Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Another Disgruntled Reader

I’m really not feeling the love (or even respect) today. Here’s another devoted reader questioning my judgment (and with considerable eloquence):

Wondering if I am missing something, I am looking for a quick reality check. Are you really as enthused and enthusiastic about "our Sarah" as you seem to be? Clearly, much of the scrutiny and attacks thus far (including the shameless US Weekly cover) have been unfair. But the choice of Palin for VP still seems to be too clever by half. Setting aside the demographic and polling groups she scores high with, I cannot see how she substantially strengthens the Republican ticket. Most immediately, she implicitly calls attention to McCain’s age and his recent bout with cancer. VP picks do not really matter in presidential races; I cannot remember a time in my lifetime when a VP pick swayed and election—Mondale, Bush, Gore? The VP only really matters if something happens to the president. Viewed in that light, how can one look at Palin and honestly say that they have confidence in her ability to govern America and look after its interests at home and abroad? At best, we have an interesting (albeit limited and spotty) personal biography to base that judgment upon. And as many of Palin’s new defenders once told us, that is not a reason to elect Obama to the presidency. That point seemed to be hammered home last night. Both FT and JL, in consultation with the McCain team, framed their speeches in opposition to Obama. Each emphasized that experience, character, and the solidity of a known quantity should be what voters think about when they pull the lever in the booth. To the extent that the McCain team is successful in sending that message they risk drawing attention to the uncertainty surrounding Palin.

Discussions - 17 Comments

Simple question. How much experience did Harry Truman have as an executive? If memory serves he did fairly well ending a war and establishing a strong policy against the Soviets despite his credentials or lack therof.

Again I ask, how much experience does it take to veto unconstitutional legislation which is the primary job of a good constitution respecting President? The current model of the President as CEO, General, and "leader of the free world" is an unconstitutional abomination. Don't feed the Beast.

By mainstream GOP standards, I suspect Palin is about as good as you are going to get. She is no Ron Paul, but who is? Her instincts seem fair. The concern I have is that she is not grounded and might be too easily persuaded. That is the kind of experience that matters. The kind that allows you not to be blown by every passing wind. If she did in fact support Buchanan in '96, that would speak well of her instincts. That she is now running from that, or allowing the McCain camp to run from it for her, does not.

In retrospect, --------------- who else could McCain have tapped that achieved anything like the political impact of Governor Palin. With hindsight, --------------- she was the only game in town.

But to her credit we KNOW she's got game.

We just need to hope and pray she brings her "A game."

Towards that end I went to mass to pray for her today, at the 12:35 pm. mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Philadelphia. And I'm going to go again tomorrow at the same time. This ticket needs some serious prayer. As does this country.

Are you the one who wanted to return to dueling? I wonder if your prayer includes a request for a return to murderous nonsense as a way to resolve disputes. Dear Lord, please return us to those days of impulsive violence and machismo, of Tupac and gangsta death rap, that we might redress the wrongs against us. Pray dear Lord for the beauty of our concealed weapons, our true aim, the clean resolution of conflict, free of the vagaries of thought, the shades of right and wrong, Lord grant that my killing my opponent grant all who witness it the moral clarity which I possess. Grant that the first bullet pierce the heart, then an eternity between that and the second shot, a bullet burning through the ribs. Forever in thy name, amen.

Wondering if I am missing something

What your missing is what she does for the "base", both for traditional conservatives like myself and the coalition of social cons, libertarians, etc.

Since we don't trust McCain any farther than we can throw him, this is a smart pick because we trust her more than the other three candidates combined.

Is it enough to rally the base to show up in November. Not for me, but I am thinking more and more it is for the majority of the base however...

Three conservaties who are skeptical of Palin: Frum, Brookhiser, Krauthammer: Harvard, Yale, Harvard. Coincidence?

Richard, Good point. They also all thought, if I remember correctly, that Giuliani could get nominated.

George, Truman had been governor of Missouri and anfter that Seantor from Missouri. Even though that seems like pretty good experience to be VP, most journalists at the time don't seem to have considered him well prepared for the job at the time that he took it. But that could just have been because of his reputed ties to the state's corrupt Democratic machine.


NOT AT ALL! Part of the same crew that didn't like Huckabee.

George, Truman had been governor of Missouri and anfter that Seantor from Missouri.

Mr. Truman was, from around 1927 to ?, a county executive in Missouri(with the odd title of 'County Judge'). He was never Governor of Missouri.

One minor quibble. Dr. Krauthammer attended Harvard Medical School. His undergraduate degree is from McGill University, which is, like the University of Idaho, a public institution.

Art Deco, my mistake. Sorry.

And Frum also studied at Yale and in Canada. Other than being public v. private, McGill is more like Harvard than the U. of Idaho. Canada is not the same as the US.

Truman is a great example, considering he never went to college. I wonder if the place where he was county judge had more than 9,000 people at the time?

VP picks do not really matter in presidential races. As of last Friday, for better or for worse, I think that should be in the past tense: VP picks did not really matter in presidential races.

Ren, I never said my position on dueling squared with that of the Roman Catholic Church. Nor did I infer as much. Quite the opposite in fact, the Church has condemned dueling in no uncertain terms for over three centuries. But I'm not the only Catholic who realized that ideals pushed by tonsured monks doesn't always cut it.

The demands of honour and the demands of Christianity don't always mesh. Oft times they abraid. Churchill spoke to that friction in both the first volume of his history about The Great War, and also the first volume of his history of the Second.

You might also read Tolstoy's WAR AND PEACE, and you might do well to read Solzhenitsyn's Red Wheel Trilogy.

And then you might give a thought to the deleterious social consequences of men running their mouths off, running their fellow men down, and doing so without any consequences whatsoever. That code duelo was abused is historical fact. That dueling also served as a check on reckless, vicious calumny, is also undoubted.

It was that tension which rendered dueling legal in the West up near the turn of the 20th century. As a historical matter, and from an historical perspective, dueling was only purged in the West but a short time ago.

Perhaps you might give a thought to some men who fought duels or issued challenges, such as Prime Minister Disraeli, Prime Minister Stolypin and Alexander Hamilton. Were these unsophisticated yokels? Were they men unaware of the moral dimensions of dueling? Did they issue or accept challenges for frivolous reasons? Solzhenitsyn actually DEFENDED dueling in his Red Wheel trilogy. Did you know that?

Whatever. The whole subject is but an aside.

"Oft times they abraid"? That there is Obama elitist talk. That don't square with my pictures of Palin with guns and harleys. Hey, drive by shootings are a check against calumny too. Bout time we reigned in that first amendment with the threat of violence.

REN, you're conflating a check against personal smear and calumny, with a check on political discourse.

Are you suggesting that for political discourse to be "free," that men get to say anything at all about anybody, however related they are to the actual candidate, or unrelated for that matter.

Prime Minister Stolypin dealt with EXACTLY this situation, when he challenged a man to a duel in the Russian Duma. Perhaps you might be interested in checking out the provocations that resulted in the issuance of such a challenge.

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