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  • Palin and the Left’s Status-Anxiety

    Posted by Shannon Love on September 10th, 2010 (All posts by )

    The left’s obsession with Sarah Palin is one of the most interesting political and social phenomena of our time. The degree and volume of venom directed at her staggers the imagination. It is unprecedented in recent times especially for someone who does not currently hold office.

    This comment on a Hit and Run thread, provides a common example:

    You jest, but on my drive home last night I listened to a couple of NPR disembodied voices opining as to how Sara Palin was different, even in today’s polarized political environment, because she demonizes the opposition. The irony was particularly palpable because the “round table” discussion about how evil Sara Palin is was the lead-in to an interview with the author of a “behind the scenes” expose book about Sara Palin that promises to expose her as the evil, manipulative monster that she really is and was immediately preceded by a blurb that the creepy reporter who moved in next door to the Palin family to spy on them had moved out.
     
    The callers were able to restore some balance, however. The first caller they put on wanted to know why the press hadn’t fully investigated Palin (which the panel agreed was singular to Palin and no other politicians escape such scrutiny). The same caller proceeded to point out that she never believed the story about the birth of Trig, the down’s syndrome baby, and wondered why the media never fully investigated that. When the “balanced” round table gave a perfunctory acceptance of the premise rather than denouncing her “birther” views, I gave up and changed the channel.

    Leftists try to rationalize the hatred by claiming that Palin is an extremist, but that is easily disproved by comparing where she stands on various issues versus how many Americans hold the same views. Moreover, if she truly were an extremist, she wouldn’t be a threat because she would have no electoral base.

    No, the best explanation for the left’s bizarre Palin obsession is status-anxiety. Status-anxiety occurs when a person believes that their position in a real or imagined social hierarchy is threatened. Leftists react emotionally to Palin because of the threat she poses to their own individual sense of status. All their other arguments are just put forth to rationalize that emotional reaction.

    In short, it is not the ideas she puts forth, its that someone like her is significant at all.

    Status-anxiety occurs most strongly when a group has no meritorious claims to its social position. The classic example would be the pre-WWII European aristocrats who inherited their wealth and position, and who therefore had no right to status in an industrial society other than from cultural inertia. Closer to home, the most vicious white racists were poor and working-class whites who knew full well that only racism kept them from being on society’s bottom status tier. As long as all non-whites were judged inferior to any white person, a poor white person still had some status. They bitterly resisted losing what little status they still had.

    Leftism at its heart holds that a small percentage of humans have a vastly superior understanding of everything compared to ordinary people. The point of leftism is to empower these superior individuals to impose their superior understanding upon society by the force of the state. Leftists must be viewed by themselves and others as superior human beings if they are to have a claim to power and status.

    It might seem that leftist elites would have little concern for a loss of status, but in the last 40 years society and political culture have changed a lot. Prior to the ’60s, the left could point to the real and imagined successes of the technocratic progressive era to justify their status. They could claim that they saved the country from the Great Depression, fought WWII and contributed to the post-war prosperity. America’s great cities were peaceful and prosperous under the benign rule of Democratic party machines. People voted with their feet, migrating from what we call today red areas to leftwing blue areas.

    Times changed, but the left remained not only stuck in the ’50s but moved even farther left by mimicking the European left. After the ’60s, the left had few successes to point to. The Great Society failed, the ’70s were an overall train wreck and the once great Democratic cities of the Northeast collapsed. People voted with their feet again but this time migrating from blue areas to red areas. In this process the left lost its meritorious claim to status.

    Since they have few meritorious indicators of a personal and group claim to status remaining, leftists are forced to fall back on the same standards employed by the European upper classes. They try to restrict status not by merit but by conformity to their own life pattern. They demand that people go to the right elitist schools. They demand that people live in certain communities. They demand that people have the right recreational interests. They demand that people enjoy uniform kinds of art and music. They demand that people have the proper modes of speech, accent and allusion. They demand that people have the right religious beliefs. And so on.

    On this basis Palin is a nightmare: She went to a state college. She lives in the “backwoods”. She likes hunting, fishing and sports. She likes country music and representational art. She doesn’t have the right accent. She doesn’t dress appropriately. She’s a Pentecostal instead of atheist, Unitarian, Episcopalian, etc.

    Palin’s success stabs them in the heart of their anxiety. If Palin can be a successful political leader, what does that say about the leftists’ claims of intellectual and moral superiority? If people don’t just instantly assume that leftists are smarter and better than everyone else, why would people trust a leftist government to make so many decisions about the people’s live, e.g., medical care?

    That is why leftists see Palin as a genuine and significant threat of unusual magnitude. In the emotional thinking of leftists, she is a personal threat to everything each individual leftist has attained in life. They feel a sincere, visceral sense of danger about her because she attacks the very core of their egos. They feel the same hatred towards Palin that the European upper classes felt towards the upstart middle-class. They feel the same hatred that poor whites felt towards non-whites. They feel that way for the same reasons. If she succeeds, worse, if she is right, then they become nobodies.

    As long as she is viewed as a significant political figure, the left’s obsession with Palin will never wane because it does not spring from rational roots. She threatens something too deep and too profound in a political subculture built around the belief that a small percentage of human beings have a vastly superior understanding of the world compared to all the rest.

    [Update: I have expanded on leftists' elitism by taking the commenter Mauro below as representing a typical leftists. See Fisking Mauro Part 1: Rising Above One's Station]

    [Update: Here I examine the leftists elitist belief that they make better decisions than ordinary people. See Palin Dumb? History say "Nope!"]

     

    240 Responses to “Palin and the Left’s Status-Anxiety”

    1. Joseph Somsel Says:

      There is so much about the individual Left/Liberal’s attitudes and behaviors that are just “High School” but by supposed adults.

      Status anxiety is one. Football team captains and cheerleaders have some status in high school but the ones that “grow up” to be liberals tend to be the outsiders and the marginal strivers.

      “In-group” behavior is another. Read Codevilla’s “The Ruling Class” for a more detailed look.

      Living off Big Daddy’s (or Uncle Sugar’s) credit cards is another typical behavior.

      Wish more of them would just grow up!

    2. Lexington Green Says:

      A good reality check is Gov. Palin’s periodic Facebook mini-editorials. They are absolutely reasonable, mainstream conservative, and usually positive and affirmative in tone.

      The actual human being and the actual human being’s words and actions are detached from the fantasy monster that her enemies spend so much time attacking.

      Of course, most conservative pundits treat her with condescension as well.

      They have a stake in the same status games.

    3. Shannon Love Says:

      Lexington Green,

      Of course, most conservative pundits treat her with condescension as well. They have a stake in the same status games.

      That is true. I think we are seeing more of a generic middle-class insurgency against an integral political class than a left-right divide.

    4. Dave Moelling Says:

      I was in Windsor Ontario in 2008 doing some work at a powerstation and I was talking to the lead operator in the control room. He was English and had emigrated to Canada a few years before. The Canadians were having an election at the time, but all he wanted to talk about was Sarah Palin. The operators and mechanics loved her. They said they needed someone like that in Canada to represent THEM. What they meant was someone from a non-elite background who was one of them. Sarah fits the bill. This is what the left fears. The idea that their pseudo hereditary claim to power and influence can be simply ignored knocks the legs out from underthem.

    5. Frank A. Says:

      I have known this ever since high school, when the supposedly enlightened liberal-thinking classmates of mine would shout over opposing viewpoints, resort to crude name-calling and various other sophomoric tactics rather than posit any cogent argument for their silly opinions. I saw right through the Great Society Mr. Johnson worked so hard to implement fifty years ago. He may have had the best of intentions, but Messrs. Whitten, Boggs, Eastland and the rest of those southern Democrats made the law work to their desires. Welfare laws that seemed so compassionate toward poor black families decreed benefits would only be paid if the husband/father part of the family were not to be found. Voilá! – the beginning of the end of traditional families in the black community. Free or subsidized housing? – You bet – but not where civilized folk can see y’all, no sirree. We’ll put that housing complex outta sight, right over here where the rest of us don’t have to see y’all. How do y’all like that privacy? Good!

      It’s not just coincidence that the only people who insist on compartmentalizing our society into small subsets are the leftists, in the guise of noting achievements by the subsets. What’s so extremist about expecting someone to work for what they get and to keep what they earn in life? Nothing, unless you’re one of the leftists. Then, most of society can work for what they get, minus what the leftists feel is someone else’s fair share. (I still want to know who’s deciding just what is a “fair share.”) Ask the obvious question: If everyone worked for what they got, why would anyone need anything be given to them? – and you are branded a racist or whatever designer insult is in this week. Mind you, you’ll never get an answer to your question.

      More hoopla was made in 2007 and 2008 about Mr. Obama’s skin color than about his politics – which, now that we’ve seen what his politics really are, was probably a good thing. Who was making all the fuss? The leftists, of course. I don’t recall any conservatives mentioning his skin color, just mentioning the man’s appalling political views for anyone who would listen. However, this somehow became racism on the part of the conservatives while Chris Matthews and that ilk called conservatives every name they could think of and that was considered mainstream opinion. Go figure.

      The way I figure, if blacks can call a half-black man (Mr. Obama) black, whites can call a half-white man (Mr. Obama) white and criticize his white behind ’til the sun don’t shine. Logical? Eminently so. Watch the the leftists go postal, if this commentary gets some circulation!

    6. Lexington Green Says:

      ” … a generic middle-class insurgency … ”

      Yes.

      I am proud to be a generic, middle-class American.

      It is the greatest civilization that has ever come along.

      It shows no sign of acquiescing quietly in its own extinction, either.

      Victory to the Insurgency!

    7. Lurker Says:

      Why was Skynet so intent on killing John Connor?

      That’s why the left has to destroy Sarah Palin before she becomes an UNSTOPPABLE force that inspires millions from all demographics especially women…

      They just want her GONE!

    8. Helian Says:

      Palin’s appearance on the scene began a wonderful experiment in the behavior of the human primate. The moment her candidacy was announced, she was perceived as a threat by an in-group that defines itself with ideological dogmas, and that includes most of the legacy media. There was a furious, spontaneous emotional response, utterly predictable for anyone who’s read the works of thinkers like Konrad Lorenz and Robert Ardrey. I’ve been around for a long time, and I’ve never seen anything close to the viciousness and intensity of the attacks on her in the first week of her candidacy, and that by a media that still had the gall to call itself “objective.” The experiment continues. A woman whose ideas are completely mainstream and who seems a completely normal human being, albeit in a very abnormal situation, to anyone who’s grown up in the American middle class outside the Beltway, continues to be villified as if she were the devil incarnate. It’s entirely irrational and entirely characteristic of the species.

    9. Michael Kennedy Says:

      I think this is an excellent analysis yet I disagree on one level. The people we see, for the most part, on the political left are not the aristocrats or the idle rich. They are those who emulate them in order to confuse themselves with the rich and upper class. Rafiel Sabatini, in his wonderful novel on the French Revolution, “Scaramouche,” makes a statement that seems to appropriate. He says the the Bourgeoisie supported the early stages of the Revolution in order to achieve an equality, that is an upward equality that would confuse them with the Aristocracy.

      The true aristocratic rich, like Averill Harriman, for example, who had real accomplishments in addition to his inherited wealth, is no longer the model. What we see are people like Ted Kennedy who was a wastrel and cheater, John Kerry, who married money, and George Soros whose story is so nauseating, I hesitate to characterize it.

      The academic left is not the aristocracy. They are the heirs of Robespierre who cut down anyone who surpassed his accomplishments. Sarah Palin is a threat because she seems to accomplish so much without any of the accoutrements of the academic left nor does she seem to want to imitate them.

    10. Shannon Love Says:

      Michael Kennedy,

      I don’t think that contemporary leftists are literally aristocrats or that they really seek to emulate them. They just mindlessly following an impulse to obtain high status that exist in all humans.

      I don’t even think it is important for most leftists that they personally have a visibly high status. I think they are enough happy to ego identify with those that do much like people identify with the dominance of the local sports team. As long as they see people like them having high status they are content.

    11. Everett Hamilton Says:

      Good analysis. This medium is what gave all of middle America an opportunity to realize that the majority of us are level headed adults, but we weren’t allowed to see this from someone in a leadership position. The MSM and the political parties weeded out anyone outside their “groupthink” crowd. John McCain may go down as the “Maverick” he likes to portray himself as. Whether by design or accident, he propelled a lady with common sense on the stage at a time in our history when we desparately needed it.

    12. sol vason Says:

      BRILLIANT ANALYSIS. You explain why so many leftist arguments are so difficult to understand.

    13. David Foster Says:

      Entirely correct, Shannon. I think Palin is especially a threat to people who drank the academic kool-aid, got a squishy-soft advanced degree of some kind, and are now very disappointed in their careers and prospects. (Adjunct professor if they’re lucky; Starbucks barrista if they’re not.) Their degree and the memory of their college experience is an ego lifeline to them, much in the way that a family pedigree might be to an impoverished aristocrat. The success of someone like Palin could knock out the remaining props from their self-esteem.

    14. Sgt. Mom Says:

      I’ve also been absolutely blown away by the full-throated rage against Sarah Palin, which started up about a week and a half after being nominated for the VP slot, and which seemed to come from absolutely nowhere. The comments in certain stories in Open Salon – which isn’t even the worst of the deranged leftist sites – are just appalling. There is at once and in the same place this conviction that she is absolutely malign, incompetent and as dumb as a post, and this is accepted as a given. There’s no arguing with these people, they are absolutely convinced that she is Jezebel incarnate.
      Shannon’s explanation certainly makes sense to me.

    15. Ozwitch Says:

      Wow, talk about an eye opener of an article.

      The Left have always wanted what the Right has, in terms of status and currency. Failing to totally appropriate that, they have invented a new currency – morality, via which they hope to stand supreme on top of the societal heap.

      I Care more about child poverty than you. I care more about the planet. I care more about disease and trees’ rights than you do. I am Superior, and you shall grovel to me, you who drive a Gus gazzler instead of a bike, and don’t weep every day for the suffering of the polar bear.

      What this depends on is that everyone else then desires the moral elitism they supposedly possess, so they stay elite. When someone like Palin comes along, who not only has the nerve to not desire their phony morality, and exist quite happily without it, but also becomes Popular BECAUSE of this, then their entire system collapses. Her sin is not only existence, but popularity. People admire her status, and want to be like her. If she continues to exist and challenge the Left’s raison d’être then she is evil and must be destroyed at any cost.

      Survival of the tribe. Win at any cost.

    16. ozwitch Says:

      erm, that should be ‘gas guzzler’.

    17. Paul Milenkovic Says:

      Um, people, is this a case that someone whom the Liberals demonize therefore must be our leader?

      In my opinion, Sarah Palin is our Barack Obama, inspiring the the base, anathema to the opposition, but when it comes down to it, not really the sharpest knife in the drawer. For sharper knives, people who can think on their feet when faced with hostile interviewers, I think we need to be looking to people like Tim Pawlenty or perhaps Chris Christie.

      I mean it. Barack Obama is inspirational (to a narrower audience, I guess, these days), but he just isn’t that savy — whether it is youthful inexperience or just plain lack of mental horsepower. Going with Sarah Palin is making the same mistake.

      When the Palin VP choice was announced, I thought it was a great pick, especially because, in my opinion, the economic collapse was being driven by the $140/barrel oil price stemming from the Russia-Georgia war, and Ms Palin’s expertise is in the political side of making sure “everyone wins” to develop domestic energy. Drill here, drill now.

      The “Oh, the humanity!” opposition to Sarah Palin makes the Left a bunch of dummies themselves — think Ol’ Joe Biden, or as I have argued, the President himself.

      But our nation is in enough trouble that someone as smart as Mr. Obama is not good enough, we need someone much, much smarter and Ms. Palin isn’t it.

    18. Paul Milenkovic Says:

      Oh, and one more thing.

      Mr. Obama can go out and inspire a favorable audience (that is, if he can get enough people these days into the hall), but I don’t think he can last two minutes with a reporter in an interview situation getting “tough” instead of “airball” questions. So much as Sarah Palin did badly in interview, and in my opinion, would still do badly in interviews, I don’t think the President would hold up in a serious political interview either.

      In fact, didn’t someone do such an interview a while back and then apologize for interrupting to hold the President to answering the questions? The President didn’t come out that well in that one. Come to think of it, didn’t the President go on a press conference year-long sabbatical after the Cambridge Police and Beer Summit flap?

      As I am saying, if you have an inpenetrable front line, a pair of star running backs, and mind-reading receivers, you could put anyone in as quarterback. But on the conservative side, we don’t have that so we really need star quality, or at least someone on our side much better than Mr. Obama, and Sarah Palin is about at the same level.

    19. onparkstreet Says:

      I was very interested in Sarah Palin as a presidential candidate before she resigned as Governor of Alaska. After that, not so much.

      However, she’s good at framing issues and energizing the base and we need lots of different kinds of people involved if we are to be successful in paring back the reach of the state into people’s lives.

      The reaction toward her from different quarters is interesting. In particular, the snide attitudes toward her from progressive “feminist” males. Curious that behavior. Hillary Clinton came in for some of it too. Some of it reminds me of classic male bullying toward women who are either too attractive, or not attractive enough. (By classic male bullying, I don’t mean to indict all men. Certainly not. Women bully plenty too.)

      - Madhu

    20. onparkstreet Says:

      Okay, that came out much bi*chier than I intented. I don’t think either woman is unattractive (certainly not Sarah Palin!) I meant that for all the supposed sensitivity, some progressive males say appalling things about women.

      - Madhu

    21. Michael Kennedy Says:

      In my opinion, Sarah Palin is our Barack Obama, inspiring the the base, anathema to the opposition, but when it comes down to it, not really the sharpest knife in the drawer. For sharper knives, people who can think on their feet when faced with hostile interviewers, I think we need to be looking to people like Tim Pawlenty or perhaps Chris Christie.

      I don’t know enough about where she is right now to agree or disagree. Shannon, I think the academic left really see themselves as aristocrats of the new aristocracy of education, thought and sophistication, especially the latter. With Sarah Palin, if she wants to be president. and I’m not yet sure that it is what she wants, she needs a private brain trust of the sort Margaret Thatcher created to round out her education.

      Many people who are younger than I am, do not recall the hatred directed at Ronald Reagan. It’s not just that he was “an amiable dunce” but that he was evil incarnate. This pathology of the left goes back to Nixon, who was not at all evil and who was far too sensitive about what was said about him by people he considered elites. I would recommend Conrad Black’s biography of Nixon, the only one I know if that is worth reading.

      We don’t know how Pailn would have done had she not been so incredibly mishandled by McCain’s staff, especially by Nicole Wallace who spends far too much time on TV sponsored by right leaning people who seem to think her opinion is of value.

    22. onparkstreet Says:

      MK: You’re right about the vitriol thrown at Ronald Reagan (and Margaret Thatcher.) A lot of young people don’t know how disliked they were by academics and artists and how the anti-war protests of the past decade paralleled those in Europe during the 80s. None of this is really new.

      - Madhu

    23. foxmarks Says:

      The other week, a new CNN host (Rick Sanchez?) insisted on describing Palin as “former half-term Governor”. That particular phrasing was new to me. Have any of y’all noticed it getting much use in the Big Media?

      Paul Milenkovic, have you seen very many Palin interviews? Yes, the famous Couric one went badly (although I would love to see all the unedited footage). But there are others where she displays some mental agility. Her linguistic ability would make W. proud, though. And as I have found with nearly all politicians, when you get them talking about stuff outside of politics, they show genuine humanity and at least and average ability to explain and connect.

      I am also not sure who you think is holding her up as their leader. Some Tea Partiers, perhaps. But she is more like a spokesperson for them than a leader. As Lex points out, when she opines on a political issue, she’s mainstream conservative. You would have a tough time defending an assertion that she’s the leader of conservativism.

      And those generic middle-class Americans are tired of smart people. Or at least smart-sounding ones. But if IQ is important, what evidence do we have that Obama is any better than one deviation above average? A third of the population is smarter than him. There’s a huge pool to draw from.

      “Victory to the Insurgency!”

      Just don’t call it war… ;-)

    24. phil Says:

      You’re overthinking this. Leftists will instinctually seek to cut off the head of anyone who stands up to oppose them.

      The thing though that stands out for me in this post and comments is how conservatives really don’t understand the left. The explanations are all things that conservatives like to say to each other and it makes them feel good to say these things, but they aren’t necessarily true.

      I would like to see conservatives exhibit some knowledge of the history of their own ideology and some self-awareness of their beliefs. For example, you say: “On this basis Palin is a nightmare: She went to a state college.” And this is said at a blog called “Chicago Boyz,” a blog whose identity is all about elitism, all about an association to an elite institution of higher education. This isn’t “Southern Illinois Boyz.” If you went to the University of Chicago and you are a lawyer or an academic you don’t get to portray yourself as some kind of “man of the people.” I’ve spent a lot of time arguing with my liberal friends who talk about “working people” and yet who go to work each day in some office trying to get them to realize that using the term is not the same thing as living the life. But now I’m finding the same problem among conservatives.

      Everything you say here about the left could be said about conservatism:

      “Leftism at its heart holds that a small percentage of humans have a vastly superior understanding of everything compared to ordinary people. The point of leftism is to empower these superior individuals to impose their superior understanding upon society by the force of the state. Leftists must be viewed by themselves and others as superior human beings if they are to have a claim to power and status.

      “They try to restrict status not by merit but by conformity to their own life pattern. They demand that people go to the right elitist schools. They demand that people live in certain communities. They demand that people have the right recreational interests. They demand that people enjoy uniform kinds of art and music. They demand that people have the proper modes of speech, accent and allusion. They demand that people have the right religious beliefs. And so on.”

      That is conservatism. I wish people would wake up and realize that conservatism has more in common with leftism than the liberal republicanism that is what the American Experiment is all about.

      Conservatism is not about the demos, it is an elitist ideology that played no part in American culture until the 1950s when a fringe group of intellectuals organized to import it into America.

      “but the left remained not only stuck in the ’50s but moved even farther left by mimicking the European left.”

      Again the same thing could be said of conservatism: a small group of intellectuals mimicking European conservatives and stuck in the intellectual and cultural template of the 1950s.

      If Sarah Palin looked like Madeleine Albright she’d be irrelevant. I don’t want Palin to be president but I’m glad she’s out there. We have so few national political figures who are in any way interesting. What should be troubling for conservatives is that since American conservatism’s invention in the 1950s only two nationally appealing conservative political figures have emerged: Reagan and Palin. Reagan was a self-made man, not a product of conservatism and Palin was an accident of whoever in the McCain campaign decided she was “the one.” Conservatism as a movement has not produced anyone of significance. Let’s not try to make Palin into something she is not.

    25. foxmarks Says:

      Vitriol and accusations of bumpkinhood are nothing new for Republican Presidents.

      it often comes as a shock to modern observers to discover how widely reviled Lincoln was during his own lifetime. Not only Europeans and Southerners, but many in the North as well, frequently dismissed him as a mere backwoods bumpkin, a bemused incompetent, or a cynical opportunist. Some American cartoons of the war years present Lincoln as arrogant and heartless, as a scheming would-be dictator — and even as the Devil incarnate.

      The stovepipe hat was to hide his horns, I guess.

    26. onparkstreet Says:

      If you went to the University of Chicago and you are a lawyer or an academic you don’t get to portray yourself as some kind of “man of the people.”

      Huh? Shannon Love can speak for himself, but the whole point is that elitism is not about where you went to school, necessarily, but the set of ideas that you hold.

      And my BS was from Iowa State. And I was a member of the left most of my life. I think I understand it pretty well.

      - Madhu

    27. onparkstreet Says:

      Okay, not sure why I went into the whole Iowa State thing. Sorry, Phil. Academia interests me in lots and lots of different ways. I remember thinking, back when I was a member of the left, that Republicans and conservatives were not so much uncouth, as simply unenlightened. They didn’t know all the wonderful things that I did.

      But I suppose that is true for some on the right as well. Don’t know where I am going with this.

      - Madhu

    28. Everett Hamilton Says:

      Ozwitch, I don’t see a lot of difference in the Left who try to appropriate respect than the clowns in high school who set themselves up as the “in crowd” and attempted to bully other students into accepting them as the leaders. We can all close our eyes and name them from those days. Sarah Palin, whether she is Presidential material or not is to be determined, has good naturedly shown these pretenders to be “The Wizards of Oz” that they have always been. For that alone she deserves to be applauded.

    29. Everett Hamilton Says:

      Phil, the conservatism you speak of is from the Buckley school of the 1950′s. It was an intellectual construct based on a European model and admired in a small intellectual elite on the eastern seaboard. Goldwater picked up a totally different strain and that was carried over by Reagan. Palin seems to fit in the Goldwater/Reagan mold. Palin instinctively seems to understand that government is the problem and needs to be pared down to appropriate size.

    30. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Phil, I disagree. I think the conservatism we are discussing is two things. One, it is the philosophy of Adam Smith who recognized that free men acting in their own interest will produce the most efficient economic system. Second, there was a movement begun by a few philosophers and promoted by William F Buckley who was trying to reverse a statist trend that began with Hoover (not Roosevelt, by the way) and which was leading by the 1950s to economic stagnation in spite of the incredible advantages this country had after World War II.

      Harding and Coolidge ended a deep depression in 1923 by applying the basic concepts of Adam Smith. They called it a “return to normalcy.” They didn’t refer to it as “conservatism” because it was common sense. It took the progressive Hoover to wreck the economy in a steep recession less severe than the one that followed World War I.

    31. TeeJaw Says:

      If the things the left says about Sarah Palin were true they wouldn’t be paying any attention to her. We always know who the left actually fears, and who they don’t fear, because they tell us. Some on the right who didn’t really like John McCain believed he would be the best candidate to beat Hillary, and when it was clear that Obama was going to be the one to beat they believed John McCain was the right one also. But the left never feared McCain and never believed he could win. That’s why they crossed over and voted for him in open primaries.

      The right wanted McCain because they thought he could beat Obama. The left wanted McCain because they knew he could not beat Obama.

      Palin strikes fear into their hearts. They know she can be effective on the right. They demonize her to try to convince the right to dump her. It won’t work this time, but it could have. It’s worked so many times in the past. Until this year it was possible to describe left as cunning and dangerous and the right as gullible and stupid. But the right sees through the demonization strategy this time, at least most do. The right is not willingly playing Charlie Brown to the left’s Lucy with the football this time.

      Oh, there are still a few on the right who have fallen for it (e.g., David Frum, David Brooks, Sen. John Cornyn, etc.) and worry that Palin may be hurting the conservative cause. Thankfully, they are few and no one is listening to them.

      I wondered if the right would ever realize that the left does not want them to win elections, so the left’s advice should not be heeded. Finally, that day has come.

    32. Lexington Green Says:

      I went to U of C, but I did badly.

      2.9 overall GPA. That number is forever, forever, forever …

      Not that I am fixated on it or anything.

      So, I do too get to call myself a man of the people.

    33. Jonathan Says:

      For a mediocrity Palin does a pretty good job of running a presidential campaign and dominating national controversies from a Facebook page. She seems to do well in hostile environments. I think she might be a good president, as would several other conservatives, Mitch Daniels in particular.

      Few people outside of Alaska, except libertarian fanboys, cared much about Palin before McCain picked her. The left demonized/demonizes her because she is a political threat, as they will demonize any non-leftist who is a political threat. Look at how Dick Cheney was gradually transformed in the media from avuncular wonk to war-mongering Rasputin. If you think that by selecting a conservative candidate with an inoffensive personal style and coastal mannerisms we can insulate conservatives from demonization you are kidding yourselves.

    34. Anonymous Says:

      A brilliant and important article. As many have commented the left will let you know who they are most afraid of. And exactly who are they most afraid of? Not Mitt Romney, not Tim Pawlenty. Not Mike Huckabee. Not even Chris Christie who has yet to prove he is not another RINO.

      They will throw everything including the proverbial sink at Governor Palin hoping something will stick. Two of those memes crop up here.

