Sunday, 7 September 2008

Nick Cohen: When Barack's berserkers lost the plot

My colleagues in the American liberal press had little to fear at the start of the week. Their charismatic candidate was ahead in virtually every poll. George W Bush was so unpopular that conservatives were scrambling around for reasons not to invite the Republican President to the Republican convention. Democrats had only to maintain their composure and the White House would be theirs. During the 1997 British general election, the late Lord Jenkins said that Tony Blair was like a man walking down a shiny corridor carrying a precious vase. He was the favourite and held his fate in his hands. If he could just reach the end of the hall without a slip, a Labour victory was assured. The same could have been said of the American Democrats last week. But instead of protecting their precious advantage, they succumbed to a spasm of hatred and threw the vase, the crockery, the cutlery and the kitchen sink at an obscure politician from Alaska.
Read the rest.

It doesn't take much for the visceral hatred on the left to bubble to the surface and then the bitching and the smearing starts. As Charles Johnson puts it, partly thanks to the leftist attack dogs, Sarah Palin is now more popular than McCain or Obama.

25 comments:

alison said...

What leftist attack dogs? I don't get the craziness on both sides over this woman. She made one speech which told us nothing about her policies and that's it. They are entitled to judge her moralilty since that is all they have to go on and was no 1 on her CV as to why the Right sough her out (to appease the religious right). Do you suppose the Right would have let a 16 year old pregnant daughter in the Obama family campaign slip by unnoticed? His wife's remarks have rightly been pulled to pieces by the Right.

JuliaM said...

"What leftist attack dogs? "

The ones claiming she's an 'inauthentic woman', she should 'stay home for the sake of her kids', that she's 'covered up a previous prgnancy by her daughter and passed off the kid as hers'....

I could go on, but these are all things that, if used by the Right against a Democrat, would have the vagina warrior womyn shrieking like banshees.

marvin said...

There has been a sustained campaign against Palin, this has mostly consisted of unsubstantiated rumours being spread.

A blogger has kept a tab, currently at 69 rumours

Hearsay is touted as 100% fact by some on the left like that infuriating Wonkette

Not to mention the inevitable slew of vile sexism that the left seems particularly good at.

I'm all for challenging Palin on her any of her more backwards view points, but this personal bitching works against the Obama campaign.

Palin should be challenged on her view points, but nasty tactics by the opposition are only likely to work in her favour.

To his credit, Obama himself has denounced these tactics a week ago

alison said...

There has also been a sustained campaign of total hypocrisy by the Right on this issue (see my blog for the Daily Show's slam dunk).

Out of interest I've followed the US feminist blogs closely and ALL have acknowledged her running, defend her choices but disagree with her politics. What is wrong with that? She will not represent choice for women as VP on one of the most fundamental rights issues so why should any of these groups endorse her? That would make zero sense.

But then Palin using pro choice language over her daughter's pregnancy, running on an anti choice platform, and endorsing absitnence only education makes zero sense.

As for the gossipy crap. That's US politics. It was equally pathetic against Hillary and given this VP offered us nothing but her family as credentials it is not even that surprising.

Tune in next week when the right will now be endorsing the choices of one Rachida Dati!

Tu S.Tin said...

this is just a simple link ...
http://tinyurl.com/5pbj23
I'm sorry I can't put a good picture together for her at all or as to why she was chosen...
not one!
nothing even on wikipedia .. not any were, that makes her look qualified for any thing but popularity.
The marketing strategy of the republicans here is out right blatant! not only that but she is directly involved in alaskan oil...

JuliaM said...

"Out of interest I've followed the US feminist blogs closely and ALL have acknowledged her running, defend her choices but disagree with her politics."

Nope, they've done more, much more than that...

"She will not represent choice for women as VP..."

There are far, far more issues at stake than just abortion rights.

The fact that so many screaming, hysterical ninnies think that it's the be-all-and-end-all of politics allows and encourages the 'vile sexism' that Marvin refers to.

