Preventing Another Palin Disaster

August 17th, 2011 at 7:13 pm David Frum | 185 Comments |

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In my column for The Week I discuss the lessons that Republicans must learn for 2012 and beyond, so they don’t repeat the same mistakes they made with Sarah Palin:

The people who promoted and celebrated the Palin pick have disavowed — or at least abandoned — their former enthusiasm. They no longer accuse those who objected to the pick of “elitism” or “snobbishness” or “misogyny.” It’s now considered very bad form among Republicans even to remember what the people said and wrote about Palin three years ago.

But before the episode is consigned to forgetfulness, there are some lessons to be learned of urgent value for 2012 and beyond.

More respect for brains as a qualification for the presidency.

Within days of the announcement of Palin as GOP running mate, it became obvious to everybody that she could not pronounce two coherent consecutive sentences on any aspect of national policy, foreign or domestic. A lot of effort went into arguing that this ignorance did not matter, or even that it represented a weird kind of plus factor.

Three years later, we no longer hear such excuses for Palin. But it remains true even now that Republicans do not take intelligence or expertise very seriously as qualifications for the presidency. Mitt Romney’s smarts do him surprisingly little good; Rick Perry’s non-smarts do him disturbingly little harm; and Michele Bachmann’s out-beyond-the-Orion-belt substitutions for familiarity with life here on Earth only intensify the admiration of her fan base.

Quit treating consumption patterns as substitutes for character.

It’s very important that politicians understand the everyday lives of Americans. It’s important that politicians champion the ordinary person and not pay undue heed to the wishes of the rich and powerful. It’s important that politicians be people of integrity, not hirelings of industry lobbies. These are issues of character, and character counts.

But the choice of cowboy boots over loafers — enjoyment of hunting rather than bicycling — a preference for ketchup over mustard — these tell us precisely nothing about a candidate’s character.

Click here to read the full column.

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185 Comments so far ↓

  • Oldskool

    You just know once she admits she isn’t running that she’ll endorse Perry. They’re too much alike.

    • Smargalicious

      Yup, the lamestream media will try to demonize Perry just like they did Sarah.

      However, with the lop-eared, half-Kenyan reparationist’s record, the GOP doesn’t have to worry too much in November 2012.

      • medinnus

        You deluded little shithead of a bigot. I hope the GOP lays Perry over a truck tailgate and fucks him in the ass; he’s been a target for three days, and the facts of his Texas fantasy have already made sure if he’s the GOP nominee that Obama will easily win 2012.

        And once he doesn’t have to worry about the politics of re-election, he’s going to shove his “reparationist” agenda up YOUR ass.

        • Smargalicious

          Vile comments threatening and condoning sexual violence.

          Where are the forum mods?

        • Lonewolf

          And referring to the leader of the free world as a “lop-eared half-Kenyan” is soooo respectful. You ad hominem attacks are repetitive, shameful and unpersuasive. If you want to play the anti-intellectual bully boy, fine. But don’t run away crying for your moderator when you get your eye blackened by someone you just tried to beat up.

        • Primrose

          Medinnus, Medinnus, Medinnus. Please don’t make me agree with Smarg. I beg of you. I respect your anger. I respect how necessary it feels to throw up a psychic block to nauseating level of hate. It feels, sometimes, like one of those non-lethal weapons developed to stop mobs flat. But it isn’t worthy of you or this forum.

          The use of a rape metaphor for one’s enemies in general helps support the idea of rape as a tool of war (which I’m sure horrifies you). And it only thrills him. It’s the emotional payoff this sad, sick individual is looking for.

          If you must answer that hateful troll, the English language has a million words to do it in. But really, we must all try to contain ourselves. The only way to win is not to play.

          And we must also remember, these outbursts don’t go unpunished. He has to live with himself. I can think of thousand hells I’d rather go to than that. Can’t you?

        • PracticalGirl

          This isn’t normal behavior for Medinnus. He simply had the misfortune of having a keyboard and a “Submit”button when he finally lost his sense of humor.

          Still. Dude…That’s a whole lot of pictures I could have done without today. Perhaps cocktail hour and a chill out should come earlier today. :)

      • Oldskool

        Gopers shouldn’t worry about lop ears or reparations, they should worry about cement buckets. Like the one on your shoulders.

      • Lonewolf

        The media don’t need to demonize Perry; that empty suit is fully capable of demonizing himself. Today, he railed against “DOT regulations that make farmers get drug tests to drive a tractor across the road into their field”. Except, guess what? Those regulations don’t exist. Never existed. Were never contemplated.
        I can see why you like Perry, though, Smarg. He sets up ludicrous straw man arguments almost as well as you do.

  • Saladdin

    Uh oh David, you’re going to get heat from the RW’ers.

  • Lonewolf

    There’s no doubt the Republicans are now somewhat embarrassed about their past championing of an ignorant, anti-intellectual featherweight as a national leader.

    So why, exactly, are they repeating the same mistake today, as their meagre attention alternates between a guy who apparently thinks cows are people – because all the milk they make goes to people – a $200 haircut surmounting an empty suit and cowboy boots, and a rabid, evangelical subsidy queen who gleefully makes up her own “facts” to suit every occasion?

  • Lizzie

    Frum

    “Within days of the announcement of Palin as GOP running mate, it became obvious to everybody that she could not pronounce two coherent consecutive sentences on any aspect of national policy, foreign or domestic. ”

    Did you say a word?

    • OhioDem

      Yes, he did: A Shrewd Pick, but a Responsible One? [http://www.aei.org/article/28535](David Frum, August 2008)

      I don’t agree with much that David Frum says, but he does say it honestly and consistently.

  • baw1064

    David, I completely agree with your column. But the GOP base doesn’t. They seem to believe that the reason they didn’t win in 2008 was that Palin wasn’t on the top of the ticket. The recapture of the House in 2010 on a wave of Tea Party hard line-ism has just convinced them that they need only need nominate the most conservative candidate–and doing William F. Buckley one better, that person will be by definition electable.

    It is, unfortunately, all about cultural cues. Because the real objection to Obama isn’t his fairly centrist policies as actually enacted, it’s his identity as the Other. Since nobody can actually say that out loud, he gets called a bunch of things that are mutually exclusive. And therefore, anyone running against him is graded on how many Real American stereotypes he or she embodies.

  • Kingofthenet

    Many in the ‘Tea Party’ movement(or as I like to call them the Mad hatters) have a disturbing hostility to ‘Intellectuals’ I find this so foreign to me, I can’t wrap my brain around it. My family is hardly ‘intelligentsia’ but have ALWAYS respected Experts. I think this has to do with the low level of cognisance these people display, along with their black & white worldview. They demonstrate a 5 year olds level of Critical Thinking, when I asked a tea party friend why he was for a ‘Flat Tax’ he said because it was fair. I than mentioned that such a tax would be highly regressive and put a far higher burden on the poor and middle class, he said so what? Why should the rich pay more, I said because when you make the poor pay more, their child might not get new shoes, when you ask the middle class to pay more, their child might not get piano lessons, and when you ask the rich to pay more, their child might not get a BMW for their sweet sixteen. It didn’t really faze him.

    • drdredel

      At the rate of “rich” we’re talking about, the reality is that it simply would not effect them in any tangible way, whatsoever. Their child would most certainly still be eligible for the BMW. The amounts we’re talking about are rounding errors for the kind of wealthy we’re talking about. And as for “fair”… in order to understand what is “fair” one has to be able to perform some sort of calculation. This requires a level of critical thinking that anyone that has aligned themselves with the tea-party (ipso facto) must necessarily lack.

    • SFTor1

      A progressive tax rate is not only fair, it is natural.

      Rich people use infrastructure more heavily, directly and indirectly. They use the courts more. They use airports, roads, and ports in ways that ordinary ratepayers couldn’t even if they tried. They sell vast amounts of goods and services to the military. They benefit from TARP, tariffs, and tax exemptions. They take advantage of capital gains and depreciation like no ordinary wage-earner can.

      The public sector, also known as the government, provides a wide array of services that are mostly used to generate money that ends up in the pockets of the wealthy. It’s OK that they pay a little extra.

      • Another Matt

        Yes. Also, recessions are regressive — the poor and to some extent the middle class has already had its “shared sacrifice.”

      • jakester

        yes, considering that if it wasn’t for this country being and having what it has in terms of resources and infrastructure, they wouldn’t be rich. As well as a lot of them got rich off of fat government contracts like our old Buffalo NY teabag pal, Carl Palladino

  • maxfieldj

    I lost faith in the electorate years go. They could vote for Palin or Bachman. They could even fall for another “Aw Gee, Schucks, Pardner in cowboy boots with nonsensical ideas about governing but able to pull some whump ass on the Fed chairman or hang him for treason.

