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Thursday, September 4. 2008
An encapsulation of what I saw over a 12-hour period last Friday.
As I said to Bird Dog the other day, while that's certainly not the first blog comment to recommend Palin for VP, it might be the first to dare use the words "Palin" and landslide in the same paragraph. I suggest in this article that this overt optimism might yet be justified.
As such, I thought some of you might be interested in the observations I made this past Friday. It was a historic day on a couple of levels, and, as I'll show, Governor Palin was more than just a 'smart' pick. I doubt the McCain camp, itself, knows how truly inspired it was. And while the bloggers did superb work getting the info out, I think they were a little too busy to see the bigger picture and what really happened that eventful day.
Let's start with landslide.
I spent from 9:00 am Friday morning to 9 pm that night doing a number of things I'd never done before:
I admit, the PUMA sites were something of an eye-opener... in regards to landslide.
It didn't look to be pretty.
Then Obama did his thing and it got even worse. The political teeter-totter tilted even further down as Obamania swept the nation and landslide started looking pretty good. That is, if it could just be kept to 'landslide', that would be a victory in itself. Instead, we figured we'd get...
The teeter-totter had tilted pretty far down.
The polls slowly drew closer but, in all honesty, it still looked like he was going to be a shoe-in. Between a glib tongue, a rather dense American public and 200 years of repressed white guilt to atone for, I don't think there was any doubt he was going to saunter right into the place.
Until last Friday, when the teeter-totter did something no one expected.
I am tempted to change that to few expected, but I think the haste in which so many of the PUMAs abandoned ideology in favor of feminism caught everybody by surprise.
But it shouldn't have.
Is it really any stretch of the imagination to think that feminism will override ideology this November? The average American woman is going to step into that booth, see Sarah's name on the list and think,
It's now or never.
My own site and Maggie's have certainly been no exception.
When it comes to the average politically-dumb American male, here's what I see taking place over and over again this November:
And let's not forget the black community:
If this thing turns out to be a landslide in our favor, it'll have nothing to do with political ideology and everything to do with human nature.
PUMA = Party Unity My Ass, an affiliation of pro-Hillary sites that are idealistically opposed to the Democratic reform that Obama represents.
They are, it need be said, pissed.
While a number of right-wing sites linked to some of the PUMA sites glowing about Sarah, I didn't see anyone comment on the ease in which the Hillaryites started glomming onto her. That was the real story of the day.
40 years vs. 4.
What I didn't know until my venture was the hatred with which the PUMAs regard Obama. There's almost as much bitterness and rancor between the Obama and Clinton camps as there is between Left and Right. It's all about ideology and who represents the 'true' American Democrat. Reading through their older posts, the PUMA bloggers have been ragging on Obama for most of the same things the Right has been.
And, may I point out, some of these PUMA bloggers are just as sharp and aware of how easily-led the American public is as the right-wing bloggers — and probably more so. To pick a word, they are absolutely incensed that the MSM went gaga over Obama and dragged the American public along with it. When they use the word 'betrayal', they do not mean it lightly.
It might even be enough to make one want to cross party lines.
For those not in the know, MyDD.com (decorum prohibits me from actually linking to the site) is one of the main Angry Left sites, along with DailyKos (ditto).
And angry, they are.
While I won't falsely embellish the story by claiming I suffered permanent brain damage after my hour on the site, I will admit that I found myself using the F word in every other sentence for the next few hours. My, those Angry Lefties do cuss up a storm. My best guess is that the authors, themselves, are of the mental caliber that is swayed by a passionate — as referred to rational — argument, and they assume everyone else thinks that way.
Well, the big surprise was how few comments there were. Sure, some of the posts had 60 or 70 comments, but half of them had less than 10. Compare that to:
So, seeing a paltry 60 or 70 comments attached to some fervent anti-Palin posts on a "main" Angry Left site was both laughable, and encouraging.
It's not that the Angry Lefters aren't angry.
They're just not sure at this point who to be angry with.
As expected, the political writers have viewed Palin from a political perspective in both their praises and condemnations. What made my trek through the blogosphere last Friday so interesting was reading so many comments from regular ol' folk, and noting how few of them attacked Palin the same way. The commenters were, for the most part, either outright for her (40 years vs. 4) or "willing to give her a chance, see what she has to say," which comes across as a reputation-saving way of saying the same thing.
But there was certainly a handful who thought the whole thing was disgraceful pandering on the Republicans' part. I've also seen this same 'pandering' meme in the MSM (one of CNN's "iReporters" was railing about it the other day), but they obviously haven't thought it through and seen the inherent flaw in their logic:
By this reasoning, a woman would never be vice-president of the United States.
It would either be go for the presidency, or forget it. Unless the main nominee was female and selected a female as her VP (which would never happen), a male selecting a female for VP would always be viewed as "pandering to women" in this regard. So, to please these people and avoid the 'pandering' label, a woman would simply never be selected as VP.
