Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I'm alone in a hotel room in Boston watching Sarah Palin speak, and I cannot wipe the smile off my face. Awesome stuff. [UPDATE: If you missed the speech, watch it here!]

MORE: Yup.

POST MORTEM: Mort Kondracke: "Simply brilliant." Me: Easily better than Joe Biden's speech, both in the words and the delivery.

SWITCHED TO MSNBC (for the same reason the NSA eavesdrops on the jihadis, to paraphrase a recent wag). I have never seen such disappointed people, with the sole and creditable exception of David Gregory. Olbermann is just stunned (his reaction being a touchstone of sorts), and Campbell Brown looked as though she had just eaten some really terrible food.

CNN: Wolf Blitzer declares, portentiously and unoriginally, that "a star is born."

MSNBC: Olbermann is now suggesting to everybody who will listen that Biden can now take the gloves off given Palin's combativeness. Meanwhile, Brokaw is saying that he "has been saying for days" that she was going to be this good. I bet he did not say it without qualification.

Brian Williams read aloud this cow pie of a post from Joel Klein, virtually beamed in by his Democratic overlords, but unaccountably did not read this:

Palin established herself as a major-league performer, a very effective messenger for the perennial Republican themes of low taxes and strong defense. And a new theme--government reform--that changes the terrain of the election and will have to be forcefully countered by the Democrats. Obama will have to be every bit as sharp--and down to earth--as he was in his speech last week as this goes forward.

Last week, when Bill Clinton began to speak, I thought: this turns this lugubrious convention around. I thought the same as Palin spoke tonight. John McCain, not nearly the speaker that Palin seems to be, has a tough act to follow tomorrow night.

Indeed he does.


By Blogger Hebrew National, at Wed Sep 03, 10:48:00 PM:

It was hilarious when the daughter licked her palm and then patted the baby's head. I'm still laughing.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Sep 03, 10:56:00 PM:

She's rippin' him a new ass, and I'm liking it as well. Waiting on her to mention she's actually been to ANWR.


By Blogger Miss Ladybug, at Wed Sep 03, 11:12:00 PM:

She hit it WAY out of the park...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Sep 03, 11:16:00 PM:


This is going to be one hell of a fight!  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Sep 03, 11:25:00 PM:

As a political cynic and student of politics, I like to pride myself on my detachment from political theater and the like. I liked Palin as a political choice. I spoke in her favor as VP on this blog months ago because of the way it would upset the tone of the race and turn the table on the Democrats. (and boy did it) But beyond cold analysis, that woman has an aura of authenticity and integrity that makes me trust her.

That's kind of weird for me.

I was too young to really understand the politics of the 1980s. The invasion of Panama was probably the first big foreign policy issue that I remember understanding. (I thought the coolest thing about it was the unveiling of the F-117... typical little boy I guess)

But maybe now I have a clearer idea of what people mean when they refer to Reagan's ability to communicate with such awe.

Some of that was her speech writer hitting right notes... but a lot of it was her.

I hope that others, many others, see what I saw.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Sep 03, 11:44:00 PM:

Maybe Brokaw is just old, or needs more polident, but he sounds like he's been nipping at a flask.

I'm nauseated at the whining about calling out Obama. The Obama camp is in trouble ... this is going to make for some great theatre for the next two months.  

By Blogger Papa Ray, at Wed Sep 03, 11:51:00 PM:

Well, my family and a few friends had our own little convention tv party and burned some meat and watched Gov. Palin burn down the barn at the real convention.

We were spellbound, even the kids were staring and listening.

Jeez, if she doesn't run for President, a lot of people are going to be disappointed. Yea, I know, but even if she doesn't get the VP job, I'm thinking that if her family holds up and things go right she should run. She is young and she has what it takes to communicate and make a believer out of you.

She is going to destroy Biden and Obama.

Papa Ray
West Texas

By Blogger Unknown, at Wed Sep 03, 11:52:00 PM:

Wow. DNC, RNC, Berlin, Paris. London - SP would rock-the-house. I would pay money to see SP & BO "debate" in the mode of Lincoln - Douglas. And I know that BO has delivered when the buildup/ pressure was on. But he has never had to do so after an onslaught like SP has endured. I am at a loss to think of another recent example like this - where the person under-the-gun delivered like SP did tonight. And there may be an example of someone doing the same - but no one in the modern era has ever done it better. Historic, simply historic. She - um' he - has my vote.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Sep 04, 12:26:00 AM:

As a kid, I remember seeing Ronald Reagan deliver his speech in the '64 campaign,"A Time for Choosing".

You can look it up on the Intertubes. It still stands up well today.

Sarah Palin's speech wasn't the soaring, lasting piece of rhetoric that Reagan gave in 1964, but she showed that she was tough as nails, and wasn't going to go home to Alaska with her tail between her legs.
I just hope enough people saw it and won't read about it through the muddy filter of the Obama campaign, and it's adjunct, the Major Networks. I hope my lying eyes didn't deceive me.


