Saturday, September 6, 2008

Lots of love for Sarah Palin

UPDATED & BUMPED: More than 10,000 went through the metal detectors for a McCain-Palin appearance in Colorado Springs and the campaign had 15,000 RSVPs.

UPDATE: Denver Post crowd photo:

Denver Post article:
In just the second day of campaigning together, Republican Presidential nominee John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, gave a command performance of their convention week speeches to a crowd of more than 10,000 here. . . .
They began lining up as early as 5:30 a.m., even though doors for the event didn't open until 9 a.m.
By the time doors did open, traffic jammed for miles around the airport and the line of people waiting to get in wound for several hundred yards around large hangars.

Much more at the link, including quotes from a 2000 Al Gore volunteer who loves Palin so much she says she's "never been inspired by anyone else like this except Bobby Kennedy."

UPDATE II: Colorado resident Charlie Martin reports that he "signed up for tickets on Monday and didn't make the cut."

UPDATE III: AOSHQ headlined. Thanks.

PREVIOUSLY: Via Ann Althouse:

This photo from Cedarburg, Wisc., is by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Police said there were at least 12,500 who were admitted to the secure area and another 5,000 who did not fit.
So about 17,000 showed up -- in a town with an estimated population of 11,000. Did Tom Eagleton ever draw crowds like that?

UPDATE: The Associated Press:
Big crowds cheered the Arizona senator and Alaska governor as they made their post-convention debut in Democratic-leaning Wisconsin and Michigan . . .
Twelve hours after leaving the Republican convention in Minnesota, McCain
and Palin were cheered and applauded by a throng of thousands that wound down several streets of Cedarburg . . .
Later, they appeared before thousands who filled Freedom Hill Amphitheater in Michigan's Macomb County . . .
Beginning with her announcement as his running mate last Friday in Dayton, Ohio, McCain has drawn more enthusiasm and packed in more people to his events
than at any time during his campaign. The two events Friday both drew about 10,000 people, comparable numbers to what the newly formed ticket saw last weekend.
Palin is clearly a phenomenon. Just by comparison, when I saw McCain three weeks ago in York, Pa. -- where he appeared with Tom Ridge, Joe Lieberman and Arlen Specter -- he drew about 3,000.

UPDATE II: Gabriel Malor says MSM are purposely underreporting the size of McCain-Palin crowds.

Second-guessing Palin's pregnancy

All caveats on this chart criticizing Sarah Palin's decision to fly home and have her fifth baby in "a podunk hospital outside Wasilla."

This was linked by a "progressive" blogger who cites it as evidence of Palin's flawed "judgment." I remind you that, if it were up to the "judgment" of progressives, the pregnancy would have ended in abortion. I'm sure we're all so touched by progressive concern for the well-being of baby Trig.

It was Palin's fifth child. As a father of six, I can tell you that women who've been through a few childbirths become rather adept at judging the progress of labor. My wife used to work in the obstetric ward of a hospital. Any ob veteran will tell you that first-time mothers are notorious for false alarms or arriving at the hospital too early and then wallowing in labor for 36 hours, whereas more experienced moms are much better at waiting until the labor is well-advanced before going to the hospital.

There is not a scintilla of evidence that Trig was harmed because Palin returned home for the birth, and the continuing repetition of this bogus meme by the leftosphere is disgusting.

Frum goes 'big picture'

David Frum does the "public intellectual" gig in the New York Times:
As America becomes more unequal, it also becomes less Republican. The trends we have dismissed are ending by devouring us.
Frum is very subtle here, framing his argument in terms of bien-pensant concerns about (everybody sing along!) the growing gap between rich and poor, and the alleged stagnation of middle-class incomes. At the same time, he alludes en passant to the demographic factors that drive these trends:
[Fairfax County, Va. has] new arrivals speaking in 40 different tongues. . . .
. . . the immigration-driven expansion of the bottom. . . .
Prince William is also ground zero for the middle-class revolt against the Bush administration's easy immigration policies. An estimated 10 million migrants have entered the United States since 2000, at least half of them illegally, and few places in the United States have reacted more angrily than Prince William County. Last year, the Prince William Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to require the local police to check the immigration status of all arrested persons.
It's widely understood that abundant low-skilled immigration hurts lower America by reducing wages. As the National Research Council noted in its comprehensive 1997 report: "If the wage of domestic unskilled workers did not fall, no domestic worker (unskilled or skilled) would gain or lose, and there would be no net domestic gain from immigration." In other words, immigration is good for America as a whole only because -- and only to the extent that -- it is bad for the poorest Americans. Conversely, low-skilled immigration enriches upper America, lowering the price of personal services like landscaping and restaurant meals. And by holding down wages, immigration makes the business investments of upper America more profitable.
Those last two paragraphs alone ought to earn Frum favorable mentions from Steve Sailer and Peter Brimelow. The eminently respectable Frum boils down rather neatly for his bien pensant readership the cause of much populist resentment toward the Bush/McCain amnesty policy. Yet one can easily imagine the hypocritical glee of liberal readers who, despite their oft-trumpeted sympathy for the downtrodden, will nonetheless exult over any trend that results in the election of more Democrats.

Of course, Frum himself is part of the influx of Canadians who are driving down wages for hard-working American public intellectuals, so . . . .

South Park - Blame Canada - video powered by Metacafe

Sarah Palin rumor meltdown

Charlie Martin reports that his Sarah Palin rumors roundup is so popular it's melting his servers, so he's created a backup. I'm still looking for an authentic Sarah Palin bikini photo, by the way, and if anybody's got Joe Biden in a Speedo . . .

UPDATE: Charlie's Site Meter is rockin' today -- pushing toward 12,000 hits by 2 p.m. Ice down those servers, Charlie. Dude's been linked by Lucianne, NRO Corner, Blue Crab Boulevard, Politico, Free Republic, American Thinker . . .

UPDATE II: Oh, for crying out loud! A "progressive" blogger is claiming (on the authority of "Lucille, the waitress") that Palin referred to Obama as "Sambo." How freaking desperate can they get?

UPDATE III: This "Sambo" smear is now #54 in Charlie's list of Palin rumors. That there are no named sources for this allegation, and that the only remotely identified source is the stereotypically named "Shirley, the waitress" (e.g., "Hazel, the maid," "Jeeves, the butler," "Joe, the mechanic") is your first clue that it's bogus. The fact that Palin has been in public life for 15 years and never been accused of any such thing is your second clue.

Michelle Malkin says this progressive blog "comes off like a really, really bad Onion parody," and Allah is equally dubious. As Charlie notes, "Sambo" is a suspiciously dated reference, considering that Palin is only 44.

UPDATE IV: Allah sees Andrew Sullivan as the driving force giving a semblance of credibility to the Palin smears, and notes this Politico item:
[Reporter T.C.] Mitchell said the [Anchorage] Daily News received a call from a media outlet seeking the rules of the Miss Wasilla Pageant, presumably to determine whether Palin cheated when she won it in 1984.

UPDATE V: An Ace-o-lanche just crashed Charlie's server again.

UPDATE VI: Someone just e-mailed me what he purports to be a photo of Sarah Palin topless. Of course, it's a Photoshop job -- a highly skilled Photoshop, but as fake as the way-too-obvious porn-queen boob job of the way-too-young model on whose body Palin's head is superimposed.

UPDATE VII: Now the Weekly Standard has linked Charlie's page. But what will he say about the latest shocking scandal?

