Saturday, August 30, 2008

The deadliest catch

I was brushing my teeth Friday when I heard that my neighbor John McCain had chosen Sarah Palin of Alaska to be his running mate. My first reaction was “Has he lost it?” My second reaction was a mirror-smudging spit-take upon hearing a TV reporter say, “Her favorite food is moose stew.”

In a single stroke, McCai
n gave up his best issue against Barack Obama -- experience -- and showed that he is just another cynical politician whose slogan, “Country First,” is meaningful only when it is convenient for him. In the process, he has insulted the intelligence of the American people and cast his own judgment in doubt, looking more like a desperate opportunist than the statesman he purports to be. In contrast, Obama’s pick of a solid and experienced running mate in Joe Biden makes him look like Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson rolled into one.

Readers of this blog know that I have had reservations about Obama and his lack of experience. I ended up voting for Hillary Clinton in the primary. I have always liked McCain, more or less, though I disagree with him on a
great many important issues. For the first time in my life, I have been questioning whether to vote Democratic. (Marilyn, furious about the sexism she saw during the campaign, plans on writing in “Hillary Clinton” this fall.)

Now, thanks to the Palin pick, John McCain has pretty much convinced me that voting for him would be an unacceptable risk. For there is no way on God’s green earth that someone who has served 20 months as governor of a state with fewer people than Austin, TX, and whose prior experience was as mayor of a town of 5,469, is ready to assume the presidency of the United States and the leadership of the free
world. As today's editorial in the Fairbanks News-Miner puts it, "Most people would acknowledge that, regardless of her charm and good intentions, Palin is not ready for the top job. McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation’s when he created the possibility that she might fill it."

If something happens to the 72-year-old, melanoma-prone McCain, I shudder to think of Sarah Palin negotiating with Vladimir Putin, or finessing Kim Jong Il, or dealing with a sudden nuclear crisis in Iran. And I have to wonder, too, whether a President McCain might not do something as rash and impulsive and nonsensical as he did in picking Palin. John McCain has thus cast doubt on his own fitness to serve.

I really do have to wonder about his tempera
ment -- which Obama mentioned in his speech Thursday night -- and which has been the subject of some not-so-quiet concern by McCain’s own GOP colleagues. "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine," Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), told the Boston Globe. "He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."

Consider me worried, too.

And we may be hearing the word "Eagleton" pretty soon if this "Troopergate" investigation shows Palin to have been playing petty politics in the governor's office.

The Palin pick has been just another episode in what has been a bizarre political year. As Marilyn said the other day, “Doesn’t this whole campaign have an air of unreality about it?”

There is something about the GOP ticket that smacks of a bad sitcom (I nominate Tim Conway and Tina Fay for the leading roles) -- the story of a crusty, doddering war hero married to a beer
heiress who runs for office with a gun-toting, moose-eating, hockey mom who also happens to be governor of the 49th state, where she and her snowmobiling-champion husband are raising their kids Track, Trig, and Willow (Paper, Scissors and Rock evidently having been taken, as someone pointed out). Oh, and between the McCains and the Palins, they have ten homes, so there’s always another venue for a hilarious misadventure.

Except, let's hope, the White House
.

Your president after next, possibly as soon as January, seen here with what appears to be a group of neoconservatives.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I certainly understand your concerns, but I think you ought to wait and see how Palin performs over the next several weeks.

Obama has no real track record either...all that he clearly has is a well-oiled political machine who imagined what a handome, young, black man might be able to achieve politically.

Obama's legislative record is meager and his running mate is a Washington insider...so where's the beef and where's the 'change"?

Obama has multiple issues which have been slickly covered up, mainly concerning his role and benefits from working inside Chicago politics (his home purchase for example).

Why not wait a few weeks and see what kind of people really are running for office. Palin may disappoint, but she may also surprise. I kind of like her spunkiness and know full well that many 'rookies" rise to the top each year in every field of endeavor, so I'm of the opinion that we ought to watch and wait!

By the way, no one can predict the future, but statistically, Mccain is very likely to be around for the next 10= years.

DWCLL

Anonymous said...

Palin has MORE experience than your candidate Obama. In fact, she is has more executive experience than either Obama or his blow-hard running mate the plagiarizing and serial lying Biden.

Even if you react in a predictably knee-jerk liberal way (personal attacks since you are wrong on all of the issues, why am I not surprised), you must admit this pick did a number of things. The first was it knocked the idiot Obama off the front page after his lame acceptance speech (God was THAT boring). The second thing is that the Palin pick was one of the few to solidify his conservative base.

This is a woman who chose NOT to abort a Down's syndrome baby, and who said upon looking at him after his birth that she saw 'perfection'.

