Whew. I need a cigarette.

Welllll, just offhand…

The capsule version: He overpromised but — far more important — did not underinspire. The promising will be the GOP talking points for a while, wondering how you can cut taxes while offering trillions in new programs, blah blah blah, but these speeches, the acceptance speech at the end of a convention, aren’t about policy, they’re about spectacle and mood, and it’s hard to find fault with any part of it. (Although some do.) Obama looked smart, confident and optimistic; my heart actually fluttered a bit when he said, “America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.” Exactly right. As much as I despised George Bush eight years ago, if you told me that by 2008 we’d be embroiled in a no-win war, torturing prisoners, practicing extraordinary rendition — I’d never have believed you. Not even George Bush is capable of that, I’d say. No, but the delegator-in-chief found someone who is.

There’s always time to screw this up, but the GOP is going to have to work pretty hard to top this with a guy who can’t read a TelePromTer and the governor of Alaska.

What did you think?

So.

Folks, it looks like I’m onboard for this zombie movie, so expect zombie preoccupation around these parts for a while. I have no idea what I’m going to write. All I know is, we have a great location — an unrenovated spooky mansion in Palmer Woods with, of all things, a third-floor ballroom — and a choreographer, who’s going to give us some fight-scene blocking and maybe some other stuff — as well as much of the old crew from “Gas Man,” including Dan Phillips, our makeup guy, who killed time during slow periods on our last shoot building latex special effects for his bag of tricks:

I guess I’m going to have to get to know a slaughterhouse manager pretty well, too. We need a source of fresh braaaaaaains.

Off to rent “The Evil Dead” and/or attend the Michigan State Fair.

Posted at 9:55 am in Current events |
 

72 responses to “Whew. I need a cigarette.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 29, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Joe Biden is e-mailing me about “the next Dick Cheney.” Good luck making Sarah Palin the next Dick Cheney in anyone’s mind.

    We’ve won in Iraq. We’re cleaning up and trying to leave it better than we found it. Waterboarding isn’t torture, and defining torture down to that level makes it stop (which it has) and doesn’t make those who used it when it wasn’t “international war criminals.” Extraordinary rendition has been all over John LeCarre’s books for decades and no one was “shocked, shocked” to find it going on then (LeCarre is a notable example of a novelist who grounds his work in specifics of what’s actually going on out there). Is there room for us to decide we’ll take that tool out of the box? Sure, but you can’t use that as a way to say all those who used it previously are “inhuman scum.”

    And the speech, i mean “The Speech” was lame and meandering. Really. I watched hoping for something like four years ago, which was a truly inspirational speech from Obama.

    McCain-Palin. They’re gonna win. Deal with it.

  2. coozledad said on August 29, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Bleeding like a stuck pig much? McCain is Cheney.

  3. alex said on August 29, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Deal with it? Jeff, that’s so uncharacteristically un-mild-mannered of you. Sorry to see you’re having such bad feelings over this. But, hey, it’s our day in the sun. Finally.

    And Palin? Great way for McCain to undercut his own arguments that Obama’s inexperienced.

  4. coozledad said on August 29, 2008 at 10:28 am

    I thought your Jesus got his fucking medals for being tortured.
    Le Carre, the last time I checked, is a novelist who, by the way doesn’t like your box of tools, and doesn’t like your chandelier swinging fratboy parody of a President. Are you teaching waterboarding to Scouts?

  5. nancy said on August 29, 2008 at 10:32 am

    This doesn’t make me think of LeCarre or the Fourth of July, but maybe you’re different:

    Abu Ghraib

  6. Julie Robinson said on August 29, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Obama’s speech was all I expected and more–especially when he said this election is too important to engage in mud-slinging (my words). Yes we can!

    On the other hand, Al Gore had the best line of the night: “the carbon fuels industry — big oil and coal — have a 50-year lease on the Republican Party, and they are drilling it for everything it’s worth”.

    Did anyone else watch the coverage on PBS? It was pitiful, and I think it’s time for Jim Lehrer to retire. At one point, he started uttering gibberish while listening to the commenter repsond to this question. Bizarre beyond belief.

  7. del said on August 29, 2008 at 10:55 am

    I thought the speech was great. Entering to U2’s City of Blinding Lights was perfect. (Kerry featured U2’s Beautiful Day, great socially aware music.) I think the election will be very, very close and McCain may win — how much can Americans evolve in 4 years? But the comment that “We’ve won in Iraq” reminds me why change is necessary. I think we’ve lost so much.

    Cue me out to Don Henley’s “. . . this is the eeeeennnndddd of the Innocence.”

  8. del said on August 29, 2008 at 10:59 am

    I had Lehrer on Julie and I kept thinking that he must be very tired. And the panelists having to talk over the stadium music, that was unfortunate.

