Tuesday, June 30, 2009

VF on Sarah Palin, Part I

As mentioned, I previously took time only to glance at Todd Purdum's Vanity Fair article on Gov. Sarah Palin (h/t Memeorandum). Now I have printed it and begun reading. On Page 4 there is this:
The consensus [among McCa8in campaign personnel] is that Palin's rollout . . . went more or less fine . . .
Wrong. The botched rollout set the stage for every subsequent error by the campaign staff. As I said within days of her announcement, they should have called an impromptu press conference immediately after her first Ohio rally.

The reporters would have had no chance to research their "gotcha" questions. The traveling media would have been pleased merely to be present at such a historic press conference, and would have hesitated to attack. The reporters from whom Palin took questions would have been grateful. And she would have bought herself at least a week before she could have been accused of "dodging" the press.

Republican "media strategists" don't understand the press, and for a simple reason: You could throw a hand grenade into a meeting of GOP "media strategists" with the calm assurance that among the dead and wounded, there would only be perhaps one or two who'd ever worked a day as a reporter.

If Gov. Palin wanted to hire a press secretary who really knows how a reporter thinks, she would get in touch with Audrey Hudson of The Washington Times, who once did a stint as a press secretary on Capitol Hill.

(BTW, that "hand grenade" stuff was just a figure of speech, not a serious suggestion. I disavow responsibility for any extremist who misunderstands the intent of such rhetoric. The legal department forced me to add this disclaimer. Damned lawyers.)


  1. The "'hand grenade' stuff," knowingly or not parallels a line from one of the Jeeves and Woster shows (Fry and Laurie), which went something like this:

    One could hurl brick for hours on end into the most densely populated sections of London without hitting a single person willing to marry Honoria Glossip without the benefit of a general anesthetic.

    And a deeply serious question: when did things head south? I date it to the Yalta Conference, when Stalin ambushed Roosevelt and Churchill, but I am keen to learn your sense of it, if you believe it is a worthwhile question.

  2. "when did things head south?"

    Yalta is too late. I searched just now for something that was written -- I believe by George Santayana -- about American mores in the 1920s or '30s, but couldn't find it. The point Santayana (or whoever) was making was that America was evidently sex-crazed in the decades immediately after WWI. And, in terms of pure politics, we should note:
    1. Woodrow Wilson ran on a "progressive" platform, a move intended to poach that title from the Teddy Roosevelt wing of the GOP.
    2. The Palmer Raids (the original "Red Scare") exposed an extensive network of Bolsheviks and anarchists in the United States immediately after WWI.

    Thus, revolutionary impulses in both cultural and political affairs were evident at least two or three decades before Yalta. The mid-1950s failure of McCarthyism -- that is to say, the success of liberals in convincing "respectable" Americans that anyone suggesting Soviet subversion in the U.S. was kook -- was a key turning point that shaped our politics for the next 25 years.

    Yalta was past the midpoint in a slow, uneven cultural-political shift leftward that occurred between 1912 and 1966. Beginning with Reagan's election as governor of California in 1966, a sort of reaction -- also slow and uneven -- then spanned the next 40 years.

    When the Democratic victories of 2006 and '08 represent the onset of a new -- final and permanent --- shift leftward is yet to be determined. The eight GOP votes for Waxman-Markey were not favorable omens for conservatives.

  3. Mr. McCain,

    That comment was probably the most succinct explanation of the last 100 years of American politics I have ever read.

    You certainly do have a way with words. Hopefully some day I will have some spare change to put in your jar, along with Moe Lanes and Little Miss Atilla's.

    Keep up the great work.

  4. Stacy, thank you, compendious and convincing. The Bolshevik presence you mention is what took over the Bonus March that MacArthur dealt with -- to the everlasting rage of leftists, because he defeated them, as he did again in Korea (reason for his relief).

    So, yes, I have to concur, Yalta is past the mid-point of the trajectory of the messianic collectivist rampancy.

    Your points will help my thinking this through, thanks.

    The Markey-Waxman vote is an ill omen, so is the seating of an equine rump in the Senate. Certainly the possibilities for an election worthy of the name are headed to nil country-wide.

    Of course, nothing is final. Meanwhile, I concur with Smitty's post today on what to do meanwhile.

    My gut tells me that the backstop to this insanity is our US Armed Forces and, probably in large array, state and local paramilitary forces. They are not an IRGC or Basiji Militia, especially the former.

    However, your basic point that we have to observe developments, with the omens strongly negative, is where we are, along with Smitty's behavioral bullets. I attend all Tea Parties within a reasonable driving distance. And practice others of his bullets.

    God Bless the both of you and bring success to your heroic efforts. I am with you to the end!