Your pro-death Democrats are mystified that anyone would do this, but pro-life people cheer this decision. This alone would endear her to conservatives, but she brings much more to the table.

As one Republican operative said yesterday, he'd rather have the number two person be counseled by the number one guy, rather than having the number two guy (Biden) mentor the number one guy (Obama).

Obama is so desperate that their first reaction is attack, attack, attack this articulate and attractive woman. This will not set well with the electorate. (Your attractive politicians are the ugly Clinton and the even uglier Pelosi. Cool!)

Of course your candidate, John Edwards, had a love child while his wife struggles with incurable cancer and is dying.

Classy liberal!

Anonymous said...

I have a little system that I use to estimate the IQ of a person. If I know nothing about the person, I start out at about 120, average. Then I deduct about five points for each of the following: hunts, goes to church regularly, has a tattoo, is a Republican. And it's amazing how often those characteristics are all found together in the same people. If you call yourself a Republican, there are only two possibilities: you're totally ignorant of what really goes on in this country, or your primary priority in life is to accumulate more money. Or both.

Denny

Anonymous said...

Denny,

Such prejudice demonstrates an amazing degree of ignorance. ignorance, however, is not a reflection of IQ...I'll bet you have an IQ of at least average intelligence, just the sense of a you know what!

Marc said...

Well if Palin has more experience than Joe Biden, she also, by association, has more experience than John McCain.

By that reasoning, she should be running for President, not McCain.

And why is it those staunch republicans never use their real name? They're always anonymous.

What is it you're trying to hide?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous,

My little intelligence test is not based on prejudice. It's based on inductive reasoning over the observations of a lifetime.

I'm not a Democrat because they, too, are controlled by big-money interests. But the Democrats are babes-in-the-woods compared to the Republicans when it comes to corruption, hypocrisy, pandering, and trading lives for dollars. I'll say it again: if you're a Republican your either completely ignorant of what has really gone on in this country, or you do know but you don't care because the Republicans are (supposedly) good for business and that's your priority.

I know you won't, because I doubt you read much, but take a look at the book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City." The Bush administration couldn't care less about the lives of our soldiers.

Denny

Anonymous said...

Palin is so ridiculous that I just laugh out loud. I applaud McCain picking her as his running mate. He will lose for sure now. The Republican's have used their own guns to shoot themselves in their own feet! Hooray!!!!!!! I couldn't be happier.

Jenny Lou

Anonymous said...

What I love about Democrats is that they are stupid. They are wrong on every issue possible (really, on what issue are they correct).

So they stoop to personal attacks. Clinton rapes Juanita Brodrick, the media yawns. The media wouldn't think of attacking the young children of Democrats. They think it's somehow different if the young lady comes from a Republican family.

David's a classic Democrat. He finds a picture of a party that Palin attended. How horrible! That disqualifies her. Yet David would vote for Clinton the rest of his life.

At the time of the Lewinsky fiasco (for which Clinton lost his legal license, remember?) a few liberal idiots suggested that he was doing a bang-up job, and we should supply him with all the women he wanted.

That sentiment appeared in the local liberal rag. I wrote a response saying that perhaps the letter writer would volunteer his wife or daughter. Never heard from that typical liberal again.

I do wish that liberals would move somewhere where they could perform their mischief in peace. They certainly aren't wanted in America.

After all, we elected Bush twice. The first time in spite of the Democrats striving mightily to disqualify as many military votes as possible (classy!). And their media lackeys announced Florida for Gore before the polls were closed! This, of course, held down the Bush vote.

Never hear of that, do you?

Liberals cannot be trusted with anything. Please don't vote for them. They cannot be trusted.

Palin? I like her. I love her quote that when she looked for the first time at her Down's Syndrome baby, she saw 'perfection'.

A liberal would have killed that baby in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that you, David, and Denny (I do assume that he can read and comprehend despite his prejudice) read the Op Ed piece in the 9/4/08 Wall Street Journal by Andrew Wilson entitled "Obama is the Anti-Thatcher'.

Anonymous said...

Listen, Anon, if anyone's ability to read is in doubt, it's yours. Reread my post. Do you see me supporting the Democrats there? I said that both parties are corrupt. But when it comes to downright evil, the Republicans are virtually Hitlerian in skill. The Republican party is brilliant when it comes to manipulating the opinions of the ignorant and uneducated, as well as people like you who probably are neither, but also probably don't read books (it saves the trouble of having to burn them). Just one of many examples: The Republicans constantly accuse the liberals of being redistributors of wealth: taking money from people who have worked hard for it, and giving it to people who deservedly don't have any. Well, the Republicans are the biggest redistributors of wealth in the history of the world. They will do and allow anything they can get away with to funnel wealth from the ordinary citizens to the corporate oligarchy. They get people like you, and all the born-again idiots, and the rednecks, and the rural poor to wave Old Glory while they are being raped. They have played you for suckers for decades, yet you still don't have a clue. It's said that people get the government they deserve: because of the large number of dupes like yourself, we probably do deserve Republican administrations.