But obviously these women don't mean that they never want to see a female VP, so we have to look elsewhere for the root of their anger. My feeling is that they generally break down into one of two camps:
In this latter regard, perhaps they intuitively know, even without thinking it through, that Palin might be among the opposition in 2012, and — as women — they recognize that Hillary is far more unlikeable with both men and women and probably wouldn't stand a chance against a Palin with four years of on-the-job training — as referred to being the mere wife of a former president.
One excellent post I read made a very good point and I'll elaborate on it here with a few specific examples.
The point the above article makes is that certain attacks on Palin, such as on her character, will refer one to her bio, and this is something the Obama camp really doesn't want to do. Like McCain, her bio is authentic. Unlike the usual nominee, whose war record (if any) is endlessly debated, no one's debating McCain's war record.
Likewise, it isn't just that Sarah Palin is a lifetime member of the NRA — maybe her dad gave her the membership for her 13th birthday and she's never opened a single one of their letters...
No, it turns out that not only is she a lifetime member, but she's also a crack shot!
And not only does she talk a good line about true conservation as initiated by John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt, she then has the audacity to prove it by hunting her own big game!
Worse, she actually doesn't abort her baby with Down's Syndrome — and then has the temerity to stay married to the same man!
This bio is a disaster!
What's that? Attack her husband? Hey, great idea! Now you're attacking someone who's part Eskimo! Yeah, that ought to go over real well with the multi-culti crowd in Manhattan and Hollywood — source of so many campaign dollars.
What's that? He's part of Evil Big Oil? Great! Now you can — oh no! He works for British Petroleum, the self-proclaimed greenest of the oil companies, and not even a dirty, evil American oil company at that!
Curse your rotten luck!
Want to know who the VP picks are going to be in 2012 before everybody else?
Side thought: Do they have betting on who will be the VP in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, etc? If so, when does the 'window' close? How long before the official announcement can you still place a bet?
Anyway, two or three days before the announcement, make screen-grabs of the Wikipedia entry for the various prospects.
On the night before the announcement, start monitoring the sites, looking for small updates of a positive nature. This can easily be done with a text comparison program. If you don't see any differences, continue again early the next morning.
According to sources, apparently one of Sarah's kids added a few superlatives to her Wikipedia page the morning of the announcement, knowing it was about to be flooded and wanting to make Mom look good.
Chances are someone in future nominees' families will be computer-savvy and will be doing the same thing in 2012, ad infinitum.
Another question is, what if Palin performs superbly as VP, even helping John in the Oval Office as she's groomed to be the presidential candidate in 2012? Would they dare run her at the top of the ticket?
How about if McCain's health fails and she actually takes over the reins? Are they actually going to take a sitting president and run her as VP?
What if McCain claims failing health six months before the end of his term and purposefully turns over the office to her so she can run as the incumbent?
What if the day after they win the election this November the RNC starts talking about a Sarah Palin/Michael Steele ticket in 2012 to beat the Dems to the punch on both counts?
The word the novelists use is palpable.
The moment Palin's name was officially announced, the big teeter-totter actually pushed itself up to level for the very first time since the whole thing began. There was a rush of jubilation throughout the right-wing blogosphere. It was fun watching people discover her good points one by one and watch them put the puzzle together. Ex-Hillaryites? Check. Soccer moms? Check. Businesswomen? Check. Horny, flag-wavin', gun-totin' all-American guys?
It was in the middle of the afternoon that I heard a noise that I honestly, truthfully, never thought I'd hear. It was a low, rumbling noise, almost inaudible, that creaked and groaned in the awfulest of ways, like the irresistible force had finally met the immovable object. Like ancient, rusty iron hinges on a fortress gate being opened for the first time in a thousand years.
Practically ripping itself from the ground, the teeter-totter slowly...
In our direction.
Remember the mantra:
It's now or never.
Again, there in the private confines of the voting booth, with 40 years of destiny pushing your hand, what would you do? There's no question what those PUMA commenters will do.
What an amazing day Friday was. To almost feel this rumble that coursed through the blogosphere as everyone and their cousin issued forth an opinion, and to literally watch in real-time as a huge slice of mainstream America went through a virtual transmogrification as political ideology flew out the window and a 40-year-old spark leapt into flame.
This is directed to those of you planning on watching the Palin-Biden debate tonight at 9 EDT. It's the only debate they'll have.This is a warning. As you know, we here at Maggie's Farm advocate the peaceful, bucolic life. Why, just this morning as BD w
Weblog: Maggie's Farm
Tracked: Oct 02, 02:28
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There is no pleasing a liberal feminist. While on the 19th hole the other evening I heard this emanate from the telly: The interviewee was a fairly Stepford-looking woman who was identified as a Hillary supporter:
News anchor: "What do you think of the Palin pick?"
Stepford: "Oh, I think it was brilliant; a very impressive choice."
NA: "Will you be voting for McCain-Palin?
Stepford: "Oh no, definitely not... it feels too much like the Republicans are manipulating me. I hate being manipulated."
sheeesh! There is just no holding the door open for some women!
Oh, and I meant to say thank you, Doctor, for your research. Kind of an arch-E-ological digg!
"There is just no holding the door open for some women!"
