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By Patrick Buchanan
September 9, 2008
One wonders: What did Sarah Palin ever do to inspire the rage and bile that exploded on her selection by John McCain? What is there either in this woman's record or resume to elicit such feline ferocity?
What did we know of her when she was introduced?
That she was a mother of five who had brought into this world a baby boy with Down syndrome, thus living her Christian beliefs. That she was a small-town conservative who had risen from mayor of Wasilla (Pop. 9,700) to be governor of a state twice the size of Texas.
That she was a reformer who had dethroned an Old Boys' Network by dumping a sitting Republican governor. That she had taken on Big Oil, taxed the companies and returned the money in $1,200 checks to every citizen of Alaska. And that she had cut a deal with Canada to build a pipeline to bring natural gas to her fellow Americans.
And, oh, yes. She was "Sarah Barracuda" -- a fierce high school athlete, a runner-up in the Miss Alaska pageant, a Feminist for Life and lifetime member of the NRA. Introduced by McCain, she praised Hillary Clinton and pledged to finish her work by smashing through the glass ceiling in which Hillary had made 18 million cracks.
What, in any or all of this, is there to justify the feral attacks within minutes of her introduction? What had she done to cause this outburst? Answer: absolutely nothing.
No. Sarah Palin is not resented for what she has done, but for who she is: a Christian conservative who believes unborn children are gifts of God, even those with birth defects, and have a God-given right to life.
Normally, the press is reluctant to rummage into the private lives of public servants, unless their conduct affects their duties or they preach virtues they hypocritically do not practice.
Yet, no sooner was Palin introduced, than the media went berserk over the news that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. As one in three births in America is out-of-wedlock and Hollywood celebrates this lifestyle, why did The New York Times and The Washington Post splash this "news" on page one above the fold?
How does Bristol Palin's pregnancy disqualify Sarah Palin to be vice president? Why is it even relevant?
They did it because they thought it would damage Sarah Palin in the eyes of a Christian community they do not comprehend.
So out of bounds was the media that Obama, in an act of decency, declared Palin's family off limits and reminded the media that he was himself born to a teenage single mom.
If one would wish to see the famous liberal double standard on naked display, consider.
Palin's daughter was fair game for a media that refused to look into reports that John Edwards, a Democratic candidate for president, was conducting an illicit affair with a woman said to be carrying his child and cheating on his faithful wife Elizabeth, who has incurable cancer. That was not a legitimate story, but Bristol Palin's pregnancy is?
Why did the selection of Sarah Palin cause a suspension of all standards and a near riot among a media that has been so in the tank for Barack even "Saturday Night Live" has satirized the infatuation?
Because she is one of us -- and he is one of them.
Barack and Michelle are affirmative action, Princeton, Columbia, Harvard Law. She is public schools and Idaho State. Barack was a Saul Alinsky social worker who rustled up food stamps. Sarah Palin kills her own food.
Michelle has a $300,000-a-year sinecure doing PR for a Chicago hospital. Todd Palin is a union steelworker who augments his income working vacations on the North Slope. Sarah has always been proud to be an American. Michelle was never proud of America -- until Barack started winning.
Barack has zero experience as an executive. Sarah ran her own fishing fleet, was mayor for six years and runs the largest state in the union. She belongs to a mainstream Christian church. Barack was, for 15 years, a parishioner at Trinity United and had his daughters baptized by Pastor Jeremiah Wright, whose sermons are saturated in black-power, anti-white racism and anti-Americanism.
Sarah is a rebel. Obama has been a go-along, get-along cog in the Daley Machine. She is Middle America. Barack, behind closed doors in San Francisco, mocked Middle Americans as folks left behind by the global economy who cling bitterly to their Bibles, bigotries and guns.
Barack has zero foreign policy experience. Palin runs a state that is home to anti-missile, missile and air defense bases facing the Far East, commands the Alaska National Guard and has a soldier-son heading for Iraq.
Barack, says the National Journal, has the most left-wing voting record in the Senate, besting Socialist Bernie Sanders. Palin's stances read as though they were lifted from Reagan's 1980 "no pale pastels" platform. And this is what this media firestorm is all about.
By Jonah Goldberg
September 9, 2008
Barack Obama, a famous fan of pickup basketball, must recognize his plight: It's two on one now. John McCain drafted Gov. Sarah Palin, the star point guard from the Wasilla Warriors, to double-team Obama.
(McCain's team doesn't care if no one covers Joe Biden, who seems to spend most of his time yelling to the media, "I'm open! I'm open!" But when he gets the ball, all he does is talk about what a great player he is and dribble in place.)
