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Obama's speech includes more negative attacks than Palin's.

In an earlier post, I looked at the relative absence of sarcasm in Sarah Palin's attacks on Barack Obama and Democrats in her acceptance speech.

At 42 minutes, Obama's acceptance speech was only about 6 minutes longer than Palin's. In Obama's speech, there were only three statements that were probably sarcastic:

In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is — you're on your own.

Out of work? Tough luck.

No health care? The market will fix it.

Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps — even if you don't have boots.

These three assertions should probably be viewed as sarcastic because when he says "The market will fix it," he actually believes the opposite. The same applies to his statements about bootstraps and "Tough Luck." (However, these three statements might be viewed as not sarcastic because, though he is speaking sarcastically, these comments are part of a larger argument about the views prevalent in (Republican) Washington.)

Like Palin, Obama generally prefers to attack without using sarcasm. Also like Palin, Obama sometimes uses hyperbole to characterize his opponents' views.

Here are the other passages in which Obama attacks McCain, Republicans, or Republican administrations:

1. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the gates of hell — but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.

2. I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine.

3. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

4. John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time. Sen. McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than 90 percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.

5. For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy — give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.

6. America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this. . . . We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

7. The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives — on health care and education and the economy — Sen. McCain has been anything but independent.

8. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this president.

He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

And when one of his chief advisers — the man who wrote his economic plan — was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."

A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud autoworkers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners.

9. Now, I don't believe that Sen. McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle class as someone making under 5 million dollars a year?

10. How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans?

How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

11. It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

12. Well, it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.

13. Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach. These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

14. Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it. Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

15. Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years, and John McCain has been there for 26 of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels.

16. And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next commander in chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

17. For while Sen. McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11 and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights.

18. And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war. That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

19. John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice — but it is not the change we need.

20. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans — Democrats and Republicans — have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

21. So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

If one compares Palin's speech to Obama's, it appears to me that they used similar amounts of sarcasm (not much), but Obama made considerably more extensive negative comments about McCain and Republican administrations than Palin did about Obama and Democrats. Palin's negative comments, however, were on balance funnier, better written, and more pointed than Obama's. Neither candidate's comments were entirely fair in every characterization of their opponents' positions.

By continuing to spread false memes about the nature of Sarah Palin's speech as if they were true, the press marches forward in the most biased season of political reporting I've seen since at least 1998.

MartyH (mail):
THese speeches are aimed at their opponent's weaknesses. McCain's weakness is that he's a Republican; Obama's is that he hasn't accomplished anything. Thus, Obama tries to tie McCain to Bush and deflect the celebrity charge; Palin attacks Obama's experience and celebrity status.
9.5.2008 2:01am
Loophole1998 (mail):
So who do you think will win this thing, Obama or Palin?
9.5.2008 2:01am
Randy R. (mail):
"The Press" is not some monolithic organism. AP is currently run by a guy who wanted to work on McCain's campaign. but even before his tenure, AP has a history of being rather favorable and uncritical to Bush and the Republicans.

When it comes to Fox News, I don't think anyone could seriously consider them real journalists, so they don't count.

Now, considering the fact that the Repubs have controlled congress and the white house for most of the past eight years, and we have a prez whose ratings are the worst in history, you would think that Obama had plenty of negative comments. There's just too much to criticize there.

The difference between their two speeches in their negative comments is this: Obama's criticisms were broad, covering this administration's handling of everything from the war in Iraq, to diplomacy, to energy policy, to health care, and to the ecomony. Palin's negative comments were confined pretty much to Obama.

Oh, and to that big bad Press who actually asked questions of her that she didn't like.
9.5.2008 2:01am
js5 (mail):
Ah. tit-for-tat. Who is keeping score?
9.5.2008 2:02am
Angus:
A lot of these are really stretching it. I fail to see #2, 16, or 21 as inherently negative. #19 is a maybe in that it does say "bad strategy."

As for the others, most of them are policy oriented rather than questioning McCain's motives or his worth as a person. Most focus on McCain's or the Republican party's stands on specific issues or votes. I'd classify only #9, 11, and 18 (one word, "stubborn") as including anything personal.

Contrast that with Palin's mocking of Obama as lacking responsibility, being on an ego trip for self-discovery, his supposed two-face nature in campaigning, the language he uses in speeches, etc. Only a few of Palin's hits were about Obama's policies.
9.5.2008 2:08am
John McCall (mail):
Some of these are pretty questionable as "attacks".
9.5.2008 2:09am
courtwatcher:
Prof. Lindgren,
Why do you think adding up the numbers is the best way to evaluate this? Or do you? Is it possible, for example, that some of these comments are qualitatively more negative than others, or negative in different ways? Or that a direct attack on the sitting administration that doesn't include a reference to McCain is not comparable to an attack directly on one of the candiates by the other?
9.5.2008 2:10am
courtwatcher:
Another question: do you think that Westinghouse, Disney, GE, CNN, or Fox has a responsibility to base its reporting (or opinion and analysis) on a strict numerical definition of fairness, rather than on their impressions of the speech's tone and content? If so, from where does that responsibility emanate?
9.5.2008 2:14am
Randy R. (mail):
I totally agree with Angus -- many of them are simply saying this administration screwed up or is wrong. If a student says that 2 plus 2 is 5, you would say no, that's wrong. Would that be a considered a 'negative comment' toward the student? Apparently so.

"Neither candidate’s comments were entirely fair in every characterization of their opponents’ positions."

Okay. Which of Obama's charaterizations were not 'entirely fair"?
9.5.2008 2:14am
Nate in Alice:
Jim,

I'm sorry, but you've lost it. You simply cannot compare an artful attack based on policy with the petty barbs in Palin's speech (styrofoam pillars, fake seal, etc.).

Also, I wouldn't ascribe Palin's speech to her personally. She had almost nothing to do with writing it. For all we know, she is drier than a desert and enjoys physical comedy. We really know nothing at this point about how she prefers to attack.
9.5.2008 2:15am
MartyH (mail):
JS5-I think it's interesting to discuss who is negative and how they are negative, and why they are negative. Obama is clearly running against George Bush. His line of attack is, "They screwed it up. We're going to fix it." Palin's line of attack is, "Obama want to be crew chief of an Indy car when he can't even change his own oil yet." Obama used a bludgeon; Palin a rapier.
9.5.2008 2:17am
Randy R. (mail):
Marty, Marty, Marty....Don't you know that rapiers were swords used by the aristocracy of the 17th century? Bludgeons were the people's weapons -- cheap, easy to use by just about any body, and effective. The rapier required skill, talent, and training.

In other words, rapiers are for the elites, bludgeons are for the people. Why do you and Palin such elistists?
9.5.2008 2:20am
Randy R. (mail):
MartyH: "McCain's weakness is that he's a Republican."

Well, that, and the fact that most Americans don't like most of his policies either. Which is a pretty big weakness.

And you can hardly complain about running against Bush when McCain boasts of voting with him 90% of the time?
9.5.2008 2:23am
js5 (mail):
Randy, has it ever occured to you that maybe that 10% is what makes Bush a better president than whatever McCain could amount to? No attack here, just a thought that came to mind.
9.5.2008 2:25am
Tony Tutins (mail):

Palin’s negative comments, however, were on balance funnier,

If you think Palin's jabs were funny..... You may be a Redneckpublican.

(Apologies to Jeff Foxworthy)
9.5.2008 2:28am
courtwatcher:
js5,
I have yet to see any prominent Republican make that argument in this campaign season. Are they hiding that belief from the public at large? Perhaps the reason Bush didn't appear at the convention was the party's fear that he would remind us of how much better Bush is than McCain could be? Hard to imagine.
9.5.2008 2:30am
ScottS (mail):
Forest, meet tree.

Obama obviously respects McCain, and his political opponents, and has a long record of doing so.

Palin's speech was dripping with condescension. Not to mention a few outright lies.

Contrast and criticism are a necessary and vital part of politics. Ad hominem slander -- "my opponent would rather lose a war than an election -- is symptomatic of a disloyal opposition that has been reduced to propaganda. Did you hear? Republicans love their country. They manage to love the country while having contempt for nearly (or more) than half its citizens.

You can fool some of the people some of the time...

Nice strategy, folks.
9.5.2008 2:32am
Jim Hu:
McCain boasts of voting with him 90% of the time

Did he boast about it?! I know the Dems used the votes meme a lot, but I don't recall McCain boasting about this (IIRC by the time the R primaries were going, it seemed that everyone was distancing themselves from W). I also don't recall the D's claiming the McCain boasted about the statistical alignment with Bush.

I'm sure at some point (2004 R convention, for example) McCain boasted of supporting Bush about various things.
9.5.2008 2:34am
metro1 (mail) (www):
The book: "Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment on Its Ear" is now #12 on Amazon's Bestseller list:

Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment on Its Ear

Rock it, Sarah.
9.5.2008 2:39am
Angus:
Jim Hu:
In McCain's own words:
Video Link
9.5.2008 2:41am
Angus:
Trust metro to bring in something that has nothing to do with either of the speeches we are discussing...
9.5.2008 2:43am
jt007:
"AP has a history of being rather favorable and uncritical to Bush and the Republicans."

That's a laughable assertion. Perhaps in liberal fantasy land the AP is uncritical of Bush, but in reality the AP has repeatedly published liberal talking points disguised as journalism. As one example of thousands, Jennifer Loven has published scores of articles over the last 4-5 years that are nothing other than liberal hit jobs. She is married to a former Clinton official who was an advisor to John Kerrey's campaign. In one article, Loven even cribbed verbiage from her hubby's criticism of Bush [http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/007971.php]. Despite the subsequent rowback by the AP, it falsely reported that people booed at a 2004 Bush campaign event when Bush wished Bill Clinton a speedy recovery from heart surgery and that Bush didn't stop them. Nothing of the sort happened. [http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/007712.php]. The AP, like the New York times, like MSNBC, like CBS etc. has been nothing other than and adjunct of the Democrat party for the last eight years.
9.5.2008 2:44am
Angus:
The AP is not monolithic. It has more writers sympathetic to Democrats, but also some writers who will slant things towards Republicans.
9.5.2008 2:46am
Jim Hu:
Angus, thanks for the link.
9.5.2008 2:47am
TruthInAdvertising:
AP's Washington bureau is run by Ron Fournier. I'm sure there's no pro-McCain bias there.
9.5.2008 2:47am
joshers (mail):
This reminds me of a recent VC post... someting about apples and oranges... I think Orin wrote it??
9.5.2008 2:49am
Kevin Murphy:
By continuing to spread false memes about the nature of Sarah Palin's speech as if they were true, the press marches forward in the most biased season of political reporting I've seen since at least 1998.

I guess this is a taste of running against Putin in Russia. Only here they go in the tank voluntarily.
9.5.2008 2:55am
metro1 (mail) (www):
Angus:

The point is the same one I made in a comment under an earlier post:

Palin's popularity is going to blow-away all petty (and double-standard-based) bickering about whether her speech was "sarcastic." The Left and the mainstream media - while discussing "sarcasm" and "small town mayor" - are going to be caught flat-footed when McCain-Palin win the election.

There - that clear enough for you?
9.5.2008 2:56am
Jeff Boghosian (mail):
other passages in which Obama attacks McCain, Republicans, or Republican administrations:

21. So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

this is an attack on McCain?
9.5.2008 2:58am
Rowdy (mail):
Actually Palin's attacks were SPOT ON! And quite refreshing after hearing the RICH democrats screech about how the RICH are stealing from the poor...it was getting QUITE boring to watch such hypocrisy!

And after the media gnawing, gnashing party for 7 days, when NOBODY has vetted Obama and his anti-American activities...it also speaks of hypocrisy!

Main stream media has not even TOUCHED the suit filed in Federal Court to make him prove up his citizenship...again, very biased! Especially when so many Americans are demanding it.

Frankly Obama's bashing and rhetoric seemed more propaganda than motivational! I can go to church on Sunday morning if I wanted to be motivated to do what I know is right!
9.5.2008 2:58am
js5 (mail):
yeah, palin's attacks were spot on. they were spot on sophomoric. i'll at least give her credit for not saying, "your motha!".

the big opportunity to cut a swathe down obama's largely absurd views on economics was there. it was an EASY one. a gimme. and she failed to say anything but, 'oh he'll raise taxes". that's nice sarah, that's nice you know Hannity's talking points. But do you understand the fundamental problems of taxation? The consequences of raising them? Why did you not bring these up? (of course, i guess all comments made to her speech are made to her speechwriter).
9.5.2008 3:01am
Jeff Boghosian (mail):
if you're interested in press bias, priceless.
9.5.2008 3:02am
Clint:
Interesting that folks still want to compare Obama to Palin.

Would you say that Joe Biden's speech -- you know, the other VP candidate -- was less negative than Palin's?

