It was a year ago yesterday that John McCain announced his running mate and candidate for Vice President of these United States. And while driving to work, listening to her speech in my car, I actually said, aloud: "Who the FUCK is Sarah Palin?!"
That phrase was a very popular Google Search in the days that followed. She has since quit being Governor of Alaska after 2.5 years of service, and now still makes the news because of updates on her facebook page in an apparent effort to win the Presidency in 2012. Seriously. In '06, I signed a 50-month car loan. If only I could fail upwards like good ole Sarah and just up and quit paying my bills; and instead of having them repossess my car, I could look forward to the bank mailing me a check free and clear for the amount of debt I currently possessed on the loan.
Mostly via Sullivan, the internet's reaction 365 days ago:
Dan Gersten, NY Daily News:
In picking an unknown, untested, half-a-term woman governor from Alaska to be his running mate, John McCain is following in a long line of reckless men who have rolled the dice for a beauty queen. Except in this case, McCain is taking one of the biggest, boldest gambles in modern American political history.
He's betting his presidency on a naked political play for holdout Hillary supporters and other female swing voters - and hoping that a large share of these predominantly pro-choice women will ignore or overlook Palin's staunch pro-life, anti-stem cell views.
But that's just the better half of it. McCain will now have to pull off a grand slam of cognitive dissonance - trying to discredit Barack Obama as unready to be Commander in Chief while trying to pawn off the least qualified candidate put on a national ticket in our lifetime as the second best choice to lead the most powerful nation in the world.
LIBERAL HACK David Frum:
The longer I think about it, the less well this selection sits with me. And I increasingly doubt that it will prove good politics. The Palin choice looks cynical. The wires are showing.
John McCain wanted a woman: good.
He wanted to keep conservatives and pro-lifers happy: naturally.
He wanted someone who looked young and dynamic: smart.
And he discovered that he could not reconcile all these imperatives with the stated goal of finding a running mate qualified to assume the duties of the presidency "on day one."
Sarah Palin may well have concealed inner reservoirs of greatness. I hope so! But I'd guess that John McCain does not have a much better sense of who she is, what she believes, and the extent of her abilities than my enthusiastic friends over at the Corner. It's a wild gamble, undertaken by our oldest ever first-time candidate for president in hopes of changing the board of this election campaign. Maybe it will work. But maybe (and at least as likely) it will reinforce a theme that I'd be pounding home if I were the Obama campaign: that it's John McCain for all his white hair who represents the risky choice, while it is Barack Obama who offers cautious, steady, predictable governance.
Here's I fear the worst harm that may be done by this selection. The McCain campaign's slogan is "country first." It's a good slogan, and it aptly describes John McCain, one of the most self-sacrificing, gallant, and honorable men ever to seek the presidency.
But question: If it were your decision, and you were putting your country first, would you put an untested small-town mayor a heartbeat away from the presidency?
And then there is Andrew's initial attraction followed quickly by his deconversion to Palin-based conservatism:
08/29/2008, 10:53 EST:
If McCain's entire argument so far has been that Obama is too untested to be president, then how can he pick a 44-year-old first-term governor of a state with 600,000 people with no foreign policy experience whatsoever?
What this means, it seems to me, is that McCain has decided he cannot win without Clinton Democrats, and this is his attempt to win them over. He has decided that he cannot win on the experience card, so he is trying to pick the change card. Palin's record on climate change is certainly impressive - and she seems a charming, capable person. She is certainly a different kind of pick for a Southern-based GOP. But McCain will be the oldest first term president in history with a history of health concerns. If America is concerned that Obama isn't ready, how could anyone say Palin is?
08/29/2008, 13:40 EST:
Not Your Traditional Republican
She named two daughters after television witches, and smoked pot when it was legal in Alaska, and inhaled. She's also very gay-friendly. It makes me like her. I'm not so sure how the most devout in the base will respond. Her Down Syndrome baby will help, I'm sure - and her decision to bring him into the world is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
08/29/2008, 22:05 EST:
A Dish reader throws some cold water on Sully's idealism:
A reader writes:It is SO over for McCain.
He just jumped the shark so badly I'm surprised he didn't choose Tom Cruise instead.
Once the Republican talk-radio/chattering classes are finished acting happy, reality will sink in.
The Republicans that will be happy about this are the ones that have now become as disconnected from the average America as the Elite East Coast Democrats they despise (Hewitt, Limbaugh, Dobson, Hannity). They are reading America wrong and McCain is following them into the abyss.
The average Hillary voter would never support a woman like Palin. They are anathema to each other. And the average middle-class Mom is going to say, "What's a woman with children that young (and one with Down-syndrome) doing thinking that she can leave them everyday to be a Vice-President or possibly President?" Yes, she's a governor of sparsely populated Alaska now, but to be the 2nd most important person in the United States in our post-911 world is not the place for a very nice, young mother.
