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Saturday, October 4, 2008

More of the Impossible

posted by on October 4 at 10:12 AM


From The New York Times:

Now comes Ms. Palin, a smiling, bubbly vice-presidential candidate who travels in an alternate language universe. For Ms. Palin, such things as context, syntax and the proximity of answers to questions have no meaning.

In her closing remarks at the vice-presidential debate Thursday night, Ms. Palin referred earnestly, if loosely, to a quote from Ronald Reagan. He had warned that if Americans weren’t vigilant in protecting their freedom, they would find themselves spending their “sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was like in America when men were free.”

What Ms. Palin didn’t say was that the menace to freedom that Reagan was talking about was Medicare. As the historian Robert Dallek has pointed out, Reagan “saw Medicare as the advance wave of socialism, which would ‘invade every area of freedom in this country.’ ”

Does Ms. Palin agree with that Looney Tunes notion?

From Andrew Sullivan:

She really does just make things up. In last night’s debate she said:

“When I and others in the legislature found out that we had some millions of dollars [of Permanent Fund investments] in Sudan, we called for divestment through legislation of those dollars.”

Yep: you guessed it:

A search of news clips and transcripts from the time do not turn up an instance in which Palin mentioned the Sudanese crisis or concerns about Alaska’s investments tied to the ruling regime. Moreover, Palin’s administration openly opposed the bill, and stated its opposition in a public hearing on the measure.

The racism in this presidential election has less to do with Obama than with Palin. No black woman (or man) in America could get so far in politics with so little. If Palin were black, she would not be qualified to be a community organizer.

One more note: In an essay on the movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, James Baldwin points out this to be one of the problems with the black character played by Sidney Poitier, Dr. John Wade Prentice: he is overqualified. But in the situation of the movie, his great achievements in science, and the fact he is moving to Europe (the land of the liberals), is what allows him to obtain the hand of an ordinary white woman. Like Prentice, Obama is overqualified. But in post-Carter presidential politics, this is not a plus but a minus. Obama won the debate against McCain by not appearing to be what he actually is: overqualified. In both debates, it was the Democrats who had to show restraint, who had to hide the extent of their know-how. The Republicans, on the other hand, were free from restraint.

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Chris Rock has a bit in his latest special, where he talks about being one of four black households in a very wealthy area.

His black neighbors are all superstar athletes and performers. The top of the top. The man that lives next door to him? A white dentist.

"He would have had to invent teeth, if he was black," Rock says.

I agree with your point Charles.

Posted by kerri harrop | October 4, 2008 10:32 AM

Given that Palin would never in a million years be where she is now if she were ugly or ten years older, it is indeed very weird to contemplate how that works with racism.

You have a black man who, given the unbelievable horribleness of the other team would have a double-digit lead if he were white, and a hot chick who basically gets everything she wants and remains mostly beyond GOP criticism because she gives all the straight guys an erection.

I read things like David Brooks' recent column and the post reprinted by Sullivan about the editor of the National Review getting excited by her winking with utter astonishment. It's really true, then, that men are not capable of doing intellectual work when attractive women are around? That the presence of flirting female sexuality reduces them to stammering incoherence? That they can't tell when women are doing this solely to manipulate and get away with murder? And they say women are hormonal.

There is this going-to-the-core-of-our societal-attitudes-toward-black-men-and- attractive-women fog around both of them. Rational thought is affected so deeply that I think one of the major accomplishments of this campaign could be to scrape a tiny bit of that fog from the brains of both white people and straight men.

And there has to be some way to parse the black man vs flirting white woman thing. Can you imagine, for instance, what would happen if Obama ever made even the slightest remark even remotely related to Palin's appearance or (ahem) interpersonal technique? You know, the kind of thing that got you lynched 50 years ago? It boggles the mind.

Posted by toadmommy | October 4, 2008 10:43 AM

Seriously. The constant dumbing-down of everything having to do with politics, of Democrats feeling compelled to hide their abilities lest they be labeled 'elitist' (insult of insults!) is so damn depressing. Stupid leaders for a stupid people, indeed.