    This is going to get me in trouble, but as George Carlin said “think about how dumb the average person is and then remember that the other half are even dumber”. There are examples in abundance. Take a man whose company bilked millions from social security, have the same man champion cutting social securities and then have him run for governor and win in a state filled with retired social security recipients.

    The genius of the Republican Party is its ability to get people to vote for them against their own self interests. Republicans will cut unemployment benefits and the unemployed will run to the poles to vote Republican.

    Do you wonder why the founding fathers wanted to restrict voting?

  • Frumplestiltskin

    well then push for Huntsman or Romney even more (Huntsman my clear first choice personally). I know you won’t but you at least have to try to get Romney’s back.

    baw, I dunno about that, Romney is the front runner right now because enough of the Republican party has not flipped its lid. If Romney goes down it will be because he is phony as hell, not because of his likely real politics.

    This is another great column by David. I was actually turned onto Frumforum at TNR because he is the Conservative columnist most admired by Liberal thinkers.

  • wileedog

    “Within days of the announcement of Palin as GOP running mate, it became obvious to everybody that she could not pronounce two coherent consecutive sentences on any aspect of national policy, foreign or domestic.”

    Well, everybody but Brad Schaeffer apparently.

  • indy

    Crap, DF, you’re making me like you in spite of your foreign policy blinders.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    I loved this part “John Ziegler, producer and director of a documentary movie about Palin, had this to say about the women who rejected Palin…”

    Oh, but David, don’t you know that the Undefeated (except, you know, being defeated the one big time) has grossed a whopping $116,000 at the box office so far. I heard tell he is laughing all the way to his piggy bank…or he would be if it ever makes any money.

  • Holmes

    “Within days of the announcement of Palin as GOP running mate, it became obvious to everybody that she could not pronounce two coherent consecutive sentences on any aspect of national policy, foreign or domestic. A lot of effort went into arguing that this ignorance did not matter, or even that it represented a weird kind of plus factor.”

    David — it’s not courageous when you speak-up three years after the fact.

    • PatrickQuint

      “The longer I think about it, the less well this selection sits with me. And I increasingly doubt that it will prove good politics. The Palin choice looks cynical. The wires are showing.

      John McCain wanted a woman: good.

      He wanted to keep conservatives and pro-lifers happy: naturally.

      He wanted someone who looked young and dynamic: smart.

      And he discovered that he could not reconcile all these imperatives with the stated goal of finding a running mate qualified to assume the duties of the presidency “on day one.”

      Sarah Palin may well have concealed inner reservoirs of greatness. I hope so! But I’d guess that John McCain does not have a much better sense of who she is, what she believes, and the extent of her abilities than my enthusiastic friends over at the Corner. It’s a wild gamble, undertaken by our oldest ever first-time candidate for president in hopes of changing the board of this election campaign. Maybe it will work. But maybe (and at least as likely) it will reinforce a theme that I’d be pounding home if I were the Obama campaign: that it’s John McCain for all his white hair who represents the risky choice, while it is Barack Obama who offers cautious, steady, predictable governance.

      Here’s I fear the worst harm that may be done by this selection. The McCain campaign’s slogan is “country first.” It’s a good slogan, and it aptly describes John McCain, one of the most self-sacrificing, gallant, and honorable men ever to seek the presidency.

      But question: If it were your decision, and you were putting your country first, would you put an untested small-town mayor a heartbeat away from the presidency?”
      – David Frum, Aug 29, 2008. National Review Online.

      Honestly, research isn’t hard these days. This looks to be from the day of the announcement.

      • Hunter01

        PatrickQuint,

        You misrepresent Holmes’ point. Today Frum said that Palin “could not pronounce two coherent consecutive sentences.” Three years ago Frum said Palin is “untested.”

        Not exactly the same. Not even close.

        • PatrickQuint

          Let’s take a look at Holmes’ criticism.

          “David — it’s not courageous when you speak-up three years after the fact.”

          David Frum spoke up. He spoke up on the day of the announcement. He didn’t start saying she had no policy knowledge until she demonstrated that she had none, and then the most generous thing Frum said about her was that maybe she’ll learn.

          He’s more insulting to her now, but that’s not exactly surprising considering the means of the man’s employment at the the time and his desire for his party to win the election. Now that his pay isn’t tied to his partisan affiliation and Palin’s success isn’t directly tied to the success of the party, he’s being more strident.

          For a guy to undermine his party’s nominee for what is seen as a bad choice shows some courage.

        • Kevin B

          Patrick Quint,

          Agreed. Not only did David Frum speak up early about Palin’s inadequacies, he has done so often since…to the point where regular commenters on this blog have scolded him about being negatively obsessed with her.

          This is certainly not a case of “too little, too late.”

  • Emma

    Today, I spent a few hours talking with some Tea Party ladies — white women in their fifties and early sixties who are getting involved in politics for the first time in their lives. As to a basic knowledge of history, government, macro-economics, the ladies had no clue. None. Below high school level, even. BUT, they are positively giddy with excitement at the prospect of Obama losing in 2012. MOREOVER, they are so eager and quick to fire low, childish insults at Obama, I get the sense that this experience is making-up for some absence in their lives. What, exactly, the absence is, I’m not sure (the lack of respect of their families and community, perhaps?). What seems clear to me, though, is that Tea Party politics provides an avenue to express hostility, aggression, and raw anger. This is one source of Palin’s appeal and one reason why knowledge, intelligence, and expertise were (and are) affirmatively scorned.

    • anniemargret

      …good reply, Emma. I run into the same thing. Ordinarily these people are basically nice people, but their grasp on the issues is the pits. They do not use the Internet, remember, for their information-gathering. In fact, they do not information-gather at all.

      They rely on the sound bites their families use around the dinner table. A few well established lobs against the President, something about minorities ‘taking over’ and they ‘want their country back’ hysteria drive them to say the stupidest things….worse…it drives them to vote for people that do the most to hurt them and their own families!

      stupid? you betcha. It proves one thing…that cultural bias is stronger than intelligent and discriminating thought about putting a person in the highest office in the land.

      Obama’s presidency did one thing. It revealed the latent hatred and fear that resides within the core of white bread America. They are so fearful of progress, in whatever shape or form, that voting Republican gives them that much-needed pat on the back and supports their inner tribal feelings.

      The vast majority of Republicans voters fall into two categories: the wealthy ‘elites’, well-educated, well heeled, worried about their portfolios and corporate welfare with little regard to the overall health of their country and the middle class working stiffs who are filled with chagrin that a liberal black guy from Chicago (never mind that he worked himself up from the depths himself), could have become President. And they want a ‘religious’ President. Meaning=their version of Christianity, an attitude based on fascism than the ‘freedom’ they pretend to love.

      The only sane, intelligent place left for the smart and aware (and young) voter is to be a Democrat if they half-way want to see any real progress made to enter the global community with superior advancement, critical thinking skills, education, scientific achievement and a desire to improve our society from within..instead of the scorched earth nihilistic philosophy that what was once a great national party..the GOP.

      Palin is the embodiment of the GOP. And they know it.

      • Cforchange

        I too see the female you describe all around my suburbs. Right now they are unable to contain their “uppity”"attitude if they get the opportunity to put the act on display for an African American shopping along side of them.

        I too agree that Palin made this strain of the GOP strain surface. However this voter and their attitude does not move an election – they already were going to vote Republican. They are single issue voters – abortion. How else could anyone explain blind adoration for Palin and the rise of the O’Donnell candidate.

        • Smargalicious

          ^What a bunch of condescending garbage from liberal thought nazis! LOL

          So, people exercising their right of free speech and political beliefs are morons and childish because they don’t believe in socialism??

          Please.

        • Cforchange

          No smarg, I’m talking about the situation were the mere sight of seeing a fellow shopper who is black provokes this “exercising their right of free speech and political beliefs “. Something like ‘your fellow black made the Dow drop 300 today and I can’t shop without concern’ flashes on their forehead billboard. The eye contact followed by spinning on one’s heels combined with tense, mean laughing with zero or little provocation says it all.

          You know, similar thoughts cross your mind and then you write these feelings here at FF often. God, whiteness and politics have become obsessive and lots of folks outside of the club are watching.

        • baw1064

          Essentially that’s David’s whole point. The Republicans are pandering to the more radical aspects of their base and turning off the people who will swing the election. Back in the day, most of the Democratic party thought that McGovern and Mondale were great presidential material. In both cases, the people of 49 out of 50 states disagreed with them.