So after the halftime show of the political conventions, to strain the sports metaphor a bit further, it looks as if the change-up in strategy has Team Obama rattled and in danger of choking. Polls -- the closest thing we have to a scoreboard -- show that McCain, at least temporarily, has taken the lead. The Real Clear Politics average of national polls since Friday shows McCain ahead by a razor-thin (and statistically meaningless) 2.9 percentage points. The USA Today-Gallup poll has McCain leading by a whopping 10 points among likely voters (and four points among registered voters), though that's almost surely an overstatement.
The McCain-Palin convention bounce also all but closed the ticket's gender gap. According to Rasmussen, Obama had a 14-point lead among women; now it's three. According to the latest ABC/Washington Post poll, McCain now has a 12-point lead among white women.
Still, there's a lot of pressure on Sarah Barracuda. Called up from the political minors, she could yet wilt under the hot lights. But that's looking less and less likely.
The outrageous attacks on Palin out of the block (She banned books! She opposed family planning education! She's a creationist!) have missed the mark. And the eagerness of the mainstream media to go after her family life has backfired as well. For instance, the Washington Post's Hanna Rosin wrote sneeringly in Slate magazine of Palin's "wreck of a home life." Would Slate say that Obama, conceived out of wedlock to a teen mom, comes from a "wreck" of a family? I somehow doubt it.
Palin's more sober critics, mostly on the right, worried that picking her would undermine McCain's claim to "experience." Almost the exact opposite has happened. Thanks to the double-team strategy, Obama has found himself in the awkward position of sounding as if he's running against the GOP's vice presidential nominee. When Obama compared his own experience to Palin's tenure as mayor of Wasilla (leaving out her current job as governor), he ran right into the pick the McCain campaign had set, leaving McCain a clearer path to victory.
The more Obama has to explain why being a community organizer -- or a state legislator, or a one-term senator with few accomplishments under his belt -- is better preparation for the presidency than being a mayor or governor, the more he volunteers his own shortcomings when compared with McCain.
Besides, on paper, Obama doesn't stand up very well against Palin. All of the mythic themes of Obama's political narrative -- the ethics reformer, the bipartisan, the new kind of politician -- all look like press-release material next to Palin's accomplishments. Obama voted the Democratic Party line more often (97%) than McCain voted in accord with President Bush (90%). In Washington, Obama's supposedly "sweeping" ethics reform -- which forces congressmen to eat lobbyist-provided meals standing up instead of sitting down -- and his feckless reforms in Illinois make him look the Bambi to Palin's Godzilla.
Obama's idea of ethics reform is to mandate clean sheets in the brothel. Palin's is to tear it down.
The most unsportsmanlike conduct in the days to come will be the search for Palin gaffes, of which there undoubtedly will be many. The media will call fouls on her that they never call on the other candidates. Over the last week, Obama misspoke and referred to his "Muslim faith" on ABC's "This Week" and told a rally how excited he was to be in "New Pennsylvania." Perhaps that's one of the 57 states he once claimed to campaign in?
And let's not forget Biden, whose gaffes are the unavoidable byproduct of his limitless gasbaggery. Biden could shout on "Meet the Press," "Get these squirrels off of me!" and the collective response would be, "There goes Joe again." But if Palin flubs the name of the deputy agriculture minister of Kyrgyzstan, the media will blow their whistles saying she's unprepared for the job.
Fair or not, that's how it works in the pros. But so far, it still looks as if the MVP title is hers to lose.
By Kirsten Powers
September 9, 2008
YESTERDAY'S Gallup poll had John McCain ahead of Barack Obama by an astonishing 10 points among likely voters. A Washington Post poll had that lead at only two points, but clearly showed a McCain surge - especially among women. This wasn't what Democrats were expecting when they left Denver - yet they have nobody to blame but themselves.
Obama's toughest challenge has always been to connect with working-class swing voters. So attacking the poster child for small-town values, Sarah Palin, was a bad strategy.
No, Obama didn't engage in the mass sneering at Palin - but he did fall into the trap of disrespecting her. When McCain chose her, the Obama campaign's first response was to ridicule the size of her town. Then the candidate himself began referring to her as a "former mayor" when she is in fact a sitting governor.
When she retaliated (justifiably) by mocking his stint as a organizer, the Obama camp was clearly rattled. Obama himself actually began arguing about the importance of community organizing. His supporters amplified this cry - claiming Palin's attack was a racist slur and passing around e-mails titled "Jesus was a community organizer, Pontius Pilate was a governor."
Meanwhile, the rest of the country was probably wondering what being a community organizer has to do with being president.
Lured by the McCain camp, Obama supporters engaged in an argument about who had more overall experience - the top of the Democratic ticket or the bottom of the GOP ticket. This diminished Obama.
Meanwhile, the media lit up in all their cultural-elite splendor.