      Palin the quitter. If any person, any woman, has proved she is not a quitter it is Governor Palin. Do you know of anyone who has undergone such a feverish, incessant and malevolent attack? Getting out from underneath the legal pileup called the Alaska Governorship freed her for further action (and what a lot of action it has proved to be) and was good for Alaska a state she loves. Meanwhile, the quitter just finished applying the coup de grace to the Murkowski political machine in Alaska, a multiyear project. She could still be a prisoner in the governor’s office, mired in nuisance lawsuit after nuisance lawsuit. Instead the battleship Palin is afloat on the political sea firing one salvo after another to great effect. Her position, on so many levels, is incomparably better than it was just a short year ago.

      Which leads to the second meme we find here, the dumb Palin meme. Read the above paragraph. By itself it proves what a gifted tactical and strategic thinker she is proving to be. After two years of unprecedented attacks that would have destroyed most people she emerges unbowed but also stronger on almost every level. She is now taking on the national GOP machine and winning – no small task. She is changing the face of national male dominated GOP to a more moma grizzly friendly image. She is setting the groundwork for those fearful of a Second Shoah to find a home in the GOP. She has resisted any third party sirens, a smart strategic move. She has an unmatched media presence underway, Palin TV, C4P, Palin Facebook, Palin Twitter, the Palin publishing juggernaut. She has SarahPac and SarahPalin Legal Defense Fund established and funded. She has positioned herself to run in 2012 if she decides to do it. She is positioning herself to unleash a chivalrous army with one strong man and woman after another vying to be at her right hand. She is helping people organize other interest groups to come to her defense. All this from one dumb and ignorant woman, working almost by herself from her home in Alaska. Watch and learn my friends.

    35. Nicholas Says:

      Madhu, this is a little off topic but have you done a post on your time on the left and what changed for you? I would be interested to read it.

    36. Mrs. Davis Says:

      What they meant was someone from a non-elite background who was one of them. Sarah fits the bill. This is what the left Power Elite fears.

      FIFY. That is why Elite Republicans like Brooks and Noonan fear her as much as leftists. It’s not ideological at all, but a pure high school social group exclusiveness power play. But with very serious consequences for those whose self value is a function of their membership in the elite.

    37. Shannon Love Says:

      Phil,

      The thing though that stands out for me in this post and comments is how conservatives really don’t understand the left.

      Well, (1) I used to be a leftists so I’m pretty sure I do understand them on and immediate level and (2) intellectual history is one of my hobbies.

      And this is said at a blog called “Chicago Boyz,” a blog whose identity is all about elitism, all about an association to an elite institution of higher education.

      No, it a blog dedicated to the “Chicago” school of economics. Read the masthead.

      If you went to the University of Chicago and you are a lawyer or an academic you don’t get to portray yourself as some kind of “man of the people.”

      I grew up in a rural, working class family. I spent my entire childhood doing manual labor on the farm/ranch I was raised by my grandparents who had only high school educations from 1920s New Mexico. None of the adults in my parents generation had professional educations. I went to state college in Texas.

      However, the key definer of elitism in contemporary America has nothing to do with a person’s economic class, who their parents are or where they went to school. Instead, elitism is about whether the person respects the decision making abilities of ordinary people. In every issue, except those pertaining to sex, leftists advocate moving or keeping the legal decision making authority from individuals and instead investing that in a government agent, preferably one as far removed from direct input from the public as possible. By contrast, non-leftists advocate investing individuals with more legal authority to make decisions about their life.

      Leftists believe that ordinary people are to stupid and irresponsible to keep guns. Non-lefitsts think they are. Leftists believe that parents are to stupid to manage their own children’s education and therefore oppose voucher/charter systems for education. Non-leftists think that parents are the best judges of a child’s education. Leftists believe that ordinary people cannot manage saving for their own retirement. Non-leftists believe they can. Leftists believe that ordinary people cannot manage their own medical care. Non-lefitsts believe they can. Pick any non-sex related issue and you will find the same pattern.

      Even in sexual matters, where the socially-conservative non-leftists believe that government should override individual decisions, the theory behind the idea is still egalitarian. Social-conservatives believe that everybody is equally tempted go off the rails and that every individual must struggle with sexual temptation. They don’t believe that a small elite of individuals is immune to such temptations the way that leftist believe they are immune to greed, racism, xenophobia etc. They believe that anyone, regardless of education, income or status, understands what the best patterns of sexual behavior should be.

      By contrast, leftist glorify the novel and counter-intutitive to the point of making it a fetish. They believe that tradition and common sense are worthless and that only those with superior intellects and educations can really understand matters like sexuality. Almost every leftwing statement on the matter begins with something like, “Although most people believe in X, in reality the answer is Y.”

      Conservatism is not about the demos, it is an elitist ideology that played no part in American culture until the 1950s when a fringe group of intellectuals organized to import it into America.

      I’m sorry where the hell would you “import” individualism and veneration of America from? Who do imagine the American right was copying?

      Again the same thing could be said of conservatism: a small group of intellectuals mimicking European conservatives and stuck in the intellectual and cultural template of the 1950s.

      Riiiiight, because when you think “European Conservative” you think gun rights, entrepreneurship, decentralized government, decentralized religion, meritocracy and all-hogs-to-the-trough capitalism.

      The idea that American conservatism is a European import is simply delusional to the point of comedy. You don’t ever see any American pointing to Europe and saying, “Gosh, why can’t we more like those sophisticated Europeans?”

      I think your real problem is that you have a strange definition of “Conservative”. You seem to believe that conservatives are defined by the old Eastern Establishment bluebloods but that has not been the case since Goldwater came to the fore in the early 60s. There was a seismic in political and cultural power in the 60s that moved the locus of the American non-left from the northeast to the south and west.

      You need to catch up with the times.

    38. Trochilus Says:

      My own reaction to Sarah Palin when she emerged on the national political scene was that she was obviously quite comfortable in her own skin. It was not an ideological reaction or observation in any sense . . . even though I personally tended to agree with much of her politics, and have admired her courage. Very, very few politicians project that “likeableness.” In my lifetime, there have been but a handful who I personally had that reaction to. And just to make the non-ideological point, George McGovern was one of them. I disagreed with him across the board. Still do. But he was and is a likeable person.

      Sarah Palin just seemed like someone who I would like to know. What sticks in my mind as having contributed to that sense of her was her interviews with Greta Van Susteren. I assume that others have that reaction to her as well, and perhaps that it explains at least a portion of her popularity.

      What has always stunned me is the open and visceral hatred of her. On a personal level, I have particularly noticed it among a few women friends and acquaintances. To a person, they are all liberals (though one of them denies it). They are people who I know well enough and have asked each of them why they hate her. And not one of them offered an intelligible answer. “I just do …” or “She’s an idiot!” That sort of stuff. Yet, they are all educated and perceptive people. But on the subject of Sarah Palin, they are simply white hot and amusingly irrational. It is something quite beyond “group think.”

      Over time, we have all watched as even some professional pundits have committed professional suicide in an effort to “get” Sarah Palin. Who gives Andrew Sullivan any credence these days? He is now seen as a pathetic nut job. (Why anyone ever did is a matter of conjecture for some of us). Similarly, Joe McGinnis has now reduced himself to the status of a creep in his mission to “get” her.

      So this theory intrigues me . . . that she is so vehemently hated and endlessly attacked because she stirs up the status-anxiety of those on the left, and others as well. I think the “others” bit is key.

      Because I once worked for the legislature for several years, in my adult life I have known a ton of “active” Republicans whose sense of status has been dominated by finding ways to too-quickly accommodate, and even to willingly surrender the political lead to the left. RINOs have always roamed freely here in New Jersey. Until Chris Christie became Governor, we really never had a standard-bearer or a major candidate who would talk quite so plainly.

      As for Sarah Palin, whether or not she is Presidential material is a case she certainly will have to make. But I’m sure glad she is on the side she is on!

    39. Trent Telenko Says:

      Shannon,

      A lot of what you say about the Left and their status mongering is true, but you are missing a lot of women’s status games here that have nothing to do with politics.

      First, some of what you are missing is what may wife calls “the politics of women’s fashion.”

      Palin’s fashion style is more overtly sexual and is very much a red flag for Hillary Clinton’s late 1st or 2nd Generation Feminist “Pants suit brigades” — AKA Feminists who adopted a slightly softer male style as their “class uniform” to break the glass ceiling.

      To them, skirts and heels denote a “conservative” (i.e. old fashion, women as men’s pets) style.

      This fashion meaning is most obvious to those somewhere between my folks generation (late 60′s) and my wife (early 30s).

      Really feminist women in their late 40′s and 50′s see the use of more feminine styles on a subconscious level as a sell out to men…and a threat to them.

      Palin’s fashion appeals to women of my mother’s generation — who were turned off by the 1st Generation Feminist’s “Mao uniform” pants suits. Women of My wife’s generation and younger like Palin’s “sexy librarian” style. But those in the middle see it as a step back for women’s rights.

      For those women, Palin might as well have been wearing a bustier and leather hot pants.

      My wife pointed this out to me via a conversation high lighting Palin vs Hillary’s style. Specifically a conversation about a comment between my Mother and my Aunt that Palin had the nice legs to wear a skirt that Hillary didn’t.

      And how that was a “typical women” conversation Mindy had difficulty in getting into in terms of cattiness.

      (She is an Engineer, AKA nerd-girl, at heart.)

      This, OTOH, is an elite woman’s take on Palin hate.

      http://www.forbes.com/2008/10/06/sarah-palin-elite-oped-cx_am_1007marlowe_print.html

      Why Elite Women Hate Palin
      Ann Marlowe 10.07.08, 12:00 AM ET

      “If Sarah Palin is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, so am I!”

      These words spoken by my friend Janet were true. But Janet hasn’t put herself in Palin’s position by running for office. She’s made films and renovated houses, cushioned by inherited money. And since she doesn’t have any kids, it’s hard to say what would have gotten in the way if she’d wanted to be in politics. She didn’t, though, any more than 99% of my women friends and acquaintances; she believes in cultivating one’s own garden.

      Most women I’ve talked with about Palin–all certified members of either the media elite or the just plain elite–take her nomination personally. Their animus isn’t explained just by her politics; none of them hate Condoleezza Rice, though they disagree with most everything she’s done. Nor, for that matter, do they even dislike John McCain. Typically they “respect” McCain but find him too old or too erratic or simply adore Obama.

      It’s as though Palin were an average girl from their boarding school class–or, frankly, from the public school down the road–who unexpectedly won a big prize. “Why not me?” is the subtext, and it’s one I’ve never heard from men talking about male politicians. Many New Yorkers hate George Bush, for instance, and say similar things about his and Palin’s lack of intellectual capability and curiosity about the wider world. But they don’t view him as a personal rival.

      My friends who hate Palin are all more articulate and better educated than she is, better traveled, probably smarter, definitely more fun to talk with. But the reasons they can’t stand Palin are all wrong.

      It’s not so much that Palin isn’t one of our own–an Ivy League type, or an Eastern preppie, or a self-made intellectual like Rice. It’s not for the fake feminist reasons that “she’s against freedom of choice” or “she didn’t tell her daughter about birth control.” (Though there is an element of hatred for her fertility, and the fact that it hasn’t impeded her rise.) It’s not because Palin only got a passport a few years ago and doesn’t speak any foreign languages.

      No, it’s because Palin makes us look like the slackers we mainly are…

      The more important point here is that Ann Marlowe completely discounts the female high school clique angle to all of this.

      Palin is not one of the Feminist sisterhood.

      Palin getting there ahead of the 1st & 2nd generation feminists — who didn’t go to all the right schools and make all the right connections — makes all the stuff they looked down at regards the “Mommy track” wrong.

      They — visible and for all to see — would no longer be the “gate keepers” to female advancement.

      Having your formally top female clique successfully dissed that way is unforgivable to women. It is the stuff of life time feuds.

      But that is just like an intellectual, to miss the obvious fact staring you in the face.

    40. Michael Kennedy Says:

      The irony of the “no foreign languages” meme is Obama’s comment about “how do you say that in Austrian ?” Some prankster submitted a chapter of Obama’s first book to a leftist literary review group and identified it as coming from Palin’s book. It was almost as funny, for the same reasons, as the Sokol Hoax.

    41. Anonymous Says:

      they should make her show her birth certificate, there that’d do it for you transparency fans

      but not your man, the healer

      sick puppies

    42. Yehudit Says:

      the key definer of elitism in contemporary America has nothing to do with a person’s economic class, who their parents are or where they went to school. Instead, elitism is about whether the person respects the decision making abilities of ordinary people.

      Bingo!

    43. Your Majesty Says:

      Remember that, during the election, lefties never compared Palin to Biden, and they rarely compared Obama to McCain. They always compared Palin to Obama.

      This is classic projectionism: Lefties were never comfortable with Obama’s lack of accomplishment and private-sector experience. So they projected their fears of Obama onto Palin. (And they were certainly helped by establishment Republicans, who feared Palin might unseat them as she did Gov. Murkowski.)

    44. Neville Says:

      It’s important to note that this is also the exact same reason why liberals so often despise and fear anything to do with the military.

      They are desperately, viscerally, mortally afraid of any source of status which doesn’t need them and doesn’t respect them. The average ‘adjunct professor’s worst nightmare is that one day every undergraduate on campus will suddenly accord people serving in the armed forces more respect than they give to academics. The reduction in status they would experience would indeed devastate their self image.

    45. jorgxmckie Says:

      My female academic colleagues mostly despise Palin. Like some here, they are quick to call Palin ‘
      stupid’ while calling Obama ‘smart’.

      When I challenge both of these and ask for evidence demonstrating the charges, I get blank looks. “Everyone knows” Palin is stupid and Obama is smart. End of story.

      Personally, I’m trying to remember the last losing Vice-Presidential candidate that anyone cared about dogging a couple of months later. Lieberman? Not really, and the grief he got was from his own party. Edwards? Hell, they covered up for him. Goldwater’s running mate Miller? Nope. Muskie, not so much. Eagleton/Shriver? Sheesh. Rockefeller? Mondale? Ferraro? Bentsen?

      Come on. Palin definitely jabs the Left in a tender place or they wouldn’t care so much.

      I still would like anyone who denigrates her to make a true side-by-side comparison with Obama and show me he’s all that much superior. [Assuming he is at all.]

    46. Mt Top Patriot Says:

      Brilliant,and oh so right.
      Bravo!
      Thank you Ms. Shannon Love
      Bravo!

    47. Bill Dalasio Says:

      Ms. Love,

      I have to ask, how did you somehow or another hack into my own thoughts on the matter? :-)

      Seriously, though, exceptional analysis.

    48. Cliff Lyon Says:

      I think the left’s “obsession” with Palin is more about the fact that she is actually taken seriously by so many as a potential leader.

      As you can imagine, the very idea that this woman was put up by a major party as a candidate for Vice President is really frightening.

    49. Al Says:

      The best part is the path she appears to be on.

      She’s attained sufficient stature and following that she can basically be a semi-permanent fixture on the political landscape – even to the point of actually running for President. Repeatedly. And driving the left completely bonkers each time. I don’t think she has quite enough oompf to actually win the nomination, but she does have enough raw charisma to remain in the spotlight and maintain a respectable sliver of support until deep into the primary season.

      Unlike a Duncan Hunter or a Fred Thompson, she won’t be as easy for the media to brush off as irrelevant. Being dismissive they’ll manage. But they don’t seem to grasp that most anyone the talking heads hate -that- much, and that obviously is going to get enduring support.

    50. GeoWalsh Says:

      You are lot right but a little wrong. The venom spewed at Palin is real but not without precedent. Take a few hours to google what was said about Regan in the 80′s or even Churchill in the wilderness years. Among the left hatred, raw, unthinking hate is very much a family value.

      Why does Sarah merit such star treatment? For the reasons you have already laid out. She may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but her example is so threatening to the left that she must be destroyed.

    51. daddy Says:

      I live in Alaska.

      My guess from these comments is that most of you do not live in Alaska.

      Simply to add a bit to this discussion on Sarah Palin let me direct you to a podcast on Friday from the most popular Conservative Talk Radio host in Alaska, Dan Fagan in Anchorage. Here is the link:

      http://www.kfqd.com/podcast_info

      Click on Dan Fagan Hour 2, and start at minute 16:00.

      It might be worth your while to see that all criticism of Sarah Palin does not come the Left.

    52. Bc Says:

      In high school I ran a line of number two traps behind our house.
      I checked the whole line starting at five A. M. Every day. Nobody
      in my town thought that was any big deal. Then I got a scholarship
      to Penn. Then Johns Hopkins which went by the name The Johns Hopkins
      U. Then Northwestern PhD. Did my drinking at a bar called Collet’s near Lincoln
      Park.
      Sarah Palin is a country/city cultural and political touchstone. John McCain will
      never be embraced by the urban elites he served for the sin of elevating
      Sarah Palin to national stature. Look at any red/blue map by county and
      even strongholds like Ca. and Mass. are bifurcated by urban core versus
      suburbs and exurbs. The parties are furthur demarked by children/no children.
      In this four square matrix you guys can’t see why the left fears and hates
      Sarah Palin? You need to do more hunting and especially fishin. You know…
      Take some time to relax and reflect. Chigago boys indeed.

    53. Porkov Says:

      In the unlikely event you are not aware of this, a similar argument is being made on the left. They are saying that the Tea Party movement and its adherents are suffering under the delusion that they are rich (or can become so) through free enterprise. This, they claim, only serves the right’s puppeteers, the corporatist collusion between BIG business and the politicians it owns.

      This may be patently unfair considering the control government-regulated banks have over the success of small (and large) businesses, but at this point I am seeing precious little resistance from the right to this message. As the left continues to levy regulations that mandate advantages to big business, they disparage ambition and entrepreneurship. Where is the focused message pointing out the irony?

    54. Viator Says:

      I listened to Dan Fagan’s rant about Governor Sarah Palin mentioned by “Daddy” above. If I may paraphrase here is what Fagan and his caller were saying:

      1) Envy is not limited to the ruling class. Fagan and his caller dripped Palin envy.
      2) The Alaska government’s multi-billion surplus created by laws passed during the Palin administration were created by raising taxes (“through the roof”, “400%”) on the oil companies in Alaska.
      3) By raising the taxes on oil companies “she shut us down for business”
      4) “This woman ruined our state by anti-business policies.”
      5) “Sarah Palin is a socialist”

      A new take on Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin the socialist.

      Some links to articles which may throw some light on these debates for people who are interested.

      http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/071610/sta_676534584.shtml

      http://www.adn.com/2010/07/13/1365645/governor-candidates-disagree-on.html

      http://progressivealaska.blogspot.com/2007/11/dan-fagans-meretricious-rants.html

    55. daddy Says:

      Viator,

      Thanks for taking the time to listen to Fagan. I appreciate you doing that. I am not a Dan Fagan fan, but I listen to him, and have been tossed off his show more than once when I call in.

      My point was simply to show that some/many Alaskan Conservatives view Sarah Palin differently than she is viewed in the Lower 48. Fagan’s podcast on Friday was simply an easy example to pick to illustrate that to folks outside Alaska. His bunch view her as Governing very Liberally by what she actually did, not by what she said. It is worthwhile for the lower 48 to understand how she was viewed up here.

      For what it’s worth, Fagan wound up supporting Joe Miller wholeheartedly despite his personal hatred of Sarah Palin, and Miller thanked Fagan, among others, on a national CBS News Interview the day after winning the Primary. Miller was on Fagan’s show constantly and even though it often was very heated, Miller forced Fagan to study Murkowski’s record, after which Fagan wound up supporting Miller. It is my contention that Fagan digging up audio
      of Murkowski saying she was not opposed to National Health Care, just to the specifics, and playing that constantly the last week before the election, was critical to Miller winning the Primary.

      My overall point is that the Alaskan locals have seen Sarah in action before she hit the limelight under John McCain. Because of how she governed, many Alaskan Conservatives despise her. In my opinion folks from the lower 48 need to at least be aware of that when discussions of Sarah criticism’s arise. Also for what it’s worth, Fagan encouraged Sarah to run for Governor, as opposed to running for Lt Governor, back in the days when they were friendly. And also for what it is worth, I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who hates Sarah Palin for specifically enunciated reasons more than Dan Fagan, right or wrong those reasons may be.

      So I posted that podcast link for informational purposes. Fagan keeps going after that first caller and the break to the end of the hour. Harsh to listen to, but illustrative to listen to. The print and TV media up here are monolithic Left. The ADN is McClatchey and the TV channels are awful, so that being said, their perceptions are useless. The alternative is strictly limited to Talk Radio. The Rush’s and Pragers and Becks and Dennis Miller’s finish by 2:00 PM, and then it’s the local boys who take over. That’s why Fagan is so influential. He’s got the best spot and best station to air his views, and the time of day is perfect for drive home traffic. And he has been doing this for many years, since leaving a local news channel as a reporter.

      Again, thanks for listening and hope it added to the discussion.

    56. Lazarus Long Says:

      “the left remained not only stuck in the ’50s”

      I prefer Jonah Goldberg’s description of the reactionary left as a “cargo cult of the New Deal”.

    57. Muggins Says:

      I wonder if at any point in the next 2 years, leading up to the next Presidential election, whether Palin will be challenged on her views instead of her sex, clothing, religion, family, accent, and etc.. Isn’t it the case that she is demonized to avoid discussion of the issues that face the U.S.? She’s not my favorite politician, but I am outraged that she is attacked on sexist grounds, by the very party that claims they aren’t sexist. My favorite politician is Governor Chris Christie. He is the exact person we need as President of the United States.

    58. Dr Jim Says:

      The Left did not save the country from the Great Depression, they created and prolonged it. They, including Hoover, turned a market crash – caused by the Fed’s easy money policy – into a depression, which didn’t end until after WWII. And the Left (Wilson) gave us the FED (which controls the value of the currency), the income tax (which nationalizes our incomes and livelihoods), conscription (the enslavement of our young men), and WWI (which led directly to four new dictatorships: communist Russia, Nazi Germany, and fascist Italy and Spain; and which resulted in a Lost Generation of our youth).

      What is the Left ultimately about? Power. Absolute power. Their slogan should really be: “You’ll take orders”. And they are willing to destroy the earth to make it happen.

    59. Ritchie The Riveter Says:

      Instead, elitism is about whether the person respects the decision making abilities of ordinary people.

      It is also about whether nor not the person embraces the sage words of Harry Callahan:

      A man’s just gotta know his limitations.

      In this day and age, the elitist is often one who worships their own omniscience … and as a result, they conflate that blind faith with objective fact. They are blind to the idea that they can be wrong, and others perceived as possessing a lesser intellect, simply because they do not hold to The Faith, right.

      They believe that their intellect equates to wisdom … and fail to recognize that wisdom is embodied as much (if not more) in the simple (not simplistic) presentations of plain-spoken people, than it is in erudite assemblages of jots-and-tittles from those who would be perfectly content to spend their lives detailing how many angels would fit on the head of a pin, if the belief in angels wasn’t beneath their intellect.

      The wise person is intellectually honest … they accurately delineate when they are acting on faith, on reason, and/or on fact, never conflating the three. They also know that performance is best measured by results … not by intent, not by positions held or degrees conferred.

      The wise person knows they do not have all the answers … and therefore refuses to impose their answers to the individual challenges each of us face upon us in a one-size-fits-all manner, by the force of law, no matter how smart-or-good-or-compassionate they may appear.

      They also know when and where to look for the answers, as needed … because they know that they will not get all the answers from within themselves.

      And they also respect these rules from Murphy’s Laws of Combat

      The important things are always simple …
      The simple things are always hard …
      The easy way is always mined …

      Sarah Palin is a wise person … but her wisdom is not the conventional wisdom of the Cult of Elitist Omniscience.

      That is what scares her detractors.

    60. Oh please Says:

      You’re trying too hard. She’s George Bush but good looking. All that hate had to go somewhere.

    61. apodoca Says:

      I’m quite intrigued by the condescension of many commenters to Palin—her brains, her achievement, her management ability, and so on. What comes through loud and clear is that no one or very few has acquainted themselves with her record. Had they done so, they’d understand why Obama has fixated on her since the campaign: she has all the skills he lacks and the achievements that he can’t point to, and she obtained them without a political machine or wealthy Soros-godfather behind her. That’s why they fear her, that plus what Love says. As for the Fagan links and anti-Palin commentary of those claiming that Alaska’s Conservatives don’t like Palin, two words: Joe Miller.

    62. betheweb Says:

      Excellent discussion. One point, mentioned tangentially, is dominant in explaining the Left’s virulent hatred of Palin — Abortion. You cannot sit in any pew of the Left’s church if you do not hold that Abortion is the individual right of every woman. Anything that infringes on that right is simply unacceptable, if not double plus ungood unthinkable. Anyone who thinks that maybe Abortion is not such a good idea must be destroyed. Abortion is the fundamental plank of the Democrat’s platform. It is, probably, the only thing Democrats would fight to defend unto death.

    63. paulejb Says:

      Is it any wonder that the left which was so effected by Bush Derangement Syndrome would be so susceptible to PDS {Palin Derangement Syndrome}? Although this condition seems to have taken a particularly virulent form. I fear it may be incurable.

    64. Gringo Says:

      Michael Kennedy Says:
      September 11th, 2010 at 8:57 pm
      The irony of the “no foreign languages” meme is Obama’s comment about “how do you say that in Austrian ?” Some prankster submitted a chapter of Obama’s first book to a leftist literary review group and identified it as coming from Palin’s book. It was almost as funny, for the same reasons, as the Sokol Hoax.

      Do you have a link for that? Thanks

    65. Rich Says:

      I have a PhD and teach at a University in the North East after 28 years in the IT industry. Okay I like Sarah Palin because maybe she is not a genius but boy is she smart where it counts. She can and has gotten things done.

      Next look at what all these really smart people have gotten us; really smart peole are often too smart for there own and our good

    66. Contrarian Says:

      There is a new book out that does a great job of analyzing and explaining the raging, spittle-flecked Palin hatred. It’s called The Faith and Values of Sarah Palin. The authors’ thesis is that Palin stands on the “wrong” (in the eyes of the coastal elites in media and academia) side of three great polarizing divides. There is the obvious “Liberal-Conservative” divide. There is the rift between Faith-Secular.

      And they spend a good deal of time exploring a growing divide that doesn’t get much notice–the one between Urbans and Rurals. Note the frequent use of insults like hick, rube, backwoods, backward, hillbilly, and bumpkin by the liberal elites in talking about Palin.

      It’s the same dismissive elitism behind calling the huge expanse of America between the beautiful people on the coasts–”flyover country.” The authors are obviously sympathetic to Palin but it’s the fairest, most objective book on her I’ve seen.

    67. Anonymous Says:

      A wonderful and very truthful article. I am a product of the same culture as Palin. As an American I can identify with all that she stands for, as a Mother I know where she is…I also have a special needs child, and teen age youngsters who cause heartache. My Faith sustains me and I truthfully thank God for all I have including being born American. The elites should be careful what they wish for as there are so many more of us.

    68. JCM Says:

      I think your analysis of the left’s hatred for Sarah Palin is correct in its conclusions, but it misses an important point. The left hates Sara Palin for religious reasons. Here’s why.

      Few people with hard-left views believe in a monotheistic God. For these secular humanists, a human’s goal is to perfect himself and his society here on earth, since there is no afterlife. The human closest to perfection is the best-educated one – Homo IvyLeague-us, if you will. The smartest and best educated from elite schools are the modern-day prophets, leading the masses into the promised land of a just and happy society. Sara Palin has no such credentials. She believes little or none of what elite-school graduates take as common knowledge, yet she is swaying the masses. This explains the bitter response to Sarah Palin. The left attacks her viciously because she is a heretic. She threatens the left’s claim to speak for the one true god – mankind perfected. Nothing else explains the unprovoked, brutal attacks on Sarah Palin. She dares speak against the one true religion. She must be silenced.

    69. Anonymous Says:

      Great analysis. There is an additional practical point. The primary electoral basis of the left is women. Women are a majority of the electorate and a majority of them vote Democrat. It is absolutely essential to the left to keep women on the Liberal reservation. It is a challenge since many women, likely a majority of women in America, see children as important and abortion as a sin, many are small business people and most are believers in religion, most commonly Christianity – yet the promulgation of abortion and its use as a tool to suppress population growth, the vilification of business and the belief in the state as a replacement for God is the primary ideological basis for the left. The primary means is to keep women on the Liberal reservation is to vilify and destroy any successful conservative woman to prevent any example arising who could free women to exhibit a more diverse set of political beliefs. This is not unlike the campaign of vilification against Clarence Thomas for similar purposes of keeping blacks on the reservation. The cool thing about Palin is that despite a withering assault of endless vilification not just of her but extending as low as her 14 year old daughter and her infant she keeps on fighting, keeps on hitting back, an energizer bunny – and the very coolest thing is that by encouraging the Mama Grizzly successful conservative female candidates she is doing exactly what the left most fears. Her strength of purpose under bitter personal assault compared to the thin-skinned whiney responses of the narcissistic girly man Obama is particularly telling. Between the two of them she is the one with the stones. Gotta love her.

