Tag Archives: Sarah Palin

What Bill Ayers Tells Us about John McCain (revised)

Today at a Colorado fundraiser, Sarah Palin accused Barack Obama of hanging out with terrorists.

“Our opponent, though, is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect — imperfect enough that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country,” 

Her use of the word terrorist at this stage in the campaign of course is a not so coded attack on Obama’s name, race and plays on lingering false beliefs about Obama’s religious affiliation. Palin’s snarky comments suggest Barack is hanging out with “those People” way out there, those islamofascist terrorists that Rudy spoke about during his failed campaign.

Actually Palin was referring to the caucasion Bill Aires, professor of Education at the University of Illinois-Chicago.  As the NYTimes reports today, Obama had no affiliation with the terrorist Bill Ayers, whose “terroristic” activities occurred 39 years ago (Weather Underground) when Obama was eight years old.  Palin knows as much and should be held responsible for her misstatements.

Rather, Obama has had casual contact with Bill Ayers the educational reformer, whose much lauded work Obama supported, and was financed by Walter Annenberg, Republican stalwart, and onetime confident of President Richard Nixon.  

The real issue here is that Walter Annenberg has had more to do with the success of Bill Ayers the academic and reformer than Barack Obama ever did.  Had Palin a conscience, she’d attack Annenberg (not Obama) for having made his research and writing possible. 

But Palin cares not one whit for facts, as she showed during the VP debate, and has no curiosity about larger social truths, as she made abundantly clear in the Couric interviews.

So clearly, her attack on Obama is nothing more than the latest McCain talking point and is an opening salvo of the final month of her national ambition.

I happen to agree that Bill Ayers provides some rich fodder for political discussion during the next five weeks, but not for the reasons evoked in the press. There is nothing to Obama’s association with Bill Ayers, as if there is any real problem if they really were pals.  so what. 

here’s the salience of Bill Ayers to the 08 campaign. It brings us back to a reexamination of McCain’s wrongheaded and irrational thoughts about the Vietnam War.

The Bill Ayers of forty years ago had his counterpoint in John McCain.  In the midst of a violent period domestically in the US when the US was engaged in a war that many believe should never have been fought, McCain supported it and Ayers opposed it.  McCain took up arms in support of the war effort, as tens of thousands of soldiers did.  Ayers took up arms as well, a highly controversial and unpopular move in the anti war movement. I am not suggesting a moral equivalence here between ayers and McCain, although I am suggesting these two figures represent polar extremes present in the cultural torment of the 1960s.

Ayers long go left behind his Weather Underground past.  I don’t think McCain ever left Vietnam.  John McCain’s current candidacy is rooted in milking his Vietnam legend.  And for sure, McCain’s Vietnam experience informs his position on Iraq, Iran, even Russia and Spain.  Regrettably, his psychic wounds likely left him with dangerous lessons that he would apply were he elected president. 

The lessons:

1) McCain thinks Vietnam was winnable. A near consensus of scholars and historians disagree.

2) War opponents are unamerican; potential terrorists; and to be considered the enemy.

That is why Bill Ayers casts such a large shadow over McCain. He remains a very current enemy to John McCain.  To John McCain Barack Obama= Bill Ayers. 

To understand this consider that the real cause of Mccain’s wounds over Vietnam involve his relationship with his dad. His father, who was commander of the pacific forces during Vietnam, ordered the bombing of Vietnam and Cambodia and was widely discredited for his actions and held as one person responsible for “losing Vietnam.”   McCain never forgets what war opponents (Ayers included) did to his dad.  In his mind they ruined him.

Does this oedipal story sound familiar?  Dubya & Papa 41?  The Ayers saga reminds us that if John McCain is elected president, the presidency once again could become a therapist couch used to work out unresolved feeling about how the country mistreated John McCain II.


So, Bill Ayers offers a lot more than a cheap, unfounded way to attack Barack Obama. I think he helps open the door into some scary secrets of John McCain’s mental torment and anguish. yikes!


Gwen Ifill vs Sarah Palin

I think the real person on the hotseat this evening is going to be Gwen Ifill, steady and able PBS broadcaster, who has been roughed up by the McCain campaign during the past several days. In fact they have gone after Ifill more than they have gone after Biden, her opponent.

If it is true, as I believe it is, that the rules and reffing (enforcement of the rules) of a contest can and often do determine the winner, then all eyes should be on Ifill.   As moderator, she is the procedure-person in chief.  In addition to the strain of a broken ankle, she will walk into the hall with Paliniacs saying she has secretly written a book favorable about obama. Well she didn’t the book wil be published this january but there is no secret. It was announced and Ifill talked about it in July and August. As we learned in the Palin-Couric interviews, the problem here is that Paliniacs don;t read or watch the news all that much.

