Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Random Thoughts on Our Sarah

1. The fair-minded liberal media have switched. For example, Mr. Dickerson of SLATE (a very insightful writer) has gone from the Sarah pick being a revelation about McCain’s poor judgment to his judgment being totally vindicated. Dickerson is now into deep thoughts about the strategic significance of her emergence. I don’t have time to be linking right now, but he said something like her speech was "a succession of happy little kicks to [Obama’s] groin." He also noticed that she was in command and having lots of fun.

2. THE TODAY SHOW, by contrast, decided to just about ignore her today. (I only watched for about 45 minutes, it’s true.) No clips--only a passing reference to her giving the case for McCain. She had been all over the show, of course, earlier in the week. There was a segment with Luntz and others on the swing voters. The interviewer told Luntz pointedly that the (vaguely pro-Democratic/pro-change) polling data came in before last night. But the pollster boldly said anyway that, in his opinion, Palin had said what the swing voters wanted to hear and the way they wanted to hear it. No follow-up question. Rapid change of subject.

3. Her discussion of the issue of energy was a model mixture of policy wonkiness and populism. "Drill, baby, drill" was a cool chant in response. She needs to move on to school choice, health care, and the economic situation of the ordinary guy. She should, of course, hire YUVAL LEVIN to get her up to speed on the details. (She already knows lots of stuff; governors have to deal with education and health care etc.) But, Yuval, try to curb your anger about the evildoers (in the media etc.); Sarah has made it clear that they don’t bother her

4. Sarah should say, straight out, that she was skeptical about the surge--as were most of our military leaders etc. She should add that she’s glad she was wrong and John McCain was right, and she has lots to learn from him about courage and strategy. But she’ll quickly get up to speed, because she’s has the intelligence, character, real experience, and unwavering desire for American victory.

5. Julie--Thanks for your gracious comments and especially for "populism rightly understood."

Discussions - 24 Comments

The campaign trail is not a good place to make concessions. As you recall in '04, the media constantly hectored President Bush to name "three mistakes" he made in the 1st term. They didn't do it to reveal a part of his character that is fair-minded. They were laying the groundwork for attacks against him.

You address weaknesses in your case in motions and briefs. But rarely in opening or closing arguments.

This is no time for Republicans to go offering concessions on anything. Certainly not in some vague expectation that such a concession is going to garner approval from the media.

FAR BETTER to go on and finger the media for not reporting the surge's success, FAR BETTER to hammer the media for trying to brand Governor Palin a fraud. That's safer ground on which to fight this election battle.

So leave the concessions on the cutting room floor, and just start hitting.

since peter mentioned populism---(well or is it rightly understood) why not, so to speak, go to the source. in the great populist oration, spoken at a convention in denver, the original populist , w.j. bryan, said this:

the great cities rest upon our broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.

the great cities= the sophisticated media, the democratic elite, ivy league, & etc. the prairie=the small town, guns religion & etc.

the sophisticated media re-ignited this new red-blue divide, with red this time in heels. obama's first day of campaign (middle-america values, etc.) in part undone.

obama himself did not seem to want this fight, but his "friends" in the media gave it to him. look for him to try to get back to the economy, etc.

but our Sarah is a lot less angry and much more techno-savvy than WJB.

she's also no pacifist, her husband at least is clearly no prohibitionist, and she's quite the free marketeer.

Yes, jwc--let Obama (please!) move on to the economy. Let him try. The lamest thing Joe Biden offered in that interview this morning was a tortured reading of her speech in which he claimed that Palin said nothing about the middle class! Are you kidding me?! This only shows that Biden doesn't know who the middle class is! If Obama moves in the direction you suggest, the problem for him is going to be that Sarah is going to follow him and smack him down. And Biden cannot serve as an effective guard. Her basketball skills are going to serve her very well in this context.

As to the "red" this time being in heels . . . yes. And also lipstick. God bless her for having fun with that! And when we think of the Dems, we should be reminded of Fred Thompson's great line about lipstick: when put on a pig, it's still a pig and Americans are smart enough not to want to kiss it.

I had to grudgingly admit that Palin did a great job. I thought it was great that she doesn't mind being referred to as "Sarah," or "our Sarah" while all the guys get to retain their last names.

I thought she did well not to dwell on the current investigation into her alleged "AG-style" abuse of power, or her involvment with a secessionist group.

She did well to remind us of McCain's heroism 40 years ago, even though I think my kids probably know the story as intimately as she does. For instance, she left out the part where he participated in the propaganda films, and signed the papers admitting that he was gulity of war crimes. I thought that was smart. She also deftly avoided the other story about how McCain treated his first wife in a decidedly unheroic manner.

