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Sunday, September 12, 2010

A note on the roots of Palin Derangement Syndrome 


Glenn Reynolds links to a proposed explanation for Palin Derangement Syndrome, the condition under which journalists and other lefties completely lose their minds when they contemplate Sarah Palin.

No, the best explanation for the left’s bizarre Palin obsession is status-anxiety. Status-anxiety occurs when a person believes that their position in a real or imagined social hierarchy is threatened. Leftists react emotionally to Palin because of the threat she poses to their own individual sense of status. All their other arguments are just put forth to rationalize that emotional reaction.

I beg to differ. While status anxiety (and read the linked post to see what the writer means by this) may be part of it, the better explanation is that Sarah Palin was and remains a huge electoral threat to the Democrats.

Palin is really not unlike any number of other conservatives in background, accent, attitudes, and so forth. There is one crucial difference, though, which is that she is female, attractive, and a mother. That means that the swing voters of our time, the famous soccer moms, might well find in Palin somebody with whom they can identify notwithstanding her pro-life
position. If you are a Democrat, that is intolerable. If you think like a lefty and believe that these personal attributes are defining (the "personal is political, and vote for me because I am black/Latino/female"), then Palin suddenly becomes an enormous threat to the left's electoral requirement to grab a big part of the independent center. Hence a need -- a political imperative, frankly -- to discredit her as somehow fraudulent, nuts, dishonest, or some combination thereof. Because if you do not discredit Palin, she is an arrow aimed right at the heart of the Democrats' only real swing constituency (other than male "Reagan Democrats," who are also going to like her because she is a gun-toting attractive "wife" they can easily admire), security-conscious suburban women. So I think that the hatred of Palin comes from the simple political belief that if she is not discredited she is very attractive to the two swing constituencies that the Democrats simply must win.

41 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 12, 10:24:00 AM:

In my view, Palin derangement is and has been proof of the existence of a Journolist mechanism.
There was an "orders of the day" distribution mechanism before JournoList and one continues to exist after JournoList and some of it's members have been outed.
Just watch Olber and Madox (if you can stomach them) to learn the alternate reality of the day. Last week they hinting that there was something wrong with Palin (and Beck) charging for seats at their Alaska conference. This week, we'll see the rest of the idiots ordered to pick up on that theme. They do seem willing to spend money on researching Palin that they won't on almost any subject of legitimate news.  

By Blogger pam, at Sun Sep 12, 11:03:00 AM:

OK, maybe I am a bad lefty, but why the hell would i vote for someone because they looked like me? Sounded like me?

Her anti-abortion, anti-gay stances aside--though I do not vote for anyone who opposes abortion--her abdication of her governorship appalled me. Lame duck? While she has a certain charisma, and is a politician, I can't say I see her as a leader. A speaker, not a leader.

I know plenty of "gun toters" who identify along the full range of the political spectrum. Few of them think being a good shot is qualification enough for office. Fewer still want her representing them.

pam  

By Blogger pam, at Sun Sep 12, 11:03:00 AM:

OK, maybe I am a bad lefty, but why the hell would i vote for someone because they looked like me? Sounded like me?

Her anti-abortion, anti-gay stances aside--though I do not vote for anyone who opposes abortion--her abdication of her governorship appalled me. Lame duck? While she has a certain charisma, and is a politician, I can't say I see her as a leader. A speaker, not a leader.

I know plenty of "gun toters" who identify along the full range of the political spectrum. Few of them think being a good shot is qualification enough for office. Fewer still want her representing them.

pam  

By Blogger Stephen, at Sun Sep 12, 11:05:00 AM:

What about the derisive comments by republican establishment figures? Palin seems to be a threat to inside the beltway types. That works for me whatever the reason. She has my vote.  

By Blogger Progressively Defensive, at Sun Sep 12, 11:11:00 AM:

Who knows what her plans are, but it looks like running for VP and quitting Gov of Alaska worked for her in the short term. She has the flexibility and technology to pundit her way through this election cycle. She has so many mid-depth excellent qualities, but she proved so poorly informed when interviewed in '08. They said rightly she has years now to become better at national politics and I hope she does. So far all I've seen her do are the same "set speeches" and the equivalent internet posts she was doing.