Would you say that John McCain's speech -- you know, the other candidate for President -- was any less positive than Obama's?
9.5.2008 3:03am
Cold Warrior:
Palin = a young Ann Richards with North Country accent
9.5.2008 3:04am
Asher (mail):
I don't know. I thought the press was very friendly to her speech, which I thought was awful (and I'm rooting for her). I mean, Olbermann, wack job that he is, tonight called it "a three hit shutout in the bottom of the ninth," which, besides not making sense, is very generous.
9.5.2008 3:07am
Tony Tutins (mail):

Main stream media has not even TOUCHED the suit filed in Federal Court to make him prove up his citizenship...again, very biased! Especially when so many Americans are demanding it.

Oh, sure, having a Panamanian strongman in the White House doesn't bother you, but a Hawaii-born youth does. Talk about your double standards.
9.5.2008 3:14am
Tony Tutins (mail):

Interesting that folks still want to compare Obama to Palin.

Palin and to a lesser extent Obama are still the newcomers. McCain and Biden have both run for national office years ago.
9.5.2008 3:16am
MartyH (mail):
Asher-

The press was stunned. They were expecting Daisy Mae from the Berverly Hillbillies. They laughed when she was announced as teh selction. They dragged her family through every bit of mud they could find. They expected her to fold. And she rolled right over them without a bump.
9.5.2008 3:22am
Kazinski:
I don't know whether this continuing Palin - Obama bickering and comparisons hurts Obama or McCain worse. It is hurting Obama because the standard being set is whether Obama measures up to the junior member of the Republican ticket in terms of experience (about a tie), ratings (evidently Palin won), and speechifying (jury is still out). But even if you think Obama wins all three, just the comparison hurts him.

McCain is hurt, possibly, just because Palin has become such an instant star that she is outshining him and taking the focus off the top of the Republican ticket. However there are some pluses in this, any talk that McCain didn't know what he was doing when he picked Palin becomes ridiculous. If Palin was a poor choice why is the other parties Presdential nominee, and all of his supporters, trying so hard to compare Obama to her?
9.5.2008 3:23am
Z Jones (mail):
Thank you for the link, Jeff B.

Ah, politicians...
9.5.2008 3:30am
one of many:
Now, considering the fact that the Repubs have controlled congress and the white house for most of the past eight years, and we have a prez whose ratings are the worst in history, you would think that Obama had plenty of negative comments. There's just too much to criticize there.




It's things like this that make it hard to discuss across partisan lines anymore. The italicized portion is particularly relevant. I do believe that Randy R. actually believes this is true and people (including 'responsible' jounalists) have repeated this to him so many times that he actually believes it is true and uses it to justify his argument, however it just isn't true and gives him a distorted view of the current president's approval in historical terms.

Let me clarify, if you squint real hard and play fast and loose with definitions you can just about agree that there is way in which it might be true that the current Prez (sic) has the lowest approval ratings. There is a survey by ARG which give Bush II the lowest approval numbers ever given to a president, although they are also the highest numbers ARG has even give to a president (ARG has only given regular approval numbers to the current president, they may have done some intermittent polling of Clinton and no approval polling before that, also ARG is notorious for being way off from other polls). To get an accurate picture we should try to be as consistent as possible, which means using the numbers from Gallup, which although they have changed their methodology and will admit that the numbers cannot be used for strict comparisons at least puts us in the range of comparing Mackintoshes to Red Deliciouses instead of apples to oranges (or apples to car seats if we use the ARG numbers). Gallup has only been doing presidential approval polling since FDR, and not for all of FDR's term so there are only 11 presidents of the 43 for whom we have numbers, but since that is the best data we have we'll just have to suffer, and it should give us at least an idea of how Bush II rates approval wise.

What do the Gallup numbers show anyway about Bush II's popularity? Well Gallup has never had his approval rating dip below 30, where it is currently hanging. The last president to have an approval below 30 was George Bush, yes his father, 2 presidents ago the president had a lower approval rating that the current office holder. Of the 11 president who Gallup has produced numbers for the full term of, there are 4 who have had lower approval ratings than the current bum squating in the oval office. Yes, Bush II is the 5th most hated president of the last 11.

Wait, Bush II is less hated by the public than Bush I? This cannot be true, Bush II is the worst thing ever to happen and everyone hates him, or maybe not. Unless the last half century has produced the most despised presidents in US history, it might be more reasonable to conclude that as far as presidential approval goes, the current president is in the middle of the pack, maybe a hair below the middle (with sample size 1/4th of the total population I'd go safe with middle of the pack but wouldn't be upset with bottom of the middle).

This an entirely different picture of the landscape than dealing with the president with lowest rating in history. Now this doesn't mean there isn't a lot to criticize about Bush II, but it looks like he has the support of a fairly average amount of the population for a president, and he certainly hasn't turned the entire country against him and his policies.

But alas, enjoyable as it is to comment on how (mis)-perceptions distort people's view of things, I am experienced enough to know that people prefer to continue in their same patterns and dislike looking at things objectively. It does however make reasonable discussion difficult when you have to first decipher someone's worldview and then frame your arguments to fit it.



****"responsible' journalists has the scare quotes not to indicate partisanship but instead to indicate sensationalism, President has lowest approval ratings in history as recorded by a polling company with a real bad record or President has average approval ratings just doesn't have the zip of President has lowest approval ratings in history.
9.5.2008 3:35am
one of many:
"a three hit shutout in the bottom of the ninth,"


Maybe you had to see it, but just reading that description I cannot decide whether he is saying it was awful or good. Admittedly anyone who would say such a thing has serious problems with metaphor construction, did he also call it a one point hat-trick in the 3d period?
9.5.2008 3:44am
MQuinn:
Jim Lindgren,

I disagree with several aspects of your post. First, you say that Palin's negative comments were funnier. That's subjective, and likely colored by the listener's political perspective. Further, Obama's sarcasm was more general in nature, as his sarcasm was usually aimed at general policy points (e.g., the Washington establishment); conversely, Palin's sarcasm generally consisted of pointed indictments against Obama, which some might consider more funny.

Second, you say that this is the most biased media coverage in a long time. This is also colored by the listener's perspective. McCain, like Obama, has several glaring blemishes on his public and personal record (e.g., recent allegations of an affair with a lobbyist) that have gone largely unreported. However, one can not escape coverage of Obama's scandals. I assume that your media bias claim is aimed at the media's treatment of Palin. If this is the case, then you miss the mark. Palin -- unlike McCain, Obama, and Biden -- is new to the national political scene, she has never been subjected to the powerful national media's vetting, and the public has the right and desire to know who Palin is. Further, for every liberal news source you can name -- MSNBC, NYT, etc -- I can name a conservative news source -- Fox, WSJ, etc.

Thirdly, and this point has been made above, I am not sure that a tally of negative sentences is the right measure of the question at hand. Tone and criticism type if probably more important.

Fourthly, even if a tally is appropriate, the two speeches do not lend themselves to comparison. Palin's was shorter. Further, Obama's speech reached substance very quickly, while Palin's lingered on non-substantive matters for quite a while (if memory serves); thus, Obama had a much longer time period to make critiques, and thus it shouldn't be a surprise that Obama used more personal attacks.
9.5.2008 3:49am
Dave N (mail):
MQuinn,

I will bite. You mention the WSJ and Fox News. I'll toss in the Washington Times and New York Post for good measure. I'll even agree with the WSJ for the sake of argument because of its rather conservative editorial page--though its news coverage is not really conservative

You mentioned, MSNBC and NYT. I can add WaPo, Reuters, Boston Globe, the 3 major networks, and CNN. So by my count, 4 generally conservative media outlets versus 9 generally liberal media outlets. That means it's your turn to name 5.
9.5.2008 3:59am
JB:
Others have said, and I will repeat: Obama's criticisms of McCain were largely substantive criticisms of his policies. He may be rightly criticized for pointing out more problems than he points out solutions, and pointing out problematic solutions, but his attacks were full-on "I can run this thing better than he can" attacks. Palin's criticisms of Obama were petty and personal, not even offering substantive criticisms of his policies.

Jim Lindgren may see the latter as red meat, but I'm a republican vegetarian, and that's not even quorn.

(For the record, Jim's series of posts on Obama's "volunteerism" ideas was the most powerful criticism of Obama I've ever encountered, and pushed me from strong Obama support into more or less neutrality, so I know he can do it right. Let's have a few more of those, and he'll swing my vote entirely).
9.5.2008 4:09am
Wayne (mail):
Jim:

You have way too much time on your hands.
9.5.2008 4:44am
Fouad34 (mail):
I'm surprised everyone is so obsessed with Palin - what about McCain's speech tonight? If you're looking for sarcasm, how can you beat his line about not being "annointed" by history! I was dying when I played the quote at the link below!

History has anointed me to save our country
9.5.2008 5:04am
Ohio Scrivener (mail):
"By continuing to spread false memes about the nature of Sarah Palin's speech as if they were true, the press marches forward in the most biased season of political reporting I've seen since at least 1998."

The warning light on this issue started flashing a long time ago. During the primaries, the MSM was so far in the tank for the One, that even an SNL skit made fun of them.
9.5.2008 5:10am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
jt:

http://www.powerlineblog.com


I have a suggestion. Don't cite Power Line if you expect to be taken seriously. They are reliably unreliable. One of many examples can be found here.
9.5.2008 6:25am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
there are 4 who have had lower approval ratings than the current bum


That's one way to look at the numbers. Here's another one: pay attention to who has been at low levels very consistently for a very long time. You might get a different answer.

I'm merely saying that there isn't just one ideal way to look at the numbers, so you shouldn't pretend there is.
9.5.2008 6:27am
Anon1111:
MQuinn said:


Second, you say that this is the most biased media coverage in a long time. This is also colored by the listener's perspective. McCain, like Obama, has several glaring blemishes on his public and personal record (e.g., recent allegations of an affair with a lobbyist) that have gone largely unreported.



The McCain blemish" you mentioned was reported by the NYT even though they didn't have any real, you know, "evidence". Unlike Obama's Tony Rezko connections, which are, you know, "real" or his friendship with Bill Ayres, which also are "true."

And MQuinn also said:


If this is the case, then you miss the mark. Palin -- unlike McCain, Obama, and Biden -- is new to the national political scene, she has never been subjected to the powerful national media's vetting, and the public has the right and desire to know who Palin is.



Yes, because the MSM has been so tough on Obama. Like how they've blasted him repeatedly for, um....No I mean all the reports on his dealings with um....Or how they went after his wife &kids over...Hmmm, I seem to be drawing a blank. Perhaps you can enlighten us on how the MSM has been a hard-hitting dynamo when "vetting" Obama.


And MQuinn also said:



Further, for every liberal news source you can name -- MSNBC, NYT, etc -- I can name a conservative news source -- Fox, WSJ, etc.



Um, WSJ is conservative? Other than the opinion page, it's one of the most liberal papers out there. You've got Fox on the conservative side. Fox and, um....

On the liberal side, I can come up with, off the top of my head:

TV News:

NBC
ABC
CBS
CNN
MSNBC
BBC America
PBS
BET
Bloomberg TV

Newspapers:

USA Today
The Wall Street Journal
New York Times
Los Angeles Times
Denver Post
The Washington Post
Philadelphia Inquirer
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Boston Globe
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Cleveland Plain Dealer
San Francisco Chronicle
The Seattle Times
St. Louis Post
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The San Diego Tribune
The Baltimore Sun
Portland Oregonian
The Miami Herald
Kansas City Star
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Detroit News/Free Press
The Sacramento Bee
San Jose Mercury News
Fresno Tribune
Most certainly the local paper in your area

TV Programs that aren't really news that way too many people get their news from:

Daily Show
Colbert Report
Oprah
The View
ABC/NBC/CBS morning shows

Web News/News Aggregators:

Yahoo News/Yahoo front page
Google News
MSN

(those three are the web portals for the majority of web users, IIRC)
9.5.2008 7:38am
rarango (mail):
Once again we have proved that reality is in the eye of the beholder--for those criticizing Professor Lindgren's methodology--its called content analysis, a subset of analysis within qualitative analysis, and that is widely accepted as a valid methodology.
9.5.2008 8:09am
cirby (mail):

pay attention to who has been at low levels very consistently for a very long time.


Nancy Pelosi and the Congressional Democrats?
9.5.2008 8:18am
Big E:
JB is spot on. When Obama talked about McCain he spoke of policy issues, Palin on Obama was personal.
9.5.2008 8:19am
sputnik (mail):
thank you very very much for reminding me, how wonderful Obama speech was, and critical of the republican 8 years of governing.
Also how petty, nasty and not on the subject of the country problems Palin's speech was.
Also, thanks for reminding us , that you are extremely biased partisan
9.5.2008 8:37am
David Warner:
"JB is spot on. When Obama talked about McCain he spoke of policy issues, Palin on Obama was personal."

