Tags: Alaska, alaska attorney general, Alaska politics, anti-gay, domestic violence, KKK, ku klux klan, leah burton, max blumenthal, native americans, palin 2012, palin appointment, palin controversy, palin presidential candidate, politics, racism, rape his wife, richard burton, right wing, roger hollander, Sarah Palin, spousal rape, wayne anthony ross
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(Roger’s note: sometime shortly after the election, I believe, I said I would post no more Sarah Palin stories, and I have kept my work up until now. This one is too good to pass up.)
The governor is reeling after nominating for attorney general a man who allegedly defended the right of men to rape their wives.
While priming her political machine for a likely 2012 presidential primary run, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has fomented a scandal that threatens to further erode her reputation in the Last Frontier.
In March, Palin nominated Wayne Anthony Ross for attorney general. Ross, a colorful far-right lawyer and longtime Palin ally who sports his initials, W.A.R., on his Hummer’s vanity plates, was once considered a shoo-in for confirmation. However, his nomination was thrown into grave peril when his opponents presented evidence that he called homosexuals “degenerates,” hailed the “courage” of a student who lionized the Ku Klux Klan, vowed to undermine the sovereignty of Native American tribes, and allegedly defended men who rape their wives. According to two sources close to the confirmation hearings, Palin may ask Ross to withdraw before his appointment comes to a vote.
Palin’s hopes for a swift confirmation process were dashed April 10 when Leah Burton, a veteran lobbyist on children’s issues and domestic violence, submitted a letter to the Alaska State Judiciary Committee claiming that Ross publicly defended spousal rape. According to Burton, who detailed the allegations for me, Ross allegedly declared during a speech before a 1991 gathering of the “father’s rights” group Dads Against Discrimination, “If a guy can’t rape his wife, who’s he gonna rape?” (In a subsequent letter, Ross denied the remark and claimed, “I don’t talk like that!”)
Burton said Ross’s statement was consistent with his overarching attitude toward women’s issues. She claimed that he once said during a debate on the Equal Rights Amendment, “If a woman would keep her mouth shut, there wouldn’t be an issue with domestic violence.” Burton also maintained she has been in touch with “a number” of domestic-violence victims who witnessed Ross make “horrible” statements, but are too intimidated to speak out. “Alaska is a very small state and it’s terrifying for these victims to come forward because they’re afraid of retribution,” Burton told me.
Since Burton’s testimony, her father, former Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Richard Burton, wrote a letter of his own demanding to Ross that he withdraw his nomination. “You sir, speak and act like the kind of bully I met many times when responding to domestic-violence calls, some of the most dangerous situations police officers are often in,” Burton wrote. Ross reacted with characteristic fury to the Burtons’ broadsides, barking to reporters that if “anybody said that to me, we’d have a little confrontation because that’s a bunch of crap.” At the same time, a grassroots group raising support for Palin’s presidential bid called Conservatives4Palin attacked Leah Burton as an anti-Christian “fringe nutcase.”
But as pro-Palin forces attempted to push back against Ross’s critics, dozens of op-eds Ross authored during the 1980s and 1990s surfaced as key exhibits in the case against his confirmation. Among them is a 1993 piece entitled, “KKK ‘art’ project gets ‘A’ for courage,” in which Ross cheered on a local college student who had offended an African-American classmate by creating a statue of a Klansman with a cross in one hand and a flag in the other. “It might have been fun to see [the African-American student] try to remove the display,” Ross wrote. “Then she could have been arrested and her future as a student of the university could have been resolved through the university disciplinary proceedings.”
During the early 1980s, while Anchorage residents grappled over renaming the city’s 15th Street as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and state legislators mulled establishing a state holiday honoring the assassinated civil-rights leader, Ross wrote several manifestoes attacking King as a communist subversive, according to University of Alaska-Anchorage music professor and local progressive activist Phil Munger. Munger also told me Ross has routinely appeared at public events beside his friend, Don Tanner, a white nationalist who moved to South Africa for a period during the 1980s to support its apartheid government, and who reveled crowds of conservatives with anti-black “South African jokes” upon his return to Alaska.
A glance at Ross’s published archive shows he never limited his resentment to minorities. He taunted environmentalists (“It is time we quit crying over the oil spill” was the title of an editorial he wrote in the wake of the Exxon Valdez disaster); he denounced homosexuals as “degenerates” during a 1993 legal fight over a local gay-rights ordinance; and announced that his final wish before dying was to overturn Roe v. Wade. While rising through the ranks of the NRA’s national leadership in the 1980s, Ross published a piece in the mercenary magazine Soldier of Fortune, defending the right to form antigovernment militias.