I saw a biography on Barack Obama on cable last night. What an impressive man whatever one thinks of his politics. He was magna cum laude at Harvard Law School. That is hard to do. But to be this charismatic fellow ethnically estranged and geographically jostled as he was growing up as well is really extraordinary. I don't like his policies but I think he's helped the USA get those Democrats at least identified if not as yet out of it's system. They are as caught in an old way of thinking as slavers were in 1825.

But, I do admire Barack ["Blessed" in Swahili] Obama and I'm pleased he got this opportunity and please the USA did, too, to show the other nations what a marvelous place this is that Obama's father can come here on a scholarship at 22 and get an education at Hawaii and Harvard; and Obama can rise up from his jumbled past to our highest office. Even if he loses in 2012, which would please me, he and his lovely family have a bright future.

If you see the show on the Biography Channel this month you would, too [I'm sure it was produced to make him look good, but still.]

And he is very good at interviews - while the set speeches are where he is best - then again who is not.  

By Blogger Stephen, at Sun Sep 12, 11:42:00 AM:

progressively defensive, it is interesting how democrats are running from Obama. He is political poison. His attacking republicans will not win over independents and republicans. So much for his soaring rhetoric and political skills.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Sun Sep 12, 11:56:00 AM:

TH, I believe your analysis does not fully account for the "syndrome" because it is based on the premise that sufferers are making a political calculation. Calculations are not visceral enough.

I would put it this way. None of us know whether our values will prevail. It is a source of some anxiety. We all want to believe we've made the right choices, signed onto the best team. It's pretty easy to think one made the right choice when one is surrounded by like thinking folks. The media facilitates that. It is comfortable.

What is annoying (I speculate) about Palin is that for those on the left, her values are values which the left has been convinced has no future. The positive response Palin gets around the country calls that into question. It is uncomfortable

Want someone to hate you? Make them uncomfortable, deep down.

M.E.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sun Sep 12, 12:22:00 PM:

I have an issue with the 'oh he went to Harvard he's a genius' school of thought.

"Harvard College reduced the number of students who receive Latin honors from 90% in 2004 to 60% in 2005."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_University

"Black students had much more leeway at Harvard than they would have if they attended an all-black school, wrote Munroe when he was a senior. “Eating lunch with a group of black freshman and sophomores last spring, I overheard one of them say to another: ‘You know, I’m really glad I’m at Harvard and not Howard. I’ve heard [the Howard faculty and administration] don’t take no stuff down there.’ I realized that he was glad to be at Harvard because here, being black, he can get through without ever really applying himself.”

http://web.archive.org/web/20050204131059/http://www.thecrimson.com/fmarchives/fm_03_01_2001/article4A.html

"Harvard has a graduation rate of over 97 percent, and over 70 percent of students graduate with honors."

http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~harvcrew/Website/Recruiting/overview.html

Grade inflation? Definitely. 'Affirmative action' inflation? Possibly. Or their grading standards are a lot lower than then everyone thinks.

The Ivy League runs more on reputation than performance. Everyone knows Harvard kids are super smart and well educated. How do you know? Well, they went to Harvard. It's circular.

Yet somehow, when an administration made up almost entirely of Ivy League kids completely fucks everything up, this reputation remains intact. It's a mystery to me, really.

And anyway, collecting diplomas and certificates from fancy schools is not a substitute for actual achievement. For instance, he is supposedly (I say that because I haven't checked it myself) the only President of the Harvard Law Review who has never been published (well, I guess that IS an achievement of sorts). He speaks no foreign languages with any sort of fluency. His academic records, which supposedly prove his brilliance, remain sealed. The first job he ever had in which he was accountable for his individual performance was the Presidency; and it's eating him alive.