  • TJ Parker

    “More respect for brains as a qualification for the presidency”

    LOL! That explains the 2012 candidates!! That explains the 2012 candidates???

    I wanna hear why God ignored the prayers of Rick Pervy and his Bible Study Group and, instead of sending rain, intensified the draught. I know, I know, God loves Dick cuz Dick told us.

    • anniemargret

      ….intelligence alone is not enough. Intelligence + integrity + character + common sense is what makes the best President.

      Obama had the toughest challenge of all. A legacy of a mess left by the Republicans who now blame him for their own created mess, and working against a vicious mob-like mentality that has taken the GOP by storm.

      They ought to be ashamed of themselves but then again, that would require conscience.

  • jakester

    They just found even dumber people to latch onto so they are selling their old hero short

    • baw1064

      There was an old Dilbert that stated the classic marketing principle: “Don’t make better products, just find dumber customers!” I think we are seeing the political version of this.

  • Graychin

    “The people who promoted and celebrated the Palin pick have disavowed — or at least abandoned — their former enthusiasm. They no longer accuse those who objected to the pick of “elitism” or “snobbishness” or “misogyny.” It’s now considered very bad form among Republicans even to remember what the people said and wrote about Palin three years ago.”

    False premise. Those people (aka the GOP Base) still fall down and worship every glib anti-intellectual, anti-science candidate dishonest enough to tell them what they want to hear. Including Sarah Palin. How else to explain Perry and Bachmann, and the tepid response to Huntsman and Romney v. 9.2?

    Sorry, mr. Frum. That’s your party. Sounds like you’re in deep denial.

    • Kevin B

      It isn’t a false premise at all. The point you are trying to make is the same as the one David Frum is trying to make.

      He’s saying the GOP has realized it made a mistake with Palin, and he’s warning them not to make the same mistake with these other Palinesque candidates.

  • JimBob

    Frum, avoiding another disaster is when the American people stop listening to people like you that put the interest of foreign country first.

    http://old.nationalreview.com/frum/frum031903.asp

    http://books.google.com/books/about/What_Price_Israel_50th_Anniversary_Editi.html?id=F_dJpxQubwUC

    • doubter4444

      Then I take it you you feel strongly that all those who gloat over the way Netanyahu has insulted the Obama administration, and who seem to put the interest of Israel over the US are egging us on towards disaster too, correct?

  • ConnerMcMaub

    Frum’s dissent on Palin is one of the things that made me take notice of him.

  • HighCountry

    It seems as though the Republicans like to double down on their mistakes (hence the re-re-emergence of Newt, for example)…it’ll be very interesting to see if the same happens with Palin. My gut feeling is that there’s no way in hell she’ll get the nomination…but then again the Republicans never cease to amaze me these days with how far they’re willing to venture into Crazy Town. If nothing else it would make for some good T.V.

  • chephren

    “It’s now considered very bad form among Republicans even to remember what the people said and wrote about Palin three years ago.”

    Really? How could this be, when so many of the current Republican candidates (and pundits) use the same rhetoric, same substitution of sound bites for thought, that Palin used from the day she was picked?

    Palin was a fringe running mate picked by an established mainstream Republican presidential candidate. Most of today’s presidential prospects sound a lot more like Palin than McCain. They’re unabashedly trying to out-Palin each other with folksy zingers, malapropisms and extreme sound bites (Bernanke is a traitor, for example). Bachmann (and Perry) follows this script, and it seems to be working.

    The fact is, Palin pulled the party sharply toward the nutty fringe right, and the drift in that direction continues.

  • zaybu

    David, a good effort. But I am beginning to suspect you are addressing people who believe in the equivalent of a flat earth or creationist “science.” Facts have become of minor consequence in this new age that allows the denial of whatever doesn’t fit one’s political bias.

    • ottovbvs

      “suspect you are addressing people who believe in the equivalent of a flat earth”

      At bottom this is the problem. You have about 60% of Republicans (~30% of voters) who embrace this kind of craziness. It’s shows up in all the opinion polls. The second problem is you have a Republican leadership who for motives of fear and electoral advantage aren’t willing to acquaint these folks with reality. 30 years of this has increasingly peopled the legislative and organisational ranks of the GOP with with people like Bachmann who are authentic voices of this anger and incoherence. Ultimately the only thing that is going to break this fever is electoral defeat which is why in many ways a for example Perry/Bachmann ticket would be a good solution for the country. It’s a stark choice, no room for compromise, no muddying of the waters. The country gets to choose between a real Republican party and a real Democratic party vision of where the country should be going and how it should be run.

  • talkradiosucks.com

    Gotta give credit where credit is due: Frum is 100% right on Palin and has been from the start. The only sad part is that he actually thinks anyone who likes/d Palin will listen to him.

  • ottovbvs

    Frum was negative on Palin from the get go, although I believe somewhere along the way he did fess up to pulling the lever for McCain/Palin. If so he was right on the substance but still ultimately succumbed to tribalism. That said there’s no doubt he, bravely for a conservative, pointed out the folly of nominating this woman who has really turned into a slow motion train wreck for the GOP. Why? Because she’s living proof of their total lack of interest in either effective governance or the security of the nation. Had this pair been elected and anything happened to McCain we would literally have found ourselves with a airhead running the country. It beggars belief but that is what the Republicans were quite prepared to do. And can we say they’ve learned their lesson on the basis at least two of the leading candidates for the Republican nomination for 2012?

  • Cforchange

    “Republicans do not take intelligence or expertise very seriously as qualifications for the presidency”

    Expertise is derived by trial and error. That requires a strain of moderation which is a well documented evil GOP word. That message is drilled into their heads daily from individuals who are personally not that stable.

    Moderation is required for good governance – isn’t that the missing ingrediant in the debt talks? Weren’t the majority negoitiators from 2 polar opposites. It’s time for the moderate middle to rise and form solutions for our problems rather than a)ignoring them and b) enabling them. Both extremes are cashing in at the expense of our greater good and that must be fixed.

  • anniemargret

    Palin didn’t come out of nowhere. Karl Rove courted the Religious Right with a zeal back when he was trying to secure the presidency for GWB43….along the way, they had to cave on religous beliefs vs scientific facts…and soon, delusions set in among the GOP.

    The delusions became entrenched within the party, and encouraged more GOP voters to express their fear of the “Other”, meaning anyone not white, Christian, middle class America. They embraced the ‘stupid as I wanna be!” as their mantra. They embraced racism…what was once said in whispers behind closed doors, was now acknowledged openly.

    Once you open a Pandora’s box of evil, you cannot stop the Furies from flying.

    Enter Sarah Palin. Instead of squelching her ‘terrorist’ remarks against Barack Obama, they winked at it. Instead of coming down hard on her antipathy against established facts vs beliefs, they encouraged her religious beliefs to take precedence over common-sense scientific fact. Instead of pushing against her perceived resentment against the ‘elites’ in the big cities of America, they embraced her.

    The fault lies within the soul of the GOP. For every common sense conservative out there, there was swift kick in the ass if any one of them come anywhere near sounding ‘liberal’. Even now, the two potential candidates, Huntsman and Pawlenty, were marginalized by the flamboyancy of fringe candidates.

    The transformation is complete. No sane person who wants to see this country progress in a dangerous and more complex world will embrace what remains of any shred of sanity left in the GOP. They have gone over the cliff and they’re not coming back.

    Sorry, David Frum. Yours was an important voice. But your party has a deep corruption within its ranks. It has become a laughingstock across this country. Good luck trying to swing it back from the extremist right wing, ‘christianist’ wing…it might take a few generations, though.
    :-)

  • pnwguy

    David’s essay in The Week was very good, until this part, where he seemed to agree with Ziegler:

    John Ziegler, producer and director of a documentary movie about Palin, had this to say about the women who rejected Palin:

    “I think the fact that she was a very successful career woman, with five children, who still clearly loves her husband, who kills her own food and who looks amazing doing all of it, is a very threatening package for a lot of women. Unfortunately, Sarah Palin makes a lot of women feel badly about themselves.”

    I’m not a woman, so I’ll let the female posters have at it. But I think Ziegler’s remark is 180 degrees from reality. Successful career? What did she do before small town politics? I’ll tip the hat to anyone that wants to take up public service in government, although a whole lot of them seem driven by ego or madness over some particular policy that upsets them.

    But calling her a successful career woman is only possible if you want to lower that concept to the level of Kim Kardashian – successful in self promotion without any basis for it.