“Ross’s profile fits where Palin wants to go after the current legislative session ends,” Munger remarked to me. “She seems to be planning some behind-the-scenes movement to stir up the crazies, especially by convincing them the federal government is going take their guns away. So nobody here is surprised by this selection.”
While Ross sustained withering criticism for his views on social issues, Native American tribes denounced his vociferous opposition to their subsistence rights. The tribes were especially disturbed by his vow during a 2002 gubernatorial debate to “hire a band of junkyard dog” attorneys to gut federal laws guaranteeing natives subsistence preferences. “It almost looked like she was rubbing our face in Anthony Ross’s appointment,” said Tim Towarak, co-chairman of the Alaska Federation of Natives, told The Bristol Bay Times. “Like rubbing our face on the ground, saying ‘Here, take this.’” With increasingly powerful tribal groups mobilizing a united front against Ross, Palin was compelled to defend her own record, pleading, “Obviously I am not anti-Native and would never appoint anyone who is.”
If Palin withdraws Ross’s nomination, she could end another embarrassing political spectacle before it registers on the national press corps’ radar. Alternatively, if she manages to ram his appointment through, Palin can begin implementing a hard-right legal agenda that will appeal to the elements she is cultivating as the base of her likely 2012 presidential campaign. However Palin decides to proceed with W.A.R., by nominating him, she has staked out the culture war as the fuel for her national ambitions.
Max Blumenthal is a senior writer for The Daily Beast and writing fellow at The Nation Institute, whose book, Republican Gomorrah (Basic/Nation Books), is forthcoming in Spring 2009. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Very Last Post on Palin: I Promise November 29, 2008Posted by rogerhollander in Humor, Sarah Palin.
Tags: ann coulter, chambliss, fox news, georgia, hasselbeck, margaret and helen, max cleland, political humor, roger hollander, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, sean hannity, war hero
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I urge you to go to Margaret and Helen’s Website (Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting):
The photo alone is worth the price of admission. These two bitter sweet old gals really know how to tell it like it is. This is by far one of the very best Websites on the entire Internet for politically relevant and profoundly acicid humor. I swear to God that if I believed in incarnation I would think that Mark Twain has come back as Siamese twins attached at the truly hip. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Here is their latest offering, written by Helen because Margaret is “visiting family and probably hasn’t turned on the boob tube even once.”
Sarah Palin, sit down and shut the hell up
I thought I was done. Really I did. Obama won. Bush is almost gone. I was ready to sit back and enjoy the ride. Damn it to hell. She’s back. One day she’s standing in front of a dying turkey talking about how she needs to get back to the business of running Alaska and the next day she’s making plans to head on down to Georgia to campaign for that devil, Chambliss.
You see Chambliss is the guy who won the Georgia Senate seat from Max Cleland a few years back. Now pay attention folks because this is important. Chambliss suggested that Cleland was soft on homeland security. Cleland, of course, is a war hero – one who came home from war with three less limbs than when he began. Yep. Cleland lost an arm and both legs in defense of his country, but Chambliss defeated him with ads suggesting he didn’t have the courage to protect us from terrorists.
So Chambliss is an ass. That’s a given. His opponent in this run-off election is Mr. Martin. Now Martin has all of his limbs so Chambliss is not sure how to attack him. So he called in the Republican attack dog… a certain pitt bull in lipstick who apparently has more political lives than a pitt cat. Heads up folks. Sarah Palin is back and my heart goes out to all our dear friends over there in Georgia. She’s sort of like headlice. You can’t just shampoo your hair. You have to boil everything afterwards.
But let me tell you why I am up on my soap box again so quickly, because I really did plan to relax at least until after the turkey had digested. The other night we were visiting with neighbors at a kind of pre-holiday block party. By the way, if you don’t know your neighbors, you should. People live right next door to complete strangers these days and that just isn’t right. Neighbors should be part of your extended family. Life was better when we all knew our neighbors. But I digress.
At this little gathering I met a couple of idiots who live around the corner from us – couple of morons who still have the McCain/Palin sticker on the back of their car. Here is just a few of the quotes from the evening:
“We are just so worried about what is going to happen to the country now that a Muslim is President.”
“William Ayers raised a lot of money for Obama’s campaign and now Obama owes him a lot of favors.”
“Did you know that no one has been able to prove that he actually graduated from Harvard?”
