“Operation: Stop Palin” Gets Rolling

November 22nd, 2010 at 7:07 am David Frum | 147 Comments |

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Matt Labash’s review of Sarah Palin’s new television show is worth reading, and not only because everything by Matt Labash is worth reading.

The review is worth reading as a marker of an important trend: the Republican establishment’s increasingly frantic search for ways to stop the Palin for President campaign.

Most of the search is happening below the surface of things. You see it in the flow of big-dollar money in every other direction but Palin’s. You catch echoes of it in the anti-Palin murmurs of Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie. And even at Fox, you can watch it in the amusedly disrespectful way that Palin is treated by Bill O’Reilly.

Now here is the Weekly Standard – Palin’s first big media promoter – giving space to a writer who has this to say:

Sarah Palin’s Alaska is really about: self-love. …. Karl Rove, one of several conservative non-lamestream media Palin critics who’ve reared their heads of late … has a point when suggesting that the American people might expect a ‘certain level of gravitas’ in someone who’s considering running for president, and that starring in your own reality show might not be the ticket. .. [A]s the Daily Caller‘s Jon Ward just reported after speaking to nearly two dozen key Tea Party activists who universally adore her, even her own supporters have reservations about her becoming president.

And so on.

Politicians love to present a narrative in which they and their band of outsiders battle an entrenched party establishment. In most cases, the stories are self-serving myths: party establishments are far less entrenched than they used to be, and the insurgents usually hold paid-up memberships in the party establishment themselves. See eg Howard Dean, career of.

But in Palin’s case, the myth rings true. There really is a GOP party establishment. That establishment took up Palin as a useful tool in 2008, deployed Palin as an edged anti-Obama weapon in 2009 – and is now horrified to see that they may have set in motion a force possibly too powerful to halt when its time has ended. The story of the behind-the-scenes struggle to squelch Palin – and her ferocious determination not to be squelched – will be the big GOP-side story of the coming year.

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147 Comments so far ↓

  • anniemargret

    CD: “I’ve helped hundres of people who come in with poor a education and can’t add fractions to being able to do basic calculus word problems in 10 weeks, and that wasn’t one on one. A bad education is easy to fix. I’ve fixed it far too many times to even think that’s going to be hard much less impossible. ”

    Hello? Helping people pass tests about fractions is not the same as prepping for the POTUS. Are you serious? You simply cannot be serious. And you are willing to bet this country on a person who might get her ‘education’ ‘fixed?’

    And then you say, “Why is that tens of millions see what I see? ” CD, why aren’t you asking the OTHER question – How about them hundreds of millions who don’t see what you see?

    Are you her press agent, mentor, or ghost writer?

    chris87654: “Sarah has alienated most every sub-set of Republicans except Tea Partiers (and she’s alienating a sector of them too). There’s been a division between the SoCon and Libertarian/Fiscal-minded TP members for a while….”

    Of course she is. Many libertarians are anti-war and militarism. The neocons have had Sarah’s ear for awhile. She has already made her stance on the Middle East known – pretty much siding with Israel, with nary a word about the Palestinians.

    Then again, does she know about the Palestinians?

    And Chris, you are correct about Palin. She has to have an ‘enemy’ to feel good and make her supporters feel good. It is sign of insecurity if all you’ve got is bashing others, with nothing productive to offer. Other than sloganeering, what exactly is Sarah offering to America? Or will she take her Obama/Michelle bashing into the next five years?

    centrist: ” CD: She just lacks facts when it comes to national political issues.” Uh, and this isn’t disqualifying for you?

    “Just lacks facts?” What is supposed to have, dreams and fantasies? sheesh!

    I have never heard such blather in my life about Palin from CD. She’s a prima donna and her supporters want her to remain a prima donna. That pretty much sums it up.

    My husband brought out a great point tonight about Palin. He said she keeps dissing the press, journalists, etc… and wonders how she will ‘speak to the nation’ as President if she won’t do press interviews as POTUS? Can anyone just imagine that one? Palin: “No, not you!” “Maybe you? Oh wait, you’re from CNN. Not you!”

  • CD-Host

    quanta –

    Thats not even a coherent line of argument. SP can only scream, which only makes it even harder to talk.

    You aren’t disagreeing with the coherence of the argument, you are asserting a counter factual. That SP can only scream which I’d say is obviously false. She discusses plenty of issues in a calm soothing convincing way. She gave a great abortion speech a few months back, which was political about where she stood on differences within pro-life feminism. A friendly crowd having a friendly discussion and she didn’t use divisive tactics or zany one liners. Everybody respectfully listened to everyone.

    She uses those tactics across party lines because in the national conversation she’s aiming for influence not dialogue.

    It would be nice if we could have that sort of dialogue across party lines but it requires we drop things like “Sarah Palin can only scream” as if those sorts of comments don’t kill any ability to converse. If you want it to be less hard to talk then stop demonizing. She’s a politician with a 20 year career start treating her like one.

  • CentristNYer

    CD-Host: “She just lacks facts when it comes to national political issues.”
    Centrist: “Uh, and this isn’t disqualifying for you?”
    CD-Host: “No it isn’t.”

    I think that says it all. Have a good night…

  • Madeline

    CD-Host: I invented two new terms and if they made it into the New Oxford American Dictionary I’d be thrilled. I was pretty happy when they got less recognition. Good for her.

    “Refudiate” was voted “word of the year” by the New Oxford American Dictionary. It’s not actually being included in the dictionary itself (at this time).

    (I know, it’s a nitpick, but the word didn’t “ma[k]e it into the New Oxford American Dictionary”)

  • Watusie

    CD “She’s a politician with a 20 year career start treating her like one.”

    Just yesterday you were vociferously arguing that she should have received special treatment from the press in 2008 because she was new on the scene.

    You are bonkers.

    And, as I have proven on this thread, you are also careless with facts, and you make up statistics and you invent sources that don’t exist and then claim they can’t be argued with.

    And that is even before we get into your numerous errors of logic.

    Goodnight, CD-Host.

  • chris87654

    Watusie: “Look at a trendline of Palin’s polling. The more people see her, the less they like her. There is not political handler/strategist/consultant in the world that can undo that.”
    I like that… “word salad” – classic Sarah. Slide quoted some good ones, and yeah, they happen every time she answers questions “outside her comfort zone” (more at http://irregulartimes.com/palinisms.html – SNL can’t write this good [I think they used some verbatim]). Maybe PR heavyweight Frank Rich can come up with an “I’m not a ditz – I’m you” ad.