"given this VP offered us nothing but her family as credentials"

You mean, she's not governor of a large, resource-rich state? Fancy...

"nothing even on wikipedia"

Oh noes! How can we make a decision, if even Wikipedia has no 'facts'...;)

Hint: read a little wider.

alison said...

Neither can I Tu. But it's refreshing to see the Republicans getting on board with playing gender cards when it's required.

"There are far, far more issues at stake than just abortion rights."

Let's be quite clear. She was selected because she was an attractive woman with the christian right and after Hillary's pioneering run it is the only option for the GOP to appear to offer change. There were two male candidates with greater credentials and experience passed over.

It is ludicrous for self declared free choice feminists or hysterical ninnies however it is useful to view them, to support someone who does not. There is no more specific an issue than abortion rights when one party makes it clear it's intention to repeal RvW, constantly threatens on that issue to appeal to the Christian Right and thus threatens blanket choice for all American women.

There is no reason why a woman cannot make it all the way to the top in America. No legal impediment. So in effect it is the only issue on the agenda that tinkers with and threatens their ability to make any choices. It is billed by the Republicans. Of course feminists should be all over that. It would be remiss if they were not.

What is that site you linked to btw? Feminism to me merely represents free choices. Noone has to follow lockstep with the extremes of any philosophy.

Hint: read a little wider! There are a slew of sites endorsing the fact her daughter had a choice over her pregnancy and condemning people who think working mothers are evil and not just focusing on some mindless gossip about the woman. The US is chock full of feminist sites because feminism there, is a political voting issue out of necessity.

What has she demonstrated? Her mothering skills? So what. Millions of women in much less privileged positions do that stuff every single day and work their asses off to support kids with no supportive families and much greater obstacles to their paths. And a man wouldn't roll his family across the stage and offer up little else.

Thatcher made it to the top in the 70s and was an excellent wife and mother. She didn't need to trot out each family member at the Tory Party conference because she had actual policies and actual credentials. She also managed to keep out of people's personal lives by voting in favour of liberal abortion and divorce laws.

The woman is merely Saint Sarah to the Obamessiah! Til she starts debating properly there is little else to go on. I do not get the thrall.

Gossip, hypocrisy, sexism and stupidity is not the preserve of either camp and gets dished out in bucketloads by both sides when it suits.

The moral finger wagging, religiousity steeped, curtain twitching choice-repealing Republicans gushing over a mother rejecting traditional womanly duties, with a pregnant teen daughter and lauding her choice to continue the pregancy to boot, is too too delicious.

JuliaM said...

"There were two male candidates with greater credentials and experience passed over."

Those two male candidates being no counter to McCain's supposed weakness with the Republican base. It helps to have at least one person on the ticket who speaks to the values of the party they stand to represent ... ;)

"There is no more specific an issue than abortion rights..."

Carry on thinking with that part of your anatomy, and be doomed to be regarded as no more than a mere female, getting hysterical about 'female things', while the men have to take on board the serious issues. Well done! That's progress...

"What is that site you linked to btw?"

Hint - put your cursor over it and click the left button. It'll take you there, and you can decide for yourself.

It's not porn, or a fishing site, it's simply a blog.

"Feminism to me merely represents free choices. Noone has to follow lockstep with the extremes of any philosophy."

That's nice. That's your definition of feminism. It certainly isn't the definition of many of the feminist blogs that have commented on the Palin saga (Shakespeare's Sister being the only one I've browsed that has had the good sense to rise above the viciousness).

"...a man wouldn't roll his family across the stage and offer up little else. "

Obama has. Oh, no wait. Michelle offered so much, didn't she? ;)

"The moral finger wagging, religiousity steeped, curtain twitching choice-repealing Republicans..."

You mean, the ones that exist in your head?

Tu S.Tin said...

