Friday, September 05, 2008

Rank sexism 

One of Barack Obama's top fundraisers and a member of his national committee has taken the airwaves and accused Sarah Palin of being a bad mother because she has chosen to run for vice president.

This, notwithstanding the insistence of Barack Obama himself that the families of candidates are "off limits." The Obama campaign says that "[o]bviously these comments do not reflect our frequently stated views that families of the candidates should be off limits."

I cant think of two explanations.

First, Barack Obama is saying one thing in public and another thing to his surrogates in private.

Second, Obama's surrogates, even his top guys, do not do what he says.

Is there a third explanation that may not have occurred to me?

CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.


By Blogger Miss Ladybug, at Fri Sep 05, 11:06:00 PM:

Either possibility does not highlight his "leadership" favorably...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 05, 11:45:00 PM:

Gov. Palin will probably have a lot more time and help with her kids when she becomes the V.P. than she does now. That is what is so funny all about this. I was just reading some article about the Palin family's stay in St. Paul, how they are having to get used to all the staff and aides, people there to get things done. Gov. Palin isn't going to have to go grocery shopping or do house cleaning or any of the other mundane tasks most women (and men) do who work in everyday jobs when she's V.P. Plus she isn't going to have much of a commute to the office. That alone eats up a lot of time for most working people.

When Joe Lieberman ran for VP in 2000 some people raised the issue that as an observant Jew he wouldn't be able to do things from Friday sundown until Saturday night, and gee what if there's a crisis? Well apparently there is some flexibility with that under the Talmud (?) or wherever you look for the rules on that.

My point is that apparently anyone who doesn't fit the professional Christian male paradigm as a politician is going to get questioned about how their lives will somehow interfere with their duties.

But nobody is asking that about the women soldiers who've been deployed to Iraq over the last 5+ years, and some of the men too, who've left families and jobs (reservists) and responsibilities to go off and serve 12 or 15 month tours. Nobody's asking that about the man or woman pulling double shifts or choosing to work late night jobs to be able to be home first thing in the morning to get the kids off to school.

I don't think we need to worry about how V.P. Palin's going to juggle her family responsibilities with her job. She's going to have it a whole lot easier than the average working stuff, that's for sure.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 05, 11:48:00 PM:

sorry...I meant "average working stiff"...

Oh and one more thing. To answer the question you actually posed, I think it's both. I think Obama is saying one thing publicly and winking at what's plotted privately AND I don't think anyone pays much attention to him inside the campaign anyway. He's seem to be completely stage-managed.  

By Blogger Who Struck John, at Fri Sep 05, 11:52:00 PM:

A lot of activists on the Left believe that they lost the last two elections because they "didn't fight back hard enough" against right-wing smears. So they are determined that they will do absolutely anything to win this time.

I think their ongoing attacks on Palin will continue to backfire. But the activists believe their meme and aren't going to stop their attacks, even if it turns out to be so over-the-top that it is to their disadvantage. This is their version of "fighting the last war."  

By Blogger Escort81, at Sat Sep 06, 01:14:00 AM:

Who Struck John -

Interesting point about fighting the last war. But isn't it one thing to defend your candidate from smears or "Swift Boating," and quite another to go after someone's family on the other ticket (or the decisions that candidate makes with respect to their family.)

Pretty much everything in modern politics is just a means to an ends, yet Sally Quinn's comments still surprised me:

"Is she prepared for the all-consuming nature of the job? She is the mother of five children, one of them a four-month-old with Down Syndrome. Her first priority has to be her children. When the phone rings at three in the morning and one of her children is really sick what choice will she make? I'm the mother of only one child, a special needs child who is grown now. I know how much of my time and energy I devoted to his care. He always had to be my first priority. Of course women can be good mothers and have careers at the same time. I've done both. Yes, other women in public office have children. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has five children, but she didn't get heavily involved in politics until they were older. A mother's role is different from a father's."

I can't help but to think of the word hypocrisy. Is she actually advocating a specific kind of "mommy track" for female national politicians? It's OK if you are post-menopausal?

I still don't know a great deal about Palin's stances on any number of issues, and I suspect I might be a bit to her left on certain domestic social issues, and by all means let's have at it on those topics, but how can Sally Quinn (of all people) write that paragraph about any female political candidate? That's about as nakedly partisan as you can get.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Sat Sep 06, 01:21:00 AM:

What happened to Obama's community-organizer skills? Why can't he organize his "community of supporters"?

I wanted a good horse race. Obama seems incapable of controlling a crippled donkey.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Sep 06, 07:33:00 AM:

Because of the war, the unpopularity of George W. Bush, the near-destruction of the Republican brand under their control of Congress, high gas prices, the crappy economy, and the most partisan press coverage we have seen in at least a generation, the crippled donkey started the horserace on the backstretch. Looking at the state of play in, say, early June, John McCain needed a nearly perfect campaign to unfold to have a chance. So far, it has.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 06, 08:48:00 AM:

Agree, TH. The O&Joe crowd is in a state of disbelief that they could lose this election despite all of the circumstances that should have made it a cakewalk.

I'm frankly enjoying watching the donks disassemble in the face of a real woman.

If I were Joe Biden, I'd be worrying about that debate...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 06, 09:35:00 AM:

What happened to Obama's promise to fire any member of his campaign who went after the Palin family???? Maybe that was just another promise he never intendes to keep?  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Sep 06, 09:44:00 AM:

"The wheels of the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round..."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 06, 10:27:00 AM:

The whole Palin affair reflects poorly...on Obama. If a Messiah can't rein the loose cannons within his campaign, how in hell will he be able to do it once he's in the "Oval Orifice?"