    TAZ: “Palin represents the hard core base of the Republican party. The base loves her as much as they hated McCain. The Republicans really are stuck with a problem this time, It will be very interesting to watch them try and work themselves out of this .”
    Rove’s base was all “dedicated” Republicans – Palin’s is a “sub-set” (she’s dissed many Republicans). Rove had to think about losing her votes before he dissed Sarah (articles say “many unnamed” Republicans feel the same, but hold comments for this reason). Rove is proud of his numbers, and had to figure he’d lose those votes with a different (closer-to-center) frontrunner – NONE of them would vote for Obama (they may not vote at all). If they had an unqualified contender (e.g. Sarah), the GOP would lose to Obama anyway – if they have a good one, they should pull some Dems (do 25% not want Obama again?), some/most Independents (like me), most fiscal Republicans who left after Cheney/Bush (but before Palin), and some from the Tea Parties (there’s a division) – odds seem good of making up more votes than those lost with no Palin.

    CD: “She [Sarah] has the same problem a foreigner would have, a lack of readily facts about US policies.”
    Yeah, that and difficulty constructing coherent English sentences.

    abj: “I don’t know how you solve a problem like Sarah Palin or Christine O’Donnell.”
    Easy … run a general election.

  • anniemargret

    Palin on why she won’t ever let Couric interview her again:

    “I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism. And I have a communications degree. I studied journalism, who, what, where, when, and why of reporting. I will speak to reporters who still understand that cornerstone of our democracy, that expectation that the public has for truth to be reported. And then we get to decide our own opinion based on the facts reported to us.”

    The first sentence is a word salad mash-up. If this is a journalism major, then journalism has gone south. She is starting to sound like Yogi Berra….only he was a lot funnier.

    She also said today she wants to ‘clean up journalism.’ Wow. This is a woman with chutpah. She not only is going to take on the Democrats, the establishment Republicans, libertarians, college professors, New Yorkers, she also wants to take on journalists – unless they are journalists from Fox.

    Please someone tell me why we would want a person this inarticulate to be talking to world leaders and Congress? As far as her saying “that expectation that the public has for truth to be reported.”

    Is this the same Palin that said Obama had ‘death panels’ ready for seniors? The same Palin that said ‘Obama is ‘palin around with terrorists?” The same Palin that says there is a ‘real America’ as opposed to a phony America? Maybe Sarah Palin should start with herself and try a little harder on that ‘Truth’ thingie.

  • anniemargret

    This is truly the funniest line that Palin said today: “I will speak to reporters who still understand that cornerstone of our democracy….”

    Like those reporters of truth and the cornerstone of democracy on Fox? Hannity, BillO? lol.

  • quanta

    CD-host: “I see [the president] as a sales / management position.”

    Given that I hold drastically different and irreconcilable views of what a president position is, there is no way we can meaningfully continue this conversation. I suggest you read any number of books about the presidency to understand what the job actually entails.

  • chris87654

    WaStateUrbanGOPer: “I’ve never thought for a second that any of her neo-con “admirers”– Bill Kristol and Norman Podhoretz– actually admire her. She’s just a useful idiot for advancing their imperial geo-political agenda.”
    Hadn’t thought anything like this until the other day with Fox when a couple reporters got caught laughing about her with a mic on (jeeminy… you’d think people would learn about that stuff by now – but it makes interesting news stories). I haven’t looked for followup, but that’s hard to put aside. So much for denying the existence of “statements by unknown sources” when something like that comes out.

    CD-host: “Its hard to beat your first impression unless you send totally contradictory information. She needs to do something geeky like play in chess tournaments. She likes biology do a PBS style interview on a biology topic. She knows oil refining, bring up issues regarding regulation dive into the chemistry. Reporters aren’t going to want to discuss various solvents so they roll their eyes and the audience gets the message she’s a boring technocrat. Do that a few hundred times and then tell everyone Couric was an off day.”
    Either you don’t get it or enjoy shooting yourself in the foot. All you say she should do has nothing to do with providing solutions to issues – they would just be more diversion from important issues. To do the same thing, Sarah could host a TV show about Alaska. And yeah… Couric was just an off day….

    I’ve never considered Sarah a boring technocrat (or any kind of technocrat) – but she bores me by criticizing without offering alternative solutions (hence, she’ll never be a boring technocrat).
    And if you consider technocrats boring, that may indicate little interest in solving non-social issues – so appeal toward Sarah, thinking she’s qualified, etc is understandable. I read enough about Daniels to know he knows more than I ever will and didn’t quit reading out of boredom, but because I knew he’s got things under control.

    A possible Republican problem with Daniels is wanting to call a “truce” on social issues. That doesn’t mean women can/can’t get abortions, gays can/can never get married, or whatever, in Indiana, but that social issues will stay as they are until relevant issues are under control – a very sensible approach: no state has busted a budget, and no people have lost their jobs or houses because of social issues (education is not a social issue).

  • CD-Host

    CD “She’s a politician with a 20 year career start treating her like one.”
    Wat: Just yesterday you were vociferously arguing that she should have received special treatment from the press in 2008 because she was new on the scene.

    Yes new on the national scene experienced as a politician. There is a difference between the two as any pol moving up from local or state to national will tell you.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    CD-Host: “If you believe that she posses ” her considerable communication skills” you are disagreeing with most of the people on this thread.”

    You’ve confused communication skills with an ability to motivate her base. These are substantially different skills. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and, to a much lesser degree, Obama had/have extraordinarily good communication skills. They were/are able to persuade people who were willing to give a fair hearing. Clinton was able to translate complex ideas into concepts that could be readily understood by the average person.

    Palin lacks both of these skills. She has not persuaded anyone who doesn’t already think as she thinks. She has only motivated her base. That’s a very important skill – one I wish Obama had. And in fairness to her, most people are no longer capable of being persuaded by her because she’s already given them enough evidence to conclude she isn’t worth listening to (a la Dan Quayle).

    She also, to my knowledge, hasn’t demonstrated an ability to reduce complex ideas into simple concepts. All indications are she hasn’t done this because she doesn’t understand complex ideas. From your perspective, she doesn’t understand those ideas because she hasn’t had an interest in them – not because she’s incapable. Yet, those who worked very closely with her at trying to give her an understanding of issues (Schmidt and others from the McCain campaign) have said she wasn’t capable. When you offer a rationale for her simple “death panel” claim, you are doing nothing more than imputing to her a purpose and understanding that she has never demonstrated she has. You should be willing to admit this.

    “Its hard to beat your first impression unless you send totally contradictory information. She needs to do something geeky like play in chess tournaments.”

    The problem with this proposal is that it assumes that once she starts saying all these “smart” things you want her to say she will cease saying all the stupid things she says. There is absolutely no reason to assume that will occur. No one – not even Palin herself – actually wants to say stupid things. They say them because they don’t know any better.

  • CD-Host

    I read enough about Daniels

    I haven’t read anything about Daniels. We are in the midst of a major debate on taxes, where is he?
    We are in the midst of a major discussion about the START treaty and the implications for Iran and North Korea if we don’t sign it. Where is he?
    We are in the midst of a major discussion on the Fed’s QE2 policy. Where is he?
    We are in the midst of a possible realignment of our position on UN-242. Where is he?