  9. brian stouder said on August 29, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Let’s see – Pam tells me that on msnbc the banner at the bottom of the screen keeps flashing the following tidbits about the person McCain has named as his pick for the VP nomination:

    2nd runner up in the Miss Alaska beauty contest (isn’t there a Monopoly card like that? You get $10, right?);

    two years ago was mayor of Anchorage;
    governor of Alaska;

    and “Under Investigation”!

    hmmmmm……personally, I’m holding out for porno pics on the internet (maybe that will be tomorrow)

    Does this strike anyone else as looking like a snap-pick?

  10. Julie Robinson said on August 29, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Quayle the 2nd.

  11. alex said on August 29, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Brian, it defies belief. He’d have done better with a battle-axe like Kay Bailey Hutchinson, who if McCain were to croak or get sent off to the Alzheimer’s ward might actually have what it takes to step into the role of president.

  12. nancy said on August 29, 2008 at 11:10 am

    “City of Blinding Lights” was one thing, but leaving to the Brooks & Dunn tune was a slippin’ the shiv between the third and fourth rib. I could hear conservative heads exploding all over the country.

  13. ellen said on August 29, 2008 at 11:17 am

    We haven’t “won” Iraq, Jeff (TMMO). If you think that, you are naive about the modern Middle East and breathtakingly unfamiliar with its history.

    Better than we found it? A different form of festering shithole than we found it, maybe. I guess it depends on your measurement criteria. Sure there is no Saddam. But there is no infrastructure, no health care, limited clean water, next to no electricity, ethnic cleansing, etc. A significant portion of what was left of Iraq’s educated professional class under Saddam is now living in Amman, Damascus, and Europe. Women’s rights/freedoms have eroded.

    There is an argument to be made that if we had maintained status quo in Iraq and left Saddam, who was an overweight heavy smoker in his 60s, to live another 15 years and then die of heart disease/cancer/old age/domestic assassination plot, the remainder of his regime would have been less destructive and less harmful to Iraq long-term than the war and would have been more effective at containing Iran.

  14. Judith said on August 29, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Jeff, the Mild-Manner One, from your chosen posting name you can rationally look at facts and reason. Torture? Try putting your head under water and taking one breath–then imagine many breaths not knowing if you will ever get air! Now picture a friend being a prisoner at AbuGhraid–torture? What about an innocent person being placed on a jet to be questioned in a country where torture is allowed? Then look at the reaction of our former allies and even those governments who stuck with us–the values attributed to our country were no longer true.

    Winning in Iraq? Our superb troops have drastically lowered the violence, but when we leave an area, the Sunnis who helped us fight the insurgency are arrested by the Iraqi government who fear a threat to power. Where are the Christians? Are they free in Iraq? Why are we funding all of the Reconstruction when the Iraqi government has billions untouched? When we get an electrical grid working, or a school built, why are they destroyed? Why weren’t the surrounding countries helping to establish a stable government in Iraq? Finally after Obama has repeatedly stressed getting neighbors to talk together about what should happen in the region, it is starting to happen, over the protests of members of our present administration.

    The hope is that each voter will decided, based on facts, what path our leaders should follow here and internationally, remembering what has made our country great.

  15. alex said on August 29, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I have a feeling that whatever McCain’s pick does to energize the right, her thin resume will catapult moderate fence-sitters right into Obama’s corner. Jeff, today’s one of those days you could much more easily convince me there is a God.

  16. Colleen said on August 29, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    “we are better than this”.

    Yes. That’s what I’ve been muttering for the past 8 years. We can provide better, we should expect better, and we deserve better.

    Am listening to NPR coverage of the McCain Veep announcement, and Linda Wertheimer keeps saying “I can’t help but think this is a very strange decision”.

  17. Gasman said on August 29, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Jeff(tmmo)
    You sincerely disappoint me. So now waterboarding isn’t torture? We prosecuted Japenese soldiers as war criminals after WW II for waterboarding. It damn well is torture. If Bush/Cheney/Rumsfield/Gonzalez didn’t think it was torture, why the hell did they try so hard to cover up the fact that it was going on? The Bush administration has so debased the values that served this country well for 200+ years. We often have fallen short, but in the last 8 years we have abandoned any sense of national character. We torture, invade without cause, occupy, lie, bully, the list goes on. We are better than that.

    I see that you have also declared victory in Iraq. Hmm, I hadn’t gotten that memo. If you haven’t noticed, we are still in Iraq and troops are still dying. That doesn’t sound like any victory that I’ve ever heard of. The rate of U.S. casualties is down, but to attribute that to the much vaunted “surge” is ludimacrosity. It has more to do with the massive amounts of payoff cash that the U.S. has doled out to factional leaders. We’ve bought off the main thugs for awhile, but that is certainly no guarantee of victory.

    You also cannot discount the fact that concomitant to the surge was a whole slew of Democrats – including Obama – and a few Republicans openly talking about some sort of timetable for getting our troops out. The Iraqi leadership can see the handwriting on the wall. They fully understand that a Obama victory will mean that they will have to take control on their own. Interestingly, Bush, who has steadfastly dismissed any discussion of timetables has now agreed to implement that idea, albeit under a different name. A rose is a rose.