    70. Judith Says:

      Paul wrote: [i]In my opinion, Sarah Palin is our Barack Obama, inspiring the the base, anathema to the opposition, but when it comes down to it, not really the sharpest knife in the drawer. For sharper knives, people who can think on their feet when faced with hostile interviewers, I think we need to be looking to people like Tim Pawlenty or perhaps Chris Christie.[/i]

      I tend to agree – I’m not sure Palin is “Presidential timber.” But, that’s an entirely different issue than whether or not the Left is in a panic about her and has attacked her viciously and irrationally out of all proportion to anything she has said or done. I didn’t read Shannon Love’s analysis or most of the commenters as having a conclusion about whether or not Palin should be the standard-bearer in the next election. Just that there’s an ugly element in some of the Left’s behavior that needs explaining. And, Love explained it very well, in my view.

      I can be appalled at how Palin has been treated without being ready to walk a precinct for her.

    71. lrC Says:

      >You’re trying too hard. She’s George Bush but good looking. All that hate had to go somewhere.

      Interesting idea. Is she just the target of eight years of anti-Bush emotional momentum that people found impossible to internalize or extinguish once the primary target was no longer viable?

    72. Anonymous Says:

      “The idea that American conservatism is a European import is simply delusional to the point of comedy. You don’t ever see any American [fix]conservative[/fix] pointing to Europe and saying, “Gosh, why can’t we more like those sophisticated Europeans?””

      No you don’t see them saying that, but if you don’t think Buckley’s explicitly Burkean conservatism in not literally an import from Europe, the best explanation for that thought pattern is that you’re nuts.

      Burke was a reactionary conservative, reacting to preserve as much as he could of the character of the old European aristocratic institutions against Rosseau’s beginning of the Endarkenment*. He was conservative, and he said many true things, but he was not even slightly American. What is essentially American in conservative thought is also libertarian, that no law should be done which acts against what does not break your knees or pick your pockets, and most strictly so if the law is national–the Constitution gives few limited goals and means to the federal government. It is the antipode of what is believed and practised by the liberal elitists you describe well above.

      It is certainly true Palin is an embodiment of that latter mentioned but original and best American conservatism, but it is equally true Buckley was not such an American conservative, for all that he would rather be governed by random chunk of persons named in a phone book–that was not an expression of faith in common man, but a well deserved slight to the liberal elite.

      “Prior to the ’60s, the left could point to the real and imagined successes of the technocratic progressive era to justify their status.”

      There were no real success of technocratic progressives. It was entirely a mirage brought about by borrowing from the future on the one hand–that bill looms large and is due right soon–and also the destruction of much of the rest of the world’s productive power.

      The left has done no unique good and much unique harm, and this has been true since the first tumbrel’s rolled in Paris.

      *Hat tip to William J. Beck III

    73. Trent Telenko Says:

      Muggins,

      I’d bet against it.

      Consider for a moment what Ann Marlowe, in the article I linked to earlier, said here:

      Success at the Palin level in politics or business takes a level of blinkered self-confidence that comes mainly to (a very few) men. A lot of the people with this quality are annoying to be around. Maybe they aren’t very happy with themselves. But it’s not a surprise that a vice presidential nominee should be one of them.

      The bold above is Ann Marlowe projecting herself and her class on Palin.

      Women in female social groups lack self-confidence and are unhappy to stand out. Approval of the group is everything. They are outraged when a pretty women who does stand out, who does not dress or act like them, who does not kowtow to them or their conventions, gets ahead without their regard.

      It means they are irrelevant and they know it.

      That is death to their social standing.

      They can never forgive that, any more than Southern men can forgive Sherman for destroying their great grand daddy’s patrimony, for much the same reasons.

      When I first mentioned that in a 2009 e-mail list conversation on Palin-hate, I got this response that has stuck with me since:

      What’s funny is that it continues to exist, no matter how old we get. At a thirtieth year reunion a few years back, several of the not so attractive girls who hung out together noticed that one of the really hot girls from the class was showing some age; a little more than most. They were absolutely giddy about it. In a group they were very catty. Alone, they were sort of okay, but still bitter, having that stuff go back to early teenage years. The men didn’t care what the one woman now looked like. She still had a great personality and all of the guys wanted to hang out with her. It’s all about the joy of life that she reflects. Sarah Palin has that and they don’t understand it.

      In the end, we are all social creatures and our early adolescent/young adult moments of acceptance and rejection stay with us our whole lives.

      That is why Left of Center Ruling Class women will go off their meds, bat s***, crazy if Palin gets the Republican Presidential nomination and they will be even worse if she wins.

      The best and most concise explanation of the reasons why Leftist Ruling Class women lose it so completely over Sarah Palin also came to me via that same e-mail conversation. Science fiction writer John Ringodeconstructed that same Ann Marlowe piece for Forbes as follows:

      http://www.forbes.com/2008/10/06/sarah-palin-elite-oped-cx_am_1007marlowe_print.html

      Okay, let’s break it down.

      A few thoughts ahead of that.

      My GF says that when women are in public they are in competition for attention. I think that is, at least in part, self-reflection but that’s something to keep in mind with that sub-set.

      Subsets:

      1. Abortion flinch. Many liberal women of the 30-60 subset had abortions or were ‘supportive’ with friends on abortions. Palin’s clear ‘walk the walk’ position puts them in an automatic guilt condition. They can try to spin it but at 3AM the ghost of children lost come back to haunt them. Especially the ones that are past reproductive and ‘choice’ is just a word from their past.

      2. Baby-envy: Call it a voice from the past but alot of women who ‘never had time’ for children miss them. For males, the cultural and biological imperative, whatever feminists and new-age guys might think, is ‘get the girl.’ For women it’s kids and to a lesser extent a good husband. We’re culturally and biologically wired for it. Palin has gotten the kids and…

      3. Husband-envy: Just as a bunch of conservative males are going ‘Where is Wasilla and are there any more like her around?’ women of all strains are looking at a long-running marriage between a hard-working but only moderately successful man and a female powerhouse who still cooks and takes care of the house and are just shaking their heads in envy. Todd is one of the unsung heroes of this thing. He doesn’t seem to have a trace of envy for his power-house of a wife (which is really rare) and whatever their internal strife’s they’ve made it through alot of rough times together and are still ‘fun’ enough to take bets between each other with a tatoo as a pay-off. They survived the birth of a Down’s Child. That’s a major hit in any family no matter how devoted.

      For ‘First Wives’ (or second or third or fourth) that has to hurt.

      4. Homecoming Hate: Face it, most liberal women are dogs. They may or may not have been quite as abused by the ‘prep’ girls in school as they whine about but they certainly weren’t in the in-crowd.

      There’s plenty of evidence that neither was Sarah Palin but she has that look. She was a beauty pageant contestant, a jock and still has the ‘hot’ look in her forties. For the unwashed, patchouli-smelling ‘I-don’t-shave-my-armpits’ liberal type female that has to just piss them off.

      5. Out-cliqued: This is, at base, one of the things I think is going on in this article. The elite women, the ‘lunching ladies’ from WaiterRant, the hyper-feminists, the media elite women, have their clique and it has its specific dos and don’ts and they decide who is and is not a female elite.

      Suddenly along comes this…hick who has just totally thrown off their control of the process. She can’t even be dismissed as a Gold-digging little whore like that bitch who slept with Husband One. She’s a successful woman who has clawed her way up through the ranks of the political process and even if she skipped a few steps at the top she still can’t be totally dismissed.

      It’s a loss of control over who’s who. Which is, for them, all they really have left.

      6. ‘Did it all’ envy: Faced by a person who just shines who has some similarities to the viewer, people who are clearly extraordinary cause automatic envy. ‘There is no admiration without scorn.’ Studies of monkeys cover it nicely. Betas constantly test and pester the alpha because they feel they should be alpha. Happens with males and females. We call it ‘envy.’

      Palin has done it all. Happy marriage, kids, good husband, successful career… and she’s done it all from the ‘enemy’ camp.

      This is what the article is saying is the basis of Palin-Hate but I think it’s only one part.

      There are others and I may not have articulated the above well.

      But the real killer is unified and overlapping sets. Say that each of these has some ‘hate’ numeric against it. Give each a rating of 1-5. But they’re not additive, they’re more like a log function as is any psychological response. ‘Stress is not additive it’s synergistic.’

      Say you’ve got a woman who never had an abortion but has been a strong ‘pro-choice’ proponent her whole life and has emotionally supported and encouraged friends who had abortions. Give her a 2 on that. She, herself, is childless. 3 numeric. She was once married to a power-husband who ditched her and got Wife Two. 5 on that one. She’s probably fairly good looking so give her a 1 on Homecoming. Etc.

      Eventually she’s seeing red.

      This is especially going to be the case among the lunching lady set. The ones in this article, as described, mostly are childless and that is rarely from 100% successful birth control. I would guess that most of them are divorced at least once (and not ‘starter’ marriages but are discards from ‘power’ husbands.) Ditto the core of women in the media, most of whom hit two or three, even five, of the above.

      At a certain point you hit full-out, 100%, eye-searing, blood-blind hatred.

      Which works for me because nothing spells disaster for her own side like a woman who is acting scorned while the men in her life are going ‘Jesus, she’s off her meds again…’

      John

      I urged John Ringo at the time to make that e-mail a separate op-ed for the NY Post, but he had lost his writing slot there some years before and had been too busy writing books since to bother.

    74. Anonymous Says:

      Elitism has nothing to do with why I hate Sarah Palin. Oh wait, yes it does: she was chosen by the GOP’s financial elite because they knew that, as an ill-informed and barely-literate but telegenic person, that most of their base would identify with her. Sarah Palin is what the GOP thinks of you; she’s the populist smile they put on to steal your money while you fret about how much of it the government gets.

      Intellectual or financial elitism on my part, however, have nothing to do with why I hate Sarah Palin. I have a Seventh Grade education on paper and am poor as a damn churchmouse. The only threat Palin poses to my social standing is the threat she poses to all of us: that she will hand all my rights and privileges over to the top 2% of earners in the country, and that the majority of the country will sit there and applaud like fools because she talks to them like “Jus’ Folks.”

      One day someone will explain to me how the party that has done more to concentrate the most wealth in the hands of the fewest people gets this far by accusing their opponents of elitism all the time.

    75. jms Says:

      I think that the observation is correct that this level of hatred comes only from fear.

      The modern-day left is in a tight ideological squeeze. They have elevated themselves to elite status, and seek to impose their “superior intellect” upon their lessors through intrusive legislation that micro-manages our lives, from what health care options we are allowed to have, to what kind of light bulbs we are allowed to buy.

      Yet at the same time, the left can only hold their power by virtue of the support of the “salt-of-the-earth” class, union members, poor blacks, working class people. Liberals must perform a careful balancing act of pretending to be and represent “regular people”, yet imposing a hard-left political agenda that freezes “regular people” out of the government.

      If Sarah Palin can draw the “regular people” away from the Democratic party, the left in America will simply collapse. In that sense she is an existential threat to the Democratic party, and to the elite status of the left.

      That’s where the fear comes. The hatred is a manifestation of that fear.

    76. Shannon Love Says:

      Anonymous

      Burke was a reactionary conservative, reacting to preserve as much as he could of the character of the old European aristocratic institutions against Rosseau’s beginning of the Endarkenment*.

      Well, to begin with Burke was a complex thinker and not simply a mindless believer in the status quo e.g. he supported the American Revolution while opposing the French. Burke was an opponent of the enlightenment per se but rather a opponent of the intellectual arrogance of many enlightenment thinkers who believed their genius told them how to reorder society from top to bottom in short order. He advocated evolutionary gradual change instead of violent and sudden revolution because he believed the latter led to tyranny. History has proven him correct on that point.

      In fact, when someone thinks that Burke was a knee-jerk advocate of the status quo, that is usually a sign that they haven’t actually read him.

      …if you don’t think Buckley’s explicitly Burkean conservatism in not literally an import from Europe..

      Even if I concede the point that Buckley was simply mimicking Burke (who died a 150 years before) that is only relevant if you believe that Buckly was somehow a significant figure in American conservatism which he was not. Buckly was the pet conservative of the Northeast Media establishment. He was what they imagined a conservative to be and that is why he got air time. They didn’t like someone like Goldwater with his drawl and western suits.

      A seismic shift in American politics occurred in the 60s and one of its effects was to shift the locus of the American non-left is westard outside the Northeast. People in the American west and south don’t think much of Europe and don’t look to it for inspiration to any significant degree. (Save as a warning.) American conservatives are cowboys, they don’t hanker for a European aristocracy.

      Most American non-left/conservative thought is decidedly homegrown and springs from America’s unique cultural experiences.

    77. DG in GA Says:

      Cliff, you said:

      “I think the left’s “obsession” with Palin is more about the fact that she is actually taken seriously by so many as a potential leader.

      As you can imagine, the very idea that this woman was put up by a major party as a candidate for Vice President is really frightening.”

      As opposed to an idiot like Joe Biden???? Someone who the ENTIRE Democrat party has viewed as a joke and an idiot and a buffoon for decades??? You mean, someone like that? Sarah Palin can mop the floor with Joe Biden. Or how about that lying, cheating, skank-chasing John Edwards? Is THAT the kind of statesman you could get behind? Need I go on, because I could. John Kerry, who LIED about his military service even while he was serving it? Whose real claim to fame is marrying a rich nut-job who inherited her wealth from a man who would be APPALLED to see what she’s done with it. Or how about AlGore, Mr. Hot Air – I mean Mr. Global Warming. Oops! I guess that was all proven to be a hoax – but not until Al and his buddies made millions off selling “carbon credits.” That bozo flunked out of DIVINITY School, for heaven’s sake! Yep, I can certainly see why libs like you consider themselves to be oh-so-superior to neanderthal conservatives like Sarah Palin and me.

    78. Shannon Love Says:

      Anonymous,

      The only threat Palin poses to my social standing is the threat she poses to all of us: that she will hand all my rights and privileges over to the top 2% of earners in the country, and that the majority of the country will sit there and applaud like fools because she talks to them like “Jus’ Folks.”

      Translation: Most people are stupid and can be easily manipulated by a corny “Jus’ Folks” act. Explain to me how basing your entire argument on the premise that most people are stupid is not an elitist perspective?

      This is very common among leftists. You believe that elitism means, “doing what is best for an elite,” and that egalitarian means, “doing what is best for most people.” However, you don’t actually want the people to make their own decisions and have their own power. You want to impose what you personally think is best on people. In short, you view most people the way a kind farmer views his livestock. You want to see that they are well cared for but you don’t really care what they think.

      That is why you support policies that remove decision making authority from individuals and instead invest it in a government selected elite. You may want to take from the economically productive to spend on the livestock but you never even consider actually given the money to the livestock do you?

      It has nothing to do with your personal circumstances. Instead, it has to do with how big an ego you have and how much smarter you believe you are than most people. It has to do with who you ego identify with. You clearly believe yourself intellectually superior to most and you identify with those who seek political power instead of those who produce wealth. You believe you need to dictate to people how they will live almost every facet of their lives (except sex.)

      That is why you are an elitist.

    79. JCL Says:

      Right on! Great analysis! But your conclusion that leftist interest in Ms. Palin will wane when she become politically insignificant is off the mark: if she leaves the political scene, the adolescent leftists will “smell blood” and really pounce. For example, look at how Tony Blair is being treated in the UK when he appears at a book signing. The only way to be rid of the adolescent left is to vote their chosen politicians out of office and then to ignore them. Your blog comment deserves wider circulation!

    80. Anonymous Says:

      Abolish public radio and public TV.

    81. Winged Monkey Says:

      Good post. It well exemplifies how ones own fears can easily be projected on others.

      If intellectual lefties are so afraid of losing their elitist status, why do they try so hard to educate people, encourage higher wages for the poor and allow everyone access to health-care, marriage etc.?

      Socialism? By it’s very nature is not elitist.

    82. Some Bass Playing Guy Says:

      The dislike of Sarah Palin has no deep meaning, including all of this “aristocracy” nonsense. People aren’t afraid of Sarah Palin or of what she says. The reason people don’t like Sarah Palin is because she can barely articulate the kinds of slogans she’s so well known for and she can absolutely not articulate anything meaningful regarding policy issues and how the country should be run. She was also an exceedingly poor choice to make for VP, something even John McCain knows. And let’s not even talk about how she abandoned the citizens of Alaska by quitting halfway through her term as governor.

      So folks can wave their hands and make up whatever deep explanations as to why Sarah Palin is disliked by some people. But it isn’t complicated at all. She’s barely more than a folksy container of nothing. If Palin were to step up and showed she really knew what she was talking about and articulated some real ideas of her vision for the country, people would be less inclined to dismiss her out of hand. In that case, they may not like her ideas but she wouldn’t be treated like the absolute joke she is.

    83. Tom Perkins Says:

      RE http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/15616.html#comment-338901

      I can’t say why my post turned up anonymous, I did fill in the fields–the anonymity was not my intent.

      I did not say Burke was a mindless believer in the status quo–he certainly endorsed pruning molded branches–I said and do believe he is both not literally an American conserative, he is not a conservative of the American sort. Neither was Buckley, his was a dead end path to the country club and pallid crony capitalism.

      “History has proven him correct on that point.”

      It certainly has, I have not said else.

      True, Reagan was elected, and he was nearly a conservative of the AuH20 stripe–but he had no coattails for others like him, not in his follow-on VP, and not much in the state houses and more local governing organs. What success Goldwaterism had remained isolated in the west, not prevalent, and we have had 60 years of all but unbroken leftism and your (to see you write it, faded) blue nose Republicans. Palin struggles now to overthrow those who at best are pale imitations of Buckley, ie, Brooks, et al. Buckley had his uses, and he hung around long after he was useful–I suspect Mitchell still has strings attached which go under Buckley’s headstone. If that isn’t the same rock DeLay crept out from under, it was one close by, and he was from Texas–so great an influence Goldwater had.

      You write:

      “Even if I concede the point that Buckley was simply mimicking Burke (who died a 150 years before) that is only relevant if you believe that Buckly was somehow a significant figure in American conservatism”
      and
      “Buckly was the pet conservative of the Northeast Media establishment.”

      And as I have pointed out, nationally and practically, Buckleyite conservatives are all that have existed. Do Buchannite conservatives also exist? Yes, all of them might fit in one stadium of medium size.

      “A seismic shift in American politics occurred in the 60s”

      No that shift began then, and it has been all but ineffectual to date. It was a sputtering backfire to control what Wilson represented and sparked and what FDR made a consuming blast furnace; destroying the nation to recast it. Palin’s success is one measure of how successful that backfire will be in the future.

      “American conservatives are cowboys, they don’t hanker for a European aristocracy.” And they haven’t been in evidence much until lately. It’s been a good 100 years, thereabouts, since they set national policy and wrote much law.

      It remains to be seen if they will yet.

      Again, you praise the left with faint damns when you write:

      “Prior to the ’60s, the left could point to the real and imagined successes of the technocratic progressive era to justify their status.”

      They had no such successes, they were all illusory.

    84. JHM in NC Says:

      I think most lefties despise Palin because they’re told to and they tend to turn to their thought leaders for advice on what to think about anything or anyone new.

      And those “thought leaders” despise her because from the moment she first stepped on the national stage they recognized that she had the potential to become the most beloved conservative leader in decades. They knew they had to bring her down and shape public opinion against her as quickly as possible, by any means necessary.

      There was more “Axelturfing” on news articles that appeared about her in those first few weeks after she was announced than on any other topics. The second an article about her would go live online, there would be 300 comments–literally almost instantly–railing about how awful she was, etc.

    85. M. Simon Says:

      Nixon? When I was a Democrat I hated him. As a Republican I still hate him.

      When he started ramping the Federal War On Drugs to get at lefty pot smokers, the War On Drugs (at the Federal level) was costing $100 million a year. It was not doing much good – but it also wasn’t doing much harm. We are now at $25 bn a year (minimum) Federally and the harm is great and the good not evident (it is easier for kids to get illegal drugs than beer).

      Nixon did some good. He also did great harm by fattening the leviathan.

      And Nixon knew what he was doing. He knew that smoking pot was no different than drinking a martini. And yet his enemies so terrified him that he was willing to waste trillions (over the years) to fight against them. What in fact happened is that he strengthened his enemies morally and created a new enemy (through the miracle of black markets) – the drug cartels of South and Central America.

      It is getting closer. Mexico.

      Palin moved up a notch in my already high estimation when she expressed doubts about the drug war. When the tide shifts further she will be able to pivot. Good on her.

    86. Bc Says:

      A starting point for me in analysing events or predicting the future is to ask,”What are the ruling elites thinking?”. In this context SP is a puzzle. On one hand it was urban elites who blessed the GOP decision to elevate her to the national stage. Then again she shows up as a significant player in the Tea Party movement. I like to think that while they think they are using her she is using them to position herself to reach critical political mass and become the tail that wags the dog. This happened in Germany when the industrialists lost control over the monster they had created. Generally Depressions like the one we are in birth right leaning movements which then morph into militarism and nationalism on steroids. I like Palin but I worry about her enthusiasm for the long war we’ve been sold by our own military. Know well that we are all being played by people with political motive, financial means, and historic opportunity to do so. I believe the Internet is a game changer in this regard but it won’t be easy.
      We are going to be peeling back a lot of onion layers before some kernals of truth emerge. Shields up Scotty. Bullshit deflectors at maximum power.

    87. Tom Perkins Says:

      Bo writes:

      “Generally Depressions like the one we are in birth right leaning movements which then morph into militarism and nationalism on steroids.”

      No such thing is true. The Depression fostered FDR, and in most cases in history, depressions fostered the left–the Terror, the levellers, the Decembrists, the mobs of 1848, Hitler and Mussolini all owe far more to Rousseau than they do the “rights” of their nations, whom they despised and intended to rule.

      “I like Palin but I worry about her enthusiasm for the long war we’ve been sold by our own military.”

      The military didn’t sell this war, the Islamists took 20 years to drive us to it.

      “Bullshit deflectors at maximum power.”

      Yes. To deflect Bo’s debraining torpedoes.

    88. M. Simon Says:

      The truth about McCain and Palin:

      She was chosen to stem the rising tide of libertarian defections from the Republican Party.

      I document it (with links) here:

      Why McCain Picked Palin

      It would be nice to have discussions of politics with people actually versed in the subject. I know. How elitist of me.

    89. Anonymous Says:

      Leftists try to rationalize the hatred by claiming that Palin is an extremist….

      I’m not going to pretend to speak for anyone else but the reason I despise Palin is not her extremism, but her willful ignorance.

      This is a person who will spout off knee-jerk opinions without a shred of research or put any real analytical or critical thought upon them. She has come to a conclusion about the meaning of life, and more importantly, the afterlife, (e.g. “the bible”) and has then discarded any curiosity about the world or made any attempt to add to her knowledge or think about topics beyond what she concluded probably a great many years ago.

      One of the big successes of the 2004 election was the Republicans tarring John Kerry with the name “flip-flopper” as if changing one’s opinion on a topic was bad after learning more about it. A commonly-quoted cliché states, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again trying for a different result”. The corollary is “a further definition of insanity is continuing to believe in the same manner even after overwhelming evidence to the contrary”. Sarah Palin shoots off her mouth on some subject and when she is ridiculed about it she blames a “mainstream media” or “liberal elites” or says “don’t pick on me because my baby’s retarded.”

      But, all credit where it is due, she has made a lot of money and success out of it. But what a shame that it comes at the expense of thoughtful journalism, science, media, politics, and, dare I say it, faith.

    90. Brian Says:

      As Glenn Reynolds likes to point out, if you want to be an elitist, it’s best to actually be a member of an elite. A fat lady who lords over others and cannot sing is not a diva, even if she likes to imagine she is.

      What has David Brooks, who once called Palin a “joke,” ever actually done? Not much, and nothing at all when compared with what Sarah Palin has accomplished. (No, writing pop sociology crap doesn’t count.)

    91. Some Bass Playing Guy Says:

      “I think most lefties despise Palin because they’re told to and they tend to turn to their thought leaders for advice on what to think about anything or anyone new.”

      Jim, do you like it when people claim conservatives or the right wing are mindless sheep who believe whatever Rush or Glen Beck tell them?

      The fact is your comment is patently ridiculous. Just like the right, the left encompasses a broad spectrum of beliefs. Everything from the looney extremes who just listen to soundbites to people who are just barely left or right of center. There are valid, thoughtful reasons why people don’t like Sarah Palin or what she allegedly espouses. You may not choose to hear it when people make valid criticisms of Palin, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t well reasoned in their dislike for the woman.

      The real truth is that few politicians really have -our- best interests at heart, regardless of which side of the aisle they come from.

    92. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Mr Simon, you might do some reading about the previous war on drugs, especially cocaine, that occurred in the 1920s after the Harrison Narcotic Act made them illegal. The crisis was one of public attitude. People decided that narcotics were not a recreational choice and the use dropped to a minimum until the 1960s generation revolted against parents and drug use skyrocketed. I had patients ask me in the early 70s if there was any harm in cocaine. All their friends were using it and it seemed harmless. They had no concept of addiction, let alone legality.

      The use of illegal drugs is a social phenomenon and is part of the whole 60s phenomenon which is devastating the country. Do I want to see the prisons full of pot smokers ? No, but I sure hope my kids are smart enough to avoid it beyond an occasional experiment.

      Nixon needs a reassessment but that is not the topic.

      Do you have a link for that? Thanks

      No, I tried to find one but Google comes up with millions of reviews of Palin’s book. I saw it about six months ago and it was an amusing anecdote. The story was that shortly after Palin’s book came out, an excerpt was passed out among a number of leftist literati. The account I saw quoted most of the passage. I could probably find it in the “Dreams” book. The comments from reviewers, who had obviously read neither book (part of the amusing story), were what you would expect. “Sophomoric, I would give that an F in creating writing, etc.” Then they were told it was Obama’s book that they had been reading.

      Sorry, Wish I could find it.

    93. M. Simon Says:

      BC,

      Long war sold by the military? It is longer than you think. It started for us before 1787 and reached its last peak with the War On Militant Islam that was fought from about 1800 to about 1815. Kidnapping, piracy, and all with a clear moral conscience: “Allah made us do it.”

      Sheesh. It is American history. I wonder if people are still interested in it.

      It would be nice if people pontificating actually knew the history.

      I can give you a hint: The Marine Corps Hymn. Semper Fi.

    94. Michael Kennedy Says:

      She has come to a conclusion about the meaning of life, and more importantly, the afterlife, (e.g. “the bible”) and has then discarded any curiosity about the world or made any attempt to add to her knowledge or think about topics beyond what she concluded probably a great many years ago.

      And you know this how ?

    95. Anonymous Says:

      And you know this how ?

      Observation and analytical and critical thinking. You should try it.

    96. M. Simon Says:

      Michael Kennedy,

      You are correct about the drug war being started in the early part of the century. But you got your date wrong. 1914. The passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act was preceded by yellow journalism of the vilest sort. The worry was “cocainized negroes raping white women.”

      But it wasn’t costing us much (when Nixon started ramping it was at $100 million a year).

      The drugs demonized had been available over the counter for many decades. The opiates for centuries.

    97. M. Simon Says:

      The best short history of the Drug War I know of:

      A Short History Of The Drug War by Charles Whitebread. Who gave this lecture on it to a Judges Conference and the FBI.

      And Whitebread’s conclusion? It was all about kickers vs the kicked. Or in terms of this discussion: the elite vs the masses.

    98. M. Simon Says:

      Prohibition is devastating the country. The drugs are incidental.

      Heroin use when drugs were legal? About 1.3% of the population. After about 100 years of opiate prohibition? About 1.3%. But yeah. It is the drugs. Just like it was the alcohol.

    99. Jay8 Says:

      I have a Seventh Grade education on paper

      Yes, which explains why you’re so easily misled.