Welcome to representative government.
9.5.2008 8:42am
bikeguy (mail):

JB is spot on. When Obama talked about McCain he spoke of policy issues, Palin on Obama was personal

Palin had it tough if she had to comment on policy issues in regards to Obama. Obama really has no record of accomplishing anything substantive in his political career and adapts his (stated) policy positions to suit the current polling numbers.
9.5.2008 9:33am
rarango (mail):
Run the speech thru this and see how it turns out. And then tell me who was more negative.
9.5.2008 9:46am
ruralcounsel (mail):
Having not listened to either speech, but merely watched the blogosphere comment about them, my impression is ...

that Obama gave the kind of ideological speech that was targeted to excite social liberals; (if you hate GB, you'll love "O")

that Palin gave the kind of speech that addressed all the "outsider" and "unqualified" issues that the press had raised when they got caught flatfooted by her selection by making (in my view, valid) comparisons with Big O, and did so in a way that highlighted the philosophical differences between the parties ... which pisses Democrats off;

and that everyone views the speeches through their own political lens.

In the end, probably very few people that comment at this site are going to change their minds based on these speeches. But I think Palin has done a great job of diminishing Obama's attractiveness to the big bloc of ambivalent and generally disinterested voters who tend to vote for "celebrities". He looks much weaker and more ineffectual.

As for why his "policies" weren't countered by Palin, I'd have to say that I think it's because he doesn't have much of substance to go after. He's just the next pretty boy liberal to come along. He's all about amorphous nice sounding concepts like Hope, which to me come across more like Hype.

Palin is the only one of the four who comes across as a real ordinary person ... the other 3 are all career politicians. I think she's free of an awful lot of unfavorable baggage just because of that. And the press attacks just made that more evident, not less, which is why their criticisms have blown back into their faces (which is amusing to see their disgruntlement and surprise ... Here's a news flash for you Main Stream Media ... America hates you almost as much as it hates politicians!) "Sarcastic" is just MSM code for "bitchy", which they can't use because their hypocrisy would be too self-evident.
9.5.2008 10:05am
A.W. (mail):
Well, #2 seems more defensive than anything else. I don’t see how any of that attacks mccain.

And #10 is more like two attacks.

And 21 is defensive again.

In fact, I will stop and say that this is part of the jujitsu. Obama has a thin skin and I don’t think he looked very presidential being so defensive. He spent a lot of time tearing down, hoping you would assume he was better, but that was a mistake. After all, it is never good enough to say only, “he sucks.” You also have to say, “and I am better.”

Now compare and contrast that with Palin’s comment that a community organizer is like a mayor, only a mayor has responsibilities. That does two things. It pulls obama down, but it also picks her up.

Or compare guiliani’s evisceration of Obama’s response to Russian aggression, talking about how mccain got it right, right away, and Obama stumbled around, even with 300 advisors, and eventually came around to mccain’s position. Again, it tears down obama while lifting up mccain.

Obama did far too little of that.

And in response to the claim that Palin was more personal. The judged him for the content of his character and it came up wanting. I can’t believe there are millions of people in the Midwest who are thinking of voting for obama even after he insulted them. I find it amazing that he insulted the entire middle of America, and when she calls him on that, that people are bizarrely partisan enough to call that unfair. Obama was unfair. She just responded.
9.5.2008 10:13am
barney the liberal purple dinosaur:
Seriously, Jim, are you a law professor or a republican party hack? Lindgren thinks Palin is great; Obama is bad; the press is unfair? I don't believe it!
9.5.2008 10:15am
Anderson (mail):
Besides the cogent criticism of Jim Lindgren above, the post *also* completely ignores the context of Obama's speech.

McCain had gone relentlessly personal and negative on Obama for a month or two, with commercials suggesting that Obama was on the level of Paris Hilton, with accusations that Obama was a borderline traitor seeking to lose the Iraq war so that he could win an election.

Remember any of that, Professor Lindgren? Of course you don't.

Obama went into his speech facing a great deal of concern whether he would be able to "fight back" against McCain, or whether he was a spineless Dem liberal who could talk policy but couldn't put up his dukes when he needed to.

In that context, Obama's balance of the need to attack with the duty to keep his criticisms fair ... well, I think he did a damn fine job of it.

But he's not cute or perky.
9.5.2008 10:19am
Jed S-A:
Oh good grief, Jim. How many negative commercials did McCain run in the past 2 or 3 months?

Hell, your "2. I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine" alone shows your obvious bias, if not delusions. That line wasn't an attack against McCain, it was a defense against McCain's ad.

As for negative attacks, it's kinda odd, isn't it, that the Right Wing blogosphere has gone absolutely nuts over the past few days, saying that attacks on family members of candidates are out of line, and yet Michelle Obama has been taking shots from Republicans for the past several months? Moreover, it's odd that while her surrogates are claiming that Democrats going her family are way out of line, Sarah Palin's speech included the line about how she has always been proud of her country. What meaning does that line have beyond an attack at the Michelle Obama quote? So it's OK for the GOP VP nominee to attack the Democrat Prez-nominee's wife, but random, non-campaign affiliated people going after the GOP VP nominee's daughter, against the explicit instructions of said Democrat Prez-nominee, shows how he is an evil, desperate man. Right.
9.5.2008 10:30am
Sarcastro (www):

"By the way, I've been called worse on the basketball court. It's not that big a deal."


--Barak "thin skinned" Obama, attacking Sarah Palin.
9.5.2008 10:36am
Bandon:
Professor Lindgren,

Your comments on Palin and Obama seem to be biased enough that commenters are now questioning whether you are simply a Republican party hack. Your attempts at "objective" analysis of the candidates' speeches would be more convincing if you could reassure us that you are not advocating for one ticket or the other. So have you decided who you will support in November?

(In the interest of full disclosure, I strongly support Obama.)
9.5.2008 10:55am
Hoosier:
I'm getting the sense that some of our new friends define "Republican hack" as "supporter of the Republican ticket."

How does one respond to this sort attempt to exert the discursive hegemony of the constructed narrative of the insidious other, aside from once again reminding the would-be discursive hegemons that they are ignoring Searle's huge invisible ontology of constructed social reality that provides the individual consciousness with sufficient institutional facticity to resist a hegemonic reification of the left's proposed discursive normativity?

And I'm getting sick and tired of having to keep stating the obvious.
9.5.2008 11:09am
Floridan:
First of all, I can't believe I've wasted so much time reading this my mommy is tougher than your daddy drivel.

I am, however, somewhat fascinated with one comment:

"Palin is the only one of the four who comes across as a real ordinary person . . ."
At what point in our history did we decide that "ordinary" was the goal to strive for? Did it coincide with the popularity of Roseanne?

Perhaps what was meant was that she exhibited empathy for the issues important in the lives of the middle-class wage-earners, retirees on fixed incomes and single parents, among other "ordinary" people.

But to my mind, this is reminiscent of the "which candidate would you rather have a beer with?" tripe. Certainly this would not be a criterion for selecting a surgeon, accountant or lawyer, especially if one wanted to be healthy, wealthy and stay outside the slammer.

I would hope that Americans had somewhat loftier standards in picking a president.
9.5.2008 11:15am
Anderson (mail):
Palin is the only one of the four who comes across as a real ordinary person

Really?

Here's Obama's response to Palin's taunts about "community organizer":

"This is very curious," Obama said. "So this is work I did [20] years ago. They haven't talked about the fact that I was a civil rights lawyer; they haven't talked about the fact that I taught constitutional law; they haven't talked about my work in the state legislature or in the United States Senate. They're talking about the three years of work that I did right out of college as if I'm making the leap from two or three years out of college into the presidency.

"So, look, I would argue that doing work in the community to try to create jobs, to bring people together, to rejuvenate communities that have fallen on hard times, to set up job training programs in areas that have been hard hit when the steel plants closed. That that's relevant only in understanding where I'm coming from, who I believe in, who I'm fighting for and why I'm in this race. And the question I have for them is that why would that kind of work be ridiculous? Who are they fighting for? What are they are advocating for? They think that the lives of those folks who are struggling each and every day, that working with them to try to improve their lives is somehow not relevant to the presidency?

"I think maybe that's the problem -- that's part of why they're out of touch and they don't get it 'cause they haven't spent much time working on behalf of those folks."


Sounds like an ordinary, intelligent guy to me.
9.5.2008 11:29am
A.W. (mail):
Anderson

> Obama went into his speech facing a great deal of concern whether he would be able to "fight back" against McCain, or whether he was a spineless Dem liberal who could talk policy but couldn't put up his dukes when he needed to.

I got to say, I love how democrats only talk about fighting in the political context. They only talk about victory when it comes to elections. “Yes we can” on everything but winning the war in Iraq. Then it becomes “no we can’t.” Then suddenly they sound like Sir. Robin’s choir, in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “When danger reared its ugly head/he bravely turned his tail and fled.”

> In that context, Obama's balance of the need to attack with the duty to keep his criticisms fair ... well, I think he did a damn fine job of it.

See my criticisms above. Palin did a much better job of hitting obama and elevating herself at the same time.

And his attacks on McCain were so over the top to be laughable. Starting with his silly claim that McCain won’t get bin Laden. It discredited him.

> But he's not cute or perky.

Oh man, talk about drinking the koolaid. How many women have described his eyes as dreamy, and so on. Maybe he is not cute to you, which makes sense if you are a straight man, but you have to be a fool to ignore the women who drooled over him in that swimsuit, or Andrew Sullivan’s fantasizing.

Randy R.

Wow, this line is clueless:

> AP has a history of being rather favorable and uncritical to Bush and the Republicans.

Riiiiight.

> When it comes to Fox News, I don't think anyone could seriously consider them real journalists.

Okay try this. Which news organization reported more accurately on the national guard documents story?

Fox news. Game, set, match.

> Palin's negative comments were confined pretty much to Obama.

Well, that is right. because mccain is running, not the entire republican party. I am old enough to remember back when the Democrats wanted McCain to be Kerry’s vice president. Now today they claim he is Bush the third. It’s a sign of how much the left has drank the koolaid that you guys repeat that crap.

Do you guys ever stop to ask yourself why your support your guy and hate their guy? Does the thought ever get beyond “grrr… democrats good, republicans bad”?

Nate:

> You simply cannot compare an artful attack based on policy with the petty barbs in Palin's speech (styrofoam pillars, fake seal, etc.).

Its not petty to point out that the man is all talk. For instance, Obama is great at talking about bipartisanship, but when has actually done anything bipartisan. You don’t have to go with mere hope. In 3 years he could have built up some record of it. The man is so utterly partisan, he wouldn’t even allow a law banning infanticide to leave his committee.

And he is against corruption? Well, Sarah Palin has battled corruption. When has Obama done so? He came up from the Chicago machine but somehow never managed to see any corruption. How exactly does that work? That may be personal, but it is pointing out that his words don’t match his deeds. He’s a giant phony.

The man is an empty suit. I can’t believe you folks are falling for this.

ScottS

> Palin's speech was dripping with condescension.

Yeah, Obama was very respectful when he said small town people cling to god and guns. Or does it not count when he merely insults an entire group of people to which Palin belongs?

> Ad hominem slander -- "my opponent would rather lose a war than an election" -- is symptomatic of a disloyal opposition that has been reduced to propaganda.

Yeah, unless it is true. And it is. He is bound and determined to make sure we lose there, even though victory is in sight.

> Republicans love their country. They manage to love the country while having contempt for nearly (or more) than half its citizens.

And meanwhile obama has contempt for everyone who clings to God and guns in the small towns of America. I wonder what percentage of the population that would be?

Js5

> But do you understand the fundamental problems of taxation? The consequences of raising them?

Of course she does. She also knows the American people are smart enough to understand them, too, and not to condescend to them.

> i guess all comments made to her speech are made to her speechwriter

See, I find this entire stupid meme to be incredibly sexist. Do you really think Obama wrote his speech? Or biden?

Clint

To be fair, no one watched Biden’s speech. :-)

Tony

> Palin and to a lesser extent Obama are still the newcomers.

True enough. But you see Obama is trying to be president, like McCain, but he has trouble stacking up to Palin let alone McCain.

Marty

> And she rolled right over them without a bump.

It was like a Rocky movie, only in politics. It was cool.

Kazinski

> and speechifying (jury is still out).

Its pretty easy to know who won on the better speech, fwiw. Name two lines obama said in his speech. Personally I can only name one, that ridiculous bit about mccain not being willing to chase Osama. Now try to name two lines from Palin’s. She said things that are being remembered and talked about, and not for being bizarre and unfair. Point to Palin.