Posted by Greg | October 4, 2008 10:43 AM

Allowing the dumb lady to tell lies and run for Vice President with no qualifications is SO sexist. Its sort of like befriending black people, or hiring black people just to prove you're not racist.

Posted by unred | October 4, 2008 10:56 AM

This is another of several recent Charles posts that I could both understand and enjoy. Is Charles getting better at this gig.. or did I accidentally drink the kool-aid?

Posted by seand | October 4, 2008 10:56 AM

That wink is the most offensive thing I have ever seen in politics. I take your point about racism, Charles, but the sexism and the, the, the STUPIDISM just boggles the mind. You know her handlers told her, "wink, and you'll give those guys a stiffie". Absolutely mind-bendingly offensive.

You know her accent and her whole folksy "gosh" and "you betcha" manner of speech is a total fraud, right? She didn't sound like that when she ran for governor two years ago.

Posted by Fnarf | October 4, 2008 10:57 AM

@6 I agree with you completely. even that accent that she has is fake compared to when she's in Alaska. She seems to have thickened it to appeal to middle America more. And that fucking American Flag broach that she wore on her dress was too much for me to bear with. She was definitely going after the middle-aged and elder rural women by wearing that. And that dress that showed off her ass when they were shooting from an angle. Here I thought she was a conservative Christian woman with a modest style that wouldn't show off her features. I was wrong. They were literally implanting "drill baby drill" podium fuck fantasies in men.

I wouldn't be surprised if she gets her ass patted by Rove and McCain in private.

Clearly, she's setting the women's movement back by 50 years.

Posted by apres_moi | October 4, 2008 11:48 AM

Liberal so-called 'thought' at its best and most hilarious--I don't even know where to start with this. So Republicans are engaging in "racism" for choosing a Caucasian woman? The fact is, no matter who McCain picked, the charge of racism would have been laid, even if Michael Steele had been on the ticket. Has everyone already forgotten Stanley Crouch and Debra Dickerson sniffing that Mr Obama himself wasn't "black enough," or Peter Beinart of TIME calling him a "good black?" Face it, America in general and the American media, and the American political culture, are simply obsessed with race. They can't let go of it.

And as far as Mr Obama being "overqualified," that's just bizarre. He's a first-term Senator who's sponsored no important legislation--unlike his running mate. He's "overqualified" only if you believe he's another Ras Tafari Mekonnen. Which I, personally, don't. I do find him likeable, even admirable in many ways. He's a fine man. He says a lot of good things and says them well. He's a good writer and a communicator of nearly Reaganesque accomplishment. (Which is a high compliment in my book.) But the only politcal job he's sought so far for which I'd agree that he's "overqualified" is that of State Senator.

Posted by Seajay | October 4, 2008 11:57 AM

no, i don't think rove is patting her ass in private. the only thing that gets his dick hard is dubya.

Posted by taint | October 4, 2008 12:00 PM

Qualified is the new overqualified.

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 4, 2008 12:20 PM

SLOG intoned: "No black woman (or man) in America could get so far in politics with so little. "

One woman did. She was loved by the People, but opposed by every white male and black male honcho in the Democrat Party ...who went on to lose in one of the biggest landslides in history:

Chisholm '72 Unbought and Unbossed

Posted by John Bailo | October 4, 2008 12:25 PM

@8: I can think of three major bills he's passed and had signed into law - the 'Google for gov't spending' legislation with Coburn, the Nuclear anti-proliferation bill with Lugar and ethics reform in 2007.

But, of course, you already knew that. You're just another dishonest shill shitting republican talking points out of your ass so you can earn 'Maverick Points' on his website.

Posted by whatwhat | October 4, 2008 1:05 PM

Ugh! Well, on a "positive" note , at least her speeches aren't as prosaic as her running mate's.

Posted by Vince | October 4, 2008 1:21 PM

Flashback. A couple of months ago.

Democrats perceive their nominee has zero international experience.