Julia,
if you notice I said not "even " wikipedia ... that clearly means I did look else where .... just your saying that makes me think you don't pay attention very well and the "read a little further"? ...hint.... don't assume! What I did do is use wiki as a tool, and found some good fundamental information to start from, which is easy to check into further. Like her background out side the obvious, and what she has done while in office. She has a degree in journalism, worked as a school teacher, was mayor of a tiny town, where she fired people for nothing but disagreeing with her. A lot of her political decisions are Alaskan unique ... maybe she has no idea how the outside world works... even then, some of the solutions to problems she came up with weren't all that smart! and were quickly overturned. there is praise for her stopping the government building of some bridge, but nothing offered of what she then used the money given for it (which was kept anyway)
Alaska is the largest state, the most isolated, and the least populated ... I'm not looking for all her faults .. but what I can not find is proof of any changes she has made for the better, so its kind a funny she was once miss congeniality, cause thats all she seems to be still.
If anything she makes me even more less supportive of the republicans.
She is small town NRA member, union supporting, Christian! and pushes her party into the far right position!
I don't think she was chosen just for being a woman, but if she wasn't would it be making such a headline? she is not the first woman in US politics, nor is she the first female to hold the VP ticket , so I don't see how hillary did anything.
honestly I don't care about what goes on in her family .. her daughter being pregnant or whatever ... but on thing I don't like is that she said her teen daughter will marry the babies father. So as a show for anti sexist anything by her nomination is rather a crazy idea ... since she herself almost represents sexist principles in the guise of morals. and still nothing of her role in oil.
Yes alaska is a resource rich state... one she has done nothing to protect but use as she likes.
This election has done everything possible to drive a wedge even further in this country! I fear no matter who wins now... anger will rule!

JuliaM said...

"where she fired people for nothing but disagreeing with her."

Fact? Or your opinion? Let's see a link to the story.

"A lot of her political decisions are Alaskan unique ... maybe she has no idea how the outside world works"

Maybe she doesn't. Maybe she does. Come up with something concrete.

"Alaska is the largest state, the most isolated, and the least populated"

Yeah, yeah, we've heard the 'they're all ignorant rednecks' slur. It's not working. Change the record.

"If anything she makes me even more less supportive of the republicans."

I expect they'll learn to live with the disappointment.

"She is small town NRA member, union supporting, Christian"

You mean, just like an awful lot of people in what the metropolitan elite like to brand 'flyover country'? Well, yes. You see that as a bad thing. They'll see it as nothing remarkable. ;)

"on thing I don't like is that she said her teen daughter will marry the babies father."

Why? Is marriage bad, or something?

All I can see from this whole kerfuffle is how so many 'liberals' (in the US sense of the word) are now running scared. And how much they'd invested in the selling of the image of Obama.

BenSix said...

There's no doubt that Sarah Palin is a gifted politician, but the decision was cynical nonetheless.

Can anyone dispute that her adopted "hockey mom" persona has not been a stick with which to beat these mysterious "liberal elites"? After all, McCain has had to create the facade of a "status quo" in order for voters to ignore that his Party, with his help, has been wrecking their country for eight years.

Not to mention the inevitable slew of vile sexism that the left seems particularly good at.

Jon Stewart has put together a a useful summarium of hypocrisy, including Karl Rove praising her credentials - after saying that, had Obama picked a more experienced candidate for his VP, it would have been "an intensely political choice" - and Dick Morris criticising "deep sexism" after mocking Hilary for being frightened of "the big boys".

Not that Alan Colmes and Bill Maher haven't been irritating, I should add, but the former has to compete with Hannity in the dickish stakes and that must be tough.

"The fact that so many screaming, hysterical ninnies think that it's the be-all-and-end-all of politics"

They tend to lump it under that collection of "civil liberties" that everybody seems so fond of.

"You mean, just like an awful lot of people in what the metropolitan elite like to brand 'flyover country'?"