Ohio

> The warning light on this issue started flashing a long time ago. During the primaries, the MSM was so far in the tank for the One, that even an SNL skit made fun of them.

Because it was being directed against a fellow dem for once. But that is the beauty part. Those Hillary voters feel aggrieved, like their gal was treated unfair. So then mccain introduces a woman as veep and she is treated visciously. And best of all in ways that hit on women’s issues. Teen pregnancy. Or tasergate, where Palin was accused to trying to throw her weight around to remove a state trooper who tasered his son, beat Palin’s sister and threatened to killer Palin’s father. Most people would say to that, well, shouldn’t he be fired for that? And more importantly, women would say that—they would see in Palin a woman standing up to a wife-beater. Good for her.

McCain was smart to pick her, but bluntly I don’t think even he realized how well this would work out. I expected the media to be unfair, but my cynical mind was surprised at just how bad it was. And I can’t help but think those aggrieved Hillary voters will start to get a sense of déjà vu.

Juke:

Yeah, powerline was only right about the killian memos.
9.5.2008 11:31am
Suzy (mail):
The above analysis is really unfair and incorrect. Basically, Lindgren can't stand Obama. That's the loud and clear message of all these posts over the last few weeks. Can you play any other note?
9.5.2008 11:32am
MG:
It's clear that the primary message of the Repubilcan party is: "The press is biased against us, so don't believe anything negative you read, and take anything positive times two." It's a nice little strategy. It works for deflecting all blame. It's easy to convince people that the media are biased against them. How many people do you know who are convinced that the commentators (or sports columnists) are biased against their favorite team? Also it is somewhat self-fulfillng--if your primary message is that the media are lying scum, they're bound to develop some bias against you.

The pattern is repeated over and over. I have seen almost zero "MSM" that actually questioned Gov. Palin's qualifications, ability, or ethics based on her having a three-month old special needs child or a pregnant teen. Am I just missing it? On the other hand it seems like I see over and over angry, strident defenses from the vicious MSM attacks based on this.

Anyway, my opinion is that on average the print and television media do have a slight bias in favor of the Democrats (somewhat created by the Republican strategy), but that it is about one-tenth of what the Republican party makes it out to be. Furthermore it is evened out by what I view to be a similar pro-Republican bias on the radio, where at least in my area, it's virtually impossible to find anything other than a proudly conservative radio host.
9.5.2008 11:35am
josh:
"By continuing to spread false memes about the nature of Sarah Palin's speech as if they were true, the press marches forward in the most biased season of political reporting I've seen since at least 1998."

Uhhhhh .... Prof Lindgren, are you going to get around to writing a post about how Palin's speech caused the stock market to fall (see http://www.chicagotribune.com/business /chi-fri-wall-europe-asia-0905-sep05,0,694572.story), just like you wrote that it did as a result of Obama clinching the nomination (see http://volokh.com/posts/1212513723.shtml)????

Seriously, you need to check those complaints of the "most biased season of political reporting" .... Maybe you should try "biased reading" ...
9.5.2008 11:36am
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
A man is "assertive". A woman's a bitch.
9.5.2008 11:42am
fennel:
Jim -

Using some sort of quantitative analysis to measure the relative sarcasm of a speech is truly bizarre. (On par, I'd say, with grading a law school Torts exam by counting up thew number of times each student uses the words "negligence," "reasonable," "duty," and the like.) Of the many things in life that cannot be measured objectively, sarcasm has to be close to the top.

The bottom line: many people (in their personal and subjective opinions) find mocking someone's service as a community organizer more objectionable than saying "ownership society: you're on your own."

To say the least, your extremely novel methodology for measuring sarcasm does not support your conclusion that the media is biased. (Of course, the media can be an often is biased, but you just presented zero relevant evidence to make that point).
9.5.2008 11:44am
Joe from Dallas (mail):
Sure, it is exactly the same to compare Obama's critique of failed Republican policies to Palin's personal attack on Obama. I guess Republicans don't want policy discussion (it is worthless to discuss policy without pointing out that you disagree with the other party's policies and why). Instead, Republicans want each party to perform stand-up routines criticizing the other candidates personally.
9.5.2008 11:47am
The Ace (mail):
the Right Wing blogosphere has gone absolutely nuts over the past few days, saying that attacks on family members of candidates are out of line, and yet Michelle Obama has been taking shots from Republicans for the past several months?

Um, I'm quite sure the concern was the attacks on Palin's children.
But feel free to conflate the issue.
9.5.2008 11:50am
Observer:
Fennel -- To assess whether a speech was sarcastic, instead of making a blanket statement like most reporters, Lindgren looked at actual quotes that were sarcastic. The comparison looking at the actual quotes shows that neither speech was particularly sarcastic. There really is nothing objectionable here.
9.5.2008 12:03pm
Hoosier:
The "hands off community organizers" meme is transparent. The questions are: "What specifically did he DO?"; and "How do we know if he was any good at it?"

But you knew that already.
9.5.2008 12:06pm
Floridan:
The Ace: "Um, I'm quite sure the concern was the attacks on Palin's children."

I haven't seen any attacks on the children . . . I have seen comments on the irony of Palin (and McCain) advocating abstinence-only "education" and her own daughter getting pregnant -- but nothing directed toward the teenager.

Help us out -- give us some links to attacks on the Palin children.
9.5.2008 12:09pm
The Ace (mail):
it is exactly the same to compare Obama's critique of failed Republican policies to Palin's personal attack on Obama

I love the delusions people like you are under.

Um, which "policy" is this again?
give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.

Um, which "policy" is this again?
I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

Otherwise, you do realize that Palin was responding to criticisms of her experience coming from the Obama campaign, right?
9.5.2008 12:10pm
Arturo (mail):
So how soon do the libs want Palin to start comparing Democrat Nanny-State preferences to the Republicn preference for the market? And Republicn peace through strength rather than surrender now, no-conditions groveling before our enemies? Country first instead of blame America first... Like the Soviet nomenclatura, our Dem elites don't see what's coming...
9.5.2008 12:12pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

I'm quite sure the concern was the attacks on Palin's children.

I think we can all agree that Andrew Sullivan is an ass, because he spread that cockandbull story, thus giving it credibility. But I don't see how spreading that story would have helped Obama. In fact, by garnering sympathy and attention for Palin, that story helped the GOP ticket.
9.5.2008 12:17pm
A.W. (mail):
MG

> "The press is biased against us, so don't believe anything negative you read, and take anything positive times two." It's a nice little strategy. It works for deflecting all blame. It's easy to convince people that the media are biased against them.

It works because it is true. I mean, my God, look at what happened last cycle. CBS news put forward fake documents, that were exposed within hours as not only fakes but laughable ones at that. And how long did it take to even get it reported in the media? If it was not for LGF and Powerline, we might be talking about Kerry’s reelection rather than the end of Bush’s term.

> How many people do you know who are convinced that the commentators (or sports columnists) are biased against their favorite team?

Well, I think the sport metaphor is a perfect example. Everyone knows the local sports guy on your nightly news will boost the local team. The bias is transparent. But too many in the media treat the democrats as “their team.”

> Also it is somewhat self-fulfillng--if your primary message is that the media are lying scum, they're bound to develop some bias against you.

Give me a break. The media bias came first.

> I have seen almost zero "MSM" that actually questioned Gov. Palin's qualifications, ability, or ethics based on her having a three-month old special needs child or a pregnant teen. Am I just missing it?

Yes, you are missing it. Cnn brought that up. And the MSM are investigating whether Palin is really the mother of her most recent child, because some idiot on the daily kos said so. By comparison where was the questions about Edwards and his relationship with Hunter?

Charlie

Exactly.

Fennel

> mocking someone's service as a community organizer more objectionable than saying "ownership society: you're on your own."

And Obama did a bang up job of it. look how organized those slums are.

Joe

> Instead, Republicans want each party to perform stand-up routines criticizing the other candidates personally.

Wow, its amazing to watch a meme develop. Now we shouldn’t talk about how Obama is the least qualified candidate in over 100 years because that is personal. Gotcha. We shouldn’t mention that 400 times he couldn’t figure out whether he was for something or against it, so voted present. We shouldn’t mention that he never found any corruption in Chicago.

No, no, no. if a politician promises to do X, we shouldn’t ask whether the person has a record of achieving that, or for that matter anything else. Obama promises to make the seas recede, and to make gas prices go down, and that mere promise is good enough for me. You know, because every politician is honest and competent.

Palin and McCain have done all the things that Obama has merely promised to do. Bipartisanship, cleaning up corruption, even fighting for us. Maybe it’s a “personal” attack, but its utterly fair.

Oh, and pointing out that Barack Obama is two faced is relevant too. What good is a man’s promises when he is only saying what he thinks you want to hear?

Jed

> the Right Wing blogosphere has gone absolutely nuts over the past few days, saying that attacks on family members of candidates are out of line, and yet Michelle Obama has been taking shots from Republicans for the past several months?

Michelle has been going out there and campaigning substantively for him. She put herself “in bounds.” Meanwhile Todd Palin, who has sat on the sidelines exactly like the traditional role of a campaign spouse had his 20 year old DUI conviction brought up. At the same time, Obama was doing coke. Funny, you don’t hear that much in the media.

Liberals always harped on the unfounded allegations that bush was a cokehead. But here we have an admitted one, and suddenly it doesn’t matter. Gotchya.

Floridian

> I have seen comments on the irony of Palin (and McCain) advocating abstinence-only "education" and her own daughter getting pregnant -- but nothing directed toward the teenager.

Nah, they are only taking her private life and publicizing it for the world to see. How transparent can you get?
9.5.2008 12:18pm
Gabriel Sutherland (mail):
Joe from Dallas said,

Instead, Republicans want each party to perform stand-up routines criticizing the other candidates personally.

If Obama says he will raise taxes and the Rebublicans point that out, have they personally attacked Obama or have they criticized his policy to raise taxes?

Floridan: Ordinary as comparing Palin to the electorate as a whole or ordinary as comparing Palin to her peers in elected office?

I urge you to reread the comments your respond to.
9.5.2008 12:19pm
Elliot123 (mail):
I would expect the target (and his supporters) of ineffective verbal attacks would keep quiet in the hope that the opposition would continue an ineffective campaign. However, the complaints about a tactic are probably a good index of how effective the tactic really is.
9.5.2008 12:23pm
The Ace (mail):
Help us out -- give us some links to attacks on the Palin children.

Do you mean like this?

Or do you mean like this?

How about these gems?

We have a crisis in America and Bristol Palin exemplifies that. She's an unwed teenager who is now pregnant, forced to raise a child far too soon.

She is a teenager who chose to have pre-marital sex, which I thought many of these same evangelicals deplored based on biblical reasons. She is a teenager who had unprotected sex, and should thank the Lord that the young man she was with didn't have a sexually transmitted disease.


And this, justifying it all:

As a parent, I sympathize. But as a parent in the media, I also know that the Palins assumed this risk.


Oh, and these gems from the Daily Kos:

If health insurance for all, an end to the Iraq War, an end to torture and illegal wiretapping, and a sane energy policy can be obtained at the price of destroying one teenage girl, her family, and the surrendering our self-respect I see that as a cheap trade."


And:


"Are you telling me that you would not use character-destroying lies to ensure a war against Iran does not occur? . . . What choice do we have? When faced with monsters, we have to be monstrous ourselves."



And:


Are you telling me you would not destroy the love a family holds for one another, even if it meant letting someone who would destroy the constitution become president?


Carry on in your delusions now.
9.5.2008 12:25pm
Gabriel Sutherland (mail):

I haven't seen any attacks on the children . . . I have seen comments on the irony of Palin (and McCain) advocating abstinence-only "education" and her own daughter getting pregnant -- but nothing directed toward the teenager.

Here's Paul Kane of the Washington Post using "irony".

ST. PAUL -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.


Palin's own daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant and has plans to wed.

Ha. Isn't that just hilarious to use a candidate's teenage daughter for cannon fodder to fill the void in a story misleading the readers about the nature of decrease in the amount of a pledged increase that in the end is still a 2.9 million dollar increase? Oh the irony.
9.5.2008 12:27pm
A.W. (mail):
The Ace

How dare you respond with viscious facts. don't you know that is unfair? :-)

/sarcasm.

seriously, high five.
9.5.2008 12:28pm
Matt Austin:
This is all truly fascinating. For several weeks I heard about nothing other than Barack Obama's pastor and watched the pastor's comments played over and over and over again. For weeks I heard about the "bitter" comment. For weeks we didn't know if Michelle Obama loved her country enough (is the jury still out?). This liberal media is doing a crap job of glossing over the liberal candidate's problems and gaffes! We definitely need a better liberal media if that's the plan...Like the one that gave Clinton a pass on that whole sex with an intern thing.
9.5.2008 12:28pm
Hoosier:
I have seen comments on the irony of Palin (and McCain) advocating abstinence-only "education" and her own daughter getting pregnant

Irony?

