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Satire or Sincere?:

It's becoming hard to tell these days, but the rant below, published in the San Francisco Chronicle's online SF GATE, appears to be sincere. If not, though, it's a very funny satire of Palin Derangement Syndrome. [God-pandering? You're killin' me!]

Every white woman I know is positively horrified.

Wait, that's not exactly true. It's more accurate to say that every thoughtful or liberal or intuitive or open-minded white woman I know worth her vagina monologue and her self-determination and two centuries of nonstop striving for equal rights and sexual freedom and exhaustive patriarchal unshackling is right now openly horrified, appalled at what the addition of shrill PTA hockey-mom Sarah Palin seems to have done for the soggy, comatose McCain campaign — that is, make it not merely remotely interesting and melodramatic, but aggressively hostile to, well, to all intelligent women everywhere.

Truly, among women in the know and especially among those who fought so hard to bring Hillary Clinton to the brink of history, nausea and a general recoiling appear to be the universal reactions to Palin's sudden presence on the national stage, stemming straight from the idea that there's even a slight chance in hell such an antagonistic, anti-female politico could be within a 72-year-old heartbeat of becoming the most powerful and iconic woman of all time.

They say: You've got to be kidding me. They say: This is what we get? This could be our historic role model? Two hundred years (OK, more like 2000) of struggle, only to have this nasty caricature of femininity try to hijack and mock and undermine it all?

It cannot be true, they say. The universe must joking, would not dare dump such a homophobic, Creationist evangelical nutball on us, this anti-choice, God-pandering woman who's the inverse of Hillary, this woman of deep inexperience who abhors birth control and supports abstinence education and shoots exhausted wolves from helicopters and hates polar bears and actually stands for everything progressive women have resented since the first pope Swift-Boated Eve.

Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
Occasionally, homosexual male residents of the Bay Area are reminded that a whole gigantic world outside Marin County exists and thrives without them. Once they shake off as much of the disbelief as they are capable of doing, they don't take this knowledge well, and they lash out.

BTW David, when you quote a guy like this, the accepted method is to ad italics as if he were actually speaking; thus:


Every white woman I know is positively horrified.
9.21.2008 12:31am
common sense (www):
This confuses me. Shouldn't the pinnacle of feminism be that a woman can be whomever she wants to be? It seems that the author believes women should change one master for another.
9.21.2008 12:31am
HumphreyBogus (mail):
Congratulations, you have just discovered Mark Morford. Do not even attempt to wrap your mind around whatever insane rantings he's penned this week. He is, to borrow a phrase, a "nasty caricature" of left-wing San Francisco idiocy, speaking as a resident. He will never disappoint you with the depth of his hatred, er, tolerance, for others. FYI, he is being serious.

He also apparently hates punctuation.
9.21.2008 12:34am
Cornellian (mail):
I think Morford intends to be humorous, not a serious commentator, sorta like a left wing version of Mark Steyn, but more over the top.
9.21.2008 12:37am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

Shouldn't the pinnacle of feminism be that a woman can be whomever she wants to be


Yes. As long as she doesn't want to be a Republican.

Works the same for being black.
9.21.2008 12:40am
lonetown (mail):
I like the bit about 2000 years of work highjacked!

I didn't know the struggle was for such a carefully nuanced view of female equality that it doesn't include actual women.
9.21.2008 12:41am
JB:
Yes, David, there are extremist liberals. This is what they look like.

And this is why people on both sides should not hurl the term "extreme" around like they do. Because then it loses its power to describe people like this.
9.21.2008 12:42am
Sebastian (mail) (www):
Ah yes. This was the guy who decided that Obama was an enlightened being. I think it's safe to say it's not satire, but the author is certainly a joke in his own right.
9.21.2008 12:51am
David L. (mail):
Not satire, alas. The author is that same Mark Morford who, in an earlier column, and without a trace of irony, agreed with the "spiritually advanced people" he knows that Obama is a "Lightworker," a being spiritually evolved beyond the rest of us, who will lead us into "a new way of being on the planet." He is


... that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.


Somehow, though, I see very little evidence that the experience of Obama has helped Mr. Morford evolve toward anything but angry derangement. Having lived for many years in San Francisco, I would have to say that Morford's particular sort of derangement is actually quite common in the City by the Bay.
9.21.2008 12:58am
David Tomlin (mail):
It strikes me as a somewhat heavy-handed and not especially funny satire. Points for 'worth her vagina monologue'.
9.21.2008 12:59am
Cheggue:
I lived in Berkeley for six years. Mark Morford is being completely serious (in the sense that it's not satire, not that he doesn't think he's funny). People in the Bay Area don't do satire well. Or at all.
9.21.2008 1:03am
Nate in Alice:
It's an over-the-top rant, and mildly amusing. (vagina monologue, anyone?)

I do think it captures some of the sentiment floating around--that this light-weight ditz may be the first woman to break that ceiling. It's one of the great wonders of the civil rights movement that the right-wing always appropriates, then craps on, the achievements of minorities.
9.21.2008 1:03am
talboito (mail) (www):
"Satire or Sincere?:"

I tend to think the same thing about David Bernstein these days.
9.21.2008 1:22am
Dave N (mail):
Nate in Alice at 12:03 echoing Glenn W. Bowen at 11:40 (just a matter of perspective).
9.21.2008 1:23am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
Hey Nate, LOOK UP!!
9.21.2008 1:24am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
Hey Nate-

I probably misread the gist of your post.
9.21.2008 1:26am
Dave N (mail):
Maybe Mark Morford is Michael Savage's doppelganger (from the other end of the political spectrum, of course).
9.21.2008 1:27am
Nate in Alice:
Hey, you wouldn't be hearing these types of rants if McCain had chosen say, Olympia Snowe or Kay Bailey Hutchison or Condoleeza Rice. Dems would be attacking their positions. Problem with Palin is, she doesn't have very many to analyze.
9.21.2008 1:40am
Nate in Alice:
I take that back. You would be hearing these types or rants if McCain chose any woman who was pro-choice and/or homophobic.
9.21.2008 1:45am
SMatthewStolte (mail):
So I'm the only one who thinks this is a mild form of Palin derangement syndrome? I mean, Morford isn't even wretching and feeling like a Jew watching the rise of National Socialism.

Even though he calls her anti-female, he isn't denying that she's a woman. In fact, he calls her a woman several times.

He doesn't think it's funny to talk about her being gang-raped, nor does he give a positive review to a "comedienne" who does.

He doesn't even call her a Christ killer ("Pontius Pilate was a governor")

I mean, this guy is an amateur Palin-hater. Has he even read the creed of Palin-haters?


This is about Power . . . How it is obtained—and how it is wielded in ways that affects all of us.

Are you telling me that you would not use character-destroying lies to ensure a war against Iran does not occur?

Are you telling me you would not spread lies about a man’s integrity, even if it defeated a candidate who take away the right to choose?

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?

None of use would use these tactics in a perfect world. It is not a perfect world. It is a fallen world. We have to judge costs and benefits, not moral absolutes. I know this is the way to fanaticism and destruction—believe me I do. But, when we face opponents such as the ones we face . . . what else is there for us to do?

What choice do we have? When faced with monsters, we have to be monstrous ourselves.


Silly, naïve Mark Morford. He's living in the world of old politics. Didn't he hear? It's time for a new politics.
9.21.2008 2:03am
SMatthewStolte (mail):
By the way, that last block quote is not Morford talking. It's reported to have been a commenter on Daily Kos, when Palin-hating was young and exciting.
9.21.2008 2:06am
mrbill:
My goodness...this person says "nasty caricature of femininity"..apparently this person thinks that Hilary is the REAL caricature of "femininity".

How sad.
9.21.2008 2:38am
A.W. (mail):
i don't know if the rant is a parody or not. but it has some insight. surely some of the fear driving all this hate is that it might lead some people to redefine feminism, so you can be pro-woman AND anti-abortion.

I mean the notion that this is what women have wanted throughout feminist history is simply factually wrong.

And i won't even bother with the misrepresentations of palin's positions.
9.21.2008 2:50am
one of many:
Just a question that has been bothering me that this rant has brought up, is Palin anti-choice or just pro-life? To be more specific, has she ever stated that she favors laws which criminalize abortion? I've not been able to find such a statement myself one way or the other, the noise on the issue keeps drowning out any signal.
9.21.2008 2:58am
Mark Rockwell (mail):
You have to admit, it's pretty funny that the first woman VP could come from the (far?) right.

A bittersweet victory, to be sure.
9.21.2008 3:00am
Kevin P. (mail):
Mark Morford is a secret right wing plot to make leftists, liberals and their newspapers look like gibbering idiots.

As an example, see the op-ed he wrote when Charlton Heston was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Distributing these op-eds in Middle America makes the average middle-of-the-road American citizen run from the leftists as if they were lepers. It also reaffirms the conviction of conservatives that they should never allow these people to come anywhere near the levers of power.