Combined with his personal characteristics and utter lack of political conscience (from flipping off Hillary Clinton and grinning about it, to his rampant narcissism ['The difference between 1994 and now is you have me,' 'This is the moment when the seas stopped rising'], thuggery ['We're the only thing between you and the pitchforks,' 'we won't tolerate this unjustified raising of rates and disinformation'] and contempt for regular people [bitter clingers!]), there is very little for me to like at all.

Now that I think about it, ego seems to be a perpetual problem with most of the people I know who went to law school in the Ivy League. It's either inflated, making them arrogant, or suspiciously fragile, making them highly susceptible to flattery.  

By Anonymous Sally, at Sun Sep 12, 12:38:00 PM:

Why does everything have to be over-analyzed, that there has to be some deep dark hidden reason why Palin is disliked?

For those who like and support her she's the plucky Annie Oakley type, representing good ole traditional down home American "values" and really good at sticking up for the "little guy" and poking her finger in the collective eye of the "elites", whoever they might be.

Those who dislike her do so for much the same reason. They find her success inexplicable, it's just not how it's done, especially for a woman.

Based on my unscientific survey of my women friends who fall into the demographic you describe, she doesn't have a prayer of winning too many of them over, including the independent or squishy moderate Dem types. This is going to sound harsh but pretty much the main criticism is her voice, the accent and the way she talks, she just doesn't sound all that smart. And she has a messy personal life. It's too Jerry Springer-ish for them. She lacks the veneer of sophistication --however phony that sort of thing can be-- and it makes those women reluctant to identify with her.  

By Blogger Don Cox, at Sun Sep 12, 03:34:00 PM:

"running for VP and quitting Gov of Alaska worked for her in the short term."

In other words, having been elected to a major office with great responsibilities, she walked away from it for some short term personal gain. That doesn't impress me.

Why would she be any good as a President (or Vice President) when she has failed as a Governor?  

By Blogger KnightErrant, at Sun Sep 12, 05:37:00 PM:

Palin is nothing new, just another populist with a reputation for being a hick. The nearest American political equivalent is Huey Long.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 12, 06:31:00 PM:

"That means that the swing voters of our time, the famous soccer moms, might well find in Palin somebody with whom they can identify notwithstanding her pro-life position"

A pro-life stance is not going to hurt Palin. According to GSS data, there is NO female demographic in which a majority oppose all restrictions until you start controlling for so many variables the data has become meaningless.

"but she proved so poorly informed when interviewed in '08"

I have no idea whether Palin is poorly informed or not, but the only interviews I've seen in which that clearly appeared to be the case had roughly 10 edits per minute, some of which obviously terminated the audio track from the preceding shot. I could make Einstein look like a moron with that kind of flexibility.

The strongest case against Palin's intelligence is that a right leaning politician with a journo degree agreed to anything other than a live interview.  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Sun Sep 12, 06:39:00 PM:

I don't think Palin is such a big electoral threat to the Dems, she is more of a factor for the Republicans themselves. Independents are not inclined towards her, the Dems love to lambaste her because she is an easy target. The more interesting question is what do the Republicans do with someone who is clearly not of their usual ilk (more like elk) for their leadership.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Sun Sep 12, 06:46:00 PM:

Good post and good comments, in that I found something insightful even in ones I disagree with.

I suspect that the reaction to voice and accent were indeed powerful - I don't like them much myself - but the press would have found something to attack her on regardless. I agree that there was an immediate, tribal "she's not the sort of person who should be ruling" response, and the details were less important. For her supporters, much the same may play in reverse. She plays up her not-from-the-elite status, and people who have a set belief that elites and insiders have gotten us into this mess may be be willing to reach on behalf of someone who has any proven credentials at all. Again, the details may be only post hoc rationalizations.

As for the Jerry Springer family, I grant that the impression of this is now quite powerful, and as a political reality will continue to be important. But much of this has turned out to be untrue, and certainly exaggerated. In contrast, the scandal-sheet lives of almost-VP Edwards, Al Gore's son, and actual president Clinton are quite real. There has been a fairly successful effort to portray her daughter's life as typical white trash, while the PR rescue for the elite males has portrayed them as something like typical European aristocrats, whose "foibles" are shrugged off.