Denny

Anonymous said...

This is not the appropriate forum for this discussion, Denny, but I must reply to your accusation that I am a dupe or a sucker...trust me, I am neither. There is much not to like about party politics, especially that of the GOP, but I ask once again if you have read the piece to which I referred you/

have a good weekend,

Anon

David Arenson said...

I read "Obama is the anti-Thatcher."

One could also make the argument that the economics of the Dubya era -- with its tax cuts in time of war, ballooning deficits, loss of jobs overseas to countries like communist China where people work for a lot less than their American counterparts, not to mention poor regulation of the freer-than-free market mortgage industry -- have now put us in what many analysts see as the worst situation since the Great Depression. Inflation and unemployment are up, housing prices deflating. The worst is yet to come.

Are John McCain and Sarah Palin going to get us out of this mess?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how many different Anonymouses are posting here, so I don't know to whom I'm responding. In any case, I'm confused by the claim that this is not the proper forum for this discussion. It certainly seemed to be. David labelled his blog entry as "Politics" and it certainly was about that. Nor did I start this discussion.

Second, I just read the Wall Street Journal article you suggested. I'm not sure why you wanted me to read it. I've mentioned twice now that I don't support the Democrats or Obama. Also, the Wall Street Journal is hardly an objective source of news or opinion, any more than I would consult KKK literature to learn about Jews and Blacks.

I suggested the book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City." This is not a book filled with arguments and opinions. It is a straightforward account of the sort of people who have been put in charge of our soldiers' lives in Iraq. All the facts are verifiable. You cannot read that book without concluding that the Bush administration cares very little about the lives and welfare of our soldiers. That alone is enough to write this administration off as a bunch of bastards.

Denny

Anonymous said...

David for some reason thinks that it's terrible that McCain and Palin own homes. Well, David, I own 14 homes. They are investment properties. Does that make me evil? (To you, anyone who has more money than you, probably.)

It's always fun to have liberal like one of the anonymous posters above claim that all conservatives and Republicans are more evil than Hitler.

You can always tell when liberals start sputtering and insulting when they trot out the Hitler comparison.

Sadly, this is not limited to the liberal foaming above. This include Pelosi and Reid.

This is getting fun!

OTOH, David, I wish you would stick to CLL.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sputtering. I'm stating it quite clearly: the Republicans in power deserve capital punishment. They are as malevolent as any dictator you care to name.

How many books do you read a year, and comic books don't count?

And why should David stick to CLL? It's his diary: is a disease supposed to delimit all his interests and thoughts?

Denny

Anonymous said...

Get real Denny...for one thing this election is about what to do next, not about Bush and any mistakes that either he or the current congress have made.

The situation in the UK is real and once again getting worse. The Detroit auto makers are in danger of going down the tubes because they made deals with devil (aka unions) when economic times were better. The mortgage crisis is largely a result of greed and failure of proper regulation (yes, sometimes regulation is good).

A government can manipulate data such as unemployment in multiple ways...in the UK if you are older than 55 and tired of working, you can be listed as 'too ill to be part of the workforce', hence keeping unemployment data artificially low.

Anon

Anonymous said...

Here are the charges that anonymous makes, seven posts above:

Republicans are 'Hitlers'
They manipulate the ignorant and uneducated and people who don't read
Republicans burn books
Republicans are evil because they run business where people buy things. This makes Republicans rich and 'redistributes' wealth by exchanging money for goods and services
They will do anything to make money
They rape everyone
Republicans are dopes

As I've said, liberals have no ideas, and no clue.

All they have left is to hurl insults.

Conservatives (I'm not a Republican, btw) have lots of ideas: shrink government. Cut government spending on education, welfare and other places where it is wasted, like pork barrel spending like the Democrat's earmarks. The want to strengthen the military. They want to have all these disparate groups flooding the country to meld into one culture, not maintain the old ways forever (that leads to Balkanization).

Conservatives think people are adults, and need to make their own decisions, to succeed or fail on their own. Liberals think that is unfair, and when a person succeeds, it's not because of hard work, but because they're 'lucky'.

People by nature are conservative. They like their families, by and large, and they want the government to keep the hell away from them. Liberals think that only the government can and should make decisions for people. No one should be poor, no matter the bad choices like drug use or gambling they make. They don't think there should be anyone rich, because that's 'unfair'.