Short answer: he won't. The sheer hysteria, lunacy, even fanaticism shown by many of his supporters does not augur well for a successful, much less collegial, next four years if he wins. Hell, seems to me that if what I think might happen actually happens, Obama will be damn lucky to finish his first term without being forced out, much less run for a second term.  

By Blogger Stephen, at Sat Sep 06, 01:33:00 PM:

Third explanation: he changed his mind.....again. Yesterday it was good Barack, today it's bad Barry giving orders. We need to run him through the Transporter and filter out the toxins.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 06, 03:14:00 PM:

He savors the fruit while cursing the vine. A common tactic of the left.  

By Blogger Roy Lofquist, at Sat Sep 06, 04:21:00 PM:

The real third reason? Max Sennett is the campaign director.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 06, 04:41:00 PM:

Perhaps Stephen is on to the truth!

There are two "Barack Obamas"! This was once a popular TV premise, the "evil twin". I think this is REAL. I think this explanation can be deployed whenever we have one of these conundrums. "Why, Barack said he was going to take the high road. He wouldn't countenance such a thing!!"

It's the evil twin! So citizens, we can all truly still believe in Hope and Change, and that he is indeed the One we have been waiting for. Unless the Evil Twin is in charge that day. Then all bets are off.


By Blogger Noumenon, at Sat Sep 06, 09:55:00 PM:

It's not clear to me that being one of Obama's top contribution bundlers makes him one of Obama's "top guys." Does he work for the campaign? Is he expected to be on message?  

By Blogger Roy Lofquist, at Sat Sep 06, 10:08:00 PM:

Dear Noumenon,

You don't think guys give a half a million dollars to a candidate because they're concerned about good government do you? Do you?

Go live in New York or Boston for a while. Come back and tell us what you saw.


By Blogger Noumenon, at Sun Sep 07, 08:15:00 AM:

I understand what you're saying. But that doesn't mean he works for the Obama campaign. It means the campaign works for him. His statements aren't necessarily supposed to be under Obama's control.  

By Blogger Roy Lofquist, at Sun Sep 07, 10:34:00 AM:

Dear Noumenon,

Other way around. He controls Obama.


By Blogger Noumenon, at Sun Sep 07, 10:53:00 AM:

Sorry, that's what I meant to say by "the campaign works for him [the donor]." Because Tigerhawk's two choices both depend on this guy being Obama's "surrogate," I was trying to say that the hierarchy is not that clear.

The third choice Tigerhawk is looking for is that Obama's surrogates do do what he says, and he does say the same thing in private and in public, but this guy is not a surrogate and isn't getting the memos that the campaign staff gets.  

By Blogger Roy Lofquist, at Sun Sep 07, 12:04:00 PM:

Dear Noumenon,

There are many, many cases in our history where the guy in the office is a total puppet. That's particularly true in Chicago politics. Obama didn't get where he is because of charisma. The machine spotted a useful tool and put him before the rubes.

Now, this may sound a bit cynical to you - or anybody else for that matter.

I speak from experience.

My late wife worked for a labor union in New York City for 30 years. Her rather large window office was right next to the president's office.

Politics and unions and organized crime are intimately intertwined there. When the politics were done it wasn't with the mayor or the city council or anybody else known to the general public. Those in the power structure knew these guys. Nobody else did.

The half million this guy bundled didn't come from civic minded good guys. It came from the guys who pull his strings.


By Blogger Noumenon, at Sun Sep 07, 12:12:00 PM:

There are many, many cases in our history where the guy in the office is a total puppet.

That is exactly what I'm saying, for three posts now. Obama does not control this guy's actions. The reverse may be closer to the truth. Therefore, Tigerhawk is mistaken to criticize Obama for either secretly instructing this guy to attack Palin or for failing to control his attacks.

(I first heard the "Chicago politician" angle from Steve Sailer. It is a heck of a lot more effective as a criticism than this "arugula, poor half-brother, 57 states" crap. Don't know why it doesn't get more traction.  

By Blogger Roy Lofquist, at Sun Sep 07, 02:02:00 PM:

Dear Noumenon,

Excellent. You finally said what you meant. That is a tough thing to learn.

I have been writing comments on-line since before the web was born. If you google my name you find over 2,000 entries - all comments except for a couple of pieces published by The American Thinker.

I was atrocious at first. Got lots of flack from those much better than me. I've learned a couple of lessons the hard way.

Make one major point. Think hard about how to best convey it and put it up front.

Avoid, like the plague, emotional words or pejoratives or ad hominen attacks.

If you are not arguing well known facts then provide references - links.

Actually, it helps if you write as if you were writing for the Wall Street Journal. We'll never get nearly that good but it helps if we try.

I used to write just like the 99% of all commenters who want to make their opinion or feelings known - get in their two cents worth.

Who gives a shit about that?

I now write to as effectively as possible make my point and start discussions.

I like discussing things with you.


By Blogger Noumenon, at Mon Sep 08, 11:08:00 AM:

I have been writing comments on-line since before the web was born. If you google my name you find over 2,000 entries - all comments except for a couple of pieces published by The American Thinker.

There are some blogs I go to just to read what someone says in the comments. For a while I had a comments blog that aggregated my comments -- because I put work into them, and because they showed what I was interested in and what kind of sites I hang out on. If I knew of a way to automate it I might still keep it going.

Excellent. You finally said what you meant. That is a tough thing to learn.

Actually, I said more than I meant, because it was easier to understand. I don't actually know whether major contribution bundlers usually act like campaign operatives or not, or whether candidates typically pay them any mind. I remember a Washington Post article about a bundler who got his about three years later, in the form of a ruling that industrial towels were laundry and not hazardous waste. He wasn't looking to influence the campaign message at all. So my original, fuzzier post reflected my thoughts better -- but conveyed them worse.  

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