Alaska? they sneered. It has the population of Las Vegas! Funny how the coastal elite only sneers at red states with small populations. Howard Dean hailed from a blue state with almost the same population as Alaska and was a national phenomenon and front-runner for the presidency. Joe Biden's Delaware has a similarly small population - but no mocking was forthcoming there.
Evangelicals will never vote for a woman who works! they declared. This from people who've likely never met an evangelical in their lives. They could barely contain themselves when they found out Gov. Palin's daughter was pregnant, so sure were they that evangelicals would hang her from the highest tree. When evangelical leaders expressed support, there was a palpable disappointment that Palin or her daughter wasn't branded with a scarlet letter.
They claimed that the Palin announcement was some desperate pick that came out of nowhere. Had they been doing their jobs, or even perusing The Weekly Standard or right-wing blogs, they'd have known that she was on the list.
Since they didn't know anything about her, they started making things up. Anything that fit the caricature of a right-wing hypocrite was thrown up with, seemingly, no fact-checking.
They said she opposes contraception, when she said in a campaign debate that she is pro-contraception. They said she cut funding for pregnant teens, when she provided a massive funding hike.
They accused her of cutting funding for mentally disabled children, when she raised it 175 percent over the former administration. She was said to have been a member of the wacky Alaska Independence Party; The New York Times had to run a retraction.
Like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Palin has been deemed one of the GOP's rising stars. Since it's national reporters job to cover American politics, their ignorance of about her is distressing.
Most Americans think that the media are cheerleading for Obama, so they'll punish him for the reporters' and editors' sins.
So now he is weighted down with more baggage as he works to convince an important voting bloc that he and his party don't hold them in contempt.
The clock is ticking.
Neville's Note: Kirsten Powers is a Democrat but it appears, from her appearances on O'Reilly and this column she is becoming increasingly embarrassed by her party and may be "ripe for the picking".
Come on in Kirsten, the conservative waters are fine!!!
By Kyle-Anne Shiver
September 12, 2008
Socialism is the grandiose rationalization of petty resentments.
No matter how much lipstick, finery and linguistic switcheroo Obama employs, his gig as a community organizer is still just a fancy-dancy way of explaining the role of a paid people's agitator.
Lipstick doesn't change a thing.
And it most certainly does not make agitating for taxpayer money, money, money a charitable enterprise.
Since when did training panhandlers to be organized and angry rise to the level of social service?
In the immortal words of Obama's political mentor, Saul Alinsky, an organizer's job is to "rub raw the sores of discontent" and mount a socialist revolution. In the 1930s and 40s, Alinsky called his revolutionary forces "People's Organizations," but once the word "people" became so tainted by the brutalities of communist "people's republics," he changed the code word to "community," hoping to make it sound more American and neighborly.
But make no mistake. From Alinsky's initial Back of the Yards labor movement, to his Industrial Areas Foundation, where Obama first learned his own "community organizing" tactics, the goal was always revolution.
Agitate and aggravate. Those are the responsibilities of the paid "community organizer."
Prepare the people for the trials of the revolution. The people, according to Alinsky, "must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future" of change, change, change.
As Alinsky said quite clearly in his revolutionary manifesto, Reveille for Radicals:
"A People's Organization is not a philanthropic plaything or a social service's ameliorative gesture. It is a deep, hard-driving social force, striking and cutting at the very roots of all the evils which beset the people. It recognizes the existence of the vicious cycle in which most human beings are caught, and strives viciously to break this circle. It thinks and acts in terms of social surgery and not cosmetic cover-ups."
"A People's Organization is dedicated to an eternal war...A war is not an intellectual debate, and in the war against social evils there are no rules of fair play."
In claiming some sort of altruistic motivation for his community organizing years, Barack Obama has not only applied lipstick to this pig of a dirty job, he's adorned it in enough gaudy finery to pass it off as a drag queen.
Obama's claiming professional rabblerousing is a public service does not make it so.
Personally ameliorating a single ill ain't in the organizer's job description.
Which might explain why Barack Obama was not required to actually fix anything to become so highly regarded as a successful community organizer in the Alinsky tradition.
This community-organizing shtick that Obama says was the "best education" he ever had, was the brainchild of Saul Alinsky, who defined success as nothing more than to persistently and tenaciously "fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression."
The job of the organizer is nothing more than to prepare the people to accept the necessity of the thing they most fear, according to Alinsky.
And what did Alinsky say people feared most?
And precisely how did Alinsky teach his organizers to get people to yearn for the thing they most fear?
Alinsky taught the art of psychological manipulation.
"Just as the functional relationship between an individual and his social situation can be manipulated to get the individual to join the organization, it can be utilized not only to affect the behavior of individuals by also to change the community situation itself."