That's the bottom line. And yes I think Bush is an abysmal failure in most things except stem cell research, keeping America safe, and appointing conservative judges who don't make laws from the bench.

Liberals think that once you have power, you need to take away rights, and preserve that power any way they can.

David Arenson said...

"The Detroit auto makers are in danger of going down the tubes because they made deals with devil (aka unions) when economic times were better."

No, the Detroit automakers are in danger of going down the tubes because they did not have the foresight to invest in hybrids and other fuel-efficient vehicles and are stuck with huge inventories of gas-guzzling SUVs that nobody wants.

I am tired of people blaming everything on unions. Unions have, by and large, done a great deal to guarantee safe working conditions and livable wages. Anyone here remember why the union movement began, what conditions were like before the rise of unions? Unfettered capitalism = sweatshops.

"Cut government spending on education . . ."

I'm not in favor of throwing money at problems but one reason the USA has been a successful country is because it has had an excellent system of free public education since the beginning. We need to fix that system, insure that it thrives, not just leave it to wither and die.

"People by nature are conservative. . . . and they want the government to keep the hell away from them."

Good. Let's make sure government doesn't interfere with a woman's right to choose whether to have an abortion. Or with an adult's right to smoke marijuana. Or with a gay couple's ability to be joined in a civil union.

Anonymous said...

David,

Unions were of great value during the time of Upton Sinclair. Today I must pay for my healthcare out of my own pocket without any tax credit or exemption as is given employees largely because unions have been sure to block that change. Our best ak=lly against the drug problem in South America can not get a trade deal, largely because the unions persuade the democrats to block it. The auto companies and now Boeing are being slowly bled to death by benefits promised in the past even though the country has largely moved forward with 401K plans and some employee responsibility for healthcare. teachers who are older yet not doing a good job have their positions protected and actually earn more than do younger, more vigorous teachers.

I could go on and on, but the point is that we need to begin living in the present, not the past. As far as Detroit...they were making more money on their large trucks and SUVs...given what they had to pay their union workers they made bad choices and did not act nimbly to move toward smaller vehicles, so shame on them, but now they will likely be drowned like those on the Titanic because of obligations made in the past.

Most Americans are not u nion workers...we need our own Upton Sinclair now to protect us from the political power of the unions and the sway that they have which is principally on the democratic legislators.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the post that unions have outlived their usefulness. The only area of growth for unions is in government. That's right, the poor, neglected bureaucrats that have lifetime job security, extraordinary benefits, overly-generous pensions and do-nothing jobs are whining about being in such terrible straits!

Yes, David, the auto industry is in trouble because wages are too high in the American auto industry.

You will note that the foreign auto makers locating plants here in the US do it in the south, in NON-UNION plants.

You're wrong on this one.

Anonymous said...

As far as teachers go, this is one very over paid group.

The average salary for teachers is now in the $60,000 and up range in California. Many teachers with made-up graduate degrees earn $80,000 or more.

And that's only working six hours a day, five days a week, nine months a year.

Yet the teacher's unions moan and groan about how under paid they are, how their lives are so terrible, and so on.

Education is a monetary black hole.

And students in government schools do worse and worse.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, here's a question for David:

Let's say you had a choice between Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton for your wife.

Who do you pick?

There's certainly no comparison, is there. Sarah makes Hillary look like a dead (dare I say it?) moose.

Mmmmm. I'm in love with Sarah...

Our babes are better looking than your babes. (Bella Abzug, anyone?)

David Arenson said...

I'd take Hillary any day. Her beauty is more than skin deep.

On another subject, don't start telling me teachers are overpaid. Both my parents were teachers.

My mother earned barely enough to stay out of poverty. She had no had no health benefits or retirement plan. There was no teachers' union in San Carlos, AZ.

My father -- parents were divorced -- worked in Brooklyn and had the benefit of the United Federation of Teachers. Still, he could not have afforded to send any kids to college or buy a house had he not also managed a hotel during the summer to make extra cash.

We need good teachers and good pay to attract good people to teaching.

Anonymous said...

Don't change the subject from politics to teachers or you will open a new can of worms. It appears that you have you have not done your homework, particularly math, and calculated the amount teacher make an hour... how much they have invested in advanced studies (honing their teaching skills) and the requirements of teachers in today's world.

If teaching were such a high paying profession and the benefits so great, the profession would not be loosing so many young people to higher paying positions without the stress that teachers endure.

David, a big thanks for beginning the political discussion, It takes one's mind off CLL and gets blood flowing, hopefully to the brain and away from the CLL hotspots.