As to resigning as governor, it was understandable but still a mark against her. Being treated unfairly but going on and doing the best job possible is a reasonable test for the presidency.

I must disagree with the idea that Obama's biography is impressive as a qualification for office, however. Having overcome difficulties is inspiring and counts for something, but is not an overwhelming credential. I have two sons from Romanian orphanages who have overcome more than Obama ever dreamed of facing, but I wouldn't vote for either of them for high office. It is a nice addition to a PR package, but not a real plus on its own. The magna from Harvard Law is indeed a reasonable credential, as it demonstrates some intelligence and perseverance. But it is his only credential even now, and even that is weakened by his refusal to let us see anything behind the scenes on it. That he must have had some intelligence, social skill, and insight I grant. That credential cannot be made out of air. But how much of that achievement was the result of charm, social signaling, and the accouterments of academic excellence rather than the substance, we simply don't know. And not knowing is always grounds for suspicion with any office-seeker.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sun Sep 12, 08:09:00 PM:

"OK, maybe I am a bad lefty, but why the hell would i vote for someone because they looked like me? Sounded like me?"

Why would you vote for someone - namely, BO - who had not a single substantive accomplishment to their name prior to running for President?  

By Blogger pam, at Sun Sep 12, 10:21:00 PM:

Gary, how do you know I did vote for Obama?

I think he had several legislative accomplishments prior to running for office, though none particularly outstanding or "presidential." Moreover, I like what he said and how he said it FAR better than McCain did. While the similarities between the parties are more numerous, or so they seem in practice, than the differences, the fact remains that the GOP platform excludes me.

So, I either vote for the Democrat, an independent, or I write someone in.  

By Anonymous Gringo, at Sun Sep 12, 10:30:00 PM:

Since the issue of deciding how to vote for President was brought up, I will bring up some research I did which helped me decide. Two years ago I compared the experience of then-Senator Obama with the experience of other Senators who became President. By the metric I chose, here is How Obama scored:

No Vice-President Experience
No Cabinet Experience
No House of Representatives Experience
No Governor Experience
No Military Officer Experience

Obama had no experience at all in the above categories. There were fifteen Presidents before Obama with US Senate experience. Only one scored a zero like Obama. That would be Warren Harding, nobody’s model of a great President.

At least Warren Harding had some executive experience in running a newspaper. The only “executive” experience Obama had was chairing the Annenberg challenge, which consisted in doling out research money that didn’t achieve its goal of improving the Chicago public schools. IOW, Obama was a failure at his previous “executive” experience.

When I have brought this up in other blogs, some have made the comment that in some respects Harding wasn’t as bad as believed. For example, he did nothing about the recession that was in place when he assumed office, and the economy righted itself. We don’t need no stinkin’ Stimulus!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Sep 12, 11:29:00 PM:

TH & Readers:

I am a long-time reader of this blog, and agree with the vast majority of the community here on most issues, i.e; the need for minimal government intervention in markets, maximum individual liberties for all citizens, the acceptance of capitalism as the optimal means of distributing resources, minimal taxation & a hawkish outlook on global affairs. To borrow your terminology Tigerhawk, I would be a Libertarian Hawk.

Whilst I agree that many on the left probably loathe Palin for the wrong reasons, much of the defense offered by the right wing is total BS. There's no vast left-wing conspiracy at play. The MSM haven't issued directives (literally or figuratively) to misrepresent her. There is a very, very simple answer for her reception among so many people (American & foreign) - she is totally batshit crazy.

I'm a huge Bush (and Cheney) fan. I honestly believe his legacy will be seen in a much more positive light over the next few decades. He spent too much, sure, but all politicians do.

I loathe Obama - he is too left-wing, he doesn't understand how the private sector works at all and ultimately merely serves as a conduit for those wishing to preserve and promote the welfare state.

JOhn McCain is a hero, and would have been an amazing leader.