    The last four Republican presidents have been total fuckups that have ignored the rule of law. The last three have generated 70% of the national debt in our 232 year history. Clinton, warts and all, erased the Reagan/Bush I debt. W not only squandered the Clinton surplus, he surpassed the previous debt by huge margins. This should dispel the laughable fiction about Republican fiscal responsibility.

    I am sick and tired of the arrogance and lies. I am sick and tired of the smug sense of self righteousness. I am sick and tired of the notion that Republicans in power don’t have to respect and defend the constitution. Most of all, I am sick and tired of the galling hypocrisy that ya’ll routinely employ by ignoring or defending these unpatriotic despots and their crimes. John McCain has vacillated between enabler and willing participant in the Republican rape of America. God damn him and go to hell.

    There is genuine passion with Obama supporters. Hasn’t been anything like it since JFK. Who is passionate about McCain? The only McCain supporters I encounter are lukewarm or are those who simply won’t vote for anyone other than a Republican since Rs are always better. I say to you that Obama and Biden are going to win. Deal with that.

  18. jcburns said on August 29, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    waterboarding = not what we do = not what makes us respected in the world = not worth the moral cost = a sign of a failed policy = the last resort of cowards = torture.

    To quote the guy last night: “Enough!!”

    Enough.

  19. moe99 said on August 29, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Since everyone else has done such a good job pointing out the falsities in Jeff’s arguments re ‘winning’ in Iraq and waterboarding ain’t torture, I will just say, “Me too.” Happy Labor Day weekend to all.

    on edit:

    here’s what Glenn Greenwald has to say and it’s indirectly a response to Jeff as well:

    “…As one would expect them to be, virtually all of the prime-time speeches at the Democratic Convention have been — from a rhetorical perspective — very well-crafted and well-delivered. Bill Clinton’s speech, in particular, deserves all the plaudits it is receiving, both in terms of content and delivery. But as competent, well-executed and even dramatic as the Convention has been, at least as striking is what has been missing.

    First, there is almost no mention of, let alone focus on, the sheer radicalism and extremism of the last eight years. During that time, our Government has systematically tortured people using sadistic techniques ordered by the White House; illegally and secretly spied on its own citizens; broken more laws than can be counted based on the twisted theory that the President has that power; asserted the authority to arrest and detain even U.S. citizens on U.S. soil and hold them for years without charges; abolished habeas corpus; created secret prisons in Eastern Europe and a black hole of lawlessness in Guantanamo; and explicitly abandoned and destroyed virtually every political value the U.S. has long claimed to embrace….”

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/08/28/dnc/index.html

  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 29, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    There is a God, and she has (whoops, She) a wicked sense of humor.

    Nota bene: all of us who re-occur here as regulars do so, i assume, because we have a certain number of shared interests. That’s how i feel about this blog, our blogmistress, and youse guyz generally.

    This is a political season. I want to keep my own political notation to a minimum, and my only real desire here is not to convert anyone, but just to keep pointing out that there are Bush supporters and McCain advocates who are not drooling, deluded, straw-chawing, sister-molesting doofuses. We even have reasons and arguments, and i’m delighted to explain them, but not in the spirit of insisting that you agree with me before i think you’re not a moron.

    And i don’t want to be tiresome in defending what some of you clearly think is indefensible — but i want to be persistent in reminding folks that there are people who aren’t taking signals from Dobson or Buchanan through their fillings, but actually are conservative for reasons, not just by temperament (or mental deficit). You don’t have to accept the reasons, just don’t keep saying these are positions that only Rovian automatons could take.

    When Nancy tells me i’m a total buzzkill, i’ll shut up. You’re a good crowd over coffee or late night Guinness, and i do appreciate y’all, and hope i add some seasoning to the mix.

    McCain-Palin: We get to use the word Iditarod in campaign coverage now! (is that better?)

  21. MichaelG said on August 29, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Last time it was Kerry. A guy who tried to be on all sides of every question; tried to be everything for everybody and ended up alienating everybody starting with me. And yet, he still came damn close. The guy was so bad you couldn’t get an answer from him about where the sun rose. After a few weeks of his campaign, I was surprised that he was even agreeing that he was, in fact, John Kerry not just allowing that he might be John Kerry. If he were asked how many homes he owned he wouldn’t even admit he lived in one. He didn’t run to win the election, he ran to not lose. He couldn’t even be bothered to stand up for his own personal self-respect. He may have been a hero in Vietnam but he was sure no hero in 2004. Before him was Gore, another charisma challenged stiff (ideas are no good if you can’t do something with them) who also didn’t run to win but ran to not lose. They were just like that doomed prevent defense employed by two point leading teams in the fourth quarter of a football game. And Gore ended within an eyelash of making it. Then came Obama. From that terrific speech last night, it appears that, finally, at long last, there’s a Democratic candidate who is willing to play to win, willing to fight for his candidacy and for his own personal dignity. Obama stood on his hind legs like a man and said something last night, an act which neither Gore nor Kerry were capable of doing. I hope he keeps it up.