What constitutes a "metropolitan elite"? For a cabal, it sounds fairly sinister.

"Fact? Or your opinion? Let's see a link to the story."

As Mayor of Wasilla she attempted to have a number of books removed from the library "because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them". Presumably as a result of this, she fired the librarian as she didn't feel that she had her "full support". However, protests from citizens forced her to backtrack.

Ben

JuliaM said...

"Can anyone dispute that her adopted "hockey mom" persona has not been a stick with which to beat these mysterious "liberal elites"?"

There's the thing, though. It doesn't appear to be an 'adopted persona'. She comes across as genuine.

"Dick Morris criticising "deep sexism" after mocking Hilary for being frightened of "the big boys"."

Ah, yes. But only to be expected of those vile mysoginistic Republicans.

Not so expected from the female commentators and bloggers on the feminist side who screech like goosed banshees at any imaginary sexism, then trot out heaps for any female who kicks over the traces and fails to toe the party line...

"What constitutes a "metropolitan elite"?"

No need to be coy. We both know who we're talking about here...

"As Mayor of Wasilla she..."

So, she attempted to do as some of her constituents wished, and found that more of the others disagreed, and she was given a valuable lesson in how the law works? Shocking..

Really, really gonna have to do better than that.

BenSix said...

There's the thing, though. It doesn't appear to be an 'adopted persona'. She comes across as genuine.

Well, that's essentially subjective.

From the patronising Giuliani posturing about "cosmopolitan"'isms - thank Christ he didn't win - to the incessant maundering about "hockey moms", I think that they're trying to appeal to "small town" voters with platitudes instead of policy.

What unique qualities or credentials does Palin add to McCain's campaign except symbolic value? She didn't know herself about a month ago.

No need to be coy. We both know who we're talking about here...

I'm serious. Both Dominic Lawson and Librullssss I hatesss them groan on about the 'angry left', but between them they cite one commentator: Rod bleedin' Liddle.

So far the Metropolitan elite consists of him, Bill Maher, Andrew Sullivan, Dr Laura Schlessinger and a few froth-mouthed diarists at the Daily Kos.

"then trot out heaps for any female who kicks over the traces and fails to toe the party line..."

I don't think that they're too fond of 'pro-life' male politicians, either. The party line comes in at a distant second place to their liberty.

"So, she attempted to do as some of her constituents wished, and found that more of the others disagreed, and she was given a valuable lesson in how the law works? Shocking.."

Well, it's nothing to create a colourful banner over.

Doesn't bode well for her civil liberties views, though. Appeasing an undisclosed number of citizens that were so outraged by books they didn't have to read that they demanded the removal of the right of others to read them.

Really, really gonna have to do better than that.

Hey, you asked for a link.

Ben

marvin said...

BenSix; from the Palin Rumours Explored page

yes, she did ask the librarian if some books could be withdrawn because of being offensive; no, they couldn’t; yes, it was “rhetorical”, at least as was reported contemporaneously in 1996[1] ; yes she did threaten to fire the librarian a month later; no, that wasn’t over the books thing but instead over administrative issues; no, the librarian wasn’t fired either; yes, the librarian was a big supporter of one of her political opponents; yes, the librarian was also the girlfriend of the Chief of police mentioned above; no, this is not the first time in the history of civilization that someone has been threatened with being fired over a political dispute

marvin said...

BenSix, I don't doubt that pretty much all politicians use their powers or influence in ways they probably shouldn't. I hardly think the Library thing is a scandal.

There's questions of conduct for Obama and associates too. It's just barely covered by the media, that's all -- well in comparison to Sarah Palin, it seems.

Obama and Rezko

Obama donor received a state grant

Obama pastor resurfaces to reignite race row

I think the real point is, we want real people in power, real people occasionally do make bad judgement calls. I think Obama made an especially bad judgment call by defending his odd-ball pastor who praised the crazy racist Louis Farrakhan for as long as he did.