McCain, Obama to mark 9/11

E-mail from the McCain campaign:
Today, John McCain and Barack Obama issued the following statement on coming together to mark the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks:
"On September 11, 2008, we will join together to mark the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at Ground Zero.
"All of us came together on 9/11 -- not as Democrats or Republicans -- but as Americans. In smoke-filled corridors and on the steps of the Capitol; at blood banks and at vigils -- we were united as one American family. On Thursday, we will put aside politics and come together to renew that unity, to honor the memory of each and every American who died, and to grieve with the families and friends who lost loved ones. We will also give thanks for the firefighters, police, and emergency responders who set a heroic example of selfless service, and for the men and women who serve today in defense of the freedom and security that came under attack in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania."
Shanksville is about a 2-hour drive from my house, so I might go up there for the memorial services Thursday.

Palin: No Tom Eagleton

I didn't actually know Tom Eagleton. Tom Eagleton was no friend of mine, but you, Sarah Palin, are no Tom Eagleton:
Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft seems to have been the first to invoke the Eagleton comparison, within hours of John McCain's announcement of his running mate, but she had plenty of company after Monday's news that Palin's teenage daughter is pregnant. Richard Gizbert of Huffington Post flatly pronounced Palin "the new Thomas Eagleton" and predicted that she would withdraw "within the next week or so." By Tuesday, Joshua Green of the Atlantic Monthly had an article online examining the comparison in detail.
Yet nothing in the attacks that Democrats or the media have made against Palin compares to the scandal that brought down Eagleton -- a hidden history of severe mental illness he hadn't disclosed to McGovern before his selection as running mate. And judging from the way Republicans have rallied to Palin's defense, it seems highly unlikely she will be bumped from the ticket.
Indeed, the spectacle of a media feeding frenzy over a working mother and her pregnant teenager seems to have produced a backlash that could have an effect quite the opposite of what Palin’s enemies originally imagined. She may yet turn out to be the anti-Eagleton -- that rare choice of a running mate who makes a positive difference in a presidential election.
That's from my latest article at Pajamas Media -- please read the whole thing.

How cool is Todd Palin?

John McCain has the ultimate spouse -- I mean, how cool is that, to marry the heiress to a beer distributorship? -- but Sarah Palin's married to the coolest dude in Alaska:
In Alaska . . . snowmobiling is the ultimate glamour sport, like Formula One racing in Europe. Todd Palin is a snowmobiling god. During this year’s 1,971-mile (3,172km) Tesoro Iron Dog race — which the First Dude has won no fewer than four times — he was flung 70ft (21m) from his machine when it hit a barrel hidden in deep snow. He broke his arm but completed the race, finishing fourth.
He's like the Richard Petty of snow.

UPDATE: Headlined at AOSHQ. Thanks.

New ad: Obama and Kwame

This ad is now running in Michigan:

The latest poll in Michigan showed Obama leading by only 2 points -- before Kwame resigned and pleaded guilty.

Fight the smears? Really?

I remember in June when Obama started ginning up the idea that the GOP was going to "smear" him -- and it was so obviously preparing the ground so that any criticism of him could be dismissed as a "right-wing smear."

But look at the real smears the Left has unleashed on Sarah Palin, the latest being the idiot claim that she busted up her husband's business partner's marriage. NOT.

Charlie Martin's got the complete guide to Sarah Palin rumors, just in case you're wondering what's true and what's not.

Friday, September 5, 2008

'The alleged state of Alaska'

Jim Treacher:
Embattled former beauty queen Sarah Palin* continued to wilt yesterday under the pressure of numerous fair, evenhanded media questions regarding the alleged state of "Alaska." Palin has claimed to be "governor" of the legendary northern land mass, which, while heretofore undiscovered by explorers, was once rumored to contain vast expanses rich with oil, gold, and "eski-mos."
Palin first made the "Alaska" claim during an Aug. 29 public appearance alongside elderly, mean-looking cancer victim John McCain. McCain, a white man with even whiter hair, has long publicly blocked efforts by Barack Obama, a youthful black man with a certain indefinable aura about him, to move into Obama's new house. Palin, also white-skinned, has been linked to the McCain offensive.
After four days of telling silence from the McCain camp, Palin finally deigned to reappear in public yesterday. In a followup press conference, Palin, who is a girl, lashed out at the media.
That there's funny, I don't care who you are. Read the whole thing, you racist swine.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Republican media strategery:
A senior McCain campaign official advises that, despite the gaggle of requests and pressure from the media, Gov. Sarah Palin won't submit to a formal interview anytime soon. She may take some questions from local news entities in Alaska, but until she's ready -- and until she's comfortable -- which might not be for a long while -- the media will have to wait.
Grrrrr. If she can't handle a press conference, how can you argue she's ready to be vice president?

This fear-based, defensive, curl-up-inside-your-shell posture toward the press is killing the GOP. It's insane: Treat the press like the enemy and then complain about media bias. Oh, I wish Tony Snow were still alive to explain to these "senior campaign officials" why this approach doesn't work.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

UPDATE: David Frum calls attention to this MSNBC clip where McCain campaign communications senior adviser Nicole Wallace ridicules the idea that Sarah Palin should speak to reporters:

Politicians cannot treat reporters like this. This has nothing to do with whether you like or dislike Jay Carney. I've seen what happens to Republicans (and Democrats) who cultivate an adversarial relationship with the press. As soon as a scandal or a gaffe or some other bad news hits, and you want to get your side of the story out there, guess what? Nobody's listening. And why should they? You never did them any favors, you treated them like scum, and now when you need a little help . . . hey, good luck with that, pal.

Ed Morrissey scoffs:
It’s not as if she’ll be able to avoid reporters while campaigning, especially in this day and age . . .
Oh, yeah? Go out on the road to cover the McCain campaign and see how much access to the candidate you get, Ed. I show up in Pennsylvania and tell 'em I'm from the American Spectator and it's like, "American What?" I show up and say I'm with Pajamas Media, and they're like, "Pajamas Who?"

Frankly, the Hillary campaign treated me a lot better, despite the fact that they understood I was essentially hostile (except in an "Operation Chaos" sort of friendly way). Two of the three times I covered Hillary on the trail, she gave press conferences, even though most of the questions were along the lines of, "Why don't you quit now, you stupid loser woman?" (That's almost a verbatim of the CBS News guy's question May 7.)

Hillary suffered badly in the later stage of the campaign because of her staff's earlier high-handed treatment of the press. It always -- always -- bodes ill for politicians when they treat reporters this way.

Flaming skull alert!

Ace warns that he's going to break out the infamous flaming skull if the rumor proves true that Code Pink disrupters got into last night's Republican convention using passes provided to them by MSNBC staff.

But if a blogger says it, it must be true.

Palin: Christofascist godbag?

Andrew Sullivan's readers are alarmed by the discovery that Sarah Palin is a Pentacostal, one of "the most hardcore Christianists":

But remember, if you bring up Rev. Jeremiah "G-- d--- America" Wright, that's a racist smear.

'Community organizer' is the new 'uppity'

At least, I think that's what David Plouffe was saying:
Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack's experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago. . . .
Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies. . . .
(Yeah, Chicago's been an exclusive fiefdom of the Democratic Party for 70 years, so they've got plenty of experience with "failed policies.")
Community organizing is the foundation of the civil rights movement, the women's suffrage movement, labor rights, and the 40-hour workweek.
In other words, to mock "community organizers" is to be a racist, sexist, capitalist stooge who wants children working 60-hour weeks in dangerous coal mines.