    Palin sounds like a desperate bid to grab the disaffected Hillary hold outs.

    Jeff, that was a wacked out comment. Sounds like you and Brooks

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/29/opinion/29brooks.html

    have been drinking the same Kool Aid.

  22. jcburns said on August 29, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    I guess Jeff, the part I have trouble understanding, is that when you hear “we did waterboarding,” “we’re not going to play by the Geneva convention,” “we’re going to bypass FISA and create a culture where the government data mines everything and everyone,”…do you cheer? Do you get a warm glow of silent satisfaction? I honestly am trying to connect to how you feel, because all I feel is deep embarrassment about what’s being done in the name of security, in the name of our country.

    I am sad when I see the pictures of abuses, or hear Cheney defend them. I literally ache. And I saw a stadium of people who have a similar reaction.

    I don’t want to dismiss anyone’s position, I’d like to have SOME connection to what you’re feeling. Are you really…REALLY proud of these choices that have been made in our name?

    McCain 2000, I firmly believe, would not have been proud. He knows what torture feels like. He would ache and feel sad. He would not have created a government that violates our rights as much as the current one has in the last 6 years or so.

    McCain 2008 baffles me. I see a man who has given in to a political bargain to get a prize.

  23. moe99 said on August 29, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    here is info from a wikipedia entry (that seems to have been taken down recently) on Palin that is interesting to me:

    “On September 11, 2007, the Palins’ eighteen-year-old son Track, eldest of five, joined the Army.[7] He now serves in an infantry brigade and will be deployed to Iraq in September 2008. She also has three daughters: Bristol, 17; Willow, 13; and Piper, 7.[8] On April 18, 2008, Palin gave birth to her second son, Trig Paxson Van Palin, who has Down syndrome.[9] She returned to the office three days after giving birth.[10] Palin refused to let the results of prenatal genetic testing change her decision to have the baby. “I’m looking at him right now, and I see perfection,” Palin said. “Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?”[10]”

  24. MichaelG said on August 29, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Gasman and JC, nice comments, certainly more thoughtful responses than my kinda smartass one.

  25. caliban said on August 29, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Palmer Woods? Almost Oak Park. Right next to Ferndale. Time back way back I came within an inch of a hole in one on the 14th hole at Palmer Park.

    Politics? Does raining down bombs make you a war hero instead of the guy that pulled buddies out of firefights? Did McCain ever stand up against the Swift Boaters? There is no question that was the saddest episode in the history of American politics, and it surely proved voters are just as stupid as HL ever impugned. (I know, impugn is a transitive verb, but so is torture.) McCain stands for torture, and he took credit for Kerry’s accomplishments in recognizing Viet Nam and returning vets’ remains to the US.

    Here’s the deal as I see it on the McCain gravitas. His so-called maverick status came mostly from Kerry’s aggressive prosecution of the Raygun gang. Before that, McCain was best known nationally for being in bed with a savings and loan rapist. If John McCain had a remote understanding of honor, he wouldn’t suck up to people that slandered him in disgusting racist fashion, and he would have stood up to his Millionaire Partay when they slandered an actual war hero.

    Now McCain’s got the gun-mom, PTA-toting mayor of Cicely for a running mate. If she had money and peroxide, I’d say Cindy should worry. She is younger. I suppose her qualifications for the VP job are baby factory, PTA and gunshow credibility. Having a bunch of kids is a decidedly good thing. My mom had five. But she was too smart for charlatan’s like the Arizona beer baronette. She is undoubtedly connected to Ted Stevens. She’s also an idiot that thinks the six months worth of oil in the North Slope is worth trashing the Bay of Alaska.

  26. Dwight said on August 29, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    a no-win war

    Sugar, do you not own a television?

  27. brian stouder said on August 29, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    reminding folks that there are people who aren’t taking signals from Dobson or Buchanan through their fillings

    Well, the governor of Alaska is indeed described as a “Buchananite” …..

    just sayin’

  28. LA Mary said on August 29, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    My thoughts on this choice are far too cynical. I’m sure my opinion of the Repubilcan party in general is what leads me to believe that we’d be seeing a black VP candidate if Clinton got the Democratic nomination.
    I don’t think the Democratic party manipulated the primaries and caucuses to bring the choice down to a black man or a woman. I do think the GOP told McCain to choose a woman to catch any Hillary supporters who were more interested in the gender of their leadership than the ability to lead.
    Go ahead and dump on me for thinking this.

  29. Danny said on August 29, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Jeff, I won’t be able to join the reindeer games today, but keep up the good work. At first blush, it looks like another win for us “good guys.”

    Me, I’m off to the beach to ride some waves and play some volleyball. Meanwhile, the liberal wrecking crew here can have fun writing a few more billion paragraphs about “pissing on graves” and all that other fun stuff they like to chat about.