I really think the debate should be about the issues and not constantly trying to 'dig the dirt'.

JuliaM said...

"So far the Metropolitan elite consists of him, Bill Maher, Andrew Sullivan, Dr Laura Schlessinger and a few froth-mouthed diarists at the Daily Kos."

Plus pretty much all the MSM, and the feminist bloggers (Sharkespeare's Sister being an honourable exception, though I haven't checked in today...:)

"Hey, you asked for a link."

I did. But I expected, you know, a valid one...

It's rather like all the left wingers who constantly deride George Bush as a dumb chimp, then explain the failure of their candidates, plans and policies to the devilish cunning of George Bush. I mean, huh..?

BenSix said...

No link to the "administrative claim and then they go on to make the admission of a "political dispute"?

Anyway, I do agree that perceived scandals are overemphasised. I oppose McCain on his policies, advisers, record and rhetoric.

"Plus pretty much all the MSM"

Discounting Hannity, Savage, Beck, Hewitt, O'Reilly, Limbaugh and so on. The New York Post came out in support of McCain two bleedin' months before the elections.

"and the feminist bloggers "

Well, they mostly support Obama but McCainiacs - his term - include LGF, Malkin, most of Pajamas Media and Instapundit, all of whom are Chinas to feminist Liechtenstein .

Tu S.Tin said...

julia
if anything anyone says is just going to be shouted down .. what is the point of it all?
I do understand how things work you know. You respond very aggressively and I am sick of arguing.


Fact? Or your opinion? Let's see a link to the story


find your own links! I did read several Alaskan papers on all the drama and thats just what it turns into ... drama. So who the hell knows what really goes on, But what do you suggest we do? ignore the actions of all politicians and follow blindly?

Maybe she doesn't. Maybe she does. Come up with something concrete.

exactly! and I think that is a pretty solid question to consider!

Yeah, yeah, we've heard the 'they're all ignorant rednecks' slur. It's not working. Change the record.

where did I say "ignorant redneck"?
but I'm glad to see all your years of living in small town American has allowed you to remain so bias in your opinions.

I expect they'll learn to live with the disappointment.

yep! I'm sure they will too ... just like they get over everyone else who wonders what they are doing at times and don't feel any need at all to explain themselves... oh wait, that could be why we are now in such a heated election process...
If you are such a political expert ... please show me how the republicans have not just become a far right party. and I mean that sincerely! as its sometimes good to have someone not so directly involved give input.

You mean, just like an awful lot of people in what the metropolitan elite like to brand 'flyover country'? Well, yes. You see that as a bad thing. They'll see it as nothing remarkable. ;)

sigh... so what is this like a class battle? which group do I side with? since I am personally - neither and both! It doesn't take a genius to realize there are 2 americas .. more than 2 really, is one more real than the other? how do we as a country consider our self defenders of the universe - spreaders of freedom -blah blah ... and haven't even figured out to get along or work things out at home? Our very motto was once "united we stand - divided we fall!"
tell me we are not divided!...

I am not sure what you mean by liberal, or running scared? I am currently dead center and have never been invested in the selling of any image! If people are not "right" it does not in any way make them part of the "left" .....
Don't insult me! I have every right and reason to be concerned,cautious even afraid!

like marvin said ...
I really think the debate should be about the issues and not constantly trying to 'dig the dirt'

I do not think one word I have said has been dirt ... honestly I don't give a shit about her personal life, but if everything I've offered is to be brushed off as mere opinion or mud slinging how do you find out what the issues actually are and where she or anyone stands on anything?
I think no one is perfect, I know people make and learn from mistakes ... I don't always agree .. but what I do feel is a more center approach would be a very good idea right now, if only for a much needed break from the way things have been being done .. and for lots of reason that are not just based on my own opinion!
This is the first election I have realized it is a party running for presidential power ... not a person . How many years for republicans now? Is US politics becoming some sort of dictatorship?
when even to consider another party and their ideas is labeled unamerican?