Trust me, that was just a sampling. I asked them where they had heard this load of crap and I got various references to Limbaugh and Fox News. Complete and utter idiots. I wanted to tell them to sit down and shut the hell up, but they are neighbors. So before I left I told them if they wanted to live in fear that was their choice, but when they were ready to rejoin society do drop by for a piece of pie.
When I got back home, I made the mistake of watching the news. Now I don’t know what Margaret thinks about this because she is visiting family and probably hasn’t turned on the boob tube even once. But when I heard that Sarah Palin will be heading to Georgia to campaign for Chambliss… Well Sarah Palin is not my neighbor. And the last time I checked Alaska was a long way from Georgia. So I hope my friends in Georgia will join me in saying, “Governor Palin, sit down and shut the hell up.”
And while I am on the soap box:
Rush Limbaugh has had the mic entirely too long. For years he has kept this country divided with hate speech and lies. Quite frankly he probably has done more to harm this country than even George Bush. He is neither funny nor relevant anymore. And have you listened to the morons who call into his show? Poor man has to pander to idiots day in and day out. His open mic Friday must be pure torture. OxyContin is a powerful pain pill. Is there any doubt why he would need it so desperately? Together we should all tell him and his callers to sit down and shut the hell up.
Same goes for Ann Coulter. Have you read any of her books. I read a few pages of her last one and it made me wonder if she ever actually went to school. My daughter is a teacher and the kids in her second grade class can write better than that. Ann’s an idiot who also needs to sit down and shut the hell up. And while you’re at it, Ann, cross your legs. Nobody needs to see that.
Sean Hannity is a waste of the time it took me to type this sentence. Sit down and shut the hell up, Sean. Winning in a debate against Alan Colmes is like Michael Phelps lapping me in the pool. This is the best Fox News can give us each evening? Shameful. Just shameful.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Well, actually I have nothing to say because I am pretty sure no one is listening to her anymore. I wonder what rat tastes like when it comes back up?
Take a hint from your leader. Bush has pretty much checked out. Of course that assumes he had ever really checked in. But my point is that Obama isn’t President yet and he already seems to be running the show. Thank God.
So Sean, Ann, Rush, Sarah et al. I am not asking for you to give up even a single limb for your country… just your tongue. We’ve heard enough of your crap. We’re ready to move on to better days and smarter people.
I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, and I am sorry if this rant ruined your holiday. I mean it. Really.
Why Is There Still So Much Interest in Gov. Palin? November 12, 2008Posted by rogerhollander in Sarah Palin.
Tags: election 2008, McCain Palin, palin phenomenon, Republican Party, roger hollander, Sarah Palin
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FROM CNN’s Jack Cafferty:
When’s the last time a losing vice presidential candidate was still in the news a week after the election? Nobody seems interested in interviewing Joe Biden, or for that matter, John McCain. But we just don’t seem to be able to get enough of Sarah Palin.
The news media are scrambling to get her thoughts on everything…the campaign, the charges from within the McCain camp that she is a “whack job” and a “rogue,” the $150,000 wardrobe, the travel expenses for her family that were charged to taxpayers of the state of Alaska. It’s obviously something besides her keen and subtle grasp of the complexities of being president of the United States.
Watch: Cafferty: Interest in Palin?
In fact, her apparent total lack of knowledge of the aforementioned proved to be a handicap to McCain’s campaign in the closing stages. A majority of Americans felt Palin was hurting McCain’s chances rather than helping them. And yet speculation persists that the Republican Party may decide to hitch its wagon to this hockey mom from Alaska when the 2012 presidential race rolls around.
Here’s my question to you: Why is there still so much interest in Governor Sarah Palin?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Tim from Hot Springs, Arkansas writes:
Because the Republican operatives, on the condition of anonymity, are throwing her under the bus. They built her up as a means of reviving the campaign, only to tear her down upon their defeat. The operatives will be around again in four years if they aren’t blamed as the fall guys for the Republicans’ failures. She won’t be. At this point, she’s expendable.
Bamidele from Almaty, Kazakhstan writes:
I think it has something to do with the 57 million and counting, who voted for this ticket. That’s scary!
Mark from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma writes:
She is beautiful, articulate and a great people person regardless of what Matt Lauer tries to do to her on the Today Show.
National “rubbernecking.” It is like driving by an accident. You don’t want to look, but somehow you just can’t help it.
Diane from Barneveld, New York writes:
She’s Bush in skirts.
There are two reasons: 1) She’s attractive. For better or for worse, people listen when pretty girls talk, no matter what nonsense may come out of their mouths. 2) Incompetence, by itself, is not entertaining. However, when the incompetent are supremely self-confident, full of certitude, and absent of insight, it’s absolutely compelling.