And what was the desired "change" in the community situation? Simply to persuade people that every one of their problems emanated, not from any personal failings or even any community-centered failings, but from a dastardly group of "Haves," the ones with all the power and all the money.
No wonder the job of a community organizer is such an enigma to do-it-yourselfers like John McCain and Sarah Palin.
When Governor Sarah Palin gently mocked Senator Obama's "community organizer" creds, and defined the difference between that job and hers as a small-town mayor in the realm of having "actual responsibilities," she was being bulls-eye accurate.
She might as well have employed a rhetorical shotgun scope at one of her opponent's vital organs.
Governor Palin brought to public attention the very crux of community organizing. To be successful at the job, one need not produce a single, positive result. One need not perform a single objective task for the community at large. One need not produce one shred of real change or reform, nor a single act of charity. In fact, the only thing one need do to proclaim success, is to leave people more angry and demanding of a government fix-it-all than they were before the organizer arrived in the midst of their community.
Four years on Chicago's south side, getting paid to learn the sacred art of professional complaining, making the lives of others seem more miserable than they could have ever imagined and then teach them to lay every ounce of the blame at government's feet, does help to explain candidate Obama's tendency to whine, wallow and excessively complain.
In this, Obama perfectly exemplifies the definition of socialism, coined by Ludwig Von Mises in the 1930s:
Socialism is the grandiose rationalization of petty resentments.
"The grandiose rationalization of petty resentments."
Now, that's at least one thing about which there remains little doubt. Barack Obama seems to have that act down pat.
Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She blogs as often as she can at kyleanneshiver.com.
By Michael Graham
September 9, 2008
I have one piece of advice for the struggling Obama campaign:
Fire MSNBC. They're killing your campaign.
By all accounts the Democrats had a successful national convention in Denver. Their nominee's speech at the ObamaDome was well received. At one point last week, Sen. Barack Obama had an 8-point lead in the polls.
Today, he's losing by 4. If you only count likely voters, Obama is down by 10. And he has his fawning friends in the media to thank for it.
The media, of course, doesn't get it. According to their narrative, Obama was swamped by Hurricane Sarah. Gov. Palin is a political typhoon destroying all in her wake, and mere media mortals can only tremble in awe before her mighty wrath!
Please. Palin may be able to take down a rabid moose at 100 yards with a hockey puck, but she isn't killing the Obama campaign.
To paraphrase James Carville, "It's the media, stupid."
The national media are dominated by enthusiastic Obama supporters desperate to see Obama the Enlightened win the White House, heal our souls, reset our thermostats and shut down the Fox News Channel.
And that's precisely how their coverage of Palin comes across: desperate.
The media has thrown every imaginable charge at Palin, from banning books to cheating her way to the much-coveted title of Miss Wasilla. Along the way, media outlets like The New York Times [NYT], MSNBC and The Boston Globe-Democrat have gotten story after story just plain wrong.
Palin does not support teaching creationism in science class.
She didn't fire the Wasilla librarian for not banning books that Palin didn't like.
As governor she signed budget increases - not cuts - for programs targeting teen pregnancy and special-needs children.
And on and on - so many false and silly stories that entire Web sites have been established just to correct them.
And yet the misreporting continues.
That's bad for Obama because these errors and rumors make it tougher for his campaign to take on the legitimate issues of ideology and experience. It's hard to make charges about Palin's tax policy as a mayor stick when cable talk show kooks are screaming about rumors she killed and ate an Inuit as part of a radical Pentecostal religious ceremony.
What's worse for Obama is how this is affecting his support among women.
I still don't believe that true Hillary Clinton supporters will back the McCain/Palin ticket. Liberal feminists aren't going to turn into home-school hockey moms because there's a girl on the GOP team. But something is up.
One week ago, Obama had a 14-point lead among women in the Rasmussen survey. Yesterday, it was down to 3 percent. Women are watching what's happening to this confident and authentic female leader, and they don't like it.
It's a shame, too, because Obama's the one person who hit the right note when Palinpalooza began. He was respectful of her and (especially) her family, while insisting he still thinks she's the wrong choice.
The mainstream media - those notorious lovers of nuance - just can't pull it off. Their outrage at the very existence of Sarah Palin is palpable. "How dare she even be on the ticket," they cry. "She's never been on 'Meet the Press!' "
The harder the media work to elect Obama, the lower his poll numbers go.
There is one bright spot for Obama. In a final shudder of journalist integrity, NBC has kicked Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews out of the anchor chairs for the rest of the campaign.
But is it enough? Katie and Charlie and Wolfie and the gang are still working hard every day to remind typical Americans that Barack is the media's favorite candidate.
If they keep it up, he'll be lucky to carry Illinois.