So you're suggesting that Bristol practiced what her mom preached and got pregnant anyway? Either you don't know what irony means, or we have something quite miraculous going on here.
9.5.2008 12:31pm
Anderson (mail):
Nah, they are only taking her private life and publicizing it for the world to see. How transparent can you get?

I especially hated how the liberal media *forced* Palin to bring her baby to the convention and have her family pass Trig around eleven times during her speech.

And *forced* Palin to have her daughter's boyfriend, the self-described "fucking redneck" (we know half of that is true, certainly), appear at the convention &be greeted by John McCain on the tarmac.

Curse you, liberal media, for forcing Palin's private life onto the convention floor!
9.5.2008 12:33pm
Matt Austin:
The Ace / A.W.

Your evidence of media bias and unfair attacks on Palin is:

Andrew Sullivan
Daily Kos
and editorial writers from CNN and the Washington Post?


Does that mean I can show unfair attacks on Obama as proof there's a conservative media by quoting newsmax, fox news editorialists, townhall, glenn beck, etc?
9.5.2008 12:33pm
AKD:

Here's Obama's response to Palin's taunts about "community organizer":

"This is very curious," Obama said. "So this is work I did [20] years ago. They haven't talked about the fact that I was a civil rights lawyer; they haven't talked about the fact that I taught constitutional law; they haven't talked about my work in the state legislature or in the United States Senate. They're talking about the three years of work that I did right out of college as if I'm making the leap from two or three years out of college into the presidency.


He opened himself up to that by refusing to acknowledge her governship and refering to her as the Mayor of podunk "Wasilly."

Mayors are accountable to the community. Community organizers are not. Perfectly valid observation.
9.5.2008 12:34pm
Floridan:
GS: "I urge you to reread the comments your respond to."

And I urge you to proofread your comments before posting.

However, I believe my comment is approporiate whether comparing Palin to the electorate or to elected officials. Of course the post I was responding to used the term "real ordinary" so there might be hidden meaning in there.
9.5.2008 12:37pm
Matt Austin:
AKD,

He opened himself up to that by refusing to acknowledge her governship and refering to her as the Mayor of podunk "Wasilly."

Mayors are accountable to the community. Community organizers are not. Perfectly valid observation.


Obama actually said "they", so he was probably referring to both Palin's comments and those of other speakers. Giuliani simply stated the term "community organizer" and then laughed out loud. Is that a valid observation?
9.5.2008 12:38pm
Anderson (mail):
Guys, come on now.

Criticize Obama all you want.

But if working with local churches to help the community for 2 or 3 years is a *negative* to you, then you have gone off the deep end.

Pick something else, but don't keep banging your heads into the "community organizer" shtick just because your Republican Masters have issued that ill-fated talking point.
9.5.2008 12:38pm
David Warner:
"--Barak "thin skinned" Obama, attacking Sarah Palin."

I think Barack was actually impressed that someone finally had the stones to treat him like a grown man. In a lot of ways, its a post-racist, post-sexist showdown. It's also an indictment of the pathetic Boomer generation that they both had to be rushed on the scene so prematurely due to the dearth of compelling Boomer alternatives.
9.5.2008 12:39pm
Federal Dog:
"When it comes to Fox News, I don't think anyone could seriously consider them real journalists."

Argue the point out with Clinton's handlers. They singled out Fox coverage as having treated her fairly, while other networks openly sacrificed journalism for Obama advocacy.
9.5.2008 12:46pm
Anderson (mail):
They singled out Fox coverage as having treated her fairly

FedDog: Fox was jonesing for a Clinton nomination. They were *salivating* for it.

What better ratings booster than [Insert GOP Nominee Here] vs. OH NOES A CLINTON!!!! ...?

Of course they were supporting her in their primary coverage. They were founded by a GOP op as a tool of the party -- Pravda for Profit. What would you expect?
9.5.2008 12:48pm
Anderson (mail):
(And a lesbian witch Clinton at that, I forgot to add.)
9.5.2008 12:49pm
David Warner:
"But if working with local churches to help the community for 2 or 3 years is a *negative* to you, then you have gone off the deep end."

They weren't local to Barack, and evidently, he didn't have much luck getting localized. The most effective community organizers are from the community itself. Those who come down from on high, especially from college, rarely succeed in doing anything but padding their own fragile self-esteem. Sad but true.
9.5.2008 12:50pm
anon1000:
It's not that Palin was sarcastic. It's that she was making fun Obama. It's her use of mockery and belittling the other side that was off-putting. Obama, on the other hand, was making attacks by drawing policy distinctions (for the most part).
9.5.2008 12:51pm
Angus:
The Ace, if we wanted to get into citing commenters on blogs who make their own side look bad, can't we just point to you as a counter to the liberals you quoted?
9.5.2008 12:52pm
Hoosier:
It's also an indictment of the pathetic Boomer generation that they both had to be rushed on the scene so prematurely due to the dearth of compelling Boomer alternatives.

OK. You've raised the real issue. Palin is probably Gen-X. Is Obama a tail-end Boomer? B. 1961--Too early for Gen-X? I've always thought you can't be labelled an Xer if you were old enough to remember when the Beatles broke up.

Other thoughts?
9.5.2008 12:53pm
Anderson (mail):
They weren't local to Barack

So?
9.5.2008 12:58pm
Floridan:
Hoosier, check the dictionary. A definition of irony is "incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result."

Let me spell it out -- Sarah Palin publicly advocates an abstinence-only policy for teenagers for what reason? One would have to assume because she thinks that is the most effective method of avoiding unwanted pregnancy (and STDs).

Also, one could reasonably assume that she followed this path with her own children; not providing any information on birth control methods. Again, because she thought that giving teenagers that information would be counterproductive and equivocating.

Sarah Palin's expected result of this was a chaste daughter; the actual result was something else. That the unexpected consequences of her advocacy hit so close to home, I would call ironic.
9.5.2008 12:59pm
KWC (mail):
Jim,

Are you kidding me with this post? A couple of points:

(1) Liberal media accusation. Someone please prove it. Don't just launch accusations, prove it. Also, ask yourselves why would the media be liberally biased? What does the media gain from this bias? Nothing. The media went along with George Bush's "panic the nation" fearmongering (recall: red and orange "danger" level warnings?) If anything, the media should be free speech, a libertarian value. Make the case for why the media would be biased, or at the very least, what explains the media's left-wing bias?

(2) Some of the points you listed aren't even hyperbole! For e.g., where is the hyperbole in this?:

"Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4, we must stand up and say: 'Eight is enough.'"

This is absolutely true. Maybe you've been duped (as is their plan) into believing the McCain is not part of the same GOP that Bush is, but NEWS FLASH: IT'S THE SAME PARTY! They even use that cute little elephant symbol to clue you in.

(3) I think Palin's speech came off as rude-toned because here she is coming out of nowhere, having never said ANYTHING to the nation-at-large, and all she has to say is negative. She doesn't offer any solutions or any substance whatsoever, she just comes out of the ring fighting. Sorry, Palin, but we don't even know you. The difference is that Obama has led a (relative to McCain) smear-free (or at least low-smear) campaign. He hasn't said much negative about his opposition. After having inspired us with his ideas and what he has to offer, he throws in some quips about McCain and the current administration. So, if you want to be accurate, you should not compare speech to speech, you should compare the relative amount of national airtime Palin has devoted to slamming Obama/Biden to the relative amount of national airtime that Obama spent slamming McCain/Palin. If you did that, Palin's percentage would be MUCH higher, guaranteed, especially considering that this one speech and maybe two others comprise the limit of her national exposure.
9.5.2008 1:03pm
Randy R. (mail):
One of many: " Yes, Bush II is the 5th most hated president of the last 11. "

Okay, so Bush II doesn't have the worst ratings in history, he is only among the worst. I stand corrected. Thanks for clearing that up.

Floridian: "At what point in our history did we decide that "ordinary" was the goal to strive for? Did it coincide with the popularity of Roseanne?"

About the same time the Republicans started complaining about the 'elites' running the country. You see, if you actually know something about a topic, if you are an expert, then you are an elite who thinks he knows better than you or I. Therefore, you are bad for America.

Of course, it you are an elite in terms of money or power, say a Richard Scaife or a Sean Hannity, that's good for America.
9.5.2008 1:06pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Nancy Pelosi and the Congressional Democrats?


There's ample reason to understand that they are unpopular because they've been so feeble in pushing back against Bush. It would be nice if we had a two-party system.
9.5.2008 1:07pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Now compare and contrast that with Palin’s comment that a community organizer is like a mayor, only a mayor has responsibilities.


Not as much as you think:

During her mayoral administration, most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings, which had given rise to a recall campaign.
9.5.2008 1:07pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
I am old enough to remember back when the Democrats wanted McCain to be Kerry’s vice president. Now today they claim he is Bush the third. It’s a sign of how much the left has drank the koolaid that you guys repeat that crap.


Not exactly. It's a sign of how much McCain has changed.
9.5.2008 1:08pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Sarah Palin has battled corruption


I guess you mean the way she "battled corruption" by getting caught lying.

beat Palin’s sister


Please try to get your facts straight. No Palin has claimed that Wooten "beat Palin’s sister."

Yeah, powerline was only right about the killian memos.


A stopped clock etc. I showed proof that Power Line is dishonest. I notice you have no substantive response to that proof. Please explain why anyone should trust a source with a proven track record of dishonesty.

And I could show you many other very clearly-documented examples.
9.5.2008 1:08pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
I have seen almost zero "MSM" that actually questioned Gov. Palin's qualifications, ability, or ethics based on her having a three-month old special needs child or a pregnant teen.


In all fairness, we need to take into account the flaming moonbat who said this:

what kind of role model is a woman whose fifth child was recently born with a serious issue, Down Syndrome, and then goes back to the job of Governor within days of the birth?
9.5.2008 1:08pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Todd Palin, who has sat on the sidelines exactly like the traditional role of a campaign spouse


Please try to get your facts straight. She copies him on many official emails. He has done government business from her office. She claims the emails are covered by executive privilege because he is supposedly one of her closest advisors. That's not exactly 'sitting on the sidelines.'

And he was a member of an organization that features the following quote prominently and approvingly at their web site:

I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions.


What a great American.

Nah, they are only taking her private life and publicizing it for the world to see.


You're joking, right? This is the woman who presented her special needs infant to the press (reporters and photographers) when he was three days old. This led to the obvious headlines that excited her base. In my opinion, using a special-needs infant as a political prop is spectacularly despicable. And Levi was just used as a prop in a similar way.

She has invited us to evaluate her parental decisions, so we should. Just as Dr Laura has done.
9.5.2008 1:08pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
these gems from the Daily Kos


This is the second time you've done that (at least). If you claim those are from Kos, then show us a link to Kos. You haven't done so. Why not?
9.5.2008 1:08pm
Randy R. (mail):
" I think Palin's speech came off as rude-toned because here she is coming out of nowhere, having never said ANYTHING to the nation-at-large, and all she has to say is negative. She doesn't offer any solutions or any substance whatsoever, she just comes out of the ring fighting."

Absolutely true. Aside from her references to her family (which I think are irrelevent to the position of VP), he speech could have been delivered by any McCain supporter in the country. Indeed, many commentators here could have delivered the exact same speech. So again, what sets her apart from any other joe (or mary) out there?

A.W. " Obama promises to make the seas recede, and to make gas prices go down, and that mere promise is good enough for me. You know, because every politician is honest and competent."

I don't recall him ever saying he would make gas prices go down. He has said that we need to be energy independent, and we should do that by investing in new technology. Is that so bad?

"Palin and McCain have done all the things that Obama has merely promised to do. Bipartisanship, cleaning up corruption, even fighting for us. Maybe it’s a “personal” attack, but its utterly fair."

Really? Palin and McCain have given us universal health care, civil unions for gays, invested in new technology that has made us energy independent, stopped the huge profits of oil companies, stopped shipping jobs overseas, ended the war in Iraq, all while being a gov of a small state, and senator of a medium sized one? Whew! Then the media truly is biased that we have not heard of any of these accomplishments!

"Oh, and pointing out that Barack Obama is two faced is relevant too. What good is a man’s promises when he is only saying what he thinks you want to hear? "

You are right. And McCain tells us the hard stuff, like how he is going to deal with the largest deficit in history, the falling dollar, the recession that we are in. Please tell me where he said these things that we just don't want to hear?
9.5.2008 1:17pm
ejo:
she held up a baby-there's a shocker, I have never heard of a new parent showing off a child with pride-for doing that, she needs to be torn down and JBG is just the one to do it, with the double major of obstetrics and child psychology possessed by the genius. to be fair, of course, JBG's experience with children is limited to those seen on TV.
9.5.2008 1:18pm
ejo:
funny, it would also seem that, per the public opinion polls, most americans disagreed with the parent basement dwellers that her tone was "off". come out of the basement and reach out to your fellow americans-you might learn something.
9.5.2008 1:19pm
Randy R. (mail):
jukebox: "She has invited us to evaluate her parental decisions, so we should. Just as Dr Laura has done."

