Saturday, August 30, 2008

All True, but Irrelevant

Most blogs on the Left are examining McCain's VP pick closely, as they should. Too many fail to understand and address the actual political issue with regards to Democrats. I read recitations of Palin's conservative statements, decisions, appointments, and judicial choices from those trying to think, and character attacks on the governor from those who don't bother. This is wasted effort, because Palin's positions are not the issue.

First, let's get the obvious out of the way. Why is anyone reacting to the fact that a conservative political party's conservative presidential nominee has tapped a conservative running mate? Like, duh. This is exactly what we should have expected from the Republicans because why would they do anything else? This is what Republicans are.

The real elephant (ahem) in the middle of the room is the unacknowledged fact that the DNC and their selected candidate abused the intelligence and trust of the party base and subjected the base's preferred candidate to outrageous abuse month after month in the primaries. The blogosphere's hysterical overreaction to the Palin selection reveals the fear that their hate-filled, explicitly misogynist tactics will backfire on them and that a significant enough percentage of this disaffected base will do more than sit out the election in November, but will actively cast a protest vote.

Clinton Democrats know exactly how revolting the Republican ticket is. That's why we voted for Hillary. That's why we rejected the Obama message of bipartisanship and content-free hopey-changey. Obamacans were the ones happy to play patty-cake with these bastards and throw our economic and legal concerns into the toilet. Hillary is still out there fighting for UHC, btw, while Obama's good buddy John Kerry declares that a Democratic Congress isn't even going to try to get it in front of a Democratic president.

I'm under no illusion how damaging Palin is and I won't try to portray her as anything less than she is - a rabid cultural conservative with bad policies for everything from the environment to social justice. I've been writing and voting against these people for years. I will be at it years from now because that is the kind of Democrat I am.

I'm also under no illusion how angry and alienated millions of Democrats are over Obama's conduct in the primaries. He made political choices and took political risks when he ran that campaign, and the fact is that he may have made the wrong choice.

That is the issue, not the Republican ticket.



Skepticalwoman said...

Someone in the Republican Party is an evil genius (we knew they were evil, but the genius?...).
The Palin pick is a mirror to reflect back to us Democrats exactly why we lose.
The gush of anti-Palin posts on HuffPo and 23/6 reflects the virulence, gender bias, and arrogance "left" bloggers vomited all over Hillary Clinton during the primary, and women who didn't get on board the love train at the convention will find this eerily familiar. Howling about Palin's inexperience only throws Obama's inexperience into relief. Challenging Palin's "good government" and post-partisan credentials only reminds voters of how thin Obama's are.
Palin's VP nomination is an enticing bit of bait just waiting for Dems to articulate the weaknesses of our own candidate and his supporters. Palin is handy with a gun, but we Dems so often forget to take ours out of the holster before firing.

Anonymous said...

Left bloggers will not see the Palin problem in the way that you do. Their main concern is "PUMAs" defecting to McCain because Palin is a woman. Their solution to this problem is to highlight Palin's neoconservative record to further the argument that Clinton Democrats have no where else to go. The rationale being that anyone who voted for Clinton couldn't possibly vote for this whack job if they really knew about her record. Wrong again.

The problem is that these bloggers are no longer willing to discuss the sexism, race baiting, disenfranchisement, and elitism that was shown by their candidate and the DNC leadership. Any comment about caucus fraud or race baiting by Obama will get you kicked off of Talk Left or Taylor Marsh. These were the few places Clinton supporters could go during the primaries and now Clintons Democrats don't have anywhere else to go except to PUMA and Palin.

Since most of the blogosphere believe that the Clintons were the racists running the dirty campaign, I don't expect these issues to be discussed much less admitted to by anyone on the Left. Not that it matters much anymore. Obama's chance to make things right ended when he decided on Biden as his running mate. They also forget that many Reagan Democrats only felt at home with the Democratic Party with a Clinton in the office. Obama has not attempted to reach out to this demographic nor has he worked for their votes. The only thing I've seen from the Democratic Party is ridicule and disdain for women and the working class. Those millions of Republican women who voted for Hillary in the primaries are lost forever now. It's a shame that the Democrats threw away the opportunity to bring these people back to our party.

Unfortunately, the Left and the media whores will continue with the sexist attacks and further alienate the people that they need to win this election. I see a McCain victory in November.

Anonymous said...

I thing that the lefty blogs, they are not lefty at all, are afraid of many things. It pathetic to see the the onslaught form all blogs and facets. You clearly see the scared eyes and the circling of the wagons.

It's not only the PUMAs they are suspecting of defecting in droves to the handsome middle aged women. They see the union members in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania saying: she is one of us. They also scared that the gun owner and religious people in Ohio and Pennsylvania will say: she is one of us. They are scared that independents will buy the hockey mom as one of them.

As the post says, had Obama been a Democrat most of the angst wouldn't risen.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Skepticalwoman said: "we knew they were evil, but the genius?"

