Saturday, August 30, 2008

More Palin

The more one thinks about it, the more astonishing it becomes. No, actually, CYNICAL is the true word that comes to mind.

If you think McCain did this out of principle, well, I have property in the Everglades to sell you. Prior to last week, he'd met her... ONCE!

Look, despite some creationist tendencies and anti-climate change views (not to mention I'm a liberal, she's a conservative), I'm not dis-inclined toward her as a person, like I was Romney. In fact, if the Obama-Biden ticket wins and Dems. overreach (inevitable), I could, if only out of protest or as a corrective, see myself considering voting for her... in 8 yrs.

Which is why Gov. Palin should also be concerned. In time, she could become an important conservative voice and a national force to be reckoned with. Right now, she is a TOKEN, greatly diminishing her current and future stature.

But it MIGHT WORK, folks! Early polling suggests the effect it will have on women is not all that significant. Men seem to like it though. Being an NRA member, hunter, former high school athlete helps here. In time, her personal story COULD resonate with more women. And if she doesn't make a huge mistake (BIG "If"), well it could work. And if it does...

If it does, the Democratic Party won't see power for an entire generation. If McCain serves 2 terms, and does reasonably well, Sarah Palin will be 52. But she'll also have 8 yrs. as VP, eliminating "readiness" worries, the perfect combination of youth (52 is still young) and experience. Think the Dems. could defeat that? Me either.

So this is it. Obama really needs to win this. Otherwise...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin: High Risk, High Reward


Surely, it must suggest that the McCain folks think they're in trouble, recent polling aside. It is an enormous gamble and reach, and after reading Sully all day (seriously, too much good stuff to link to), utterly unserious in terms of governance. THIS is precious. Deep thoughts on foreign policy.


More political thoughts (some not so good for Dems.) tomorrow.

The acceptance speech

More or less, I agree with Sullivan's take. What we saw was a serious man, ready to lead the nation, and, FINALLY, unashamed of his liberalism.

Most conservatives (other than Pat Buchanan, who gushed over it last night, and Bill Kristol.) panned it, but that's the thing. Obama has been trying, throughout the campaign, to utterly reframe the purpose and reasoning behind liberalism, turning it into a very patriotic, American ideal. If last night did not prove it, nothing will.

Was it his best ever? No, but it was very good and watched by 38,000,00 on TV.

Oh, and the set worked just fine.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On Columns and Other Reflections

On the Greek Temple thing, Ben Smith helpfully reminds us that the Bush '04 set also had columns. I admit my premature freakout.

Awhile back, I posted THIS George Packer essay on what he hoped was the fall of modern American Conservatism. These lines struck me:

Yet the polarization of America, which we now call the “culture wars,” has been dissipating for a long time. Because we can’t anticipate what ideas and language will dominate the next cycle of American politics, the previous era’s key words—“√©lite,” “mainstream,” “real,” “values,” “patriotic,” “snob,” “liberal”—seem as potent as ever. Indeed, they have shown up in the current campaign: North Carolina and Mississippi Republicans have produced ads linking local Democrats to Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s controversial former pastor. The right-wing group Citizens United has said that it will run ads portraying Obama as yet another “limousine liberal.” But these are the spasms of nerve endings in an organism that’s brain-dead.
But are ALL the nerve endings dead? John McCain has been determined to prove Packer wrong.

To be fair, his ad tonight IS all class:

That said, he's run a post-Nixon conservative campaign: define your opponent as someone you cannot trust and who's "not like you and me." To an extent, it's worked.

All of which makes me ponder if this is another case of pundits declaring the "end of an era" prematurely. They no doubt declared Goldwater conservatism stillborn in '64. We now know it wasn't. Let's just wait folks.

Finally, Day 3 in Denver was MUCH better. Sen. Obama speaks in 2 hrs.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Focus, people!

Interesting piece the other day by Joe Klein on a Frank Luntz focus group.

I think he misinterprets one thing, though: the "'Change' is over" meme. See, what we're missing is the legacy of McCain 2000. Despite the fact that he's reverted to a Bush '04-like campaign, with similar policies (on steroids?) and campaign methods.

BUTTTTT, the goodwill McCain built up 8 yrs. ago is helping. Many are convinced, whether we choose Obama or McCain, that we'll GET CHANGE. Now, it's a matter of degree and, crucially, what type we're most comfortable. Of course, if Obama can erode McCain's "Maverick" image...

Also from Klein: (And as for McCain's Paris/Britney ad--the key wasn't the charge that Obama was a celebrity, but the sight of him speaking to that vast crowd in Germany, which at least one member of the focus group compared to a Nazi rally.)

Gee, didn't see that coming. Oh, wait...

Well, at least the Obama folks have learned from it. Oh, OOOOOOOOPS! Ya know, I'll wait and see how it actually turns out, but Jeebus, it looks way too grandiose right now. It reinforces the McCain meme and isn't needed.