As Andrew Sullivan (oops, shouldn't have mentioned his name) would say: 'tis a perfect Rovian plot.
9.21.2008 3:02am
Harry Eagar (mail):
Whassa matta? They couldn't find a nutty woman in the Bay Area to write this, they had to get a guy?

Come on, girls, break the glass ceiling!
9.21.2008 3:14am
one of many:
Kevin, are you saying then that Andrew Sullivan is really still a right winger and just acting insane to make the left look bad? That actually makes a lot sense in considering his recent work. How about Moulitsas?
9.21.2008 3:19am
Mitchell J. Freedman (mail) (www):
When the left or liberals accuse Palin of murder, openly call her a bitch, a witch and/or a lesbian, then we can start to talk about "derangement syndrome..."

Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall this horror among libertarians and conservatives at the Hillary bashing that began even before husband Bill ascended to the presidency. To hear such horror at relatively tame rants from liberals and leftists from David and others is pathetic, if not laughable.

And I say this as someone who has never been a Hillary fan from a public policy standpoint.
9.21.2008 3:32am
Kirk:
Harry Eagar wins Best Comment! :-)
9.21.2008 3:55am
Kirk:
Mitchell,

I believe there are some moose that are no longer with us--will that do?
9.21.2008 4:03am
Splunge:
Well, you know, chronic drug abuse can cause subtle forms of brain damage, some of which can mimic the loss of perspective and collapse of supervisory thought processes that occur in some of the crueler forms of dementia. Basically, the foaming frantic id shines through all the time, sort of the mental equivalent of losing bowel control.
9.21.2008 4:19am
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Somehow, flaming homosexuals like Andrew Sullivan trashing a real woman like Palin is laughable. Like he's an expert on femininity. BTW, this perception of Palin as a ditz is pretty weird. I can't imagine her getting elected to governor of Alaska being a ditz. It's anti-intuitive.
9.21.2008 5:43am
Kevin P. (mail):

Mitchell J. Freedman:
When the left or liberals accuse Palin of murder, openly call her a bitch, a witch and/or a lesbian, then we can start to talk about "derangement syndrome..."


Here you go:

Sandra Bernhard: Palin Would Be Gang-Raped By Blacks in Manhattan

She calls Palin a bitch as well.
9.21.2008 5:43am
Kevin P. (mail):
Sarah Palin: A slimy predator. An article written in the Salt Lake Tribune by Barb Guy, the resident leftie there. Note: The screed is entirely content free.
9.21.2008 5:48am
EIDE_Interface (mail):

Here you go:

Sandra Bernhard: Palin Would Be Gang-Raped By Blacks in Manhattan

She calls Palin a bitch as well.


The left - keeping it classy since 1964....
9.21.2008 6:53am
Pete Freans (mail):
I recall taking a college course years ago called "Ecofeminism". To this day, I'm still not sure what that class was about, but at the time, I was interested in learning what feminism was and who populated this group. There may have been a campus rumor at the time that the male-female ratio in class would be significantly in my favor, so that probably was a motive to a certain 21 year old college student who also needed to fulfill his philosophy credits.

Shortly after a few weeks, I quickly learned that feminists were very similar to the above article. They were nasty, suspicious and much more close-minded then I expected. Overall, they were very protective of their movement. And they were certainly not interested in discussing issues with a 21 year old student wearing a Calvin &Hobbes T-shirt.

I prefer "Governor Palin's feminism" and I would wholeheartedly accept her as one my political leaders. I don't view her with any less regard because she doesn't follow the traditional feminist paradigm. In fact, I have greater respect for her individuality.
9.21.2008 9:29am
Bpbatista (mail):
Is Mark Morford a pen name for Karl Rove? Brilliant strategery -- make Liberals look like blithering venomous hate mongers.

And what does "God pandering" mean?
9.21.2008 9:50am
loki13 (mail):
So, really, this is how it plays out?

I had been wondering where all the Palin posts had gone. It seems the initial buzz of new romance here on Volokh (so many posts!) shortly went into defensiveness (why is the media so mean to her, with their SMEARS and their FACTS), and has now gone into partisan acceptance.

Really, this is the best Palin post you can come up with? Some radical columnist? And the comments in this thread.... citing to a DailyKos commenter (not poster)... O RLY, (or perhaps, O'Reilly?).

Anyway, here's the facts, again:
1. She was a mystery to begin with, hence her popularity to those leaning Republican (libertarians saw her as a libertarian, religious conservatives saw her as a fellow end of times'er, pro-reform saw her as the gal who killed the Bridge to Nowhere, pro-business saw her dealing with energy companies etc. etc.). Also, her unpopularity with the Democratic base. Now that you know a little more about her, her you can no longer project your wishes onto her.

2. This is why Palin is viewed more unfavorably than any other candidate (P/VP). All polls that I've looked at confirm this. She has either a negative net rating or a (slight) positive rating, with the trends all pointing down. She peaked when she was announced, and absent some defining moment (the VP debates?) she will continue to be a slight drag.

3. She has been a huge drain on McCain resources. In addition to the time/attention that has been devoted to her recently by campaign staff, now we find out she is not even campaigning separately. One of the main advantages of the whole VP thing for campaigning is the ability to split your coverage in key battleground states.

4. She has energized the GOP base (which is good). However, she also appears to be turning away independents and swing voters. I wrote before that the choice of a VP, since LBJ, hasn't really changed a Presidential race. This was a risky choice; only after Nov. 4th will people be able to accurately say which of the following happened:

a) Increased base enthusiasm + fundraising = McCain victory, therefore good pick.

b) Base was going to (grudgingly) vote for McCain anyway, Palin keeps him from reaching out to swing voters = McCain loss, therefore bad pick.

c) Never made much of a difference. All these blog comments for nada.

Personally, I'm going to go with C. I still think the pick of Palin reflects poorly on McCain, but it's not a game-changer either way. Sometimes the Hail Mary pass doesn't fall in for a TD, and doesn't get intercepted, it just falls 20 yds. short of the endzone.
9.21.2008 10:00am
Martinus (mail) (www):
I've talked to many liberals who actually feel that way about Palin. They just blindly hate her because she isn't a good little feminist zombie, towing the movement's line. It's sickening how they slander and attack her just for being different!

There are hateful leftists out there like Morford. They aren't Conservative Caricatures.
9.21.2008 10:09am
Dan O (mail) (www):
Nate in Alice:
It's one of the great wonders of the civil rights movement that the right-wing always appropriates, then craps on, the achievements of minorities.


Quoted from page 326 of Revisionist History 101.
9.21.2008 10:33am
Norman Bates (mail):
SMatthewStolte:

A little bit off-topic, but I just became aware of the new Democrat absurdity (they evidently think it's witty) that "Jesus was a community organizer, Pontius Pilate was a governor." Someone needs to point out that Pontius Pilate was actually not a governor but a procurator (bag man for the Roman empire) and in Chicago most community organizers are in fact bag men for the Democrat political machine. A better statement of reality--albeit one not so pithy or "witty"--might be "Jesus was opposed to infanticide; Pontius Pilate was a community organizer for the Roman empire."

When Morford is talking about the women he knows, I can only assume most of them are women trapped in male bodies. They are hardly representative of women outside the Bay area.
9.21.2008 10:40am
ofidiofile:
EIDE_Interface:


I can't imagine her getting elected to governor of Alaska being a ditz. It's anti-intuitive.


I can. And I've actually lived there.
9.21.2008 10:54am
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
Who are those women? Hillary Clinton supporters, many of them.

Palin's selection wasn't a matter of McCain's pandering to the religious right in my view but rather to the Hillary Clinton feminists, a group of whom, after Obama prevailed in the primaries (as Clinton supporter, writer Lynette Long's article in last Sunday's Baltimore Sun points out), met with both Obama and McCain, suggesting concessions in favor of women that each might make in order to win their support in the general election.

Obama, even without selecting a woman as his V.P., they proposed should appoint a proportionate number (50%) women in his cabinet; this Obama flatly refused to do.

It's important for people to realize that O. thus had two significant opportunities to acquire and retain the fervent loyalty of those Hillary supporters. Even after the misogynistic blast of slime that the Dem base a la Daily Kos et al. along with the MSM spewed on Hillary and her supporters during the primaries (and is now being redirected at Palin) — even after thereupon spurning Clinton as his running mate — Obama arrogantly rejected the second chance (or is it third?) her supporters (at least that group of them) provided him.

McCain, contrariwise, listened to the Hillary women's proposition (which was that he choose a woman running mate among other things) respectfully, and acted on it. According to those sources, at that meeting they enthusiastically discussed Palin with him, and the rest is (at least pre general election) history.