    My experiences with women’s reaction to Palin is that she represents the things they hate about male dominated institutions. That if she was plain and cerebral, she would have gotten no where in life, like the classic “sleep your way to the top” method of old. And to make matters worse, she seems to be a shallow, vindictive, and petty woman, with no depth of understanding. Or at least with no way to communicate that she grasps anything with complexity. In an age where bright and talented women are able to achieve things based on their intelligence, in business, academics, science, and elsewhere, Palin is a throwback.

    But I’ll let the female posters here take a crack at it.

    • anniemargret

      …pnwguy, you nailed it. All the women I know, including myself, were revolted by her transparency, and her meteoric rise based on nothing but glib remarks, memorized sound bites, nasty lobs, and a ‘hot’ look.

      For generations women have had to endure sexist remarks in the workplace, or fight their way to get equal pay for equal work, etc….in the year 2011 most women have finally been able to use their God-given humanity and brains to succeed in places where only a generation ago, their mothers couldn’t. And most women today did it fairly….competing in their chosen careers, where they had to prove themselves…as it should be.

      Then comes Palin. It was apparent from the get-go that she was propped up due to her attractiveness, not anything that was coming out of her mouth. Her background was ridiculous…how can any parent allow their child go from college to college to college (repeat two more times) before they finally graduate. She was coddled her whole life.

      And women hate this. They understand and respect women who have had to work hard and long to achieve status and equality. They sacrificed much, working long hours at two jobs, raising kids, etc…

      Palin was and is a throwback to 50s America, where women mainly achieved success by looks alone. Many women today are very attractive, but they understand judging a woman by looks alone, is so….so 50s. It isn’t ‘jealousy’ that drives most women to despise her, it is her pure unadulterated persona of being stupid, uneducated (despite her long career as a student), and nasty, knowing that her looks were going to keep her propped up.

      Nothing to admire there. Women today are smarter than this.

      Done. She is anathema to most women of good judgement and education.

    • laingirl

      I really appreciate that you understand women so well. Anniemargret is right; Palin is a throwback, and during my career I ran into a few women just like her. They were simply pretty facades that belied the emptiness inside. Through hard work and night school, I worked by way up from a secretary for a construction project manager of the development subsidiary of a very large corporation, to a vice president in charge of office leasing for the same subsidiary within 12 years. While some considered me attractive, I never once worn very short skirts, f-me shoes or winked at someone I worked for or with.

      Not being very interested in politics until I retired, I went from an Independent to a Democrat after McCain chose Palin and I did a little research on her including listening to a couple of her speeches. She wasn’t even able to handle the duties of mayor of a small town; they had to hire a manager. We now know that she was not experienced in shooting or much of anything else. The craziest part of all is that she apparently thinks she has something to offer.

      The sooner we hear the last of Palin, the better off we all will be. May she and Perry (“hair, prayer and hot air”) run off together.

    • shelturn

      Also, she clearly doesn’t parent her children. And her irresponsibility in the way she lugs around her child with Down Syndrome when he should be getting early intervention services (I’m a special education teacher) irks the heck out of me.

      She’s an embarrassment to women; that’s why we don’t like her. Not because we’re jealous.

      • paul_gs

        Give me a break. What would you know about her children? You professionals who always claims to know better then real parents disgust me. You hate her because she is a Republican, not because of anything she is doing with her children (which you are ignorant of anyways).

    • Primrose

      Actually, I don’t think he was agreeing with Zieglar, though I see how you thought that. I think he was attacking Zieglar’s defense of Palin. To trivialize our concerns showed lack of respect.

    • Smargalicious

      ^ All pure leftist cackling nonsense.

      When Sarah made McCain’s numbers go up in ’08, she was attacked mercilessly by the media because she was a threat to their progressive, half-Kenyan Messiah.

      America has now learned that when you elect a Chicago community organizer, you get one.

      • WaStateUrbanGOPer

        I know responding to any of your posts is potentially risky to one’s dignity, and yet your implication here– that the Palin nomination somehow boosted John McCain’s electoral prospects– needs to be called out for the palpable balderdash that it is.

        John McCain was the first GOP nominee since Barry Goldwater to lose Indiana; the first one since Gerald Ford to lose North Carolina or Virginia. He only narrowly carried Missouri. And for fuck’s sake he very nearly lost North Dakota!

        Unless you mean to convey that without Palin as his vp nominee McCain would’ve additionally lost Texas and Wyoming, your argument totally belies the known facts.

        • Smargalicious

          I agree, McCain was a shitty nominee, but Obummer was even more shitty.

          So look at our economy and national malaise now. Shitty.

          Feces in, feces out.

    • CanadianLiberal

      The thing that irked me about Palin is the sheer cynicism and sexism of picking her. It was so obvious that the GOP (and McCain) picked her because Hillary Clinton lost the primary. They believed that all the female voters who supported HRC would switch to voting for McCain because he picked a female vice-presidential candidate. I truly believe that, had Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination, the GOP would have selected a black running mate.

      It’s ignorant pandering. It insults intelligent women to suggest that we only liked Clinton because of her genitalia, and that any woman would be a sufficient substitute. And to choose Palin, of all people. A proudly ignorant, gauche, hate-filled woman with no education, who had so obviously given no thought to policy matters, who relied on physical attractiveness to obtain power over others. This is beyond contemptible.

      To suggest that I, or women like me, hate her because she is pretty is so condescending. I am not threatened by another woman’s beauty – many of the women I love most are beautiful women – they are also intelligent, compassionate, accomplished women who conduct their daily lives with dignity, humour and grace – qualities so obviously lacking in Sarah Palin.

      You can’t fix stupid.

      • paul_gs

        Well, you sure sound like you’re threatened by Ms. Palin’s physical attractiveness.

        • CanadianLiberal

          Really? When did I indicate that? I believe I expressed distaste at her use of her physical attractiveness to obtain and wield power over other people. I acknowledge that she is a physically attractive woman and then explained why I dislike her – based on her statements and actions over the past 3 years. I think you “hear” what you want to, regardless of actual facts.

          Sometimes, having discussions around here reminds me of this: “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” ~Abraham Lincoln

      • Smargalicious

        Well, it can be said that the leftwing media outlets engaged in ignorant pandering towards the half-Kenyan candidate in 2008 by refusing to properly vet him as a viable candidate as well.

        • CanadianLiberal

          Well, I don’t know who this “half-Kenyan” you are referring to is, but if you mean your President, I find the statement that he was not vetted by the media ridiculous. The “controversy” surrounding his acquaintance with Bill Ayers (a man who has an unfortunate past, but has served his time and is now a productive member of society), the Rev. Wright debacle, ACORN, misguided accusations of socialism, Marxism, etc. I mean, the man wrote two books about his life – including his experiences with drugs. The 2005 investment (non) scandal. All the clamoring about voting “present.” And on and on….

          He was investigated by the Clintons, for dog’s sake! If they didn’t find anything, there is nothing there. Just the half-baked concoctions of the extreme right wing.

          Anyway, I was comparing Palin to Biden – since they were both VP candidates.

  • Stewardship

    I was on the convention floor in St. Paul, awaiting confirmation that Tim Pawlenty had indeed been chosen by McCain. When word hit the floor that an obscure, female governor of Alaska had been given the nod…a woman who loves to fish and hunt…I admit a certain level of giddiness. It appeared to me that she had the key qualities I wanted in the VP pick: youthful curb appeal, to balance the ticket; a love for conservation and wildlife; and pro-life.

    Weeks later, I was guilty of trying to make a silk purse out of sow’s ear. By October, I was hoping McCain would promise her the Ambassadorship to Heaven if he could only replace her on the ticket with someone, anyone else.

    Man, did I get that pick wrong.

    • drdredel

      Interesting… your post made me recall that a month or so before the election, I was SURE that they were going to have her quit and replace her with someone less godawful… I thought the whole thing was just a stunt to show the Right that maybe they should be careful what they wish for. But no… they got exactly what they wished for. A massive drubbing. Good on them!

    • Smargalicious

      Because you were/are already a liberal, and the asshole mocking by Tina Fey and the Couric witch hunt confirmed your beliefs.

      Go ahead and say it.

      • WaStateUrbanGOPer

        Asking a candidate– and especially, as in this case, a candidate who wants to be the vice-president to the oldest first term president in American history– what periodicals he or she reads does not constitute a “witch hunt.”

        • brandon

          It does constitute a witch hunt when you don’t ask the nominee of the other party any tough questions at all.

          I would have never picked Palin and I hope she never runs again, but she was more qualified to be president than Obama.

          She has a far better understanding of what the government’s role in our lives should be than Obama and probably knows more about economics than the current president.

          Again, I have no use for Palin. But all you can do is laugh at the idiots that wouldn’t vote for McCain because of his VP choice but would vote for someone as incompetent as Obama to be the leader of the free world.