Assuming Ifill has let all this run off her like water off a duck’s back, then the key will be in the follo-up questions, or whether Biden has the opportunity or takes it, to challenge her on the snappy bromides she is sure to offer. The tapes from Alaska 06 show that Palin could be quite formidible in this seting. She has camera experience as a sportscaster, and knows ow to “seduce” an audience. This is the Palin that Shoeneman and Schmidt have been recreating the last two days; the former beauty pageant winner who, as SNL’s Couric suggests, gets more “adorable” with every cornering question. 

Hopefully Ifill will not tolerate such nonsense. It’s not Palin’s politics that should piss her off; rather its the sophmoric cutsy/dumb stuff that hopefully will claw at her broken ankle and force her to blow Palin’s seductions off like McCain did to Obama last night when Obama went over to shake his hand.

A Leader You Can Count On?

John McCain is in charge of what exactly? Not the Republican National Committee. Not Republicans in the House of Representatives, Not Republicans in Arizona.  Not right wing commentators and journalists. Not even of his own campaign. Never has there been such fractured leadership in a Republican Party on the eve of an election.  McCain himself has taken credit for the bailout, although it failed, and he failed to bring along his own state delegation in the House vote yesterday. They voted against the bailout.

As my two year old says, “scared.”  That’s how republicans ought to feel this week, with 35 days to go, losing by about 5% in the tracking polls, that is, unless they have already thrown in the towel this election year and are now looking forwarding to rebuilding during the next 4-8 years. 

Ask David Frum and George Will who are saying publicly that the repub ticket is unfit for office. They seem to be saying they wish the election were over already, so they could begin again. Look at it this way. Given the trainwreck that is McCain-Palin,  Frum and Will seem flat out embarassed by the sort of leadership being offered by the two heads of their Party.  

In addition to leading a failure of a campaign, Mccain-Palin also highlight the death of an ideology, which presents is greater challenge to the likes of Frum, Will, Brooks, and others, than merely casting about post election for a better candidate and campaign organization.  The credit crisis is providing more evidence than a rational voter ever needs that the republican party’s anachronistic deregulatory neo-liberalism is flat out responsible for the mess we are in.


McCain may not be the leader you can count on,  but he is the man who is likely to seal the demise of the Reagan Revolution. Not a bad tribute to his mentor in chief?

Rationale for Palin Candidacy Dies This Evening

The rationale for Sarah Palin’s candidacy, which was to help John McCain double-down on the maverick theme died this evening.  Before this evening, that claim was cynical. Now, it is non-existent.

Palin announced this evening that she will refuse to cooperate with the trooper-gate investigation. She will not speak with investigators, which contradicts her promise of two weeks ago that she would fully cooperate.  According to Commissioner Walt Monaghan, interviewed by Rachel Maddow this evening, Alaskans had high hopes for Governor Palin when she was first elected governor because she promised clean, open and transparent government.  As of this evening, according to Monghan, that hope in Alaska has died.

So what happened exactly? It seems that both republicans and democrats would not be bullied by Palin’s thugs and voted today (I think) to issue subpoenas, including one for Todd, the first dude, Palin this evening charges partisan witch-huntery as the basis for her withdrawing all cooperation. 

Apparently, email and eye witness evidence exists that supports the idea that she broke laws. Is she hiding something here? You bet.  Does her apparent obstruction of a legal and legitimate investigation inspire confidence that she is a “good government maverick”?  You tell me

McCain-Palin’s Cynical Patriotism

Sarah Palin was an instinctual choice for John McCain. A consensus has emerged that she was not a rational choice. She was not vetted.  Regardless of what the McCain camp says, people who know Sarah Palin in Alaska say they were not contacted for info. by anyone in the McCain camp before the candidate named her as his veep pick. 

She has a scant record of achievement, and few facts support the narrative that has emerged over the past week that she is a maverick good government reformer, cut from the same mold as the old McCain maverick legend, which also does not and never did exist in fact.

McCain sold his soul to be Bush’ successor almost 8 years ago;  without a moment of public reflection he cloaked himself in the Bush record, Bush/Rove style politics and but for a couple minor diferences, he proposes more of the same. No kidding.

So when this man who easily sold his soul, sees a “soul mate” in Sarah Palin, what exactly is he saying. Well, the quickest analogy is to Bush’ comments of Vlad Putin when he too said he looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul.  Bush quickly aligned himself with this imperial soul.  

What Bush and now McCain saw in the eyes of their political colleagues was an unquenched thirst for raw power; a soullessness that enables them to lie with abandon, to create narratives of their own achievements and vision and market them to a public that has a hard time piercing the inner sanctum of these secretive leaders.