As Ms. Long (who herself was among those who met with Obama and McCain) put it in her piece:
Yes, policy is important, but who decides and delivers that policy is even more important. Children incorporate many of their perceptions about gender by age 5. Little girls won't understand if Sarah Palin is pro-life or pro-choice, believes in gun control or is a member of the NRA, but they will know the vice president of the United States is a girl — and that alone will alter their perceptions of themselves.

I have given my loyalty to the Democratic Party for decades. My party, which is comprised primarily of women, has not put a woman on a presidential ticket for 24 years. My party stood silently by as Hillary Clinton was eviscerated by the mainstream media. My party and its candidate gave their tacit approval for the attacks on Mrs. Clinton (and, consequently, women in general).

I can vote for my party and its candidates, which have demonstrated a blatant disrespect for women and a fundamental lack of integrity. Or I can vote for the Republican ticket, which has heard our concerns and put a woman on the ticket, but with which I fundamentally don't agree on most issues.

Right now, for me, gender trumps everything else. If Democratic women wait for the perfect woman to come along, we will never elect a woman. I will vote for McCain-Palin. I urge other women to do the same. I promise to be the first person knocking on her door if Roe v. Wade or any other legislation that goes against the rights of women is threatened. But in Governor Palin, I find a woman of integrity, who not only talks the talk but walks the walk. I can work with that. I will work with that.

Read the whole thing. Folks might also like to check out sentiments at (unofficial) Hillary Clinton sites such as HillaryClintonForum.net.
9.21.2008 10:58am
SMatthewStolte (mail):
Norman Bates: Part of my point was that comparing your opponent to Pontius Pilate is deeply offensive. As is, I think, saying that women are not really women, because of their political beliefs. But even though your comment is sort of on the defense, my criticism should cut both ways.

loki13: If the only hateful screeds we could find were in the DailyKos comments section, you would have a point, but it's easy enough to bump into this sort of hateful stuff. It is impossible to satirize Cintra Wilson, for instance. And yes, there are things to like about Sarah Palin.

Michael Freedman: go back up to my post and follow those links. Also try this one:
Intolerance Thrives in Palin's Pacific Northwest.
9.21.2008 11:02am
loki13 (mail):
SMatthew,

Nice try, but the boat has sailed. Here's the facts:

1. Palin, like almost anyone introduced to the national stage, had her highest popularity rates immediately.

2. The "Palin effect" now looks like a typical convention bounce, and has disappeared.

3. She is the most negatively viewed of all four candidates, and that is unlikely to change (but not impossible).

4. So, the final analysis for her is this: does her ability to excite the GOP base (in more ways than one, apparently) exceed the liability she has become for the campaign?

Don't know the answer to four yet. As for McNeil and his relatively silly post- look at the numbers (the plural of Op-Ed is not data). Obama continues to attract the female vote. Palin has helped McCain with old, white, non-educated women who were trending GOP anyway, but those were unlikely to vote for Obama to begin with.
9.21.2008 11:29am
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
I treasure being called “silly” by the likes of loki — as I sure do the likes of Lynette Long.
9.21.2008 11:44am
Brian K (mail):
If not, though, it's a very funny satire of Palin Derangement Syndrome.

this is a bit rich coming from someone with a clear case of OBS*.

*Obama derangement syndrome
9.21.2008 11:45am
Kevin P. (mail):
Shouldn't that be ODS?
9.21.2008 11:51am
kmg:
As a liberal democrat with a moderate Republican grandfather who was incredibly supportive of women's equality, my first thought was one of embarrassment that Palin was chosen. There have been many talented, accomplished Republican women who I disagree with on policy issues but whom I nonetheless admire for their leadership. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Elizabeth Dole come to mind. I think that Condoleeza Rice has been too tainted by the Iraq disinformation campaign, but I have no doubt that she's an incredibly talented and capable person. And then Sarah Palin? I want a person who has been interested in making a career of understanding our complex country and world. Palin seems to have nothing but raw political talent and a commitment to pro-life issues. That's fine, but the leaders I respect (male or female) express a curiosity about the outside world.

Still, this post is a horrific example of the absolute idiocy that prevails in a part of the American left that has no interest in any dialogue. One of the women who introduced me to women's right issues was a staunch Pro-life Christian who brought us, as girl scouts, to volunteer at a domestic violence shelter. So to me, hearing people talk about God or about opposition to abortion doesn't make me just tune them out as subhuman...
9.21.2008 11:57am
Skorri (mail):
It seems clear to me that it's a mostly genuine rant made over the top for comedic effect.

I'll admit I am a bit confused about the responses to the article, though. Okay, it's no exactly a slide splitter, but the sentiment is fair enough. Palin is where she is today thanks to feminism, but she is not one herself. There's some irony in that, and most feminists, whether they can stand Palin or not, are glad to see a woman as a viable VP candidate. They just want to groan and roll their eyes when they see who it is.

And in response to the comment above asking if "the pinnacle of feminism [was] that a woman can be whomever she wants to be": no, no it absolutely is not. Someone choosing to take anti-feminist positions does not somehow become a feminist just because she is a woman.
9.21.2008 12:10pm
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
Who says Palin is not a “feminist”? She's a member of a group called Feminists for Life, which obviously implies she thinks she's some kind of feminist. She's run for state and local office, and won, and now for national office.
9.21.2008 12:15pm
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
Does anybody really think that this kind of over the top reaction would have occurred had McCain selected any male state governor in the land as his running mate?
9.21.2008 12:17pm
common sense (www):
Skorri,
I was not implying that she is a feminist, although Michael seems willing to argue that point. My point was that feminists want equality for all women, which includes the ability for women--feminists and non-feminists alike--to make what choices they want unencumbered by a male dominated society. The irony I find here is that this particular view of feminism wants women to be encumbered by a woman dominated substrate of society. Doesn't seem to be that much of an improvement.
9.21.2008 12:20pm
Al (mail):

Obama, even without selecting a woman as his V.P., they proposed should appoint a proportionate number (50%) women in his cabinet; this Obama flatly refused to do....even after thereupon spurning Clinton as his running mate — Obama arrogantly rejected the second chance (or is it third?) her supporters (at least that group of them) provided him.


So Obama rejected a demand from some Hillary supporters for a 50% gender quota in his cabinet in exchange for their support? Maybe he's not quite as bad as I thought.
9.21.2008 12:27pm
Mitchell J. Freedman (mail) (www):
You guys will have to do better than Sandra Bernhard and somebody I never heard of. Remember, you guys all believe in something called the "liberal" mainstream media. These sorts of attacks should be screaming from our televisions and radios every single night.

Your examples are like the adage that "the exception proves the rule"...
9.21.2008 12:43pm
Syd Henderson (mail):

Nate in Alice:
I take that back. You would be hearing these types or rants if McCain chose any woman who was pro-choice and/or homophobic.


I don't think you'd be hearing the bit about shooting exhausted wolves from helicopters.

By the way, does she actually do that? I've only heard that she vetoed a bill that allows people to do it, but not that she does it herself.
9.21.2008 12:46pm
Kirk:
And what does "God pandering" mean?
Telling God what He wants to hear, instead of speaking truth to Power™?
9.21.2008 1:06pm
Jmaie (mail):
Loki13

3. She is the most negatively viewed of all four candidates, and that is unlikely to change (but not impossible).


Am curious what this is sourced from. Thanks.
9.21.2008 1:16pm
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
These sorts of attacks should be screaming from our televisions and radios every single night.

The mainstream media is mostly more subtle than the sort of “screaming” we see in the referenced piece at top. They like to do things like “interview” her, misquote her while asserting her “exact words” in a way which eviscerates her point and makes her appear extreme — and most folks lap it up unquestioningly. Her comments about Russia during the ABC interview provide a particularly acute case in point (read Palin's actual comments in this regard, and compare with the media — and now popular — caricature).
9.21.2008 1:18pm
Mitchell J. Freedman (mail) (www):
Mr. McNeil, let's not confuse the type of treatment Palin is receiving to the personal, venomous attacks Hillary received in the so-called "liberal" MSM for a decade and a half. There was nothing subtle about those attacks, starting with the allegation that she had Vince Foster killed and was a lesbian. Heck, Ed Klein's book, which made that allegation (at least I think it was Klein's book) received big media attention.

Your examples are of the type that Al Gore endured. He never said he "invented" the Internet, and never said a host of things that were attributed to him. He was attacked for messing up the one time he traveled to a disaster without being with the head of FEMA (he was with an assistant to the head of FEMA) and the again so-called "liberal" media said this was a prime example of Gore's "tendency" to exaggerate. Again, you fellas are jumping to rescue of Palin in ways that show a deliberate amnesia as to how the "liberals" like Hillary and the pre-2001 Gore were treated in the media.