        • CanadianLiberal

          Let’s make a list of questions Joe Biden was asked during the campaign:
          Can you clarify what this goal [energy security] means and how you would achieve it?
          How would you bring China and India to the table on a global climate treaty?
          What fuel economy targets do you support?
          Why do you think Roe v. Wade was a good decision?
          Are there Supreme Court decisions you disagree with?

          Why is the separation of church and state so important?
          Etc…. Seems like those were a lot of the same question Palin could not answer.
          Here’s a nice video that contrasts their answers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjLz3AIjpZM&feature=related
          Talking point fail.

        • Smargalicious

          Brandon,

          Wise post. Why don’t you speak up more often on here?? I get ganged up on all the time by the leftwing whackjobs here, I could use the help. :D

      • CanadianLiberal

        Yes, what a witch hunt – “Name a newspaper” or “Name a Supreme Court decision other than Roe v. Wade.” For the love of Pete, I’m Canadian and I could answer those questions! And I am surely not qualified to be Vice President of the United States (leaving aside the obvious problem of being Canadian).

        • paul_gs

          =”When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’ “=

          — Joe Biden to Katie Couric

          Yeah, TV didn’t exist for the masses and Hoover was President. Course being THAT stupid is perfectly fine if you call yourself a progressive.

          Who taught those two fools history?

        • brandon

          Canadian Liberal, you can call my post a failed talking point if you want. But the fact is that the media was far harder on Palin than they were on Obama.

          Perhaps if the MSM had properly vetted Obama, we wouldn’t be stuck with an empty suit for a president.

          I’m no fan of McCain, but he was the better and more experienced choice in 2008 even with Palin on the ticket. Only a fool or a naive simpleton would think you can turn the presidency over to a man with ZERO experience and not have disastrous results.

          I will never understand any voter who thought Obama was the right choice outside of those who are just hyper partisan Democrats. He’s been an utter failure and anyone who was truly informed in 2008 is not surprised.

          There is no way Palin as VP would have been worse for America than Obama has been as president.

        • jorae

          RCA’s David Sarnoff used his company’s exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair as a showcase for the 1st Presidential speech (Roosevelt) on television and to introduce RCA’s new line of television receivers, some of which had to be coupled with a radio if you wanted to hear sound.

          FDR’S series of 30 or 31 “fireside chats,” for radio and newsreel and delivered at key points in his presidency.

          I would think the ‘newsreel’ was what he meant…

      • gocart mozart

        What newspapers or books do you read smarg?

        [I really go for the jugular with those mean nasty gotcha questions don't I? When Bachmann is the nominee the liberal gestapo is gonna dig up Mr Rogers and have him ask her how old she thinks the earth is, I know, cheap shot, but that's just how we roll.]

        • Smargalicious

          Human Events.

          Washington Times.

          Fox News.

          Drudge Report.

          Any more questions?

  • TerryF98

    Palin, best ignored, best forgotten.

    • pnwguy

      Terry:

      Yes, but it’s like going out on a bender and getting blotto. Sometimes, the worse that happens is you wake up covered in vomit. But sometimes you find yourself in jail with a DUI. The damage has been done, and you can’t walk it back.

      The GOP got a DUI, partying with Palin. And they wrecked the car too. Now we have to hope they don’t wreck the country.

      • anniemargret

        What the GOP still doesn’t get, is that there will be a tsunami of epic proportions of Democratic voters to keep the GOP numbskulls from taking control of this country. You don’t have to like everything Obama has said or done, or not achieved…yet…but to allow a GOP boobicus Americanus to try to ‘govern’ (they have to look up the definition), will not happen.

        Wait and see.

        • laingirl

          I hope you’re right!

        • tommyudo

          Perhaps it is just wish fulfillment, but I see Perry eventually marginalizing himself with the macho cowboy schtick, and Romney being pure poison to the Tea Party and the religiously insane. That leaves Bachmann – nuff said there, she’s crazy. This opens the doors for Queen Sarah. She will have to decide in the next few months, but her against Obama would be the greatest ideological battle we have seen since 1932. Barack would sweep the floor with her, and along with it, for a generation, this particularly toxic and rancid brand of the Far Right .

        • drdredel

          I agree with everything except your formulation of a “battle”. For there to be a battle both sides have to be (roughly) evenly matched. I can’t even articulate an analogy that adequately demonstrates the imbalance in this contest…. Godzilla vs. Bambi? Rambo vs. 2 year old paraplegic? you get my drift.

        • tommyudo

          drdredel -

          Maybe Obama can learn to campaign in sign language. That would even out the “battle.”
          As it is , you know Palin will continue to use that poor retarded kid as a campaign prop.

        • paul_gs

          Ah yes, another “compassionate” progressive ridiculing Ms. Palin for loving her handicapped child. Just crawl back into your hole you ugly progressive loser.

        • CanadianLiberal

          Never mind…

        • Smargalicious

          Annie, with ~50% of our population comprising of fatherless welfare children, illegals and their anchor babies, then yes, we are doomed.

  • kuri3460

    The problem with today’s GOP is their inability to differentiate between being principled and being stubborn and disagreeable.

  • Emma

    A few have said here that Frum was out in front about Palin’s intellectual limitations from day one. Then they backed off a bit, and now they say Frum did his best to sound the alarm but in muted tones so as not to offend his masters and colleagues back then. Now we read more obfuscations about how principles give way to tribalism and politics.

    Had Palin been elected, she would have been a TOTAL FREAKING DISASTER to our country, to our future, and to our children’s future. There comes a time to be honest, to be open, to be clear, to be loud — both in thick of the action and when the heat of the moment has passed. The Republicans, including Frum, let our country down. Some more than others (McCain tops the list, Frum at the bottom of the list (but still on the list — he knew the magnitude of the problem but kept his remarks tepid).

    AND NOW THE REPUBLICANS ARE DOING IT AGAIN. Frum is voicing concern. Good man. But he is obliged to speak louder, and in more forthright terms about the candidates he is worried about (Bachmann, Perry). Now is not the time for mincing words.

  • IntelliWriter

    Palin lost me during the Republican convention speech. Anyone vying to be the Vice President needs to show dignity and grace; she showed neither. It gave credibility to the idea that women at that level need to be b*t*hes in order to keep climbing the ladder to success. The fact that so many people cheered as she chortled out her invective tells me more about the Republican party than I ever wanted to know. Contrast this to McCain’s response to the woman at one of his rallies who called Obama an “Arab”; he didn’t back down, he respectfully corrected her. Could you see Palin doing the same?

    I’d like her to just go away at this point. The cat-and-mouse game she’s been playing for the last three years about whether or not she’s running for the presidency is beyond old. Go home to Alaska and frighten the moose and the wolves; down in the lower 48, we’ve had enough.

    • shelturn

      I was appalled by most of the speakers at the Republican Convention. What appalled me more was that the more negative and nasty the tone of the speaker –that is, the greater the relish with which the nastiness was delivered (ref. Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin), the more cheers and excitement it elicited in the crowd. Contrast that with the positive and hopeful tone of the Democratic Convention.

      I consider myself conservative with a small ‘c’, but I just cannot cannot align myself with the Republican party. It feeds itself on anger and hatred. This has been the case for years, but has even gotten worse with the rise of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

    • Carney

      It’s traditional for the Veep candidate to toss out red meat to the crowd at conventions. And Palin’s speech wowed the nation and was very well received. She gave McCain a measurable boost in the polls.

      The damage came after in various interviews and as the media did the vetting McCain’s team either did not do or set aside.

      • Primrose

        She didn’t WOW people who live in cities and consider themselves real americans too. She didn’t WOW community organizers (who come from both parties). She didn’t WOW women. For a great many people, that speech solidified their dislike and aversion. When a speech is televised, it is not just to the people on the floor.

      • WaStateUrbanGOPer

        I beg everyone on this thread not to construe my comment here as some sort of defense of Sarah Palin, but I must say I totally agree with Carney that it’s the job of the vp nominee to throw out the “red meat”– specifically, to act as a sort of hatchet man against the opposing party’s presidential nominee. This tradition goes back at least to 1952, when the GOP sicked Richard Nixon on Adlai Stevenson.

      • Smargalicious

        The lamestream media didn’t vet the half-Kenyan, either, if you remember…

  • jjv

    Palin gave McCain the only lead he every had. She still has a passionate following. Where is Pawlenty’s? Also, compare Sarah Palin’s position to any of Obama’s. She has been consistently correct on foreign policy and he has been wrong.

    Finally, why don’t we replay the debate between her and the utter establishment bozo Biden. She won. Yet he does not get pilloried incessantly.

