. Even Paris Hilton went on Larry King!! Our future VP is too scared to face kind old Uncle Larry?

Palin is not on the ticket to win the election for McCain. They'll steal the presidential election, just as they stole the last two. Palin is part of the post-election narrative that goes, "it must have been those 18 million Hillary voters that turned the tide for McCain/Palin."

Mark my words: when you wake up on post-election day to the unbelievable news that McCain has "won," the Hillary-vote-switcher theme will be the corporate media's big story.

I hope I'm wrong!

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