By Blogger clint, at Thu Sep 04, 01:00:00 AM:

Honestly, I think America just fell in love with the Palin family -- and that could be a game-changer.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Thu Sep 04, 01:12:00 AM:

Buck up, David. We're going to win this thing.  

By Blogger Pax Federatica, at Thu Sep 04, 02:27:00 AM:

Gov. Palin's speech tonight brought to mind, of all things, U2's Bono introducing the band's cover of "Helter Skelter": "This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles. We're stealing it back."

In this analogy, Palin is Bono, Obama is Manson, and Hillary Clinton is the Beatles. Obama stole Hillary's thunder in the Democratic primaries; now along comes Palin to steal not only Obama's own thunder, but also the thunder Obama had stolen from Hillary. By the time 2012 rolls around, Hillary may well find herself being the "other" woman in the campaign; for all we know she may even (heaven forbid) be up against a female incumbent.

(Cross-posted on, well, a whole bunch of blogs ;)  

By Blogger Arthur Newhook, at Thu Sep 04, 04:07:00 AM:

THOUGHTS ON SARAH PALIN'S RNC SPEECH - In a word, nauseating. Gov. Sarah Palin, who we are being led to believe is a 'conservative's conservative,' had the opportunity to outline her policies in a clear and coherent fashion. She had the opportunity to share her vision of America, and how starkly it contrasts to the socialist vision of Barack Obama. Instead, we got sarcasm, whining, and just plain old nastiness. The partisan hacks in attendance ate it up with a spoon, of course; but I can't help but feel that 75% of America was watching and thinking 'this is Dick Cheney in a skirt,' only nowhere near as shrewd. We got the tired neo-con lines about terrorism, Islam, protecting poor little ole' Israel, so on and so forth. Absent a 9-11 type disaster sometime in the next 63 days (always a possibility, I suppose), that is not going to sell in the year 2008. Not a chance, as most Americans have woken up to the GOP fear mongering, which is why Obama's pie-in-the-sky rhetoric of 'change' and 'hope' is working as well as it is with the still-quite-ignorant masses.

Very little was said by Mrs. Palin about our flat-lining economy, only the standard GOP line about cutting taxes. Worse, however, were the unfunny and grossly excessive one-liners, solely focused on Obama's lack of executive experience and the fact he will raise taxes. First off, Barracuda, you are running for vice president, not performing stand-up at a comedy club. Secondly, and more importantly, she failed to truly present just how dangerous Obama and his ideology really is for America. Par for the course for the entire McCain Campaign to date; they won't dare touch the really juicy stuff, such as Obama's communist and terrorist connections, or his sordid affair with the homosexual Larry Sinclair. If Sarah Palin really wanted to jab Obama, she would have called Obama out, in front of millions, for what he really is ... a Marxist! Mrs. Palin, to her credit, has been a very strong pro-life voice. Yet, did we hear the word 'abortion' mentioned even once in her spiel? She had the opportunity, in front of the whole world, to bring attention to Obama's enthusiastic - and documented - support for the cruel practice of partial-birth abortion, otherwise known as infanticide. No, instead we got lame jokes about him being a 'community organizer.' Yeah, you really came out swinging, Governor. Finally, the whining about the media was just plain pathetic. However bad the MSM is, it's not their fault that Mrs. Palin's 17 year-old daughter was stupid enough to get herself knocked up.

I was prepared to perhaps put aside my eternal cynicism and give you a chance, Sarah Palin. Although skeptical, I thought maybe - just maybe - a true American and true Christian had somehow managed to sneak herself onto the top of a major party ticket. On the surface, Palin's record looked pretty damn good. What's beneath the surface, however, is truly scary. One of only two conclusions can be drawn: Either Gov. Palin is a typical politician knowingly masquerading as a 'maverick' (like McCain himself) and laughing all the way to the bank; or, she is an ignorant, airhead dupe who is being used by McCain and the GOP in the most disgusting way possible. Either way, I feel a deep sense of sorrow for the Palin children - even the stupid one who got knocked up by her loser boyfriend - much in the same way as I do for Obama's little girls. The one thing I could always respect about George W. Bush, if nothing else, was that he refused to use his young daughters (now grown) to grab votes. Perhaps the same can be said for McCain today, as we never see much of anything about his children. Palin and Obama, on the other hand, only seem too happy to parade their families before the camera. Palin is actually showing herself to be worse than Obama in this regard, if that's possible, but that may be only because Obama's girls are too young to get pregnant, and were fortunate to be born healthy. Perhaps, Mrs. Palin, if you really have conservative family values, you should quit the campaign trail, resign the Governorship, and stay at home and be a mother to your infant, special needs son. Sarah Palin is so typical of women these days: They want their cake and want to eat it, too.