So they send him on a "Eurotrip" to meet leaders.

Suddenly he's an expert, compared to Palin?

A two week vacation makes Barry Obama any more qualified? I think not.

Flashback. Katie Couric. A few years ago -- leading the morning fluff show NBC Today! One in a long line of blonde airheads to keep the breezy, but inane show cruising along for a few hours.

Then a slot opens up for anchor and they figure they might as well put someone attractive in it. So, suddenly Katie is Edward R. Murrow!

Libs are hypocrites through and through.

Barry Obama -- two weeks foreign policy

Katie Couric -- a lifetime as an "entertainment" reporter.

Is that the best ya got? Nope.

Posted by John Bailo | October 4, 2008 1:22 PM

I've seen some chatter that Palin has friends who are part of a wacko anti-abortion group Army of God that's bombed clinics and killed people. Anyone heard anything about this? October surprise?

Posted by taurus | October 4, 2008 1:43 PM

Have you heard Obama speak about foreign policy compared to Palin? Let me break it down for you: one knows what he's talking about, the other has had her head crammed full of facts for the past five weeks by the same people who brought you the Iraq war.
Why must conservatives attack, attack, attack? If you think McCain is the better choice, why not make that argument? If you think Palin is qualified to be Vice President of the United States, please share with me your rationale. I really am curious. Because what I see, in Palin, is Bush in drag. And what I see in McCain is a doddering old man, who may very well be suffering from dementia, hungry to invade a few more countries before he dies. It really is terrifying. After the last eight years, I'm not sure how a rational person could still support the Republican party.

Posted by Rational Man | October 4, 2008 1:54 PM

I just hope Palin and all of the other politicians (Obama included, sorry) and newscasters continue to drop "ing" from words ending in -ing because, ya know, when they're speakin' my language it makes me feel like I ain't so darn stoopid.

Posted by homage to me | October 4, 2008 2:02 PM

She isn't that great looking to start with, and the ugly that emanates from within her would be enough to turn Sophia Loren to haggis, and the writers throbbing with joy at a stupid and very obviously contrived wink ought to spend more time reading online porn or something.

I wouldn't fuck her with Seejay OR John Bailo's dick.

Posted by Mr. X | October 4, 2008 2:12 PM

She scared me at first but I think she's been a real gift to the Democrats. As much as she fired up the jesusfreak base I think she also repulsed the business/fiscal conswervative wing of the party.

The ideal situation is that tehrepublican party tries to remake itself down the middle - when the pendulum swings back (as it always does) as long as the center shifts left it's a victory of sorts to our side.

You can see that it has started already. Do you think Fox would have greenlighted this four years ago?

Posted by DavidC | October 4, 2008 2:22 PM

No idea whether the target might be Obama or McCain, but I predict a "Country First" wingnut will fire a rifle at one or the other. If Obama were to get murdered or incapacitated, the GOP racists would cream their pants with joy. And if McCain were to get taken out, the GOP theocons would furiously group masturbate to the Rush Limbaugh radio show and a campaign picture of Sarah Palin with her redneck husband and pregnant daughter.

Posted by Kaypro | October 4, 2008 2:26 PM

C & L seems to be down - it's all over Youtube anyway

Posted by DavidC | October 4, 2008 2:26 PM

Exactly what #5 said. Good post.

And speaking of those foul winks, for those of you who don't read Andrew Sullivan, here is what a reader wrote him today:

In reaction to Rich Lowry, I'm sure I'm not the only woman who, upon reading his words, sat up a little straighter and said, "Is he kidding? Is he goddamn kidding me?" Is this the kind of reaction the women in this country should want men to have to the possible first female Vice Presidential candidate in history? Holy hell.