Let's recall what started this thread of comments, which is the line David used that there is a Palin Derangement Syndrome among liberals and leftists. I oppose Palin's ideas, not her gender. And so do most liberals and leftists. Again, Sandra Bernhard is someone who has not been relevant for 15 years, and now I guess we can see why. She sounds as pathetic as Dennis Miller...
9.21.2008 1:52pm
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
Folks might reacquaint themselves with the fact that many people in Alaska actually depend on hunting game such as moose to supplement their food supply. These are the animals that the oh-so cuddly (and far from endangered) wolves in Alaska prey on. Thus it's a matter of helping keep food on people's tables.
9.21.2008 1:55pm
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
So Obama rejected a demand from some Hillary supporters for a 50% gender quota in his cabinet in exchange for their support? Maybe he's not quite as bad as I thought.

I knew many people here's ears would perk up at that, but look at it from a President O.'s point of view. Does anyone really think that the (majority female) Democratic Party base along with many independents would freak out at the notion — were he to latch onto it and popularize it — of, finally, bringing the President's cabinet into line (at least to 50%) with the proportion of women in this country? Or that there would be any trouble finding competent women who could capably fill most of the cabinet posts? Rather, it might well be a popular sensation. So why didn't he? One can only think that he wanted yet again to spurn women. What a reformer and new-way thinker Obama's proving to be! And what arrogance and recklessness with his chances in the election he's displaying.
9.21.2008 2:07pm
theobromophile (www):
Two hundred years (OK, more like 2000) of struggle, only to have this nasty caricature of femininity try to hijack and mock and undermine it all?

Caricature of femininity, not feminism. So what is not "feminine" about having five kids? Or is it that being "America's Most Popular Governor" is not sufficiently ladylike for the people of San Francisco?

Feminism is defined as belief in the political, economic, and social equality of women. Somehow, the Democrats decided that anyone who is not one of them is not a feminist - that feminism is inextricably intertwined with the progressive movement. Apparently, men are allowed to vote on the issues, but women need not vote exclusively for women, but most vote exclusively Left.

What really kills these people is that Palin, by her very existence, undermines the belief that women need abortion. A forty-something woman governor with four kids and an amniocentesis that reveals that her fifth has Down's Syndrome is the poster child for that "need." It's this lack of victimhood that brings forth the anger.
9.21.2008 2:23pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Loki13 has it right. HC killed Vince Foster was a talking point of a not-insignificant chunk of Repubs -- more than an actress and an over-the-top columnist.

Also, let's note the percentage of Americans who believe Obama is a Muslim before Republicans get all outraged at the unfair attacks on Palin.
9.21.2008 2:28pm
Alaska Jack (mail):
EIDE_Interface --> I can't imagine her getting elected to governor of Alaska being a ditz. It's anti-intuitive.

ofidiofile ----> I can. And I've actually lived there.

Well, I actually live there now, and I can tell you that, at least, it's not the common perception of her here. Her approval rating wouldn't have been up in the 80s if it were.

- Alaska Jack
9.21.2008 2:30pm
loki13 (mail):
Jmaie-

Look at any polling that breaks down favorables.

Here's sourcing for 9/16:

The poll that had her at +/- 0 now has her at -7.

Current polls place her from negative to (slight) positive in favorable/unfavorables, well below the other candidates, with the trend line being a consistent down since nomination.

That and five bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks, but it's better than citing random Op-Eds.
9.21.2008 2:35pm
The General:
They say: You've got to be kidding me. They say: This is what we get? [Obama] could be our historic role model? Two hundred years (OK, more like 2000) of struggle, only to have this nasty caricature of [blackness] try to hijack and mock and undermine it all?


It's fixed now.
9.21.2008 2:46pm
The General:
this rant is how typical lefties think. They should not be allowed to be in power in this country. Don't let these fruitcakes get their way. Vote McCain.
9.21.2008 2:47pm
whit:

This confuses me. Shouldn't the pinnacle of feminism be that a woman can be whomever she wants to be?


not according to (gender) feminists. they live by the de beauvoir philosophy about no woman should be allowed to stay at home and raise kids because if given the CHOICE, too many will choose that... not that palin stayed at home, but you get the point.

palin is one of the most accomplished women in the country - one of just a few governors, and having the highest approval rating of any governor. but she's also married to her high school sweetheart, she screams fecundity, she is pro-life, she is not part of the academic elite, etc. she's a huge threat to gender feminism.
9.21.2008 2:47pm
Alaska Jack (mail):
That whole aerial wolf hunting thing is the phoniest political "controversy" I've ever personally experienced.

The truth is that there are two issues:

1. Should we control wolf populations in order to increase the numbers of game animals?

2. If so, how should we do it?

Anti-hunting activists continually try to blur these lines. They cry about the poor, exhausted wolfs, being terrified by the cruel, unsportsmanlike airborne hunters. Give me a break. These people are against hunting by ANY means, period. And if they would just be honest about that, and attempt to persuade people that hunting is wrong and we shouldn't do it, I would TOTALLY respect that.

I think my opinion on this is relatively objective because I have no opinion on question #1, above. I don't know *whether* we should cull wolf populations. But I do know that IF we decide to do so, then I want it done in the most efficient way possible, which probably means bounties claimed by aerial hunters.

Who gives a flying #$&! about whether it's "sporting?" That's up to the hunter to decide and/or care about. I don't give a $#!%, and the secret truth is, neither do the Friends of Animals. They're opposed to ALL hunting. In this case, it's just a cheap ploy to get people to oppose this particular form of hunting.

- Alaska Jack
9.21.2008 2:47pm
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
All loki's figures reveal is that the blast of media misinformation is having an effect. Who could have guessed that?
9.21.2008 2:49pm
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
Not only is Palin's approval rating up in stratospheric levels of 86% generally in Alaska, but 75% of Alaska Democrats approve of her. In what other state in the Union does that even approach being true for a Republican governor?
9.21.2008 2:52pm
one of many:
And what does "God pandering" mean?

I believe the term is used to refer to those despicable politicians like McCain and Palin who parade a belief in God to establish credentials with Right-wing fanatics . Not to be confused with a mention of a relationship with God to demonstrate faith to those-of-faith on the left and middle, something which is frequently done by reputable politicians like Obama and Biden.
9.21.2008 3:04pm
JosephSlater (mail):
If you want something that is more clearly satire about Palin, maybe this will do?
9.21.2008 3:16pm
Suzy (mail):
Well, whoever this writer is, he's obviously a nutjob. You're always going to get crazy comments from extremists like that. In general, though, I agree with the person above who noted that if we had seen a pick like Condoleeza Rice or Kay Bailey Hutchison. If he had picked one of those women, I think he would actually have peeled off significant numbers of women voters from Obama (including me). I don't agree with Rice on everything, but I respect her intellect and experience and she's a 100% class act. Hutchison comes even closer to my own views and I would have loved to see her as our first woman President (as would my parents, my in laws, basically everyone I know who is turned off by Palin even though they normally lean GOP). It's hard to overlook that, and it's not related to this extremist left rhetoric like the piece above.
9.21.2008 3:34pm
Norman Bates (mail):
loki13:

Here's sourcing for 9/16:
The DailyKos poll?? I assume that now it's you who are attempting satire!
9.21.2008 3:57pm
SMatthewStolte (mail):
loki13: Maybe we have misunderstood each other's point. I'm not arguing anything about Palin's poll numbers. I haven't seen numbers to support what you're saying, but that doesn't mean they aren't out there. So it could be that she isn't having the kind of positive effect I personally would like her to have. My point is not really about that, but about the vitriolic reaction against her. I find it very troubling. And I think that Morford is tame by comparison to some of these other folks.

You guys will have to do better than Sandra Bernhard and somebody I never heard of. Remember, you guys all believe in something called the "liberal" mainstream media. These sorts of attacks should be screaming from our televisions and radios every single night.


Well, I have no commitment to believing such a thing. I think that, for the most part, the liberal bias of the media stems from a tendency of liberals to have trouble putting themselves in the mindset of conservatives. Usually, when reporters demonstrate a bias against conservatives, it is because they genuinely don't understand why an intelligent person could believe such a thing. I've found this is especially true when the press covers matters dealing with Christian theology. I almost never take the daily newspaper for its word when it describes a statement from the Vatican, for instance, just because reporters are usually poor theologians and don't pick up on important nuance in Vatican statements. This isn't malice; it's just ignorance. Hence, when Charles Gibson asked Governor Palin if she thought we were fighting a holy war, I think his concern about Palin's religious convictions was real &sincere. I'm sure he had heard the full quote in context but didn't pick up the fact that Palin could not have said what she did without epistemic humility about the justness of any war. Rather, what he heard was that Palin believed God had ordained the USA to be His mighty sword on earth. And if that were true, then of course he should have been worried.