JuliaM said...

tu s.tin: "if anything anyone says is just going to be shouted down .. what is the point of it all?"

'Shouted down'? Geez, that's the second time I've seen this phrase on a blog this week, there must be a 'Debating for Dummies' book out there or something...

Firstly: How exactly is anyone 'shouted down' on a blog? Your comments are still there for all the world to see, look. No-one's erased them.

Secondly: 'Shouted down' seems to be, in your mind, the equivalent to 'asked to back up my claims with links'. Oh noes! Facts! Keep them away, keep them awaaaaaayyyy!

"You respond very aggressively..."

Oh, I'll call you a whaaaaaambulance, then, ok?

You'll note no profanity or threats in my posts, so quit whining. If you can't back up your assumption, expect to be called on it.

"please show me how the republicans have not just become a far right party"

If you think the current bunch of Republicans are 'far right', well, words fail me...

"How many years for republicans now? Is US politics becoming some sort of dictatorship?"

Eight. And as far as I'm aware, the US elections are free. If the public wish another Republican, they'll vote for them.

You may want to look up the word 'dictatorship'. It doesn't mean what you seem to think it means. But here's a tip: better not look it up in the same dictionery you used for the term 'shouted down', because it seems to be a defective copy...

Tu S.Tin said...

haha julia!
Im American!... Im sorry you don't understand the way I phrase things, the words I use, and how they are meant .
Sorry we aren't big on "debate" either ......... which we tend to refer to as "arguing".
Forgive too, that you do not know me, and for having thoughts, or questions at all! or for not caring what you think the term "shouted down" means to me.
No need to call a whaaaaaambulance either, but thank you :)
just like the republicans, I will get over the lack of thoughtful input you have offered, I don't think it's words that fail you, just productive ones. in this conversation at least.

JuliaM said...

"Im American!"

No need to sound defensive. I assumed you were stupid because of the comments you left, not because I subscribe to the popular notion that Americans are dumb. ;)

"Im sorry you don't understand the way I phrase things, the words I use, and how they are meant ."

Words and phrases like 'dictatorship' and 'shouted down' have specific meaning.

Unlike Humpty Dumpty, you don't get to decide that they mean just what you want them to mean.

"I will get over the lack of thoughtful input you have offered"

Aww, I'll try to get over the disappointment I might start to feel. Any....minute...now.

Tu S.Tin said...

haha..
I think the only thing anyone can say to all that is..
I know you are but what am I

JuliaM said...

Hush, child. Adults are discussing important matters...

Tu S.Tin said...

well now that you have realized that, maybe you will join the adults and actually have a conversation.
The only thing I will assume today is that you are smarter than me, why else would you put on such a show here in my honor and for the rest of the class to read.
For the third time ... we should be focused on issues ...
I (according to you) am wrong in my opinion of this now being a far right ticket.... and you also seem to be a dictionary expert ... so why don't we start with what the correct definition of the American right is exactly!
After watching the Palin interviews , and looking around at various opinions on it ..... I am only more disturbed by how this whole election has been run / covered by the media and how people watch and react to it all. Which was I think the point of this post to begin with!!
I have already stated my center position, and lean towards Obama cause I have actually listened to what he has had to say ... I am now putting an honest effort in giving the opposite side the same opportunity with equal respect ..
If I assume from you're comments you are supporting MacCain, and that you really do know everything , then I am still waiting for real answers to be given ... you are very good at cheeky honey, but can you back it up?

JuliaM said...

"If I assume from you're comments you are supporting MacCain..."

Little good my support would do him, since I'm only eligable to vote in my own country...

"you are very good at cheeky honey"

I'd take that as praise, but since you don't seem to be very good at it yourself, how would you be able to judge..?

"I am still waiting for real answers"

To what..?