And just has Bill O'Reilly has done. Remember? When a celebrity, like a relative of Britney Spears, has a child out of wedlock, he puts the blame squarely where it belongs -- on the parents.

Which is exactly what he did with Palin and her daughter Bristol. Damn liberal press!

oh wait, no he didn't! you see, when a Republican running for VP has a daughter who has an out of wedlock child, it's the daughter's fault, and Palin had *nothing* to do with it. Damn conservative press!
9.5.2008 1:21pm
Hoosier:
ejo--She


eats RAW BABIES


!
9.5.2008 1:26pm
KWC (mail):
Question: Is the "liberal-biased media" reponsible for the fact that 13% of this nation thinks that Obama is a Muslim?
9.5.2008 1:34pm
Randy R. (mail):
In all serious, though, the Republicans have lost their soul and have lost their credibility for another generation.

Way back in the late 90s, when Clinton was being impeached, George Will warned that the Democrats were losing their soul because they continue to defend Clinton's behavior. They might win the battle, he said, but they will lose a generation of people who will never believe anything they say any more on issues.

I disagreed with Will back then, but I was worried that he was right. Although I thought that whatever a prez does privately is of no concern to me, still, he violated sexual harassment laws, which isn't good, and he lost a certain moral authority. Did he become a hypocrite? I know many people thought so, and perhaps he was. but at the time, beating back the Republicans was the only goal.

Now we have the Republicans who have lost their soul. It's not just that our President either lied or willfully ignored evidence regarding the invation of Iraq. It's not just that we torture people but think that by renaming it we are fooling people. All that is Bush's fault, and there are many republicans who are genuinely angry at him.

But that's Bush. Now we are discussing a new person. So what now?

Well, republicans used to be the party that decried teenaged pregnancy. That's *excactly* why they don't like sex ed! They want only abstinence, because they truly believe that's the only way to stop teens from getting knocked up. "Sex outside of marriage is prohibited" is a meme in most churches and in most republican circles.

But not as of last week. Now, teen pregnancy is okay -- in fact, it's a great way to grow up and bring the family together. Palin, as parent, isn't at fault at all. Heck, everyone has to deal with this at some point, so what's the big deal?

In short, the repubs have lost their soul in order to promote a candidate.

Reagan often commented on the 11th commandment -- thou shalt not talk ill of another republican. Bush's ratings in the tanks have forced them to talk ill of Bush and Cheney, violating one clear commandment from the one person everyone agrees should be revered, or doing the opposite and supporting a man who is clearly dragging the party down the tubues. Soul? Gone.

Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility? Nope -- they rake up the largest deficits in history. Bye, bye soul.

Replicans knows how to fight and win a war? They are *serious* about fighting, unlike the Dems! But they can't do it. No soul there.

AFter watching the convention, I understand that the Rebpulicans have three planks inthe platform: Drill for more oil, Obama is bad, and McCain is just like Bush except where they disagree.

This is the platform that is going to win them another four years? good luck. So now we are debating whether one speech was sarcastic, whether Palin attacked properly, and whether the press is sexist to ask about her qualifications. Big deal. If any of you think these are the biggest issues facing America, you have a rude awakening coming.

The republicans will lose because they no longer stand for any principles whatsoever, and will do whatever it takes to win, even if it means making a 180 on their previous stances. Americans, thankfully, are a bit smarter than that. They won't win, and frankly, don't deserve to win.
9.5.2008 1:39pm
Elliot123 (mail):
For many months Obama was very vague about his specific plans for change. He didn't tell us exactly what he wanted to change. He spoke in vague generalizations and lofty rhetoric. This led to a reasonable perception of his campaign as a personality cult.

Now that he has become more spcific, the old perception is becoming hard to shake. It was reinforced with the Berlin speech and the stadium rally in Denver. Chris Matthews even told us about the chills flowing up his leg when he listened to Obama. It's the price he had to pay to beat Hillary.

So, attacks against the One should be expected. That's how he came across, and that's the image he fostered. Now it's fodder for the other side, and coming back to bite him.
9.5.2008 1:39pm
Ohio Scrivener (mail):
Commenters who claim to miss the policy issues underlying Governor Palin's criticisms of Obama sure aren't trying very hard to find them. The link of negative comments in the original post by professor Lindgren is worth reviewing because a number (though to be sure, not all) of those comments are also intertwined with policy disagreements. Take a look, for example, at how Palin's comment involving the Styrofoam pillars played out:

"But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot — what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger ... take more of your money ... give you more orders from Washington ... and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy ... our opponent is against producing it."

Governor Palin cleverly contrasted Obama's attempts to aggrandize himself with his efforts to promote policies that weaken this country and everyone in it. More taxes, more spending, more regulations for government. Less freedom, less money and higher gas prices for you. To paraphrase Governor Palin, the One makes himself great while his policies make you small.

Moreover, other policy criticisms of Obama by governor Palin were linked in the original post:

"Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems — as if we all didn't know that already. But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all."

"Victory in Iraq is finally in sight ... he wants to forfeit. Terrorist states are seeking nuclear weapons without delay ... he wants to meet them without preconditions. Al-Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights? Government is too big ... he wants to grow it. Congress spends too much ... he promises more."

"Taxes are too high ... he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific. The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes ... raise payroll taxes ... raise investment income taxes ... raise the death tax ... raise business taxes ... and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars. . . . How are you going to be better off if our opponent adds a massive tax burden to the American economy?"


To be sure, not all of Palin's criticisms of Obama relate to policy. Some are criticisms of Obama's minimal experience, small-town bias, and self-promotion. Some also respond to criticisms that Obama directed at governor Palin (demeaning her small town mayor background). Others, however, plainly go to policy.
9.5.2008 1:42pm
The Ace (mail):
But if working with local churches to help the community for 2 or 3 years

Er, and you couldn't name 2 things he did in that time that "helped the community"
9.5.2008 2:16pm
The Ace (mail):
Your evidence of media bias and unfair attacks on Palin is:

Andrew Sullivan
Daily Kos
and editorial writers from CNN and the Washington Post?


You can't read.
Point me to a post where I said "media bias"

And since you won't be able to do that, maybe you ought to scroll back up and not respond to the point I was making.
9.5.2008 2:18pm
SG:
Politicians attack the opposition and try to heighten the contrast between the themselves and their opponent. Why do people get upset by politicians being political? It's like getting upset with football players because they tackle the guy with the ball. That's how the game is played.
9.5.2008 2:21pm
The Ace (mail):
The Ace, if we wanted to get into citing commenters on blogs who make their own side look bad, can't we just point to you as a counter to the liberals you quoted?

Hilarious.

Note that you can't respond to the fact you "tolerant" liberals are ignorant, nasty, and will do or say anything to get someone on your side elected.
9.5.2008 2:22pm
The Ace (mail):
A stopped clock etc. I showed proof that Power Line is dishonest.

Thank you for continuing to prove you can't possibly be real.
9.5.2008 2:23pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
ejo:

I have never heard of a new parent showing off a child with pride


A special-needs infant? To press photographers? On Day 3? For the apparent purpose of generating headlines addressed at her anti-abortion base? Yes, lots of moms do exactly that.

The event is easier to ignore if you also ignore the context: a long list of other decisions that reflect her willingness to put her ambition and personal needs ahead of her kids. And Todd is no better, which happens to be a relevant fact (the analysis would be very different if he was home; trouble is, he's not).

And please explain how her decision to display the infant to the press is consistent with the claim that we're supposed to make sure that her kids get lots of privacy.
9.5.2008 2:29pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
just has Bill O'Reilly has done. Remember?


Indeed. The intensely funny video is here.

Palin, as parent, isn't at fault at all. Heck, everyone has to deal with this at some point, so what's the big deal?


Yes. And I love the new mantra: "life happens." That pathetically passive voice perfectly sums up the way the GOP really feels about the quaint concept of personal responsibility.
9.5.2008 2:30pm
The Unbeliever:
It's not that Palin was sarcastic. It's that she was making fun Obama. It's her use of mockery and belittling the other side that was off-putting.
And Obama belittling her hometown for being tiny, and trivializing Palin's time as governor by focusing on her time as mayor or on city council--I suppose you didn't have any problem with that?

Because when Palin made her jab about Obama's "community organizer" point on his wafer-thin resume, she was responding directly to Obama's claim earlier in the week that his time running for President (!) counted as better executive experience than Palin's whole career.

Quite frankly, after all the belittling and scorn heaped upon Palin, her family, and her career, in the 5 days between the veep announcement and her speech, she was more than entitled to throw a small fraction of it back in the opposing party's face. In fact if she had declined to do so, I would be saying she was unfit for high office at a national level.
9.5.2008 2:31pm
fat tony (mail):
js5: "your motha!".

How about "JoeBama"?
9.5.2008 2:43pm
AKD:
Obama on the leadership responsibilities and strict accountability of community organizing:

“When classmates in college asked me just what it was that a community organizer did, I couldn’t answer them directly...Instead, I’d pronounce on the need for change. Change in the White House, where Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds. Change in the Congress, compliant and corrupt. Change in the mood of the country, manic and self-absorbed. Change won’t come from the top, I would say. Change will come from a mobilized grass roots.”


from Dreams of My Father
9.5.2008 2:44pm
The Ace (mail):
Where could we get the idea the left wants to smear Palin?


What many here don’t understand. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. RUMOR IS TRUTH.

The modern laws of media hype and political warfare have a useful tenet:

Repeat ANYTHING or raise false concern over ANYTHING and it is likely to be planted in the conscious/subconscious of many voters.

If people start to think that there might be something fishy with Palin’s last kid (if hers), then that’s FINE. One more doubt (whether tied to reality or not) is another hesitation at the ballot box.

GET WITH THE PROGRAM PEOPLE. The “rising above it” bullshit has served us so well in the past, hasn’t it?

If you have problems with the story, then STFU and get out of the way of Dems who are engaged in MODERN POLITICAL WARFARE. Go tend your garden or some other pedestrian task, because the “concern trolls” are not helping shape the message.


Oh, the Democratic Underground, that's where.
By the way Floridan, funny how you didn't respond.
Gee, I wonder the that is.
9.5.2008 2:44pm
njones (mail):
Can we put a link to put these two posts on the Palin/Obama speeches on the same page?
9.5.2008 2:52pm
josh:
The Ace

Pretty weak argument. Whether you're setting up some straw man, or actually commenting on what Prof. Lindgren's post was about (media bias), your citations to DailyKos and Andrew Sullivan don't provide the proof you hope they do.

Whether your charge is "liberals attacking Palin's children" or (if you attempt to be on point to this post) the "media," either way, random commenters from a blog don't reach the conclusion you're trying to back into.

Fact is, neither the media, nor any liberals other than an isolated few in comments have attacked her children. You have no evidence for the sweeping accusations you're trying to make.
9.5.2008 3:04pm
The Ace (mail):
Fact is, neither the media, nor any liberals other than an isolated few in comments have attacked her children. You have no evidence for the sweeping accusations you're trying to make.

Hilarious.

There have been other links in this thread.
You chosing to ignore and minimize things, doesn't make them any less true.

I could give more examples, but as your silly post demonstrates, why bother? You don't want to believe it, therefore it can not possibly be true.
9.5.2008 3:09pm
The Ace (mail):
your citations to DailyKos and Andrew Sullivan

Except other examples were given.
Why do you think you didn't mention those?
9.5.2008 3:10pm
A.W. (mail):
Matt Austin

> For several weeks I heard about nothing other than Barack Obama's pastor and watched the pastor's comments played over and over and over again.

The concern was that the pastor was teaching racism and anti-americanism, and what kind of man barrack would be to expose his children to that. he literally taught his children to hate their own grandmother, and great grandparents.

> This liberal media is doing a crap job of glossing over the liberal candidate's problems and gaffes!

The media knew about the wright thing from the beginning. Didn’t care, until ABC news (to their credit) started embarrassing them.

The bitter comment wasn’t played at all in the liberal outlets. If you have been hearing about it, it was from fair organizations like Fox news; and ditto with michelle obama.

But we still have a media unconcerned with his association with felons and terrorists.

Can you imagine if John McCain’s campaign was launched at a Klansman’s house?

Hoosier

Well, maybe she got her understanding of the word irony from alanis morissette.

By the way, I am sure no one has ever had a child because birth control failed. Don’t you know that is foolproof.

Anderson

> I especially hated how the liberal media *forced* Palin to bring her baby to the convention and have her family pass Trig around eleven times during her speech.