One explanation for why liberals may have difficulty sympathizing with conservatives is a theory suggested by research available at www.yourmorals.org They find that people tend to use five categories of harm, fairness, loyalty, authority, and purity to assess moral questions. Conservatives tend to place a lot of weight on all five categories. Liberals tend to consider loyalty, authority, and purity much less important. What this suggests to me is that, in order for conservatives to sympathize with the views of liberals, they need only subtract three normative principles from the way they themselves reason. Liberals, perhaps, have the more difficult task of adding normative principles. If I recall correctly, this would be consistent with a recent article from Jonathan Haidt about why people vote for Republicans (the fact that this is so confusing and requires sociological research to account for it is also evidence that liberals have a hard time wearing conservative shoes). But I could be misremembering the Haidt article, so I could be mistaken.

However …

this would only explain standard liberal media bias, and not the especially vitriolic reaction we have seen against Palin.

The most extreme of the Palin-haters are, to be sure, not Charles Gibson's peers. But Sandra Bernhard isn't just the neighborhood drunk spouting off anger for having a bad life. Salon.com isn't an insignificant online magazine. A Professor from the Universtity of Chicago writing in Newsweek isn't nothing. Newsweek has an international distribution, for crying out loud. The Philadelphia Inquirer is one of the oldest newspapers in the US with an enormous circulation. It doesn't take a team of CIA operatives to find the nonsense out there.

One of the reasons this is troubling is how many attacks on Palin are truly dehumanizing. The Sandra Bernhard, Cintra Wilson, and Pontius Pilate attacks (on the house floor) are dehumanizing attacks. The Philadelphia Inquirer article, suggesting that Palin might be comparable to Terry Nichols and Ted Kaczynski, and the Aryan nation is bigoted and hateful.

I'm glad that the AP hasn't gone to that extreme, but I'll be damned if what this country needs is a more moderated form of hatred, a toned down hatred, a measured hatred. When some folks decided to break into Sarah Palin's e-mail account, the AP decided that the right spin was to blame the Governor. And they decided it would be appropriate to refuse to provide the secret service with copies of the e-mails that were stolen. Does the fact that they didn't go to the extremes of the Philadelphia Inquirer or Newsweek or Salon or the Washington Post mean something? That article wasn't bigoted or hateful. It was just biased, and the right response is criticism rather than out and out condemnation.
9.21.2008 4:09pm
Turk Turon (mail):
loki13 said:

Palin has helped McCain with old, white, non-educated women who were trending GOP anyway, but those were unlikely to vote for Obama to begin with.


Good point! Who needs those stereotyping, racist, sexist, ageist Trogoldytes anyway?

[/sarcasm]
9.21.2008 4:20pm
loki13 (mail):
Turk et al,

First, the help she was providing with one demographic isn't that helpful because that demo was already trending McCain. Throwing a life preserver to someone on a boat isn't too helpful.

Second, the link I provided had more than the Research2000 poll (see also Hotline). While that poll has been criticized for overrepresenting hispanics, its overall methodology is considered sound. However, I notice you didn't address the other polls. You have any positive ones you'd like to share? I didn't think so. Please, continue with your op-eds and troll comments you've cherry picked; I wouldn't want numbers to get in your way.

Third, SMatthew- I appreciate your reasoned response. While I disagree with you, I think you have a valid point. I happen to dislike Palin's policies. I find it intriguing that others (notably some GOP hacks on this board) who are normally so against identity politics are finding it surprising that women might vote on issues. As for her favorable/unfavorable numbers- I don't think that is media bias. I think she was a risky, and in many ways, poor pick. The "American People" haven't been impressed so far. The best antidote to this would be to hear her unscripted; so far, the McCain campaign has chosen not to do this. The media loves narratives (McCain is the aging warrior, Obama is the less-experienced 'professor' type etc.), and the media narrative around Palin has already coalesced.
9.21.2008 4:43pm
A.W. (mail):
Loki13

> I had been wondering where all the Palin posts had gone. It seems the initial buzz of new romance here on Volokh (so many posts!) shortly went into defensiveness (why is the media so mean to her, with their SMEARS and their FACTS), and has now gone into partisan acceptance.

Actually what happened is the Democrats attacked her and managed to hurt Obama instead. So they are attacking her less, and thus the rest of us are talking about her less.

And frankly, I have yet to see a fact-based attack on her.

> Really, this is the best Palin post you can come up with?

Best is a relative term. I would be the most deluded.

> This is why Palin is viewed more unfavorably than any other candidate

I don’t know which polls you are looking at. For instance Rasmussen says that if the election was between Biden and Palin, Palin would win the popular vote.

And no, a Daily Kos poll doesn’t count.

> now we find out she is not even campaigning separately. One of the main advantages of the whole VP thing for campaigning is the ability to split your coverage in key battleground states.

Well, in truth that is an embarrassment for McCain. Apparently people are showing up for her more than him. Thus the decision.

> However, she also appears to be turning away independents and swing voters.

Right with the daily march of prominent democrats declaring themselves for McCain.

The fact is McCain does the following:

a) Make McCain competitive in reaching out to women;

b) solidifies his reform message;

c) reduces Obama’s history factor—now if you want to “make history” in your selection, you can still vote for McCain;

d) closes the enthusiasm gap; and

e) drives liberals so batty that it will scare sane people into the Republican came. Exhibit A for that is the commentary quoted here, exhibit B is the woman who said that palin as not a real woman, and exhibit C is people like you.
9.21.2008 4:54pm
Seamus (mail):
This confuses me. Shouldn't the pinnacle of feminism be that a woman can be whomever she wants to be?

No, but it should be for her to be whoever she wants to be.
9.21.2008 4:55pm
theobromophile (www):
Loki,

I know I have a few grey hairs (like, 10, and it's frightening). I know that I didn't go the PhD route as an engineer. Is that how you explain how "old, white, non-educated women" like myself are beyond excited about Palin?
9.21.2008 4:56pm
loki13 (mail):
theo,

Demographics isn't destiny. If I were to say that the selection of Obama has increased the black turnout for the Democratic ticket, that would be true; it is not relevant whether a black individual chooses to vote for him or not.

I'm trying to give the benefit of the doubt- instead of saying that Palin hasn't helped at all, I've seen a small tick in support in the older, white, non-educated female demographic. This was likely to happen anyway, as this demographic tends to support their spouse's choice (or vice-versa), and McCain had a statistically significant lead there anyway. Perhaps you were going to vote for Obama until this- given your posting history, I doubt it. It simply moves you from (grudging) McCain vote to (enthusiastic) McCain vote. Both votes count the same, unless you use your enthusiasm to persuade and recruit swing voters.

A.W.

I would try to refute you, but your post is fact-free. I linked to two polls; others are out there. Please provide one post showing Palin either trending better in favorable/unfavorable OR with better numbers than any other candidate. Yes, I'm still waiting.
9.21.2008 5:48pm
loki13 (mail):
correction-

Please provide one *poll*
9.21.2008 5:49pm
Visitor Again:
Norman Bates left this trail of excrement:

in Chicago most community organizers are in fact bag men for the Democrat political machine

On the Volokh Conspiracy most people who say that are whores for the radical right who want to see the poor and oppressed remain poor and oppressed. My authority for this is the same as yours for what you said--your asshole.
9.21.2008 6:13pm
Smokey:
Visitor Again:

Looks like Norman Bates got to you by simply stating a fact. heh.

Nate in Alice:
Hey, you wouldn't be hearing these types of rants if McCain had chosen say, Olympia Snowe or Kay Bailey Hutchison or Condoleeza Rice.
Sure, Alice. Keep telling yourself that fairy tale.
9.21.2008 6:29pm
A.W. (mail):
Well, jesus Loki, i gave you a roadmap. but if you are too stupid to find rasmussen's site, here you go.
9.21.2008 6:56pm
Mac (mail):

JosephSlater (mail):
Loki13 has it right. HC killed Vince Foster was a talking point of a not-insignificant chunk of Repubs -- more than an actress and an over-the-top columnist.

Who exactly? What mainstream Republican said that, please?


Also, let's note the percentage of Americans who believe Obama is a Muslim before Republicans get all outraged at the unfair attacks on Palin.


Two thoughts, Joseph. One, if Obama would quit calling himself a Muslim as he recently did in a televised interview (sorry, I forget with whom), it might help.

And, two, it would be very interesting to see what percentage of those folks who believe that are Democrats. Remember, the concern that people won't vote for Obama because he is black is not about Republicans as they aren't going to vote for him due to his political philosophy no matter what his color. The concern is all about Democrats not voting for him because he is black. Ed Rendell was not talking about Republicans not being ready to vote for a black man when he made that statement. It was during the Democratic Presidential Primary in Penn. and he was talking about Democrats.
9.21.2008 7:02pm
loki13 (mail):
A.W.