    • laingirl

      Please educate us on where and how Palin has been right on foreign policy and President Obama has been wrong.

    • talkradiosucks.com

      I’ve said for three years now that Sarah Palin is the world’s simplest IQ test: if you take her seriously or really think she should be president, you fail the test.

      No surprise that John Vecchione does.

      • kuri3460

        +1.

        Palin has given conservatives another victim card to play.

        Thanks to her, if you flub an interview, you can now say the reporter was biased and condescending. If you get negative media coverage, you can now say it’s because the LAMEstream media hates conservative women.

        • pnwguy

          I guess that was the strategy for Not-A-Witch O’Donnell last night…..

          http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/18/odonnell-walks-out-of-cnn-interview/?hpt=hp_c2

          When you’re on a BOOK TOUR, the hosts don’t need you. You need them, since you’re shilling to create an audience for your book. So you don’t get to control the conversation too much. And he was talking about her campaign issues, in a book about her campaign experience. D’uh.

        • paul_gs

          Palin never played the victim card, that’s the specialty of the left.

          She flubbed the Couric interview. So what?

        • CanadianLiberal

          “never played the victim card” ?!?! hahahahaha

          Stop it, you’re killing me….

        • paul_gs

          No, you tell me. You’re a Canadian, a Liberal AND a woman. You know all about using the victim card to your advantage.

        • Primrose

          The interview was what do you read. My 9 year old could have answered that successfully. And she called ita gotcha question. That’s being a victim and really, really stupid.

        • CanadianLiberal

          Paul – I don’t get it. I am a Canadian – why does that make me a victim? We have 7.6% unemployment, universal health care, a functioning democracy and a AAA credit score. Our debt is 34% of GDP and falling. I’m a Liberal – that means I get to think for myself and I am not required to hate whole groups of people because they are different from me. I get to advocate for human rights and believe in science. I don’t have to fear the boogeyman around every corner. And I am not stuck defending odious, hateful people like Sarah Palin just because she is on “our” side. I am free to dissent from other liberals and from our leaders – and I do regularly. I even get to agree with conservatives when they are right instead of reflexively disagree with everything they say – because I am not fearful of being called a traitor to “our” side. I’m a woman – well, that certainly doesn’t make me a victim either, does it? Sure, I have never had things just handed to me, but very few people in this world do. I have struggled, but everyone struggles.

          I am free to think and act the way I choose. I am nobody’s victim. I ask no one to defend me – I can defend myself. I ask no one to rescue me – I’d rather rescue myself. Unlike Palin, Santorum, Bachmann, O’Donnell, Beck and the other Right Wing professional victims, I choose to have dignity in my life.

          There are no victims here – that is a choice.

      • indy

        Is jjv John Vecchione? That would explain a lot.

    • IntelliWriter

      “She still has a passionate following.”

      And I hear all 8 of them get together every Wednesday at the local Sizzler.

      • sublime33

        Have to disagree here. Palin still has a lot of fans, but Bachman is making Palin somewhat obsolete. Palin is becoming like Peter Frampton or Bachman Turner Overdrive. They can still draw an audience to the county fair, but they aren’t going to fill football stadiums anymore like the good old days.

    • wileedog

      “Israel = good, Everyone Else = bad” is not a foreign policy.

      And what “won” the debate for her against Biden? The dumb ass wink? Certainly wasn’t anything in the incoherent word salad that fell out of her mouth.

    • TerryF98

      JJV.

      You must be effing joking right!

      Total lunacy and 100% incorrect. But hey whatever makes you feel good about yourself. You are a dissembler of lies and half truths so no change there.

      • doubter4444

        JJV – I’d really be interested in the consistently right policy positions she’s taken, because I don’t really recall any, except as wileedog said, on Israel’s innate greatness.

        Where has she been right while Obama has been wrong?

    • drdredel

      Biden is a European style politician in that he has a really hard time playing the political game, but he’s razor sharp and knows exactly what he’s talking about… he just doesn’t know how to sugar coat it or mince words the way that Americans generally insist their politicians do.
      I can’t begin to imagine what portion of what debate Palin could ever win against anyone at all, much less a really thoughtful and educated person like Biden. Seriously… you can disagree with him on whatever you like, but if you honestly think a brain-dead dildo like Palin could ever hope to out maneuver Biden in a battle of wits, then you clearly have none yourself.

    • baw1064

      “…compare Sarah Palin’s position to any of Obama’s. She has been consistently correct on foreign policy and he has been wrong.”

      I’ve spent the last three years trying to find a substantive policy position that Palin has on any issue. It’s all platitudes and sound bites.

    • WaStateUrbanGOPer

      Contra your stupid and ignorant comment here, Mr. Vecchione, see my response to Smarg above.

      If helping to lose states that the GOP hadn’t lost since the days of LBJ and Jimmy Carter somehow constitutes “improving the ticket,” etc., then Sarah Palin’s vp nomination plainly worked like gangbusters for the McCain campaign.

  • sublime33

    The biggest problem the right has is that as long as a candidate passes the “values” test, that candidate is qualified and competent to perform any job they are asked. And the better that candidate is at firing up the audience, the better that candidate is perceived. And they suspend belief at any evidence that this person might not be up for the job.

    Would these same people insist that their favorite football team hire a coach who shares their values or would they rather hire the one who is likely to win the most games? Competence obviously influnences who they want as a coach. Competence should also factor into who their political candidates are. Values are important, but it shouldn’t be like the bar exam where once a candidtate passes, they are automatically qualified to practice.

    • Cforchange

      Bingo – “The biggest problem the right has is that as long as a candidate passes the “values” test, that candidate is qualified and competent to perform any job they are asked.”

      That is precisely why we are in this mess. Potential candidates who have stellar track records from complex situations do exist, but because they failed the “values” test they are excused from any consideration. Christie Whitman Todd is a perfect example of this. Had the 2008 been about brains instead of red pumps…..

  • MSheridan

    Politics isn’t religion, but too many people treat it as if it were. In governance, beliefs and faith are no substitute for fact-based policy. The problem is that the party that was once the conservative party has become radicalized, and facts have become completely irrelevant to its policy direction. American “Conservatism” isn’t remotely conservative anymore.

    The GOP jumped off a cliff years ago. After the plunge was irrevocable, David Frum did sound some warnings, but I don’t believe he understood how far down the bottom actually was. Even now, I’m not sure he understands that the reasonable people he hopes/hoped to reach in his party are also gone, either fled to Independent or Democrat status or no longer reasonable. Years of indoctrination by FOX News does leave a mark. If it didn’t, what would have been the point?

  • gover

    David advises Republicans to “not pay undue heed to the wishes of the rich and powerful”. So his advice to Republicans is ‘don’t be Republicans’???

    • pnwguy

      gover:

      LOL

      But unfortunately that applies to the Dems as well to a lesser degree. Citizens United only adds to the bipartisan suck up to lobbyists cash troughs. Without an alternate way to handle election campaigns, we’re doomed to keep heading away from one person, one vote into one dollar, one vote.

  • valkayec

    [blockquote]It’s very important that politicians understand the everyday lives of Americans. It’s important that politicians champion the ordinary person and not pay undue heed to the wishes of the rich and powerful. It’s important that politicians be people of integrity, not hirelings of industry lobbies. These are issues of character, and character counts.
    [/blockquote]

    Truer words were never spoken. Unfortunately, the methods used to determine redistricting and the necessity to raise vast amounts of money to campaign effectively have corrupted our democratic process. The millionaire Senate and very wealthy House exemplify the deep corruption and failure of values that have taken hold in our society. Unfortunately for far too many, being elected no longer means serving the people and doing what is best in the long term for our country but as a route to wealth and power.

  • Primrose

    This is a good article.

    And as to women, yes and yes. Palin was a deeply cynical move. And a deeply male chauvinist choice. And they are doing it again with Rep. Bachman. Her stepford wife routine thrills certain types of men. Nor does she challenge the men around her as Kay Bailey Hutchinson for example might.

  • Primrose

    If they had listened to women, they would also have realized that Palin’s family situation did not threaten women, it concerned them. A pregnant teenage daughter and a 5 month old disabled child, as well as two others still underage, one of them still young, and no indication that her husband picked up the slack? And she was going to be heartbeat away from the presidency?

    We didn’t think much of her mothering skills, yet her family was supposed to sell it for us. She was supposed to be slap in the face to feminists, ” the woman who could bring home the bacon, fry it up in pan and still, still please her man” and be an uber mom as well— all without insisting on this nasty feminism stuff.

    Yeah right. Women are realists as a rule and knew this was BS. We know this kind of women. We know who does the actual work when she’s around and we know just how dysfunctional her perfect family is.