    Ohhh….the horror….

  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 29, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Was it here or Amy Welborn’s blog i mentioned Sarah Palin four months ago? I swear i did (my wife will vouch for me, having called excitedly on hearing the news this am, who also remembered me saying words to the effect “they won’t have the guts to nominate her, but she’d be a great Veep pick.”)

    Alaska shares a border with Russia, btw. I don’t want to dump on anyone, but i don’t think “the GOP” tells Johnny Mac much, which they don’t like and part of what i like about him. And i’ll repeat, i’m not distraught by the idea of Obama winning. Could be, could be a good thing, but i’m delighted by the prospect of “McCain-Palin: Shooting Moose in our Gardens since 1984!”

  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 29, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Whoops, Harl mentioned her in April, and i never followed up at this blog. Nevermind.

  32. LA Mary said on August 29, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Jeff, I think the GOP has been telling McCain lots. Whatever maverick credentials he had were traded in for party support a few years back. I used to respect him, but he realized he needed to fall into line on most things to have any chance at running for pres again. There certainly are plenty of party leaders who don’t like him, but he’s a party man.

  33. ellen said on August 29, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    The GOP is getting to dictate plenty to McCain right now. Who do you think is bankrolling next week’s party? Who do you think will be remotely directing the 527’s that McCain is going to depend on for media time once his campaign switches to federal funding next week?

    Palin is a campaign-political choice dressed up to look like “maverick.” It shows how far down its ranks the GOP had to reach for “not yet another white guy in a tie.”

  34. Gasman said on August 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Danny,
    What mystifies me is why there has been zero outrage in the Republican Party over what has occurred in the last 8 years. I have not heard boo regarding any of the legion of illegalities, excesses, or just plain screw ups. Why?

    When the Rs told us it was imperative to impeach a president who lies, no matter how trivial the subject, too many bought it. This was followed by a deafening silence when Bush did nothing but lie, and the subjects he lied about had life and death consequences.

    A couple of apropos quotes from Sir Edmund Burke, the father of modern conservatism:
    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

    As I see it, Republicans as a whole value power and winning more than they value any of the precepts from the constitution or the Declaration of Independence. They become apoplectic at the slightest misstep of their political opponents, but seem to be utterly incapable of recognizing mendacity, incompetency, chronic illegality, and even acts of evil if they are committed by Republicans. If ya’ll aren’t moved to outrage by the last 8 years, what does it take?

    I have done much scholarly research surrounding the Holocaust for both my dissertation and current artistic projects and I have always been mystified by how the German and Austrian people could let the Nazi scourge take place. How is it that the culture that gave us Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Göthe, Brahms, etc. could produce such malevolent and brutal inhumanity?

    I was comforted by the notion that I lived in a country that would never demonize people because of their religion. I took pride in the fact that my country would never invade or occupy another nation without just cause. My heart swelled with pride knowing that my country would never torture or abuse prisoners of war, because we are not like that. We hold sacred the notion of habeas corpus. We would not conceivably ever tolerate the prospect of prisoners being held without charge, without access to lawyers, without out prospect of ever being released. Why? Because we are Americans and we are better than that.

    And then I awoke and remembered the last 8 years. I am ashamed. We all should be ashamed.

  35. Kirk said on August 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I have to believe that Palin would be an improvement as vice president in at least one way: She probably knows enough not to get drunk and shoot her friend in the face when she goes hunting.

  36. michaela said on August 29, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    LA Mary, I am exactly as cynical as you are. And I seriously, seriously hope those Hillary supporters are too smart to take the bait.

  37. alex said on August 29, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Hillary supporters support Hillary because she’s progressive, not because she has a snatch. A neanderthal with a snatch is not going win them over.

  38. Julie Robinson said on August 29, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    I also share LAMary’s cynicism. No way would Palin have been chosen were she a man. Part of her CV is runner-up in Miss Alaska or some other beauty pageant, and during her speech I kept hearing the voice of a cheerleader during a high school pep rally.

  39. LA Mary said on August 29, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    If someone considers themself a feminist and that’s why they supported Hillary, they should realize how anti-feminist it is to add a woman to the ticket just because she’s a woman. Hillary had a lot more CV than Palin does.
    On a superficial, catty note, what is up with her kids’ names? They all sound like soap opera characters.

  40. ellen said on August 29, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    LA Mary: Those names are pretty standard for conservative flyover American suburbia. All of them would fit right in at my kids’ school in suburban TX. And their mom could be our PTO president.

  41. Cynthia said on August 29, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I would think you ladies would be happy to have a woman nominated as VP, what with the glass ceiling and all. I guess the only good woman are Democratic and ugly.

    Jeff MMO, I agree with you 95%. The other 5% is that I will be very sad if Obama gets elected.