I trust you're not too dense... but Palin isn't running against Biden. This is about the favorable/unfavorable ratings of each politician. Please, try again.
9.21.2008 7:05pm
YabbaDabba:
As a liberal Democrat, I profess that I am very anti-Palin. What David Bernstein and many of the commenters here fail to note, though, is the lens through which so many women and liberals and others view anti-choice politicians and policies. To us, being in favor of criminalizing abortion represents the antithesis of female autonomy to control their reproductive choices. That's about it.
9.21.2008 7:09pm
YabbaDabba:
Also, Mac, give us a break. The Obama being a Muslim meme was effectively given a kick-start by Fox News almost nine months ago and repeated over and over and over again by conservative outlets and conservative morons. See here: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/22/obama.madrassa/
9.21.2008 7:12pm
Mac (mail):
loki wrote'

Ive seen a small tick in support in the older, white, non-educated female demographic.


Loki, are you equating non-educated with stupid? I have know an awful lot of stupid educated folks. I'm not sure an education saves one from stupidity and the lack of one ensures stupidity. I know quite a few "uneducated" folks and I find them usually to be a lot smarter than your average college grad.

I am guessing that you mean that if these women were just educated they would see the light and vote Obama and hate Palin. I doubt if you mean to, but you are certainly sounding very elitist and very condescending. Kind of like "clinging to their guns and religion" as Obama said. At least, he indicated that both sexes were equally stupid and wasn't singling out women as you are doing. :-)
9.21.2008 7:14pm
Sam H (mail):
loki13 Please provide one post showing Palin either trending better in favorable/unfavorable OR with better numbers than any other candidate.

Here you go

Palin 47%, Biden 44% in Make-believe Presidential Match-up
9.21.2008 7:15pm
loki13 (mail):
Sam H-

Please read all the posts. Imaginary questions don't help. Most of the polls do favorable/unfavorable ratings; the 'or' meant either a trend or an absolute number, not a trend or any metric you chose.

Mac-
That's the demographic. Non-educated = no college education. There's no normative valuation other than placing them into a category.
9.21.2008 7:47pm
Mac (mail):
Yabbadabba,

This is from that bastion of conservatism, the LA Times, MaRCH 16,2007.


J

AKARTA, Indonesia — As a boy in Indonesia, Barack Obama crisscrossed the religious divide. At the local primary school, he prayed in thanks to a Catholic saint. In the neighborhood mosque, he bowed to Allah.

Having a personal background in Christianity and Islam might seem useful for an aspiring U.S. president in an age when Islamic nations and radical groups are key national security and foreign policy issues. But a connection with Islam is untrod territory for presidential politics.



Obama's four years as a child in Indonesia underscore how dramatically his background differs from that of past presidential hopefuls, most of whom spent little, if any, time in other countries. No one knows how voters will react to a candidate with an early exposure to Islam, a religion that remains foreign to many Americans.

Obama's campaign aides have emphasized his strong Christian beliefs and downplayed any Islamic connection. The Illinois senator was raised "in a secular household in Indonesia by his stepfather and mother," his chief spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said in a statement in January after false reports began circulating that Obama had attended a radical madrasa, or Koranic school, as a child.

"To be clear, Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends the United Church of

Christ in Chicago," Gibbs' Jan. 24 statement said. In a statement to The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, the campaign offered slightly different wording, saying: "Obama has never been a practicing Muslim." The statement added that as a child, Obama had spent time in the neighborhood's Islamic center.

His former Roman Catholic and Muslim teachers, along with two people who were identified by Obama's grade-school teacher as childhood friends, say Obama was registered by his family as a Muslim at both of the schools he attended.




You can read the whole article here:


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/bal-te.obama

So, the story is not without some merit. Also, Insight magazine said it was the Hillary camp who came up with this story and if you don't believe that, do you perhaps recall the "exposure" of Obama's grade school essay by the Clinton camp in which Obama wrote that he wanted to be POTUS? I think it's safe to say they were they were digging and if you don't believe it, you are too much of an ideologue to be reasoned with. Please, note the Obama inconsistencies.

I, personally, don't think much of it, one way or the other except to note that Obama was less than forthcoming when he should have just told the truth. However, I don't expect 100% purity of my politicians just as I don't think that just because Obama was misleading it would justify McCain being misleading.

Also, the CNN video was wrong, if the LA Times is right and they seem to have done much more work on the story than CNN. While you are busy bashing FOX, wouldn't it be nice if CNN et al, spent as much time debunking the slanders against Palin as they did with Obama (even though they sort of got that wrong in Obama's favor)? Or, perhaps you just see one side of things?


loki13 wrote:
Mac
That's the demographic. Non-educated = no college education. There's no normative valuation other than placing them into a category.



Sorry, perhaps I read in the disdain. If it was not intended, I apologize.

Yabbadabba,

Where is your response re just exactly who believes this? Surely, Democrats aren't watching Fox.
9.21.2008 8:47pm
Mac (mail):
Yabbadabba,

This is from that bastion of conservatism, the LA Times, MaRCH 16,2007.


J

AKARTA, Indonesia — As a boy in Indonesia, Barack Obama crisscrossed the religious divide. At the local primary school, he prayed in thanks to a Catholic saint. In the neighborhood mosque, he bowed to Allah.

Having a personal background in Christianity and Islam might seem useful for an aspiring U.S. president in an age when Islamic nations and radical groups are key national security and foreign policy issues. But a connection with Islam is untrod territory for presidential politics.



Obama's four years as a child in Indonesia underscore how dramatically his background differs from that of past presidential hopefuls, most of whom spent little, if any, time in other countries. No one knows how voters will react to a candidate with an early exposure to Islam, a religion that remains foreign to many Americans.

Obama's campaign aides have emphasized his strong Christian beliefs and downplayed any Islamic connection. The Illinois senator was raised "in a secular household in Indonesia by his stepfather and mother," his chief spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said in a statement in January after false reports began circulating that Obama had attended a radical madrasa, or Koranic school, as a child.

"To be clear, Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends the United Church of

Christ in Chicago," Gibbs' Jan. 24 statement said. In a statement to The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, the campaign offered slightly different wording, saying: "Obama has never been a practicing Muslim." The statement added that as a child, Obama had spent time in the neighborhood's Islamic center.

His former Roman Catholic and Muslim teachers, along with two people who were identified by Obama's grade-school teacher as childhood friends, say Obama was registered by his family as a Muslim at both of the schools he attended.




You can read the whole article sat the LA Times web site.




So, the story is not without some merit. Also, Insight magazine said it was the Hillary camp who came up with this story and if you don't believe that, do you perhaps recall the "exposure" of Obama's grade school essay by the Clinton camp in which Obama wrote that he wanted to be POTUS? I think it's safe to say they were they were digging and if you don't believe it, you are too much of an ideologue to be reasoned with. Please, note the Obama inconsistencies.

I, personally, don't think much of it, one way or the other except to note that Obama was less than forthcoming when he should have just told the truth. However, I don't expect 100% purity of my politicians just as I don't think that just because Obama was misleading it would justify McCain being misleading.

Also, the CNN video was wrong, if the LA Times is right and they seem to have done much more work on the story than CNN. While you are busy bashing FOX, wouldn't it be nice if CNN et al, spent as much time debunking the slanders against Palin as they did with Obama (even though they sort of got that wrong in Obama's favor)? Or, perhaps you just see one side of things?


loki13 wrote:
Mac
That's the demographic. Non-educated = no college education. There's no normative valuation other than placing them into a category.



Sorry, perhaps I read in the disdain. If it was not intended, I apologize.

Yabbadabba,

Where is your response re just exactly who believes this? Surely, Democrats aren't watching Fox.
9.21.2008 8:48pm
Mac (mail):
I have no idea how this was double posted. Must be a commie plot is all I can think of. Sorry.
9.21.2008 8:49pm
Smokey:
loki13:
A.W.

I trust you're not too dense... but Palin isn't running against Biden.
Someone sure is dense. And it isn't A.W.
9.21.2008 9:38pm
KWC (mail):
Now you neo-cons all know how liberals feel when they listen to Hannity, Limbaugh, "Dr." Laura, or Coulter. To name a few...
9.21.2008 10:16pm
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
(From the referenced article:) “Every white woman I know [in San Francisco] is positively horrified.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin draws 60,000 people in Florida (out of a population of 75,000) — along with a “mere” 20,000 in Carolina. Sounds like Obama must still yield champion rock star status to Palin….

Then, too, here's a charming picture of Todd Palin with a couple of his kids — holding aloft Reading Rainbow signs. Surely if the Palins were a quarter as rabidly right wing as the media caricature would have us believe, they wouldn't allow their kids within six blocks of a PBS program like that!
9.21.2008 10:46pm
David Warner:
Lokester:

"Anyway, here's the facts, again:"

Facts?

"1. She was a mystery to begin with, hence her popularity to those leaning Republican (libertarians saw her as a libertarian, religious conservatives saw her as a fellow end of times'er, pro-reform saw her as the gal who killed the Bridge to Nowhere, pro-business saw her dealing with energy companies etc. etc.)."