Very nicely put, and that was certainly my feeling when reading the somewhat-occasional PUMA post railing about "pandering". They've been waiting for this moment for 40 years, the door finally cracks open and they're bitching about it?
With some of them, I suppose they actually don't want the glass ceiling to be shattered, because then their whole feminism role will become irrelevant, much the way the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton fear an Obama win.
Bingo! Nice and to the point. To see, would be to destroy their world view and thus themselves. It's too hard.
She sure looks promising and not just for this election.
I have visions dancing in my head of a 2012 Palin-Jindal ticket leading a reformed Republican Party. A couple of brilliant, self-made conservatives who break all the molds, clear out the big-spending insiders and RINO's, and speak to the middle class and different generations the way Reagan did. Heady stuff. Talk about hope and change.
NJSoldier - You need one of these. That was marvelously put.
"I have visions dancing in my head of a 2012..."
Can you imagine this conversation taking place a week ago? They would have hauled us away to the rubber room. Instead, we end up arguing whether it should be Jindal or Huckabee. :)
Rush Limbaugh nailed it: many women will not give up their victimhood. Hillary casts herself as a victim, while Sarah Palin does not have a victim-bone in her body. Victimhood is the extortion tool of the left. The Democrat base are victims; its elite are victimizers. The left hates Governor Palin because they cannot victimize her. Give it up, ladies!
Governor Palin does as the Moody Blues sang: "Face piles and piles of trials with smiles. It riles them to believe you perceive the web they weave and keep on thinking free." from "On The Threshold of A Dream" album 1969
Great post. Now we need to close the deal on this election. This one is already historic. Sarah's speech and simply her "being" is an inspiration.
If the Reps win, it goes without saying that Jindal neeeds to be in the pres cabinet. He's a winner too but needs that exposure.
Excellent post. My only quibble is that you said that McCain didn't realize just how good this pick would be. I think he knew exactly what was going to happen.
First, a personal anecdote.
I was in Army basic training in 1961. We had the usual group of young guys and one guy who was maybe 35. Ancient. He was short and dumpy. He had owned a small restaurant. His wife was killed in a car crash and in his fugue he joined the Army to become a cook. Our platoon leader was a big dumb corporal. Saw a lot of this type in the peacetime Army - too dumb to make it in civilian life. He picked on the cook unmercifully. The guys in the platoon were surprised at how the cook took it. Instant respect. At our graduation formation we all wore our medals. All we had was our marksman badges. The cook shows up with a Combat Infantry Man's badge, a Korea Campaign Ribbon, a Presidential Unit Citation, a Purple Heart with cluster, a Silver Star and, of course his marksman badge. You have absolutely no idea how good it felt to see the look on that dumb ass corporal's face. We didn't know why we respected the cook until that day.
Much has been made of McCain's graduating almost last in his class at Annapolis and his disciplinary problems. Contrary to civilian life the military likes these guys. The top students are the future admirals. Those guys near the bottom are where they find the warriors. Incidentally, the guy who finishes last in his class at a US Military Academy is better educated than 90% of Ivy League graduates.
McCain is a warrior. After barely escaping death in a disaster that took 174 lives he immediately requested transfer to the USS Oriskany rather than sail home with his wounded ship.
He flew 23 combat missions over Hanoi. On the last one he delivered his ordinance in spite of missile warnings.
He spent many years in captivity knowing every day might be his last. He knew many of his fellow POW's, heroes all. He lived with heroes and warriors.
I think that when McCain met Palin last February he saw a warrior. You develop a kind of intuition when your snap judgment can mean life or death. John McCain found his wingman. When you go to slay the dragon it's good to have a warrior on your wing.
Great comment and anecdote, Roy. Superb on the 'wingman'.
Thank you for taking the time to write that. Not only is it beautifully and insightfully written, it kind of shakes up the reader with some hardcore truths about human nature.
Hey, I'm taking credit for supporting Palin before I saw her picture. (There was an NRO article in February). That should count for something.
"That should count for something."
It does! The Stevie Wonder Award of Intuitive Reading.
Roy - While I think the McCain camp was fully aware of Palin's strength from a political perspective, I don't think anyone could have foretold what happened last Friday. Politically, I would have expected a bunch of PUMAs to eventually vote for Palin, but the rush in which they embraced her was simply stunning. As I said in the post, while I'm sure they knew it was a 'smart' pick, they really couldn't have predicted how inspired it was.
AVI - Was that the article on the crazy female Alaskan governor who hunted big game? The timing (Feb) seems about right. As soon as I read the article, I thought "There's your VP pick, no question." Of course -- silly me -- that was back when I thought being the governor of a state counted as some of that "experience" stuff you read so much about. More the fool, I!
I felt a great disturbance in the Force as a million liberals cried out in fear.
"I felt a great disturbance in the Force as a one hundred million liberals cried out in fear."
Fixed that for you.
NJS - And to think, I was originally just going to split the whole 300 million in half. But I see your (perhaps inadvertent) point. It's really only the smart ones who see the danger Palin brings -- and that really limits it.
In fact, your 'million' is starting to sound a little high!