And yet if I had been able to vote (I live overseas) during the Presidential election I would have either voted for Obama or not at all. Sarah Palin is an absolute farce. It's ridiculous: She can barely string two words together. Resigning the Governorship to give speeches to angry simpletons (yes, the majority of the Tea Party) is obscene. I just did some research for this post to try and find a few moments of her madness - I can't find any of her intelligence.

She serves as a rallying point for those on the right who cannot possibly fathom that the left may have a point.

I would not want her having any control whatsoever over the security of the planet. For the Republican pary to push for her to be one aged heartbeat from the Presidency is disturbing.

I don't dislike her because she has a vagina, old-school values (I'm anti-abortion) or a funny voice. I dislike her because contrary to what I know to be true, she makes Americans look like the most stupid group of people on the planet.

Said with great respect for all people posting - and of course TH :)  

By Anonymous Gringo, at Sun Sep 12, 11:40:00 PM:

I dislike her because contrary to what I know to be true, she makes Americans look like the most stupid group of people on the planet.
Do tell.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Mon Sep 13, 03:03:00 AM:

"The MSM haven't issued directives (literally or figuratively) to misrepresent her."

False. The day after McCain selected her the local blatt (San Jose Murky News) ran a screaming front page headline "WHY PALIN?" Before Couric, before resigning, before all the controversies. They could not even for a day give her her due as an historic choice, which she was even if every negative thing about her is true. She was the first Republican woman on a national ticket, only the second female to run for national office for a major party and arguably the first meaningful candidate - Ferraro (not exactly Winston Churchill herself) was obviously a sacrificial lamb offered up to the Reagan landslide in '84.

I am not a "Palinista" nor do I regard her as being beyond criticism or reproach. But her treatment by the mainstream press has been savage, unhinged and unconscionable.  

By Blogger Don Cox, at Mon Sep 13, 05:34:00 AM:

Consider a chess game between Palin and Putin. Who would win?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 13, 06:44:00 AM:

Chess game? Who would you rather be in a foxhole with? Palin, Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Kerry, Al Gore?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 13, 06:59:00 AM:

Chess game? Palin would be too concerned about whether the MSM would criticise her use of the white pieces.

And the MSM probably would :)

Putin is a righteous dude - I only hope he's putting on the Russian Snow Cowboy gag to appease his peeps. There was a great Drudge image comparison (I think linked to by the venerable TH blog itself) recently, with Putin shooting animals in the high seas like a dude with big'n'hairy's, and Obama looking like a 12 year old girl on a push bike. Sure scared the shit out of me :)  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Mon Sep 13, 08:49:00 AM:

Don Cox:
Consider a chess game between Palin and Putin. Who would win?

Consider a chess game between
1) Obama and and Putin.
2) Biden and Putin
3) Kerry and Putin
4) Gore and Putin
5) Bush and Putin
Who would win?  

By Blogger PatD, at Mon Sep 13, 04:18:00 PM:

"That means that the swing voters of our time, the famous soccer moms, might well find in Palin somebody with whom they can identify notwithstanding her pro-life position."

It appears Palin is responding on two fronts. Her mama grizzlies ad targets that demographic. Her support for conservative, female candidates has been remarkably successful. Come November, the face of the GOP is going to look much more attractive to the soccer moms. The left will be forced to attack the likes of Nikky Haley, Carly Fiorina, and, maybe, Christine O'Donnell with the same viciousness as they've attacked Palin; but doing so will backfire. It will make the left look vindictive and sexist. It's already backfired on the GOP establishment.  

By Blogger PatD, at Mon Sep 13, 04:28:00 PM:

Palin resigned her Governorship to escape the trap the Soros left had set for her; bog her and her administration down in bogus ethics charges and destroy her financially. The clueless bimbo handed off the Governorship to a trusted ally, solved her financial problems with a book and speaking engagements, and entered the national political debate through Facebook and Twitter posts, bypassing the MSM. She also completed another major task; the demolition of the Alaskan GOP old boy network, by strongly supporting Joe Miller. Yep, she sure is clueless.  