Tom from Fort Lauderdale, Florida writes:
Jack, they should leave this woman alone. Nobody cares how many countries there are in Ohio.
|Joan Moriarity||November 11th, 2008 12:48 pm ET
You would think she won the election! I am sick of her and her propaganda. It’s every body’s fault but hers. i wish the media would stop giving her so much attention. We have our new President. Send her back to ALASKA!!!!
|Faith from Milford, Massachusetts||November 11th, 2008 12:57 pm ET
She’s like a car crash – no one really wants to look, but you can’t help yourself!
|Nuria in Miami||November 11th, 2008 12:58 pm ET
Sadly because the media won’t stop interviewing her. Stop asking her questions and maybe she’ll just go away.
|Sherrol in Canada||November 11th, 2008 12:59 pm ET
She’s not going away Jack!! More’s the pity………..
|C in Belen, New Mexico||November 11th, 2008 1:00 pm ET
Interest by whom ???? The bigest interest is by the media, not the public. The media seems to be replaying the Paris/ Brittany “thing” using Palin this time around………
|tammie||November 11th, 2008 1:03 pm ET
Only the media is interested in her. she is another Anna Nichole Smith.
|ANGIE IN PA||November 11th, 2008 1:03 pm ET
I Dont Know Jack, But I am really tired of seeing her on TV and hearing her Scratchy voice, Maybe if the Media leaves her alone she will go away. But then again maybe the Media gets a kick out of her Interviews and how stupid she is and Reminds the voters everyday they made the right choice in Electing Obama!
|Lois, Ont., Canada||November 11th, 2008 1:04 pm ET
I wish she would just ’shut-up’ She is blaming everyone except herself for losing the election. The media should put a ‘lid on her’ She is old news.
|Domenic from Montreal, Canada||November 11th, 2008 1:04 pm ET
I don’t know Jack. Maybe it because she made a laughing stock of herself and comedians need more material.
She makes Bush look intelligent.
|Mike, Cleveland, Ohio||November 11th, 2008 1:05 pm ET
Jack, misery loves company…
|Jean from Belgium||November 11th, 2008 1:06 pm ET
She has smell the attention and now she is addicted to it.
Talks too easy and doesn’t caculate the quonsequenses and the affects which will taunted her and her family the rest of her life.
The need some common sense!
|JoLynn in Illinois||November 11th, 2008 1:07 pm ET
I think we all want to know what she is going to do next! It’s better than watching “The West Wing”!! People like her persona regardless of what she says and does. No one should underestimate her. She is going to be around for the next election unless a new star is born before she can get her act together.
|Jane (Minnesota)||November 11th, 2008 1:08 pm ET
I wish I knew – I certainly don’t get it! But then again I don’t understand how Michelle Bachmann was re-elected to Congress again after she publically questioned the patriotism of members of Congress. Some questions just do not have any logical answers to them – this is certainly one of them!
|Sam||November 11th, 2008 1:08 pm ET
Truly, I think she is so disastrous that people simply cannot help themselves. She sticks out amongst the small sub-population of running mates in Presidential history.
Personally, I’m still stunned about her comments regarding her own insights into foreign policy simply due to Alaska being straddled by foreign countries, Canada and Russia. It boggles the mind, really.
|James, New York||November 11th, 2008 1:09 pm ET
That’s a fantastic question, Jack. Some are obviously still upset with the Republican defeat. Believe it or not, some Americans were in love with her, and some of them simply hated Barrack Obama. The election was very intense, and it seems some people can’t accept reality. People love her because she’s a great personality, and simultaneously hate the fact of a black man as President. Old feelings die hard, I guess!
|Anna – New Mexico||November 11th, 2008 1:11 pm ET
same reason media obsessed with the likes of Paris Hilton, the Olson twins, Lindsay, etc. Quite frankly, if the media didn’t write about them, nobody would miss them except the media themselves.
|Tom, Bradenton||November 11th, 2008 1:13 pm ET
i have no idea why, maybe people like idiots like her and just wait for the next stupid comment of her. Her most recent one was that with gods help she will get into the White House 2012. She forgets again that she needs the voters for that.
|Doug – Dallas||November 11th, 2008 1:13 pm ET
It’s like the country’s addiction to Hollywood; at the moment she’s the flavor of the month. If the news media would leave her alone, she would fade away.