  42. LA Mary said on August 29, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Cynthia, I would be a lot happier if it didn’t look like a completely cynical move to get disaffected Hillary voters. It’s not a pro-woman thing at all. It’s assuming Hillary supporters are so mindless they’ll vote for anyone with a vagina.

  43. coozledad said on August 29, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Alex: That’s just it. She’s a piece of totty. I can see the subtext of McCain’s Ambien influenced speech now…(Cue some Aaron Copeland stuff)…
    Benny Hill had a dream, that someday strippers and presidents would walk together, leading a country with more than its fair share of daddy-complex maladaptives. And lo, the fishnet hose were to be seen in abundance, and the ass was addressed swiftly and smartly with the lash. Grown men genuflected before high leather boots with wagging tongues, not because of the content of the boots, but solely for the smell of the warm, distressed hide.
    Benny Hill had a dream, that questions such as “If we refuse Red Cross inspections, doesn’t that mean our kids will be tortured routinely in grim isolation?” would be answered confidently with “Of course Brown people are going to torture our kids. It’s part of the price our kids have to pay to keep 1% of us filthy rich.”
    Benny Hill had a dream, that doddering old men would never be separated from either the levers of power or young strippers, regardless of their level of incoherence, infirmity, or moral imbecility.
    Now Benny never made it to the promised land, but he had a hell of a show, and I still crack up every time I hear Yakkety Sax.( I’m going to let the bitch on in a minute, just give me another minute, you cunts.) Just get the fuck out there and break some arms this November 4th, keep us in there, and you’ll never have to worry about anyone calling you a throwback again. Now here’s Sarah with the snake dance.
    Hit it, Daddy Yankee…

  44. caliban said on August 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Brooks & Dunn? I would have preferred Wycleff or Willie. But if the Gross Old Petroleums trot out Lee Greenwood again, the deal would be done if American voters weren’t so damn stupid.

    Babbling heads are bloviating (isn’t that a superb word? I don’t think it actually has any etymology, kinda like the NRA lady that is supposed to draw Hillary bitter-enders.) about John McCain’s newest younger woman.

    First impression, wow, if you’re not looking at the TV screen, you’d expect the Flying Nun. First thing, after killing the lawyers (thank you Dick the Butcher), ask her about kits for making weapons full auto, and how she spells potato.

    We felt dreadful and perilous, in the true Tolkien sense of those words, when Blackwell stole Ohio. And it may not be Mordor, but gutdom the Republicans have come close. The fact that they’ve couched upward migration of wealth and ease into a shrinking percentage is disturbing enough, but do they have to denigrate and insult the intelligence of the bottom 99 by hijacking the idea of Christianity? Peggy Noonan, Camille Paglia, Jean Schmidt, not available, I guess.

    Really, this choice is so cynical and transparent, it’s kind of amazing the nation doesn’t barf in unison. Sarah Palin believes a woman’s place is biscuits in the oven, in a tree stand, standing by a man that calls his wife a c#nt (could somebody ask her opinion on that choice of words?). But Ted Nugent is whacking off.

    If McCain’s strategists think this Stepford Wife is going to attract disgruntled female Hillary proponents, they’re dumber than McBane is senile.

    Michaela and LAMary, Hillary supporters that held a grudge had a point. The garbage alleging racism about the Clintons was crap, and she was denigrated for being a woman. I don’t think they care, because the Clintons care about the direction of the USA.

    One way or another, voters have to consider who it is they’ll be comfortable with running the country. Obama? Sure, he’s Jack all over. Biden? You know that Kinnock speech, well he quoted it 12 times and attributed it 12 times. So that’s kinda bullshit and it sure doesn’t get to Keating Five territory. McCain? Republican neocon base hates him (which is a benefit). Phalin? GOP woman. Intelligent women would never vote for Republicans because that party is malignant toward women.

  45. alex said on August 29, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I mean, she’s like, so… Second Amendment Sisters. Remember those? The Republican antidote to the Million Mom March?

    My visceral impression is that she’s been chosen for her white trash swagger and her pageant runner-up looks, both of which will go a long way toward exciting the basest of the GOP base. But I think it’s also McCain’s concession that this race is really a lost cause.

  46. MichaelG said on August 29, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig. Really? These are ordinary sounding names in the so called “Heartland”? I guess I’ve been sequestered in California for too long. Is she Mormon?

  47. LA Mary said on August 29, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Alex, even without her I don’t think McCain’s a lost cause. There are a lot of people who either won’t vote for a black man or think Obama is a secret muslim.

  48. Jolene said on August 29, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    On the governor’s choices of names for her children, from Andrew Sullivan’s blog:

    ” ‘Willow’ was Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s best friend and ‘Piper’ was the [second] sister on the series Charmed played by [Holly Marie Combs]. The governor obviously has a penchant for television shows of paranormal female empowerment.”

    “Willow and Piper are both witches. Good witches.”

