After a little investigative journalism, I’ve discovered that politicians writing notes on their hands is nothing new.
Cross Posted at FeedYourADHD
After a little investigative journalism, I’ve discovered that politicians writing notes on their hands is nothing new.
Cross Posted at FeedYourADHD
I may catch some flak for this, but I’m prepared.
While I very much like Sarah Palin, and what she represents, I do believe she made a serious error when answering a question concerning the issue of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
Rusty Humphries: Would you make the birth certificate an issue if you ran?
Sarah Palin: I think the public, rightfully, is still making it an issue. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t know if I would have to bother to make it an issue ’cause I think there are enough members of the electorate who still want answers.
Rusty Humphries: Do you think it’s a fair question to be looking at?
Sarah Palin: I think it’s a fair question, just like I think past associations and past voting record — all of that is fair game. You know, I’ve got to tell you, too: I think our campaign, the McCain/Palin campaign didn’t do a good enough job in that area. We didn’t call out Obama and some of his associates on their records and what their beliefs were and perhaps what their future plans were. And I don’t think that that was fair to voters to not have done our jobs as candidates and as a campaign to bring to light a lot of the things that now we’re seeing made manifest in the administration.
Rusty Humphries: I mean, truly, if your past is fair game and your kids are fair game, certainly Obama’s past should be. I mean, we want to treat men and women equally, right?
Sarah Palin: Hey, you know, that’s a great point, in that weird conspiracy-theory freaky thing that people talk about that Trig isn’t my real son. And a lot of people say, “Well you need to produce his birth certificate! You need to prove that he’s your kid!” Which we have done. But yeah, so maybe we could reverse that and use the same [unintelligible]-type thinking on them.
I believe Sarah Palin made a serious mistake by excusing the paranoid conspiracy mindset that dominates the fringes of both parties. Truthers, birthers and baby trig conspiracy believers (see the deranged scum sucking troll Andrew Sullivan) deserve nothing but disdain and marginalization from serious individuals. Individuals who buy into these conspiracy theories should never be legitimized in my opinion. They are no different than ufologists and bigfoot chasers. Such ridiculous individuals should not be described as legitimate by a serious potential leader.
Sarah had options when it came to responding to such a question. She could have said that engaging in such reckless speculation, which is devoid of relevance and substance, should not be entertained when this country faces such serious challenges. She easily could have pivoted and discussed the bias in the mainstream media that was eager to entertain conspiracy theories regarding her, but hesitant to publicize those involving Barack Obama. By saying that “I think the public, rightfully, is still making [Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate] an issue,” Sarah Palin said that the public is also right to make the birth of her son an issue. I’m sorry, but I disagree. The paranoid twits who made the birth of her son an issue are insane and should be ashamed of themselves for perpetuating such clearly spurious allegations.
I’m not naive as to the nature of politics and I don’t expect Sarah Palin to be either. Opposition research and mudslinging are a part of major campaigns, but most candidates know to treat it as an unfortunate reality rather than embrace and legitimize it. I like that Sarah Palin speaks her mind and I agree with her in regards to investigating Obama’s past associations and radical views, but birth certificates and amniotic fluid cross the line of what should be considered off limits.
Some will say Barack Obama’s birth is a legitimate question, but they, like Sarah Palin, should know that, even if the birth certificate issue was legitimate, getting him removed from office for that reason would make him a victim in the eyes of many. It would be portrayed as undoing the election based on a technicality. There would be rioting in the streets and likely calls for a constitutional convention. The way to beat Barack Obama is at the ballot box and Palin should know that. By not dismissing the birth certificate issue as a non-issue and a mistake, she has made a major error. Obama’s past associations are one thing, but you can’t make him the bad guy because of something his parents did. You’d have to prove that Obama wasn’t born here and knew that while running for office, in order for him to even begin to look like the bad guy.
I like Sarah Palin. I’ve defended her when she has been wrongfully attacked, but I believe she made a serious mistake in this instance. I hope I’m wrong and this does not come back to haunt her, but I fear it will. I’ve criticized others for taking pleasure in attacking Palin, but there are times when we must soberly criticize our own. Newt Gingrich was wrong to back Dede Scozzafava over Doug Hoffman and Sarah Palin was wrong to excuse those who deal in destructive conspiracy theories. Acknowledging that they were wrong does not mean I won’t support them, but it does mean that I hope they learn from the experience. I fear that if we, the people, never correct those who would lead us, we run the risk of raising up politicians that are ill prepared to do so.