|Linda Morris||November 11th, 2008 1:14 pm ET
Sarah Palin looks like she is here to stay! The media covers everything that she does or says and seems not to be able to get enough of her and her family. I’ve had enough of her. It’s still hard for me to believe that she was ever a candidate for the second highest office in this country. A shock that I would like to get over but the news media won’t let that happen. Even this question puts her right back out there again. I guess she’ll be around until she runs for the number one spot. Maybe she reminds people of “Barbie” and she’s not going away either.
|Sherre||November 11th, 2008 1:15 pm ET
The same reason Paris Hilton is a celebrity. We enojoy watching pretty air heads who have accomplished very little make fools of themselves. It is quite entertaining.
|Ismael (Visalia, CA)||November 11th, 2008 1:16 pm ET
Because she is just chillin in Alaska, its to cold to go out!
|Lisa, Ashford, Alabama||November 11th, 2008 1:16 pm ET
Sarah Palin is interesting and editorial cartoonists around the world are thrilled to have a replacement for George W. Bush.
|Kim – Blair, NE||November 11th, 2008 1:16 pm ET
Kinda like the old ‘freak show’ at the circus, I guess.
|Cori from Colorado||November 11th, 2008 1:17 pm ET
Palin is a joke, and I think people are curious to see why she continues to pursue a national career in politics at all. She is a moron, another Paris Hilton.
|Gene from Bloomington, MN||November 11th, 2008 1:18 pm ET
|Liz in Towson, MD||November 11th, 2008 1:18 pm ET
Perhaps it’s because we’re too intrigued by her clothes and too sexist to leave her alone.
|Jackie in Dallas||November 11th, 2008 1:18 pm ET
Exposure to power, and exposure to media attention is addicting, Jack. And the media keep playing right into her cravings. If the media would just drop her, she could go back home, find all those clothes she needs to return, take care of her kids and her real job, and leave the rest of us in peace.
I must say something, however. Reading her inteviews since the handlers went away, she comes across moderately more intelligent than she did. I must think that the confusing messages she was given to talk about, and her general unpreparedness for the election process made her sound dumber than she might be.
|Chadd||November 11th, 2008 1:20 pm ET
Americans seem to be obsessed with the idea of sitting down and having a beer with our leaders. The idea is that leaders who dress, sound and drink like us are somehow more qualified or trustworthy. Palin, who incessantly referred to Americans as Joe six-packs and Suzie soccer-moms, is no exception. We only have to look at the last eight years of failed leadership to see where this “beer logic” has gotten us. When will America wake up and realize we need to pick leaders that are something that we apparently aren’t: intellegent.
|Debby||November 11th, 2008 1:21 pm ET
I don’t know why there is still so much interest in Sarah Palin, I saw her recent interviews. Hey Jack I’m wondering what she’s going to do about Senator Stevens? I think Sarah Palin needs to find another choice as Senator or will she take it herself? Why is it when any member of Congress or a Senator is found guilty of a felony, they get to slink away quietly taking their huge expensive pensions with them???Are they not still ripping off the American people? If it were Tom,Dave,Julie or Ann normal citizen they’d have to pay with jail time, fines, community service plus it’s on their record when applying for a job. Sounds like we aren’t all equal after all. Makes ya wonder……
|RonniefromAbileneTexas||November 11th, 2008 1:22 pm ET
Because, in these difficult times, we all need a good laugh!
|robert sulzer||November 11th, 2008 1:24 pm ET
She’s like looking at an accident, you know it’s there, you don’t want to look, but you look anyway. Never under-estimate the power of stupid people, even in small numbers!
|Pamela in L.A.||November 11th, 2008 1:25 pm ET
I truely think the only ones interested in Sarah Palin is Sarah Palin and the media outlets.. The media craves a catastrophe, and she’s a walking & talking one I can see why you all like her so much. You all feed her the attention she craves now that she’s not on the campaign trail. I personally wish she’d have gone quietly back to Alaska and be left there.
|Jim/NC||November 11th, 2008 1:26 pm ET
She appears to be honest and straight forward. Unlike corrupted Washington politicians.
|Christine, Upstate NY||November 11th, 2008 1:29 pm ET
Mattel’s Barbie doll hit the scene in 1959, and we’re still fascinated with it. The RNC didn’t issue their version of it until August 29, 2008. At least give us a chance to see if we really like it.
|M Dixon Cedar Rapids, Iowa||November 11th, 2008 1:29 pm ET
Because it’s funny to hear from someone who doesn’t realize that we are laughing at them and not with them, besides it’s not politically correct to laugh at someone with an obvious mental disability, so we can laugh at her with out feeling like bad people, don’tchya know (wink).
|Diff from Maryland||November 11th, 2008 1:30 pm ET
Jack – This may sound absurd but I think she is interesting and unfortunately for America now a historical figure. This was a historical election. Although she is the target of much humiliation, frankly, it was John McCain who will go down in history as candidate solely lacking judgement and evidently, brains, because of the sheer stupidity of the pick.