McCain was suffering an enthusiasm deficit before, and once the initial hype passes, the silence will be deafening. I predict a blow-out now. Gravitas was McCain's strongest asset and by choosing Harriet Myers Jr., he took the Rovian gambit too far. This will only mobilize and excite conservatives who already loathed Obama from the beginning. And even then, they will just be hiding their disappointment.
Who knows? History is rarely this smooth.
08/29/08, 22:43 EST:
His inbox must be hitting home, because he has composed and is posting a devastating react to the latest news. Only 40 minutes after Palin almost wins Gay British Conservative Intellectual Andrew Sullivan, she loses him completely, and thus, from this point forward, she is done:
Think about what the Palin pick really says about how McCain views this campaign and how he views his potential responsibilities in national security.
Think about what it says about the sincerity of McCain's own central criticism of Obama these past two months in foreign affairs.
Think about how he picked a woman to be a heartbeat away from a war presidency who hadn't even thought much, by her own admission, about the Iraq war as late as 2007.
Think about how he made this decision barely knowing the woman.
Think about the fact that the most McCain could say about his potential war-time vice-president in foreign affairs and national security when selecting her is that she commanded Alaska's National Guard as governor and has a son in the military.
Think about the men and women serving this country who have every right to trust that their potential commander-in-chief, whatever their party, would have some record of even interest in foreign policy before assuming office.
Think about how the key factor in this decision was not who could defend this country were something dreadful happen to McCain in office but how to tread as much on Obama's convention bounce and use women's equality as a wedge issue among Democrats because it might secure a few points here or there. Oh, and everyone would be surprised. And even Rove would be annoyed.
This is his sense of honor and judgment. This is his sense of responsibility and service.
Here's the real slogan the McCain campaign should now adopt:
Putting. Country. Last.
08/30/08, 12:10 EST:
A Dish Reader does a postmortem, less than 24 hours after McCain has announced his VP:
I had been reluctant to acknowledge how flawed and dead the conservative movement has become; that's over now. No more excuses, no more clinging to old visions of rational discourse and principled debate. I really have witnessed the death of conservatism and its replacement by a kind of toxic babbitry which would be merely laughable or cringeworthy if it were not also so extraordinarily dangerous.
This election year has been a series of revelations and disillusionments--the crudely ugly tactics of Limbaugh and Hannity (and--worse--their embrace by Buckley's heirs at National Review), the thinly-veiled racism and nativism of the campaign against Obama, the transparently cruel and God-hating ideology of movement Christians; but--even though dismayed by McCain's bizarre campaign--I had retained some illusions as recently as this morning. I believed McCain to be at least a patriot, sincerely concerned with issues of national security.
His nomination of Sarah Palin ended that illusion, too.
No remotely serious politician--no honest patriot--would think of placing this individual a heartbeat away from the Oval Office, however admirable she may be, however lively her biography.
Moreover, the elation on the right regarding Palin's nomination made clear to me that none of them has ever been remotely serious about national security, either. On the contrary, as the left has insisted for years, for them it really has all been about political advantage, noise and bluster and ugliness with no core of principle, no genuine strategic commitment.
The very same people who, only yesterday, insisted that Obama's resume was too dangerously thin to entrust him with the oversight of our national security, today are celebrating Palin's accession as a triumph for conservatism (evidently this is because she is hostile to both abortion and polar bears). Their hypocrisy is staggering--they truly do believe in nothing but their own entitlement to power by any means.
And I'm very much afraid I must conclude this is as true of McCain as it is of his ghastly cheerleaders, the Limbaughs and the Hannitys. Nothing else could explain the elevation of a woman so singularly unqualified in every aspect save gender.
In September 2008, Sullivan appears on Real Time with Bill Maher, and causes a stink.
07/07/09: A compilation is put together of over 30 instances of Palin lying out of her ass, most of them anecdotes which create a psych profile of an unstable personality with a disposition favorable to compulsive lying. Posted here in full, but the proof is in the links (aka even the McCain campaign knew she was full of shit):
A couple of months ago, I asked an intern to re-fact-check all of them to make sure new details hadn't emerged that might debunk some. And I also asked to get any subsequent statements by Palin that acknowledged that she had erred in any of these statements that are easily rebuttable by facts in the public record and apologized and corrected. She has not. Since this was a vast project over the last ten months, it's possible there are some nuances or errors that need fixing. Please tell us if you find one and we'll acknowledge and fix. But it has been put through the ringer a few times.
After you have read these, ask yourself: what wouldn't Sarah Palin lie about if she felt she had to?Palin lied when she said the dismissal of her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, had nothing to do with his refusal to fire state trooper Mike Wooten; in fact, the Branchflower Report concluded that she repeatedly abused her power when dealing with both men.
Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed to have said, "Thanks, but no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere; in fact, she openly campaigned for the federal project when running for governor.
Palin lied when she denied that Wasilla's police chief and librarian had been fired; in fact, both were given letters of termination the previous day.
Palin lied when she wrote in the NYT that a comprehensive review by Alaska wildlife officials showed that polar bears were not endangered; in fact, email correspondence between those scientists showed the opposite.