This is exactly wrong. She was no mystery to those of us (many libertarians) advocating for her nomination for months. See Beldar, for instance (he has a log of his Palin posts going back to April). It's not our fault the Dems and friends weren't paying attention.

Compared to almost any other prominent pol, she is a libertarian (I'll provide links if you're too blinkered to find them yourself), and pro-reform, with results. Non-left Christians and Social Cons like her because of the values revealed in her life choices and the fact that she doesn't bear an irrational hatred toward them (note the absence of Soc-con policies). Pro-business types actually are pretty leery (as Gov, she was pro-Alaskan, not pro- or anti-business), but leerier of Obama and (especially) his friends.

"Also, her unpopularity with the Democratic base."

This says more about the (remaining, after Palin ate a chunk in the swing states) Dem base than her.

"2. This is why Palin is viewed more unfavorably than any other candidate (P/VP). All polls that I've looked at confirm this. She has either a negative net rating or a (slight) positive rating, with the trends all pointing down."

My guess is that the unprecedented hit job on her is due to the fact that she reminds the boomers running our institutions of their own mortality, their least favorite subject. They didn't die before they got old, but they will be soon enough. That and these boomers are fixated on Roe.

"4. She has energized the GOP base (which is good). However, she also appears to be turning away independents and swing voters."

Evidence? I haven't noticed Obama running away with the independent vote. And GOP party identification numbers have surged - evidently these were former indies.

"I still think the pick of Palin reflects poorly on McCain"

We'll, you've got an obsolete worldview to maintain. Do what you gotta do.
9.21.2008 10:51pm
David Warner:
LWC,

"Now you neo-cons all know how liberals feel when they listen to Hannity, Limbaugh, "Dr." Laura, or Coulter. To name a few..."

Neo-cons? I'd say there are some cons here, some libertarians, and some anti-left liberals like me, but I doubt you'd find many neo-cons, especially those who fit the left stereotype of that term.

If, like me, you don't like Hannity et. al., why listen to them? I don't waste my time watching Family Guy or reading Chomsky.
9.21.2008 10:55pm
jbvv (mail):
So do you support Palin and believe that she is qualified to be vice president and could step into the Oval Office if need be and do a capable job?

I mean why don't you grow a pair and come out in favor of her instead of just criticizing critics?
9.21.2008 11:08pm
newscaper (mail):
Michael Edward Mcneil said:
"Obama, even without selecting a woman as his V.P., they proposed should appoint a proportionate number (50%) women in his cabinet; this Obama flatly refused to do."


I can't stand Obama, but he was absolutely right to refuse such crazed, hand-tying demand. It was extortion plain and simple.

Fact is, at the the top of the pool, and the next lower level down, from which Obama would be picking his people isn't 50-50 in the first place. You can't logically simultaneously claim that a)women have been held back from climbing the ladder and getting experience along the way, and b)there are just as many women as men who are ready to step up from one rung down.
9.22.2008 12:06am
blaster (mail):
loki13 -

You are citing a Kos poll. It is to laugh.

Here's some data for you. Hotline Poll

You'll have to click into the data to see the background numbers, but essentially puts the lie to everything you are saying.


A synopsis:

Their poll on 9/5 (just after the convention) shows Palin's
favorable/unfavorables at 48/24. On 9/11: 50/30, 9/12: 51/29, 9/13: 52/30, 9/14: 49/34, 9/15: 48/36, 9/16: 47/36, 9/17: 47/37, 9/18: 49/36, 9/19: 50/35.
9.22.2008 12:12am
jvon (mail) (www):
"exhaustive patriarchal unshackling" sounds like something that would come at the end of a particularly grueling S&M session.

Actually there are many phrases in this thing that made me chuckle. I am very entertained at how unhinged Sarah Palin has made people who disagree with her political views. Who was it that determined that feminists had to be liberals, anyway? And 2000 years of struggle? Come on now. Even 200 is ridiculous. 150 years ago the Democratic Party was doing its best to stop the Republicans from freeing the slaves.
9.22.2008 12:13am
rc:
I find this article to be 'aggressively hostile' to punctuation. How can a self-proclaimed feminist not be familiar with her period?
9.22.2008 12:17am
Max (mail):
November seems so far away.
9.22.2008 12:26am
Mac (mail):


Actually there are many phrases in this thing that made me chuckle. I am very entertained at how unhinged Sarah Palin has made people who disagree with her political views.




Who was it that determined that feminists had to be liberals, anyway?



jvon,


The feminists who think they did all the work. They seem to not realize that that is not true, but they believe it to be so, therefore they think they "own" every woman.
I guess slavery is alive and well.


I am very entertained at how unhinged Sarah Palin has made people who disagree with her political views.



And, by the very people who think they are tolerant. It seems no one ever told them that being tolerant is having respect for people with whom you disagree, not those with whom you agree. Seems pretty basic, but the modern Liberal can't get that.

It reminds me of the young man I saw on TV who made me, a former Civil Rights warrior, cringe when, in response to a question about why he and others in Seattle didn't want NASCAR coming to town said, "We don't want those kind of people here". (He could, at least, have used proper grammar and said, kinds.) Didn't bat an eyelash.
9.22.2008 12:30am
j.a.m. (mail):
I've skimmed a bit of Morford's filth over the past couple of years. Finally it dawned on me that he's exactly like the spoiled adolescent who gets a kick out of shocking the folks, and will do or say anything to get a rise out of them.

There's no substance, and the graceless style appeals to no one so much as its author.
9.22.2008 12:30am
Lee Kane:
Despite the parade of mass media lunatics, it still baffles me that people like Morford or even Nate in Alice here in the comments, apparently believe the ridiculous, over-the-top, dehumanization and misrepresentation of political opponents is not only acceptable discourse but even normal. They say something, like, oh, "Republicans with their secret agendas to lock all women in baby-producing prisons are at it again killing nuns and slaughtering the innocent, while diverting the nation's wealth to Swiss cross-dressers," with the same casual of-course-it's-so tone as they might say, "Oh, looks like rain."

I suppose the only way to fight it is comment by comment, like a street battle, in order to retake the city in the name of civility and sanity: believing in less market regulation means you read your Adam Smith, not that you wish to inject minorities with a virus that causes quick death.

But somehow I fear nothing that's done will be sufficient...
9.22.2008 1:14am
SMatthewStolte (mail):

I suppose the only way to fight it is comment by comment, like a street battle, in order to retake the city in the name of civility and sanity:

Probably a better way to fight it is to watch football with liberals. One of the reasons the internet produces such nasty fights is that it's possible to know someone only as the guy who believes x, and not as the guy who recently got laid off and is now working 80 hours a week but still manages to keep a smile, … who also believes x.

Go Broncos.
9.22.2008 2:10am
A.W. (mail):
Loki

> [you before] Please provide one [poll] showing Palin either trending better in favorable/unfavorable OR with better numbers than any other candidate.

> [you now, after I prove that Palin outpolls Biden] I trust you're not too dense... but Palin isn't running against Biden. This is about the favorable/unfavorable ratings of each politician. Please, try again.

Never bullsh-- when the truth can be cut and pasted.
9.22.2008 2:25am
josh:
And this years Volkh Conspiracy's Irony-Awareness Award goes to:

David Bernstein for commenting on an anti-politician derangement syndrome!!!!!!!!! Congradulations David!!!

David couldn't be here tonight to accept his award, so accepting in his honor is Jim Lindgren!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9.22.2008 2:45am
Vadept (mail):
That seems about right to me. Every woman who still believes she needs to strive against the shackles of the patriarchy probably hates Palin, especially since she's a glaring example of how dead the "patriarchy" really is.
9.22.2008 3:13am
David W. Nicholas (mail):
I've got several different comments on various comments that have been posted here. For one thing, a number of us were rooting for her as VP pick for months. Over on Pajamas, the last couple of days before the announcement, the sentiment was that the choice ought to be Palin, but probably would be Romney. There was a lot of despair and angst about this, and frankly I was in a pretty sour mood over it. I don't dislike Romney particularly, but I thought him a terrible choice for VP, having changed his positions on everything to position himself for a run for the White House. So no, she wasn't a complete unknown.

Second, there's the question of why McCain chose her. I'll admit to this being projection, a bit, because I don't know this to be the truth, and because it's the way my mind works. McCain, I think, sees a bit of himself in her. They're different in political coloring (she's much more conservative than him), in social standing (he's the son and grandson of Admirals, been a politician ever since he left the Navy; she's basically a PTA mom who's been in local politics for a while, and not connected prominently), or in political experience (he's been in Washington for two decades; she's been in Alaska the whole time). There is one area, though, where they're similar: they both have shown a willingness to buck their own party when they think the nation's best interests are at stake. McCain has supposedly been blamed (along with others) by the Alaska Congressional delegation for the Republicans losing control of both houses of Congress. Palin's been blamed also. While I get the argument that she wasn't as anti-pork as she was originally portrayed, she *has* been very much anti-corruption while in the government in Alaska, and she *has* become more anti-earmark as time has gone on.