The Elephascists are geniuses at four, and only four, things:

[1] Creating propaganda.
[2] Disseminating that propaganda, or "catapulting" it, as the Chimperor himself said.
[3] Stealing elections when the propaganda just doesn't work well enough, and
[4] Looting the public treasury once the first three skills have put them in office.

Alas for our country and the rest of the world, the Elephascists are blithering idiots at everything else.

Alas again, the Whole Foods Nation wing of the Democratic Party also consists of blithering idiots when it comes to attracting moderate voters, but the WFN wing controls the nominating process, thanks largely to the McGovern-era "reforms", so the Democrats keep nominating WFN presidential candidates, and losing.

rcm said...

Wow. The liberal punditocracy once again is blinded by their disgusting sexism.
Obama is LEADING among women, but they prefer to talk about PUMA's.
Lakelobos is right on. Palin will appeal to those who recognize her genuine awareness of the issues they have to face.
The American people are the ones in the polls who are not giving either candidate 50%.
If Palin was an obvious pander to the disaffected female Hillary voters, what is (pro-war, DC insider, MBNA suckup) Joe Biden other than a pander to those blue collar low information types?
His extensive foreign policy experience no doubt informed his decision to vote for the Iraq war.
Gag me.
Palin is a brilliant choice insofar as the Democrats dismiss it as a pitch for the PUMA vote and ignore her actual more GENUINE wider appeal to those voters Biden is supposed to pick up.

yyyu said...

Perfect! If I have one more simpleton recite Palin's conservative positions at me, I'm gonna explode. Who knew the ones on our side were so politically immature and well, just plain dense.

I never have been much good at suffering fools. I see no reason to start now.

Anna Belle said...

You might use caution on claiming to know how Clinton supporters think. I do not think the Republican ticket is awful just because it is Republican. In fact, I don't think it's awful at all. Now that a real reformer and a woman is on the ticket, I plan to vote for it.

McCain is not George W. Bush, and so much propaganda and lying has been uncovered on the left this year, that I was honestly wondering if Democrats had been using their rhetoric to prevent me from seeing the truth about both parties. And I've quickly realized that's exactly the scenario.

I know how bad the BUSH admin is, and that's as far as I need to take it. I am well aware of many other corrupt Republicans, and I will act accordingly with them, but not all Republicans are evil, and the belief that they are is the result of Democratic rhetoric designed to confuse voters and prevent them from voting based reality. It also happens with the Republican base, but I have learned my lesson this year. I will never join another political base in my life. I will preserve my independence, so that I can make the best pick for me and my family.

This year that ticket is McCain/Palin, because my primary issue is getting more women access to power and my #2 issue is political reform. Democrats aren't offering me anything on those fronts this year, so I'd be foolish to vote for them just because I'd been a Democrat for 20+ years (recently re-registered Ind.). Republicans are offering me something on both of those issues. And no rhetorical Republican boogey-man can change my thinking on that.

I live in the swing-state of Indiana, so my vote will count this year too.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of suburban moms like Anna Belle all over the country and not just in swing states.

I had to interview people in Bronx, NY (where Clinton won 60% of the vote in the primary) about their reaction to Obama's historic speech at Invesco Field for a class assignment. Let me tell you, the reviews were not good. You and BTD gave better reviews than the people on the streets. One 30-something woman gave Obama a "C" because she no longer believes anything that Obama says in his speeches. She was also disappointed that he did not pick Clinton as his running mate and hasn't decided if she will vote for McCain or stay home. I came across this same disappointment many times among middle aged women as well as Hispanic men who said they would vote for Obama but had a lot of respect and admiration for Clinton.

Most of the white men I came across had no interest in even watching Obama's speech and planned to vote for McCain.

I live in one of the most liberal places in America and came across TOO MANY Democrats who were pissed off at Obama. Even if they said they would vote for him, who knows if this Palin pick will change their minds. I'm sure it will with at least a few - enough to cost Obama the election.

Obama has made so many mistakes because he and the DNC believed this election would be a cake walk. Anna Belle and the people I spoke to in the Bronx have put that belief to rest.

Anglachel said...

Anna Belle - McCain is a conservative and a loose cannon. I also think he's a sexist asshole, selection of Palin not withstanding. Mostly I don't think much of him as a legislator. His political instincts, however, are good.

I know some of some decent individual Republicans (Lincoln Chaffee comes to mind) but the party as such is a cesspool. Nomination of one chipper female candidate does not change my mind about them. The enemy of my enemy can also be my enemy. Palin is not anyone I would vote for. Other people, such as yourself, have a different take.

CPP - I would be interested to see the results of your poll.


Anna Belle said...

Thanks for the comment, peach. I do feel the need to clarify a few things.

I'm not a suburban mom; I'm a small town, working-class feminist with a metropolitan background. I teach English (secondary and post-secondary levels), and I grew up in Houston, TX and later Louisville, KY. I now live in a small town in Southern IN.

