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Why I “Dwell” on Sarah Palin

Last night, yet again I challenged an Obama supporter skeptical of my support for Sarah Palin.  Not only did he fail to attribute a single accomplishment to his candidate for the White House, he couldn’t even identify specific policies which drew him to the Democrat.  Why then did he support him, I wondered?

Because, he replied, the Democrat is “inspiring” and can “bring people together.”

Now, I agree that, with a prepared speech, Barack Obama can indeed be inspiring.  But, so can Sarah Palin.  Just look at the reaction to her speech in St. Paul to the Republican National Convention.  Even critics of the Alaska Governor acknowledge the power of that performance.  Camille Paglia, while a strong supporter of Obama, repeatedly cites Palin’s rhetorical gifts.

Rhetorical gifts do not alone a good leader make, though they frequently figure into his success.

Yet, for all too many Obama supporters, such qualities define not just their support for the Democrat, but their enthusiasm as well.  At the same time, the arguments those very same people make against John McCain, that he is unqualified to serve because he tapped an inexperienced woman as his running mate, could more readily be used against their own presidential candidate.

Experience is irrelevant.  Accomplishment doesn’t matter.  His ability to inspire suffices.

And that, in short, explain why I dwell so much on Sarah Palin.  I agree that we should look into her record. Even I, a supporter, have some concerns about her stands on certain issues.  But shouldn’t we also look more closely into Barack Obama’s?  Why are his supporters so indifferent (if not outright opposed) to an examination of his biography?

While giving Barack Obama a pass, the media have shown interest into delving into her personal life than in parsing her political record.

The Jewish Athena links former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s remarks to that very effect:

That’s why I keep coming back to Sarah Palin, not because she’s perfect, but because of, what Gingrich calls, the “deliberate, vicious, dishonest, total distortion of who Governor Palin is,” with elite television journalists failing to ask the Republican Governor “a single question. . . about her actual career in Alaska.”

No wonder the former Speaker likens the MSM’s treatment of this accomplished woman to Pravda. And no wonder I write regularly posts defending the governor, amazed that people who claim to know so much about current affairs know so little about a Republican candidate they repeatedly revile.

Bush-Hatred: Not About Bush

I have long been fascinated with the phenomenon of Bush-hatred.  The more I witness it, the more convinced I become that i’s not about Bush, but about the haters themselves.  They have some “need” to vent their spleen, with Bush as their target because they disagree with him politically.

You’d think with the certainty of W leaving the White House come January 20, these people would breathe a sign of relief and look forward to the future with a smile on the face and a lighter heart.  Their bitterness wold start to fade, their rhetoric to soften.

But, alas, that is not to be the case, look how quickly so many have turned their bile from George W. Bush to John McCain.

These people just have to hate.  Take a gander at the hate mail Matt Welch received for daring to challenge reports disputing McCain’s POW heroism.  Or the hate mail the CEO of a polling company received for releasing a poll showing the Arizona ahead in Ohio and Florida.  Or the treatment of Sarah Palin.

Glenn Reynolds remarks today, in commenting on ordering a satirical book promoting a 12-stop recovery plan from the last eight years, “My sense is that a lot of people will need help getting over Bush Derangement Syndrome, and that as Bush fades from view some have managed to replace it with Palin Derangement Syndrome.

I’d always thought that with Bush gone, the Bush-haters would feel a certain emptiness, a difficulty coping when they couldn’t blame their woes, or the country’s, on their bête noire in the White House.  They might be forced to look within to address the real source of their anxiety and unhappiness.

Instead, it seems they’ll find another target onto which they can project their own inner demons.  Even if Obama wins.

Our critics, Sarah Palin & a federal marriage amendment

I was searching through our “Caught Spam” file last night, trying to find and rescue comments held by our capricious spam filter.  Amongst the ads for viagra and tramadol and sex sites, I did find a few which should have been posted.  And others I might have saved were it not for their tone.

One such comment accused us of licking the boots of Sarah Palin because we failed to criticize her when she indicated support of a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage. Yes, I’m concerned that, in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network Correspondent David Brody, Palin said:

I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I wish on a federal level that that’s where we would go because I don’t support gay marriage.

As I express my concerns, I’ll ask our critics to cite gay organizations who condemned Joe Biden for signaling his opposition to gay marriage in the vice-presidential debate.  He then articulated the exact same position as did his Republican rival, though not nearly as clearly as did she. Did our critics blog how disappointed they were with their party’s nominee? Did we accuse them of licking his boots for failing to do so?

Much as I’m concerned about Palin’s support for a federal constitutional amendment, I’m not as troubled by it as I was with President Bush’s support in 2004 for a similar proposal. Then, he initiated the public statement. She only responded when asked.  She’s not using it as a wedge issue as, some said, Bush did in 2004.

Not just that. We know from previous congressional consideration on the matter that neither house could muster the necessary two-thirds majority to send the proposed amendment to the states. It doesn’t stand a chance of passage–as appeared possible four years ago.  Neither the president nor vice-president has any say in amending the constitution. (Though Joe Biden’s constitutional ignorance* notwithstanding, the vice president could preside over the Senate should it again debate the amendment.)

All that said, I disagree with Palin’s support of a constitutional amendment defining marriage because, as I’ve said before, the issue doesn’t belong there.

But, I wonder at our critics readiness to slight us for not faulting a candidate we support when she takes a stand with which we disagree. Do they so readily condemn their candidate every time he makes an unfortunate or untoward remark or espouses a policy they oppose?

* (more…)

Obama not good on defense

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:10 am - October 25, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

I’d been trying to flesh out this brainstorm I had Thursday night, but my failure to focus yesterday prevented me from getting an angle on this idea.  It’s all based on this notion that Obama’s not very good playing defense while the circumstances of the campaign have largely kept him on offense.

I might have saved the idea for a later date — or perhaps neglected it altogether had I not, just before turning in, noted Jennifer Rubin’s criticism of the McCain campaign for failing to “get into the math . . . of Barack Obama’s spending plans and explains.

For most of the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama has been on offense.  He was the challenger going after Hillary Clinton, his party’s nominee presumptive.  When she started going after him, he floundered, limping across the finish line to his party’s nomination.

Once the McCain campaign started its summer offensive, he became peevish, whining about his Republican opponent’s creative ads.  His campaign seemed to be coming apart in the days after the GOP Convention when Sarah Palin fired up the GOP base.

Only the financial crisis put McCain on the defensive as the candidate of the party in power.  Perhaps, had McCain more quickly hit Obama for failing to do anything while in the Senate to forestall the crisis, we might see a different dynamic today.

The Republican would, however, have needed the media to help him raise those questions.  And our media haven’t done a very good job of challenging the Democratic nominee.  They haven’t put him on the defense as they have John McCain and Sarah Palin.

That’s why Rubin’s post reminded me of my “brainstorm.”  Quoting economist Alan Reynolds who wonders how Obama, if elected, would pay for the trillions of dollars in new spending he proposes.  She concludes that “We don’t know, because he has never been grilled and never been forced to respond to the math.

Never been grilled.  Never been forced to defend his expensive agenda in light of current fiscal reality.  How might Obama have held up had the media been more aggressive or the McCain campaign more focused?