Michelle Malkin explains the corruption of ACORN, the "community organizer" group to which the Obama campaign is joined at the hip. The Capital Research Center also has a good report on Obama's career as a "community organizer."

Gallup: Obama lead cut in half

Four days ago, Obama was at 50% and ahead by eight points in the Gallup daily tracking poll. Today, it's Obama 48%, McCain 44%:
Obama pulled into an eight-point lead at several points over the course of his convention. It now appears the Republican National Convention may be helping McCain to recoup some of his losses. . . .
Results, based on interviewing conducted Sept. 2-4, include just one day of interviewing conducted after Wednesday night's widely viewed acceptance speech by McCain's vice presidential running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Most interviewing Thursday night was conducted before McCain's acceptance speech, so Gallup Poll Daily tracking results will start to reflect its impact in Saturday's report. The full impact of the GOP convention on voter preferences will not be known until Monday's report. . . .
In fact, to get a more accurate assessment, you'll have to wait until Thursday, Sept. 11, when Gallup's got three days of weekday polling in the hopper. Weekend poll results are erratic.

UPDATE: Guess this would be as good a place as any to link the latest Rasmussen poll showing that not only is Palin more popular than Joe Biden, she's also more popular than either Obama or McCain.

UPDATE II: Ed Morrissey notes that Palin "now has solid favorable majorities from men (65%)." You know why? Yeah. Bikini pics.

I've already had more traffic in 4 days of September than I had in all of August, which was a record month. And mostly because of my sarcastic humor my insightful commentary Sarah Palin bikini pics.

Readers don't even care if it's a bogus Photoshop composite. America loves Sarah Palin because of her compelling biography strong conservative record sexy body.

And I'm posting this bogus photo because I really care about the future of the country electing John McCain making money off this stupid blog.

Beyond satire

Andrew Sullivan says Sarah Palin's "past is so colorful, to say the least."

Ace is milking loads of laughter from that comment.

Backlash vs. US Weekly

US Weekly is reportedly losing subscribers because of its "Babies, Lies and Scandal" cover story about Sarah Palin:
"When Us went to print Monday night, it looked like the ticket was falling apart," says one magazine editor. "They went to print thinking Palin was dead in the water, and their mistake was thinking everyone who reads Us is a Democrat, when they're not. Readers are loyal, but the base of a political party is more loyal."
Here's the cover:

Compare to the Obama cover in June:

'Responsible and evenhanded'?

L.A. Times:
News executives Thursday tried to shake off the excoriations of the media emanating from the Republican National Convention, defending their coverage of GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as responsible and evenhanded.
Make. Me. Laugh. You call parroting crackpot theories from DKos and recycling DNC talking points "responsible and evenhanded"? But wait, there's more:
The angry denunciations by Republican leaders spotlighted a dominant theme of the 2008 presidential campaign: the charge that the news media are a biased referee. It began in the primaries, when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign complained about sexist coverage, and has continued through the general election with accusations that the media are in Democratic nominee Barack Obama's sway.
Attacking the media is not a new political tactic, of course.
Notice that the subjects of these sentences are not the media, but the media's critics. There is no effort to explore what the media may have done to have deserve criticism. It's just the "political tactic" of "attacking the media" that is to be examined.

Election '08: The Hollywood pitch

OK, just imagine a screenwriter trying to pitch this story to a movie producer:
It's "Primary Colors" meets "The Distinguished Gentleman," "Top Gun" and "Legally Blonde," see?
All right, there's this half-Kenyan community organizer guy from Chicago. Well, he's actually from Hawaii and grew up in Indonesia, but he went to Harvard Law and now he's a senator from Chicago. Think Will Smith. Anyway, he wins the nomination by defeating the former First Lady. They call him the Messiah.
The other guy is a Navy pilot and Vietnam war hero who spent six years as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton, married to a beautiful blonde beer heiress. His nickname is Maverick.
So, anyway, it's Messiah vs. Maverick, OK? And then the Messiah has this huge speech with 90,000 people at a stadium and everybody's like, "Wow? How can you top that?" But then the Maverick decides that his vice-president is going to be -- wait for it -- a moose-hunting lady from Alaska! And her nickname is Barracuda.

But then, right after Maverick announces Barracuda as his running mate, guess what? Turns out her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant by her hockey-hunk boyfriend, so then . . .
What's that? ... Impossible? ... Whaddya mean they'll never believe it? Wait, no, I can rewrite it ...
Roll credits.

Amateur hour

At one point during last night's speech, the screen behind John McCain showed a mansion-looking building, causing a "huh?" reaction from viewers. As it turns out, the slide was supposed to show Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, but instead, the RNC person responsible for assembling the slideshow had gotten a picture of Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, Calif.

It's laughable. Raising $47 million a month, and they can't hire competent staff.

Jim Treacher hulks out

Treacher discovers Kos spreading an Obama campaign slogan -- "Jesus was a community organizer. Pilate was a governor" -- and goes totally berserk. About time.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised by Ezra Klein's assertion that criticism of "community organizers" is racist. Any criticism of Obama is racist. The very fact that you would even think of criticizing Obama is racist.

Let's extend the logic a bit further, shall we? Obama went to Harvard Law School; Hillary went to Yale Law School; therefore, all Yale alumni are racist. But since George W. Bush is a Yale alumni, you already knew that, right?

Sarah Palin bio video

(Via Michelle Malkin.)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Palin putdowns

Apparently, Kathleen Sibelius thinks Republican women can't write anything more substantial than a grocery list:
"She mastered the words written by the Bush speechwriters and delivered them well," Ms. Sebelius said. "Women were proud of the fact that she delivered her lines very well. . . . No doubt about that."
Sarah Palin became the youngest governor in the history of her state, yet she's just a stupid parrot, a Bush sock-puppet, according to Democrats.

Michelle Malkin says Sibelius is just doing a sour-grapes thing. I think it's more than that, don't you? One of the great comforts of ugly women is their belief that all pretty women are stupid. So it really kind of messes with their worldview when a woman is both beautiful and smart.

And I haven't noticed any traffic from people Googling for Kathleen Sibelius bikini pics.

'Witch hunt' for Kwame?

Corruption is victimhood:
"This has been a witch hunt from the start,'' said Byron Frazier, 34, wearing a T-shirt with Kilpatrick's image on it outside the courthouse. "I've supported the mayor from the start and will continue to support him.'' Frazier is a community organizer in Detroit.
Yeah, community organizer -- just like Obama. But as Ezra Klein says, "community organizer" is another one of those phrases, like "arrogant," that becomes racist code when applied to Obama.

Go ahead, hate her

She mocks "community organizers," and therefore Sarah Palin is evil? OK, so read this story:
On April 18, 2008, Palin gave birth to 6-lb., 2-oz. Trig, five weeks early. As Todd and their three daughters gathered around the bedside . . . Willow said of the new arrival, "He looks like he has Down syndrome."
Palin . . . felt a lump in her throat. "If he does, you know you will still love him, Willow. It'll be okay." Willow pressed: "But why didn't you tell us?" Palin admitted she didn't know how to break the news. "I was a little shocked," says Willow "but I don't care -- he's my brother and I love him."
Yeah, go ahead and hate her, you monsters.