I thought Palin's performance at the debate was downright embarrassing and on top of that I have to read this clown's blog, stating more or less that Palin gave him an erection? Little starbursts my ass. Here's what I thought when Palin "dropped" that first wink at us: "Did she just wink at us like she was America's cocktail waitress?" Rich Lowry is on the verge of slapping Sarah Palin on the ass and asking her for another of those fantastic whiskey sours.
Exactly exactly. Wait, if you didn't read the Rich Lowry bit [was this on slog at all?] go here, if you have the stomach:

Posted by Phoebe | October 4, 2008 2:31 PM
Posted by mnm | October 4, 2008 2:39 PM

Well, Gov. Palin definitely called "bullshit" on all the pacifist Dems & their crisp white flags with which they intend to replace the Skull & Crossbones that the US is presently flying in the Middle East... and I agree. We should only use our personal white flags when dealing with Homeland Security- nowhere else- not Now, not Ever. (And, remember: "The Colorless Don't Run... we Grovel") I'm your man, Governor! Lipstick on a Fly, Forever! ^..^

Posted by herbert browne | October 4, 2008 2:48 PM

not htat i give two shits, but shouldnt it be MRS.PALLIN instead of MS.Pallin, she is married right?

Posted by chrisroxx | October 4, 2008 2:58 PM

Palin isn't hot. I don't get that. And if she really were a hot babe, Charles would be getting a boner every time she winked, just like David Brooks. Fortunately for Charles, she isn't hot. I don't know what Charles would do it if he had to choose between a ticket with a black man, and a ticket with a hot white chick. His head would explode, no doubt.

Posted by tranny | October 4, 2008 3:20 PM

confidential to #25: the "ms" is so that our married or non-married status isn't a defining feature of our professional lives, just as it isn't for men ("Mr." doesn't tell you either way, does it?). And many many American women no longer take their husband's last name anymore either. Or maybe you hadn't heard.

Posted by sondari | October 4, 2008 4:01 PM

Bailo! You been wearing my panties again? I was gonna go out with Bernice and Edna, and I can't find my pink thong. You better not have peed all over it like you did my satin one! You already maxed out my Frederick's of Hollywood card, and the canceled the Victoria Secret account.

Posted by Mrs. John Bailo | October 4, 2008 5:34 PM

confidential to #27 - "Miss" used to be the preferred title for professional women, whether married or not, and it was understood that their marital status had no bearing on their professional capabilities. Until the feminists took stupid a step too far and decreed that "miss" turned women into sex objects. I'm not an anti-feminist; what I am is someone who values language and precision of expression. "Ms" is bullshit, just like "womyn" and "herstory". Flame away.

Posted by Calpete | October 4, 2008 5:43 PM

If you value precision of expression you'd hate Palin. She mixes cliches and can't speak in sentences.

The top of the line of her agenda, the barometer that resounds, etc. etc.

Her diction ? Vy. icky-poo.

Posted by PC | October 4, 2008 5:57 PM

Ugh, The Palin has come out accusing Obama of having terrorist ties. Here are just a few sources.

Posted by yucca flower | October 4, 2008 6:40 PM

They have a joke in Alaska-

"What is the difference between Sarah Palin and a lying sack of shit?


Posted by The Alaskian Comic | October 4, 2008 6:43 PM

boo hoo hoo waaaah I'm such a sexist, but you know what? Sarah Palin is a cunt. And a dumb one, at that.

Posted by Smiley | October 4, 2008 6:47 PM

to #30 -- Oh, I definitely hate, and fear, Palin. When I hear her talking, I hear the unfocussed at play in the fields of the word. No one that undisciplined in her speech could have anything like a disciplined intellect. It's like watching a baby discover mud puddles -- all splash and glee with no thought involved. The fact that she's seduced so many Americans into believing her capable of governing is really scary, and her complete disregard for truth when she does manage, in spite of herself, to compose a sentence with a subject and a related verb, tells me far more than I ever wanted to know about John McCain.

Posted by Calpete | October 4, 2008 7:00 PM

@ 12 ... "I can think of three major bills he's passed and had signed into law - the 'Google for gov't spending' legislation with Coburn, the Nuclear anti-proliferation bill with Lugar and ethics reform in 2007."