  49. LA Mary said on August 29, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    She’s from Sandpoint, Idaho. I don’t know if that’s a Mormon part of the state or not. I’ve been there, long ago. I went skinny dipping in Hayden Lake with an Alaskan there. An old boyfriend from college days.
    It’s near Spokane. It was a neo-Nazi hangout for a while, but Sarah Palin’s parents had moved away by then.

  50. caliban said on August 29, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    LAMary: I supported Hillary, never held animus for Barack. She knows what to do about health care, and in the long run, she’ll make Barack listen. I’ve always thought the idea of feminism was less compelling than equal rights. It’s a single human race. I kind of think that idiotic foriegn policy isn’t the province of guys. Margaret Thatcher was a true asshole, and although she wasn’t tested, we’re all supposed to assume she was female.

    Anyway, this idiot has brought out McCain’s military service. He was a pilot. He rained down death. John Kerry pulled wounded buddies out of the MeKong. Who’s a war hero? When they got home, Kerry questioned the government, McCain stood with the Swift Boat Liars. Who’s a hero? If you don’t get this, you shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

  51. brian stouder said on August 29, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    SHE’S SECRETLY A DEVIL WORSHIPPER!!!

    Quick – start an e-mail “pass this on” chain letter!!

    “The Truth About Palin the Pagan”

    or

    “McCain’s Wiccan Running Mate”

    (On second thought – don’t)

  52. Jolene said on August 29, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Sarah Palin is an evangelical Christian, not a Mormon. So, she is red meat for the base: anti-choice, pro-gun, and the right kind of religion.

    James Fallows has this to say:

    “The Palin pick is not like the choice of Dan Quayle: But it is exactly like the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. That is, an unbelievably obvious but potentially effective attempt to jiu-jitsu the standard identity politics of the moment in a way that flummoxes the Democrats . . .

    The image to have in mind is not Dan Quayle: a person with quite a bit of grounding in national issues who was added to the ticket in an attempt to jazz it up. 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 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.”

  53. LA Mary said on August 29, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Caliban, I’m just a little insulted that the GOP thinks women will vote for a woman, just because she’s a woman. Remember when Bush 1 named Quayle as his running mate and mentioned that his looks would be appreciated by the ladies? Jeez.

  54. Hattie said on August 29, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    She’s short and cute, but can she spell potatoe?

  55. Beth said on August 29, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Too bad Tina Fey’s not on SNL anymore. Palin looks just like her.

  56. jcburns said on August 29, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Oh, Sandpoint, Idaho. That is some seriously conservative territory. And (NOT LUMPING PALIN IN HERE, but..) those who find Sandpoint not white-supremacist enough often take off…to Alaska.

    On the other hand, they have (had?) a restaurant there called ‘Spud.’ Everything and I mean everything on the menu: you guessed it. Mmmm…..potatoes.

  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 29, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    My impression was that the Palins were Catholic, but i’m not certain. (JC, you are too correct about Sandpoint and odd valleys of Alaska and a goodly chunk of their occupants.)

    And it’s not about all Hillary supporters, but a goodly chunk of Hillarycrats are semi-sorta-pro-life or very uncomfortably pro-choice-if-we-choose-less-abortion. That compromise was always part of the Hillary support: we’re not crazy anti-abortion nut-jobs, but we want Dems who don’t sound all thrilled about voting for expanded abortion rights & services. Those are the Hillary supporters McCain thinks are in play, and calling them religious theocrats doesn’t pull ’em your way. They’d rather have a restrained liberalism with a chastened acknowledgment that abortion is no where near “rare” (as in “safe, legal, and” — thank you Bill), but they’re more willing to vote “pro-life” than swing strongly “pro-choice.”

    Don’t write off those voters as mindless drones, because there are lots of them. Lots and lots and lots, and they mostly support Dem positions (so they must think some, right?), but too easy an accommodation with increasing abortion numbers makes them ruefully vote R.

    I’m not hammering on a point i’m wanting to make per se, but raising a political point. This is the stance of a major portion of the American public, especially women.

  58. alex said on August 29, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    One other thought crossed my mind that would perfectly explain the choice of Palin, perhaps even better than the idea that the GOP thinks its base wants some NRA T&A:

    No one else wanted the job.

  59. moe99 said on August 29, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    http://mudflats.wordpress.com/2008/08/29/what-is-mccain-thinking-one-alaskans-perspective/

  60. Kirk said on August 29, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Palin is a member of the Assemblies of God Church.

  61. Judith said on August 29, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    We have heard Hillary Clinton campaign, we have watched Hillary Clinton in the Senate, we have followed Hillary Clinton around the world, and Sarah Palin, you’re no Hillary Clinton.
    (With thanks to Lloyd Benson)

  62. Catherine said on August 29, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Jeff, you have eloquently (more so than I could probably be) described my personal position on abortion. Would I want one of my daughters to have one? No. Do I want my daughters to have the choice? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! And I will never, ever vote for someone who would deny them control over their own bodies. Period. This is a wedge issue for me, but not in the way you describe. I think you’re off base here.