      Your silly class warfare garbage is swallowed whole by the not so bright.

    100. Jay8 Says:

      Observation and analytical and critical thinking.

      Translation, you can’t really provide any actual examples.

      You are simply making empty assertions over & over….

    101. Jay8 Says:

      that she will hand all my rights and privileges over to the top 2% of earners in the country,

      I would love for you to explain, factually, how this is even possible.

      I won’t hold my breath, however…

    102. M. Simon Says:

      daddy September 12th, 2010 at 6:34 am,

      I have studied Palin’s Alaska record. Before becoming VP candidate her approvals were in the upper 70s. She is more libertarian than conservative. Which is why I like her.

    103. Anonymous Says:

      A fine discussion and LOTS of great points made. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel let me suggest that so far unmentioned is Palin’s TV “presence.” Palin has that undefinable but I-know-it-when-I-see-it all important *Q* factor regarded as so vital by television executives and which most of her erstwhile/potential opponents sorely lack–and they know it. Thus the Barny Fife philosophy of “Nip it–nip it in the bud” unceasing desperate attempts to degrade her public image. True enough, TV presence is not everything, but it’s not nothing either–especially when all her potential opponents–male OR female–suffer by comparison. And while before Chris Christie proved me wrong I would have said that we will never again elect an over-weight candidate for President ala Taft in the TV/weightwatchers age, nor a bald(ing) or short man, (and Mitch Daniels may prove the latter belief wrong as well,) I still believe that a magnetic TV personality, while not sufficient unto itself for a successful Presidential candidate, is well neigh botton-line necessary in the age of You Tube/cell-phone cameras–which gives Palin a head-start. (I WOULD have used the phrase “a leg up” but that might be–WOULD be–viewed by ardent feminists–as sexist. :) )

      Also too so far unmentioned is that,whatever gaps in her knowledge-base, Palin has the sort of political/”people” instincts (in the best sense of the term in ability to both connect with the public with a well-turned phrase as well as make policy choices) that simply cannot be taught. And it is FAR, FAR easier to mate a policy brain-trust to good instincts to cover knowledge gaps than mind-meld political instincts onto a policy wonk.

      For these and all the other reasons mentioned so ably by others above–sociocultural, sexual, political, etc.,–the left is wise to Fear the Palin.

    104. virgil xenophon Says:

      Sorry–that was me above@2:13

    105. anonymous Says:

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      Oh wait, your actually serious. Let me laugh even harder.

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA

      Thanks for lightening my day up, I needed the laugh.

    106. larryo Says:

      The degree and volume of venom directed at her staggers the imagination.

      And it pales into insignificance in comparison to the degree and volume of venom directed at Barak Obama since he won the presidency – not even close. Now, I vigorously disagree with many Obama Administration policies, but the left has nothing on the right when it comes to venom or volume. More than 90% of talk radio covers the spectrum from center-right to rabid, incendiary, radical right-wing sophistry and hate.

      It is unprecedented in recent times especially for someone who does not currently hold office.

      Oh, come now – anyone who catches the negative attention of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly suffers much worse. Aren’t you paying attention?

      Leftists try to rationalize the hatred by claiming that Palin is an extremist, but that is easily disproved by comparing where she stands on various issues versus how many Americans hold the same views.

      You have no idea of what Sarah Palin’s “stands” are on various issues – she talks in talking points and she cannot answer the simplest question with any coherence. When pressed to specify her “stands,” she digresses, changes the subject (just as you veered away from any but the most general discussion of her “stands”) and goes off on something else.

      What we do know about her “stands” is that 1) her official actions have contradicted much of what she says she is all about (i.e., the creation of unprecedented and unwarranted public debt while mayor of Wasilla); 2) she refuses to account for the contradictions in a straightforward manner; 3) she favors the casting out of evil spirits by witch doctors; 4)She publicly supported a group advocating secession from the union, to which her husband belonged; 5) she believes it is responsible to abruptly resign from a public office, for which she has run and to which she was elected, in the middle of the term, for no comprehensible reason.

      How many Americans, really, do you think share those “stands on the various issues” or the “stands on the various issues” they imply.

      Moreover, if she truly were an extremist, she wouldn’t be a threat because she would have no electoral base.

      Electoral base? What electoral base do you think she has, since she tendered the aforementioned resignation and went on the rubber chicken circuit. She’s been there (electoral office), done that and gone on to better things, don’t you think?

      I would go further, but I am bored with this, and you can see how it would go, I trust. I find no “status anxiety” about Sarah Palin on the left, leftism is about egalitarianism (sometimes too much egalitarianism) and the right is elitist, exactly the opposite of what you claim is true – that seems to be a common thread throughout your writing – and so on.

      No, I think the anxiety on the left respecting Sarah Palin is centered on the fact that there are so many Americans who take an opportunistic, airhead hack like that seriously because she has nice legs.

    107. Jay8 Says:

      suffers much worse

      Hysterical.

      Yes, poor wittle Barry! Such the victim!

      You leftists are dulusional.

    108. Jay8 Says:

      and you can see how it would go, I trust.

      Yes, we can certainly see. You would continue to make incoherent and irrelevant “points” on issues you demonstrate a vast ignorance on.

      radical right-wing sophistry and hate.

      Please list one single instance of this “right wing hate” where this vast enterprise of talk show hosts have wished disease or death on the President.

      Just
      One

      Come on bozo, step up. Please.

    109. Jay8 Says:

      leftism is about egalitarianism

      Really?

      Is that why:
      Al Gore
      Bill Clinton
      Herb Kohl (richest member of Congress)
      Oprah
      Hillary Clinton
      John Kerry
      John Edwards
      Insert Kennedy Name Here
      Diane Fienstein
      Nancy Pelosi
      Jay Rockefeller

      All big proponents of leftism, are all worth more than $10 million?

      You are so over your skis here it is embarrassing.

    110. Viator Says:

      Larryo’s post personifies what this whole thread has been about. A post full of Journolist talking points, air-headed innuendo, venom, ignorance and deceit.

    111. Jay8 Says:

      When pressed to specify her “stands,” she digresses, changes the subject

      You can’t provide a single bit of evidence for this assertion.

      she favors the casting out of evil spirits by witch doctors;

      You are a terribly bad liar.

    112. Trent Telenko Says:

      virgil Xenophon,

      Palin also gives off what a friend of mine calls the “Kool-Aide Mom” vibe:

      Sarah Palin is the Kool-Aide Mom. She’s the mom every kid wanted to go over to her house because she ran it with an iron fist in a velvet glove (lots of fun but distinct and clear limits) and always made sure there was plenty of Kool-aid.

      And similar male reactions came from the notorious pick up artist blogger Roissy/Citizen Renegade:

      http://roissy.wordpress.com/2008/09/04/roissy-takes-on-sarah-palin-tenderly/

      But Sarah Palin’s worst enemy is not the mincing liberal betaboy, oh no. It’s the childless, career-tracked, urban slut machine, government-as-daddy-and-husband-substitute, spinsterette. Palin shits grizzly-sized dung all over that lifestyle with her outdoorsiness, large brood, and prole tastes. The thing about her they really can’t swallow are her FIVE kids. There’s no better way to remind a hip clubgoing single chick in the city who loves to travel and sip pinot noir of her impending infertility and genetic obsolescence than with the image of a woman who’s chosen not to ignore her biological imperative in favor of playing the field indefinitely.

      And Orthodox Jewish writer Jonathan Mark:

      Sarah Palin’s Appeal Is Same As Chabad’s

      http://www.thebulletin.us/site/news.cfm?newsid=20126745&BRD=2737&PAG=461&dept_id=623508&rfi=6

      …She reminds me of about a thousand different Chabad shluchot (the rebbe’s women representatives). She’s seems friendly, sexy (forgive me) in an Orthodox way, with that magnetism, optimism, and accessibility that has made Chabad shluchot successful in 5,000 different locales, even though they are almost always considerably more right-wing – religiously and politically-than their congregants and financial supporters.

      Reform, Conservative and other Orthodox Jews don’t get it. How is Chabad is so successful in places where there are no Chasidim? Why do liberal Jews on the Upper West Side want to send their kids to Chabad preschools? Why do many hundreds of non-Chasidic, even non-Orthodox students at Harvard and SUNY Binghamton want to spend Friday night meals with these Chabad Sarah Palins rather than the more mainstream, liberal Jews down the road? It makes no sense.

      Don’t get it, do you?

      Who would you rather have a cup of coffee with on a bungalow porch, a cup that can turn into a three-hour conversation, Sarah Palin or Nancy Pelosi?

      Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton come across like the Queen of Spades of a nanny state; school marms of a school you don’t want to go to. Mrs. Pelosi, in particular, seems like one of those Sisterhood program chairs from a suburban temple whose calls you don’t want to answer.

      Sarah Palin seems like one of those Chabad women who don’t have enough chairs at her table for all the non-Chabad women who’d take a plane or a subway to attend the next shluchot convention in Crown Heights.

      And her feminine to male appeal was something that Ralph Peters noticed back in 2008 as well:

      http://www.nypost.com/seven/09202008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/our_sister_sarah_palins_anti_elitist_cha_129908.htm?page=0

      PALIN’S ANTI-ELITIST CHARM
      Ralph Peters
      Posted: 3:26 am
      September 20, 2008

      I KNOW Sarah Palin, and so does my wife.

      Neither of us ever actually met the governor of Alaska, but we grew up with her – in the small-town America despised by the leftwing elite.

      One gal-pal classmate of my wife’s has even traveled from New York’s Finger Lakes to Alaska to hunt moose with her husband. (Got one, too.) And no, Ms. Streisand, she isn’t a redneck missing half her teeth – she’s a lawyer.

      The sneering elites and their mediacrat fellow travelers just don’t get it: How on earth could anyone vote for someone who didn’t attend an Ivy League school? And having more than 1.7 children marks any woman as a rube. (If Palin had any taste, her teenage daughter would’ve had a quiet abortion in a discreet facility.)

      And what kind of retro-Barbie would stay happily married to her high-school sweetheart? Ugh. She even kills animals and eats them. (The meat and fish served in the upscale bistros patronized by Obama supporters appears by magic – it didn’t really come from living things. . .)

      Palin has that hick accent, too. And that busy-mom beehive ‘do. Double ugh! Bet she hasn’t even read Ian McEwan’s latest novel and can’t explain Frank Gehry’s vision for a new architecture. She and her blue-collar (triple ugh!) husband don’t even own a McMansion, let alone an inherited family compound on the Cape.

      And she wants to be vice president?

      The opinion-maker elites see Sarah Palin clearly every time they look up from another sneering article in The New Yorker: She’s a country-bumpkin chumpette from a hick state with low latte availability. She’s not one of them and never will be. That’s the real disqualifier in this race.

      Now let me tell you what those postmodern bigots with their multiple vacation homes and their disappointing trust-fund kids don’t see:

      Sarah Palin’s one of us. She actually represents the American people.

      My take is more political-historical.

      Gov. Palin is a Generation X style female politician. As a female Alaskan Jock on a high school state championship basketball team, she was never oppressed for being a women growing up.

      Her political awareness started with her first vote for President, which was in 1984, when she was 20. All this gives Gov. Palin a political style that is outside the Democrat’s identity politics frames of reference, particularly for the party’s old school feminist ranks.

      The C-Span videos of her debate Alaska gubernatorial debate performances show that Gov. Palin has a taste for political combat that is stronger than JFK’s and rivals Theodore Roosevelt.

      Her speech at the RNC shows she also has Reagan’s talent for sticking in a rhetorical knife with a smile and a twinkle in her eye.

      The former talent has not been present on the Republican Party at the national level in my life time.

      The latter talent has California former state speaker Willie Brown very concerned for Democratic fortunes.

      The combination of the two talents in a single national level politician is a once a century deal and (whatever you want to say about his campaign staff) McCain had the eye for talent to pick that up.

      Gov. Palin’s background as a western frontier evangelical Christian, gun toting, dress and eat her own kill, state college graduate, mother of five, including a son going to Iraq and a Downs syndrome baby was the “Alien Other” for American Leftists.

      They could not avoid attacking her and they were desperate to see her knocked back to Dan Quayle status due to her youth.

      If Gov Palin established a successful national political brand of her own, she will be around for 20 years on the national stage.

      That effort turned out to be >Epic Fail<.

      We are now at the point where the Republican Senate Candidate defeating Sen Lindsey Graham in SC will be the one Sarah Palin endorses.

    113. CTM Says:

      From the Journolist after the Palin choice was announced – http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/22/when-mccain-picked-palin-liberal-journalists-coordinated-the-best-line-of-attack/

      “The conversation began with a debate over how best to attack Sarah Palin. ‘Honestly, this pick reeks of desperation,’ wrote Michael Cohen of the New America Foundation in the minutes after the news became public. ‘How can anyone logically argue that Sarah Pallin [sic], a one-term governor of Alaska, is qualified to be President of the United States? Train wreck, thy name is Sarah Pallin.’

      Not a wise argument, responded Jonathan Stein, a reporter for Mother Jones. If McCain were asked about Palin’s inexperience, he could simply point to then candidate Barack Obama’s similarly thin resume. ‘Q: Sen. McCain, given Gov. Palin’s paltry experience, how is she qualified to be commander in chief?,’ Stein asked hypothetically. ‘A: Well, she has much experience as the Democratic nominee.’”

      “Daniel Levy of the Century Foundation noted that Obama’s ‘non-official campaign’ would need to work hard to discredit Palin. ‘This seems to me like an occasion when the non-official campaign has a big role to play in defining Palin, shaping the terms of the conversation and saying things that the official [Obama] campaign shouldn’t say…’”

      More here: http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/26/journolist-debates-making-its-coordination-with-obama-explicit/2/

      “Todd Gitlin of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism had already made up his mind. Gitlin, whose job is to train the next generation of America’s most elite journalists, wrote this impassioned plea on behalf of the Obama campaign: ‘On the question of liberals coordinating, what the hell’s wrong with some critical mass of liberal bloggers & journalists saying the following among themselves:

      ‘McCain lies about his maverick status. Routinely, cavalierly, cynically. Palin lies about her maverick status. Ditto, ditto, ditto. McCain has a wretched temperament. McCain is a warmonger. Palin belongs to a crackpot church and feels warmly about a crackpot party that trashes America.’”

      Their responses to her convention speech are priceless: “This speech is gangbusters,’ wrote Ari Melber of the Nation. ‘Her tone is pitch perfect.’ Adele Stan of the Media Consortium agreed: ‘Palin is golden.’ The exuberance appeared to unnerve the Guardian’s Michael Tomasky. ‘People get a hold of yourselves!’”

    114. Becky Says:

      Shannon, well written. As someone who has been living this divide within my own family for over 30 years, and getting what you are saying for over 20 years, I can say that you hit this spot on. Many excellent comments in here as well.

      I would like to make one comment that I think you might find interesting – though you might have to wade through to the end. I’m a babyboomer (1958) who grew up in So. California and I have been right at the tip of the spear of cultural change for ALL of my life. The short of it is that something is happening right now to me personally, that as in much of my life, is happening on a very grand scale. You see, my sisters loathe Palin and are the poster children for what you have described here. For many years we have had family arguments over issues. The arguments became increasingly bitter around 10 years ago, but were still like good blood sport that could be shaken off once our energies were spent. However, in the last 6 years, their smug-self-righteous-holier-than-thou began to rip at the fabric of our family. Loving my sisters greatly, I have worked VERY hard to put the family first and do all I could to avoid any discussion or pitfalls. The courtesy did not extend both ways by any stretch of the imagination. But still I gave it my best.

      In my last visit with one of my sisters, she managed to lie in wait and finally, despite my best efforts and pleadings for the converstaion to stop, found an opportunity to tell me how concerned she was for me because I was so afraid of new things, and so fearful of Muslims and people who are different. So, she basically pats me on the head and herself on the back. Only this time it was different. I gave it one last try, one last pleading to simply avoid all things PC and to ask her just to, as I had done, show basic respect for all that we had as sisters and not use any and every conversation as an opportunity to attempt to get me to convert to her point of view.

      She couldn’t do it. And this is the point that I think you will find interesting. This time, for me personally, the wound was fatal. I’m just not interested in trying to make it work anymore. It saddens me more than anything I can imagine. I’ve made other plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and though the loss saddens me, I feel a sense of relief and am happy that I have. I neither want nor am willing to put up with the aggravation anymore. They want to call me ugly and unwarranted names like racist and homophobic and Islamophobic and sneer at me. And worse now, I have to put up with the crap from their grown children as well. I’m done. Do they really believe they can &*^o on me every time they see me and that I would keep coming back for more?

      I think they will be very surprised in the next few years as they realize they are no longer the cool crowd. They can’t change. Their egos are far to invested in being superior simply by virtue of the fact that they carry the liberal flag. Instead, I suspect they will just continue to become more shrill and insular. As for me, it’s just time to grieve my loss and move forward.

    115. Some Centrist Says:

      meh.

    116. Dave Says:

      The best and most concise explanation of the liberal I’ve read. CNN continuing to promote that Vanity Faire punk Gross is understandable now. Thanks.

    117. Darren Says:

      This is a joke. Right? It has to be.

    118. Ritchie The Riveter Says:

      It is only a joke, to those who don’t see the humor material in their own worldviews.

      There is one other thing that comes to mind about Sarah’s acceptance by conservatives … her actions have a fundamental element that she holds in common with the many success stories of conservative media … including Rush, Beck, Hannity, Levin … and Hanson, and Krauthammer, and Williams, and Sowell.

      That element is that she reinforces what reasonable people have already figured out for themselves, by giving those ideas a public voice that refuses to be silenced by the pooh-poohing of the politically-correct Ruling Class.

      Unlike those on the Left, who believe that the best leaders are Messianic figures who MUST take them to the next level of intellect, conservatives view their best leaders as fellow-travelers on the highway of sound, established, trusted principle … who don’t throw out the baby of liberty with the bathwater of “enlightened” governance.

    119. MiHi Says:

      Nice sack of garbage there, Trollo. Thing is, had the conservatives had 100% their way throughout the 20th Century, Sarah Palin would be in the kitchen fetching a beer for her man and she’d better keep her lip shut if she don’t want a pimp hand busting it open.

      Sarah Palin’s very fame is BECAUSE of the efforts and the sacrifices of the Left, and she is one of it’s biggest betrayers to all those decades of struggle.

    120. Jay8 Says:

      leftism is about egalitarianism

      Uh-huh. I guess that is why 41 Obama administration officials owe $831,000 in back taxes. That’s more than $20,000 per official for all of you egalitarians counting…

    121. Metamorf Says:

      Larryo: …because she has nice legs

      Think maybe Larryo has a little status anxiety about legs? But maybe he’s just naive — see “leftism is about egalitarianism”, which is one of the more gullible assertions I’ve seen in a while.

    122. Anonymous Says:

      What I object to in this post and many of the comments is the pseudo-psychological analysis that presumes that because people on the left disagree with you that disagreement can only be explained by some psychological dysfunction or evil motive. This is exactly what the left has done in the past, e.g. it’s attempt to portray the right as suffering from authoritarian personality issues, which is utter nonsense. The “status anxiety” theory is nonsense as well. We are a country of 300+ million people and we are are not all going to arrive at the same conclusions. Disagreement is not a sign of some psychological problem. American history is filled with a great diversity of views about how to run a modern liberal republic. This is a good example of conservatives mirror-imaging the left.

      Shannon,
      No, it a blog dedicated to the “Chicago” school of economics. Read the masthead.
      Fair point, I’ll concede that to you.

      The idea that American conservatism is a European import is simply delusional to the point of comedy.

      “A second noticeable feature of the traditionalist group was its extraordinary orientation toward Europe. We have already noted its relative lack of interest in the specifically American past. One must take care not to exaggerate; nevertheless, the principle early acts of recovery were of European conservatives–Burke and Metternich, for instance–not Americans…
      …Instead, they imported European insights and took their stand at home.”

      “The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America” by George Nash

      I’m sorry where the hell would you “import” individualism and veneration of America from? Who do imagine the American right was copying?Riiiiight, because when you think “European Conservative” you think gun rights, entrepreneurship, decentralized government, decentralized religion, meritocracy and all-hogs-to-the-trough capitalism.

      “…nearly all the leading new conservatives took pains to dissociate themselves from the “nineteenth-century liberalism” that was also enjoying a new vogue on the Right. Most vehement was Viereck; his conservatism, he said, had nothing to do with rootless, “cash nexus,” selfish, laissez-faire individualism. Russell Kirk also emphasized that his kind of traditionalism was not a defense of materialistic businessmen or the “dogmas of Manchesterian economic theory.” “Conservatism is something more than mere solicitude for tidy incomes.” In a lengthy critique of Ludwig von Mises…Kirk warned of the dangers of rationalistic, atomistic capitalism and utilitarianism: “…once supernatural and traditional sanctions are dissolved, economic self-interest is ridiculously inadequate to hold an economic system together, and even less adequate to preserve order.” Kirk had worked for a “soulless corporation” and had lived in a dreary industrial city; he had no inclination to idealize free enterprise. Robert Nisbet was also critical of the corrosive, anti-social laissez-faire of the nineteenth century: it had weakened social bonds and “accelerated” the aggrandizement of the “omnicompetent State.”"

      “The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America” by George Nash

      An excellent book, perhaps you should read it.

      You seem to believe that conservatives are defined by the old Eastern Establishment bluebloods

      Actually I don’t believe that at all. Maybe you should refrain from attributing views to me that I do not hold.

      “that is only relevant if you believe that Buckly was somehow a significant figure in American conservatism which he was not.”

      Seriously? Buckley was NOT a significant figure in American conservatism? Hmm.

      “American conservatives are cowboys, they don’t hanker for a European aristocracy.”

      Dude, come on. Are you a cowboy? When was the last time you were on a horse? The archetypal image of the cowboy appeals to me too, but this just show how outdated conservative imagery is.

      I think you need to brush up on your conservative history. You also need to develop the ability to distinguish between the many varieties of liberal-republican ideas that were in play throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and the old-world conservatism that captured the imagination of the founders of the American conservative movement in the 1950s, they are not the same thing.

      Adios, buckaroo.

    123. Tom Holsinger Says:

      What really concerns me is the depth and heat of the hatred directed at Sarah Palin – far more than even that directed at Ronald Reagan or Richard Nixon. I am familiar with the latter because my politician father’s greatest disappointment in life was that he didn’t make Nixon’s “Enemies List” but his best friend (banker Ray Lapin) did. And Ray never let Pop forget about it.

      Shannon Love is entirely correct that it is personal for Sarah Palin – she threatens the self-conceptions and self-worth of the Left. And, as Trent Telenko ably established, that goes double for lefty women.

      IMO there is a terrifying chance that this hatred will be expressed as MULTIPLE assassination attempts on Sarah Palin, notably after Obama leaves office in 2013 and is no longer a restraining influence. Lefty nutballs with real emotional problems will be then egged on by a totally berserk left and their mainstream media associates.

      We’ve seen something like this before from the right, in 1993-94, and it led to the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. Only this is worse – far, far worse – for reasons Shannon Love and Trent Telenko have described.

    124. phil Says:

      The “Anonymous” comment above is me. I forgot to enter my info.

    125. Becky Says:

      Seriously? Buckley was NOT a significant figure in American conservatism? Hmm.

      You have really nailed a major difference in thought between the left and the right. For you, Buckley must be a significant figure because he was “the face” of American conservatism in a time period when conservative thought was not well represented in television, magazines, popular music, art etc.

      The left has values that can change on a dime, depending on the charisma of the person making the case. Thus we see the “anti-war” movement disappear once Obama is elected and the silence of the Feminist movement over the Acorn scandal of importing teenage prostitutes, etc. etc.

      Conservatives have a set of values that they adhere to and thus anyone can express them, be it Joe down the street or Sarah Palin. You either get it our you don’t.

    126. Ritchie The Riveter Says:

      Thing is, had the conservatives had 100% their way throughout the 20th Century, Sarah Palin would be in the kitchen fetching a beer for her man and she’d better keep her lip shut if she don’t want a pimp hand busting it open.

      Actually, no, mihi … apparently you have this stereotype of conservative women as weak sisters who can’t stand up for themselves. I was raised by a nice Baptist mother whose assertiveness gives the lie to your assertions.

      In part, because … like Sarah … she knows how to handle a firearm if the need arises.

      There are many more like her … and they either predate Gloria Steinem et. al. or took inspiration from them and ran with it, with no other help required.

    127. pst314 Says:

      “The authors’ thesis is that Palin stands on the ‘wrong’ (in the eyes of the coastal elites in media and academia) side of three great polarizing divides. There is the obvious ‘Liberal-Conservative’ divide. There is the rift between Faith-Secular…and the one between Urbans and Rurals”

      Very good point. I know militantly secular people who voted for Obama because they could not stomach a believing Christian. Their hatred for Christianity made them blind to Obama’s far-left politics. To this day they cannot accept that Christians might be faithful defenders of their freedom.

    128. Robert G. Oler Says:

      LOl. Look I supported Palin for McCain’s VP before the FL primary was over. On paper (and reading her speeches/listening to them etc) she seemed perfect.

      Problem is that she went nutty. I would like a candidate for President (or VP) to be able to say what Newspapers they read, or explain the Bush doctrine (or at least read the briefing paper that was prepared for her on it…I know there was one)…or who can tell you more about Iran and their search for a special then “strength”..

      who cares where she lives or what school she went to. To argue that it is those things that make her unpopular with the left is nutty. I’ve read her stuff on facebook about a strong US Navy. She 1) doesnt know what she is talking about and 2) wont apparently listen to people who do.

      That really troubles me..

      Robert G. Oler

    129. Robert G. Oler Says:

      “In part, because … like Sarah … she knows how to handle a firearm if the need arises”

      who cares. the reality is that if the right wing had their way, women would not be in combat in the military.

      Robert

    130. pst314 Says:

      “Even if I concede the point that Buckley was simply mimicking Burke (who died a 150 years before) that is only relevant if you believe that Buckley was somehow a significant figure in American conservatism which he was not. Buckley was the pet conservative of the Northeast Media establishment. He was what they imagined a conservative to be and that is why he got air time. They didn’t like someone like Goldwater with his drawl and western suits.”

      What the Northeast media establishment thought is, in this context, irrelevant.

      Buckley is important because he worked hard to nurture conservatism, including strains which had nothing to do with the country-club set he came from.

    131. Everett Hamilton Says:

      Anonymous,

      “This is a person who will spout off knee jerk opinions without a shred of research or put any real analytical or critical thought upon them. She has come to a conclusion about the meaning of life, and more importantly the afterlife, (e.g. “the bible”) and has discarded any curiosty about the world or made any attempt to add to here knowledge or think about topics beyond what she concluded probably many years ago.”

      That was about the most self-centered elitist comment I’ve seen in a long time. Your throw out all of your straw men and then proceed to project all of your failings on someone else without giving one shred of evidence for your argument.

      Your gratitudious slap at her religious beliefs show your own lack of intellectual curiosty and show just how little you respect anyone else’s opinions.

    132. DRJ Says:

      Excellent post.

    133. Becky Says:

      “who cares. the reality is that if the right wing had their way, women would not be in combat in the military”

      As someone who sat square on the divide of women entering the workplace and military I can say that your point is representative of the self-righteous, smug preening that will grant you the same place at the table that old Aunt Mildred had. You know, the loud mouth, pain in the ass that ruins every dinner conversation by looking to impart “wisdom” in every discussion from politics to flower arrangements.

      Yes, conservatives moved slowly into the womens’ movement. But unlike the liberals who thought that motherhood was servitude and having an orgasim was the highest form of womanhood, conservatives managed to move to a place where both motherhood,marriage and working were considered acceptable forms of self-satisfaction.

      The fact is that Palin and other women are the face of the Tea Party and conservative movement. Deal with it. The face of the left is a bunch old rich white people still desperately trying to be hip and not grasping that the world moved on around them.

    134. peter jackson Says:

      I can’t say that I disagree with any of Shannon’s points here, but the truth is this type of psycho-existential dilemma will be encountered by anyone who invests their egos into a particular political beliefs. I know quite a few on the right who have identified too closely with their beliefs only to be devastated when reality contradicts them.

