A painting of me

Some Thoughts on Sarah Palin

    5 September 2008, early morning

I met Mahi for a drink yesterday, and the conversation turned to Sarah Palin. He’s convinced that if the Republicans win it will be because of her. Having listened to her speech finally, I can see where he is coming from.

Palin appeals to the far-right — your Christian nut jobs, your gun-totting NRA members, etc — with her crazy-ass views on everything. She is nuts. And the far-right is certainly a strong and active voting block. That group probably wouldn’t have voted for Obama, but they may have sat the election out if McCain hadn’t added someone who appeals to them to his ticket.

There is more to Palin than her appeal to the right. Palin clearly is playing up the fact she’s just a regular small town girl. This comes up again and again in her speech. In most countries, I don’t think that would play well. Chr├ętien always portrayed himself as the little guy from Shawinigan, but it was also clear he was a bright and capable politician. The fact he was from Shawinigan was cute, but ultimately inconsequential. Most people don’t want the dude that teaches their kids hockey on Saturday mornings running their country. They want the lady with policy experience, or the fellow with diplomatic experience, or — well really, someone who isn’t a dumb ass. In America there seem to be a large enough group of people who aren’t interested in that at all. They want the reluctant politician: “I’m just a hockey mom, but these dudes in Washington are messing up, so I’m going to go out there to clean things up.” Never mind that the job of running a country is complicated. Never mind that the last two moron-presidents of note, Regan and Bush, were probably the most corrupt, evil, and crony-loving politicians in American history. People seem to wilfully look past that. Palin is going to sell herself as the Washington-outsider every-woman, and many people will gravitate to that.

If the Republicans do win again, it will be because just enough American’s are morons, and the democrats don’t seem to appeal to that group at all.



  1. No, no, no. If the Republicans win again it is because they are absolutely brilliant. They have been able to sell rich, elite Washington insiders as middle class, small town, Washington outsiders for years now. They can turn their wince-inducing weaknesses like Palin not having any experience, into glorious strengths. They can sneer and rail against teenage single moms and their liberal parents one second and then worship them like the virgin mary the next.

    I don’t think the problem is that Americans are stupid. I think that Republicans are just geniuses. Palin’s speech was pitch perfect. If Obama can’t convince Americans to vote for him with two horrible wars, a recession, a mortgage crisis, Katrina, etc etc etc in his favour, then he deserves to lose.

    Get ready for a Harper-McCain sweep.

  2. I really think you need to be a bit of a moron to eat their garbage up. I think the republican politcal machine is pretty transparent to people who read the newspaper or aren’t dumbaclots. And the people with smarts who still vote republican are doing it for reasons that have nothing to do with wanting a small town everyman in office.

    I do agree they are brilliant in that they know exactly how to pander to the idiot American, and how to stick to their message regardless of whether it makes sense logically or not. The Republicans know how to win elections.

  3. An example of sticking to their message: Torture and Logic.

  4. “This is conservative populism with a female face,” a pleased and happy Alex Castellanos, media consultant to George W. Bush and Jesse Helms, said to the Huffington Post. “Barack Obama told us America is broken and Washington can fix it. Well guess what, we believe America is great and Washington is broken.”

    McCain-Palin = Nixon-Agnew, With Some Buchanan For Seasoning.
  5. Related to the above:

    The Fascist tactic that destroyed the democracies of old Europe was simple: mock and belittle your opponents, nibble at the edges of the rule of law, promote violence, and grasp at a weird religion of “destiny” (their version of American exceptionalism) with an “us” against “them” mentality, blame others, including the intellectual classes and the media, pit the working people against the perceived elite (Jews in Europe and today’s university-educated Democratic Party leaders in America), take power based on grievance and fear and then set aside the constitution altogether based on claimed threats by outsiders.

    Sarah Palin: America’s Lipstick Fascist

  6. So in conclusion you don’t think that democracy works. The people are stupid, too easily manipulated and cannot be trusted. Elections are a sham.

    I always knew that you hated freedom, democracy, common people, and everything else that we hold dear. Are you arguing for some kind of authoritarian rule by Harvard educated elites?

    And anyway, is Canada really all that different from America in this regard? Canadians have voted some pretty horrible governments into power and then re-elected them after it was clear that they were terrible.

  7. I think for democracy to work best you need a rational electorate. Still, democracies can putter along just fine with a disengaged electorate.

    Also US elections certainly are a sham. (All the voting machine fiascoes, the fact they are run by partisan groups, the gerrymandering, the tricks the parties get up to i norder to disenfranchise voters, etc.) The UN needs to send observers to the US to make sure their elections are run properly.

    It looks like we’ll have an election here in October. There isn’t 2 years of campaigning, fund raising, and other stupidness. Go Canada! Of course, the fact we’re going to elect Harper is disheartening. Again, I place the blame squarely on ignorant people.

  8. Come on, does a “rational” electorate exist anywhere? Could it ever?

    And the problem can’t just be about education or the intelligence level of the electorate because a lot of those right wing pundits and politicians are highly educated.

    I think that government run by highly intelligent and hyper-competent bureaucrats without any input from politicians or the electorate would be ideal. Ha ha.

  9. … a lot of those right wing pundits and politicians are highly educated.

    True, but in their case the Republican party actually does serve their best interests. I think the only people that should be voting for the republicans are old White rich men. Everyone else is being taken for a ride.

    I think that government run by highly intelligent and hyper-competent bureaucrats without any input from politicians or the electorate would be ideal.

    One day Mahi, one day.

  10. White Woman for McCain.

  11. The 62% special needs thing linked above is apparently not true. Fact Check also looks at other rumors being thrown around.

  12. The Washington Post discusses my Americans are too stupid to vote theory. To be fair, I don't think Canadians fare much better.

  13. This scandal is awesome: Drill Baby Drill: Shocking Oil-For-Sex-And-Cocaine Scandal Engulfs Federal Agency.

  14. She’s ons of us. Time looks at the whole Americans wanting dumbaclots just like them to run the country. (Though Time words things a little bit differently.)

  15. Why Palin shouldn’t be the VP.

  16. Soon after the book controversy, Bess found himself again at odds with Palin and her fellow evangelicals. In 1996, evangelical churches mounted a vigorous campaign to take over the local hospital’s community board and ban abortion from the valley. When they succeeded, Bess and Dr. Susan Lemagie, a Palmer OB-GYN, fought back, filing suit on behalf of a local woman who had been forced to travel to Seattle for an abortion. The case was finally decided by the Alaska Supreme Court, which ruled that the hospital must provide valley women with the abortion option.

    The pastor who clashed with Palin.

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