You are delusional if you think a family photo op makes the children fair game.

This just in, Barack Obama’s daughters are rumored to be infected with cooties!

> And *forced* Palin to have her daughter's boyfriend, the self-described "fucking redneck" (we know half of that is true, certainly), appear at the convention &be greeted by John McCain on the tarmac.

Actually the media created a situation where they either had to stand proud that way, or look like they are hiding it.

Matt

> Giuliani simply stated the term "community organizer" and then laughed out loud. Is that a valid observation?

1) guilani is not allowed to be offended, too, at Obama? I didn’t realize the rule was only Palin could do this.

2) as a point of fact, they spontaneously laughed, and in imho, I don’t even think Guiliani expected that, but showed he was quick on his feet by noting their lack of respect for the “profession.”

3) Obama opened himself up for that, too, by skipping over many of the same jobs. They think this community organizer thing is a much bigger credential than it is. But most people I know go, “sorry, he was what?”

Anderson (again)

> But if working with local churches to help the community for 2 or 3 years is a *negative* to you

We didn’t say it was a bad thing. Just it was pretty laughable for them to pretend it is any plus on his resume.

Anderson (yet again)

> FedDog: Fox was jonesing for a Clinton nomination.

Are you joking? When Hildog went down, there was a lot of cheering in conservative land. So if we assume fox is biased, they would have been helping obama.

Floridian (again):

> Let me spell it out -- Sarah Palin publicly advocates an abstinence-only policy for teenagers for what reason? One would have to assume because she thinks that is the most effective method of avoiding unwanted pregnancy (and STDs).

And a single failure is not proof it doesn’t work. All I know is we have had birth control since the 1960’s, and oddly the rate of teen pregnancy or even unwanted pregnancies have not gone down.

By the way, can you post a link proving that she didn’t believe in teaching birth control too?

> Sarah Palin's expected result of this was a chaste daughter; the actual result was something else.

And of course none of this is personal against the daughter. By the way, do you really think the daughter couldn’t have found out how to use birth control without mom telling her? Really?

These people are conservatives, not amish. Sheesh.

KWC:

> Don't just launch accusations, prove i

The proof is all around you. You have eyes but cannot see.

> What does the media gain from this bias?

Political outcomes they prefer.

> The media went along with George Bush's "panic the nation" fearmongering (recall: red and orange "danger" level warnings?)

You actually panicked over that? I don’t know anyone who did.

> Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third.

Claiming that the man who you idiots wanted to be your veep 4 years ago is suddenly the clone of Bush is over the top. But more importantly, the claim that mccain won’t pursue bin laden is.

> I think Palin's speech came off as rude-toned because here she is coming out of nowhere, having never said ANYTHING to the nation-at-large,

Right. and the way to establish credibility is not to do things, but to talk a lot. No wonder you support obama.

> She doesn't offer any solutions or any substance whatsoever

You mean besides drill, drill, drill, alternative energy, and a record of actually doing much of what obama promises to do.

Nah, no hyperbole there, either.

> The difference is that Obama has led a (relative to McCain) smear-free (or at least low-smear) campaign.

Sure, remember when Mccain said he would keep our soldiers being killed in Iraq for 100 years? Except he didn’t. that was a blatant falsehood by obama. Oh, and remember when McCain said Obama didn’t look like the other presidents on our currency? Except he didn’t. Remember when he said all the republicans would attack him for being black. Except they didn’t. I mean other than lying about what your opponents said and falsely claiming they were racists, this has been a very clean campaign.

By the way, what exactly are mccain’s smears?

Finally, you become much more believable when everything is in bold.

Randy R.

> You see, if you actually know something about a topic, if you are an expert, then you are an elite who thinks he knows better than you or I. Therefore, you are bad for America.

They call obama an elitist because he put down small town America. Repeatedly.

Nice try, though on that spin. But you fool no one.

Jukebox

Who is cross cut that we should trust?

> Not exactly. It's a sign of how much McCain has changed.

Okay. I will bite. What exactly did he do differently from before?

> I guess you mean the way she "battled corruption" by getting caught lying.

So you say, citing yourself. Whatever. the man supposedly pressured, says he was not. What more do you want?

And yes, he beat her sister. And notice you don’t even deny the taser issue or threatening her father. Do you really want to argue that threatening murder is not a firing offense?

> I showed proof that Power Line is dishonest.

No you didn’t. one news story came out and said they had retreated. Then quickly the put out a new release saying they hadn’t. Powerline reported what it was told, and reported the second story, too. What do you want from them?

> And I could show you many other very clearly-documented examples.

Well the first one was an epic fail, so… go for it.

> Please try to get your facts straight.

Well, since you are building up a reputation for... ahem... misrepresenting the truth, you care to prove any of your claims?

> And he was a member of an organization that

And as of now, you have not disproven my claim that he is just her husband. And was a member years ago, I think around the time Obama was doing coke. So what was their motto back then?

And, gee, I thought you liberals were tolerant when native Americans were a little angry with America? Especially given that you treat Alaska as your own special plantation. I personally can’t believe they have to ask permission to drill for oil up there. Shouldn’t it be up to them you paternalistic f---s?

> This is the woman who presented her special needs infant to the press (reporters and photographers) when he was three days old.

Giving them a free photo op so they don’t lurk in the bushes? I call that keeping the press to a rational minimum. The royals do the same thing all the time. They go on vacation, let the press take a few pics, and then say, “now please leave us alone.” Its sad our culture is this way. We the people should say “back the hell off” but we don’t so this is the best compromise we can come up with.

> And Levi was just used as a prop in a similar way.

Do you really think that if there hadn’t been this frenzy that he would be there? At best he would be there, but most of us wouldn’t even know who he was, or anything about his family situation. She’s not showing that much.

Randy R. (again)

> I don't recall him ever saying he would make gas prices go down.

Well, I do. And if he has no idea what to do about gas prices, then there is the best reason yet to vote for McCain?

> He has said that we need to be energy independent, and we should do that by investing in new technology. Is that so bad?

Just my point. The policy isn’t so bad (except he doesn’t want nuclear power or new drilling), but then we wonder if he can actually pull it off.

> Palin and McCain have given us universal health care

You’re right. they have not tried to destroy the entire medical insurance industry. My bad.

> civil unions for gays,

Obama is promising a federal civil unions law? Or is it just that you are hoping for it?

> invested in new technology that has made us energy independent

Palin has tried to make us more energy independent. See that whole natural gas pipeline.

> stopped the huge profits of oil companies,

Yes, she slapped them down. Didn’t you hear?

> stopped shipping jobs overseas

Tell me, when did Obama even propose a law on this subject? Oh, right, he was too busy working on his third autobiography: the audacity of hype.

> ended the war in Iraq,

McCain’s pushed for policies are ending the war. In victory. We just handed over the supposedly unmanageable anbar province to local control.

> You are right. And McCain tells us the hard stuff, like how he is going to deal with the largest deficit in history, the falling dollar, the recession that we are in. Please tell me where he said these things that we just don't want to hear?

Are you joking? Ask any republican what drives them crazy about mccain? Immigration. The gang of 14. McCain-Fiengold. Oh, and THE SURGE. He told us we needed a surge long before we were ready to hear it.

Really, you lefties trying to claim he is not a maverick is lame. If he was a bush clone the base wouldn’t have needed a true conservative like palin to get them excited about him.

> When a celebrity, like a relative of Britney Spears, has a child out of wedlock, he puts the blame squarely where it belongs -- on the parents.

Um, you haven’t noticed there is something wrong in the Spears family and indeed in the whole child star culture? If I didn’t believe in free speech so much, I would ban all children from working in Hollywood. There is an overwhelming pattern here of child stars becoming f-ed up adults, and if you haven’t noticed, you are not paying attention.

> It's not just that our President either lied or willfully ignored evidence regarding the invation of Iraq.

The claim that bush lied to get us into Iraq is itself a lie. And your torture claims depend on a disputed meaning of the term. You cannot pretend they are violating a principle that was not as clearly articulated as you pretend it was.

And I might add, McCain agrees with you on this. Much to my chagrin.

> Well, republicans used to be the party that decried teenaged pregnancy.

And we still do. Are you completely unaware of the biblical instruction to love the sinner but hate the sin? That is what Sarah and the rest of rational America has done. We say openly she did something wrong. But she is not a bad person and we are not going to throw stones. Meanwhile you guys are tossing rocks at her mom. Real classy.

Shame on all of you.

> "Sex outside of marriage is prohibited" is a meme in most churches and in most republican circles.

OMG, you don’t know much about republicans, do you?

No, what is really going on is you have a caricature in your mind of what republicans are, and it turns out that you are discovering we are not at all like that. What it proves is how blind you are to the nature of your fellow Americans. You have lived so long in your liberal cocoon that you can’t even recognize us anymore. Its pathetic, really.

> Reagan often commented on the 11th commandment -- thou shalt not talk ill of another republican. Bush's ratings in the tanks have forced them to talk ill of Bush and Cheney, violating one clear commandment from the one person everyone agrees should be revered

So, you are against bi-partisanship? Why not look into your own soul?

And really, no republicans have ever said anything bad about a republican? I don’t know a single one who didn’t think Nixon deserved to be impeached. Can’t get much harder than that.

> Replicans knows how to fight and win a war? They are *serious* about fighting, unlike the Dems! But they can't do it. No soul there.

You act like as if your party hasn’t done anything to lengthen this war.

> McCain is just like Bush except where they disagree.

I didn’t see that message at all. I thought you just said that republicans were putting bush down?

> This is the platform that is going to win them another four years? good luck.

You don’t know the platform, just as you misunderestimated that spunky Palin. McCain is in ya’ll’s OODA loop and you don’t know how to handle it.

> So now we are debating whether one speech was sarcastic, whether Palin attacked properly,

Topics your side brought up.

> whether the press is sexist to ask about her qualifications

Not to ask, but to judge differently. Let’s not forget the wonderfully qualified man the dems nominated for vice president in 2004, or for president in 2008. These two men are known mainly for being 1) articulate and 2) handsome. BO had two other advantages. 1) democrats were sick of Hillary, too, and 2) he was black. But then you hear the democrats say, “sure she can give a nice speech, but…” you could say the same about BO. You hear democrats denigrate her for being pretty, despite the fact that I am sure she doesn’t spend half as much time on her hair or makeup as John Edwards, and between her an Obama I have only seen Obama in a swimsuit. And then they say she was only nominated because she was a woman. But do you really think BO would be nominated if he was white? If he was white, he would BE John Edwards (before the affair). And unlike Obama, she has actually had responsibilities and done well enough to have an 80% approval rating.

> The republicans will lose because they no longer stand for any principles whatsoever, and will do whatever it takes to win, even if it means making a 180 on their previous stances.

So says a man who belongs to a party that:
Has undermined our sexual harassment laws under bill Clinton;
Destroyed good science under Al Gore;
Has stood up for voter fraud;
Destroyed the democratic tradition of being strong on national defense (starting with McGovern);
Is claiming a woman cannot be a vice president and a mother;
Is claiming that down syndrome children should be aborted;
Apologizes for men who would subjugate women;
Criticizes a person for attempting to prevent domestic violence and police brutality;
Has nominated a man who wouldn’t even come out against infanticide; and
Believes it will prove racism is dead by voting for an unqualified man because he is the right skin color.

Project much?
9.5.2008 3:16pm
A.W. (mail):
I gotta love this joke over at instapundit:


“What's the difference between Sarah Palin and Barack Obama?”

“One is a well turned-out, good-looking, and let's be honest, pretty sexy piece of eye-candy.

“The other kills her own food.”

Lol
9.5.2008 3:18pm
Jimney Pop (mail):
Lindgren fails to understand that Obama's critiques or "attacks" as he characterizes them are about McCain's/Republican POLICIES not about him as a person. Palin attacks the man ... the bit about seeking the presidency is not a journey of self-discovery, etc. These are attacks on the man. Stop being so transparent about your biases Lindgren. And anyway, since when did this blog become a political blog?? I thought it's supposed to be about the law?
9.5.2008 4:02pm
A.W. (mail):
Jiminey

We have already had this discussion. Character counts. Experience counts. A record counts. This meme is already old and lame and it just shows how much panic the left is in.

Or we will let Bill Clinton explain it to you:

> Suppose for example you're a voter. And you've got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don't think that person can deliver on anything. Candidate Y disagrees with you on half the issues, but you believe that on the other half, the candidate will be able to deliver. For whom would you vote?

What Obama and automatons like you want to do with this meme is have us take him at his word. We are not allowed to point out he is a phony. We are not allowed to point out that he has done virtually nothing to suggest he can actually do any of the things he promises. Oh, and by the way, he will not exactly strike fear into the hearts of our enemies.