By Blogger Andrewdb, at Mon Sep 13, 08:59:00 PM:

Palin's anti-gay positions? Please be specific. She signed domestic partnership legislation when she was Gov.

I find her church doctrine a little odd, but none of that was apparent in the way she handled her official position, and apparently was a surprise to the voters of Alaska when it came out in the MSM (after several years of her being in state-wide office).  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 13, 09:31:00 PM:

In my personal experience, there is a very specific type of person who violently -- VIOLENTLY -- hates Sarah Palin. I can think of three personal friends offhand: all of them female, well-educated, ~40-45 years old, single, childless.

The basic reason they hate SP is that she has five kids. Which means she has had sex at least five times. Which is more than any of these women I know (at least in the last 10 years or so). That is why they hate her.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Mon Sep 13, 09:54:00 PM:

Six if you count Trig...  

By Blogger pam, at Mon Sep 13, 10:00:00 PM:

Andrewdb, she did so quite reluctantly.
http://mediamatters.org/research/200808290025  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Mon Sep 13, 11:29:00 PM:

Pam on Palin
Her anti-gay stances aside...
Andrewb:
Palin's anti-gay positions? Please be specific. She signed domestic partnership legislation when she was Gov.
Pam:
Andrewdb, she did so quite reluctantly.

Are we auditioning for comedy night?
It sounds as if Pam is looking for a preacher, not for a politician. "The politician signed a bill that I agreed with, but because the politician didn't sign it with the enthusiasm I expected, I don't like the politician."

That is precious.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Sep 14, 04:02:00 AM:

"Andrewdb, she did so quite reluctantly."

Did someone put a gun to her head? If Palin were the fanatic trying to force her religious views on other people as the media deliberately and falsely portrayed her she would have vetoed it, period. The very fact that this was so little reported is itself terribly damning of the media - it was a very significant data point in ascertaining her stance as a "social conservative" because it showed, quite contrary to the demonizing narrative, that she was sophisticated and thoughtful enough to take an action contrary to her own personal beliefs. In fact, if she truly vetoed it "reluctantly" it says *more* on her behalf rather than less.

A word to the wise, Pam - citing "Media Matters" really doesn't do much to shore up your objectivity.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Sep 14, 04:07:00 AM:

I think there is a correction that needs to be made to my post, as well as some of the previous ones that started with Palin "signing" domestic partners legislation. IIRC, what happened was the inverse - the legislature passed a law prohibiting gay marriage and she vetoed it. That does not change the sense of anyone's contentions here. If the original poster (andrewb) is right and she *also* signed domestic partners legislation, that only reinforces andrew's (and my) point.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Sep 14, 04:12:00 AM:

Correcting myself again, in my first post "if she truly vetoed it reluctantly" should be "if she truly signed it reluctantly". Anyway I hope it is all clear now (after I've made it clear as mud).  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Tue Sep 14, 06:43:00 AM:

BT and others, I think it is fair to say that if one is gay or supportive of gay causes, the republican tone on the subject has been lacking for years, although there are signs of change recently, so to have concern about Palin's views on related matters should not be viewed as "precious"; it affects people's lives in a very profound way.

As to anon 9:31's comments about the women who hate Palin and their primary reason, I'm wondering about how he/she conducted the research on that one. Others' results may vary.  

By Anonymous davod, at Tue Sep 14, 07:17:00 AM:

Trust the lefties to bring up Putin. You might want to read this Washington Post article Life in Putin's Russia by Julia Latynina.

"...Is this the legacy of the Soviet past? Not at all. In the Soviet Union, criminals were thrown into prison along with the dissidents. Is it the legacy of former president Boris Yeltsin? There was nothing like this under Yeltsin.

This is the distinctive nature of the Putin regime.

Under Putin, the Russian businessman has been transformed into game being hunted by people in epaulets. Who was the first victim of this hunt? Oil company executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for tax evasion in 2005, and his company, Yukos, which the government dismantled and sold off after his arrest. Who was the hunter? Then-president Putin.