And by the way, Cindy McCain's rich

Vanity Fair, a high-toned fashion magazine whose readership is 3/4 female with an average annual income of $74K, decides that Cindy McCain's diamond earrings are newsworthy. Please tell me when VF ever said an ill word about the wealth of John Kerry, Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, the Clintons, the Kennedys, George Soros or any other affluent Democrat?

Kwame Kilpatrick pleads guilty, resigns

Via Drew M at AOSHQ, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick -- a Democrat -- admits he lied under oath:
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has pleaded guilty, ending a nearly eight month drama that has transfixed the region, paralyzed much of city business and halted a political career that once held such promise. . . .
The mayor will turn over his state pension to the City of Detroit, which paid $8.4 million to settle two whistle-blower lawsuits three former cops filed against the city. . . . In a rushed monotone, Kilpatrick told the court: "I lied under oath in the case of Gary Brown and Harold Nelthrope versus the city of Detroit ... I did so with the intent to mislead the court and jury, to impede and obstruct the disposition of justice."
In a plea bargain, Kilpatrick pleads guilty on two of the eight felonies he was charged with before Barack Obama praised the corrupt and dishonest Democrat super-delegate for "doing an outstanding job":

So many corrupt Democrats! Somebody ought to write a book about that . . .

UPDATE: I almost forgot that Obama already threw Kwame under the bus. It's gotten so crowded under Obama's bus, it's hard to keep track of who's under there.

Need I remind you that Michigan is a battleground state? Or that Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm had started hearings on whether Kilpatrick should be removed from office? If you don't think the Kilpatrick scandal will hurt Obama in Michigan, think again.

'Dan Quayle with mammaries'

The worst comment to date about Sarah Palin comes from notorious RINO David Kuo, who calls her "Dan Quayle with mammaries."

UPDATE: Thought just crossed my mind: If that's what Kuo's publishing on the Web, what's he saying about Palin behind closed doors? You know, like Peggy Noonan when she thinks the microphone's off.

UPDATE II: Amanda Carpenter: "What a jerk."

UPDATE III: Amanda (featured in a Hot Air video interview) points out that Paul Begala invoked "the B-word" against Palin. Meanwhile, in celebration of "Stacy McCain Offends Everyone Week," my criticism of Kuo at AmSpecBlog drew a rebuke from managing editor J.P. Freire, but a defense from Jeremy Lott. I also explained the roots of my dislike for Kuo, a practicioner of Gersonism, a gushy variety of "compassionate conservatism" that annoys me to no end. But don't get me started, I could rant for hours . . .

Palin's speech: Home run? Base hit?

The text of Sarah Palin's speech to the RNC is online. Here's the video:

I'll update with reactions. What did you think?

UPDATE: Instapundit:
I see a problem for McCain -- whatever he says tonight is likely to come across as an anticlimax, unless he gives a better speech than he's ever given before.
Ed Morrissey:
Her nickname, "Sarah Barracuda", seems a lot more fitting after tonight.
Not only did she defend her small-town upbringing, she attacked Barack Obama on
almost every possible front, and for good measure went after Joe Biden and the
mainstream media as well.
UPDATE II: Michael Crowley:
Several moderate-Democrat friends of mine have been emailing -- few if any would ever vote for McCain -- but all agree that Palin was very strong. The more liberal among them are a little panicked.
I completely misjudged how negative she would be. Her lines about Obama were brutally cutting and possibly over the top in places. But she's a far better messenger than an angry white man.
Heh heh heh heh. Oh, the news of liberal panic always warms my heart. They had five days of slamming her when she was in no position to fire back, and now she's made her big debut and . . . "a little panicked"? Imagine how they'll react if the Republicans get a convention bounce and go 5 points ahead in the tracking poll by next Wednesday.

Myself, personally, I wasn't all that impressed. I like Palin, but I felt she delivered the speech too slowly, and that the delegates -- a bit too eager to show their approval -- interrupted her too often with applause.

UPDATE III: Dr. Melissa Clouthier predicts a new barrage of liberal attacks:
Sarah Palin must be destroyed because her mere existence kills so many leftist sacred cows. As much as I adore this woman already, I shudder for her family for what’s to come in the next couple of months. Uppity women get put in their place by angry liberals. And it’s ugly business.
This is what Rush Limbaugh said yesterday:
It's the same approach that they took to destroy Clarence Thomas, the same approach that they took to destroy Robert Bork . . . . They destroy people who are threats. They destroy people who are threats to their template, to their narrative, to their power. They take no prisoners.
To be in the same league of enemies as Clarence Thomas -- high praise indeed.

UPDATE IV: Team Obama responded by saying that Palin's speech "was written by George Bush's speechwriter and sounds exactly like the same divisive, partisan attacks we've heard from George Bush for the last eight years." To which Jimmie at Sundries Shack says:
That's it? His entire response is, "Yeah, well, someone wrote her speech for her, so nyah"?
How freaking lame! He just unfurled the political equivalent of "Oh yeah? Well your Mommy dresses you funny!" That was a tired taunt when we used it in elementary school.
All modern presidents rely on speechwriters, even the greatest of them, like Ronald Reagan. Otherwise, they'd have to spend all their time drafting new speeches, because they have to give so many of them, and they can't give the same speech over and over again.

UPDATE V: One of Obama's big fundraisers attempted to storm the stage during last night's speech. Founding Bloggers says, "Keep it classy, Democrats."

UPDATE VI: Ezra Klein (!) says, "an auspicious debut."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

'I Am Sarah Palin' T-shirt

For sale at Cafe Press.

Little known facts about Sarah Palin

Random Sarah Palin Fact Generator:
  • Sarah Palin's children are tired of being introduced as the Palin Five. They don't like the jumpsuits either.
  • Sarah Palin cheats at Uno.
  • Sarah Palin taught Michael Phelps how to swim.
  • Global warming doesn't kill polar bears. Sarah Palin does. Generally with her bare hands.
Many more.

Because she's Ann Coulter

That's the only answer when people ask why she gets away with her outrageousness, and she demonstrates it in defending Sarah Palin:
As a right-winger, Palin will appeal to the narrow 59 percent of Americans who voted for another former small-market sportscaster: Ronald Reagan. . . .
As for former governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge and Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman, the other also-rans, I can think of at least 40 million unborn reasons she's better than either of them. . . .
The bien-pensant criticized Palin, saying it's irresponsible for a woman with five children to run for vice president. Liberals' new talking point: Sarah Palin: Only five abortions away from the presidency. . . .
When liberals start acting like they're opposed to pre-marital sex and mothers having careers, you know McCain's vice presidential choice has knocked them back on their heels.
Read the rest.

Bradley Jacobs, 'galactic tool'

Via Hot Air:

This is one of those things where the misleading headline is the real sin. Jacobs says it's a "very balanced story" -- which I don't know -- but the cover headline insinuates wrongdoing on Palin's part.

Isn't Megyn cute when she's angry?

Palin's speech: 'A little news flash'

Excerpt from tonight's speech:
I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion -- I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country.
There's never any political downside to attacking the Washington elite. If only she'd called them pointy-headed intellectuals who can't even park their bicycles straight.

Video: McCain ad pushes Palin

Noonan: 'It's over'

Via Hot Air and the Politico, the obligatory YouTube of Peggy Noonan and GOP strategist Mike Murphy caught on a open microphones at MSNBC, slagging the selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as GOP running mate:

I've been telling you for weeks about the "we're doomed" vibe coming from within the GOP elite, and here you see a good example of the genre, as Noonan contradicts her own column, which portrayed Palin as an invincible winner.