I am also an amateur women's historian with a decidedly feminist bent to my thinking. And I have long been a democratic political activist, participating in every election as a volunteer since 1992. I've contributed to Democratic campaigns and organizations for years. THAT'S what Democrats have lost with me--way more than just my vote. They've also lost my time, my money, and my deep base of knowledge. They have also lost my advocacy for them on the blog I run, Peacocks and Lilies.

But you are right about the rest--I'm not alone. This election is the strangest election I have personally ever witnessed, and I never expected to view Democrats the way that I now do, or Republicans for that matter. Had Democrats not jacked with the elective system, I might have been content to go along with them this year. But I can't stomach two things: political corruption and sexism, and Democrats have given me the former for at least 2 years now (more if you want to know), and the latter they have displayed this year more vociferously than I have ever seen Republicans display it. They have no one to blame but themselves, you and Anglachel are both correct there.

Anna Belle said...

Thanks for your comment, too, Anglachel, but I disagree with your assessment of McCain. He may be sexist in words, but, as I understand it, he employs more women in positions of power in his Senate staff and campaign staff than Obama does. He also pays them more money.

At a certain point, I had to ask myself if actions really did speak louder than words. They do to me.

I'm not making this decision with blinders on. I know I'm taking a bet. But I'd be taking a bigger bet with Obama--betting that his words speak more to me than his actions. I just don't roll that way, I'm sorry.

That said, I do respect other people's choices. And there are a lot of choices this year, including Cynthia McKinney, who I had originally planned to vote for, based on McCain's VP pick. I couldn't cast a vote for someone who only offered neocon or evangelical credentials, as I see those factions as destructive. But they are factions, and they can be minimized with the right ticket.

One of the big reasons I've chosen McCain is that I see a real possibility to reform the Republican Party this year, which is an opportunity I never saw coming. Again, it's a bet, but I'm big on taking risks to affect real change. Not taking risks has actually been one of my main criticisms of the Democratic every time another Kerry-style Democrat loses.

orionATL said...

anna belle -

i found your comments interesting and well-expressed.

certainly for me this is a very strange presidential election year, the strangest in my life.

i will not vote for mccain, palin or no, but it will not surprise me, or particularly distress me, if many others do.

personally, i have a conflict between two issues:

- i feel the dem party needs to be disciplined for its conduct this nomination year and only losing will provide that discipline.

- i do not consider modern republicans anything other than political rogues and charlatans - there is no vandenburg, no jacob javitz, no john heinz, no lowell, wickert, no william cohen, no lincoln chafee.

as for the democratic party, for the first time in my life i look at it as an outsider.

i look at it like i looked at my grandparents house when i went back to "take a look" years after they had died.

as a child, that house and its yard seemed large. the neighborhood had paths thru pine trees and long quiet streets to walk or ride a bike in.

returning as an adult, the house seemed tiny and shabbily, the yard a postage stamp with a couple of cabbage palms, and those streets seemed almost too short to bother driving down.

dragoneyes said...

When there is no honorable choice, another basis must be selected. For me that leaves voting strategically.

I have been in independent voter since the 80's when I left the Democratic party but even so always voting Dem except for Bill Weld ('cause Silber was a total creep).

I have watched the Democratic Party become, for the most part, a bunch of issue driven windbags and conciliators who are happily joining in on the looting of the government that the Republicans started. I have watched them become Republican-lite. The Dems use every bit as much propaganda as the Repubs and Ivory Bills list of 4 items applies to the Dems (as a whole) as well.

This Bill Moyer interview with Andrew Bacevich makes some excellent points regarding this

One thing to note in that interview is the fact that the conservative Bacevich voted for every Dem he could in 2006 because he was so upset at his own party. I have observed that people that used to call themselves Republicans are now tending to refer to themselves as conservatives because they are embarrassed and angry at their own party.

What many PUMAs and other disaffected Dems are doing is exactly the same thing. Rejecting their party's behavior, finding other "labels" to identify with, and voting for the "enemy", but with a purpose. This is normal voter behavior, often done to give a message and force their party to "reform" in some way.

The enthusiasm for Palin has alot to do with her stance as a reformer and her ability to fight corruption and stand up to the good old boy network in Alaska. And Alaska is a very male-dominated place so she must be good fighter. Many Republicans want her to do the same for their party. The Republican "brand" has been severely damaged by Bush & Co and many see Palin as a step towards redemption (in more ways than one). This obviously appeals to Dems and Indies too.

From my point of view, this year is not a year to vote on social and cultural wedge issues. I want to vote for "change" so I'm going to take a risk, roll the dice, and vote McCain-Palin. Despite my sharing, in theory, many of the noble ideals of the the Democratic Party, that party has done NOTHING to earn my vote and everything to turn me against them. I'm no longer voting for ideals, I'm voting for actions.