Ironically, look at how many people now love Hillary Clinton. She earned respect over time and I would predict that if Sarah Palin stays in politics, she will to. Just look at her lessons learned. She is certainly still more interesting than John McCain and a hell of a lot nicer to look at.
|Dan, Chantilly VA||November 11th, 2008 1:31 pm ET
The two things Americans love most are train wrecks and eye candy. Just turn on E! for five minutes and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
|Carroll||November 11th, 2008 1:32 pm ET
I have no interest in Gov. Palin! It’s the so-called TV news shows. I’m tired of having her shoved down our throats. Every time she is on, I tune out and off. It’s time for a new. I don’t like liars like her. Who is dumb…. Move on!
|Anj in CA||November 11th, 2008 1:32 pm ET
Two words, Jack. Train wreck.
Harass Sarah? November 12, 2008Posted by rogerhollander in About Repubicans, Sarah Palin.
Tags: 2008 election, George W. Bush, McCain disaster, Palin future, Palin McCain, Palin policy, Republican loss, roger hollander, Sarah Palin
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As the author of the (soon to be if not already) famous PALINdrome: “harass Sarah,” I take it upon myself to do just that.
But first let me apologize for giving more attention to the VP manqué. She should just go away and leave us alone. If there were a God in Heaven, she would do just that. But alas, thanks to the most hypocritical straight shooter in the history political chicanery, John “Off-the-Tracks” McCain, we may be stuck with Ms. Palin for a long time. Our goal should be to shorten that purgatorial interlude as much as possible.
There is no question that McCain’s selection of Palin was the most single act that doomed his candidacy. If there is to be blame, it lies with him, not her. She was just being her bewitching self.
Not one to give up easily, McCain has just made a statement to the effect that Gov. Palin will play a big role in the future of the country (again, God forbid, albeit perhaps not her God). He went on to describe her as a “great reformer.” Such a laudatory endorsement coming from the likes of McCain, who himself needs to be on the lookout for the vultures circling above, should be about as welcome as a phone call from the IRS.
Palin herself has blamed Bush for the Party’s big loss on November 4. But she gave old Dubya a good run for the money. A recent AOL poll had 36% saying it was her presence on the ticket that doomed McCain against 42% who gave the prize to Bush’s policies. Not bad for a beginner going up agaist a seasoned veteran loser.
Americans need to ask themselves some hard questions about Sarah Palin.
Do we want or need a future leader who:
· Is well to the Right of Genghis Khan
· Gets her kicks killing wildlife from the safety of a helicopter
· Defends to the death the right to life of a conglomeration of foetal cells while she nukes Iran
· Has a foreign policy that consists of a glance across the Bering Strait
· Welcomes a nuclear holocaust-like Armageddon so that she and the rest of the (self) righteous can go to be with Jesus and no longer have to share a planet with the likes of matrimonial minded Gays and Lesbians or religious apostates like Mahatma Ghandi
I could go on, but you long ago got the point.
And now that I give it some more thought, perhaps there is no need to “harass Sarah.” As I said earlier, just being herself is what sunk the good ship McCain. Maybe her just continuing to be herself is all we need for her to fall off the political radar screen.
For the sake of our children and grandchildren and the future of the planet, let’s hope so.
Palin in Spotlight as Republicans Turn on Each Other November 9, 2008Posted by rogerhollander in Sarah Palin.
Tags: conservative Republican, conservatives criticize McCain, John McCain, McCain aides, Republican candidates, Republican canibalism, Republican infighting, Republican Party, Republican Presidential Ticket, roger hollander, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin
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Saturday 08 November 2008
by: Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian UK
Many Republicans are pointing fingers at Sarah Palin, blaming her for John McCain’s loss. (Photo: Reuters)
As the implosion of the defeated Republican campaign continued yesterday, the landscape of American conservatism was dotted with signs that these were very strange times indeed.
Rush Limbaugh, behemoth of rightwing radio, took to the airwaves to declare war on two enemies: Barack Obama and the Republican party. Bloggers at FreeRepublic.com, an internet hub for conservatives, announced a boycott of Fox News and John McCain’s aides fell over one another to leak embarrassing details about the campaign to the press.
Liberals, indulging in what the writer Andrew Sullivan termed “Palinfreude”, were presented with a smorgasbord, ranging from the tale of how McCain’s pro-Palin foreign policy adviser had his Blackberry confiscated in the closing days of the race, to how the party had paid for Todd Palin’s silk boxer shorts.
