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A Preview of The Persecution of Sarah Palin

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:41 pm - November 13, 2009.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Sarah Palin

It’s not always a good idea to recommend a book of which you’ve read only the first 18 pages.  But, if the remaining 208 pages of Matthew Continetti’s The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star are as good as its Prologue, this could prove to be one of the best books on the 2008 presidential campaign.

On pages 13-15, in a section entitled “The Second Front” wherein he provides the background on John McCain’s selection of the then-Alaska Governor, Continetti offers perhaps the best short summary of the dynamics of last year’s election at the time when the then-presumptive Republican presidential nominee considered choosing a running mate.

A few pages earlier, he had given a brief background of Mrs. Palin, showing her to be the kind of politician who has long existed in the feminist imagination:  an independent woman who challenges a corrupt male establishment:

Throughout her professional life, Sarah Palin has challenged the dominant power structure and overturned the accepted, elite narrative of the ways things ought to be. . . . Her state establishment declared that Juneau ought to be run by a cozy network of Republican lawmakers and energy interests.  Palin didn’t think so.

If people studied the record of this accomplished woman before rushing to demonize her.  But, then again, if they hadn’t Continetti wouldn’t have been able to write this book.

He clearly knows his stuff, so I give the book a preliminary thumbs up.

FROM THE COMMENTS:   I wonder if many of our liberal readers will second DaveP’s motion “that we hold Barack Obama and his family to the Sarah Palin standard.”

Obama Preparing to Use “Hatchet” on Federal Spending?

One reason Obama did so well in last fall’s presidential election was that moderate voters believed him when he promised a “net spending cut.”  Many, once reliable Republican voters, no longer trusting the GOP on spending, agreed with the Democratic nominee that were “living beyond our means” and needed “to make some adjustments.”

While these voters may have trusted the newcomer to the national stage, many on the right, including yours truly, never believed him.  It wasn’t just his liberal voting record.  It was also his partisan pedigree.  Democrats have traditionally held onto power by turning on the federal spigot to pay off various interest groups.

And while I certainly appreciate that the President is finally considering a “domestic spending freeze” and will commend him should he succeeded in effecting it–should he freeze spending (adjusted from inflation) at the levels they were when he took office, I highly doubt he’ll get this done.  From one standpoint the move makes a lot of political sense; it would endear the Democrat to the independents who have been abandoning his party in droves.

But, in winning back independents in such a manner, he’d dispirit his base.  Heading into mid-term elections, Democrats can’t afford to antagonize those groups dependent on the largesse of and special treatment from the federal government.

Should Obama succeed in implementing such a freeze, I do hope he’ll apologize to his 2008 opponent for dismissing his plan to do just that.  When John McCain brought up the topic in the first debate last September, Obama quickly shot it down, “The problem with a spending freeze is you’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel.

Here’s hoping the President whips out that hatchet and that he doesn’t freeze into place the big budget boondoggles of his erstwhile Congressional colleagues.

Did AP Ever Do a Fact Check On Obama’s Books?

Yahoo! currently leads with a story supposedly fact-checking Sarah Palin’s new book, with a headline contending Palin’s book goes rogue on some facts. Because it’s the AP, I use the adverb “supposedly.” When it comes to “fact-checking” Republicans, most of their “facts” tend to be liberal talking points.  And when they do use facts, they usually pull them out of context.

Anyway, this got me wondering, did the AP ever do a fact check on either of Obama’s books? And if so, did Yahoo! lead with such news?

Obama Perpetually Honored for His Potential

In my studies of mythology, I learned that while each of the Greek heroes is born with great potential, none of them realizes it without the guidance of an Olympian or other immortal, most often the owl-eyed goddess Athena.  Perseus could not have killed Medusa without the shield she gave him.   Achilles would not have slain Hector so easily had she not deceived the Trojan prince.  Herakles would not have been able to remove the threat of the Stymphalian birds had she not given him bronze castanets to frighten them.  Odysseus would not have made it home without her assistance.

The lesson we derive from all of this is that a man’s potential alone does not him a hero make.  He first needs guidance so he can use his gifts to accomplish great things.  Only then does he receive his honors.

Not so with our president.  He won election to the White House based on his powerful presence, his rhetorical gifts and his calm demeanor.  Not even a year after that election, he won the Nobel Peace Prize based on his potential to bring peace among the nations.

In this day and age, it seem that accomplishments don’t matter as much as they once did.  Now, all you need to become a hero is the potential to do good.  Well, unless you’re a Republican or a Mormon.

MSM: Handmaiden to Obama Campaign in Attempt to Destroy Palin

In this morning’s Wall Street Journal, Matthew Continetti, author of the just released The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star, contends that that good woman’s various public appearances, including an interview with leading Obama cheerleader Oprah Winfrey, could “humanize” this charismatic Republican whom the media have portrayed as a polarizing harridan.