I thought it was smart of her to avoid the fact that most of the jowly white guys in her audience think that she is biologically more suited to support John McCain than the opposite.

It is a stroke of genius to advertise about her soon-to-be-deployed son BEFORE we are dared to make her family an issue.

Don't worry Fung. The sun'll come out . . . tomorrow.

Fung, You're getting as bitter as the Stert-man on a bad day. But to mention one factual error: If there were a roll call (with everyone honesttly voting what they really think) between Sarah and John on who should be the prez nominee, I think it would be close. He's the one that has to rally to shine with her at this point.

FUNG, as a 20 yr Navy vet I do not have a problem with McCains conduct, He freely admits to sign that paper. But you should ask you self if you are really honest. Question just how log could you or obama or 5 differments Biden with stood that type of torture. When you come up with an honest answer please let us know. As a side note I had a very close friend that was on board the USS Pueblo and was tortured fo 11 Months by the North Koreans.

I'm not sure if WJB was a pacifist (though I knoiw he supported Wilson for Prez)--didn't he volunteer for the Spanish American War? He might find common ground with Palin also on the grounds that Darwinism provides an insufficient explanation of human experience and shouldn't be taught in the schools as the only legitimate and perfectly comprehensive account.

Peter,

I agree with your point, though I hope you'll notice that I referred to the notion that she is perceived to be biologically more suited to support (and to soothe, according to an old argument of Julie's). But, pragmatically, McCain had better stick to her as Ike did to Tina.

D Foster:

I think that I AM honest about how I would perform. I am nearly positive that I would have succumbed before McCain did. I also hope that I would not select, and then over-use the "good" part of the whole story to suggest that I was a hero because I had had the bad luck to be a prisoner of war. In my view, there are many heroes from that war, and from others, but not many of them are therefore president material.

And this has nothing to do with patriotism. I have friends and relatives who were guests of the NVA, and I grew up in awe of them, and I remain so. But, I don't want any of them for my president. And, as a sidenote, they try their best to avoid drawing attention to those chapters of their past. Neither one is proud of it, and neither one tries to use the story to manipulate others.

wjb has strong pacificist, anti-imperialist tendencies, not that there's anything wrong with that. i like the comparison on the moral/political criticisms of darwinism.

Thanks, Peter and I see what you mean...he was an officer in the Nebraska militia and supported military intervention for the sake of pacifist ends (like our intervention in the Mexican Civil War) but was certainly a kind of pacifist in the Wilsonian sense...

Fung, women become accustomed to the condescension of men. Yet, don't you think it is her style that gives puts her on a first-name basis with America, rather than her femininity?

We all ought to be accustomed to the idea that at a political rally, people do not bring up the negative. Still, "I thought she did well not to dwell on the current investigation into her alleged "AG-style" abuse of power, or her involvment with a secessionist group." These are issues that have been discredited. At least they have to all but those who need to find SOMETHING discrediting about Sarah Palin.

Finally, what's the significant difference between a party wherein "most of the jowly white guys in her audience think that she is biologically more suited to support John McCain than the opposite." and the Democratic Party that would have had Hillary Clinton in the a similar supporting role?

No, one more maybe; it IS amazing, incredible, that Palin could have arranged so well ahead to have her son set up for deployment so soon after the convention. How are you suggesting she managed that?

Kate,

The women whom I know and care for deeply and admire have not become used to the condescension of men. They fight it, and they resent it, and they teach their sons and daughters not to engage in it.

Do I think it is her style? No. I think that Hillary and Sarah are the only people running for the White House lately who have been commonly referred to by their first names. And there are plenty of males with style, too. but, we don't refer to them as "George," or "Joe," or "Hubert."

I don't believe that her interactions with the Alaskan Independence Party, or the investigation, itself, or her attempts to have books banned have been discredited.

As for differences between the Republican Party and the Dems: You can start by looking at the faces of the people on the floor. The Dems have White, Black, Brown, young, old, male and female faces, while the Republican images look like stills from the original "All the King's Men."

And an important part of the Democratic platform is the removal of the glass ceiling and the outdated memes that contribute to it, including the notion that anatomy is destiny. Hillary Clinton came closer to the nomination for POTUS than many men, and the notion that she shares any characteristics with Palin, or that the Dems hold her in the same esteem as Republicans hold Palin, simply because they are both women, is sexist, indeed.

Finally, Kate, I am not suggesting that Palin did much managing at all. I am suggesting instead, that it is a bit precious when her supporters parade her son, and her baby, and her pregnant daughter as evidence of her patriotism, and her love of life, and her hatred for sex education, and then -- only after that point has hit home -- then they pretend that her detractors are going after her family, and they fight to protect her from attacks that have never materialized.