Here you see what Noonan really thinks. After Murphy says the choice of Palin is "not going to work," Noonan interjects: "It's over." Responding to a question of whether Palin is the "most qualified" for the presidency, Noonan says, "No. I think they went for this ... political bulls--- about narratives." Murphy then adds that the pick of Palin is "cynical."

I'm reminded of what the late Michael Rust told me the day I arrived in D.C.: "Welcome to Washington, a town where people advance" -- and here, he gestured as if climbing a ladder -- "on the knives stuck in the backs of their former friends."

Palin rumor HQ

Charles Martin has established a clearinghouse for all the existing rumors about Sarah Palin, and any new ones you want to make up, if you want to try your hand at being a professional journalist like Elizabeth Bumiller.

UPDATE: It's a server-melting sensation!

Kurtz, media and the GOP

Howard Kurtz seems stunned by Steve Schmidt's reaction to the media feeding frenzy over Sarah Palin:
In an extraordinary and emotional interview, Steve Schmidt said his campaign feels "under siege" by wave after wave of news inquiries. . . .
The fact that unsubstantiated allegations appear on the Internet "is not a license for smearing" Palin, he said. "The campaign has been inundated by hundreds and hundreds of calls from some of the most respected reporters and news organizations. Many reporters have called the campaign and have apologized for asking the questions and said, 'Our editors are making us do this, and I am ashamed.' " . . .
"We are being bombarded by e-mails and phone calls from journalists asking when she will be dropping out of the race," Schmidt said.
Kurtz also links HuffPo and quotes a McCain campaign communication staffer, Brian Rogers:
It would be nice if the media outlets covering this garbage actually did their due diligence in reporting, and didn't just push Obama campaign/Daily Kos smears.
The accusatory approach doesn't work, nor does the "media victim" tactic. Students of media relations should study this situation closely.

What Schmidt and Rogers are demonstrating, by default, is that media relations is about relationships. People who serve communications functions in an organization must build relationships with journalists if they wish to be able to shape coverage, and this becomes especially obvious when a crisis occurs.

Jon Henke has talked about being brought into Sen. George Allen's re-election campaign in 2006, in the wake of the "macaca" debacle. Henke's job was to help Allen get his message out via New Media, but the problem he faced was that this should have been done over the course of many months, long before the "macaca" incident exposed Allen's vulnerability to online attacks. The Allen campaign had failed to cultivate relationships with the blogosphere (and with Old Media reporters, too), and thus found itself unable to control the narrative once the crisis hit.

One of the reasons GOP operatives are so bad at media relations is that Republican campaign staffs tend to be organized in a structure that is opaque, closed and hierarchical -- a command-and-control system, where roles are carefully defined, and "success" is defined as "following orders."

The 21st-century media environment, however, rewards organizations that are transparent, open and flexible -- a team system, where roles change in response to current needs, and "success" is defined as "contributing to the overall effort."

It's the difference between an organization based on rules, and an organization based on objectives. A rules-based organization is very good at handling situations that are planned, predictable and routine. But when the McCain campaign discovered Wednesday -- two days before the vice-presidential announcement -- that the Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter was pregnant, and then found itself attacked by bizarre rumors related to the daughter's pregnancy, this was a situation unplanned, unpredictable and anything but routine.

Faced with a novel and unanticipated development, the command-and-control style of campaign organization misfired. The press wanted access to the facts, but the closed and opaque style of the McCain campaign -- aimed at regulating the flow of information through pre-approved channels -- choked off that access, and so reporters (eager to scoop their competitors) began passing along rumors.

Reporters tend to react negatively to organizations that seem secretive: "What are they trying to hide?" The closed, opaque, hierarchical tendencies of Republican campaigns fuel this sense of suspicion. Add in the hostility toward the press that is ubiquitous among GOP operatives, and you have a formula for disaster whenever anything that seems remotely scandalous pops up.

Polls: No backlash yet

Polls don't yet show any evidence to support the belief, widespread among conservatives, that public revulsion with the media's mistreatment of Sarah Palin and her pregnant daughter will redound to the Republicans' benefit.

Obama leads by 6 points in the Gallup daily tracking poll and by 5 points in the Rasmussen daily, while a Hotline poll shows Obama ahead by 9 points. A fresh round of CNN/Time polls in three Midwestern states -- Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio -- shows Obama leading in all three.

The big speech tonight will be crucial.

Video: McCain greets Palin family

Raw video from Associated Press, notice him talking to baby daddy Levi:

"We're going to fight back," Maverick says. And the (oddly optimistic) Allah says, "Before this story's done circulating, Maverick's standing with the base is apt to be at an all-time high."

Any time Allah gets optimistic, something strange must be going on.

Tale of three covers

US Weekly cover, June:

US Weekly cover, September:
And, via Michelle Malkin, an US Weekly cover the editors surely never dreamed of running:

Dept. of Insincere Advice

How predictable is this? The minute things are looking bad for the Republicans, a liberal courageously steps forward to tell them it's because they're too buddy-buddy with the "rightwing base."

Enraged Ewok alert!

Ace is absolutely seething over the media's treatment of Bristol Palin. He goes all Hulk on "childless bachelor Mark Shields," throws a sharp elbow at Campbell Brown here, and goes off on the National Enquirer/US stories like the climax of Rambo III.

But, really, Ace, isn't some of this rage misplaced? Is none of this to be blamed on Levi "f---ing redneck" Johnston? Because the way I'm seeing it, Levi got laid, and America got screwed. If Obama gets elected Nov. 4, I'm first blaming this hockey goon who decided to go for the big trophy by tapping the governor's daughter.

"Oh, I love you, Bristol!" Yeah, and in the locker room the next day, Levi's high-fiving all his hockey buddies.

Second, I'm blaming the retarded chimpanzees who are running the McCain campaign. It's not like Team Maverick couldn't have figured how the media would react to this little tidbit of news. The girl will be seven months pregnant by November, Ace. Sarah Palin will be a grandmother by Inauguration Day. Like somebody wasn't going to notice this?

If the folks running the McCain campaign were smart (a very large "if"), they would have advised the Palins to go public about the pregnancy a couple of weeks ago -- before anyone even knew she was on the short list for the veep job. It plays out in the Alaska media, runs as a brief on the national wires, and gets a little notice by the national political press. And then, when Maverick announces the choice, the reporters have a sweet little human-interest angle about how the tolerant and open-minded McCain named Palin as his running mate despite the pregnant-daughter semi-scandal.

Instead . . . well, you see what you've got now. The media are the media and, as such, are predictable. "Bottom-feeding jackals," as Little Miss Attila says. And dealing with bottom-feeding jackals is what PR professionals are paid to do, right? So how come, with a "communications" staff of 15, Team Maverick doesn't have anyone who could figure out how to play this particular story?

Jackals are predictable. Retarded chimpanzees are, too.

UPDATE: Team Maverick didn't even know Bristol was pregnant until last Wednesday, even though everyone in Wasilla, Alaska, already knew. Fine work by that campaign staff of retarded chimpanzees.

UPDATE II: Retarded chimpanzee talking points.

Dept. of Bad Media Relations II

Monumental stupidity:
Rick Davis, campaign manager for John McCain's presidential bid, insisted that the presidential race will be decided more over personalities than issues during an interview with Post editors this morning.
"This election is not about issues," said Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."
The Obama campaign fired back:
Barack Obama campaign manager David Plouffe released the following statement: "We appreciate Senator McCain's campaign manager finally admitting that his campaign is not in fact about the issues the American people care about, which is exactly the kind of cynical old politics people are ready to change."
At some point we need to stop whining about media bias and admit the real problem: The Republican Party is being run by retarded chimpanzees.