With Palin, McCain’s instincts are right. In Sarah Palin, McCain found someone who shares his habituated vision of country over law.  McCain’s vision comes from generations of McCain soldiers who mixed alcohol-induced recklessness and patriotism rather than law and constitution.

Law and rules have always gotten in the way of McCain’s love of country; same for Palin, only switch the word state for country.  Problem for both is that patriotism and love of country/state is an abstraction that leads careless and impetuous patriots to replace their own judgment for the country’s.  This process of projecting your own desires onto your country’s is dangerous when such patriots become leaders, because this is the way of tyranny, of the sovereign who replaces the rule of law (read “constitution”) with his/her own failed judgments, whims and decisions.

Love of country becomes a vehicle for personal ambition; It becomes a rationale for expediency, for instinctual and impetuous decisions that replace, research, careful vetting if you will and rational thought, discussion and deliberation. All you need to do after your own expedient decisions is to gloss the result within the narrative of mother country and patriotism. Hence anything i do is what the country would have done.  The deceit here is obvious.

Palin has showed such patterns as mayor of wasilla and as governor.  The most current example of this has both McCain and Palin working to sabotage the trooper-gate investigation in Alaska.  Many participants in this scandal who had agreed to cooperated with the investigation have sudenley reversed course; and the governor herself is now trying an “executive-privilege” like stunt of noncooperation. She and her partner McCain are not even in office, and yet they are already unveilling their utter contempt for the constitution and rule of law, replacing it with their own ambition. 

 What McCain saw in Palin was not her soul so much as a shared narcissism, where  is love of country is really love of self

Problem with Palin’s Comedic Stump Speech: Already Stale

One of the reasons why I don’t download comedy albums is that you can only listen to them a couple times before they stop being funny.

This is the problem with Palin’s new stump speech in terms of style, not content. It has little content, and once you remove the lies and mistatements, there really is nothing left by some funny phrases, sort of.

The style of her speech a couple nights ago was reminiscent of
of an old Friars Club Celebrity Roast, with Forest Brooks, Dino and and Sarah Palin as the Party’s new Don Rickles.

Palin’s stump speeches today alongside John McCan were almost word for word the same speech she gave thursday. Problem for sarah is that the punch lines have already grown stale, and the audience is no longer drunk.

Regrettably for her, until she learns some content, all she has to rely on is her comedic timing. It is my guess that within a couple days, the public should start turning if off.

Once the humor fades all this is left in her speech is nasty and mean, and folks don;t like nasty and mean, unless sugar coated in some good funny. That’s the don rickles rule.

Palin not the Mom? It’s Not the “Crime,” It’s the Cover-Up

Nobody should know better than Republicans that it’s not the crime or misdeed that brings down a political life, it’s the cover-up. Rumors are swirling that Sarah Palin is a grandmother, that her 16 year old daughter is really the mother of her new 5 month old baby with Downs syndrome.

Now, I guess suddenly being referred to as grandma is one way to counter concerns about her inexperience; but the real question here has to do with John McCain’s judgment. Seems he doesn’t have any. The McCain campaign is conceding there was not much of a vetting process before the Senator chose Palin as his running mate, and as a result, who knows what else might yet befall this “charlie brown” candidacy.  Beyond that, imagine what this sort of judgment means for a commander in chief whose bellicosity and lack of foresight could make the Bush Administration seem downright reasonable.

All the superficial evidence gives some credence to the veracity of the story: Family photos taken when Palin would have been 5 or 6 months pregnant have been removed from her website; photos on the web however, show her 16 year old daughter with a belly bump that is consistent with her being pregnant. BTW, Sarah never looked pregnant, during her pregnancy, according to photos and people who met with her during this time.  The daughter also dropped out of school during the last months of her mom’s supposed pregnancy, for having mono.  Is there a physician’s note anywhere?

With all these questions, it seems imperative for the McCain campaign to address them in a press conference, or at least issue a press release, with reasonable proof that the governor is the mom.  Again, an unwed child mother is no reason to disqualify sarah palin from the vice presidency, but it does raise questions about judgment and cover-up.  couple this with her trooper-gate scandal and suddenly she no longer seems a “maverick reformer.”  Also says something about the Republican team’s commitment to family values, coupling this story to McCain’s own problem with adultery.  The alternative, of course, is that rumors will continue to swirl.  

At least, in the meantime, Sarah Palin’s newfound celebrity finds a parallel in Brittney Spear’s younger sister, the 16 year old new mom, Jamie Lynne.  Who knew the Spears’ family would have become the meme for the ’08 campaign.


The Bottom Line: Somebody needs to investigate this, connect the dots. should be easy enough to do. Either you are pregnant or not! hospital records, doctor’s records, eye witness accounts, Bristol’s doctors note telling school she had mono….

for more:


tpm cafe talk w/ photos

worth looking into?


good questions