    I don’t know the guy but if he is so strong on policy why aren’t I hearing his ideas on policy?

  • politicalfan

    “My husband brought out a great point tonight about Palin. He said she keeps dissing the press, journalists, etc… and wonders how she will ’speak to the nation’ as President if she won’t do press interviews as POTUS? Can anyone just imagine that one? Palin: “No, not you!” “Maybe you? Oh wait, you’re from CNN. Not you!”

    The front runners have not come to table because they are waiting for SP to annouce her run. LOL. There are going to be about 10 running against her. Priceless.

  • CD-Host

    @Madeline — I stand corrected on that.

  • chris87654

    anniemargret: “My husband brought out a great point tonight about Palin. He said she keeps dissing the press, journalists, etc… and wonders how she will ’speak to the nation’ as President if she won’t do press interviews as POTUS?”
    IF she runs (and I wonder… I’m SURE her family doesn’t want her to give up what she’s got and re-enter the fray), she’d almost have to do non-Fox interviews. It would be interesting if Sarah did all campaigning through Fox – it would be an obvious dodge, but would be accepted by supporters (and could keep her in the spotlight a bit longer). There’s no way she could do that as POTUS – I can’t imagine her “out of her comfort zone” while dealing with Russia, etc.

    CD about Quanta:”you are asserting a counter factual. That SP can only scream which I’d say is obviously false. She discusses plenty of issues in a calm soothing convincing way. She gave a great abortion speech a few months back”
    Maybe so, but I saw her on Fox ranting RABIDLY about “the child molester working at the Miller event”. I’ve never seen ANY political figure react like this – and it was a non-issue (if true, just say the guy slipped through background checks and would be dismissed .. no kids got molested). I still wonder if it was bait for Sarah. Hockey Mom was SCREAMING that CBS reporters were “corrupt bastards” – that was real, not playing for the camera. Can’t imagine her reaction to a real major issue.

    CentristNYer:
    CD-Host: “She just lacks facts when it comes to national political issues.”
    Centrist: “Uh, and this isn’t disqualifying for you?”
    CD-Host: “No it isn’t.”
    Heaven forbid Sarah’s opinions or statements would be influenced by facts… The lamestream media uses them to persecute Sarah.

  • anniemargret

    Yes, she was asked what newspapers she reads.

    That was truly below the belt. Terrible question by Couric. Very unfair and biased. The horror of it. Poor Sarah – constantly being beaten down by those lamestream liberal media-types. Then she was asked about the Bush Doctrine…another deeply unfair and cruel question to ask of a potential VP of the US.

    Now she will only talk to Hannity. Soon only First Dude will be the only one to ask her questions…

  • CD-Host

    Palin lacks both of these skills. She has not persuaded anyone who doesn’t already think as she thinks.

    I would disagree with you there strongly about not being able to communicate only motivate.

    In 2008 Sarah Palin in her introduction to the nation quoted Westbrook Pegler, a type of conservatism that hadn’t been in fashion since the early 1960s when Buckley ran the John Birchers out. Now she had to be careful since her running mate had been anti Pat Buchanan. But those references to JBS writers and their predecessors continued to litter her stump speeches.

    By 2009 the JBS who formerly had been excluded from CPAC was hosting CPAC. Further Glenn Beck was replacing Rush Limbaugh as the voice of the right. Glenn Beck is introducing Elizabeth Dilling’s worldview, indirectly via Cleon Skousen, to an audience that wasn’t even born when the Mother’s Movement was opposing FDR and WWII. By 2010 we have a whole bunch of people running for office with ties to the old right and on old right themes. Almost word for word quotes from the American Liberty League regarding the socialism of the National Recovery Administration being applied to Obama. And now we have viable candidates for office talking about ending social security.

    What evidence is there that Sarah Palin didn’t see that a new type of conservatism was needed after the failure of the Bush administration and has somehow managed to convince establishment Republicans to support her father’s JBS conservatism?

    Yet, those who worked very closely with her at trying to give her an understanding of issues (Schmidt and others from the McCain campaign) have said she wasn’t capable.

    Schmidt ran a dreadful idealess campaign. Palin got trashed during the campaign. As McCain floundered they attacked Palin arguing it was her who had sunk the ticket and blamed her for the fact that they couldn’t come up with any kind of a message that would sell. In short I think Schmidt and Wallace were lying.

    Their “suspend the campaign for hurricane”, the “suspend the campaign for TARP” without bothering to check…. It was an embarrassing dysfunctional stupid campaign and they trashed Palin because the Bushies love the politics of blame. They make up ridiculous lies, Valerie Plame being another good example of the same process.

    So I think its complete BS. And if you want a good example of her converting complex ideas into common language her critique of Obama’s policies and the slogans.

    Palin lacks both of these skills. She has not persuaded anyone who doesn’t already think as she thinks. She has only motivated her base.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “motivated her base”. How do you think she got a national base? She persuaded tens of millions. If by persuading outside the base you mean people outside the party, typically that happens starting with the convention which is, August 27, 2012. Can she persuade independents? Of course they are going to listen to the Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States in a serious way. The fact that she won the nomination is going to give her another bite at the apple with the broad public.

    She may have problems with Republican defections who have been following her and hate her. But as I’ve said before I think establishment defections are good for her. It will her independents. Have Barbera Bush endorse Obama, that’s wonderful for her brand.

  • anniemargret

    CD: On Daniels – “I haven’t read anything about Daniels. We are in the midst of a major debate on taxes, where is he?
    We are in the midst of a major discussion about the START treaty and the implications for Iran and North Korea if we don’t sign it. Where is he?
    We are in the midst of a major discussion on the Fed’s QE2 policy. Where is he?
    We are in the midst of a possible realignment of our position on UN-242. Where is he?
    I don’t know the guy but if he is so strong on policy why aren’t I hearing his ideas on policy?”

    Yes, let’s. Since both he and Palin are possible potential candidates, let’s get both of them on national TV media outlets to duke it out? What say you?

  • chris87654

    CD-Host:
    I haven’t read anything about Daniels. We are in the midst of a major debate on taxes, where is he?
    We are in the midst of a major discussion about the START treaty and the implications for Iran and North Korea if we don’t sign it. Where is he?
    We are in the midst of a major discussion on the Fed’s QE2 policy. Where is he?
    We are in the midst of a possible realignment of our position on UN-242. Where is he?

    I don’t know the guy but if he is so strong on policy why aren’t I hearing his ideas on policy?

    He’s in Indiana, doing his job governing the state – working on education reform I believe (I don’t like charter schools, but will have to read his reasons for supporting them – most all his decisions are based on efficiency, results, and cost). I’m sure he’d have input on national issues (and I’m curious), but it’s not his place now. He’s not announced any interest in running, but others have (Google it). When he’s mentioned, it’s usually as “little known”. http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20101122/NEWS07/101129870/1006/NEWS. Some other article said he’d get 36% against Obama’s 45% (but I don’t know how they’d get this when only 2% of Repubs said they’d vote for him). I read most candidates won’t announce til spring, but figure some will sooner.