    But this is the problem Mr. Frum, your party doesn’t respect women and certainly can’t imagine listening to them. It keeps trying to put the genie back in the bottle. They refuse to figure out how we can provide better childcare or more child friendly corporate policies because they insist women should stay home. Well, they don’t. Most because they can’t. Thank you stagnant incomes. Others would gladly cut back their hours but either excessive work committments or long commutes prevent it.

    And those like me, who can afford to stay home when their children are small, and choose to, face terrible hurdles getting back into the workforce when school starts. Not only that but our credit disappears (because our presence starts hurting credit aps), our social security dwindles and if divorce happens in our 50’s or older, we are totally screwed financially.

    So even if we wanted to stay home, we don’t usually dare.

    But your party won’t address those issues. Ever. Because they want the last 50 years never to have happened. I commend you on your article but if you expect Republicans to change, please, don’t hold your breath.

  • bluestatepastor

    I couldn’t agree more on the subject of Palin and women. And that family gets held up as an example of “family values”? Don’t make me laugh.

    And no, Smarg, she doesn’t “beat” the President …. and the voters agreed that she didn’t. Most voters understood her to be an unqualified person, even if you don’t. I’ve said before I don’t know what sort of sicky-sick turn-on it is to you to spew hate and stupidity on this site, but I sure hope there’s medication for it.

  • msmilack

    You are telling important truths. You are brave to do it, I think.

  • paul_gs

    Ms. Palin may not have had all the qualifications necessary to be VP, but she was hardly a disaster. Republicans couldn’t win in 2008 no matter who was on the ticket.

    I am unsure why Mr. Frum would say Ms. Palin is “incompetent, deceitful, and vengeful”.
    A very competent governor, she brought far more real governing experience to the table then the current president did.

    The vile attacks on Ms. Palin, which continue until this day (the most vile being the slanderous accusation of culpability in the Arizona shootings) have been much more indicative of the mindset of her accusers then of her.

    I have been shocked at how cruel and vindictive the left can be. But what goes ’round comes ’round, as the old saying goes.

    • anniemargret

      You are either 12 y/o or have a short memory, Paul. The Right has been dishing out dishonesty, hate and fear for a long time now. Or did you conveniently forget the utter trashing of Hillary Clinton? Way more was leveled at her than Palin ever had to endure.

      Palin is a prima donna. The fact that to this day she has still not appeared on any other major news network other than Fox speaks volumes about her so-called ‘abilities.’ She has been a drag on the national discussion when we should be a united country trying to deal with serious issues.

      Instead on the campaign trail she calls Obama a near-terrorist and disses Americans who don’t live in her faux ‘real America.’ Please.

      • paul_gs

        Obama’s associating with a convicted American bomber was a valid issue of concern, as well as his long term relationship with the odious Reverend “…not God Bless America. God damn America.” Wright.

        Course when you’re a progressive, hanging around with dodgy characters will always get you a free pass.

        • Primrose

          Since Ayers was not currently a bomber and served his time, being in the same room with him does not connote approval for past actions.

          But to deal with Rev. Wright for a moment. He isn’t a dodgy character. Yes, when he is speaking about the treatment of African-Americans he said (once) God Damn America, but what precisely is so out of bounds about this.

          If you actually accept the history of African-Americans in this country, you must then understand that they will have very mixed reviews of America. It has not been the land of the free for them. It has not been the land of opportunity for them. And the glorified past that Palin and company like to call up was pretty damn awful. These were not the good, old days. Now is only marginally better.

          The only way Mr. Obama could have avoided such sentiments is not to go to an African-American church, further cutting him off from the African-American community. That’s not a reasonable request on your part.

          African-Americans have served their country with distinction, but their country has not always paid them back for that devotion. The African-American veterans who fought for freedom in WWII returned to a segregated country. Men who had fought and survived the vicious battles of that war were called boys and expected to like it.

          African-Americans, as witnessed by the civil rights movement, have had an amazing faith in the promise of our constitution. Martin Luther King spoke of cashing a check. The call for rights was mainly non-violent, on their part. It’s biggest dramatic moment people walking to a memorial.

          Did the rest of America respond to this gracefully? No. They set dogs on the protestors. They threw rocks at children. They blew up churches without worrying if there were children in them. They killed people who did nothing more dangerous than sign people up to vote. The response was violent, retributive and intended to cow them African-Americans into submission.

          So I think it is reasonable for African-Americans to look at patriotism with a jaundiced eye. African-Americans are expected to give their country unconditional love but their fellow citizens are not expected to treat them even as human beings.

          I think in these circumstances, an occasional God Damn America is pretty mild.

    • WaStateUrbanGOPer

      Annie is much to polite to you.

      For my response to your painfully delusional post, please see TRS’s “Sarah Palin IQ Test.” (I hate to spoil it for you, but…you fail. Of Course. You don’t even come close to passing.)

  • ottovbvs

    “A very competent governor,”

    I guess that’s why she quit half way through her term. She was overwhelmed by her competence.

    • paul_gs

      She was a competent and ethical governor. Ms. Palin should have stayed on as governor to gain more political experience.

      • anniemargret

        Palin had a blast of shock and awe. Seeing how gullible her fans were and hanging on to her every word as if she was St. Joan, she saw the light and went out to sell herself and her family so that their portfolios would be bulging.

        Gimme a break. She’s a huckster, not a real politician. She is a celebrity who has capitalized on fame and fortune and has added NOTHING of any consequence to this country, other than wasting time discussing her.

        Mini-Me Governor, she couldn’t even fulfill her sworn duty as a public servant.

        • Polifan

          anniem- I still think she is going to run.

        • anniemargret

          Polifan…you know what? For a long time, I, like so many millions of sane Americans, wanted her to just take her money and run….away.

          Now? I hope she does run. It is apparent that the GOP doesn’t have the courage to kick her where it hurts; she’s a stubborn little wart, isn’t she?

          So the rest of America has to do it for them. So let her run. It’s past time she put her money where her lipsticked mouth is. She would have to get out of her comfortable zone, and that would be pure theater.

          When she finally gets the ole heave-ho from the American people, and puts the GOP back into a deep trench, the rest of us can breathe a sigh of relief and get on solving the real problems America faces.

        • CanadianLiberal

          I don’t think she will run. After all, the President gets paid about $400,000 per year (plus travel expenses, etc.) As greedy as Palin has proven herself to be, I honestly can’t see her giving up all the money she is currently making to be President. My take is that she likes the attention of politics, but hates the work involved in actually governing.

          My (imaginary) money is on her not running. Ever again.

      • MSheridan

        Her biggest achievement as governor was to raise taxes on oil companies. Now, I’m not criticizing her for that, and her flack has touted that as “standing up to Big Oil”, but considering what she did with the money it’s ironic in the extreme that she is proud of it. She governed the state that receives the 2nd most federal money per federal tax dollar (only New Mexico exceeds it) and does not come close to paying its bills from its own resources, but she didn’t use the extra oil money to try to close that gap or to improve infrastructure or even to significantly reduce the regulatory tax burden that Republicans supposedly hate so much. She just increased the subsidy Alaskans already receive (getting oil money from the state every year rather than paying income taxes). Even aside from the various ethical imbrogios her administration got into, how is this reflective of the values the GOP supposedly holds?

      • WaStateUrbanGOPer

        Her governorship was even less ethical than that of her unashamedly corrupt predecessor, Frank Murkowksi.

        The only reason that all of the many ethics complaints filed against Sarah Palin were dismissed is that Alaska’s code of ethics for its public officials has a totally impotent regime for enforcing it.

        • paul_gs

          More gobbledygook made up by the Left.

          The majority of complaints against Governor Palin were made by Democratic operatives trying to trip her up by underhanded means. Their complaints all failed because they were vexatious complaints lacking any and all evidence.

          But you keep drinking your progressive Kool Aid dearie. Whatever makes you feel better.

        • laingirl

          If you really knew anything about Palin, you would know that almost all of the ethic violation complaints were filed by Republicans. She did not have a particularly good relationship with the Republicans in Alaska. The one complaint that was the most expensive was the one she filed against herself in the Troopergate matter.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    A very competent governor, she brought far more real governing experience to the table then the current president did

    Yes, and Obama brought far, far more legislative experience to the table then Palin did. So damn what? Palin was Governor of a state with very few people that receives far more in government largesse yet has far more natural resources than the rest, a trained monkey can govern that state just a well.

    Palin is a ninny. Get over it. She will never be President, her movie grossed $116,000 so far, she is yesterdays news.

    And I love her ethics firing the Police Chief who refused to fire her BIL. Real ethical.