But, I don't pretend that she has been doing much managing or speech writing. None of these people write their own speeches, do they? Dems or Republicans?

Geez, Fung. Go for a run or something! Burn off some of that steam.

At least Sarah's getting the full use of her Christian name and not just an initial (and a middle one at that!) Though honestly . . . what good would it do to refer to John McCain as simply "John"? One could be talking about half a million guys. In the political context, everyone knows there's only one Hillary and now, one Sarah. If others appear, you'll notice clarification. And Hillary is the one who chose to run with that tag line. I guess it was easier than printing up signs with a long an hyphenated last name. Such practicality would have served her well had she listened to it as a younger and more strident woman.

julie's right. sarah is a cool name. no disrespect meant at all. how can we not want to revel in the fact that our sarah is, in a way, all man and all woman? or not just all manliness, so to speak, like elizabeth I or margaret thatcher or hillary. remember hillary herself decided to go with hillary, not clinton.

Sarah Burnhart, Sarah McGlachlin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sarah Silverman, Sarah, Plain & Tall, Sarah Marshall, Sarah Lincoln Grigsby, Sarah Smile, Sarah, you're the poet in my heart, Sarah N. Dipity, Sarah Doctorinthehouse, Sarah reason to go on?

Someone throw Fung a life-preserver so he can live to fight another day.

This is tedious, Fung, but I did say "in the political context" . . . No one is talking about any other Sarah right now in the political context. But there are an awful lot of Johns . . . (and I guess you could keep the unintended pun and it would still be true!) But now that you mention it, people do speak of "Barack"--especially the ever informal and familiar young people--maybe partly because there can't possibly be any confusion about who we mean when we say that name and partly because they think it sounds cool. (And, actually, it does.)

And good God, if being on your side of the argument means you have to have this much consternation over which of your given names people use when they refer to you, I will try to show more compassion when speaking with you, my friend. It must suck to be so burdened with worry. (I think they have medication for that nowadays . . . don't they?) I wouldn't know. Most of women I know have better things to get their panties twisted into a bunch about than this sort of thing . . . and the ones who don't haven't got many friends (but do suffer from terribly relentless and chronic wedgies for which no medication or crowbar has been discovered to promise help).

Julie,

My comment #18 was a joke. And instead of pretending to be concerned over my own excessive seriousness about names, you might have noted that my comment #6 included many points other than the one about the names. You might have taken your own advice, and addressed something more substantive, if you find it all so silly.

The guy that needs a life-preserver thrown his way is DAVID FRUM. EVEN today, a full week after her selection, he's still fixated on something that rational political observers have already moved beyond.

His ego has gotten the better of him.

He just can't take the idea that scores of millions of Conservatives just don't think his comments wrong-headed and untimely, but patently brain dead.

How can he possibly be against Governor Palin being tapped, AFTER watching Ridge, after watching Romney, after watching Lieberman, {and learning that Lieberman just contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Democrat Senate campaign}.

In retrospect, WHO else was there?

Fung, I was being sarcastic about women and condescension. I do resent it, but I live with it. Or perhaps that could go the other way around; I live with it and I do resent it.

But I do think that with Sarah Palin, the first name is a matter of affection and of her down-to-earth style. The use of Barack is mostly by supporters. I think it is a matter of affection and of the uniqueness of the name in our current political setting, as Julie and Peter point out.

It's funny what you said about the Republican faces. I was watching and thought just the opposite. I was impressed by how many young faces or faces of other races. Maybe that depended on which source you had for your coverage of the event.

But you are right about major differences between Hillary Clinton (called Hillary to distinguish her from Bill, perhaps?)and Sarah Palin. Palin got here she is on her own steam. Hillary climbed there on her husband's back. That is a distinct difference.

Then , attacks on Sarah Palin and her family materialized. For crying out loud. Trig was her daughter's son? Please. The big news of the daughter - well - the shock of the press that their prejudices about evangelicals/social conservatives on the topic of the pregnant daughter were not true was truly laughable, but maybe not for the Palin family.

As to speeches, she must have a clue about what she meant to say. If those were all the words of someone else, how could she have kept going as effectively and intelligently as she did when the teleprompter began scrolling as it did? That speech was hers, even if she had help with it.

I don't believe that her interactions with the Alaskan Independence Party, or the investigation, itself, or her attempts to have books banned have been discredited.

There's a reason they call them "moonbats".

No word yet on whether the allegations that Obama is a child molester have been "discredited", so they must be true.

Cars and houses are not cheap and not everyone is able to buy it. Nevertheless, loan was invented to help people in such situations.

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