  • anniemargret

    CD: “I’m not sure what you mean by “motivated her base”. How do you think she got a national base? She persuaded tens of millions.”

    She didn’t ‘persuade’ anybody . She just took over the same 1/3 of the country that watches Fox devotedly, despises progressive ideas, feels insecure, want a Christian government, and was resentful that Obama won the Presidency. That is the same 1/3 who still think Bush was a great Prez.

    Throw in her ‘pitbull with lipstick’, a few winks, some Obama and big city-bashing, and she had them eating out of the palm of her hand. That’s not persuasion. That’s like leading lemmings off the cliff.

  • CD-Host

    chris –
    I’m not sure why the CBS thing you consider so major. Right after her “corrupt bastards” speech CBS was doing interviews talking about how the affiliate (KTVA) wasn’t owned by CBS. The ownership was distancing themselves from the reporters the…. She knocked them back hard.

    She knows how to scare people. She gets their attention. Bush invaded 2 countries and he didn’t inspire that level of fear. Obama is sitting president of the United States, McConnell and Boehner blew off a meeting with him, casually. I guarantee you if she wanted a meeting they would jump on a plane and all she is a FOX commentator. I want my president to be feared. Bush was very effective internationally once Europe realized that
    a) He didn’t care what they thought
    b) He had the support of the Senate

    Besides that plays into the narrative of a corrupt media out to get her.

  • ProfNickD

    The GOP establishment isn’t worried that Palin will run — it’s worried that she will win because would mean the end of the Welfare State/Warfare State/earmark gravy train that they have been riding along with the Democrats.

  • anniemargret

    politicalfan: I will enjoy seeing which of the other potential candidates can ‘man-up’ and criticize Palin without resorting to apologies the next day, a la Limbaugh.

    CD: You like Palin because she ‘scares people?’ yeah, that’s what America needs. A ferocious pitbull/bear who likes to get her fangs out and tears people up and stoke fear in them. A real yummy national candidate you got there.

    I don’t want my President to be feared. I want my President to speak softly and carry a big stick. I don’t want a pitbull for President, even she is wearing lipstick and black leather jackets. I want my President to understand the word ‘diplomacy’ because without it, we will be in endless unjustified propagandized wars in which thousands of innocents die and soldiers are sent home in body bags.

  • anniemargret

    chris87654: Palin (if she actually runs), will most definitely try to duke it out on Fox rather than get in one-on-one interviews. She will get away with this with her fan base because they wouldn’t care if she tweeted her brains out for the next four years as Prez.

    But Palin as prima donna thinks she can call all the shots and break all the rules. She can try, but it won’t work.

    So far she has avoided giving any real hardball unscripted long interviews. If she runs as Prez and stays within the Fox cocoon, she can’t very well call herself a ‘pitbull.’ She would more likely be called a woos.

  • chris87654

    anniemargret: “Yes, let’s. Since both he and Palin are possible potential candidates, let’s get both of them on national TV media outlets to duke it out? What say you?”

    I look forward to debates, and hope there’s a good Republican candidate.

    I was thinking to get one of these for a “conversation starter”… They don’t seem to have them for Daniels/Palin. (is no big deal – they got ‘em for Palin/Romney too)
    http://www.zazzle.com/palin_daniels_bumper_sticker-128840592434805871

    Good article about the social issues “truce” as well as pandering to constituents vs. real world solutions.
    http://www.amconmag.com/larison/2010/11/10/mitch-daniels/

  • CD-Host

    annie –

    She’s been out on those issues. That’s what’s pathetic. You hear about how smart those other guys are and how they have great policies and then you ask for the policies and you hear the sound of crickets. These other guys are running on policy and don’t have any. She ain’t a policy candidate.

    We are in the midst of a major debate on taxes, Back in early August she was the one leading on this to reject the Democratic position, call Obama’s bluff.

    We are in the midst of a major discussion about the START treaty and the implications for Iran and North Korea if we don’t sign it. She was one of the early people to break on START (I believe in April). She’s questioned American strategic nuclear doctrine. She believes we need new doctrines that cover attacks with biological and nuclear weapons and is essentially opposed to Arms control. She also appears to have attacked NPT but Hannity didn’t ask for clarity on that.

    We are in the midst of a major discussion on the Fed’s QE2 policy. We’ve discussed her postion on QE2. Again an early leader in opposition.

    We are in the midst of a possible realignment of our position on UN-242. She’s a huge opponent of 242 as you have mentioned.

    Yes, let’s. Since both he and Palin are possible potential candidates, let’s get both of them on national TV media outlets to duke it out? What say you?

    Her stuff is rapidly becoming congressional doctrine. Going through this list I cooked up for Daniels, I disagree with her on quite a bit but wow I’m floored by how much she has shifted the debate. START going down, Treasury worried about the amount of heat she’s putting on the FED. The other 2 she’s with the congress. She’s amazing.

    I’d love it. But Daniels has to take positions on these things first.

  • CD-Host

    Chris –
    The problem with a truce on social issues is it ignores the electorate. Republican economic policies are wildly unpopular. Republican social policies are extremely popular, they even poll so/so among Democrats. Quite simply the Republican party is popular despite its economic policies because of its social policies. Dump social policies and the Dems win in most districts in the United States.

    When he made this suggestion I asked how he gets to 50%+1 on economics. Hell how does he get to 40%+1 on a pure economics platform? Crickets…

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    CD-Host: “What evidence is there that Sarah Palin didn’t see that a new type of conservatism was needed after the failure of the Bush administration and has somehow managed to convince establishment Republicans to support her father’s JBS conservatism?”

    Neither Palin nor any other GOPer made any meaningful claims prior to the ’08 election regarding the need for a new type of conservatism. However, after Nov. 08 every GOPer made these claims because they were seeking an explanation for their loss. But all these claims are nothing more than superficial slogans. Neither Palin nor any other prominent GOPer has articulated a new type of conservatism. I certainly haven’t heard any new ideas about domestic policy. Instead, I’ve only heard arguments about why the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should be extended and that there should be no cuts to Medicare or SS. Consequently, I can’t credit her with an idea she neither originated nor translated into an actual policy proposal. At present, it’s just a slogan.

    “In short I think Schmidt and Wallace were lying.”

    Okay. I don’t disagree that pointing out Palin’s faults would serve their personal interests. However, their claims are consistent with the present-day reality that she’s not knowledgeable, which you have already acknowledged. So, if she’s not knowledgeable, we have to ask “Why?” You say it’s because she’s not interested even though she wants to be President, hired a subject matter expert to help her and, we have to assume, does not want to be ignorant. Others who’ve worked with her say she’s incapable. Their assessments are corroborated by the observable facts.