Cross-Posted at Feed Your ADHD
Well, let me try and explain this so even a detached and cynical pundit can understand. The Republican Party, and conservatism in general, is in a horrible place at the moment. We desperately want somebody that can counter the cult like following of Obama and be a voice for the right. Sarah Palin was plucked from obscurity and made an overnight sensation within the Republican Party. We like her background. She’s not a career politician or beltway insider. Sarah Palin was more human than your typical politician. She was approachable, yet delivered the most successful criticism of Barack Obama during the Campaign. In short, we like Sarah Palin.
What we like about Sarah Palin is that she has a record of taking on corruption within her own party. We like that genuinely seems to believe in the ideals to which other politicians only pay lip service. She may speak in platitudes, but that’s because she likely believes they are more than catchy lines. We have the suspicion that she believes in the underlying principles of those seemingly shallow statements. We aren’t all policy wonks. Some of us are regular hard working people who are a lot like Sarah Palin. And what we’ve seen from the mainstream media, and others, pisses us off.
We’ve watched as somebody who could very well be one of us was ripped apart. We witnessed vicious and irrational hatred spewed toward a woman who never seemed to demonstrate any real malice or ill intent. She’s not a saint by any stretch of the imagination, but she’s far more familiar than an ivy league snob or a career politician. We were disgusted at the treatment she received from the network media, pundits and Beltway insiders. We witnessed relentless attacks. Sadly, some people who are within our own party joined in on those attacks. Elites of all stripes joined together to mock and deride the “undereducated” and “incoherent” Sarah Palin. They looked down on her with disdain, because they felt they were better than her. They believed they were superior and they did not want to see such a person succeed. Sarah Palin’s life and candidacy was an affront to all those pseudo intellectuals who want nothing more than to be the smartest person in the room. We’ve seen this and we’ve been disgusted.
When Sarah Palin announced her intent to resign, we witnessed many on the right lay into her. Some of these people had previously refrained from openly criticizing her, but it was clear that they always had reservations about her. Some pundits and bloggers felt they could now speak to what, I suspect, they were thinking all along. I believe most of these people consider themselves to be great minds and bought into the narrative that Sarah Palin was a disaster. When we witness people who are on “our side” eagerly engage in the same attacks that we witnessed from the mainstream media and left for months, we react with anger. Participation in such attacks may make you look better in certain circles, but we aren’t impressed. It’s the kind of thing we’ve seen for far too many months and we’re not inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt.
Liking Sarah Palin doesn’t make us cultists. Not enjoying and cheering at people on “our side” attacking her doesn’t make us Palinistas. We simply are burnt out on the relentless, cruel criticism of a woman we can relate to on a certain level. The conservative movement is in a dark place and many of us are disappointed in Sarah Palin’s decision. However, seeing individuals whose opinion we value rub salt into fresh wounds is more than we can stomach and, frankly, you should have known better. Some of the very few people who read this won’t share my perspective. Some will see it as “shooting the messenger.” Sadly, they’re wrong. We’re not shooting the messenger. We’re shooting the people who feel the need to behave like the jackals who’ve worked for months to destroy a woman we genuinely like.
We think of politicians as rabidly ambitious ladder climbers, who sacrifice almost every other aspect of their life for their career. Sarah Palin has never struck me as that type of woman. I’ve always thought of her as a true believer. I think she genuinely believes that to which other conservative politicians only pay lip service. The harsh reality is that running for political office in America is no longer for the idealist who truly wants to reform government. Politics is a nice fit for a sociopath with a god complex, but that’s just not Sarah Palin.
So who gains from what has happened to Governor Palin? I’m not sure, but it certainly isn’t the American people. Sarah Palin, unlike Barack Obama and other politicians, demonstrated a willingness to make real change happen and address corruption. She had the courage to take on corrupt members of her own party and the system they utilized. This is why John McCain chose her as his running mate. Unfortunately for John and Sarah, the American people were blinded by fancy prose and media hype. McCain and Palin will go on to live their lives, but it is the American people who will suffer. We are suffering now.
Barack Obama is a typical politician and has only strengthened what is wrong in this nation. President Obama has concentrated even more authority and influence in a Federal bureaucracy that is divorced from reality and the people. More power is being pulled from state and local governments, where people have the greatest influence, and being placed in the hands of the Federal Government. This may benefit the agendas of our American oligarchy, and those they exploit, but our Republic suffers.
I love this nation. More than anything else, I want to see it prosper and flourish. I want to see personal liberty and economic prosperity restored. The path to prosperity and liberty isn’t going to be found in the halls of Harvard or Congress. The path to prosperity and liberty is in the heart of each and every person who believes in what our founding fathers laid out in the US Constitution. The path to prosperity is found in a citizenry free to succeed or fail by their own efforts. Liberty and prosperity were once aspirations of the American people. We did not seek fame or adulation. Instead, we sought prosperity for ourselves and our children. We wanted liberty for ourselves and our neighbor. Some of us still seek that and it is up to us to make our voices heard.