'F---in' redneck' going to RNC

He shoots! He scores!
Levi Johnston, the boyfriend of the pregnant 17-year-old Bristol Palin, plans to join the family at the Republican Party's nomination [in St. Paul, Minn.] of mom and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for vice president.
Won't this be the tackiest Republican convention ever? I can just see all those GOP delegates congratulating Levi: "Way to go, stud! Thanks for knocking up the candidate's daughter and creating a scandal that might elect Obama president!"

Now we know why Sarah Palin can't find time in her busy schedule for Phyllis Schlafly -- she was too busy making travel arrangements for this lowlife thug.

Lock up your daughters, Minnesotans -- the Alaska Pipeline's coming to town!

Enquirer vs. Palin

National Enquirer:
Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin attempted to quietly have her daughter Bristol get married before news of her pregnancy leaked out, the NATIONAL ENQUIRER is reporting exclusively in its new issue.
Palin planned for the wedding to take place right after the Republican National Convention and then she was going to announce the pregnancy. But Bristol, 17, refused to go along with the plan and that sparked a mother-daughter showdown over the failed coverup.
The ultra-conservative governor's announcement about her daughter's pregnancy came hours after The ENQUIRER informed her representatives and family members of Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol's child, that we were aware of the pregnancy and were going to break the news.
In a preemptive strike Palin released the news, creating political shockwaves.
(Via Hot Air Headlines.) The governor's effort to get her ex-brother-in-law fired has also led to other "shocking allegations," the Enquirer says. Given that everything the Enquirer published about John Edwards turned out to be true, it's kind of hard to question the accuracy of their reporting now.

But who would be the Enquirer's source on the governor's plans for Bristol's wedding? I'm guessing it's Levi Johnston's family.

UPDATE: Commenter "Young 4-Eyes" asks why Republicans are grousing about "the media" is treating Palin. Rather than get into a blow-by-blow account of this particular situation, let me talk about Republicans and media in more general terms.

Look, if you want to get rich, don't become a reporter. Republicans are smart enough to know this and, as a result, there are no Republican reporters. Pundits, talking heads, and columnists, yes; reporters, no.

(When I became a reporter, I was a Democrat and ignorant -- but I repeat myself.)

The media aren't nearly as hostile toward Republicans as Republicans are hostile toward the media. GOP campaign operatives treat journalists like scum, and then wonder why their candidates get bad coverage.

The blame-the-media mantra is therefore a useful way for Republican campaign operatives to explain away their own incompetence. And God knows they need an excuse to fall back on. GOP campaign operatives will expend millions of dollars of contributions this year -- mostly to pay their own outrageous salaries -- and the party will lose the House, the Senate, a majority of governor's races, and probably lose the White House, too.

It's all the media's fault. Nudge, nudge.

UPDATE II: Michelle Malkin notes a crystal clear example of bias -- at US magazine, of all places -- but I ask: Why is media bias against Republicans always the fault of the media, and never the fault of Republicans?

By repeating the media-bias meme, aren't we just making excuses for the failures of the overpaid idiots who are running the GOP into the ground? When I sit around talking to fellow conservatives, Topic A is almost always the political incompetence of the Republican Party. Why don't we see media bias as a product of that incompetence?

I'm looking at a list of McCain campaign staffers, and I see 15 names listed under "communications": Jill Hazelbaker, Brooke Buchanan, Brian Rogers, Michael Goldfarb, Jeff Sadosky, Crystal Benton, Andrea Saul, Charlie Adams, Brittany Brammell, Tucker Bounds, Ben Porritt, Nicole Wallace, Matt MacDonald, Taylor Griffin, and Matthew Scully.

Which one of these people was responsible for dealing with the US magazine staff? If the task of the communications department is to get good publicity for the campaign, who gets fired when the publicity is bad? Nobody.

There's no accountability, see? Tucker Bounds goes on CNN and makes an idiot of himself and, instead of firing Tucker Bounds, the McCain campaign's response is to cancel the candidate's appearance on "Larry King Live."

At some point, media bias becomes an excuse for campaign staffers not doing their jobs. The McCain campaign raised $47 million in August, and the RNC raised another $22 million. With $69 million a month between them, they can't afford any competent media-relations staffers? You'd think with all that money lying around, maybe they could have bought at least a couple rounds of drinks for the editors at US magazine. Reporters get ornery when they're expected to pay for their own booze, you know.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thank you, Kossacks!

As a conservative and as an American, I just want to thank the geniuses at DailyKos and for driving Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic Party.

Your vicious hatred, your spittle-spewing rage, your narrow spirit of intolerance made tonight possible. God bless you all, you demented losers.

Palin-mania rages on

Since the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate, the traffic's gone completely through the roof. By 10:30 p.m., today's traffic will surpass 25,000 visits, exceeding the blog's traffic for the entire month of May. In just two days, Sept. 1-2, the monthly total (28K+) is already more than the June total.

Dept. of Bad Media Relations

The McCain campaign canceled the candidate's scheduled appearance on "Larry King Live" because of campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds' Monday meltdown in an interview with CNN's Campbell Brown:

Granted, Brown was hostile and badgering in her treatment of Bounds, but no more so than Sean Hannity would be if some Democratic spokesman came on "Hannity & Colmes" and was as stupidly unresponsive as Bounds was.

The audience for "Larry King Live" was not responsible for either Brown's hostility or for Bounds' ineptitude, and it was a bad decision to pass up a primetime TV appearance because of what happened Monday night on another show. This is no time for the cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face approach.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

Sarah Palin video

Media Palinfest

Lots to choose from in media reactions to Sarah Palin (in a bikini) and her knocked-up daughter Bristol:

  • Politico: "So far — and it is hard to tell what the future may hold for Palin's unexpected national candidacy — the travails of the Palin family probably seem awfully familiar to many average Americans. It is this averageness that makes her such a politically promising running mate for John McCain — and such a dangerous opponent for Democrats."
  • Howard Kurtz: "Campaign officials, expressing outrage at the questions, nonetheless concluded that Bristol's condition could no longer be kept secret after some British tabloids jumped on the allegations, such as London's Daily Mail reporting that Palin was "facing a dirty tricks campaign suggesting she was really the grandmother of her youngest son." (Dude, I'm sorry, but if any candidate for national office thinks they're going to keep a pregnant 17-year-old daughter secret, they're insane.)
  • The New Republic: Don't take Palin lightly.
  • NBC: Palin overshadowing Maverick?
  • Ace of Spades: Deeply touched by the outpouring of media concern for Sarah Palin's family.
  • Liz Trotta: Back to the kitchen, June Cleaver!

Hmmmm. Get me some coffee, hon.

Levi Johnston: 'Sex on skates'

New York Magazine:
We'll have a roundup of pundit reactions later, and we're sure that you have your own points of view. . . .
We have a different question: HOW HOT IS THE BABY DADDY? . . . . Look at that face. John McCain is definitely winning the cougar vote now, on top of the Jamie-Lynn Spears vote.
Johnston is basically the quintessential example of that guy who you are constantly worried is going to impregnate your daughter (and occasionally does). He's a handsome stud, an athletic star, and he has a criminal record.
OK, I've been getting a lot of grief for slogging Levi "f---in' redneck" Johnston on an earlier post, mainly because I figured by knocking up Bristol Palin, he was helping Obama. But traffic is through the roof with people Googling for "boyfriend Levi Johnston" and so I'm sensing that this might go the other way.

