Immigration: September 2008 Archives

Palin Jerky

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Every once in a while I mention my frequent correspondent. He recently sent me an e-mail talking about how offended he was and how he hated Palin now because of how dismissive she was towards community organizers. He also sent out a long letter written by a resident of Wasilla who has detailed knowledge of Palin and her record. I of course responded in my inimitable way.

Hush now, don't get fussy :P.

I'm sorry, I'm not trying to belittle your reactions - I'm really not. What does strike me though is that your reaction is at least part of why Republicans win. Joe Scarborough (he of Morning Joe on MSNBC) helped me understand this. Every 4 years the democrats think they're going to win. More than that, they think they're Right so they Should win. When they don't win, they raise holy hell and claim the election was stolen from them by dirty tricks. When writing about it online I compared it to an Alzheimer's patient in a whorehouse (obviously a line from 2.5 men) - Dems are constantly getting screwed, and they don't want to pay for it.

Of course the Republicans are going to be mean spirited and cut at the very heart of what Democrats hold dear. Of course they're going to demean things that Democrats think are holy. Because whenever they do that, the Left gets all puffed up and anal, go off on one and claim the Republicans have shit all over everything that's Right. Why do the Reps do this? Because they know that Dems take this stuff way too seriously - take themselves too seriously. And whenever that uptight self-righteous streak comes out in the Left, the right just doubles over laughing.

Unfortunately this is what Ann Coulter thinks she's doing, she just manages to do it incredibly badly. Palin was pitch perfect. Land enough punches to be tough and look like a fighter, but make sure that the backlash from the other side makes them look worse than you did landing the punch. And if they don't respond, you just got in a free hit.

In the end, sticks and stones can do some harm, but slander is just fun. The Republicans, if nothing else, aren't too self-righteous to win - and want to win. That said, do you imagine John McCain will be able to do anything except meet the Dems in the middle when he's faced with a Dem congress and senate?

I've said it before and I'll say it again - my bet is that he'll be the best Democratic president the country has ever known. On policy, he's right where most of the country is. He's going to be good on immigration, he's going to be clear-eyed about the labour market and helping people retrain, which is all/the best you can do when you have a globally competitive market for labour (one of the best parts of his speech, I thought), he's going to move on health care in some form or other, he's not a bigot, he'll be good for the environment, he'll finally do something about social security and medicare (private accounts are a fantastic thing, really - it's something Singapore has proved with great conviction) - what more could you ask for? He is right down the middle, and in terms of foreign policy, he has nothing to prove (unlike Barack Obama) - people talk a lot about JFK and the Cuban missile crisis, rightfully so; but before that was the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs. It's the tough guys who most are able to be peacemakers - look at Ariel Sharon, or any other right wing Israeli PM. There's a reason why they say - "Only Nixon could go to China."

As for the woman from Wasilla, whose letter you forwarded - some of her accusations I think come from a little too personal of a place, and for better or worse, I don't think they are big enough issues anyway to stick (not listening to disparate views etc.).

My sticking point with Palin is with her stance on social issues, since obsession with reproductive issues (Economist-speak) is just silly. But if she's going to talk about it but not actually do anything about it (like GWB on abortion) then more power to her. In terms of gay rights, she's just too young to be too bigoted. McCain is the same way. For all his talk, I'd be shocked if he didn't end up nominating someone like Souter to the bench - someone who looked conservative but ended up being liberal. In the end for me it matters less how it happens then what happens. Palin did turf out and call out people who were corrupt - is there anyone who's going to say "I wish my public officials were more corrupt?"

As for banning library books, that was stupid. But it sounds like really what suburban moms do yes/no? If it taught her than implementing social norms on people who don't want them is more trouble than it's worth, all the better. I'm more pissed off about her not being for sex education, especially when her daughter gets knocked up. I know most people don't want to go there, but it's not a small thing, and if you have to hand out condoms in school, so be it.

Experience to me only matters inasmuch as it gives you a record for how they're going to act vis-à-vis their own party. Obama has never never never proved he can stand up and shove it in the face of the one who brung him to the dance. McCain - again and again and again, was a thorn in Bush's side, fighting him on issue after issue even if he was the only Republican doing it. This is someone who because of his left leaning stances on immigration, his right (and Right) choice on the Surge, left on campaign finance etc. had made himself politically radioactive for so long.

For so long he was talked about as the Left's favorite republican (just as Lieberman is/was every Republican's favorite Democrat), and now (as Rush Limbaugh predicted) the left has turned on him. Because the left is as entrenched by their ideology as the right ever was, and is unwilling or unable to leave fairy-idea-land and come back down to the pragmatism of reality where stuff needs to get done. McCain has actually delivered, actually gotten stuff done. By necessity that meant he was in the sticky middle, and he hasn't gotten near enough credit for it from the people who claim to want moderates but can't let go of being self-righteous.

I hope you didn't expect me to get upset - who are these ultra-right-wingers you're secretly friends with who would be offended by you hating Palin?

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This page is a archive of entries in the Immigration category from September 2008.

Immigration: August 2008 is the previous archive.

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