My phrase was "sponsored no important legislation--unlike his running mate." A law setting up a website, and a law encouraging the US to acquire old nukes from ex-Soviet republics are nice, but they don't compare in importance to Mr Biden's 1994 crime bill or the Violence Against Women Act. As for the Honest Leadership And Open Government Act of 2007--which I'll allow for purposes of this discussion was important--Mr Obama didn't sponsor or co-sponsor it. It was Harry Reid's bill. Mr Obama did sponsor an *amendment* to it--so did Mr McCain--but it wasn't his bill in any sense.

And I see that exhausted your rebuttal. A website, a couple of ships full of junk nukes, and an amendment to an ethics bill, and from there you have to go drooling and mumbling insults ... only an unusually mediocre product of our modern public school system could be brainwashed into thinking that's a record of accomplishment that makes a person "overqualified" to be President of the United States. If that makes him even *qualified,* then Hillary Clinton is ready for apotheosis.

Posted by Seajay | October 4, 2008 7:49 PM

It's frustrating, I know, but that's always been the score in America. You can't talk over people's heads. They usually don't understand, and they don't appreciate it. That was one of Bill Clinton's great talents. He could simplify complex issues and use folksy speech.

Posted by WillBFair | October 4, 2008 7:58 PM

john @14 "Is that the best ya got? Nope."

you're right. we've got lots more.

Posted by ellarosa | October 4, 2008 8:03 PM

Charles. I usually find you to be an insufferable, sexist, pompous dick. However, this post is spot on. Good job.

Posted by Christina | October 4, 2008 8:52 PM

But wait, Calpete! Isn't the problem how people actually use Ms. or Miss or Mrs.? Regardless of what was originally correct (and still is correct), the use of the language has changed over time so that "Miss" nearly always means unmarried. Rather than having to explain again and again at work and elsewhere, it really is much easier to just go with "Ms." And never, in your wildest dreams, would you catch me using the execrable "herstory" or "womyn." And you won't catch me voting for Miss/Ms. Palin either. Yeesh.

Posted by sondari | October 4, 2008 10:01 PM

Sarah Palin is a terrorist.
Spread the word.

Posted by weeee! | October 4, 2008 10:25 PM

@40 ... She's not a terrorist; she's The Palinator.

"Gosh darn it! The more contact I have with humans, the more I learn."

Posted by Seajay | October 4, 2008 11:30 PM

Echoing the comments about how this is actually a very good post -- except for the gratuitous Sullivan link, but this is The Stranger, so slavish devotion to Sullivan is to be sadly expected. Perplexing, but expected.

Posted by whatevernevermind | October 5, 2008 12:29 AM

At least the Mrsiss is witchcraft free.

Posted by chrisroxx | October 5, 2008 1:22 AM

Why is it "Looney Tunes" to consider Medicare to be an advance wave of socialism? Whether you agree with socialism or not, it is pretty clear the debate has moved from nationalizing health care for the elderly (then) to nationalizing health care for everyone (now). The is pretty much 100% in accord with Reagan's quite prescient statement.

Posted by Fritz | October 5, 2008 1:58 AM

A few things:

@2: I don't get a boner from the sight of Sarah Palin. If I had seen her picture and knew nothing about her maybe, but now that I have seen her speak she is no more of an aphrodisiac for me than the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz. That wink looks like a small insect just flew into her eye.

@7: I wonder if that flag pin came with batteries so it could light up and maybe tootle "Stars and Stripes Forever"?

@22: Sarah Palin is not the first female VP candidate. Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 has that honor.

@36: Agree entirely. Although behind the folksy language, Bill Clinton actually knew what he was talking about. Sarah Palin is no Bill Clinton.

Posted by RainMan | October 5, 2008 9:13 AM


Posted by bubbles | October 5, 2008 10:21 AM

@45 and 22 -- actually, Tonie Nathan, in 1972, was the first woman to receive a vote in the Electoral College, when she was the VP candidate of the Libertarian Party.

Posted by Fritz | October 5, 2008 11:40 AM

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