    “And if you want a good example of her converting complex ideas into common language her critique of Obama’s policies and the slogans.”

    I’ll have to confess I’m not in a position to judge her critiques because I’m not familiar with any of her comments other than the sound-bit slogans that appear from time to time on TV. I haven’t seen any in-depth interviews on policy matters where she has walked an interviewer through the pros and cons of a position and then given a reasoned explanation for her conclusions. Can you direct me to one?

    “I’m not sure what you mean by “motivated her base”. How do you think she got a national base? She persuaded tens of millions.”

    Of what has she persuaded them? As Anniemargret said, she took the 1/3 of the electorate that would hate Obama even if he cured cancer, balanced the budget while cutting taxes and personally killed Osama Bin Laden all before Christmas and motivated them to elect candidates that she supported. Again, as a Democrat, I’m envious of this quality in a leader, but I also recognize this is not the same as being able to persuade people who think differently from you to adopt your viewpoint. There is no evidence she has this skill.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    Incidentally, if you’re considering her “death panel” claim to be a critique that was converted into common language, I don’t equate the development of a bumper sticker slogan with the conversion of complex ideas into understandable concepts. Neither she nor her followers can explain how HCR would have resulted in a death panel because it is factually untrue, as subsequently acknowledged by many GOPers.

    Consequently, she didn’t take a complex idea (i.e., medical review panels) and convert it into an understandable concept (i.e., an independent review board that would evaluate the efficacy of certain medical treatments). Instead, she simply ignored the facts and created a lie. Since the lie was not a simple reduction of a more complex truth, I can’t credit her with taking a complex idea and converting it into a simple, understandable truth, which is the essence of good communication.

  • CD-Host

    Neither Palin nor any other GOPer made any meaningful claims prior to the ‘08 election regarding the need for a new type of conservatism.

    Buchanan. Which is important since she comes out of the Buchanan wing.

    I actually addressed death panals in this thread:
    http://www.frumforum.com/operation-stop-palin-gets-rolling/comment-page-4#comment-198007

    I agree its not an example of what you are asking for.

    In terms of a policy shift I’d say START is a big shift in policy. I’d also say its evidence of persuasion. She has made START politically toxic for Republican senators, almost all of whom disagree with her. START is a Reagan initiative consiste with objectives of Nixon. Palin came out with And for those of you joining the United States Senate, don’t listen to desperate politically-motivated arguments about the need for hasty consideration of the “New START” treaty. Insist on your right to patient and careful deliberation of New START to address very real concerns about verification, missile defense, and modernization of our nuclear infrastructure. No New START in the lame duck!”

    Its looking like the Senate is going her way on this. A huge change in policy. Just to put this in perspective here are the people who endorsed ratifying START during the lame duck, you can see how bipartisan it is:

    Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense
    Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State
    Colin Powell, Secretary of State 2001-2005
    Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State, 1997-2001
    Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State 1973-1977
    Brent Scrowcroft, National Security Advisor to President George H.W. Bush
    William Cohen, Secretary of Defense, 1997-2001
    James Schelsinger, Secretary of Defense 1973-1975
    William Perry, Secretary of Defense 1994-1997
    Steven Hadley, National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush
    Howard Baker, U.S. Senator (R-TN), 1967-85
    Samuel Berger, National Security Advisor, 1997-2001
    Dr. Barry Blechman, Assistant Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, 1977-80; Commissioner, Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, 1998-99
    Linton Brooks, Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration, 2002-07
    Harold Brown, Secretary of Defense, 1977-81
    Mark Brzezinski, Director of Southeast European Affairs, National Security Council, 1999-2001
    Richard Burt, Chief START Negotiator, 1989-91
    Frank Carlucci, Secretary of Defense, 1987-89
    Warren Christopher, Secretary of State, 1993-97
    John C. Danforth, U.S. Senator (R-MO), 1977-95
    Kenneth M. Duberstein, White House Chief of Staff,1988-89
    Lieutenant General Robert Gard, U.S. Army (Ret), President of the National Defense University, 1977-81
    Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, U.S. Navy (Ret), Inspector General of the Department of the Navy, 1997-2000
    Chuck Hagel, U.S. Senator (R-NE), 1997-2009
    Lee Hamilton, U.S. Congressman (D-IN), 1965-99
    Gary Hart, U.S. Senator (D-CO), 1975-87
    Rita E. Hauser, Chair, International Peace Institute
    Carla Hills, U.S. Trade Representative, 1989-93
    Lieutenant General Dirk Jameson, U.S. Air Force (Ret), Commander of U.S. ICBM forces 1992-94; Deputy Commander-In-Chief of U.S. Strategic Command, 1994-96
    Nancy Kassebaum-Baker, U.S. Senator (R-KS), 1978-97
    Thomas Kean, Governor (R-NJ), 1982-90; 9/11 Commission Chair
    Lawrence Korb, Assistant Secretary of Defense, 1981-85
    Richard Leone, President, The Century Foundation
    Donald McHenry, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, 1979-81
    Sam Nunn, U.S. Senator (D-GA), 1972-96
    Thomas Pickering, Under Secretary of State, 1997-2000
    Steven Pifer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, 2001-04
    Warren Rudman, U.S. Senator (R-NH), 1980-92
    Wendy Sherman, Commissioner, Commission for the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation and Terrorism; Special Advisor and Policy Coordinator on U.S. policy toward North Korea, 1997-2001
    Alan Simpson, U.S. Senator (R-WY), 1979-97
    George Shultz, Secretary of State, 1982-89
    Theodore Sorensen, White House Special Counsel, 1961-63
    John Whitehead, Deputy Secretary of State, 1985-88
    Timothy E. Wirth, U.S. Senator (D-CO), 1987-93
    Frank Wisner, Under Secretary of State, 1992-93

    This is not all Sarah Palin but it is all the Tea Party.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    I’m not questioning her influence. I’m not even questioning her ability to lead those who think like she thinks. I’m questioning her abilities to persuade and to explain.

    Many Senate GOPers will take the approach she’s advised on new START because she has rallied a fervent group of people who are ardently opposed to anything Obama favors. These senators don’t want that fervent group to oppose them. But, I’m pretty sure she hasn’t persuaded any of the people you’ve listed or anyone else to change their position on this issue. And, not being familiar with the quote you provided or its context, I simply can’t judge whether it’s a fair representation of her own thinking or if it’s a regurgitation of what someone else thinks.

    Now, very few Presidents originate their own policy ideas so I wouldn”t require that of her. But, I do expect a President to understand the pros and cons of all of the policy options and to be able to explain why s/he has adopted his policy while, at the same time, explaining why the arguments against his policy are not compelling. She has not done this with any issue even though she’d like to be able to do it.