  • Madeline

    John Ziegler, producer and director of a documentary movie about Palin, had this to say about the women who rejected Palin:

    “I think the fact that she was a very successful career woman, with five children, who still clearly loves her husband, who kills her own food and who looks amazing doing all of it, is a very threatening package for a lot of women. Unfortunately, Sarah Palin makes a lot of women feel badly about themselves.”

    I don’t think she makes women feel badly about themselves. I don’t think she makes them feel bad about themselves, either.

    Frankly, I don’t know how one feels badly about oneself. Does one have a problem processing one’s emotions? Is one incapable of having feelings?

    • anniemargret

      Let’s put it this way, Madeline. John Ziegler doesn’t ‘know’ women. Only other women know women. And it’s why the women of America overwhelmingly have no respect for Palin.

      • paul_gs

        Lots of women like Palin. They empathize with a woman of modest means pulling herself up through education and hard work while enduring the prejudice of others.

        You should maybe try talking with some women outside of your little clique.

        • anniemargret

          Paul, are you talking about Palin, or President Barack Obama?

          Palin has had people waiting on her hand and foot for all of her life… if she is as tough as her fans pretend she is, why hasn’t she come out of the Fox cocoon for almost 4 years?

          What is her foreign policy? More neocon war? Does she think climate change is a liberal plot? Does she believe our secular Gov should be “Christian?” Does she believe in evolution? What does she think we should as a nation do about rising abortion rates? Abstinence? Does she know the difference between Iraq and Iran? How would she create jobs? What would she do to improve the economy (wait, she cannot say more tax cuts for the rich)?

          Would she side with Israel each and every time, sparring them no wrath or criticism, even if they decide a drop a few bombs on Iran? Is she a Christian Zionist?

          Huh? Does anyone know? She’s too busy appearing on reality shows trying to climb mountains (which she cannot do) or shoot elk/moose/caribou (and can’t shoot a lick), or rip hearts out of writhing fish.

          Yeah, we really want HER to be the leader of the Free World!

        • anniemargret

          The ‘little clique’ of women who cannot respect her in any way, shape or form is more than a ‘little’- I invite you to look at some real stats….

          there is a reason for it, if you can stand the truth.

        • paul_gs

          It’s a gossipy little clique of middle-aged so-called “progressive” women who can’t stand Ms. Palin. Ordinary Americans aren’t nearly so bothered.

        • Primrose

          Actually you should, Paul. The numbers made it very clear where women stand.

  • Nanotek

    I can hardly wait for the general election … Sarah Palin seems almost coherent compared to Perry and Bachmann

    • Polifan

      What if the economy tanks and she wins? Maybe those who really want her to run, really want her to win???

      anniem- I am not that daring. This Indep wants to see serious folks run. We face way too much with unemployment and the state of our economy. Some of us would like to retire at some point.

      • anniemargret

        She will not win, Polifan. People make a lot of noise during an election. Once in that voting booth, they will have to think long and hard about who they want near those nuclear codes.

        She is going to go to the edge teasing the GOP and America, (she is a big tease), and then cop out giving her family as the reason. She does not have the capability of thinking on her feet past one or two paragraphs.

        And here’s one more reason why she wouldn’t win….no one in their right mind could stand to listen to that screechy whiny voice for more than two seconds! arrrgghghhgahah!

  • paul_gs

    How is that crack investigation by the NYTimes into Ms. Palin’s e-mails as governor going? Surely the infamous Times found some dirt in all those thousands of documents?

    • TerryF98

      There were thousands of emails that were redacted or censored. The useful information was in those emails. The fluff they sent to the Times contained little useful information.

      • paul_gs

        LOL. The old “redacted” email excuse.

        So what you’re really saying is that the NYTimes witch hunt was a complete bust.

        • Frumplestiltskin

          then how about unredacting all but the ones that fall under Lawyers privilege?
          Oh, wait, can’t do that because….um…yeah, that is why.

  • indy

    There appears to be some sort of concerted effort to throw Palin to the wolves. It seems to be popping up an awful lot recently in various places.

    • anniemargret

      Indy, reality has suddenly hit the more traditional conservatives within the GOP. Suddenly they want to talk seriously, instead of the ridiculous banter about ‘real America’ or ‘Obama’s really a Muslim” or “creationism should be taught with science in the classroom’ or ‘I can make gas cost only $2!”

      Suddenly they don’t want the provincials to sound off. Too little, too late. The GOP has its meme and built its own character. I wouldn’t vote for Republican again in my lifetime, even if I have to take the next shuttle to Mars.

      They have become resoundingly unintelligent and unnecessarily combative, not to mention puerile.

    • Polifan

      Maybe they think she is going to run as an ‘indy’
      indy.

    • drdredel

      I pity the wolves.

  • jjack

    So, apart from endless war and imperial escapades to “end evil,” and a belief that Israel can do no wrong, how is D. Frum a Republican anymore?? Because he can get those two in the Democratic Party anyway. If he is really rejecting all of this fundamentalist know-nothing nonsense and the voodoo economics of the current GOP, what is left? The party of Reagan is long dead and it ain’t coming back. Obama thinks **he** is black Reagan, which is why someone like Sullivan loves him so much. The “useful idiot” strategy did in your party, David. And the Democratic Party was co-opted by Wall Street, which some may see as bad, but Frum wouldn’t.

  • Russnet

    > Within days of the announcement of Palin as GOP running mate, it became obvious to everybody that she could not pronounce two coherent consecutive sentences on any aspect of national policy, foreign or domestic.

    That sort of wholly overblown condescension speaks for itself. Whenever Frum writes about Sarah Palin, he comes across as a second rate cable news analyst at best trying to impress other smarmy liberals. In fact, I only read this blog to remind myself why I despise smarmy liberals. Smargalicious is the brightest bulb in this room.

    • MSheridan

      If you’re going to pull that particular quote as an example of wholly overblown condescension, I think it is incumbent on you to disprove it by casually (because it would be so easy, of course) tossing out an example of two coherent consecutive sentences on policy by Ms. Palin.

      • Russnet

        Are you serious? You actually think that if I reviewed transcripts of official statements through her terms as mayor and governor, and a presidential campaign, that I couldn’t find two consecutive sentences of coherent national policy uttered by Palin? Or two consecutive sentences of national policy that you agree with, plainly your (incoherent) definition of coherence. Like I said, wholly overblown condescension.

  • gmckee1985

    I don’t blame Palin. The blame goes to John McCain for throwing her into the spotlight when she clearly wasn’t prepared or up to the challenge. There are all kinds of people in Congress with average IQ’s….but at the presidential level, you do need someone who is a bit more intellectual.

    • CanadianLiberal

      I agree with this 100%. During the 2008 campaign, I liked John McCain. He wouldn’t have been my choice, but I respected him and his service to the USA. I thought him a reasonable person who had some good ideas – even though I generally disagreed with him. That changed when he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. It showed such a lack of good judgement, I was taken aback. It was so clear, so transparently obvious, that this person was the wrong choice that all respect I had had for McCain disappeared.

      I think the part that really irked me is that there were so many other women he could have picked, had he really felt that a woman was necessary. Elizabeth Dole, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Christine Todd Whitman, even Carly Fiorina. And I am sure there are more. I mean, sure, picking one of those women might still have been a bit cynical, but at least they are accomplished, intelligent women who would be qualified for the job. His choice of Sarah Palin indicated that he either: 1) lacks good judgement or 2) didn’t take the time to actually vet her properly or 3) he was blinded by her good looks. Whichever it was (maybe all three), it soured me on him forever.

      I still contend that if Hillary Clinton had won the Democratic nomination, the GOP and McCain would have picked a black (or another visible minority) VP candidate.

      • Russnet

        The violins have been screaming over McCain’s fatal error of picking Palin for too long. The timing of AIG-Lehman had a greater net impact on Obama’s election. There’s really no intelligent way to analyze a but-for alternative VP selection anyway. Pawlenty? Romney? Giuliani? Another pair of aging WASP men to the unfortunately large voting block that judge politicians by cultural norms as opposed to policy prescription. There’s no way in hell McCain was going to select Colin Powell, tho’ had he, there was your winning ticket, and it would have had little to do with the minority selection. Powell screwed that up. Sarah Palin is a decent, intelligent woman who, like Obama, was not/is not qualified to be president. I begged for Lindsay Graham. Didn’t happen. But the Palin caterwalling by “intellectuals” has grown tiresome. What is most apparent is that lately people left and right plain as hell don’t consider substantive qualifications very much when voting for a president. With due respect to D. Frum’s point above, the inexperience mistake is easily attributable to both sides.