Saturday, September 13, 2008

Reaction to my last email and Palin coverage in general

A friend sent me the following -- my thoughts are below:

I am honestly baffled by all of this.  Why is that a Christian woman from a small town requires a hyperventilating, mostly irrational, full frontal attack, where everything and anything is fair game, regardless of the underlying facts and/or indecency of the charges --- the attacks seem, well, fanatical and fundamentalist in nature.

Small town values and good old-fashioned common sense used to be viewed in a positive light in this country, now they deserve, nay require, nothing but scorn and derision (Deepak Chopra’s foolish babble below represents the best example of that bigotry).

I truly do not understand.

Whatever happened to Obama’s “we are all one America?”  I guess it does not apply if you are a woman from a small town, actually govern a state with a population about equal to Joe Biden’s Delaware, believe in limited government, and have a view of women’s rights that deviates in any way, shape, or form, from the Gloria Steinham/Hillary Clinton party line.

Worst of all, such hyperactive overreaction makes any more thoughtful and potentially credible critiques moot.  Why listen to folks whose first cannon fire is mostly senseless vitriol?

Any interest at all in Palin’s policy views?

I keep wondering where these fundamentalist attacks are really coming from?  What really motivates them?  What have small town Christians done to offend the powers-that-be?

I remained perplexed and baffled and wonder what evil these leftist fundamentalists believe they are fighting --- and to what end?

Obviously, those powers-that-be are pretty insecure in their beliefs.  Otherwise, why such a (over)reaction?  Why such intolerance, brutality, and fear?

This reflex reaction from the powers-that-be is precisely why so many folks, who are proud to be American, are pretty fed up with the powers-that-be.

Above all else, these attacks are absolutely moronic for the Obama camp.

At the first sign of real competition in his campaign for the Presidency, which was inevitable, the Obama camp outdoes the Clintons’ attack machine at its very worst.  Looks pretty hypocritical and hateful to anyone watching the irrational, over-the-top display.

Whatever happened to Obama’s encomium to his own small town upbringing that he waxed so poetically about during his acceptance speech?  Thanks to his supporters, it’s looking kinda thin right now.

Truly astounding!

Obama has gone from being positive and proactive to, absolutely incredibly, training all of his fire on a small town mother of 5!  He’s gone from setting the agenda and leading, to letting the McCain campaign set the terms of the battle and attacking Palin like a petulant and irrational child.

Really, really stupid.  Obama should get back to telling his story and winning the hearts and minds of the American people.

Leave the big city, urbane bigotry behind.  Get back to remembering that, as Obama said in his speech, this is about the American people ---- all of them --- even the Christians.

If not, Obama’s election prospects will continue to plunge like a rock.  A historic opportunity blown by a blunder of historic proportions.

Imagine a different approach Obama and his supporters could have taken:  “We welcome Ms. Palin to the Republican ticket.  But this campaign is about who is going to be our next President … etc. etc.”

Message to Obama and the media:  These attacks fall on deaf ears.  Voters will evaluate Palin based upon what they see her say and do and view all of the innuendo and invective, as meaningless political infighting at best, and yet another reason not to vote for Obama at worst.  Is Obama really the above politics, fair-minded “One America” person he purports to be.  Appears not.  As I have been saying for some time, despite the media already crowning him, Obama always had a tough path to the Presidency.  His supporters have just made it much tougher.

My thoughts:
1) It's important to distinguish between the reaction of Obama and his campaign vs. the reaction of his supporters (like me).  I think Obama and his campaign have largely taken the high road (while, to be sure, pointing out Palin's laughable "qualifications" and the endless lies she and the McCain campaign are telling us about how she was always opposed to the Bridge to Nowhere, etc., etc., etc.).
2) The main reason Palin can't get out of the headlines is that EVERY DAY there are more and more revelations -- the kind of stuff the McCain camp should have known about and dealt with up front -- had they done any vetting whatsoever!
3) As is abundantly clear, I'm pretty worked up over the Palin pick -- but not for the reasons my friend might hypothesize (she's a "small-town Christian", etc.).  There are two general reasons: Palin herself and what this pick tells us about McCain.
A) Re. the former, I have three areas of concern about Palin:
i) As countless articles I've sent out make abundantly clear, she's laughably underqualified.  People are comparing her to Quayle in the VP-Pick-Hall-of-Shame, but at least he had been a Senator and (I'm willing to bet) had traveled outside the U.S. even once before being picked.  I think she has even less relevant experience and qualifications than Clarance Thomas and Harriet Miers (other disgraceful picks of totally underqualified people for political and/or demographic reasons);
ii) I think her positions and way of thinking come from the extreme right wing and that scares me (her views are not moderately conservative about abortion -- they're as extreme as they could possibly be; she courted a group of nutjobs that wanted Alaska to secede; she wants to ban all sex ed and teach creationism in our schools, etc.); and
iii) While I have no problem with her belief in God (being an athiest is a pretty high barrier to getting elected to ANY position in the U.S.), based on what I can tell of her, she makes decisions with a significant weighting on what she thinks God wants her to do, rather than a rational evaluation of the competing facts and arguments.  I've seen the debacle that results when this type of thinking gets into the White House and I'm REALLY scared of more of this.
B) My bigger area of concern is what this pick says about McCain, because in all likelihood, Palin will NOT become President and she will prove to be irrelevant, as Quayle was.  I had held out hope that even if McCain became President, maybe he wouldn't be so bad.  Surely he'd be a big improvement over the current Disaster-in-Chief, right?  I don't believe that anymore.  In particular, I believe what McCain has showed us is:
i) He makes rushed, rash, snap judgments based on his gut instincts.  This has long been a character flaw of his, but the Palin pick puts it front and center.  We've seen over the past 8 years what happens when we have a President like this...; and
ii) I used to think that McCain did, in fact, put "Country First".  But now I think he's just like the average politician, who would sell his mother (or, in this case, jeopardize the future of his country) if it would improve his odds of winning the next election.  The irony here is so vast: McCain making the scurrilous accusation that Obama was willing to lose a war to win the election, and then picking Palin...
The latest polls are showing that the Palin pick (so far) has been politically brilliant and has energized McCain's supporters.  I sure hope this is offset by a lot of people like me, who are now 10x more determined to do everything possible to make sure Obama wins.


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