Between "Sarah Palin bikini pics" and this young studpuppy shagging 17-year-old Bristol, the choice of the VPILF has added a sexy factor to the GOP ticket. America loves a good soap opera, especially the R-rated kind on HBO where the studly teenage hockey player is getting jiggy with the governor's jailbait daughter.

Brangelina, Britney and K-Fed, Levi and Bristol -- look, if the American people want "The OC" at the Naval Observatory, who am I to argue? So I'm beating Ace to the punch and jumping to the front of the line for Google hits for "Levi Johnston hung like a moose." Also, if anyone has photos of Levi Johnston in his underwear, send 'em on.

I'm a capitalist blogger, and traffic is traffic.

UPDATE: Getting lots of e-mails from people weighing in on the issue, mostly seeing the human-interest side of the story. Conservatives definitely seem to be rallying in support of Bristol Palin, and so Team Maverick may come out ahead on this after all.

Despite my ribald reaction to all this, I am a father of six (including three teenagers) and I do believe that babies are a blessing, not a "punishment." And long before I'd ever heard of Bristol Palin, I said "thank God for Jamie Lynn Spears" and blogged about my favorite famous teenage mothers. So those of you supporting Bristol, I'm on your side.

However, I'm also a journalist writing about politics and as such, I have to wonder how this is playing with the undecided swing voters out there. (Obama just hit 50% for the first time in Gallup's daily tracking poll.) Does the sudden eruption of distracting chatter about Palin's family make Team Maverick look incompetent? Was she properly vetted? What does this decision say about Crazy Cousin John's executive judgment?

Politics ain't beanbag. The Democrats and the MSM smell blood in the water, and I have no idea what the result will be Nov. 4. Maybe, just maybe, the story of how "Bristol Gone Wild" got knocked up by Levi "f---in' redneck" Johnston will strike a sympathetic chord in the American psyche, finally bringing out a pro-life majority.

Stranger things have happened, I suppose, and God moves in mysterious ways. But at this point, objectively, I'd say a Republican victory in November would be a miracle. Conservatives need to spend more time praying, and less time hassling capitalist bloggers who are guilty of nothing more sinister than shameless traffic-baiting.

UPDATE II: Just checked with Dr. Melissa Clouthier, who confirms that Levi had totally got the I-want-to-have-his-babies factor working in his favor: "He's hot," says Dr. Melissa.

UPDATE III: As much as studly young Levi brings out Dr. Melissa's inner cougar, Little Miss Attila says she's more eager to see shirtless photos of Todd Palin. Yeah -- chicks dig the rugged, macho, 40-something dudes. I get that all the time.

Bristol Palin's boyfriend, Levi Johnston

Musclehead 18-year-old hockey player:
Doe-eyed Bristol Palin, 17, and ruggedly handsome Levi Johnston, an 18-year-old self-described "f---in' redneck," have been dating a year, locals in Wasilla, Alaska, told the Daily News.
And the pregnancy? An open secret in the close-knit town of 9,780. . . .
On his MySpace page, Johnston proudly declares: "I'm a f---in' redneck."
"I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing," he says on the site.
He also warns that if anyone messes with him, "I'll kick ass."
Way to go, f---in' redneck. Your f---in' stupidity might have just elected f---in' Obama.

By the way, in my column today, I predicted it would take less than 24 hours for the press to ID Mr. Teen Inseminator, and they did the job in barely 12.

UPDATE: Somebody just e-mailed me this touchy-feely blog post about the Palin family, and it merely infuriates me:
I wish her and her husband-to-be and their baby safety and joy. And as much privacy as they can find. I intensely admire both her decision to choose life, and her decision to further sacrifice her privacy in order to support her mom for the betterment of our country. And as far as I'm concerned, that's the end of that.
Don't you people realize that politics ain't beanbag? You're up against the Democratic Party and the MSM, and they're not going to cut you any slack. This is the biggest possible game for the highest possible stakes -- the presidency of the United States -- and all your tender-hearted concern for two teenagers in love isn't worth squat in such a situation.

Send me no more such sentimental gush. It's worse than useless at this point.

UPDATE II: The Washington Post put no fewer than five reporters on the story, including one who knocked on the door of Johnston's family home in Wasilla. Did Team Maverick warn the Palin family about this?

UPDATE III: An anonymous commenter says I should "be ashamed" for "laying a trip like that on" Mr. Baby Daddy. Why? Because he's a teenage jock? C'mon, who doesn't know how teenage jocks behave? Do you really expect me to believe that Levi "f---in' redneck" Johnston wasn't bragging to all his buddies about nailing the governor's daughter?

Why do you suppose Bristol's pregnancy was "no secret" in Wasilla, hmmm? Because that musclehead braggart told everybody in town, that's why. And I should be "ashamed" of denouncing this cretinous hoodlum? Make. Me. Laugh.

UPDATE IV: Jeralyn Merritt has started a pool on when Sarah Palin will resign from the ticket. I don't think that will happen. Team Maverick is aware of the Eagleton precedent, and they know there's no second chances on the veep pick. For better or worse, they've got to ride this one out.

UPDATE V: Levi is "sex on skates." This kid might be the new pro-life poster boy because, apparently, lots of teenage girls (and some older ladies, too) would love to have his babies.

Dude. Seriously?

Associated Press writes about "reports that Palin's husband, Todd, had been arrested in 1986, when he was 22, for driving under the influence of alcohol."

OK, under what standard does this qualify as "news" or a "scandal" relevant to Sarah Palin's qualifications? I got a DUI was in 1985, when I was 25, and I certainly don't consider it relevant or newsworthy to anything I'm doing now. Heck, when I was 22, I was a wild-and-crazy college kid, utterly irresponsible.

I blame the totalitarians at MADD for this idiot notion that a DUI more than two decades earlier is a permanent mark of Cain, so that even an offense by the candidate's spouse is viewed as scandalous.

Video 'vivisection' of Tucker Bounds

CNN's Campbell Brown does to Team Maverick's spokesman what Sean Hannity typically does to liberals on Fox -- badgering, interrupting, mocking:

Josh Marshall calls this "a live vivisection of Bounds on live television," and one must question the wisdom of Team Maverick in sending such a dull-witted third-rate flack onto national TV.

'Punished With a Baby'

From my latest American Spectator column:
WHEN MCCAIN FIRST announced the Alaska governor as his vice-presidential choice, it was seen as a high-stakes gamble -- as Kristol said Sunday on Fox, the GOP maverick went "all-in" and "doubled down" by picking a relative unknown.
It may yet prove a winning bet, especially if the Democrats overplay their hand. Liberal columnist Kirsten Powers has warned that Team Obama faces a trap if they attack Palin's inexperience or treat her with chauvinist condescension.
At this point, McCain and the Republicans cannot win by backing away from Palin. The choice of a running mate doesn't allow for second chances, as Democrat George McGovern discovered in 1972. Having made his bet, the maverick must play out the hand.
Beyond the gambling metaphors, however, lies a sobering reality. The presidency of the United States is at stake, and maunderings about the need to "respect...privacy" aren't likely to quell the uproar.
Please read the whole thing.