  • chris87654

    CD-host:” I’m not sure why the CBS thing you consider so major. Right after her “corrupt bastards” speech CBS was doing interviews talking about how the affiliate (KTVA) wasn’t owned by CBS. The ownership was distancing themselves from the reporters the…. She knocked them back hard.”
    The major issue is her overreaction – it was a small thing (like someone saying “retarded”) and she went completely ballistic (way beyond “thin skin”). I was thinking to find/rerun it on high def and see if veins pop out on her neck and forehead. This was the real Sarah (like what Levi talked about). It should have been blown off by saying “those nitwit reporters…” and then go back to promoting Miller – I can see Reagan laughing about it. It makes me wonder what she’d do in a real situation (break down or do something irrational). I think the reporters got fired – in the recording, they sounded drunk to me – goofing around, not making much sense.

    ProfNickD: “The GOP establishment isn’t worried that Palin will run — it’s worried that she will win because would mean the end of the Welfare State/Warfare State/earmark gravy train that they have been riding along with the Democrats.”
    No one outside the GOP is “afraid” of Sarah. Rove knows if 4-5 contenders run with Sarah, she’ll likely win the primary, but she’ll lose the general. And if she runs, she’ll get more bizarre as time goes on – she’s stubborn and contrary, but the Pitbull, Grizzly stuff is a facade – she doesn’t seem very strong or mature emotionally.

    anniemargret: “So far she has avoided giving any real hardball unscripted long interviews. If she runs as Prez and stays within the Fox cocoon, she can’t very well call herself a ‘pitbull.’ She would more likely be called a woos.”
    She’s been in a shelter for a long time. If she runs, I think the interviews would do her in – they’ll report the facts/gaffes, will ask her to clarify points, etc just like before except more intense – the media won’t give her any slack (not persecution, but will treat all candidates the same). Sarah can gracefully exit anytime by saying ~”I’ve decided I can do more for America outside the confines of a political office” and it would be accepted by supporters, but it would be better to do when she is/appears strong.

    From article” posted later in thread: ” Daniels has supposedly “offended” or “alienated” every major constituency in the party because he has tried to speak intelligently about contemporary problems rather than recite brain-numbing slogans that haven’t been relevant in 20 years”.
    The last line ties it to this article – lots of tired brain-numbing slogans (and buzz-word salads).
    Not an ordinary politician – if Daniels runs, it’ll be interesting to see how he’s received. A small guy (5’5″ to 5’7″?) with a combover, not charismatic, but very intelligent with no BS (ex-executive from Eli Lilly). Maybe the country’s ready for a 21st century Lincoln.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    “Buchanan. Which is important since she comes out of the Buchanan wing. ”

    I stand corrected on Buchanan. He did complain about conservatism long before the ’08 election. But, Palin never voiced any of those complaints. She had plenty of opportunity to raise those issues even before McCain picked her as his V.P. candidate, but she didn’t.

    In fact, she was guilty of practicing the very rotten form of “conservatism” that had become the norm for the GOP. She’s the one that promoted the Bridge to Nowhere. She used the power of government for her own personal purposes. She was Governor of a state that was awash in federal money. And, of course, she strongly supported the Iraq war.

    So, her desire for a new type of conservatism is nothing more than a platitude in light of her actual conduct and her inability to articulate what this “new conservatism” would actually mean.

  • chris87654

    CD-host: “The problem with a truce on social issues is it ignores the electorate.”

    You mean the part of the electorate that is extremely concerned with social issues. From the article: “but what has been clear is that these socially conservative Tea Partiers have made fiscal and economic issues their top priority.” Social issues are less important when Republicans start losing their jobs and homes.

    “Republican economic policies are wildly unpopular.”

    You mean like the “trickle down” theory? Ever wonder why? GOP wants to keep the Bush tax cuts because “they will help the economy”, when fact is those taxes are saved – they don’t get circulated in the economy or promote hiring (someone would be a nitwit to hire anyone until demand increases – demand increases when money circulates because people spend it when they have jobs – I’m talking in circles which is what it is which is the basis of the problem.) The GOP needs to come up with a better reason for extending those tax cuts to uppers. The middle class will spend the money on restaurants, electronics, appliances, etc – those tax savings will circulate. I used to make pretty good bucks for a single guy(never near $250K), and didn’t mind paying a lot of tax to help the country/state because I had plenty left over – but I didn’t want millions blown on corrupt politician pensions, Bridges to Nowhere, studies on why pigs stink/military uses for frisbees, etc) – is fine to spend it on roads, parks, waterways, bridges, etc.

    “Republican social policies are extremely popular, they even poll so/so among Democrats.”

    They are non-issues to me. A big one is if abortions should be 100% outlawed – I think they’re okay if pregnancy results from rape or incest (wasn’t Angle against that?). I don’t care about gay marriage one way or the other, just don’t kiss/etc in public. And as said, none of these things affect jobs or housing. Socials are “good times” issues when people have money to burn (esp for lawyers to hash this stuff out). From article: “It’s not as if the Republican leadership failed to notice that it was creating huge deficits because it was so preoccupied with trying to restrict abortion.” Other social issue I read about was cities/counties trying to ban Westboro Baptist Church idjits from protesting military funerals because they say soldier deaths are God’s punishment for the homosexuals in the US – they let it go because it costs too much to fight the ACLU (I wish WBC morons would get struck by lightning – it’s pushing free speech too far [they should be arrested for disturbing the peace]).

    ” Quite simply the Republican party is popular despite its economic policies because of its social policies.”

    This is ridiculous and represents the bastardization of the GOP. Are you saying the GOP threw fiscal conservative principals out the window and replaced them with “higher” social principals? To me, the gap between Republican and Democratic principals ended when Reagan started blowing money (increased spending amount AND major increase in “spending percentage of GDP”).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Debt_Trend.svg
    Bringing social issues and “high moral standards” to the front of the GOP was a bogus diversion to redefine the GOP (money is blown on GOP supporters/businesses instead of blowing it on social programs). But there are gay Republicans, Democrats against abortion, etc – many Republicans have been busted cheating on wives, tapping feet on men’s bathroom floor, homosexual ethics watchdog chasing pages, etc. I see no moral superiority for all the rant about social conservatism.

    ” Dump social policies and the Dems win in most districts in the United States.”

    I don’t understand this at all. If Republicans go back to fiscal responsibility (balancing budgets, concentrate on education, rid the government/Medicare/Medicaid of theft/inefficiencies, etc), they’ll win voters. It may not benefit Republican backscratchers now, but it will help future generations (money “trickles up” from a working middle class). Now it seems Republicans want to spend money on cronies (very apparent when the Cheney/Bush administration was giving Halliburton and Bechtel no-bid contracts in Iraq) so they can’t bitch too loud if Dems want to spend it on social programs (at least that money stays/circulates over a wide area in the US). If social policies are the big difference, what happens when they’re all “fixed”? Seems Republicans would need them in turmoil so they have a basis for existance.