    135. Anonymous Says:

      You guys are nuts. The reason Palin scares people is because she is an idiot – not class, not looks, not politics, and certainly not extreme ideas.

      What you seem to be calling “leftists” is quite actually the present plural, electoral majority – and not a small, elite minority.

    136. Ginny Says:

      Thanks Shannon. This seems quite true.

      I submerge myself in my own little world (net class) and come back to find Lex is a rock star who truly understands Beck (because, of course, Lex understands history) and you truly understand PDS, because of course you understand the psychology of this strange group that wants to tell the rest of us what’s moral and what’s important.

      A part of me dreads seeing Palin in office – but that is the part that feels bullied. I don’t want another 8 years like the Bush ones. And, no, the attitude toward Obama is not the same, though it is quickly becoming as critical. I don’t want people wanting her death (as they did Bush, as they do Christie). The right doesn’t personalize as much – but they also don’t lose perspective as much.

      This hatred may be fed by another source: she is pre-menopausal. I’ll admit this moves into squishy archetypal Jungian territory, but I’ve always felt men suffer fromm womb envy and childless women from fertility envy. I had my children late and I remember that gut-level fear of a barren life. These feelings are primal and we cloak them in more civilized charges, but they affect us, in minor but real ways.

      The feminists act like women had no power until 1969. That isn’t true, though I think it was more likely to happen in a pioneer society, one that was newly forming its definitions of government. I suspect Elizabeth I maniipulated her virginal image for that effect; in India and Israel women leaders arose who were clearly at a later stage, as was Thatcher. (Of course, you don’t get young guys taking such roles, either, so maybe this theory has no validity.)

      Of course, I could continue in this vein and argue that when we have the power of government and the power of the womb we may be just too intimidating.

      On the other hand, I know when I was pregnant and nursing, I was (surprisingly) not nasty, bitchy, and restless. I returned to my true self as they were weaned. Palin has proved that she can bear children, remain an effective executive, and have enough guts to stand up to the most virulent of attacks. That impresses me – she’s a stronger woman than I. But I suspect some sense of woman as nurturer may be a bit worrisome in terms of the presidential football. I think such doubts, such envy, such intimidation would be less if Palin were ten years older. Of course, at the rate she’s going, she’s going to be a bombshell at 50.

    137. Mauro Says:

      Status anxiety is an interesting thesis, but I think that the real issue with her is that she’s basically a walking cliché. It’s not her ideas that are problematic, but her middle-America anti-intellectualism and superstition that is a problem, because the people go crazy for it and it’s dangerous for America. Basically, she’s George W. Bush without the competence and deep thought. And she drives public opinion; since she’s so popular, when she has some idea, it *becomes* mainstream even if it’s simply ridiculous.

      Honestly, I can’t remember any of her positions right now, other than her “refudiation” of the community center, but let’s go back to some of her additions to the discourse: death panels, problems with Acorn, “real” America, etc. None of these make any sense whatsoever. There aren’t really any death panels, but she got people to be against good legislation and to thereby make it bad legislation. The whole anti-Acorn thing was just ridiculous, and they got shut down while providing extremely valuable services to the community (and were cleared of wrongdoing in that “investigation” that resulted from Palin’s misplaced hatred of that organization). “Real” America, finally, is just a way for the uneducated to feel superior, to engage in a kind of class warfare. Those people in the middle states aren’t “educated elites” (and this is by no means a generalization of *all* people in those middle states), and they have resentment toward those who are more qualified to make rational decisions. “Ha, you college-educated guys think you’re so smart. Well, I’m better than you!” She tapped into that feeling. And this is *bad*, because it turns out that yes, we college-educated guys *are* so smart, and we don’t go burning Korans or blindly invading Middle Eastern countries when we’re angry. Our values come from inside rather than from superstition, and we don’t try to ban homosexuality or interracial marriage, and we don’t believe “the Jews” control the banks. When you go with your gut feeling, sometimes that’s just really, really wrong, and we have college-educated people to point that out. Uniting the uneducated against the educated is just a REALLY stupid idea.

      And this is why liberals don’t like Sarah Palin. The Tea Party movement, of which she is a huge part — if not the actual Tea Party, certainly the movement itself — is not a movement of rational people who think that the country is being run badly, but a movement of not very smart people (mostly) who believe silly things (Obama is a Muslim! Obama’s from Kenya!) and have silly positions (Obama is the devil so if *he* likes this, it must be awful! Health care is bad because it’s run by the government!). This movement stakes out policy positions that would be *very bad* for the country to take, but instead of thinking about them rationally, they rationalize their gut instincts against the “socialist” Obama, because whatever he likes is “socialist”. Sarah Palin, being stupid, IS MAKING AMERICA STUPID. Does this threaten the liberals’ status? OK, sure. But that’s not important — what’s important is that WE DON’T WANT AMERICA TO BE STUPID BECAUSE IT’S BAD TO BE STUPID. A value judgment up for debate, that one. You can go ahead and try to disagree.

    138. Becky Says:

      “The whole anti-Acorn thing was just ridiculous”

      Because it is just so ridiculous to ignore or even facilitate the importation of teenage prostitutes across the border, isn’t it Muaro? It was sadly, just one of many moments in recent memory when the left exposed that it has little, if any soul left to it. What’s amazing is that they are so 100% delusional that they actually believe they are holding some sort of moral high-ground as they flippantly brush it away.

    139. Viator Says:

      Good post Trent Telenko! There is some great stuff here after you wade through the left wing zombies and trolls. I have been checking in periodically on some of the other articles written about The Governor over the weekend and posted on the net. Guaranteed instant mass political demo.
      That very phenomenon tells you a great deal about The Governor. Nobody else comes close.

      Gotta love this:

      “The C-Span videos of her debate Alaska gubernatorial debate performances show that Gov. Palin has a taste for political combat that is stronger than JFK’s and rivals Theodore Roosevelt.

      Her speech at the RNC shows she also has Reagan’s talent for sticking in a rhetorical knife with a smile and a twinkle in her eye.

      The former talent has not been present on the Republican Party at the national level in my life time.”

    140. Jay8 Says:

      and they got shut down while providing extremely valuable services to the community (and were cleared of wrongdoing in that “investigation” that resulted from Palin’s misplaced hatred of that organization).

      Yes, these are “valuable services”

      A former ACORN worker is convicted of election fraud for her role during the 2008 presidential election.

      Maria Miles, of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, was charged along with Kevin Clancy. Miles admitted she turned in multiple voter registration applications for the same people and registered other ACORN workers to vote multiple times.

      That is one example and she faces 3/5 years in jail. Here is acorn at the aggregate:

      Congress voted in September 2009 to cut off federal funding for ACORN — the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now – after evidence surfaced that employees of the community organization and activism group had fraudulently registered non-qualified voters in several states. ACORN-employed community counselors were also videotaped advising people posing as a pimp and a prostitute on how to get a mortgage loan to open a brothel.

      Finding all of that on google took 30 seconds.

      And you can’t provide a singular example of the valuable services acorn allegedly provides.

      Again, ignorance is a virtue for leftists.

    141. snowball Says:

      My, my ! All this fuss about a woman whose good looks alone corrupts the wielders of the wizard’s wand of television, the driver of the human engine in the world.

      A little psychology for the “masters” of psychological manipulation: the “elite” in the Ivy League, the “Blue States” and government, TV “news” and talk show stars, Hollywood, the “Mad men” the ultimate experts, and pollsters who polish the effects of these elite.

      Sarah Palin has been given a forum that money can’t buy with their reponses to her appearance as understudy onto the national stage. Her appearance that threatened the plans for THEIR “Messiah”, THEIR star, to “take the emmy /oscar /the prize” (but he got that anyway from the Oslo claque).

      Her beauty alone garnered attention in a visually controlled world. And When she spoke : apoplexy among the “elite”.

      What is happening: FINALLY a symbol for the most beautiful nation in the world whose beauty they had worked so assiduously for so long to despoil. Perhaps they too, being so smart, educated, sophisticated remember that in the West so many symbols for Liberty, are BEAUOTIFUL women, NOT harridans: The Statue of Liberty, Britannia, and Marianne.

      So smart elite, so much more subtle, more “sophisticated”, so beautiful-peoplish”, that they cannot/do not see what is in front of them. THEY HAVE MADE SARAH PALIN the force she is. By taking up the gauntlet she threw down in her candidacy acceptance speech.

      They are really useful, to her, idiots. And why not? They have been useful idiots for a very long time, manipulated by the conmen who schmoozed them to think they are the stars of the show just because they are a gang. When they are only the chorus for the directors and producers of the show,which shall ultimately destroy them as they have attempted to destroy the nation which is the haven for the REAL people of the world.

    142. Trent Telenko Says:

      Becky,

      Problem like that you faced with your Leftist sisters has been remarked upon even in the NY TIMES.

      See below:

      http://www.keshertalk.com/archives/2006/10/elephantroom.php

      OCTOBER 30, 2006
      The Elephant in the Room

      Everyone is buzzing about this article in yesterday’s NY Times which tells it like it is for me and all my Liberal Hawk/disgruntled Democrat/Republican/conservative friends.

      Everything we had been complaining about since 2003, acknowledged in ink on newsprint, by the former Paper of Record :

      FOR years, Sheri Langham looked at the Republican politics of her parents as a tolerable quirk, one she could roll her eyes at and turn away from when the disagreements grew a bit deep. But earlier this year, Ms. Langham, 37, an ardent Democrat, found herself suddenly unable even to speak to her 65-year-old mother, a retiree in Arizona who, as an enthusiastic supporter of President Bush, “became the face of the enemy,” she said.

      “Things were getting to me, and it became such a moral litmus test that all I could think about was, ‘How can she support these people?’ ” said Ms. Langham, a stay-at-home mother in suburban Virginia. The mother and daughter had been close, but suddenly they stopped talking and exchanging e-mail messages. The freeze lasted almost a month. “Finally, it hit me that if one of us got hit by a bus tomorrow, I don’t want my final thought to be, ‘She supports George Bush,’ ” Ms. Langham said.
      This woman is a 37-year-old adult with a child, and she freezes out her child’s grandmother over politics. ‘Nuff said. (Maybe if she actually asks her mother about her views, and listens, her question will be answered.)

      and

      Josh has an idea about the disparity in shrillness and tolerance for diversity between conservatives and liberals:

      . . . . The conservative view of politics holds that it does not encompass all spheres of human activity. (As an aside, the apolitical realm is not the “private” sphere advanced by the modern left.) There is no sound reason, for example, to reject association with like-minded parents, or friendships with co-workers, or the company of one’s own mother, on the grounds of political disagreements. Yet we see emphatic Democrats doing all these things in Kornblut’s piece. Why? We can only hypothesize, with the caveat that perhaps, if the tables were turned, Republicans and conservatives might behave the same way toward their family and neighbors — even if, in the last comparable period, from January 1993 through January 1995, it doesn’t seem they did.

      A core leftist tenet may be expressed in the old feminist cliché, “the personal is political.” This gets muddied a bit by the left’s predilection for espousing “privacy,” as found in some metaphysical emanation or penumbra of the Constitution; but the net — and discrete — effect of this espousal is not a depoliticizing of the “private” sphere. Precisely the opposite: where “privacy” is invoked, it is toward a definite politicized end, be it the legitimization of arbitrary couplings under the rubric of marriage, or the breaking-down of the social structures necessary for the maintenance of a conservative order. In this context, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to maintain relationships with people with whom one disagrees on political or ideological grounds.

      There is an internal consistency here, but it’s pitiable nonetheless. The spectacle of a grown woman rejecting her own aged mother over their conflicting opinions on the Bush Administration, to take just one anecdote from Kornblut’s piece, is at best an affront to piety borne of a monumental lack of perspective. To borrow a non-leftist parallel, one is reminded of Ayn Rand’s furious fault-finding with those who dared disagree with her (a peevish trait satirized quite well by Murray Rothbard in “Mozart Was a Red”). But Rand’s group was, and remains, essentially a cult. The Democratic Party is not. Or, I should say, it didn’t used to be. I’ve written before on the increasingly cultic aspects of its hard core — and it’s a sincere pity now to read that the phenomenon has metastasized to afflict neighbors, companions, and the rightful claimants to familial love.

      if you read this blog you know I disagree with Josh’s description of and attitude towards the gay marriage movement, but I think his diagnosis of liberal cultishness is right on. And I know that if Josh and I got to sit down for a cup of coffee – as we kept trying to do when he was in town for the GOP convention in 04 and never found the time – we would enjoy each other’s company and have a friendly argument about it. (Hell, Josh had been reading my blog for over a year when he emailed me to let me know he would be in town, and he wanted to hoist a few anyway.) And I know if we each had three kids the same age, he would allow them to play together even if I had an Andrew Sullivan magnet on my fridge.

      The sad thing is that not only do Leftist/Democrats do that to those on the Right.

      They do it to each other, depending on situation.

      Just ask Hillary Clinton and her primary supporters, as Ben Shapiro wrote about the Leftist/Democratic Party double standard in 2008:

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/09/sexism_rears_its_ugly_head.html

      The Democrats’ support of women’s rights, it seems, is restricted only to the most convenient political situation: liberal women versus white males. When it’s liberal women versus black males — see Clinton vs. Obama — the left dumps women’s rights in favor of racial gains. When it’s conservative women versus anybody, the left ignores women’s rights completely.

      For Sarah Palin, according to the left, it’s back to the kitchen and the minivan. And for liberal women who sit by idly as Palin is excoriated for her gender, there’s a special place in hell. At least according to Madeleine Albright. Who, so far, has said nothing.

      and by Suzanne Fields noted the same issue:

      http://townhall.com/columnists/SuzanneFields/2008/09/12/the_sarah_palin_squeeze

      Watching the media and the feminist movement do such an ideological back flip is painful. Entertaining, like watching demolition derby or ultimate fighting, but painful.
      The notabilities of the mainstream media are suffering acute PMS. That’s Palin Motherhood Syndrome.

      Instead of appreciating Sarah Palin as mother, experienced executive and smart politician, they’re venting their rage at the multitasking mom. How could she hide her pregnancy for so many months? How dare she return to work as governor of Alaska three days after giving birth? How could she deprive her teenage daughter of effective sex education? And how could she have deprived both herself and the daughter of an abortion when that would have solved everything so neatly?

      National Public Radio interviews women about what they think of the way Sarah Palin fuels the “Mommy Wars.” Unlike the pollsters, NPR finds mostly women who describe the governor as “selfish” and “overambitious,” whose heart simply isn’t in the right place. The working mothers who juggle work and children say that juggling five children is wrong, but don’t say exactly what the perfect number would be. Four? Three? Six? Some of these women were liberal feminists who only yesterday applauded women who combine children and careers. Not now. Not with Sarah Palin. The times, they must be a-changing back.

      The problem you had with your sisters is not about you.

      It is very much about them and the black, hurting hollow place where their souls used to be.

      Substituting politics for religious faith does that.

    143. Jay8 Says:

      She has come to a conclusion about the meaning of life, and more importantly the afterlife, (e.g. “the bible”) and has discarded any curiosty about the world or made any attempt to add to here knowledge or think about topics beyond what she concluded probably many years ago.”

      Um, huh?

      Coming to a conclusion on the afterlife isn’t terribly difficult as people tend to fall into 2 camps. The first being believers in God, and the second (a tiny minority) being atheists.

      By the way, I would hardly give credit to someone saying something so silly as this:

      Asked at what point a baby gets “human rights,” Obama, who strongly supports abortion rights, said: “… whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade.”

      Your comments about Palin’s “curiosity” are silly and factually incorrect.

    144. Bilwick Says:

      “Liberals” (i.e., State fellators) need these Republican “demons” for smoke-screen. A “liberal” can point to them with one hand, saying, “Look! Look at that awful/evil/dumb Republican!” and distract the “marks” while picking their pockets with the other hand.

    145. Shannon Love Says:

      Mauro,

      Thank you for your post. It is a textbook example of the way that leftists create cartoonish narratives to reinforce their own sense of superiority and to justify elitist rule. I was going to do a detailed refutation but your arguments are so textbook that I think make it a seperate post so I really have the room to detail everything.

      Right now, I’ll just note that when you say this:

      …I think that the real issue with her is that she’s basically a walking cliché.

      … you are telling the truth. To you Palin is a cliche but you fail to recognize that she appears to be a cliche only because you don’t actually know anything about her or the Tea Party. Instead, you clearly rely solely on a silly cartoon version of both that was created by leftwing political marketing.

      You have a little cartoon Palin scampering around in your head who is quite definitely a clown. However, that model has little to do with the real Palin or her real arguments. Likewise, you have a cartoonish and elitist view of the Tea Party. You can’t even get the demographics correct.

      Let me offer you a challenge to prove you really don’t understand. Try and make two short cogent arguments supporting the death panels idea and the liberations of Iraq. I mean do it seriously as if you actually supported the ideas. Make the best case you think you can for the ideas without any snark. This is a test to see if you really understand what people you disagree with are saying. I am willing to bet you will not be able to do so because you’ve never actually listened to what non-leftists have ever said. All you know is the distorted view that was spoon fed you.

      But again, thanks for your comment. It’s a great showcase for what I was talking about.

    146. Robert G. Oler Says:

      Becky Says:
      September 12th, 2010 at 10:20 pm ..

      typical

      nothing you said refutes my point…that had the right wing had its way there would be no opportunities in the military for women other then the traditional female ones.

      The rant you go on about “motherhood” is absurd and completely non factual.

      The problem that the vast majority of the people in the US have with Palin…is she is an empty suit and a lazy one.

      It is far easier to spout “faith and family” to non critical cheering crowds, or hold up ones baby who has disabilities….then it is to read a briefing paper and actually LEARN the Bush doctrine and be able to comment on it critically.

      Palin has/had enormous potential, she was given a great platform…but she had to work for it and instead chose (and still picks) the cliches instead of real politics and policies. That will get her a long way with the uncritical far right…but no farther.

      Robert G. Oler

    147. Robert G. Oler Says:

      Shannon Love Says:
      September 13th, 2010 at 9:59 am

      there is no case to support either death panels or the “liberation” of Iraq.

      Death panels are not in the health care bill and all we did was invade Iraq. (btw I was in country for three years Anbar and Dylia)

      Robert G. Oler

    148. Becky Says:

      Trent, thank you! I enjoyed every word. And you sadly are right when you conclude, “The problem you had with your sisters is not about you.
      It is very much about them and the black, hurting hollow place where their souls used to be. Substituting politics for religious faith does that.” It has taken me over six years to come to terms with it and it is a deep loss.

      Yes, the faithful of the left have morphed into religious zealots who hold their nose in such a manner as if they perpetually smell something bad. When confronted with facts that counter their world view you get that little spark of acknowledgement quickly extinguished by a lame attempt at justification. If that fails to convince, it is followed with parrot like squawks of the talking points du jour that, that somehow magically always end with two minutes of hate(or is it twenty)on George Bush and Sarah Palin.

      I have much I could say, but (fortunately I suppose) little time, but I would like to comment on just one comment:

      “Every person in the piece who actively rejects a friend or family member over politics is a Democrat.”

      That is still true, but one thing I have noticed is changing in a very significant way. Not that I wouldn’t happily avoid politics and take my sisters back in a heartbeat, but left now sits in the uncomfortable position of finger-wagging Aunt Mildred, crazy-talk Uncle Bob or that loud, drunk relative at a wedding. They will make a scene, you know they will and – as much as you love them- there comes a point where you simply make the decision not to allow them the opportunity to do so anymore. This is indeed significant in that the hard left was about being forever young and cool by raging against the man. But like the drunk relative, only they think they are lively and entertaining, everyone else just wants them to shut up and stop ruining the party. They have a choice now. They can sober up or continually shrink their circles to where they are still the belle of the ball.

      The reason they hate Palin so much is the same reason the fantacal Muslims hate the West: If they are unable to utterly destroy, the young-ens will no longer look up to them, but will see them as old fuddy duddies, out of touch with the modern world.

    149. Anonymous Says:

      Palin is a nightmare to the left’s socialist utopian vision for America, which is why they have attacked her so horrifically. They will continue to do simply because of threat that they KNOW that she is.

    150. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Well, it looks like the Instalaunch brought out some kooks but, as Shannon wrote, there are some real examples of what we were discussing.

      “This is a person who will spout off knee jerk opinions without a shred of research or put any real analytical or critical thought upon them. She has come to a conclusion about the meaning of life, and more importantly the afterlife, (e.g. “the bible”) and has discarded any curiosty about the world or made any attempt to add to here knowledge or think about topics beyond what she concluded probably many years ago.”

      Can anyone take such a person seriously ? I am assuming this is an atheist cri de coeur. It is also an example of the leftist pseudo-elite attitude that could be carved in stone. These are the people who believe she tried to ban books because reporters interviewed the man she defeated for mayor of Wasilla and took his job at face value. This person believes, and probably really believes, that he understands her “onclusion about the meaning of life” because, after all, isn’t that how all Bible believers think ?

      Great job Shannon.

      I do feel for the woman in the story about political differences with her mother. Three of my children supported Obama and still seem to. I can understand two of them, one a trial lawyer and the other a grad student, but the third one perplexes me. She will not talk about it, though, and she hates Sarah Palin. We just avoid the subject.

    151. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Poor editing above. The mayor’s version, not job, was what I was referring to.

    152. Trent Telenko Says:

      Becky,

      I was e-mailed and apparently the old (http://www.keshertalk.com/archives/2006/10/elephantroom.php) link is dead.

      So the following about Liberal/Leftist “Personal is political” in-civility from that same post should be of interest:

      But they always provoke political conversations. Well, not conversations, which would be enjoyable and enlightening.

      They make pronouncements. And look around the room to see if anyone not only doesn’t agree, but doesn’t agree enthusiastically.

      As a friend deep in the closet in the theater world put it, you can’t just sit quietly and wait for the topic to change. No, you are suspect if you do not vocally endorse the official opinion of the group. You thought you were in a project meeting or a coffee klatch or a dinner party, and all of a sudden it has turned into the Communist Youth League Self-Criticism Session.

      And then, after they have assumed, because no one in the room has fangs or horns, that a political support group is what everyone wants (and they do, except for you) – if you express your difference of opinion, they are offended that you spoiled the intimate feeling in the room by being other than they assumed, based on their superficial reading of you.

      In other words, they brought up politics, but they are the only ones who get to play. If you join in, you are the one who soured the conversation by bringing up politics. Because they weren’t trying to start a political discussion, they just wanted to commiserate with friends.

      You party pooper.

      Kornblut consulted an expert, the director of the Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins University:

      “An election season can turn into an equivalent of the office party: you will say and do things that you regret the day after,” Dr. Forni said. “And there are those who, being aware of that, simply have decided not to speak about these issues, or to do that with a very, very small circle of trusted friends, very often of the same political persuasion, in order to enforce their values, to validate their choices, because they have given up the hope that anything good will come through political confrontation.”

      That describes my life. I even started an email list to create a social life which wouldn’t bore or enrage me, which has grown in two years to 140 members who are also looking for a safe place to talk about things that matter to them and trade horror stories like the anecdotes in this article.

      None of us likes just talking global issues with those who agree with us. (In fact, we do disagree on the list about many sub-issues, under the general rubric of “hawkish on foreign policy and mostly approving of the Bush Admin’s approach to it.” Right now we are having a heated online argument about torture.) We would rather have genial enlightening conversations with intelligent people who disagree with us but don’t personalize everything and demonize us. But we all have bruises from past encounters with friends, family, and blind dates, and we no longer expect civil behavior. We have made some close friends in our cozy closet, and have a lot of fun, like last night’s party. We hope it’s a temporary bunker until the hostility dies down.

      I know for a fact that I would have had more sex, and maybe a long-term relationship by now, if the social arena was not so polarized. Spirited argument is sexy to me (think William Powell and Myrna Loy), and a marriage with someone who disagrees with me on various issues sounds energizing and playful and always interesting. (I would insert a link to Mary Matalin and James Carville here, but I think Carville is just too weird.) But most people don’t feel that way anymore, at least not liberals. Champions of diversity, they want lovers and friends just like themselves.

      I know one couple who broke up over politics. (Well, the wife tells me, there were deeper problems, and that just exacerbated them.) But I know several couples who just agree to disagree, and it’s clear they are a team and politics is just not a good enough reason for estrangement. (Heed that, Sheri Langham.)

      When you say the following about the American Democratic Party Liberal/Left:

      That is still true, but one thing I have noticed is changing in a very significant way. Not that I wouldn’t happily avoid politics and take my sisters back in a heartbeat, but left now sits in the uncomfortable position of finger-wagging Aunt Mildred, crazy-talk Uncle Bob or that loud, drunk relative at a wedding. They will make a scene, you know they will and – as much as you love them- there comes a point where you simply make the decision not to allow them the opportunity to do so anymore. This is indeed significant in that the hard left was about being forever young and cool by raging against the man. But like the drunk relative, only they think they are lively and entertaining, everyone else just wants them to shut up and stop ruining the party. They have a choice now. They can sober up or continually shrink their circles to where they are still the belle of the ball.

      The reason they hate Palin so much is the same reason the fantacal Muslims hate the West: If they are unable to utterly destroy, the young-ens will no longer look up to them, but will see them as old fuddy duddies, out of touch with the modern world.

      You are saying a truth that is too hurtful to be uttered…but one that will shape our politics after Obama loses reelection.

      President Obama fills an political ecological niche that prevents the worse of Leftist cognitive dissonence against wider American culture from being expressed as violence.

      When Obama is politcally rejected by the American public, the Collective Left are going to wig out.

      Being on the fringe of the gun-hugger culture and pro-life movement in the early to mid-1990′s was a great educaton on how unretrained in-group political hate talk connected to Abortion and Waco/Ruby Ridge can influence weak minds to violent acts.

      The Left is going to the same place…and Sarah Palin is going to be the focal point of that wig out, if she is on the either part of the Republican Presidential ticket that replaces Obama.

    153. Shannon Love Says:

      Robert G. Oler,

      there is no case to support either death panels or the “liberation” of Iraq. Death panels are not in the health care bill and all we did was invade Iraq.

      Thank you for making my point for me. Everyone who actually has read Palin’s argument and the surrounding debates could at least attempt to make a cogent case for the death panels. Likewise, it is relatively trivial to repeat the arguments of the Bush administrations since you can look the canonical speeches up online.

      You however, can’t even make the attempt because you don’t have the faintest clue what the arguments where. For example, why do think saying, “Death panels are not in the health care bill…” is actually a refutation? Are you claiming that because the bill doesn’t actually use the phrase “Death Panel” that Palin is wrong? Do you not see anything childish about that?

      This was what I was talking about. You operate on the basis of a cartoon version of real people and real ideas. Your knowledge is so minimal you can’t even take a stab at it.

      Of course, you believe Palin is stupid because you don’t understand what she actually said. Of course., you think that people who agreed with Palin are stupid because you don’t actually know what they think.

      This is leftists’ elitist arrogance at its most pure. You are so impressed by your own intellect and your own grasp of the situation that you don’t even bother to listen to what others are saying.

    154. J. Scott Says:

      Limbaugh just mentioned this post; he didn’t call the name.

    155. DennyK Says:

      Hey, I was just reading this when Rush Limbaugh mentioned this blog while I was reading it. What a coincidence.

      Congratulations, you’re about to become famous, or infamous – lol.

    156. Anonymous Says:

      Rush just read your blog post! Congrats :-)

    157. Teri OBrien Says:

      Brilliant post. Kudos to you!

    158. Robert G. Oler Says:

      Shannon Love Says:
      September 13th, 2010 at 11:33 am

      there is no point in repeating arguments or positions of the Bush administration on Iraq, they are incoherent and flawed as events have shown quite clearly.

      As for “death panels”.

      you wrote: “For example, why do think saying, “Death panels are not in the health care bill…” is actually a refutation?”

      yes to anyone who thinks words have actually meanings and tries to use them precisely. Palin made a claim wrapped in a phrase that the government under Obama’s health care plan could have “panels” which would sentence people to death by withdrawing care.

      Thats non factual.

      Now her base doesnt care because to them the phrase is symptomatic of their fears of “what might be” (as she later fessed up to) and so they rally around it. To her base (and I guess you) what actually is is not so important as what they either hope or fear. So it was easy to believe Saddam had not only WMD but that he was some menace actually thinking about attacking America.