Monday, September 1, 2008

On sex and education

Ace notes that some people are trying to turn Bristol Palin's pregnancy into a conversation-starter on Sarah Palin's support for abstinence education (or opposition to "comprehensive" sex education, if we're going to get nuanced about it).

Nothing is more fixed in liberal ideology than the belief that "education" is the panacea for all social ills. Bill Buckley noted this obsession with education qua education more than a half-century ago in God and Man at Yale. And this obsession has only deepened in the intervening years, as schools seek to teach "awareness" of various trendy subjects -- global warming, poverty, violence, racism, etc.

If only we were sufficiently aware -- yea, enlightened! -- the liberals say, these problems would soon evaporate. Conservatives are skeptical, for where the liberal sees a deficit of knowledge, the conservative sees a deficit of virtue.

So it is with sex education. Liberals apparently assume that teenagers get pregnant or contract STDs because they lack knowledge. Teach them the Latin names for the various reproductive organs, explain to them the business of how sperm and ova combine to produce an embryo, show them how to put a condom on a banana and provide them with information about contraceptive methods and you will thereby solve all problems of adolescent sexuality.

The idiocy of this liberal concept is easily demonstrated. Let us merely ask this: Has there ever been an age in which accurate information about sexuality and reproduction is so readily available as in 2008?

No, never in all human history has it been easier for kids to get such information. A mere Google search would suffice and -- thank you, Al Gore! -- every school in the country is wired for the Internet.

Well, what do you suppose the kids are Googling for? Are they searching for contraceptive information or the symptoms of STDs? No, of course not. They'd downloading all the porn they can find. If the stuff's blocked on the school computers, they download it on their personal laptops, or even on their cell phones.

Teenagers have never had more knowledge of sex than they do today, and yet it can scarcely be argued that their sex lives are less troublesome than in the Dark Ages of the 1950s, when sexual ignorance reigned supreme.

The problem with sex is not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of virtue. There is no amount of "education" about sex that will suffice to make teenagers keep their britches on, unless that teaching aims to inculcate virtue.

Yet in a secular, sexualized society, Americans no longer agree on what constitutes virtue, and thus even if public schools aim to teach abstinence, they can only do so by emphasizing chastity as the safest option for avoiding disease and pregnancy. Any attempt to proclaim chastity a moral virtue in its own right would instantly be denounced as an unconstitutional abridgement of the "wall between church and state."

If the virgin is not praiseworthy, there is no honor in chastity. If the slut is not scorned, there is no dishonor in promiscuity. Excuse my judgmentalism, but sex education that can make no distinction between virtue and vice must ultimately be ineffective, insofar as the object is to teach kids to avoid vice and its unavoidable consequences.

There is no condom or contraceptive that is foolproof, and young people are often foolish. Nor are the potential harmful consequences of vice limited to disease and pregnancy. Not even an atheist would deny that sex has psychological consequences, which the believer would deem spiritual in nature.

As in so many other things, liberals have led America far down the wrong road when it comes to sex education. All any teenager really needs to know about sex that could be contained in a not-too-thick book, and if the schools were more successful in teaching reading, kids could walk into the nearest Barnes & Noble and get all the knowledge they need.

Why is it, after all, that liberals believe that schools that do such a lousy job of teaching reading, writing and arithmetic are competent to teach kids about sex? (Go purchase a box of condoms; illustrated instructions for proper usage are included. So why the need for condom-on-a-banana lessons?)

It is profoundly discouraging that, in the wake of the revelation of Bristol Palin's pregnancy, conservatives are mouthing liberal sentiments about nonjudgmentalism, or endorsing liberal ideas about sex education. I am certainly no intolerant prude, nor an idealistic naif, but it seems to me that it is profoundly misguided to attempt to make teenagers sophisticated about sex -- and what else is the object of sex education?

Inserting a penis into a vagina is not exactly rocket science, and human beings managed to procreate long before there were any books or classes on the subject. Thus, Bristol Palin's plight probably has no relevance at all to the effectiveness of any method of sex education, except to illustrate the emptiness of the liberal claim that "education," as such, has any utility in this regard.

Bristol Palin pregnant, mom says

Holy crap (or, as Allah says, "Oy"):
The 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, Palin said on Monday in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.
Bristol Palin, one of Alaska Gov. Palin's five children with her husband, Todd, is about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry the father, the Palins said in a statement released by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said.
"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us," the Palins' statement said.
"Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support," the Palins said.
UPDATE: OK, when in doubt, make a joke. Has Bristol ever been to Gloucester, Mass.? Because I'm thinking she'd fit right in. And as to facing "the responsibilities of adulthood," does she realize she's about this close to causing an Eagletonesque situation that might deliver the country to the tender mercies of Barack Obama?

Look, I've got all the sympathy in the world for young lovers, but great googly-mooglies, Bristol! What were you thinking? I'm going to bet that the father is every bit of 18 years old, and horribly unprepared for his own responsibilities.

I've said for a long time that it's not teenage motherhood that's the problem, but teenage fatherhood. Of course, the best strategy is to keep your britches on and avoid this kind of problem, but if you young girls are going to get yourself knocked up, at least have the good sense to get knocked up by a guy who's old enough to have a decent job.

< / stern fatherly lecture >

UPDATE II: In terms of the "responsibilities of adulthood," I suggest at the AmSpecBlog, Bristol and her boyfriend (the mysterious Levi) need to face a press conference.

UPDATE III: OK, let me be clear that it is not teen motherhood, but unwed motherhood that is the embarrassment here. I have in the past written about my favorite famous teenage mothers (Loretta Lynn and Margaret Beaufort) and also said, "God bless Jamie Lynn Spears!"

Whatever embarrassment there might have been in a hastily-arranged private wedding for Bristol Palin and her boyfriend Levi two or three months ago, would it have been worse than what they're facing now?

Christians need to be concerned about the trend of discouraging marriage in these Romeo-and-Juliet situations. I would call to their attention I Timothy 4, which warns against the "doctrines of devils ... forbidding to marry." Despite worries about the ability of teenage couples to make their way in the world, poverty is not a sin; fornication is.

UPDATE IV: Michelle Malkin recalls Barack Obama's notorious "punished with a baby" remark, and says the media should leave Bristol Palin alone. And I'd agree with that, if Bristol's actions had not caused such woes for her mother, for the Republican Party, and for America.

No, I think Bristol (and her boyfriend) ought to be willing to confront the consequences of their actions. They both certainly knew Sarah Palin was governor of Alaska, and that their affair would be an embarrassment. To plead "privacy" in such a situation simply won't do.

Perhaps I'm so thick-skinned about this because I've got three teenagers (19-year-old daughter and twin 15-year-old boys) and know exactly what I'd expect of them in such a situation. It is not too much for parents to ask that their teenage kids keep their britches on, especially when one of the parents is a public official who might be ruined by such a scandal.

UPDATE V: Little Miss Attila refers to the press as "jackals" and "bottom-feeders." Hey, it's their job, OK? By this time tomorrow, you'll have Levi's full name and biography, you'll know how he met Bristol, etc., etc. You'll read it. You may feel guilty about reading it, but you'll read every word of it.

Will you be grateful to the reporters who dug up those facts? No. Some poor shmuck of a reporter is even now knocking on doors in Alaska, getting rude responses and threatening gestures, in order to satisfy your pathological curiosity, and you diss him as a "jackal." Fine. Don't read the story when Drudge puts a siren on it tomorrow.

But you will read it, won't you? So, who's really the bottom-feeding jackal here?