Palin lied when she claimed in her convention speech that an oil gas pipeline "began" under her guidance; in fact, the pipeline was years from breaking ground, if at all.
Palin lied when she told Charlie Gibson that she does not pass judgment on gay people; in fact, she opposes all rights between gay spouses and belongs to a church that promotes conversion therapy.
Palin lied when she denied having said that humans do not contribute to climate change; in fact, she had previously proclaimed that human activity was not to blame.
Palin lied when she claimed that Alaska produces 20 percent of the country's domestic energy supply; in fact, the actual figures, based on any interpretation of her words, are much, much lower.
Palin lied when she told voters she improvised her convention speech when her teleprompter stopped working properly; in fact, all reports showed that the machine had functioned perfectly and that her speech had closely followed the script.
Palin lied when she recalled asking her daughters to vote on whether she should accept the VP offer; in fact, her story contradicts details given by her husband, the McCain campaign, and even Palin herself. (She later added another version.)
Palin lied when she claimed to have taken a voluntary pay cut as mayor; in fact, as councilmember she had voted against a raise for the mayor, but subsequent raises had taken effect by the time she was mayor.
Palin lied when she insisted that Wooten's divorce proceedings had caused his confidential records to become public; in fact, court officials confirmed they released no such records.
Palin lied when she suggested to Katie Couric that she was involved in trade missions with Russia; in fact, she has never even met with Russian officials.
Palin lied when she told Shimon Peres that the only flag in her office was the Israeli flag; in fact, she has several flags.
Palin lied when she claimed to have tried to divest government funds from Sudan; in fact, her administration openly opposed a bill that would have done just that.
Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed that troop levels in Iraq were back to pre-surge levels; in fact, even she acknowledged her "misstatements," though she refused to retract or apologize.
Palin lied when she insisted that the Branchflower Report "showed there was no unlawful or unethical activity on my part"; in fact, that report prominently stated, "Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act."
Palin lied when she claimed to have voiced concerns over Wooten fearing he would harm her family; in fact, she actually decreased her security detail during that period.
Palin lied when asked about the $150,000 worth of clothes provided by the RNC; in fact, solid reporting contradicted several parts of her statement.
Palin lied when she suggested that she had offered the media proof of her pregnancy with Trig to "correct the record"; in fact, no reports of her medical records were ever published; and the letter from her doctor testifying to her good health only emerged hours before polling ended on election day, even though there was nothing in it that couldn't have been released two months earlier.
Palin lied when she said that "reported" allegations of her banning Harry Potter as mayor was easily refutable because it had not even been written yet; in fact, the first book in that series was published in 1998 - two years into her first term - and such rumors were never reported by the media, only circulated as emails.
Palin lied when she denied having participated in a clothes audit with campaign laywers; in fact, the Washington Times later confirmed those details.
Palin lied when asked about Couric's question regarding her reading habits; in fact, Couric's words were not, "What do you read up there in Alaska?" or anything close to condescension.
Palin lied when she mischaracterized the "$1200 check" given to Alaskans as the permanent fund dividend check; in fact, that fund had yielded $2,069 per person, and she claimed otherwise to obscure the fact that Alaskans also received a $1200 rebate check from a windfall profits tax on oil companies - a tax widely criticized by Republicans.
Palin lied when she claimed to be unaware of a turkey being slaughtered behind her during a filmed interview; in fact, the cameraman said she had picked the spot herself, while the slaughter was underway.
Palin lied when she denied having rejected federal stimulus money; in fact, she continued to accept and reject the funds several times.
Palin lied when she claimed that legislative leaders had canceled a meeting with her to hold their own press conference; in fact, they only canceled it after being told she would not participate, and the purpose of the press conference was very different from the meeting's.
Palin lied when she announced on the news that she never holds closed-door meetings; in fact, she had just attended a closed-door meeting with the legislature earlier that day.
Palin lied when she said that former aide John Bitney's "amicable" departure was for "personal" reasons; in fact, Bitney said he was fired because of his relationship with the wife of Palin's friend, plus a Palin spokesperson later claimed "poor job performance" for his firing - without elaborating.
Palin lied when she said she kept her running injury a secret on the campaign trail; in fact, her bandaged hand was clearly visible in photographs and the story was widely talked about.
Palin lied when she claimed that Alaska has spent "millions of dollars" on litigation related to her ethics complaints; in fact, that figure is much, much lower, and she had initiated the most expensive inquiry.
Palin lied when she denied that the Alaska Independence Party supports secession and denied that her husband had been a member; in fact, even the McCain campaign noted that the party's very existence is based on secession and that Todd was a member for seven years.
Happy Sarah Palin Day!
For no reason whatsoever related to the content posted above, I feel compelled to post a video of Goldfinger's song FTN.
She likes to eat dead cow
She thinks its cool to wear eyelashes of dead foxes
Cuz she thinks it hides the pounds
Shes a bitch!