Leaving The Sinking Ship In Style

There are few things as satisfying as watching a fucktard like David Frum get his ass handed to him by Rachel Maddow when he accuses her show of fomenting hate similar to the crap being spewed by the audience members at recent rallies for John McCain and Sarah Palin. After you’ve watched the clip, consider the hackery necessary to make such accusations:

Frum, you’ll recall, is the one who penned the phrase “axis of evil”  for President George W. Bush a few years backfor his State of the Union address. After departing the cozy confines of 1600 Pennsylvania, he then funded smear campaigns against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi when she visited Syria and decided to play amateur psychiatrist with former VP Al Gore when he criticized Bush’s foreign policy.

So you’ll have to pardon me if I find it laughable that this member of the GOP intelligentsia is joining the very slim ranks of those who aren’t pleased with the choice of Palin and saying it doesn’t look good for McCain because of it. This group includes columnist Kathleen Parker, NYT op-ed writer David Brooks, and author Christopher Buckley, who appears to have been booted/resigned from the column at the magazine his father founded for his trouble in saying he would vote for Barack Obama.

I’ve noticed something after reading for the past week or so, these admissions of concern — a lot of it revolves around Palin’s lack of intelligence or intellectual curiosity, perfectly valid points and worth questioning.  However, I have a question for Frum, Parker, Brooks and their ilk*: where the fuck were you the past eight years with the current occupant of the White House, if this was such a problem?

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You Don’t Usually Debunk A Rumor This Way

(Again, please pardon my politics, so skip it if you don’t care.)

It’s as if I woke up in a dream world this afternoon after working overnight, when we were all Gustav-obsessed (and rightfully so, it doesn’t look as bad as Katrina, but it still sucks; my sympathies to the Gulf residents) and when I read my usual web sites, I had to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

In that picture of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, you see her daughter Bristol holding Palin’s youngest son, Trig. There had been a series of rumors (I first read about them at Sports on My Mind) that Trig might be Bristol’s child, and in order to rebut those particular things, John McCain’s campaign decided to release the information that Bristol is currently five months pregnant.

(I wasn’t quite convinced on the “Trig is Bristol’s baby” rumors, even though the signs were very, very fishy. Who flies from Dallias to Anchorage, with a stop in Seattle, and then drives way out to Wasilla to have a child?)

Asked if Ms. Palin will be able to judge the demands of the vice-presidency with her complicated family life, [McCain strategist Steve] Schmidt said, “She’s been a very effective governor and again I can’t imagine that question being asked of a man.”

The McCain campaign says it was aware of her daughter’s pregnancy before it named her as the running mate on Friday.

Mrs. Palin’s statement identified the father only by a first name, Levi. “Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family,” the statement said. “We ask the media, respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates.”

Schmidt is only now using the whole sexism angle in playing damage control — the campaign had no problem with tokenism on a very light vice presidential candidate whom they didn’t vet properly. He’s being very savvy by letting this out during Gustav and on Labor Day — very few people are going to notice.  When asked about it, Barack Obama took the smart way out of this, at least on his end.

Mr. Obama said the pregnancy “has no relevance to Governor Palin’s performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president.” He added that, “my mother had me when she was 18. How family deals with issues and teen-age children – that shouldn’t be the topic of our politics.”

Although this is the politically smart thing to say, it’s wrong.

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The Speech And The Fallout

After listening to Barack Obama outline what he would do as president last night in Denver combined with his oratory skills, I’m convinced the man could sell me anything and I’d buy it happily:

Republicans were not expecting that speech. It was a laundry list in the style of Bill Clinton’s State of the Union speeches, but a necessary one — for someone blasted by his opponent as short on substance and high on style, that was a speech for wonks, encased in well-written rhetoric. It pounded nearly all the important points down the line and knocked each one of them, itching for a fight.

The one thing I was disappointed in? Not much mention the whole convention on the blatant Constitutional violations of the past eight years. I mean, the man is an attorney and Constitutional law scholar. This is bad: either the party has decided that Constitutional issues are too heady for big speeches or that they’d rather not mention the violations, so that their politicians can violate it when they’re in power. Not good.

Regardless, this is the first case where the nominee took it to John McCain — and there has been an overreaction on the part of the Republican’s campaign, reaching for a Republican governor who hasn’t finished even a term as an executive for his running mate.  Sarah Palin just finished speaking with McCain at an Ohio rally, and after introducing her family, kissing up to the top of the ticket, and talking about her reformer credentials — as if a politician connected to British Petroleum by marriage can be “free” of special interests — she laid out the real reason why McCain made this pick: a socially conservative woman to try and pick off women that voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary.

The people who voted in primaries for Clinton can’t be that stupid.  Thus, this is the GOP conceding the experience argument against Obama, because they picked someone who’s very green in terms of the national stage, and it’s not going to look good against Joe Biden in vice presidential debates.  The McCain campaign has stolen a bit of the thunder back with the press attention — but people are referencing the pick in contrast to what happened at the Democratic convention.

I’m not buying the supposed “change” that McCain’s selling — in his reformer credentials comes the memory that everyone forgot; he was knee-deep in the S&L scandal of the 80s, he just escaped more trouble because he was the first to squeal in the Keating Five mess.

Regardless, it’s going to be very close come November — and we’ll all be taken for a ride for the next couple of months. I’m willing to bet Obama will be asking a certain former rival of his to take to the trail and the TV shows over the next couple of months.

“And Now, The Senator From MBNA Has The Floor.”

And, apparently, a spot on the Democratic ticket.

It’s not that I hate or actively dislike Joe Biden. He’s probably what the Obama camp is looking for in terms of an attack dog and someone who knows foreign policy. two things Barack Obama has not shown himself to be the most proficient at (at least in the media’s point of view.) Biden makes the veep debates instant viewing for pure psychosis alone.

Please, oh please, let the psychogeezer McCain select someone like Joe Lieberman as a running mate. Those debates would be endelessly amusing.

But Biden was one of the big boys behind the bankruptcy reform bill that essentially made it more difficult to declare bankruptcy, continuing to stack the deck in favor of credit card companies with predatory lending and card-issuing practices, thus. I’m not going to expect any sort of meaningful economic reform if this ticket is elected.

And honestly, I’m with Holly on this one: Wes Clark’s decree that POW status didn’t qualify John McCain to be president was still the right thing to say. Too bad no one in the campaign seems to believe it, and went with the least unknown out of a set of candidates that were tiny blips at best.

Not like I won’t vote for this ticket over the old crank on the GOP side. And hey, at least it wasn’t Hillary Clinton, much as her kamikaze die-hards (partially a media creation) will gripe about how she earned a spot on this ticket, but — yeah, just kind of non-plussed about the whole mess, except for the fact that the wolves are already trying to sink their teeth in — when did this kind of crap analysis start being issued by the Associated Fucking Press?

Now, for pure entertainment value, please, oh please, let McCain choose Lieberman or Mitt Romney. Love to see Republicans twist themselves in knots over a Mormon on the ticket.