      Another of her cliches (one that hurt the McCain campaign) was “domestic terrorist”. She used it several times in trying to associate some associates of Obama with terrorism. Problem is words have meanings and most of the American people rejected that phrase.

      I’ve never called her stupid. If anything that is a phrase I reserve for most of her base. Palin is a very bright person but she is lazy.

      She would rather hear the cheering crowds of the already converted applauding to “death panels” or “domestic terrorist” or whatever then actually sit down and learn “the Bush doctrine”.

      The sad thing of course is that she looks “stupid” to most Americans who cannot imagine that she wouldnt prepare for such a question. I thought so at first but my friends on the McCain campaign said she was just lazy.

      When I stop listening to people is when they start making up either words or meanings to the words.

      Robert G. Oler

    159. moptop Says:

      So Bill Ayers is not a domestic terrorist?

    160. Trent Telenko Says:

      >Viator Says:
      >Good post Trent Telenko! There is some great stuff here after you wade through the left wing zombies and trolls. I
      >have been checking in periodically on some of the other articles written about The Governor over the weekend and
      >posted on the net. Guaranteed instant mass political demo.
      >
      >That very phenomenon tells you a great deal about The Governor. Nobody else comes close.

      Great Presidents put into words what is in people’s hearts and minds but not their mouths.

      Gov. Sarah Palin seems to have that gift.

      The last Democratic President who could do this was John Kennedy.

      The last GOP President who could do it was Ronald Reagan.

    161. de Says:

      Remarkable summation of leftist politics and the response to Palin. But you called Palin a Pentecostal. Really now! Low blow! As one of my old coworkers in NJ might have said, “Helloow! Do you know what you’re talking about?” I have not heard that one ever before. I’ve seen her described as an evangelical Christian many times. Do you know the difference? Given the somewhat negative image which Charismatics and Pentecostals have even among evangelicals, I am utterly certain the leftist media would never have missed the chance to call her such a name. So. Can you make that “Pentecostal” charge stick?

    162. Teddy Reagan Says:

      Why the government has to fund NPR is beyond me

    163. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Becky,

      The left’s over-reaction to Sarah Palin is clear evidence that they perceive her as posing existential threat to them, and it is WHO she is and what she represents that is the threat, not her statements, policy positions or accomplishments. Her statements and policy positions are squarely in the center of conservative opinion, while her one significant accomplishment in public office was effectively non-partisan, and of meaning outside Alaska only in demonstrating her effectiveness as a leader.

      This vampire-to-light over-reaction does seem, as Trent noted, to have a major spiritual component, and I’ve seen it before. Here are two examples, because it’s not just the left which reacts like this and Trent’s comment is right on:

      “It is very much about them and the black, hurting hollow place where their souls used to be.”

      Brenden Phibbs, a battalion surgeon in a World War Two armored brigade, related the following incident in his book, The Other Side Of Time:

      His battalion had captured a number of German prisoners of war who were lined up for processing. One of them (Manfred) identified himself in very German-accented English as an OSS agent and asked to speak to an American officer immediately. The guards took him out of the line just before he was attacked by the other German POW’s.

      A long argument followed between a Southern officer (B0b) and several other American officers about what to do. The German had explained that he was anti-Nazi and had volunteered from POW camp to join the OSS and be sent back behind German lines to be picked up and assigned to a German unit to learn intelligence information for the OSS, which he would try to escape with and cross the lines back to the American side, which he had just done with information about German positions, supplies, units, etc.

      The Southerner, who was extremely racist about blacks, Jews, etc., kept vehemently claiming that the man was a fake and should be put back in line, which puzzled the other officers. Eventually the other officers, one of whom was Phibbs, decided to send the guy to division HQ for interrogation.

      Phibbs asked the German what he thought of the discussion. The German replied that it was something he was used to – that some people were so convinced that everyone had wicked motives, because they did themselves, that they were both offended by, and frightened to the core of their being, by undeniable examples of goodness and self-sacrifice.

      Page 267: “Then Manfred told me about Captain Jackson. He had been one of the Seventh Army G-2 officers who had trained Manfred and his fellow agents. … Manfred had been told that what he was going to do would scare hell out of people like that because it was the one idea they couldn’t handle, to see someone who isn’t for sale or doesn’t do something out of fear… Manfred had to expect to be called a fanatic by the self-seekers, because it was the only way they could justify their own lives.

      The more I thought about what Manfred relayed from the extraordinary captain at Seventh Army G-2, the more profound it all seemed. Bob had been baying around Manfred, looking for something to attack, wildly agitated, out of control, and the illuminating fact was that Bob’s own motives were utterly vile. The sight of someone out of reach of any of the impulses that moved him threatened his whole being.”

      I personally experienced something similar to this 10-12 years ago on a dying pre-internet bulletin board system called GEnie, for the General Electric Network, which had a forum for science-fiction writers called the SFRT (its internet successor is http://www.sff.net).

      I had related, in one of its topics, a newspaper story about a former Bosnian Muslim girl joining the US Marine Corps. She as a teenage refugee in the U.S. had been baby-sitting for money, but refused payment from one family upon learning that the father was a Marine sergeant. He asked why and was told that she owed the Marines her life and her mother’s life, and that her ambition was to join the Marines as soon as she turned 18.

      It turned out that, when a group of Serb thugs were about to murder a weeping & wailing group of Bosnian women and children, including the girl and her mother, a voice shouted from the darkness, “Throw down your weapons – you are surrounded by the United States Marines!” The Serbs did so immediately whereupon two US Marine sergeants assigned to the U.N. walked out of the darkness with rifles trained on the Serbs (who heavily outnumbered them, but hadn’t known it initially, and were certainly intimidated by the USMC’s reputation), made them move away from their weapons, and had the women pile into what became a very crowded Hummer.

      The women were hidden at a nearby Marine base and smuggled into the U.S. against all military regulations. The Marines also obtained green cards for all of them.
      The girl insisted on telling her story to the press when she turned 18 and joined the Marines.

      I typed the whole story into a GEnie post. A writer named **** ****** took mortal offense at this and insisted that the whole thing was a fake, though other participants in that thread found stories confirming the SF Chronicle one I had quoted.

      You find such behavior in all sorts of people united by one thing – when they have a spiritual void at their center, it terrifies them to encounter people whose goodness reminds them of what they lack. They are trying to destroy Sarah Palin because she represents the goodness they lack.

    164. moptop Says:

      Robert G Oler,

      Where is the “Bush Doctrine” written down? I would like to go “learn” it. If you are going to say “Wikipedia”, that is a collection of leftist interpretations of “The Bush Doctrine” as compiled by leftists. Was there some speech where the doctrine, as such, was laid out in detail, and after that speech was made, that collection of ideas was known to all as “The Bush Doctrine”.

      The other thing I want to know is when did it become impermissible to use rhetorical constructs as a politician? They have such “death panels” in the UK, and even granting your argument, the text of the bill was not publicly available before the vote, so, like the stimulus package, who really knew what was in it anyway? Does this mean that discussion of any possibility of what it might contain was prohibited?

    165. Herbert Branch Says:

      In response to Ms. Shannon’s piec on Sarah Palin: I believe that she is into the edge of the bullseye with this subject. It is largely psychological and is about perception control and power politics. Please read an OP-Ed I wrote in 2009 on this same subject, as follows:

      Joan of Arc II — H. G. Branch — July 16, 2009.

      Back in a long-ago era, British rulers were imposing their oppressive rule over a large area of North-Western France. At that time a young woman arose who believed she received a vision from God: that she should lead an uprising against that new oppression of her people.

      The British leaders immediately recognized the threat she posed to their rule. Their political instincts told them that Joan of Arc had potential to be their perfect nemesis: her personality and character generated a natural resonance within her people. She was a natural leader to rally her people against their natural enemies, those who had usurped control over them to tax and to oppress them. They had to destroy her. They suborned French clerics to charge her with heresy.

      In an allegorical sense Governor Sarah Palin is a ‘Joan of Arc’ for this generation in America. In what respects are there any similarities? Regrettably, there are many more than I wanted to see.

      The current US administration and all its allies (academia, media, cultural gurus, etc.) are some of the most astute political animals now alive upon the face of the earth. They now seek to impose their total, all-encompassing control over America. To succeed they must dismiss every voice of protest and quash every person that could thwart the achievement of their objective.

      Like those British leaders of long-ago, their political instincts tell them that Sarah Palin, like Joan of Arc, has the potential to be their perfect nemesis. Her personality and her character generate a natural resonance within the souls of regular middle-Americans: because she’s a natural leader to rally them against the new regime (which seeks to oppressively control and tax). They have to destroy her. And so, their media allies reactively went to war against Palin for them. Also, they suborned some Liberal Republicans to help wage their subversion against her.

      Normal middle-Americans know and recognize the difference between a phony politician and someone who is the genuine article, like an Eisenhower or a Reagan. And so, American Liberals reactively went into an attack mode: a pro-active defense of their recently hard-won political gains and their momentum toward absolute control. They have to destroy public perceptions of Sarah Palin. The public must be denied a natural leader to help them oppose the enemy within.

      But any target of such slandering and vilification is always denied the right to respond with adequate self-defense. The attackers assume the right to attack by every means, but deny their victims any right of effective and sufficient rebuttal to their onslaught. The liberal cabal loads all the dice against every opponent, for they own most of the cultural ‘referees’: the media ‘judges’ – who willfully, gleefully stack the deck against every hapless opponent. Their ridicule reigns.

      Eight months after the election they are still doing it! Why? Because they are afraid they haven’t succeeded with their plan. She’s still too popular, still too much of a lightning rod for the public. The fact that they continue to wage this anti-Palin war proves the very point of this argument!

      To such cunning persons as these the Bible gives several terse warnings to read and to heed:

      “For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light” [NKJ Luke 16 v 8b]. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” [NKJ Galatians 6 v 7]. “As you have done, it shall be done to you” [NKJ Obadiah 1 v 15b]. “With the pure You will show Yourself pure; and with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd. You will save the humble people; but Your eyes are on the haughty, that You may bring them down” (referring to God’s judgments) [ NKJ 2 Samuel 22 v 27-28].

      Afterword (Sept. 13, 2010): Now, 14 months after I wrote the OP-Ed and 22 months after the 2008 elections, the Liberals are still trying to destroy Sarah Palin – and for the same reasons. Their own continuing campaign against Sarah Palin is the proof of the assessment in my OP-Ed. They are afraid of her potential to galvanize a rebellion of the people against the Liberal goal of achieving total social and political hegemony over the American People.

    166. Badger6 Says:

      Democrats/liberals were and are not going to permit a conservative/independent woman to make it to the top as VP or Pres. They rather scratch her (such as Palin’s) eyes out. Hence, the democrats defamed her in every possible way to ensure the “real (democrat) woman” is postured as Pres or VP…especially after Pelosi secured third highest position in government. Then, Dems can say they have championed women’s progess. Dems think this…because they won over the black vote after 1935ish, hispanic vote of the 80′s, institutionalize worksplaces and lifestyles through government (i.e. unions, social security, welfare…etc), they went after Sarah Palin because she posed a threat of becoming the VP and possibly President.

    167. Robert G. Oler Says:

      Moptop.

      The Bush doctrine was laid down by Mr. Bush at the 2002 commencement excersize at West Point. It was billed by the White House pre the speech as a statement of The Bush doctrine in the Post 9/11 world, and that is why the Networks gave it extensive coverage.

      knowledge is power. I know for a fact, because I helped prepare them that Gov. Palin was given a two page 12 pt type briefing note on the Bush doctrine…

      “The other thing I want to know is when did it become impermissible to use rhetorical constructs as a politician? They have such “death panels” in the UK, and even granting your argument, the text of the bill was not publicly available before the vote, so, like the stimulus package, who really knew what was in it anyway?”

      That something “could have” been in the a bill (or the WMD could have gone to Syria) is not a valid reason, at least if one treasures logical reasoning to view that possibility as a for certainty or a reality or to in any way act on it.

      In a perfect world (Particularly in health care) one gets every bit of technology and care there is…but of course the cost wont have that happen. My wife was recently delivered of our child. In our health insurance plan everyone gets an ultrasound, based on that they decide the amnio. Our ultrasound was perfect (see our facebook page) but we got the amnio anyway because my wife is over 40 (by a few months at the time). We could have turned it down; but we took it.

      Palin’s rhetorical construct was to imply a far greater triage then anyone had said the bill had…and I guarantee you that someone somewhere would have found “death panels” if they had been there.

      Plus she simply misstated some of the end of life counseling that was in the bill…and which was offered by a Republican and had wide agreement.

      When dealing with difficult issues politicians (at least honorable ones) should deal in thoughtful prose and context. That requires knowledge.

      No Ayers is not a domestic terrorist. Atta was.

      Robert G. Oler

    168. Trent Telenko Says:

      Robert G. Oler

      You are very sadly mistaken on the issue of “Death Panels.”

      See:

      http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2009/07/06/electing-god/

      http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/08/zeke-emanuel-on-sarah-palins-accusation-of-death-panels-its-an-absolute-outrage.html

      Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

      Dr. Emanuel has already been appointed to two key positions:
      1) Health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and
      2) A member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.

      He was recess appointed by Pres. Obama to the very panel Sarah Palin called a “Death Panel.”

      He has written and said the following:

      Emanuel bluntly admits that the cuts will not be pain-free. “Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely ‘lipstick’ cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change,” he wrote last year (Health Affairs Feb. 27, 2008).

      Emanuel, however, believes that “communitarianism” should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia” (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. ‘96).

      The paper concludes: “the complete lives system combines four morally relevant principles: youngest-first, prognosis, lottery, and saving the most lives. In pandemic situations, it also allocates scarce interventions to people instrumental in realising these four principles. Importantly, it is not an algorithm, but a framework that expresses widely affirmed values: priority to the worst-off, maximising benefits, and treating people equally. To achieve a just allocation of scarce medical interventions, society must embrace the challenge of implementing a coherent multiprinciple framework rather than relying on simple principles or retreating to the status quo.”

      Those quotes above from the man’s own writings.

      He admits there are no efficiencies or waste that can really cut costs or reduce spending.

      The only real option is to deny treatment to the weakest and most defenseless among us.

      His basis for denying treatment would be “Advanced Triage.”

      Under advanced triage, a panel of bureaucrats and appointed ‘experts’ decide what is a ‘just allocation’ as follows:

      In advanced triage, doctors may decide that some seriously injured people should not receive advanced care because they are unlikely to survive. Advanced care will be used on patients with less severe injuries. Because treatment is intentionally withheld from patients with certain injuries, advanced triage has ethical implications. It is used to divert scarce resources away from patients with little chance of survival in order to increase the chances of survival of others who are more likely to survive.

      Governor Sarah Palin’s response to that information on her face book page was as follows:

      The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

      Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.

      The AJ Strata blog posted Dr. Emanuel’s “Advanced Triage” treatment denial chart here:

      http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/10220

      with the following comment:

      Seniors are most at risk. They represent 80% of the health care spending. To cut costs/not spend is to limit their options. Look at the funding curve under Doc Ezekiel’s chart at the top once again. After 55 it is literally down hill for folks in an advanced triage or ‘full lifes system’ of health care approach. Not to mention how cheap the stingy government will be with children of all ages and needs. Governor Sarah Palin is correct to look at that chart of ol’ Doc Ezekiel’s and realize her youngest child is targeted to help cut costs/not spend.

      Your quibbling over the highly accurate term “Death Panel” shows how much supporters of Single Payer style national health care are politically bleeding out with the American public.

    169. moptop Says:

      “No Ayers is not a domestic terrorist”

      So a US citizen who attempted to kill people at a military dance is not a “domestic terrorist”, but a Saudi who comes here specifically to carry out an attack on civilians is? Is that what you are trying to get me to buy?

      “That something “could have” been in the a bill (or the WMD could have gone to Syria) is not a valid reason, at least if one treasures logical reasoning to view that possibility as a for certainty or a reality or to in any way act on it.”

      So you are saying that no hypothetical discussion of the bill was permitted as long as its contents were unknown? Even if that hypothetical was taken from other English speaking countries where such a law had been enacted? Really?

      “In a perfect world (Particularly in health care) one gets every bit of technology and care there is…but of course the cost wont have that happen”

      So what you are saying is that something like a death panel is inevitable, but you don’t like the phrase.

      I will have to do a little digging on your West Point speech, but I will go into it saying that your comment does not ring true with me.

    170. Vinny Says:

      Robert,

      You’re a pretty pathetic cardboard liberal. I mean you guys are token intellectuals at best. How do you not understand the term death panels on the one hand, yet health rationing on the other?

      Who do you think, in our little unconstitutional healthcare mandate, will make those rationing decisions?

      Pelosi needs to be brought up on charges and SENT TO JAIL.

      The elite need to be put back in place or we the people need act against them soon.

    171. Tim S Says:

      You missed one of the best examples of status-anxiety, which is the New York draft riots during the Civil War. The rioters were primarily low-class and immigrant Irish who despised the free Negroes and the prospect of freeing the southern Negro slaves. Negro freedom, they feared, would undercut their position on the social hierarchy and threaten their own livelihood.

    172. moptop Says:

      “I know for a fact, because I helped prepare them that Gov. Palin was given a two page 12 pt type briefing note on the Bush doctrine”

      Do you have a source for that? And who is “them”?

    173. Shannon Love Says:

      Robert G. Oler,

      there is no point in repeating arguments or positions of the Bush administration on Iraq, they are incoherent and flawed as events have shown quite clearly.

      That is not the point. I just wanted you to take a sentence or three to demonstrate that you actually understood the arguments that Bush put forward for the liberation of Iraq. It wouldn’t have taken you any more time than what you wrote. I can only conclude you don’t actually know what Bush said.

      yes to anyone who thinks words have actually meanings and tries to use them precisely. Palin made a claim wrapped in a phrase that the government under Obama’s health care plan could have “panels” which would sentence people to death by withdrawing care.

      Nope, you are arguing against a cartoon as I expected.

      In any medical system, somebody has to decide which medical treatments will be paid for and which will not. Those decisions will have to balance tradeoffs between cost and lives.

      The only question is: who decides?

      ObamaCare explicitly mandates that panels of experts will determine what medical treatments will be paid for and which will not. All existing socialized medical systems use this system. It’s very easy to see how these decisions cost lives. If you compare the outcomes of common serious illness, such as prostate cancer, between the US and Britain, it is easy to see that the expert decisions of Britain’s system cause people to die before they would have to based on existing technology. In socialized medicine, the good of the individual is expressly balanced against the good of the collective. It is a valid question how that balance will work out in the long run.

      You can quibble over the phrase “death panel” but given the routine histrionics on the part of the left about how the non-leftist just wants people to die by denying them some government benefit, I don’t think you have grounds to whine about it

      Palin ask whether we should trust the government to make this decision. She asked were a system designed to trade lives for money would eventually lead. Given that many leftists rather loudly said that Trig Palin should have been aborted, isn’t it reasonable to ask what tradeoffs the system will make in the future?

      The only reason you would not think this a valid concern is that you have a near religious faith in the infallibility and benevolence of the State.

      Another of her cliches (one that hurt the McCain campaign) was “domestic terrorist”. She used it several times in trying to associate some associates of Obama with terrorism

      That would have been Bill Ayers and his wife Doren who were Weatherman Stalinist terrorist and who repeatedly showed up in Obama’s job as well as political and social circles over from the 80s onward.

      Again another cartoon. You most likely know absolutely nothing about Ayers and Obama you just know the cartoon says it is silly. In reality, if Ayers had been a rightwing abortion clinic bomber you would be horrified that such a person was in such close association with the President.

      What is really revealing here is your utter disbelief that any intelligent person can disagree with you. You don’t even acknowledge that some things are simply matters of judgement. Nope, you understand absolutely everything in all situations.

      You know absolutely what would have happened if we left Saddam alone. Any disagreement with you is utterly impossible. Ditto for your ability to predict with absolute certainty how American society will evolve in the future and exactly how that evolution will interact with socialize medicine.

      This arrogance and hubris is exactly the problem. You are so impressed by your own intellect and apprehension that you don’t even bother to listen to the arguments of others in the least.

      Please don’t change. As Szu Tzu said, “Know yourself and know your enemy and in a thousand battles you will always be victorious.” This applies to politics as well. You are profoundly ignorant of both yourself and your political opposition. You don’t understand why you believe the things you do and you certainly don’t understand any of the arguments of the opposition. As such, you will consistently lose elections.

    174. Ritchie The Riveter Says:

      Moptop … Mr. Oler also needs to keep in mind that much of the detail in implementing the Obamacare system has been left to the agencies that will implement it … it is not spelled out in the legislation.

      In other words, the reliability of this legislation when it comes to, at the least, preventing the institution of rationing … i.e. de facto death panels … is quite questionable.

      It amazes me how so many who screamed bloody murder about the PATRIOT Act are willing to submit to something that has far more potential to abuse their civil liberties, simply because they will get something for “free” … and/or because (theoretically) everyone will get the same thing.

      Of course, that is the quality of intellectual production you can expect, from those who worship their own omniscience …

      Despite their erudition …
      And academic pedigree …
      The Best and the Brightest look instead
      Like a box of dim bulbs to me …

      But you Re-, er, Progressives … keep straining those gnats … it gives us even more material to show how your Best and Brightest are the poster children for Romans 1:22 …

      Strain strain strain … strain those gnats!
      Then fling ‘em out, see if they’ll stick
      From wherever you’re at …
      As you swallow camels of dysfunction
      ‘Till your belly’s fat …
      Strain strain strain … strain those gnats!

    175. Robert G. Oler Says:

      Trent Telenko Says:
      September 13th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

      a few points and sadly none of this has to do with Palin.

      First off one persons statements or views do not make legislation.

      The world would be a scary place indeed if anyone was actually listening to John bolton on foreign policy…and he was a recess appointment to the UN.

      Second there is already rationing or more correctly allocation of care.

      I used the example of my wife and our pregnancy. Right now the rationing is done by two factors, insurance companies and cost that the people who are trying for the care can pay.

      Right now the folks who work at Walmart have far less health care options then say Dick Cheney…who is getting government paid health care.

      The trick of course is how we do it. If my wife and I had found out our pregnancy was not a normal fetus, we had already made the very painful decisions about what to do. Sarah Palin made the decision to have her child with Downs syndrome born in Alaska so that child would have state health care for its life. People at Walmart are not so lucky.

      I really dont care to have to subsidize fat people or people who drink wildly or smoke, and think it would be ok for insurance policies to charge more for those who do…

      but in the end there are choices made. Already …so the notion that it would be something new is nuts

      Nothing of course in what you said justifies her use of death panels

      Robert G. Oler

    176. Robert G. Oler Says:

      Moptop wrote

      “So a US citizen who attempted to kill people at a military dance is not a “domestic terrorist”, but a Saudi who comes here specifically to carry out an attack on civilians is? Is that what you are trying to get me to buy?”

      thats the facts. The Saudis who carried out 9/11 had a political agenda. I dont agree with “they declared war” or whatever the war on terror is based on (its a phoney war) but the folks on 9/11 had at least a political agenda…the guy at Fort Hood just committed a criminal act. He had as best I can tell no political agenda.

      “So you are saying that no hypothetical discussion of the bill was permitted as long as its contents were unknown? Even if that hypothetical was taken from other English speaking countries where such a law had been enacted?”

      I am saying it is intellectually dishonest and quite weak. To imply something is in a bill without it being there is weak…if it is OK for opponents of the bill to do that then it is OK for proponents to do that as well…and that other English speaking countries might have something similar is nuts.

      No I dont think Death panels are inevitable. We ration care today and dont have them.

      Robert G. Oler

    177. John Says:

      This article nailed it: liberals consider themselves to be better than non liberals, mostly based on education and frankly, their own inflated opinion of themselves. If the most important thing you have ever accomplished is to go to college, shame on you. Education does not belie intelligence. It certainly doesn’t give you the right to look down on others. I was raised middle class in a loving, two parent household. I eschewed college and joined the Marines. I learned more about life and the world in that 4 years than any college could provide. I took an honorable discharge, worked my way to an associate’s degree at a community college (my dime) and started taking courses at a local state college. That’s when I learned that liberal professors could care less about my opinion if it did not coincide with theirs. I could not understand for the life of me how such well educated people could be so ignorant of the world and disdainful of those who disagreed with them. I left school and started a career in law enforcement that has lasted 28 years so far. I have made a difference with my life. What have liberals done?

    178. moptop Says:

      Robert G. Oler,

      You don’t even know who Bill Ayers is, do you? He is a person who associated with Obama publicly, for instance, Michelle Obama organized a symposium which mainly featured Ayers and Barrack at the University of Chicago. I could go on.

      He tried to bomb a dance attended by soldiers and their wives and girlfriends. Makes him a terrorist, and he did “Pal Around” with Obama, despite Obama’s untruthful denials.

      It would be fun to sit and pick your words apart all day, like picking the wings off of flies, but the reason picking the wings off of flies is boring is because the fly is clearly overmatched.

      Finis Bob, unless you actually say something sensible. Or maybe somebody else is posting using your handle to make you look incoherent? Just speak up if that is the case.

    179. tyouth Says:

      “…the guy at Fort Hood just committed a criminal act. He had as best I can tell no political agenda. ”

      His religion encompasses a political agenda. It is a political organization with religious actors. The Koran encourages such acts. His political agenda is part and parcel of his belief.

    180. tyouth Says:

      At the risk of wandering way, far, far away from the subject of this post, ” Should can a religion be judged on the actions of it’s outliers, simpletons, ignorant, and it’s mad?”

      Obviously, to me, it should be.

    181. Bob C Says:

      News flash: it isn’t just the left “elite” that hold Sarah Palin in such contempt…and fear. The same holds true on the right: David Brooks…Christopher Buckley…Peggy Noonan…Kathleen Parker…the list is a long one, of the talking heads and beltway ‘conservative’ elite who sniff and scoff at Palin. I mean, how can someone from Alaska have the same anointed view (apologies to Thomas Sowell) as they: we must have a “big tent”, we must “cooperate”, we can’t let the Republican party be taken over by…..BAPTISTS!! And that ACCENT!!! I mean, who on earth says “you betcha!!”???

      The elite are the elite; they may claim to differ on policy, or politics, or ideology, but they hold one overarching thing in common: THEY….KNOW….BETTER…THAN….YOU.

    182. Trent Telenko Says:

      >>>No Ayers is not a domestic terrorist. Atta was.

      Even wikipedia does not believe that whopper:

      Later in 1969, Ayers participated in planting a bomb at a statue dedicated to police casualties in the 1886 Haymarket affair confrontation between labor supporters and the Chicago police.[12]

      Wikisource: Jacobs, Ron, The way the wind blew: a history of the Weather Underground, London & New York: Verso, 1997. ISBN 1-85984-167-8

    183. Dennis Larkin Says:

      To borrow from Richard Brautigan, “Palin drives on deep into Egypt.” She’s playing by her own rules and succeeding.

    184. Michael Kennedy Says:

      the guy at Fort Hood just committed a criminal act. He had as best I can tell no political agenda.

      So, shouting “Allahu Akbar !” as you shoot people at random has no political significance. The fact that the hijackers shouted the same phrase as they hit the WTC was some sort of coincidence.

      OK. I think I’ve got it. Thank you.

      Gosh, I wish I was as smart as you lefties !

    185. Rivenburg Says:

      “Status Anxiety” is what the least member of any pack feels upon encountering another possible member of the pack, thus almost ALL violent attacks on new members of ANY wild canine or Primate group are made by the lowest cast members of the group. It’s classic and heavily researched, commonly accepted pack behavior.

      Face it, very few cultures promote personal equality between individuals, most ARE dog pack cultures where SOMEBODY has to dominate personally or the rest don’t know what to do, how to act.

      The BEST societies produce individuals of wit and perception that may seamlessly intermingle with those of lessor financial and social status when they need to and yet shift gears and hobnob seamlessly with the educated elites without engaging at any point in status rituals. They must have great self confidence to do this.
      Liberals appear to the casual observer to have little confidence, just overweening ambition. They often exhibit classic dog pack status ritualism. It’s ugly, demeaning, vicious and utterly third world.
      This was a GREAT tour of reality by Shannon Love, an assay like this will get legs and probably will go viral soon. I will contribute to that end by passing this link on.

    186. moptop Says:

      Hey look, the death panel in New Zealand was in a good mood last week!