  63. Catherine said on August 29, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    PS to Jeff: I don’t know where you’re getting your info on “increasing abortion numbers,” but the ones I’ve seen indicate a decrease in the number of abortions, as of 2005, back to mid-1970s levels (shortly after it was legalized). At the same time, the population grew significantly, so as a percentage it’s even lower. Hardly indicates abuse, to me.

  64. Linda said on August 29, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Jeff:
    We didn’t “win” Iraq. We are now seeing everybody going back to their corners before they duke it out again. The Kurds won’t give up Tikrit, and they won’t give up their militia. Sadr is calling his militia a social service agency, for right now. And Maliki is going after the Sunni tribesmen that we bribed to be our friends. That’s why he wants us out, and is using the UN mandate for leverage. This is not going to a good place.

    Re: the Republican pr stunt. Picking someone with no national experience stole the headlines from Obama for a day, but if McCain wins–and dies in office–we are stuck with the consequences for a long time. But that is typical of the current GOP people. They do not have a suspicion of government, like old-fashioned conservatives, but a contempt for it. They are poor at long-term consequences–like how to run a country once you conquer it, or appointing competent people to run FEMA–but they are as sharp as a tack at gathering power and milking money from the government. At bottom, they don’t believe the government can or should do anything good, and that it was created for a useless or evil purpose, and so they do no good with it. Putting the current GOP in charge of government is like putting vegans in charge of a meat packing plant.

  65. moe99 said on August 29, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Oh, and one more thing, Jeff. If waterboarding is not torture, then why are we hailing McCain as a national hero?

  66. regina said on August 29, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Oh, and one more thing, Jeff. If waterboarding is not torture, then why are we hailing McCain as a national hero?

  67. basset said on August 29, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    well, if this is indeed her…

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2351/1903451448_635a36aed2_o.jpg

  68. Howie said on August 29, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    That was a fine speech last night, but I’ve heard good speeches before. (Jesse Jackson, Clinton 1992, Bush post 9/11, Obama 2004, etc) I think Nancy’s observation are dead on: convention speeches are about spectacle and mood, not policy. And I’m too practical to care much about spectacle. But spectacle gets delegates fired up, which in turn gets candidates elected, which I suppose is practical. It also gives the other side plenty of ammo for the idealistic promises that no honest person would promise, unless it was looked past because everyone assumed it was spectacle.

    The Palin choice reminds me more of Geraldine Ferraro than Clarence Thomas. In one corner, a charismatic frontrunner (Reagan/Obama) is aligned for victory. The underdog party nominates a default punching bag (Mondale/McCain), who selects an unqualified woman for veep, so now at least his party can claim that they have done so.

  69. Terry WAlter said on August 30, 2008 at 5:41 am

    The Republicans at least ran their inexperienced one as vice president, not pres. Tell me how the choice of that windbag tired old war horse Biden was anything but cover for the paper thin resume of The Messiah. Lets see now,some on here were saying how sexist Republicans would never vote for a woman. Yeah, note the muted response she got? Everybody was just sitting on their hands. And if Republicans got the idea they could grab votes just because she is a woman, where did that come from? One of the most appalling/amusing spectacles of the primaries was watching some black women agonize over their choice. Should I vote for Uh-bama because he is black, or Hillary because she is a woman? Hey airhead, try considering policies. But what would you expect from people in a party with a certifiable airhead heading them in Congress.

  70. coozledad said on August 30, 2008 at 8:09 am

    McCain wanted his waterboy Lieberman, but Rove wouldn’t let him have him. In a fit of pique, he went with Bubbles. And that’s the way he’d do everything. Just another shit-slinging old fool.

  71. Suzi said on August 30, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Cynthia says:
    “I would think you ladies would be happy to have a woman nominated as VP, what with the glass ceiling and all. I guess the only good woman are Democratic and ugly.”
    If ugly counts, why didn’t the McCainiacs choose Anne Coulter for Veep?
    Whose payroll is Jeff the MMO on?
    We didn’t win in Iraq, everybody died or split.

  72. Judith said on August 30, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    Jeff TMMO
    “I’m pro McCain among many other reasons because I like the idea of tightening and defining down torture past waterboarding and I’m certain McCain will get that done and make it stick”.

    Thanks for clearing that up. I couldn’t believe you approved of torture! But I wondered long before the presidential campaigns started why McCain didn’t do more, faster to condemn and stop these unamerican activities? And what has he done about Guatanimo? What has happened to the prisoners taken to other countries for interrogation?

    And have all the comments submitted about the situation in Iraq caused you to reconsider your statement about winning in Iraq?

    RE: Sarah Palin–I’m listening to her and reading about her. My question thus far is how she would even address the leaders of countries such as those in the Mid-East, China, and Russia. She seems to be very opinionated and feel that her beliefs are right, with no room for listening to other viewpoints? I have not seen anti-Catholic remarks by her. But IF that part is true, how would those people of other religions fare? We have time to listen and evaluate this person who could be our president.