The fighting consuming the McCain and Palin camps threatened to derail broader efforts to overhaul the Republican party after Tuesday’s decisive defeat, for which some insiders blamed Sarah Palin. Veterans of the right gathered in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, on Thursday for a summit on the movement’s future, but even as they did so, the blame went on.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it is worse than I thought,” Limbaugh told listeners. “What the Republican party, led by disgruntled and failed McCain staffers, is trying to do to Sarah Palin, is unconscionable … There are country-club, blue-blood … Republicans who want nothing to do with a firebrand conservative [who] can fire up people.” He added: “We’re going to be taking on two things here [over] the next four years: Obama, and our own party establishment.”
John Fund, a Wall Street Journal columnist, said he had received multiple calls from campaign aides wanting “to use me as a conduit for their complaints”.
“Some on the McCain campaign staff seem more eager than most to settle scores,” he noted.
The main ammunition in the war was a lengthening list of allegations against Palin: that she thought Africa was a country; that she failed to inform the campaign about a scheduled call with Nicolas Sarkozy which turned out to be a prank; that she refused to undergo coaching prior to her disastrous interviews with CBS anchor Katie Couric; that she couldn’t name the three countries in the North America Free Trade Agreement; and that the party had spent up to $70,000 (£45,000) on “wardrobe items” for Palin and “luxury goods” for her husband, in addition to the $150,000 already reported. (Some of the claims were revealed by Fox, hence the boycott.)
The New York Times reported that when Palin met McCain in Phoenix on Tuesday night, she held the text of a speech she planned to deliver, in defiance of campaign convention, and had to be overruled.
The attacks are partly ideological: some blame Palin and her social-conservative supporters for blunting McCain’s appeal to independents, while others believe Palin could be the populist, hawkish figurehead of a revitalised Republican future.
But there is plenty of self-interest at stake. “This blame game is the consultants – the people who make their living running campaigns and don’t want to be blamed, because they need another job,” said Al Regnery, publisher of the American Spectator, and former president of Regnery Publishing, the company behind many recent rightwing bestsellers.
At Thursday’s summit, he said, “there was a lot of discussion about these people, who always seem to come back, whether they win or lose, and get paid a lot of money. We said we thought our side would be much better off without them.”
The sniping at Palin has provoked a backlash. One influential website, RedState.com, announced Operation Leper, designed to blacklist campaign staffers believed to be responsible. “We intend to constantly remind the base about these people, monitor who they are working for, and, when 2012 rolls around, see which candidates hire them,” it explained.
There was speculation that the culprits may be former aides to Mitt Romney, positioning their hero for a future presidential run.
The collapse of the McCain-Palin alliance began long before election day, Steve Schmidt, a senior McCain adviser, speaking to reporters on the candidate’s plane, was making little effort to hide his disdain for Palin. Asked if her presence on the ticket had been a disadvantage, he twice refused to answer.
Randy Scheunemann, McCain’s foreign policy chief, this week denied reports that he had been fired in the final stage of the campaign for siding with Palin and leaking “poison” on McCain to the pro-Palin columnist William Kristol. But even one of his allies, Michael Goldfarb, told reporters that Scheunemann’s Blackberry had been confiscated in the days before the election.
Kristol, who in one column advised McCain to “fire” his campaign, scoffed at reports that he had advised Palin. “I’m afraid it shows how paranoid some of these McCain aides have gotten – they should take a good rest after a tough campaign,” he told Fox.
He had met Palin once in his life, he continued, and interviewed her once by phone. “You know why this is really disgusting and disgraceful?” he said. “It’s disloyal to John McCain. Who selected Sarah Palin? John McCain. Who defended Sarah Palin for the last three months? John McCain.”
Returning to Alaska, Palin dismissed the criticisms, attributing them to “a small, bitter type of person”. Instead, she has emphasised perhaps the only thing that still unites her and her supporters with McCain loyalists: hostility towards the media.
She had “a little bit of disappointment in my heart about the world of journalism today”, she said, while McCain’s closest aide, Mark Salter, told Politico: “Maybe if the media had been fair, we still would have lost. But there were two different standards of scrutiny for us and Obama.”
Palin offered to help reporters confront their problems. “I want to … help restore some credibility there,” she said.
Palin Changes the Subject November 2, 2008Posted by rogerhollander in Sarah Palin.