Seeing Sarah Palin leave political office behind is unfortunate, but we must remember what she represented and continue to take up that fight. It’s up to us to organize, participate, and advocate for real reform to systemic corruption and the concentration of power in the hands of distant politicians who represent themselves instead of us.
This is a clarion call. We must all make our voices heard. The mainstream media, net pundits, beltway insiders and late night stooges can attack one, but they cannot destroy us all. That is their weakness. They are effective at destroying individuals, but the Tea Parties aren’t about individuals. Our cause isn’t one of personalities. Our cause is that of millions of Americans who are no longer going to accept the shackles that we’ve been told are for our own good.
We must stand up and make our voices heard. We must not allow ourselves to be seduced by pandering politicians or half measures. We must demand results. If we do not get results, we must elect new representatives until we finally find some that keep their word. We must refuse the false choices presented to us and reject those in the media who would attempt to tell us what to think. We must remember that we are many and they are few. We are the legacy of the greatest nation this earth has ever seen, so let us do our founders proud and take back our country.
I love freedom of speech. My fondness extends well beyond that of most, in that I actually embrace a belief in near absolute free speech. However, I still have a sense of decency. Mocking groups and public figures is fine by me. One issue where I personally draw the line is the targeting or use of children in order to mock and/or deride an adult.
Recently David Letterman decided to target Sarah Palin on his show. He chose to use her daughter in his sad attempts at humor. Letterman’s first attempt is far from shocking given his clear disdain for Governor Palin. Letterman said,
“One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.”
Sadly, the child who accompanied Sarah Palin to the Yankee game was her 14 year old daughter, Willow. She will now get to go home and deal with awkward looks from classmates and cruel snickers. Letterman may have been targeting Bristol Palin, who is barely 18, but his joke landed squarely on Willow. Letterman implied, through his joke, that Willow was a slut who was statutorily raped by the Yankees star. Willow Palin never asked for the public spotlight and did nothing to deserve such treatment from Letterman. She’s just a 14 year old girl trying to live her life. Say what you will about her mother, she’s an adult and a public figure, but leave her child out of the attacks.
Letterman was not satisfied with his initial foray into humor at the expense of a 14 year old girl. He raised the stakes by yet again referencing Governor Palin’s daughter. As can be seen here, at the link Jim Treacher originally posted on Twitter, Letterman takes another shot at Willow Palin. Letterman’s remark, “The toughest part of her visit was keeping Eliot Spitzer away from her daughter” is yet another thinly veiled slight against a 14 year old child. Spitzer is notorious for his relationship with prostitutes and to imply that he’d be after Willow is to imply that she is in fact a prostitute. She’s a 14 year old child.
Letterman’s jokes crossed the line of decency in my judgment. To use, and harm, a child for a cheap joke is rather disgusting. I embrace edgy humor to a greater degree than most, but taking shots at children is where I draw the line. I’m going to violate my own ethical beliefs and venture into Letterman territory in order to make a point. I don’t do this lightly. I do this in order to make clear to Letterman and his defenders, just how abhorrent his actions truly were.
So David Letterman is in trouble with his wife again. It turns out he let Michael Jackson baby sit his son, Harry. Now Dave has to figure out how to get Boone’s Farm and semen out of a little league uniform.
That joke is disgusting and I hope it doesn’t extend beyond this page. But, though my joke may seem worse than Dave’s, it’s actually better. I’m not implying that little Harry is a whore or slut. I’m implying that Dave is an idiot and Michael Jackson is a pedophile. But none the less, Harry is tainted by my joke. A 5 year old boy is implied to have suffered something horrible for the sake of a joke aimed at Letterman.
There’s a reason we expect people to leave the kids of celebrities and politicians alone. They didn’t sign up for the harsh treatment of public life. They have their entire lives ahead of them and they don’t deserve to be targeted by powerful adults. She is a 14 year old girl with her whole life ahead of her. She’s going to have a difficult enough time growing up in her current circumstances. She doesn’t need David Letterman’s help in making her life even harder.
Follow up: As noted here, by AllahPundit, Letterman has been signed to a contract extension by CBS.
More follow up: I searched CNN.com for info on the Letterman controversy and surprisingly I found nothing. We get news of the New Orleans Mayor’s release from quarantine, but nothing on a Late Night talk show host who has targeted the 14 year old daughter of Alaska’s Governor. Some may argue that this is an entertainment, rather than a political, story. It’s a shame that CNN Entertainment also failed to cover the issue. But that didn’t stop them from covering the latest news on Miss California. Such is the state of the media in America.
Cross posting here