  • CD-Host

    Spartacus–
    Palin never voiced any of those complaints. She had plenty of opportunity to raise those issues even before McCain picked her as his V.P. candidate, but she didn’t.

    You mean in terms of local issues? Well actually she did, she early on in Bush’s presidency was very concerned about maintaining a distinction between the Republican party being the pro business party and the Republican party shuffling government money to business. The whole basis of her gubernatorial candidacy was an attack on crony capitalism and the revolving door that exists between business and industry in the Republican party. Regulators who are part of the industries they are overseeing and using their oversight to benefit friends (Randy Ruedrich). Ethics reform was her first major act as governor. She had a pretty long track record on being in favor of substantial ethics reforms. Enough so that it would put her to left of Obama and Pelosi on those issues, out there with people like Feingold.

    A second issue of hers has been a huge push for state’s rights and de-federalization. This is typically a southern theme but it was the basis of a great deal of her lobbying on environmental policy. I’m not saying being against environmental regulation was unusual, but the principled argument that environmental protection is a state issue, coming from a non southern governor was.

    In fact, she was guilty of practicing the very rotten form of “conservatism” that had become the norm for the GOP. She’s the one that promoted the Bridge to Nowhere.

    Yes she’s a huge proponent of earmarks. John McCain would make earmarks the center of his economic policy having never asked her where she stood on the issue. It was one of the reasons she ended up looking bad because she obviously couldn’t disagree with John McCain on earmarks during the campaign. I don’t think there is anything rotten about them. I agree with earmarking, I think congress’ job is appropriations and I see nothing wrong with individual congressmen being able to bump up priorities within their districts. Its fashionable to be against them now because John McCain made it the centerpiece of his campaign and Jim DeMint agrees with him and has written about their corrupting effect.

  • CD-Host

    CD-host: “The problem with a truce on social issues is it ignores the electorate.”
    You mean the part of the electorate that is extremely concerned with social issues. From the article: “but what has been clear is that these socially conservative Tea Partiers have made fiscal and economic issues their top priority.” Social issues are less important when Republicans start losing their jobs and homes.

    Except it isn’t clear. The polling indicates that there is strong support for Tea Party candidates because of their stances on abortion, on guns. When you poll on Tea Party economics like large deductibles for medicare those policies are wildly unpopular.

    CD: “Republican social policies are extremely popular, they even poll so/so among Democrats.”

    They are non-issues to me. A big one is if abortions should be 100% outlawed – I think they’re okay if pregnancy results from rape or incest (wasn’t Angle against that?). I don’t care about gay marriage one way or the other, just don’t kiss/etc in public.

    Well if you are opposed to public gay kissing, far from wanting to extend gay rights you want to roll them back to pre 1970 era laws. As for them not being a big issue for you, OK but you aren’t the entire electorate. My point was not Daniels is or is not a good fit for you, but rather is his position viable with the American electorate.

    CD: ” Quite simply the Republican party is popular despite its economic policies because of its social policies.”

    This is ridiculous and represents the bastardization of the GOP. Are you saying the GOP threw fiscal conservative principals out the window and replaced them with “higher” social principals?

    Yes and no. I’m saying what I said about popularity. I’m not using “the American people want” as a euphemism for what I want. I’m putting it out there. If the poll on economics alone:
    45% of Americans are economically liberal, 35% are moderates, 20% are conservative
    The Republican advocate conservative policies, the Democrats moderate to liberal. The Republicans would lose and lose horribly if the election is about economics and social issues are completely off the table. That’s why the Democrats always try and refocus elections to economics and Republicans always try and focus elections on social issues.

    Now personally, I absolutely think the break down of parties we had in 1963:
    An economically liberal & socially conservative party
    A moderate party

    Is the right fit for the American electorate and a 2 party system. Our current politics is so dysfunctional because our parties don’t fit our electorate well and in particular the 25% of the electorate which are econ-lib & socon are poorly served by both parties, swinging wildly between two parties that don’t represent their interests. At the point the populations of the parties are scrambled. But yes I think the Republicans should be moving left on economics and staying where they are or going right on social policies for the next generation.

    CD: ” Dump social policies and the Dems win in most districts in the United States.”

    I don’t understand this at all. If Republicans go back to fiscal responsibility (balancing budgets, concentrate on education, rid the government/Medicare/Medicaid of theft/inefficiencies, etc), they’ll win voters.

    No they won’t. Take social issues off the table and pro-government conservatives become democrats. Social conservatives become swing voters. And the best we can possibly do is pick up another 4% of the electorate who are economic and social moderates that currently vote Dem (i.e. I’m assuming we win 100% to be generous). Further we might lose disaffected voters who hate technocrats, if the Dems show any passion. I don’t see how we get to 40% with that sort of campaign.

    If social policies are the big difference, what happens when they’re all “fixed”? Seems Republicans would need them in turmoil so they have a basis for existence.

    They won’t get fixed. There are voter groups like liberals for whom social issues are also their top priority but they disagree with social conservatives. Also capitalism undermines traditional social norms which causes moderates to shift their views and this creates a constant friction.

  • CD-Host

    I’m not questioning her influence. I’m not even questioning her ability to lead those who think like she thinks. I’m questioning her abilities to persuade and to explain.

    Many Senate GOPers will take the approach she’s advised on new START because she has rallied a fervent group of people who are ardently opposed to anything Obama favors. These senators don’t want that fervent group to oppose them. But, I’m pretty sure she hasn’t persuaded any of the people you’ve listed or anyone else to change their position on this issue.

    I don’t know whether you are still following this thread or not. But I think it gets to the heart of the matter:

    She’s getting something like 35 United States Senators who think her policy is wrong and dangerous to the United States to do what she wants.

    She getting tens of millions to scare the hell out of those United States Senators, in other words persuading them that START is a bad idea.

    I agree the Senators still think her policy is wrong and dangerous, and are doing in spite of that. I’m not sure how that isn’t more impressive rather than less impressive. Ultimately if she is able to get people to do what she wants, who cares why they are falling in line? Its sort of like the anti Obama. I’d bet on virtually every issue facing the Senate the Senators agreed with Obama and did the opposite. He was convincing in the intellectual sense, but they wouldn’t do what he wanted and as a result his arguments did the American people no good.

  • Slide

    CD-Host: I agree the Senators still think her policy is wrong and dangerous, and are doing in spite of that. I’m not sure how that isn’t more impressive rather than less impressive. Ultimately if she is able to get people to do what she wants, who cares why they are falling in line?

    Who cares? So the fact that she may be effective in convincing other to do the wrong thing, impresses you? You must have truly been impressed by the likes of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. Who cares how they got people to fall in line…..who cares what they were doing was wrong….. who cares right?

    CD-Host with all honesty people like you scare me.