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/4092466/Cancer-drug-gets-funding

    187. Jay8 Says:

      This movement stakes out policy positions that would be *very bad* for the country to take

      Coming from an Obama supporter.

      Really?

      As opposed to a Health Care “reform” bill that nobody could understand yet voted for?

      As opposed to a $900 billion dollar “stimulus” that produced zero economic growth?

      As opposed to a $1.3 trillion dollar federal deficit?

      As opposed to cash for clunkers?

      How’s that “no lobbyists in the White House” working out for you?

      It is almost as if Mauro’s comments are parody…

    188. DennyK Says:

      For those wondering about Palin’s religion, “Palin was baptized as an infant in the Roman Catholic church, but she would spend nearly three decades in the Assemblies of God church, the nation’s largest Pentecostal denomination and the church of former U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-palin-religion_06sep06,0,3371419.story

      As for the “death panels,” their genesis was established in the TARP bill, not the Healthcare bill. It’s called the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effective Research, and is made up of a number of people including Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (brother of Rahm) who has authored the “Complete Lives System,” as a way to decide who receives medical care during rationing. Basically, the older you are, the less likely you will receive medical assistance.

      The council is to come up with guidelines on prioritizing various expenditures. http://www.hhs.gov/recovery/programs/os/cerbios.html

    189. Robert G. Oler Says:

      Shannon love

      “That is not the point. I just wanted you to take a sentence or three to demonstrate that you actually understood the arguments that Bush put forward for the liberation of Iraq.”

      the arguments Bush put forward were not fact based, they were appeals to fear.

      that is the only understanding of them possible by reality based people

      Robert G. Oler

    190. Robert G. Oler Says:

      Moptop

      “You don’t even know who Bill Ayers is, do you?”

      I know who he is and I knew who he was before the campaign when most right wingers learned about him.

      and he is not a terrorist.

      Terrorist is a word that the right wing uses to encompass events and people who they think make their political points. Ayers is no more a terrorist then McVeigh was…both were simply law breakers.

      you dont know what a terrorist is.

      Robert G. Oler

    191. Robert G. Oler Says:

      “His religion encompasses a political agenda. It is a political organization with religious actors. The Koran encourages such acts. His political agenda is part and parcel of his belief.”

      that is a pretty broad brush…it fits Falwell and most of the nuts in the religious right…it fits anyone who commits a political act because “god (as I believe in him) told me to”.

      Robert G. Oler

    192. Robert G. Oler Says:

      His religion encompasses a political agenda. ………

      so do most right wing Christian organizations.

      does that mean everyone in them does?

      Robert G. Oler

    193. Jay8 Says:

      you dont know what a terrorist is.

      A very fine case of projection on your part.

      Terrorist is a word that the right wing uses to encompass events and people who they think make their political points.

      Is that why the left called President Bush and VP Cheney terrorists for more than 7 years?

      Again, with you leftists it is almost as if your comments are parody.

    194. Jay8 Says:

      then say Dick Cheney…who is getting government paid health care.

      Please provide some evidence of this.

      I would love to see you source that.

    195. Lexington Green Says:

      This has turned into The Robert G. Oler Group.

    196. Cara Ellison Says:

      David, Congrats on the Rush Limbaugh mention!

    197. Robert G. Oler Says:

      Jay8 Says:

      OMB…as a former federal elected official he is entitled to free health care…

      Robert G. Oler

    198. barb Says:

      Heard this article read on Rush today! Way to go and great article. It boggles the mind that these people are so clueless to their own double standards! We must vote the dems and the rino OUT ASAP or we are lost.

    199. Becky Says:

      TOM, amazing story! But what is strange, in my case at least, is that these are people who would be more likely to accept with wide-eyed innocence that the communists were gentle folk who only wished to bring peace, equality and social justice and that Jihad is about peaceful personal discovery. Of course, as we all know, this wide-eyed innocence evaporates and turns into fear (or should I say sneer) and loathing the minute a Christian expresses a sincere belief in God. But your point is well taken.

      And TRENT, as for the cognitive dissonance resulting in violence, that’s a very scary thought. However, overall, these are nice people. They would never steal from a store or light a bomb. But yes, when it comes to Sarah Palin, I don’t doubt that at least one of them would be more than happy to throw the first stone.

      Ozwitch 9/10 at 7:09pm says, “The Left have always wanted what the Right has, in terms of status and currency. Failing to totally appropriate that, they have invented a new currency – morality, via which they hope to stand supreme on top of the societal heap. I Care more about child poverty than you. I care more about the planet. I care more about disease and trees’ rights than you do. I am Superior, and you shall grovel to me, you who drive a Gus gazzler instead of a bike, and don’t weep every day for the suffering of the polar bear. What this depends on is that everyone else then desires the moral elitism they supposedly possess, so they stay elite. When someone like Palin comes along, who not only has the nerve to not desire their phony morality, and exist quite happily without it, but also becomes Popular BECAUSE of this, then their entire system collapses. Her sin is not only existence, but popularity. People admire her status, and want to be like her. If she continues to exist and challenge the Left’s raison d’être then she is evil and must be destroyed at any cost” ….

      ……which sounds about right. Except these people do have actual status and currency as far as society is concerned.

      I think status-anxiety describes it well. They are a product of their time. In the 50′s 60′s and 70′s they were made to believe that if you bought into the culture of the left, you were better than and smarter than all of those other dumb, Christian gomers who watch NASCAR. And, like the racists of the 1960′s, having to be held back by national guard from attacking a young school girl, they are just terrified that they might have to look in the mirror and grasp that those buck-tooth, red-necked, SUV driving, Bible thumping, gun-toting, Sarah Palins are in fact smarter and better than they. They are so invested in believing they are “elite” rather than equal, that it JUST CAN’T BE! It JUST CAN’T BE! And if it means destroying Sarah Palin or any one else who could expose it, then so be it.

    200. Oregonian Says:

      Shannon, I found this article linked to Rush’s website, and it is brilliant! The weak retorts on this thread only emphasize your point. The left doesn’t embrace the diversity it champions. Rather, it tries to silence every argument that doesn’t conform. But in mind of thought police officers like Mauro and Robert, that is necessary, because we are not “reality based people.” Anyway, congrats on the recognition, and I will be back to read more.

    201. Kirk Parker Says:

      Dennis Larkin,

      Of all the things I never expected, certainly the mention of Brautigan in a comment about Palin is pretty high on the list. Awesome, and thanks for the smile!

    202. Ritchie The Riveter Says:

      Robert … call me when a rational Baptist (something you probably consider an oxymoron, but they are … more so than you, perhaps, as they do recognize the limits of their own perceptions instead of worshiping their own omniscience) shouts “Jesus is Lord”* as he/she shoots up the place.

      Then we can talk about the “equivalence” of radical Islam and evangelical Christianity.

      ——————-
      * IMO, impossible to do with rationality and sincerity … Ref. I Corinthians 12:3

    203. Jay8 Says:

      OMB…as a former federal elected official he is entitled to free health care…

      That isn’t an actual source. That is another assertion you can’t prove.

      Further, even if he were “entitled” that doesn’t mean he is receiving said benefit.

      You aren’t the sharpest knife in the drawer…

    204. Dr. Mike Says:

      What a great, well-reasoned piece. It was a pleasure to read it.

      Oler needs to learn how to use caps.

    205. Jesse Says:

      So here’s at least on logical fallacy in this post: “Leftists try to rationalize the hatred by claiming that Palin is an extremist, but that is easily disproved by comparing where she stands on various issues versus how many Americans hold the same views.”

      Hitler was an extremist who won at least one popular election. The ability to garner votes does not preclude an extremist label.

      I don’t consider Palin an extremist, but the writer’s dismissal of this label based on her ability to touch base with a sizable portion of American voters seems intellectually troubling.

    206. bluecollarbytes Says:

      When it comes to ‘demonizing the opposition’, Democratics and PopMedia are the masters. It’s been inbred into Democrat philosophy over decades.

      But demonizing one’s foe in politics is as old as the country.

    207. Harley2002 Says:

      What is strange is that she really should be admired. A woman who when the family was broke cooked on a wood burning stove. Worked with her husband on a fishing boat. Hunted for food to keep her many children fed. Came up from nothing to get where she is. The only reason the left must hate her is she is anti abortion. This is like a sacred right to the left. Just shows how upside down this country has become when a woman like this who is a perfect example of equality with men by her actions is hated so much by the Marxists.

    208. Trent Telenko Says:

      Lex said:

      >>This has turned into The Robert G. Oler Group.

      DNFTEC!

    209. Richard Says:

      The shibboleth of the Insurgency –

      “I AM SARAH”

    210. Lexington Green Says:

      Trent, yeah, that is what I meant.

    211. Anonymous Says:

      …the most vicious white racists were poor and working-class whites….

      This is a cheap and simple stereotype. The “most vicious” label surely belongs on the head of leftist intellectuals such as Margarent Sanger, who advocated for eugenics and abortion to keep blacks from breeding. It wasn’t poor whites who inoculated black men with Syphillis, it was the pinnacle of leftism…the FDR administration. And to this day, it isn’t poor whites advocating that Harvard tack on 350 points to a black person’s SAT score. It is clear that the liberal elite considers black people, and other people of color inferior; and, it openly holds a different set of standards on a wide variety of issues, from crime to edcuation and religon, that are applied to blacks as a group. Soft bigotry, as George W. Bush called it.

    212. Jay8 Says:

      CHRISTINE O’DONNELL wins proving that Palin is much more popular among people voting than President Obama is right now..

    213. Anonymous Says:

      We the People aren’t apt to give in to Palin what she needs to fill her bank accounts … frame flipping.

      The world was and is watching a majority of Americans express shame and embarrassment as a result of the GOP putting an intellectually and spiritually constipated mental midget under glaring kleig lights.

      What you call “hatred” to deflect the shock and awe of shame and embarrassment that anyone in our country could be so intellectually ignorant doesn’t stem the contempt and disrespect you all curry around the world for our nation.

      For the people that pretend they “protect America” fobbing your mental midgets to the world we are REQUIRED to live in isn’t “protecting America”.

    214. Ritchie The Riveter Says:

      Anon … you strain at gnats … and swallow the camels of socio-economic dysfunction whole.

      The world is moving more towards the view points of Ms. Palin and Ms. O’Donnell, even as your overlords, er, leaders continue to embarrass themselves with their attempts to substitute Re-, er, Progressive conventional wisdom for the real deal.

      I’ll take what you call “constipation” over the diarrhea of intellectual dishonesty that is suffocating in its arrogance and condescension (and in what it does to We the People), induced by Re-, er, Progressive conventional wisdom.

    215. MS Says:

      I suppose I am a “leftist.” Sarah Palin bothers me not because she threatens my sense of status, but because she is willfully and pridefully ignorant, anti-science, anti-education, anti-intellectual, petty, vindictive, lazy, and completely lacking in intellectual curiosity. Virtually all of the claims made by/about her when she first came to national attention turned out to be false (she didn’t sell the state plane on Ebay, didn’t make a profit on it, didn’t oppose the “bridge to nowhere” until it had already been killed, etc. etc.) She is barely coherent when speaking off-script. She apparently either believes there are actual witches who can cast actual spells or is willing to pretend that she does, given her appearance with an insane Kenyan witch-finder, who is part of a movement responsible for the persecution, torture and outright murder of many women and children in Africa. (This is a MUCH scarier and more dangerous dude than Bill Ayers.) She touts her motherhood but in reality has little interest in her kids except as useful stage props, especially her very young special-needs child. That anyone would consider her a serious spokesperson for anything is extremely scary. There are intelligent, informed conservatives who base their arguments on facts (fewer every day, but they haven’t disappeared yet). She is not one of them.

    216. Ginny Says:

      Ms,
      I’m curious since I haven’t followed her progress that closely, but what has she done that convinces you she is “anti-science”? How do you define “anti-intellectual”? As the child of teachers, she seems to be pro-education, but you may have evidence she is not. She clearly doesn’t think the Murkowski’s are good for Alaska; I’m not sure if backing a candidate who runs against them is vindictive, though. I’m curious about your definition of “intellectual curiosity” – that was a criticism often applied to George Bush. I don’t think there is much doubt by anyone that listened to Bush and now does to Obama that Bush was and continues to be more intellectually curious, more willing to read books by people who don’t agree with him. That appars to be one of those categories that people choose to plaster on their opponents rather than a deeply considered qualification. And, frankly, if you are not afraid of Ayers’ philosophy than you haven’t been intellectually curious – nor even gotten through the twentieth century awake.

    217. bgates Says:

      MS, you’re a stupid and hateful person. I suppose you are a leftist. Fortunately, the need for arguing with people like you is diminishing.

      she didn’t sell the state plane on Ebay

      She never said she did.

      didn’t make a profit on it

      Didn’t claim to. Sometimes the best you can do is cut the losses imposed by a predecessor’s bad decisions. She’ll face that problem again in 2012.

      She is barely coherent when speaking off-script.

      Does she carry the Magical Teleprompter with her wherever she goes like the Figurehead in Chief?

      She apparently either believes there are actual witches who can cast actual spells or is willing to pretend that she does

      That’s “ignorance and intolerance” on your part, according to Politico.
      ““I don’t know why they are making a big thing out of it,” [Harvard professor of religion Jacob] Olupana said of the media reaction to the video. “Witchcraft as part of a belief system is real to the people who live there,” he said, noting that there was “nothing unusual about what happened.””

      given her appearance with an insane Kenyan witch-finder, who is part of a movement responsible for the persecution, torture and outright murder of many women and children in Africa

      That’s a baldfaced lie.

      This is a MUCH scarier and more dangerous dude than Bill Ayers.

      So you think an African Christian is by definition worse than a man who planned the murder of American servicemen and their dates. You’re a disgrace.

    218. Michael W Says:

      Less than 25% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Sarah Palin, while 40% have unfavorable views.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20014854-503544.html

      For some, certainly, negativity toward Palin may be tribal and identity-driven, but any analysis that doesn’t consider that many Americans genuinely perceive Sarah Palin as a piety-spouting demagogue is too freighted with confirmation bias to be worthy of serious consideration. And to completely avoid the other side of the coin–namely, the possibility that tribal identification among some of her supporters inclines them to frame this exclusively as a status issue indicates that you haven’t really challenged yourself to consider a full range of alternative explanations for widespread hostility toward Sarah Palin.

      Essentially, you started out with a conclusion and rationalized it relying on Botton’s pop psychology. I offer no opinion except that this analysis was an intellectually sloppy endeavor that had a predetermined conclusion–not all that different from the pseudo-psychology that dominates political blogs across the ideological spectrum.

      I’d be interested in a more serious exploration of the psychosocial meaning of Sarah Palin, but this wasn’t it.

      Try reading into some research-based work on ideological identification, e.g, System Justification theory, reality sharing and relational bases.

    219. MS Says:

      @Various respondents:

      John McCain certainly claimed that Ms. Palin sold the state plane on EBay, and at a profit. If she corrected that claim BEFORE it became common knowledge that it was false, I will apologize for my remark, but to the best of my knowledge she didn’t. And she absolutely did claim that she said “Thanks but no thanks” to the “bridge to nowhere,” which was simply false. No ambiguity, no wriggle-room for “interpretation,” it was a lie.

      As to her being anti-science, anti-education, anti-intellectual and intellectually incurious: she’s a creationist. That’s all I really need to know, but sort of along those lines: no one who actually studied the Constitution at some point in their lives would claim that their First Amendment rights were being violated when people criticized them.

      Petty, vindictive: look up the librarian episode. Maybe Troopergate (not sure about that one, actually, a lot of smoke, but the fire hasn’t been definitively demonstrated).

      African Christians per se are just fine with me. Witch hunters who take pride in driving women from their homes are not. Honestly, if you think Thomas Muthee is someone any decent human being would “pal around with,” there’s really nothing further we can say to each other. Women and children all over parts of Africa are being falsely accused of being witches, and are being persecuted, driven from their homes, and in some cases tortured and killed. Thomas Muthee is at the center of that. Witchcraft as a belief system is, of course, real to the people who believe it in; that’s axiomatic. However, that doesn’t change the fact that witches don’t actually exist. If Sarah Palin believes there are, or that having Muthee pray over her provides some sort of talismanic protection, fine (although why God wouldn’t protect her without Muthee’s intercession I have no idea). I respect her right to believe what she wants, but I am under absolutely no obligation to respect that belief itself, nor to refrain from pointing out its falsehood. Speaking just for me, I think people who believe in witches are unfit for public office in the USA in the 21st Century. And I believe who people who pretend to believe so are just as unfit.

      And for cryin’ out loud: every president, every governor, every senator, practically every politician in the country has used teleprompters since the day they were invented. Do you really want to make that argument? Is that the best you got? And Mr. Obama, unlike Ms. Palin, actually can speak coherently without one. Those bizarre bits of glossolalia from when she was asked what newspapers she reads and when she announced her resignation as governor of Alaska alone should disqualify her from public office forever. I find it telling that when Tina Fey did her Palin shtick on SNL she got the biggest laughs when she was quoting Ms. Palin verbatim, not when they made stuff up. Doesn’t that bother you, at least a little?

      I know I came on like gangbusters and could have been a shade more, shall we say, nuanced, but I get so sick and tired of armchair psychologists telling me what I believe and why, when it just ain’t so. Sarah Palin doesn’t threaten my sense of status (which educational and professional status I’ve worked very hard to achieve, coming from a very modest background, thank you very much). It is my sincere belief that she threatens the fabric of the country I love. Even if I were a conservative she would scare me, for the reasons cited.

    220. palefinger Says:

      Palin’s favor-ability level is down around 20%. Same 20% who loved Georgy Boy til the end. Same 20% who are birthers, fundamentalists, racists, and overall haters. That ain’t gonna change.
      The left is hate obsessed with Palin as the right is hate obsessed with Obama. She is a big fat nothing and he is doing nothing.

      Your corporatist big business world is still intact.
      No gays have broken into your home to ruin your happy heterosexual marriage.
      The wars carry on as you wanted.
      Nobody’s taken away your guns nor is there a plan to take away your guns.
      Taxes may shift but they’ll still be lower than the Reagan years.

      Everybody, left and right, screaming about nothing.

    221. bgates Says:

      John McCain certainly claimed blah blah blah

      Barack Obama claimed he’d deliver a “net spending cut”. Joe Biden claimed the US and France drove Hezbollah out of Lebanon, and FDR got on tv in 1929 to reassure Americans after the stock market crash. Joe Biden thinks “jobs” is a 3-letter word.

      Is that the best you got?

      You don’t deserve better. It’s enough to demonstrate my point that the object of your veneration can’t string together five words that weren’t written out for him beforehand. (And he’d benefit from some phonetic aids, too – do you know how to pronounce “corpsman”? Your President doesn’t.)

      And she absolutely did claim that she said “Thanks but no thanks” to the “bridge to nowhere,” which was simply false

      She killed the bridge. You’re still a liar.

      Mr. Obama, unlike Ms. Palin, actually can speak coherently without one.

      You’re a liar and a fool, and you’re unable to provide support for either half of that ridiculous assertion because none exists. Prove me wrong.

      she’s a creationist. That’s all I really need to know

      How sad. The one thing you “really need to know”, and it’s another lie. She said, “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class.” Would you want a student who brought it up to be expelled, or just suspended for a few weeks?

      no one who actually studied the Constitution at some point in their lives would claim that their First Amendment rights were being violated when people criticized them

      No citation. Want some things Obama doesn’t understand? How about how car insurance works. Or the relationship between “profit” and “earnings”, and the fact that under either name, it’s not “overhead”.

      Petty, vindictive: look up the librarian episode.

      You want to convince me of something, get one of the big kids to show you how to put a link in a page. It’s bad enough I have to spend time taunting you for your unquestioning acceptance of everything Jon Stewart tells you about how the world works; I’m not about to do your research for you.

      Thomas Muthee is at the center of that.

      Says some guy on the internet. Did he break into your apartment? Did he steal the outfits you make for your cats? Document your assertions or quit making them.

      I notice you don’t have the same concern for Obama’s 20 years in a racist church to which he donated tens of thousands of dollars as you do for Palin’s singular attendance at a church service with an African who as far as I know you are slandering with absolutely no basis in fact. Do you invent ways to justify your astonishing hypocrisy, or do you just try not to think about it? I’m guessing the latter. You strike me as a “not thinking about it” kind of guy.

      I think people who believe in witches are unfit for public office

      I guess your reaction would have been to stop the church service and tell the invited guest that his beliefs were a crock. Must be some of that “smart diplomacy” I keep hearing about (but not seeing).

      I find it telling that when Tina Fey did her Palin shtick on SNL she got the biggest laughs when she was quoting Ms. Palin verbatim

      Her biggest laugh line was “I can see Russia from my house”, which many Obama voters thought was a quote. Is that what you think? Did you lose respect for Jimmy Carter when you saw him help Patrick Swayze rob a bank?

      I know I came on like gangbusters

      You came on like the typical pseudointellectual who vomits up everything the New York Times and NPR tells him and expects people to swoon over his knowledge. “Gangbusters” it ain’t.

      It is my sincere belief that she threatens the fabric of the country I love.

      Cuba?

    222. MS Says:

      “Petty, vindictive: look up the librarian episode.

      You want to convince me of something, get one of the big kids to show you how to put a link in a page.”

      And yet not a single link provided by you.

      OK:

      http://www.adn.com/2008/09/04/515512/palin-pressured-wasilla-librarian.html http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1837918,00.html
      http://librariansagainstpalin.wordpress.com/
      http://www.andrys.com/palin-kilkenny.html

      There’s this interesting thing called Google…

      —-

      “And she absolutely did claim that she said “Thanks but no thanks” to the “bridge to nowhere,” which was simply false

      She killed the bridge. You’re still a liar.”

      http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN3125537020080901 ,
      http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-08-31-palin-bridge_N.htm
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122090791901411709.html
      http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/09/sarah_palin_and_the_bridge_to.html

      The big quote: “While it is true that Palin declared an end to the project, that’s beside the point. It would be more accurate to say that she finally bowed to fiscal reality and congressional politics after a year as governor, and killed off a project that had become a national joke.”

      —-

      “I guess your reaction would have been to stop the church service and tell the invited guest that his beliefs were a crock.”

      No, but I wouldn’t have knelt down, let him lay hands on me, and pray over me. And I wouldn’t have made a gushing speech praising him, either.

      I’ve got plenty of distressing stuff about Muthee (and this is just the tip of the iceberg):

      http://www.squidoo.com/muthee
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/the-witch-hunter-anoints_b_128805.html
      http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2008/09/15/sarah-palin-and-the-thomas-muthee-witch-hunt/
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1057181/Palin-African-pastor-friend-waged-witch-hunt-woman-believed-caused-car-crashes.html ,
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/sarah-palin/3204292/False-claims-exposed-of-Kenyan-pastor-who-protected-Sarah-Palin-from-witches.html
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4R-DuIffwE
      http://news.spreadit.org/pastor-mutheethomas-muthee-palin-african-pastor/

      The money quote from the last article: ““We forgot to talk about Pastor Muthee. As I was mayor, and Pastor Muthee was here, and he was praying over me, you know he speaks, and he’s so bold. He’s praying, ‘Lord, make a way. Lord, make a way.’ I’m thinking this guy is really bold. He doesn’t know what I’m going to do. He doesn’t know what my plans are, and he’s praying not, ‘Oh Lord, if it be your will, may she become Governor.’ No. He just prayed for it. ‘Lord, make a way and let her do this next step,’ and that’s exactly what happened. So, again very, very powerful coming from this church, so that was awesome about Pastor Muthee.” –Sarah Palin

      Seems like the relationship between Muthee and Palin was a little more than a single guest preacher gig at her church. Unless, of course, they just made up that quote out of whole cloth. Oh, that’s right, the Youtube video shows her saying that.

      And is the National Review a conservative enough source for you?:

      http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/225853/sweeping-questions/ronald-f-maxwell

      This article talks about the attempted censorship/librarian firing episode as well.

      Her creationism:

      http://www.thelangreport.com/religion-or-lack-of/sarah-palin-wants-creationism-taught-in-school/

      OK, she’s weaseling about whether or not she’s actually a creationist, but given the church she belongs to, it’s not much of a stretch. In fact, although it’s a virtual certainty I’ll concede a partial point in that as far as I can tell she hasn’t just flat-out said, “I’m a creationist.” However, the fact that she’s a “teach the controversy” kinda person is damning enough. There is no controversy to teach, any more than there’s a controversy about the shape of the earth or whether germs or demons cause disease.

      And no, I wouldn’t suspend a student for making a creationist assertion, any more than I would suspend him/her for saying 2+2 = 5, but I would correct it in the same way I would correct any erroneous statement.

      On her First Amendment ignorance:

      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nov05election/detail?entry_id=32193
      http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2008/10/31/palin
      http://www.prosebeforehos.com/government_employee/10/31/the-top-5-sarah-palin-moments-of-the-2008-campaign/
      http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/10/31/palin-media-criticism-of-my-criticism-first-amendment-violation/

      Note that the last is from the Wall Street Journal blogs, hardly a liberal bastion.

      Ms. Palin herself: “If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations,” Palin told host Chris Plante, “then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.”

      In other words, criticizing her, or pointing out factual errors in her pronouncements, somehow violates her First-Amendment rights.

      And who can forget when she doubled down on this bizarre theory when Dr. Laura got in trouble (also not in any way a First Amendment issue)?:

      http://www.perrspectives.com/blog/archives/001951.htm

      —-

      “Mr. Obama, unlike Ms. Palin, actually can speak coherently without one.

      You’re a liar and a fool, and you’re unable to provide support for either half of that ridiculous assertion because none exists. Prove me wrong.”

      I did point out the verbal salads that were her response to being asked what newspapers she read and her resignation speech.

      But since you can’t be bothered:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRkWebP2Q0Y
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1tnUvtjaaY

      Do you really find either of those even remotely coherent?

      And there’s plenty of video of Obama speaking off script. You may not agree with him, but he does tend to speak in complete sentences, and even manages to organize 2-3 sentences in a row into a complete thought. That’s not to say he doesn’t have a gaffe occasionally, of course. But is there ANY video of Palin speaking off the cuff that isn’t deeply embarrassing?

      And just for fun, here’s the thing about the state plane:

      http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2008/09/05/2008-09-05_story_that_sarah_palin_sold_alaska_state.html

      And the Daily News is hardly a liberal paper.

      The thing about this is, the real story would have been just fine. All she had to do was say, “The state plane was a ridiculous extravagance, so I sold it at fair market value.” Terrific. Even I would say that was a good thing. But no, they just can’t tell the simple truth when a lie provides a better narrative (just like Glen Beck’s recent whopper that he was allowed to actually handle the manuscript of the Washington’s first inaugural address).

      And as is so often the case, when confronted with people who disagree with them, the conservative response is to question their patriotism.

      I’ll concede I’m not as internet savvy as I should be. I can’t do the cool block quotes, figure out how to italicize stuff, etc. But you know, I don’t really think that’s relevant.

    223. Shannon Love Says:

      Michael W,

      Essentially, you started out with a conclusion and rationalized it relying on Botton’s pop psychology.

      Actually, it comes from ethology and evolutionary psychology. When a high status animal perceives a threat to its position, it begins to engage in an unusually high number of dominance displays. The emotion presumed to drive the behavior is termed “stasus-anxiety”. I extrapolated that human behavior.

      Granted psychology is an immature, squishy science but I think I’m on reasonably firm ground. Beside, given how much energy leftists put in describing as emotionally unbalance anyone who questions their brilliance, I don’t think they have grounds to whine about my treatment.

      Try reading into some research-based work on ideological identification, e.g, System Justification theory, reality sharing and relational bases.

      You kinda showed you hand with “System Justification Theory”. SJT is a marxist inspired bit of tripe that starts with the fallacy of begging the question: “Gosh, we’re all so obviously brilliant and infallible that people who don’t agree with us about everything must have some weird psychological process going on.”

      The truth is must simpler: Correct information is very hard to obtain. As such, most people wisely stick with what has been proven to work in the past. New ideas are just like mutations in genes, the vast majority of them are wrong and do damage.

      SJT is an idea born of intellectual hubris. Its proponents cherry pick historical episodes to make it appear that new ideas are always correct and old ideas always wrong. For example, religious conservatives in 1930s Germany who opposed communism had a flawed intellectual process while those who opposed the Nazis on the same grounds did not.