Third, I think there's a point to be made here that everyone is missing. The reason she's unpopular is that she really isn't a Washington insider. It's hard to say that either McCain or Biden aren't beltway insiders, both men being multi-decade Senators. Obama is a bit more tenuous, but he was editor of the Harvard Law review, a tenured professor of law at an early age, and he *is* a Senator. Palin, by contrast, has a Bachelor's in communications, worked briefly as a sportscaster, goes to PTA meetings, and has a blue collar husband who races snowmobiles in his spare time. Thing is, whatever else the Palins are, they're definitely not the white collar, upper middle class professionals we usually get running for office. When we don't get those, we get the John Kerry/John Edwards/Jay Rockefeller/Ted Kennedy I'm-very-rich-and-I-feel-guilty-so-I-serve type. Palin doesn't fit into either of those categories, at all, and it frightens them. If McCain wins the presidency, Palin is the odds-on favorite to follow him in 4 or 8 years. That terrifies them.

There is an instructive example from the past here, to explain what's going on. Back in 1998, George W. Bush was a very popular governor in Texas. He handily beat Ann Richards (fondly remembered for her "Poor George" speech at the Democrat's '88 Convention) in '94, then ran for reelection and won easily 4 years later. The first time around, he received the amount of support you'd expect from the Black community, but 4 years later he got 20% of the Black vote. The NAACP went ballistic, and two years later, when he ran for the presidency, they actually ran commercials attempting to portray him as condoning lynching, in an attempt to energize the Black vote against him. The point is this: liberals expect certain voting blocks to vote in certain ways. They pretty much require certain minority groups to support them by large majorities. If a candidate manages to undermine those percentages in any way, then the knives come out and the person is portrayed beating puppies, torturing old people, wearing white after Labor Day, whatever will work to destroy their public image and political career. It's not Palin Derangement Syndrome, it's Palin Destruction Strategy. Trust me, it's well-thought-out.
9.22.2008 3:24am
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
newscaper says:
“Obama, even without selecting a woman as his V.P., they proposed should appoint a proportionate number (50%) women in his cabinet; this Obama flatly refused to do.”

I can't stand Obama, but he was absolutely right to refuse such crazed, hand-tying demand. It was extortion plain and simple. Fact is, at the the top of the pool, and the next lower level down, from which Obama would be picking his people isn't 50-50 in the first place. You can't logically simultaneously claim that a)women have been held back from climbing the ladder and getting experience along the way, and b)there are just as many women as men who are ready to step up from one rung down.


I personally don't necessarily support that particular proposal the Clinton supporters made to Obama, but I do think, had Obama accepted, embraced, and run with it, that it a) wouldn't have done any harm to the country, and b) could have been of considerable political benefit to him.

Moreover, if he had particular reasons for rejecting their specific proposition, in my view he could have made alternative proposals to them that they would have accepted and he and they could have come to agreement on. Lacking same appears to demonstrate — yet again — that Obama really isn't the “uniter” he claims to be. That's important information for the public.

Beyond that, however, your assertion that those women's proposal is invalid because “there are just [not] as many women as men who are ready to step up from one rung down” is a non sequitur. Nobody (at least not I nor anybody else who's sensible in my view) claims “there are just as many women as men who [experience-wise] are ready to step up” — merely that there are an adequate number of experienced, competent women who are available to select from for cabinet posts. Thus, accepting their proposition would not have tied O.'s hands in any significant degree. The important posts — such as State, where competent women supposedly are oh-so difficult to find (hah!) — could have still remained in bailiwick of men.

As to the nation choosing one of those women (qualified to be secretary of whatever) to be V.P. or President rather than Palin (because she's supposedly oh-so inexperienced, don't'cha know), that frankly doesn't work in this country — as running for high political office requires political experience (being elected to something, something bigger than dogcatcher), which Palin's election as governor of a state (not to speak of her astronomical approval ratings there after almost two years in office) indubitably qualifies her to do.
9.22.2008 4:21am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):

loki13:
1. Palin, like almost anyone introduced to the national stage, had her highest popularity rates immediately.


As was mentioned, she'd been known about on the right for a while before.

2. The "Palin effect" now looks like a typical convention bounce, and has disappeared.


See above. The correct analysis is that the people who knew most about her initially were on the right (since they'd already been advocating her), and therefore the people who had already taken a position on her candidacy were more likely to support her than not. Later, when more left-leaning voters took their positions, her overall rating declined, and McCain's with it.

3. She is the most negatively viewed of all four candidates, and that is unlikely to change (but not impossible).


Since nobody bothered to mention it, I'll mention this quote from the 9/16 Rasmussen report you've been snidely dismissing:
"Palin, highly regarded in her home state but previously not well-known nationally, has consistently beaten Biden in terms of favorability since McCain announced she was his running mate in late August."

There's more in the report than simply the phantom Presidential poll. If you can't be bothered to read the Rasmussen poll when it's been posted multiple times, why should I or anyone else be bothered to read the links you post?

4. So, the final analysis for her is this: does her ability to excite the GOP base (in more ways than one, apparently) exceed the liability she has become for the campaign?


If being required to defend her imperfections is a liability for McCain and the right, attacking them is ten times the liability for Obama's campaign and the left. They (Obama and the left) attack her for inexperience - and Obama gets hit by the backlash. They (the left) attack her for her religious associations - and it brings Wright to mind, not to mention Ayers, Rezko, etc. They hit her for waffles on the Bridge to Nowhere, and it highlights Obama's vote to fund the Bridge over Katrina relief. And how many McCain gaffes do you think were ignored in the rush to find avenues of attack against Palin? No, I don't think she's been a liability to the McCain campaign, net-net.

Don't know the answer to four yet. As for McNeil and his relatively silly post- look at the numbers (the plural of Op-Ed is not data). Obama continues to attract the female vote. Palin has helped McCain with old, white, non-educated women who were trending GOP anyway, but those were unlikely to vote for Obama to begin with.


This NBC poll was from a while ago (9/9), but it shows that when McCain was being helped by the Palin effect, it was more among young women than older women:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26625154/

"One significant shift in the poll is among women. Back in August, Obama was leading McCain by 14 points. Now his lead is just four points.

And just a month ago, McCain trailed Obama by 20 points among women ages 18 to 49. Now the Arizona Republican leads by three points."
9.22.2008 4:30am
Mark Buehner (mail):
Anybody see SNL this week? They had a really funny skit based on an editorial meeting at the Times. Basically they were sending 50 reporters to investigate Palin up in Alaska and they brought in an Alaska 'expert' to help them fit in (he spent 6 months working at the Anchorage Times as an intern). He showed them pictures of things like a shotgun (misidentified as an assault rifle and a 357 Magnum) and a snowmobile (misidentified as a 'baptizing machine'). Almost everyone opted out when they were told take-out Thai wouldn't likely be available. Really funny.
9.22.2008 10:16am
A.W. (mail):
Mark,

Go over to the Hot Air site. They have the video as of now.

My favorite part was about whether any of them could drive.

The irony thought is i wouldn't be shocked if there are thai restaurants in anchorage, at least. The notion that people don't eat "exotic food" in flyover country, is another NYC stereotype. Its not as big there, but yes, they do.
9.22.2008 12:03pm
David Warner:
jbvv,

"So do you support Palin and believe that she is qualified to be vice president and could step into the Oval Office if need be and do a capable job?"

I do. Many conservatives and libertarians I would guess think that she could grow into the job as VP and that the risks of electing Obama outweigh the risks that McCain kicks the bucket too soon. Some even favor Palin over McCain.

"I mean why don't you grow a pair and come out in favor of her instead of just criticizing critics?"

Because those are too entirely different things. As Voltaire would defend the right of those he disagreed with to say disagreeable things, so it is rational that any candidate for elected office should be defended from rank (class, region, gender) prejudice and the baseless attacks it produces, even by those who might come to disagree with her after hearing what she actually believes (not some distortion thereof) and has done/accomplished.

I actually defended Clinton far more than I supported him in the 90's, as his attackers were worse than he.
9.22.2008 1:03pm
theobromophile (www):
Michael Edward McNeil,

Good analysis of the Cabinet issue. I would like to add one thing: Bill Clinton and George Bush both came very close to gender parity with their Cabinets; IIRC, Clinton's second-term Cabinet was slightly more female than male.

What Obama is telling us when he says that it is not possible to get a 50-50 Cabinet split is that his Cabinet will be more male-dominated than any time within the past fifteen years.
9.22.2008 2:09pm
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
Theobromophile: good point.

Thinking of alternate histories, who knows? Maybe Obama thereby missed his chance to become known as the “first woman president.”
9.23.2008 11:54pm