Meanwhile, I don’t think Kim Jung Il will let McCain in the same room with him if he has so much as a rusty spoon in his hand.
9.5.2008 4:23pm
anon1000:
"she was responding directly to Obama's claim earlier in the week that his time running for President (!) counted as better executive experience than Palin's whole career."

Actually, when he compared his campaign to her town, he was the one directly responding to the Republican claim that Palin had more executive experience than he did.
9.5.2008 4:32pm
A.W. (mail):
anon

well, then that is a stupid comparison; it leaves out the small job of GOVERNOR.
9.5.2008 4:45pm
josh:
The Ace

I didn't mention the other links b/c you obviously didnt even read them. For example, Roland Martin's COMMENTARY on CNN was entitled "Commentary: Keep politics out of Bristol Palin issue." In it, he wrote that conservatives AND liberals were reacting wrongly to the issue.

In the second, an opinion piece in the WaPo, Ruth Marcus wrote "Yet no one feels good about a pregnant 17-year-old, whether it's Bristol Palin or Jamie Lynn Spears. As Sarah and Todd Palin put it with decided understatement yesterday, this will 'make her grow up faster than we had ever planned.'" That doesn't sound like an attack to on the teenager to me. The remainder of the piece is in fact an attack on the mother for her hypocritical political positions.

I think you had a typo when you wrote, "You don't want to believe it, therefore it can not possibly be true." I think you meant to use "I" rather than "You." Seriously, you're really grasping at straws here.
9.5.2008 4:51pm
josh:
A.W.

"Meanwhile, I don’t think Kim Jung Il will let McCain in the same room with him if he has so much as a rusty spoon in his hand."

Here's on democrat praying that McCain runs on the promise of going to war with (or assinating with a rusty spoon) Kim Jong Il. With 70 % of the populace opposing the current war Iraq, Obama will take it in a walk.

"What Obama and automatons like you want to do with this meme is have us take him at his word. We are not allowed to point out he is a phony. We are not allowed to point out that he has done virtually nothing to suggest he can actually do any of the things he promises. Oh, and by the way, he will not exactly strike fear into the hearts of our enemies."

I think this comment nicely exemplifies what was so wrongheaded about Lindgren's post in the first instance. It is undisputed that the McCain camp was the one running for the past many months on the argument of "experience." When you hammer that meme for so long, you going to take a lot of blows to the chin when you appoint someone with very little experience as your VP. It's not bias. It's just simple action/reaction.
9.5.2008 4:56pm
josh:
ONE democrat
9.5.2008 4:57pm
A.W. (mail):
Josh

> Here's on democrat praying that McCain runs on the promise of going to war with (or assinating with a rusty spoon) Kim Jong Il. With 70 % of the populace opposing the current war Iraq, Obama will take it in a walk.

Here’s a hint, to all you pacifists. You don’t prevent wars by looking weak. Carter looked weak and Afghanistan was invaded. Reagan looked strong and no other invasions took place.

So even if Obama doesn’t want to go to war, he needs to sound more interested in it. And running as the second coming of Walter Mondale won’t do it.

> It is undisputed that the McCain camp was the one running for the past many months on the argument of "experience." When you hammer that meme for so long, you going to take a lot of blows to the chin when you appoint someone with very little experience as your VP.

Well, except for three things. First, she has more executive experience than all of them, including McCain.

Second, in her short time in office she has accomplished a lot. Her list of accomplishments stacks up well compared to Obama’s accomplishment.

And third, if Palin is so unqualified, then thank God she is at the bottom of the ticket. But then why is Obama at the top of the ticket? No, the more you liberals talk about her inexperience the more you 1) make obama look bad and 2) make yourselves look sexist.

And I will add that Guiliani has demonstrated that Obama has not shown the ability to do the things that executives do. If the phone rings at 3 a.m. and Iran has just wiped Israel off the map with a nuclear eraser, and his generals want him to decide what to do, he can’t say, “I vote present.”

> ONE democrat

Don’t worry, I am fluent in typo. :-)
9.5.2008 5:09pm
ruralcounsel (mail):
Floridan wrote:

But to my mind, this is reminiscent of the "which candidate would you rather have a beer with?" tripe. Certainly this would not be a criterion for selecting a surgeon, accountant or lawyer, especially if one wanted to be healthy, wealthy and stay outside the slammer.

I would hope that Americans had somewhat loftier standards in picking a president.



Then we have a differing philosophy. Because I think most of our nation's difficulties have come from elitist jerks who think they know better than every one else just because they came from a fancy university or a famous family.

Fortunately for all of us, being POTUS doesn't require a specialized technical skill like a surgeon or accountant ... it really only requires a more basic understanding of human nature.

I would hope we have some better standard than trying to be "lofty" and elitist, quit trying to make these things a PR name recognition contest, form over substance, and look for someone with good common sense, who knows how hard life can be, and knows how to keep their hands out of other peoples wallets and off other people's property, and knows how to roll up their sleeves and work hard, and knows how to stick with something and not cut and run at the first criticism or adverse poll. Someone who knows what they know, and knows what they don't know, and can tell the difference.

Not taught at the Harvards, Yales, Princetons and that ilk, in my opinion. We'd be better off drafting a POTUS out of a pool of retired USMC USArmy and USNavy NCO's with combat experience than any group of alumni of the Ivy League colleges.

Would I rather drink a beer with them? Sure. But the reasons for that are because they are the same reasons I would want them as our country's leaders. Because they are good people. They are the people I'd trust.

Maybe you call that tripe. I don't. And the fact that you don't understand that is the reason you (and a lot of other Democrats,Liberals and Socialists here at this VC thread and across the media) don't understand why Sarah Palin is going to be such a good choice for McCain.
9.5.2008 5:17pm
Anderson (mail):
So even if Obama doesn’t want to go to war

Do y'all spend *any* time looking at what Obama actually says?

I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil.

I don't oppose all wars. My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil.

I don't oppose all wars. After September 11, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration's pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again.

I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne. What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.
9.5.2008 6:00pm
A.W. (mail):
Anderson

Well, if he says he is willing to fight, that is good enough for me. I mean shucks, I guess his promise to unilaterally stop the development of new nuclear weapons, his promise to unilaterally halt the star wars program, his promise to unilaterally keep our weapons out of space, and his promise to halt “future weapons” shouldn’t be taken for the classic flower child hippy bull that it comes off as. It doesn’t sound at all like the silly idea that gee, if we just disarmed everyone would be nice to us!

And what exactly was rash about the Iraq war? We waited for 12 years, and Saddam never complied. Tenet told Bush that it had WMDS. And what do you know, it did, just not as many as we thought. And it had deep terrorist connections, and oh, by the way, Saddam was oppressing his own people. 12 years is a long time to put up with someone’s crap. Anyone who says the Iraq war was a mistake is only able to say so with the benefit of hindsight.
9.5.2008 6:11pm
Floridan:
A.W.: [In reference to Palin's advocacy of abstinence-only education] By the way, can you post a link proving that she didn’t believe in teaching birth control too?

Well, I think there's a reason it's called abstinence-only.

In response to an Eagle Forum questionaire, Palin stated:

Q: Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?
Sarah Palin: Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.

I know this doesn't prove she didn't advise her daughter about birth control methods (if so, not very well, it seems), but what would that mean? That she thinks birth control is something her child should know about, but too bad if for the kids whose parents forget to have that discussion?

Senator McCain sees to be more definitive. Here's what one of his spokespersons said regarding his position on the subject:

Sen. McCain believes the correct policy for educating young children on this subject is to promote abstinence as the only safe and responsible alternative. To do otherwise is to send a mixed signal to children that, on the one hand they should not be sexually active, but on the other here is the way to go about it. As any parent knows, ambiguity and equivocation leads to problems when it comes to teaching children right from wrong.
9.5.2008 6:16pm
A.W. (mail):
Anderson

And two more things to add to that. First, pointing out that the Iraq war wasn’t rash is important because that begs the question: do you want a president who is told a dictator has WMDs and terrorist ties and even then he won’t fight?

Let’s take a metaphor. Suppose you are in your car with your family. A man comes at you, points a gun at you, and says, “you get out of the car. But leave your daughters in the car.” But you have a gun too. You pull it out and shoot him. When the police arrive, they inform you that the man’s gun was real, but empty.

So do the cops arrest you, book you for murder? No. Because self-defense is judged based on the facts as you reasonably perceived them to be at the time, not what the actual truth turns out to be. You cannot be expected to take the risk that the gun he had wasn’t loaded.

Well, before the invasion Saddam had a gun, too, and was waiving it around. We know for a fact he was determined to fool us into thinking he had WMDs. And Tenet was fooled, and told Bush. And Bush made his decision based on what he reasonably perceived at the time. He turned out to be wrong. But back then, I said this about the WMD debate: “What the worst that can happen? We liberate a nation and get nothing out of it ourselves. I can live with that.” I felt that way, then and I feel like that now, even though we are getting something out of it. We are killing terrorists, and establishing democracies on both sides of Iran, and in the heart of the ME. Every year thousands of shia Iranians move through Iraq on pilgrimage, and they see a people in charge of their own country and they wonder “why can’t we have that too?” That is a good thing that your guy wants to throw away.

But intelligence can be right, and it can be wrong in two ways: reality can be worse than reported, or better. This time it turned out to be better than reported. Dennis Miller is right to say, “Well, thank God he didn’t have the WMDs.” But after the Gulf War, we discover the intelligence was wrong the other way: Saddam was 6 months from gaining the bomb. Which is the harder thing to live with? Invading a country when if you knew then what you know now you might not have? Or not invading and seeing Manhattan disappear in a Mushroom cloud.

So saying that he opposed the Iraq war, in a neighborhood radical enough that William Ayers was a respectable member of the community, doesn’t recommend him for president. It says he would rather see Americans die than be unfair to a dictator. Funny my priorities are elsewhere.

And second, do you remember the part where we said Barack Obama is a phony? So who cares what he says. He probably thinks he just had to say it to fool the small town hicks who cling to their God and guns.
9.5.2008 6:27pm
A.W. (mail):
Floridian

Oy vey.

She only said she wouldn’t fund explicit sex-ed programs. And I am with her on that. I was in an explicit sex ed class. I didn’t enjoy seeing my teacher put a condom on a banana. Then the next year, we were supposed to learn it again, and the teacher put the condom on his index and middle fingers. There was an admittedly funny part where he admitted that it was lubricated and he was grossed out. But overall I found it creepy and unnecessary. I almost wished my parents could pretend to have a religious objection.

No thank you. Give me one a little less explicit.

And note, that is the only thing she opposed on that list. By implication you might argue that she supported clinics and free condoms. Lawyers would say that, but regular people don’t always talk and write the way us lawyers imagine. So your evidence is ambiguous at best.

And then look at McCain’s comments. Well, it is a fact that abstinence is the best way to do it. But nothing there says you can’t talk about the other methods. And what does McCain’s position have to do with Palin’s daughter? Surely he wasn’t teaching sex ed to the girl.

And assuming she was getting the abstinence only approach, again, one failure doesn’t prove the idea is a failure. I personally believe accurate sex ed that is limited to how not to get pregnant, with a heavy emphasis on reduced sex, and then contraception is the right thing. But here is a larger point: I don’t think the state should be in the business of sex ed at all. Parents need to man up and teach their children themselves. Sex is a profound moral issue and your should never think of abdicating your role as parents on this subject; and schools should not take their place. Schools should focus on reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmitic and the like, and recognize that this is, well, above their pay grade.
9.5.2008 6:42pm
Floridan:
A.W.: ". . . regular people don’t always talk and write the way us lawyers imagine."

Thank God.
9.5.2008 7:12pm
SG:
Floridian,

I don't have a link, but my understanding is that Bristol Palin school taught comprehensive sex education. If that is true, an argument can be made that Bristol Palin's pregnancy demonstrates that teaching comprehensive sex education in schools overrides the values instilled in the home, whereas teaching abstinence might have reinforced those values.
9.5.2008 8:22pm
A.W. (mail):
SG,

But anecdotal evidence is useless to prove any point, really, for or against any particular method of birth control.
9.5.2008 8:45pm
SG:
A.W.

I absolutely agree. So can we also agree that Bristol Palin's pregnancy doesn't prove that abstinence-only education is bad policy?

Which is not to say I support it as policy either, but there are a lot of bad arguments out there.
9.5.2008 8:55pm
A.W. (mail):
SG

Dude i am actually very neutral and more interested in making sure they leave bristol the hell alone. i really think that we should chuck sex ed entirely, leave it to the parents.
9.5.2008 9:13pm
SG:
A.W.

I totally agree about leaving Bristol alone. As far as sex ed goes, it strikes me as the quintessential local issue. Some communities may want it, others don't, and parents (via school board elections) should decide.
9.5.2008 9:16pm