      I covered some of this ground in my post Those Disgusted Conservatives Vs. The Chicken F*ckers.

    224. Shannon Love Says:

      MS,

      You know, I think you are a perfectly good example of this. Your status-anxiety causes you to magnify utterly minor issues as having great import. I think the Ronald F. Maxwell article you link to is an excellent example of this.

      Maxwell points out that Muthee identified a grifter as witch, resulting in a harassment and a police raid in which they brutally murder a reptile. Then he conflates that with a murderous witch hysteria that occurred in another country. Obviously Muthee must be an evil person because of events he had no part in.

      Witchcraft fears are a problem in Africa but they aren’t always as irrational as superficial western bigotry would lead you to believe. The victims are usually not randomly selected but known troublemakers. Many are con artists or criminals. Many African criminal gains use claims of mystic powers to terrorize the population and the formal justice system can’t touch them. Witch riots are often just community justice.

      Like many traditional practices, the dynamics of witchcraft in Africa is a complex subject.

      Have you ever considered how the very same problem could have dogged Obama? Suppose he had actually gave a damn about his African relatives and had extensively interacted with them? A lot of them would believe in witchcraft. He might have attended services by a minster like Muthee. Would you be making the same comparisons? If Obama didn’t relentlessly lecture everyone he spoke with in Africa about witchcraft do think non-leftists could castigate him about it?

      More importantly, given a choice between an association with a traditional practice like witch hunting versus various murderous socialist regimes like Mugabe, which should worry us more in a President? Obama comes form a social/political circle in which Ayers, Doran and other former anti-American terrorist are accepted and even respected figures. They rubbed elbows constantly. I think that says more about Obama than Palin’s brief association with a minister from another continent.

      Of course, your irrational hatred, driven by your status-anxiety, won’t let you see that.

      Then Maxwell conflates Palin merely asking about moving some books to the restricted shelves with Nazi book burning. I think its pretty safe to say that if he is a “conservative” he is one of those Republicans who are clearly suffering the same status-anxiety as leftists. That you see his arguments as reasonable suggest you do as well.

      I think the real problem you have with Palin is your own religious bigotry. You don’t know anything at all about her religious beliefs and instead you fill in the gaps caused by your own ignorance with self-flatterying fantasies.

      What you don’t see is that you don’t hate and fear Palin for her supposed beliefs. I mean, did you think she was kind of okay but then found out about the witchcraft? No, you hated her from the instance she appeared because of the kind of middle-class, anti-elitist person she obviously was. Then you just magnified minor issues to rationalize your emotional reaction.

    225. Anonymous Says:

      You kinda showed you hand with “System Justification Theory”. SJT is a marxist inspired bit of tripe that starts with the fallacy of begging the question: “Gosh, we’re all so obviously brilliant and infallible that people who don’t agree with us about everything must have some weird psychological process going on.”

      First, I’m a Libertarian and have been since the Clark/Koch campaign in 1980, but your assumption demonstrates my point. You put a political label on a robust psychological phenomenon that applies to ideologues of every kind (left, right, political and non-political) because it threatens your position–you reject it on ideological grounds (i.e, it’s Marxist) instead of on empirical grounds. Of course, there are people who will use research findings to naively support their political views, but that doesn’t mean the findings of the research are flawed.

      As for status anxiety and animal behavior, you completely overlook mediation by higher order intellectual processes in human beings, essentially trying to explain human behavior without reference to secondary mediation processes, particularly unconscious psychological defenses. While lower order process drive us in part, they do not take into account unconscious defensive biases that are amply supported by an abundance of research.

    226. MS Says:

      Primarily @Shannon Love

      “What you don’t see is that you don’t hate and fear Palin for her supposed beliefs. I mean, did you think she was kind of okay but then found out about the witchcraft? No, you hated her from the instance she appeared because of the kind of middle-class, anti-elitist person she obviously was. Then you just magnified minor issues to rationalize your emotional reaction.”

      Actually, when she was first presented I had guardedly positive feelings. I thought that selling the state plane was a good move, and I thought it was really cool that she had done it on EBay, thus avoiding a commission. I also thought it was great that she had opposed the bridge to nowhere.

      Granted, as a Democrat, there was little chance I would vote to her ticket, but I really didn’t have particularly negative feelings about her as a person. I just regarded her as someone I disagreed with politically (like most of my family, and trust me I don’t have negative feelings for any of them).

      Then…I found out the truth about the state plane, the bridge to nowhere and other matters. The more things came out about her, the less I liked her. The Thomas Muthee affair was perhaps the thing that sealed the deal, but it was just one among many.

      As a middle-class guy, I’m hardly anti-middle class. Indeed, my principal objection to Republican policies, including Ms. Palin’s, is that they are fundamentally anti-middle class. Perhaps my analysis is wrong (although I don’t think so), but my motivation is NOT anti-middle class.

      And I find it bizarre that the modern conservative movement, which has since its inception been bankrolled and controlled by hereditary plutocrats (Buckleys, Kochs, Bushes, Cheneys, Scaifes), none of whom has ever worked a day out of actual necessity, somehow gets away with labeling its OPPONENTS as “elitist.” I come from a very modest lower middle-class background (not actually poor, but not far from it, and if I hadn’t been an only child, we really would have been poor). I worked my way through 3 college degrees (not a dime of familial support past my Bachelor’s but I finished my doctorate without a penny of debt) and through a variety of posts before achieving a modicum of professional success. I am proud of the hard work I have put in and the success that has brought me, but I am not anywhere near being an “elite.”

      So, your reading of me, my motives and history is basically completely wrong on every count.

      Perhaps I am completely misreading Ms. Palin and her beliefs and capabilities. I don’t think so, but maybe…still I haven’t made a single comment about the motivations or beliefs of you or anyone here, but you and others have consistently assumed they knew all about me, my background, and motivations, refusing to consider that I actually believe what I say I believe for the reasons stated. Maybe I’ve got the facts wrong (although again, I don’t think so), but I’ve stuck to what I think the facts are. You haven’t, but have instead attacked me personally repeatedly.

      Why is that?

    227. Shannon Love Says:

      MS,

      You haven’t, but have instead attacked me personally repeatedly. Why is that?

      Because this was post about the strange behavior of leftists in regard to Palin and an attempt to explain that behavior. It wasn’t a debate about Palin at all although you tried to turn it into one. I didn’t attack you personally. I simply tried to show you how your very emotional post about Palin fit the pattern I was talking about.

      In short, this wasn’t a post about Palin, it was a post about people like you and why you think the way you do. I am sorry you didn’t catch that.

      In your last post you sound sane. Palin is just a politician you don’t like. You think she’s misrepresented her actions in the past. Fair enough. That would be ordinary political give and take. You’re not required to like or trust political figures you disagree with.

      I’m talking about the weird idea that there is something profoundly usually bad about Palin when there really isn’t. I’m talking about leftists who think non-leftists who question Obama birth certificate are bizarre but have no problem turning around and questioning whether Trig Palin is Palin’s trial. I’m talking about people who believe that she is part of some apocalyptic sect who is just itching to start a nuclear war to bring on the end of days.

      You yourself seem to think she approves of burning witches at the stake. You link approvingly to someone who more or less states that. I just showed how that article was overwrought. That same article linked her to Nazi book burning for asking a librarian if it might be appropriate if some controversial books could be put on the restricted shelves. Do you think that is all reasonable?

      This behavior is absolutely nuts and way overboard. It requires explanation. I tried to provide that.

      Of course, if you are reacting out of status-anxiety, it will be very hard for you to admit it. Everyone rationalizes their status-anxiety. If you belong to a social circle where everyone has the same anxiety and the same urge to rationalize, you won’t see your behavior as unreasonable.

      And I find it bizarre that the modern conservative movement, which has since its inception been bankrolled and controlled by hereditary plutocrats (Buckleys, Kochs, Bushes, Cheneys, Scaifes), none of whom has ever worked a day out of actual necessity, somehow gets away with labeling its OPPONENTS as “elitist.”

      Well, the cypto-marxist bit is silly but let me reiterate. Elitism isn’t about economic class. Elitism is about not respecting the decision making abilities of ordinary people.

      Those on the right believe that the vast majority of people can make their own decisions about a wide range of issue in which leftists believe that the government makes a better decisions. A good example would be school choice. Those on the right believe that all-in-all it would be better to give parents direct control over the resources for their children’s education. Leftists believe that parents can’t make those decisions and want them made by the government and by the levels of government most removed from the people.

      If you look at ever issue except for sex, the left believes that the government should override individual decision on everything e.g food, housing, transportation, education, medical care, work, business etc.

      In short, the right says I am intelligent and responsible enough to run my own life while the left says that I am idiot who has to monitored and whose decisions have to be overridden constantly.

    228. bgates Says:

      And yet not a single link provided by you.

      I count five in two posts, not including the one to imdb.

      There’s this interesting thing called Google…

      There’s this interesting concept called “supporting your own assertions”….

      According to a report in the local paper at the time,

      - In the wake of strong reactions from the city’s library director to inquiries about censorship, Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin on Monday was taking pains to explain her questions about censoring library material were “rhetorical.”

      Library Director Mary Ellen Emmons last week said Palin broached the subject with her on two occasions in October – once Palin was elected mayor Oct. 1 but before she took office on Oct. 14, and again in more detail on Monday, Oct. 28. Besides heading the Wasilla City Library, Emmons is also president of the Alaska Library Association.

      The issue became public last Wednesday, when Palin brought it up during an interview about the now-defunct Liquor task Force. Palin used the library topic as an example of discussions with her department heads about understanding and following administration agendas. Palin said she asked Emmons how she would respond to censorship.

      (By the way, that green text? Bold font? That’s a link.)

      So your claim is that Palin is so “vindictive” that she asked for, but declined to accept, the resignation of a city official who had publicly supported her opponent in the mayoral race. (Again, green text = link. See how that works?) That’s an interesting standard for vindictiveness. What must you think of Obama and his decision to replace a “batch” of U.S. Attorneys? (Hate to drag this out, but in case you’re stuck on the word ‘link’ – what you do is, point your mouse at the green, bold text and click on it, and you’ll see a whole ‘nother page.)

      Now, I’ve followed your links, and I see no support for your assertion that Muthee is “part of a movement responsible for the persecution, torture and outright murder of many women and children”. How about one piece of documentation linking Muthee to one case of torture or murder? How about the name of Muthee’s movement, the name of one murder victim, and a claim that there’s some sort of overlap between the two? I don’t think you can do it.

      The big quote: “While it is true that Palin declared an end to the project

      That’s what I said.

      Here’s one of your own sources quoting what it characterizes as “Palin’s First Amendment dullardry*”:

      “Letterman certainly has the right to ‘joke’ about whatever he wants to, and thankfully we have the right to express our reaction. This is all thanks to our U.S. Military women and men putting their lives on the line for us to secure America’s Right to Free Speech – in this case, may that right be used to promote equality and respect.”

      I’m curious as to which of those sentences is supposed to be false.

      *Not a word. Not even a good neologism, unlike “refudiate”, the use of which the same article mocks without a glimmer of irony.

      she’s weaseling about whether or not she’s actually a creationist, but given the church she belongs to, it’s not much of a stretch.

      Obama weasels about whether or not he’s actually a socialist, but given the church he belonged to for twenty years, which was known for its “disavowal of the pursuit of middle-classness”, it’s not much of a stretch. See, that’s the way an argument works: I make an assertion, I provide evidence. You make an assertion and pretend that’s enough. It isn’t.

      is there ANY video of Palin speaking off the cuff that isn’t deeply embarrassing?

      Yes.

      And as is so often the case, when confronted with people who disagree with them, the conservative response is to question their patriotism.

      I didn’t mean to question it. You said an African Christian who has some shadowy connection to a completely fictitious plot to murder other Africans is more worrisome to you than Bill Ayers, a long-term close working associate of the President who is known to be a ringleader of a group of domestic terrorists who plotted, among other things, to murder enlisted military personnel and their dates at a dance. I’m not questioning your patriotism, I’m denying it. I’m laughing in astonished horror at the thought there’s anyone in the world gullible enough to think your patriotism exists.

    229. MS Says:

      Two questions for Ms. Palin’s supporters:

      Do you think it is reasonable, in the 21st-Century USA, for a college graduate who is a candidate for national office to believe that there are actual witches who can cast real spells?

      Do you think it’s reasonable for such a person to believe that having a Kenyan preacher, who is associated with a movement that persecutes women and children for being witches, pray over him/her, conveys some sort of special divine protection?

    230. bgates Says:

      the modern conservative movement, which has since its inception been bankrolled and controlled by hereditary plutocrats (Buckleys, Kochs, Bushes, Cheneys, Scaifes)

      Dick Cheney’s father was a soil conservation agent for the Ag Department. Chris Buckley endorsed Obama in 2008. Speaking of Buckleys and Bushes, here‘s a less-than-full-throated endorsement of W from WFB’s magazine in 2000:

      The Editors of National Review will vote, on Tuesday, November 7, for George W. Bush for President, and we urge the faithful to do the same.

      The (very) late Bishop Butler, acknowledging a protest again Christian canon, said three hundred years ago that, to be sure, if he had been God, he’d have made things a little bit different. If the editors of NR had been present at the creation, we’d have struck a finer tuning fork to guide George W. But the choice is as it is, and conservatives need to abide by what was a fair and open process that concluded this political season with a significant national choice.

      Speaking of “hereditary plutocrats”, have you ever heard the names Kennedy, Ochs, Gore, or Rockefeller? Did you know Democratic Senator Chris Dodd’s father was also in the Senate (and also a crook)?

      Speaking of “the modern conservative movement”, have you ever heard the name Ronald Reagan? I think he had some measure of control for a while there. It was in all the papers.

    231. Shannon Love Says:

      MS

      Do you think it is reasonable, in the 21st-Century USA, for a college graduate who is a candidate for national office to believe that there are actual witches who can cast real spells?

      I’m a materialistic atheist and I believe in witches who cast spells. In fact, I know several personally. They’re called Wiccana. Many Wiccans believe that they are descended from the actual witches of the pre-enlighenment and many are very anti-christian. Many Wiccans believe that their spells can have real world effects.

      Sounds like witches to me.

      I wonder, do you think that Wiccans are unfit for public office because they believe themselves to be witches? How about Shinto and their belief in kami? How about someone who thinks they have an aura that can be healed by crystals? How about someone who believes in Gaia? There are a lot of very strange mystical beliefs that are common on the left. Do they worry you? Is everyone who believes in them or knows somebody who does unfit for office?

      However, I would point out that none of the links you provided actually has Palin saying, “I believe in witches and think they should be hunted down and burned to death.” In fact, none of them provide any unusual information. All you have is people bitterly opposed to her because of status-anxiety who are grasping at any straw to smear her with. Because your own emotional reaction impairs your reason, you can’t see that.

      What you don’t see is that your emotional reaction is causing you to read dire important into minor encounter with someone from another culture. Had this happened to Obama (also a Christian) during a trip to Kenya you would think nothing of it because you like and admire Obama. However, since you already hate Palin, you warp events into something that justifies your hatred.

      I think this also inflates your sense of intellectual superiority. You think, “Look how dumb Shannon and the rest must be! They support someone who believes in witches and thinks they should be burned at the stake! What morons! I am ever so much smarter than they are.”

      There is a long, long track record of leftist claiming the most extraordinary things about non-leftists leaders. You will drop these weird claims when they are no longer useful. Palin is just the latest and stands out only because of the sheer density of bizarre claims directed at her.

    232. MS Says:

      “Speaking of “hereditary plutocrats”, have you ever heard the names Kennedy, Ochs, Gore, or Rockefeller? Did you know Democratic Senator Chris Dodd’s father was also in the Senate (and also a crook)?

      Speaking of “the modern conservative movement”, have you ever heard the name Ronald Reagan? I think he had some measure of control for a while there. It was in all the papers.”

      The history of inherited wealth is a complicated one. Many people of privilege have used their leisure to great ends in art and science. Not in any particular order: Mendelssohn, Darwin, Vaughan-Williams (a relative of Darwin, as it happens), Gore Vidal, Max Born, Copernicus, da Vinci, Borodin (illegitimate son of a nobleman, not officially recognized, but well educated at his father’s expense, and a distinguished chemist as well as composer), Paul and Ludwig Wittgenstein, Elliott Carter, Stephen Sondheim, Stravinsky (although he lost the family fortune in the Russian revolution), Gesualdo (not a nice guy, to say the least, but a great composer), Boyle, Albinoni, Yoko Ono, Seward Johnson, Roger Bacon… Not to mention foundations founded with family money like the Guggenheim, (I would mention Carnegie, but he didn’t inherit his wealth) and patrons like Haydn’s Esterhazy, Beethoven’s various sponsors, the Countess von Meck (who supported both Tchaikovsky and Debussy), Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, Stanley Marsh III (from my hometown) and the de Menils. And to be fair, the Kochs are big patrons of the ballet and other arts.

      Likewise, there certainly have been politicians born into wealth who have done much good. While there is much to criticize about the Kennedy clan, they have consistently favored the public good over their private interests, unlike the Bushes and Buckleys. Likewise FDR, certainly born to privilege, and even some Republicans, noticeably the Rockefeller family, which you mention (hardly a spotless record, but overall pretty good). And yes, I would include Al Gore here.

      That said, it is really hard to discern any positive contributions by any of the Buckleys besides Christopher (and while I really like his novels, he is apparently a seriously deadbeat dad), Richard Mellon Scaife, H.L Hunt’s children, the Kochs (art patronage aside), Jonah Goldberg, William Kristol, Mary Cheney, or any Bush at all.

      And honestly, Reagan? He was never in charge of anything. He was simply a pawn who sold his amiable facade to the highest bidder in exchange for a life of leisure and comfort. True, he came from a modest background, but I have never said that was impossible, just that the deck is stacked against it.

      But the main point is that the modern conservative movement has always been, at heart, an Astroturf movement by the very rich to maintain their unearned wealth and privilege. They have consistently appealed to the basest instincts (racism, classism, religious bigotry) to pit people whose interests actually coincide against each other (e.g. poor Southern blacks against poor Southern whites, Christians against Jews). But somehow these born-into-wealth aristocrats get away with calling people who advocate for, say a living wage, or universal health care, or decent public education “elites.” Likewise they manage to convince decent, honest, hard-working people like many of my family members to vote against their own economic interests (if only I had the time to tell you how my father and my aunt, both rock-ribbed Republicans, were screwed by the companies they devoted their entire adult lives to). That they pretty much get away with it is deeply depressing.

      I am lucky. I was born in a time and place where someone from a lower middle-class background like mine could get a scholarship to a college his family otherwise could not possibly afford, and could, with hard work and a little luck, actually get ahead. While I am proud of my hard work and my accomplishments I also realize that had I been born at a different time or in a different place, my life would have turned out very differently, whatever my talents and abilities were. Someone said of W, “he was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.” Well, I was born on first base, but do not pretend I got there entirely on my own. And I do not protest against sharing my modest wealth with those less fortunate than I.

    233. MS Says:

      “I’m a materialistic atheist and I believe in witches who cast spells. In fact, I know several personally. They’re called Wiccana. Many Wiccans believe that they are descended from the actual witches of the pre-enlighenment and many are very anti-christian. Many Wiccans believe that their spells can have real world effects.

      Sounds like witches to me.

      I wonder, do you think that Wiccans are unfit for public office because they believe themselves to be witches? How about Shinto and their belief in kami? How about someone who thinks they have an aura that can be healed by crystals? How about someone who believes in Gaia? There are a lot of very strange mystical beliefs that are common on the left. Do they worry you? Is everyone who believes in them or knows somebody who does unfit for office?”

      —-

      Actually, perfectly fair questions. As an atheist myself, naturally I would prefer that all candidates for public office eschew the supernatural. Since that’s not practical, I find myself trying to figure out where to draw the line. It’s not always easy to figure that out, but someone who lets an obviously insane witch hunter, at the heart of a movement which is responsible for the deaths of many women and children, lay hands and pray over her, and then makes a gushing speech praising said witch hunter, and never retracts or explains it, has definitely crossed that line, wherever it is.

      That she also lies about things in the public record which are easily checkable (the state plane, the bridge to nowhere), supports the teaching of non-science in science classes, thinks that critical scrutiny by the press violates her Constitutional rights, and tries to fire librarians who displease her, is just lagniappe.

      The Wiccan issue you raise is to some extent a valid one. On balance I would prefer not to vote for a Wiccan. However, to the best of my knowledge, Wicca is not a theocratic religion and does not advocate driving women from their homes because a few car accidents happened in close proximity, nor do Wiccans, whatever other irrational beliefs they may hold, support killing people they believe to be demon-possessed. I am sure Ms. Palin does not advocate these things, but she is apparently comfortable accepting the blessing of someone who does, and moreover is on record praising him to the skies. So, on the one hand a Wiccan, IMHO opinion misguided and irrational, but non-violent and peaceful, vs. would-be theocrats who kill people–not a contest, even though in an ideal world I would pick a liberal atheist over either of them. And while I am happy arguing in hypotheticals, and see the value in doing so, how many Wiccans have been governors or major-party candidates for vice-president?

    234. Ritchie The Riveter Says:

      And while I am happy arguing in hypotheticals, and see the value in doing so, how many Wiccans have been governors or major-party candidates for vice-president?

      Not as many as there have been, in positions of authority, members of the atheist/humanist faith.

      And yes, that is a faith, whether or not its adherents see it as such … unfortunately, the Establishment Clause doesn’t define it as “religion” because it does not reference the supernatural.

      Do you think it is reasonable to place total trust in the idea that human beings are sufficiently omniscient to conclusively dismiss the idea of a Supreme Being?

      Shannon … an intellectually-honest atheist … has you dead-to-rights on this; I’ll add that your vitriol re: Gov. Palin is just another application of Alinksy Rule Four.

      Otherwise, you would be at least as disgusted at the lies being codified into law by our current President and the Clown Posse that passes for Congress these days.

      But you will continue to strain gnats, instead … and swallow those lies as “progress”, when in fact they are “regress” to the failures of the past.

    235. Ritchie The Riveter Says:

      But somehow these born-into-wealth aristocrats get away with calling people who advocate for, say a living wage, or universal health care, or decent public education “elites.” Likewise they manage to convince decent, honest, hard-working people like many of my family members to vote against their own economic interests (if only I had the time to tell you how my father and my aunt, both rock-ribbed Republicans, were screwed by the companies they devoted their entire adult lives to). That they pretty much get away with it is deeply depressing.

      Your error is to assume that the policies you favor above are in our economic interest. They are not … for imposing them through government action is neither efficient nor effective. The benefit they provide is not sustainable and/or creates other burdens that end up outweighing the benefit.

      The “elitism” comes from the idea that a few people can support such folly as the product of (their) superior intellect, and then dismiss middle-class Americans who oppose this as lacking (their) intellect because they oppose such “progress”.

      Your parents error is not supporting the GOP … it is placing excessive faith in those companies, instead of keeping more control of their own economic destiny. Companies only get away with this when we let them do it to us, or leave ourselves dependent – and vulnerable – to their whims. Unfortunately, Progressives like yourself encourage such behavior, by telling people time and again that their economic destiny is beyond their control, so attempts at taking control are futile … which works well when your objective is to subordinate everyone else to your “superior” intellect.

      It is OUR job … not the government’s … to deal with the individual-specific issues of socio-economic life.

    236. Viator Says:

      Vetting Sarah Palin

      “There is a wave now clearly rising. There is a movement very definable now fully exposing itself to America. The Tea Party now has more successful wins to its credit within a condensed time frame than any other American political movement can rightfully claim. This movement is alive, palpable, real, not to be ignored and poised to return America to its position as that Shining City Upon the Hill. And one individual is responsible for this momentum.

      That person is Sarah Louise Palin—and this is her vetting.”

      http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/27844

    237. Viator Says:

      Most of the articles “MS” has mentioned are Journolist talking points that have been gone over and over and over, ad nauseam. The big lie and two minute hate are, of course, totalitarian strategies both of which have been directed at Governor Palin. Then there is the “nuts and sluts” attack, used against conservative women, which was identified by Prof. William Jacobson as something both the left and the GOP have borrowed from employment discrimination litigation.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lie
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Minutes_Hate

    238. Shannon Love Says:

      MS,

      That she also lies about things in the public record which are easily checkable (the state plane, the bridge to nowhere), supports the teaching of non-science in science classes, thinks that critical scrutiny by the press violates her Constitutional rights, and tries to fire librarians who displease her, is just lagniappe.

      I hate to tell you this but politicians of all strips lie. What you have done is allow you emotional reaction to her impose a narrative onto minor events which reveals Palin to this great evil. The narrative of the librarian is a perfect example of this. Your bigotry leads you to believe that Palin is a Nazi book burner. Therefore, you construct a story in which Palin evilly tries to censor books by removing them from the library but a noble and pure librarian stood up to her. Enraged at being thwarted in her evil schemes, Palin takes revenge by firing the library.

      If that narrative was true then of course it would imply something sinister about Palin. However, it is just a story that you believe only because you need to rationalize your deep emotional revulsion for Palin. You can’t understand that you don’t feel because of facts, you define facts by what you feel.

      What you can’t see it that Palin faults and lies are completely unordinary. If she was a leftwing politician, you wouldn’t Let your emotions get the better of you. Compare Palin to John Edwards. He made his millionaire fortune suing obstetricians and hospitals based on junk science. When his wife got cancer, he refused to put his political ambitions on hold and instead subjected her to stresses of a campaign. Then her carried on an extended affair with a campaign worker and used campaign donations to cover it up. In doing so, he betrayed his family, his friends and all the millions of Americans who placed their political hopes in him.

      You don’t see anything sinister in Edwards because you have no emotional reaction to him. He’s rich, well educated and pays homage to leftwing intellectuals. He does not threaten your real or imagined social status so you pretty much don’t care how rotten of a person he is. Had he been a Republican you would have instantly recognized him as a bad person.

      Like I said, Palin is an ordinary politician. Palin’s lies, mistake and policy statements fall well within normal ranges. The only unusual is who she is. That is why you have such a reaction to her and magnify minor faults and events to matters of great evil import.

      But the main point is that the modern conservative movement has always been, at heart, an Astroturf movement by the very rich to maintain their unearned wealth and privilege.

      Wow, straight from Marx. This idea is so old and so discredited that I don’t even think I need to refute it. Of all modern ideologies, only Marxism holds that the wealthy form an integral social unit and that their wealth is unearned. All this is easily refuted by even a casual glance at patterns of donations, voting and office holding combined with statistics on earned wealth.

      This is another one of those status motivated ideas. They tell you this is what smart people think but it is actually a very simplistic and primitive “each the rich” idea which has been around since the dawn of civilization. It lets you feel intellectually and morally superior to others as well as part of an elite that alone understands how the world works (and therefore should rule.)

      It’s all so boring and tedious. It’s pointless to argue with you about it. Your self-esteem is so wrapped up in the idea and you are so devoid of any other ideas, that you won’t surrender it no matter what. It may also be the salve to soothe your anger at your own failure to receive the economic rewards you believe due to you on merit i.e. if the world was a more fair place, you would have more stuff and status.

      Telling, you’ve never addressed my contention that elitism is not about money but about not respecting the decision-making capabilities of others. You keep coming back to your outdated 19th century European idea of class warfare. Who cares? Why should I care if someone makes more money than me? Why should I care that someone’s parents made more money than my parents? Why should that be axis around which all my political beliefs rotate?

      As a matter of practical politics, I am glad that you are so obtuse. After all, the more people like you miss the point, the more likely I am to advance my political goals. However, for your own benefit, you should try and stretch your mind a bit.

    239. MS Says:

      Although obviously I was very harsh about Ms. Palin, I would like to point out:

      1) At no time did I insult any other participant in the discussion.
      2) Neither did I insist that I know better than you do what you really believe and what your reasons are for believing the way you do.

    240. mishu Says:

      The reason why political leftists like MS hate Palin so much is that, at the time of great momentum of the Obama campaign, she got off one good zinger about small town mayors vs. big city community organizers. That one line fired up the base of the opposing party and they then felt they had a chance at winning. Ever since then the “enlightened” and “understanding” left has thrown a temper tantrum about her.