The right to commit crime has become part of official privilege. If the victim doesn't raise a fuss, no one is punished. If the victim appeals to the public, he or she is harshly punished. The very fact of appealing to the public is perceived as a challenge to the regime. But who laid down these rules of the game? Who never punishes his friends? Putin.

In the republic of Ingushetia, death squads are executing people. They're being shot in front of witnesses, in crowded places, in market squares, at bus stops, and then weapons are being planted on them and they're being photographed as dead "terrorists." In some instances, the crowd has shielded the intended victims. In others, the local Ingush police have nearly beaten the Russian executioners to death. Who's being killed? Those on the so-called Wahhabi lists. These lists were compiled at the order of the FSB (the successor to the KGB) soon after the Moscow theater massacre of 2002, in which Chechen terrorists took an audience hostage and 130 people died when Russian special forces stormed the theater.

There may not be democracy in Putin's Russia, they say, but there is order.

Don't buy it. The Russian authorities aren't in control of the country -- unless we consider their ability to throw any businessman in prison and seize his company to be control. And yet these guys really think they're strong -- and that the measure of a ruler's strength is the amount of cash in his bank accounts."

Better yet, why not ask Anna Politkovskaia the Author of Putin's Russia to comment on the casual use of Putin. Oh! wait. She is one of the over three hundred Russia journalists missing or murdered since 1993.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Tue Sep 14, 08:52:00 AM:

Bomber Girl:
BT and others, I think it is fair to say that if one is gay or supportive of gay causes, the republican tone on the subject has been lacking for years, although there are signs of change recently, so to have concern about Palin's views on related matters should not be viewed as "precious"; it affects people's lives in a very profound way.

Pam stated she supported Obama, yet was concerned about an "anti-gay" stance from Sarah Palin, who signed a domestic partnership law. While this may have otherwise pleased Pam, she is all bent out of shape because Palin signed it "reluctantly." Obama is against gay marriage, but we heard nothing whatsoever from Pam about that.
Logic? Consistencey?
'Nuff said.  

By Anonymous Canuck, at Tue Sep 14, 09:21:00 AM:

Did Senator Obama not quit the senate? Or is it that he just waited until he had another job, the Presidency before he actually quit?  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Tue Sep 14, 09:34:00 AM:

BT, my recollection is that Obama extended gay benefits for federal workers to same sex partners. I don't fault Palin for her move, which was also in accordance with the law. And although you didn't ask, I do give Palin credit for being consistent and clear in her beliefs and keeping (as far as I can tell) her religious views out of policy making. That said, I think she was a terrible choice by McCain as the next-in-line to the Presidency and remains an unlikely choice for independent voters for any significant national political role.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Tue Sep 14, 10:46:00 AM:

Bomber Girl:
BT, my recollection is that...
You made no reference to Pam's inconsistency about supporting a Presidential candidate who was against gay marriage, which is perhaps just as well, because Pam can better answer that than you.

That said, I think she was a terrible choice by McCain as the next-in-line to the Presidency and remains an unlikely choice for independent voters for any significant national political role.
I have voted for third party candidates more than I have voted for Republican Party Presidential candidates. I have voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates as often as I have voted for Republican Party Presidential candidates. By that criteria, I am an independent.

Palin had more executive experience than Obama, who as an above comment points out, had an experience profile that dovetailed that of Warren Harding. Given that Obama's experience profile best compared to Warren Harding among the Presidents who had US Senate experience, I find it comical that there are those who consider Palin a "terrible choice" say yet nothing about the choice of a Presidential candidate whose experience profile best compares to Warren Harding. Consistency and all that.  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Tue Sep 14, 11:18:00 AM:

BT, I agree that "experience", however you want to define it, can be helpful for a presidential candidate/president but there are other factors such as (one's views of) the candidate's decision-making abilities, political priorities, strength of character and the like, as well as what the nation needs at that moment in time. Voters who opted for Obama were clearly not making that choice based solely on executive, for instance, experience. There was a strong case to be made for McCain and, in my view, he lost the election due to a series of bad decisions.  

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