All of this has only served to cement my conclusion that McCain is the designated loser, and thus is throwing the election. The fix is in, Obama will be president, and the country will go to hell once and for all. Sarah Palin will go back to Alaska, and the dopey people up there will think of her as some sort of folk hero for trying to stand up to the big bad wolf (Obama), when in reality she played a great role in handing him the presidency on a silver platter! McCain himself, like his friend John Kerry before him, will spend the rest of his days in the Senate, fat, rich, and happy while the country crumbles. The cycle of deception and death goes on and on. I hate to sound like Michelle Obama, but on this evening I am most definitely NOT proud of my country! At least not the shell of a country it has become.

Merriam-Webster definition of 'Barracuda': One that uses aggressive, selfish, and sometimes unethical methods to obtain a goal especially in business.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Thu Sep 04, 07:29:00 AM:

Flatlining economy? Oh no, she talked about Islam and Israel but not about abortion? (funny... I don't remember any lines at all about Islam or Israel) "True American and true Chrisitian?" Get back in the kitchen, you faux-conservative? Oh, and you don't like your country.

What are you, an agent provocateur? Go back to Kos.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Sep 04, 10:02:00 AM:

re flat-lining economy: (from Carpe Diem)
"Real GDP exceed consensus expectations and grew at an annual rate of 3.3% in the second quarter 2008, a significant upward revision from the 1.9% advance estimate one month ago... Excluding housing, real GDP grew at a 4.0% rate in Q2."

The rest of your commentary is as perceptive and valuable as your 'flat-lining' nonsense.  

By Blogger Cassandra, at Thu Sep 04, 10:04:00 AM:

Oh please.

The president has nothing to do with abortion. That is the provenance of the courts.

I think we've all had enough of single-issue voters wasting our time with idiotic litmus tests that are (at best) a distraction from what the President actually does.

I was a doubter on Palin and this speech, while not definitive, went a long way towards reassuring me that she can do the job. She's not running for the #1 slot. She did her assigned job, and rather effectively, too.

Full marks.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Sep 04, 05:02:00 PM:

No, she only nominates the justices for the Supreme Court who do!

By choosing a (strict) pro-lifer and passing over everyone who was on his short list who was pro-choice (Lieberman, Ridge, Pawlenty), he has made definitive shift to the right of his already conservative position. Just ask the base:~>  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Thu Sep 04, 05:40:00 PM:

Isn't there a conservative majority on the court now?

And Roe v. Wade hasn't been struck down yet?


Being a single issue voter is silly, even stupid, for reasons like this one.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Sep 04, 06:45:00 PM:

Being a single issue voter is silly, even stupid, for reasons like this one.

Heh. Tell that to the religious right. They're acting like pigs in sh*t. With lipstick.

Yes, there is a majority of conservatives in the bench (5 to 4)and more than 1/3 of the cases last year were decided by 5 to 4 margin. As Justice Breyer noted after Justice O'Connor stepped down, and Alito was appointed:

"It is not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so much."

The last time SCOTUS heard an abortion case was in '07 when they upheld Congress' partial abortion ban (5 to 4). Previous to that, court heard a case on parental notification, however, it was remanded to lower without consideration of previous precedent.

Whomever is in the Oval Office when the next steps down/dies, could change the balance when next the court decides to grant cert to an abortion case challenging the current law.

That's why election of President is so important to both "sides" (despite what casandra says).  

By Blogger Cassandra, at Thu Sep 04, 07:11:00 PM:

The "religious right" isn't on the Supreme Court and no extremist justice would ever make it past the nominations process.

That is just plain silly. Abortion, or "precedent" as we like to call it euphemistically, is the de facto litmus test for SCOTUS nominees. No one who says they'll overturn Roe has a prayer of being confirmed and everyone knows it. Furthermore, as someone already observed, we've had a 5.4 majority for fricking ever and yet Roe remains intact.

Go figger :p  

By Blogger Cassandra, at Thu Sep 04, 07:15:00 PM:

Also, if you bother to read the entire decisions, the Court has long made the distinction between abortion in the early stages of a pregnancy and later on when a "fetus" begins to resemble an actual human child.

So the ban on partial birth abortions is not a reversal of precedent in that context, but a continuation of it. It's just that people who purposely distort the majority opinion using ridiculously contorted characterizations manage to mislead people into believing all sorts of idiotic things that aren't really so.

What they count on is that you won't read the entire opinion.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Sep 04, 10:11:00 PM:

Also, if you bother to read the entire decisions, the Court has long made the distinction between abortion in the early stages of a pregnancy and later on when a "fetus" begins to resemble an actual human child. So the ban on partial birth abortions is not a reversal of precedent in that context,

Also, if you read my comment I said The last time SCOTUS heard an abortion case was in '07 when they upheld Congress' partial abortion ban (5 to 4). I don't seee the word reversal in my comment, do you??

As for your comment that "we've had a 5.4 majority for fricking ever," most constitutional experts agree that the replacement of O'Connor, J. (centrist) with Alito, J. in 2006 ushered in the New Conservative Majority (Roberts. Alito, Scalia and Thomas) with Kennedy as a toss up.

That may only be two years ago but under this Court it sure feels like "fricking ever" to me, too.  

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