  • CD-Host

    Slide –

    I thought we weren’t supposed to take her seriously? Now you are going from she’s not a serious leader to putting her up against the people who transformed the 20th century? That’s quite a change. Anyway, if there is anything here but rhetoric I don’t think she has anywhere near the deep sorts of policy objectives in terms of remaking her society of a Hitler, Mao or a Stalin. She not going to kill millions, our problems aren’t that severe our politics is not that radicalized. I can think of scenarios by 2020 or so if we don’t address our problems… a 2012 Republican win of some Mitt Romney with more transfer of wealth up a double dip, the election in 2014 of many openly extremist candidates a 2016 “last chance” presidency that fails. A coup. But no she’s not a Mao, America doesn’t need a Mao.

    I’ve compared her to a potential Eva Peron, an Andrew Jackson. We do need one of those.

  • Slide

    Actually CD my comments were really not about Palin at all but rather about your incredibly bizarre defenses of her.

  • SkepticalIdealist

    You know I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but some are truly just scum. Since the topic of the Bush tax cuts has come up, I want to mention what a fellow from the American Enterprise Institute said about the proposal. His name was Robert Stein, and while on C-SPAN he actually said that the middle class tax cuts were unnecessary, purely political, and the best policy overall would be to extend the tax cuts for the wealthy while letting the tax cuts for the middle class and poor expire.

    I laughed out loud when I saw it. That was really the entire point of the tax cut anyway. On average, poor families got 45 dollars back from the tax cuts, middle class families received about 880 dollars, and the top .01% got just over 330,000 dollars. That money could’ve gone toward improving our infastructure, hiring teachers and police officers, and keeping social security solvent. What people don’t understand is that taxes aren’t collected because we want to punish success, taxes are collected because the money has to come from somewhere, and it’s far more humane to collect it in the form of a 3% increase in taxes on the people who have the best standard of living in the civilized world than to take it out of the thousand dollar social security checks of seniors. Or to requiring them to work until they’re 70.

    Another great irony is that this person from AEI also engaged in what is often called by conservatives as “The Politics of Envy.” Only, he made his case against federal workers. Yes, those fat cats who are really raking in those 5 figure yearly incomes. He said that they made on average about 20% more than people doing comparable work in the private sector, which is actually quite false, but then went on to say they should be making even less than they do now because of their added job security. Mr. Stein and the people who fund his institute are little more than 21st century robber barons. Except now, they have all the popular anger and passion on their side directed at the agents of reform.

    Some people worry about the direction of our country, I worry about the direction of our society. Who wants to be a reformist when a political career in climate denial and passing out checks from the tobacco companies is so damn profitable? Who wants to be a reformist when you get called a socialist, a baby killer, and a nazi by the very people you are trying to protect? Who wants to be a reformist when you are given every perverse incentive to sell out the interests of the community in favor of the special interests, and a slap to the face every time you try to improve the standard of living of the average worker? I say to you now that a career in politics that is genuinely dedicated to serving the people has now become synonymous with charity work.

  • politicalfan

    “Some people worry about the direction of our country, I worry about the direction of our society. Who wants to be a reformist when a political career in climate denial and passing out checks from the tobacco companies is so damn profitable? Who wants to be a reformist when you get called a socialist, a baby killer, and a nazi by the very people you are trying to protect? Who wants to be a reformist when you are given every perverse incentive to sell out the interests of the community in favor of the special interests, and a slap to the face every time you try to improve the standard of living of the average worker? I say to you now that a career in politics that is genuinely dedicated to serving the people has now become synonymous with charity work.”

    well said!!!

  • anniemargret

    skeptical idealist: Ditto “well said!” from politicalfan.

  • nhthinker

    “Some people worry about the direction of our country, I worry about the direction of our society. Who wants to be a reformist when a political career in climate denial and passing out checks from the tobacco companies is so damn profitable? Who wants to be a reformist when you get called a socialist, a baby killer, and a nazi by the very people you are trying to protect? Who wants to be a reformist when you are given every perverse incentive to sell out the interests of the community in favor of the special interests, and a slap to the face every time you try to improve the standard of living of the average worker? I say to you now that a career in politics that is genuinely dedicated to serving the people has now become synonymous with charity work.”

    Isn’t this almost directly quoting Charlie Rangel from last week in front of the ethics committee?

  • chris87654

    SkepticalIdealist:”What people don’t understand is that taxes aren’t collected because we want to punish success, taxes are collected because the money has to come from somewhere, and it’s far more humane to collect it in the form of a 3% increase in taxes on the people who have the best standard of living in the civilized world”

    I know you mean “taxes have to come from somewhere” but you made me think that profits that generate the income which leads to higher taxes comes from somewhere too – it comes from the working class either directly (sold/bought goods/services) or government contracts – some may reap great profits from the stock market/financial moves, but money made in this manner is basically free (and risky to the economy if nothing backs it up – which is what happened with the dot.com and housing bubbles). The minions (me) pay some tax, but we also give a lot of money to those who make a lot of money.

    I was surprised to read this week that “corporate profits broke records in the third quarter of this year, surpassing $1.6 trillion. That’s the highest profit level ever, not adjusted for inflation.”
    http://www.wtma.com/rssItem.asp?feedid=114&itemid=29602136
    That money came from somewhere, and if the benefactors don’t pay their share of tax to help the country that helped them it’s not right. The country isn’t going to get help paying down the debt from those who are out of work.

    Happy Thanksgiving! seriously – we live in a great country even though some are greedy (I had 4 invitations this year and consider myself fortunate).

  • chris87654

    I won’t copy/paste the thread, but it sounds like CD-host is telling me I can’t be a Republican if I’m a strong fiscal conservative – that I have to be a social conservative as well. If that’s the case, I guess I’ll never be a Republican.

    I’m going to dinner today at old boss’s house (known him for 40 years, since I was 15). He’s got a very successful heating/AC business because he does a good job. Everyone over there is Republican and hates Obama (I still think much of it is because a black guy beat the white guy, but never bring that up – except to my old friend [old boss is his brother-in-law]).

    Anyway, the boss softened on Obama a bit when energy tax credits started helping his business (no “good” words, but the negative Obama statements stopped, and I heard him murmur one time that business was picking up some because of the energy tax credits – I can bring this up some today – the tax credits end this year, and new units have to be ordered/installed by 12/31). I’ve read that other Republicans say some of Obama’s policies have benefited them (not the ranting Palinians – I think many of those are out-of-work whiners living in their mom’s basements). I don’t agree with spending borrowed money (or printing more), but much of that has been circulating in the US economy, and maybe some resulted in high corporate profits (high profits can also result from operating with a smaller labor force).

    Will have to watch for more articles about why corporate profits were so high. It’s sad that upper earning “patriots” don’t want to help the country by giving some back – got to wonder if they’d have a different attitude if they weren’t “giving it to Obama”, even though the money was made during his administration. Even Warren Buffet is against keeping high end tax cuts – he said he doesn’t need the money.