Yet, one wonders, if given a different media reaction to her sudden appearance last fall on the national political stage, she would have emerged as bright new force in politics as did another national political novice in 2008.  Like Barack Obama, she was new to the national scene and charismatic.  Yet, the media celebrated one and demonized the other.  Various news organizations dispatched entire teams to Alaska to dig around in her trash, yet ignored stories about Obama they could research by a few keystrokes and phone calls, you know, like say about how Mrs. Obama’s salary more than doubled soon after her husband won election to the Senate.  And let’s not forget that her husband secured a federal earmark for that employer.

That’s just one story the media didn’t investigate, well, actually they did, kind of.  They highlighted the errors in a chain e-mail account of Mrs. Obama’s professional situation, without probing the sudden increase in her salary nor wondering why such a high-salaried position was not filled when she resigned to become First Lady.

But, the media can’t let up with stories about (and invitations to) Sarah Palin’s ex-son-in-law-to-be (while ignoring the situations of and scandals surrounding various Obama relatives).  There seems to be a method to their madness, er, double standards, something Continetti caught in the prologue to his book.  It seems the media were acting at the behest of the Obama campaign.  Continetti quotes this from a November 5, 2008 article in the Wall Street Journal:

On his weekly strategy call with Democratic senators after the Republican convention in early September, Obama Chief of Staff Jim Messina began, “Let me walk you through this week’s events.” He was cut off by angry senators calling for a more aggressive response to the Republican running-mate pick: “Go after Palin.” “Define Palin.” “Make the race about Palin.” Mr. Messina was startled by the new nervousness in the party ranks.

After the American people responded favorably to Palin’s stirring speech to the GOP convention, Obama had been replaced as the new kid on the block.  The media which had so built him up, would help his campaign destroy her.

And yet the great irony is that while the media made one figure out to be a unifying figure and the other a polarizing force, it was that supposed polarizer who had actually accomplished more in elective office, governing as a pragmatist and building bridges across the partisan divide.  While that supposedly unifier, in 2007, ranked as the most liberal member of the United States Senate.

Widest-ever Oct. Budget Deficit Kicks Off Obama’s 1st Fiscal Year

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:03 pm - November 13, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Economy

Neither the President nor his supporters can complain enough about the economic and fiscal problems the Democrats inherited from the previous Republican Administration.  Oftentimes, when I bring up the incumbent Administration’s spending spree these past ten months and how it has caused the federal deficit to explode, our critics (in the comments section) remind me that Obama is still operating on Bush’s budget.*

Not any more.

The federal fiscal year begins on October 1.  With economic data from October 2009, the first full month of a fiscal year where the budget was set by a Democratic President and Congress since the early days of the Clinton era, just being released, we now have a measure of just how the Democrats are doing.  And the picture sure ain’t pretty.  We learned yesterday that the government posted 1 $176.36 billion deficit for October. Not all that long ago, this was a respectable deficit for a year:

The federal government kicked off fiscal year 2010 by posting its widest-ever October budget deficit, the Treasury Department said Thursday. . . .

The $176.36 billion gap is more than $20 billion wider than the shortfall recorded in October 2008, driven up by lower tax receipts, stimulus-related revenue reductions and consistently high government outlays. . . .

At the equivalent of 9.9% of gross domestic product, the figure is the widest U.S. deficit as a share of GDP since 1945.

Consistently high government outlays?  I thought the guy who won the White House did so by promising a “net spending cut”?


*Of course, Bush’s last two budget had to first be passed by Democratic Congresses, so their party shares as much of the blame as does his for the prior fiscal situation.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  One of the great things about blogging is that when you’re in haste to complete a post and leave out a fact which could strengthen your point, one of your readers supplies it for you.  Thanks to ILoveCapitalism for reminding us that the situation for Democrats was even worse than I described:

In 2008, they deliberately broke tradition and held up the FY 2009 budget, so that Obama could add to it and seal it come January. So Obama has really owned his first-year budget, in a special way that previous Administrations haven’t.

UPDATE:  Ed Morrissey:

What better way to kick off Barack Obama’s first full budget year as President than with a deficit that exceeded the White House’s own projections as well as analysts’ expectations?

(Via Instapundit.)

GALLUP: Majority of Americans Say Healthcare Is NOT the Government’s Reponsibility

Ruh-roh, Comrades Obama & Pelosi. The independent, freedom & liberty loving Americans are showing their muscles again….

More Americans now say it is not the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage (50%) than say it is (47%). This is a first since Gallup began tracking this question, and a significant shift from as recently as three years ago, when two-thirds said ensuring healthcare coverage was the government’s responsibility.

The more America hears about Pelosi/Obamacare, the less they like it.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

UPDATE (from Dan):  No wonder Gallup shows Republicans edging ahead of Democrats in 2010 Vote, with independents swinging decisively away from the Democrats.  So Miss Nancy may have scored a big victory n Congress last weekend, but polls show her party are her policies are losing favor with the American people.