Tags: Department of Homeland Security, McCain Palin, Palin economy, Palin national security, Palin not qualified, Palin Ridge Pennsylvania, Palin security, roger hollander, Saran Palin, Tom Ridge
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Julie, Bosman, New York Times Political Blog, Oct. 30, 2008
ERIE, Pa. – Gov. Sarah Palin tried to change the subject from the economy to national security on Thursday, warning an audience of 7,000 not to vote based on economic concerns alone.
“In times of economic worry and hardship, the crisis that we’re in right now, sometimes it’s tempting to put those concerns aside on Election Day, national security issue, but we don’t have that luxury,” Ms. Palin said, adding that Senator Barack Obama intends to “soften the focus” in the closing days before the election.
“He’s hoping your mind won’t wander to the real challenges – national security – challenges that he is incapable of meeting. But in a time of choosing, we have to decide which man has proven that he can protect us from Osama bin Laden and from Al Qaeda.”
Ms. Palin spent the day burnishing her own national security credentials, meeting with a group of national security advisers that included former Gov. Tom Ridge; James Woolsey, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency; Rear Admiral Marsha Evans; Lieutenant General Carol Mutter; John Lehman, the 17th Secretary of the Navy; and Ambassador Rich Williamson, the special envoy to Sudan.
The meeting was closed to the press, but Ms. Palin spoke to a small group of students, alumni and reporters afterward, flanked by the advisers and four large American flags.
“It may be hard to spend much time worrying about great troubles in far-off places when you fear for your own job and the possible life insurance threats that we have, maybe losing that life insurance plan, health benefits, by losing a job, those things that you perhaps are worried about today,” she said. “It may be hard to spare much thought even for the most urgent matters of national security.”
Mr. Ridge, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security, appeared to dutifully be back on message after saying last week that Senator John McCain might have been on the verge of winning Pennsylvania if he had chosen Mr. Ridge – not Ms. Palin – as his running mate.
This time, he noted his “three decades long” friendship with Mr. McCain and introduced Ms. Palin by asking the crowd to give a “very warm, northwest Pennsylvania welcome to the next vice president of the United States!”
It was the third time in a week that Ms. Palin has strayed from her standard stump speech and focused on a single policy issue. Last Friday, she spoke about special-needs children, and on Wednesday, she delivered a speech on energy security.
In Case You Weren’t Scared Enough: Palin on “Fruit Fly Research” October 28, 2008Posted by rogerhollander in Sarah Palin.
Tags: Huffington Post on Palin, McCain Palin, Palin fruit fly research, Palin not qualified, Palin science, Palin's qualifications, Republican candidates, Republican Party Vice President Nominee, Republican Presidential Ticket, Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin quotes, U.S. Election 2008
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Todd Palmer and Rod Pringle, Huffington Post, Oct. 27, 2008
Today, we are blogging from Durham, North Carolina, where we are trying to do our humble bit to help elect Barack Obama. On Friday, Sarah Palin gave us yet another reason to feel good about what we’re doing here.
We are far from the first people to comment on this subject — even within the Huffington Post — so we’ll keep it brief. But Palin’s mockery of “fruit fly research” during her October 24th speech on special-needs children was so misconceived, so offensive, so aggressively stupid, and so dangerous that we felt we had to comment.
Here’s the excerpt from the speech:
“Where does a lot of that earmark money end up, anyway? […] You’ve heard about, um, these — some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense, and sometimes these dollars they go to projects having little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not!”
It’s hard to know where to begin deconstructing this statement. This was a speech on autism, and Palin’s critics have pounced on the fact that a recent study of Drosophila fruit flies showed that a protein called neurexin is essential for proper neurological function — a discovery with clear implications for autism research.
Awkward! But this critique merely scrapes icing off the cake.
Fruit flies are more than just the occasional vehicles for research relevant to human disabilities. They are literally the foundation of modern genetics, the original model organism that has enabled us to discover so much of what we know about heredity, genome structure, congenital disorders, and (yes) evolution. So for Palin to state that “fruit fly research” has “little or nothing to do with the public good” is not just wrong — it’s mind-boggling.
What else does this blunder say about Palin and her candidacy? Many people have used it as just another opportunity to call her a dummy, since anyone who has stayed awake through even a portion of a high-school-level biology class knows what fruit flies are good for. But leave that aside for a second. Watch the clip. Listen to the tone of her voice as she sneers the words “fruit fly research.” Check out the disdain and incredulity on her face. How would science, basic or applied, fare under President Palin?
We have other questions. Who wrote this speech? Was he or she as ignorant as Palin about the central role that fruit flies have played in the last century of biomedical research? Or was this a calculated slight to science and scientists — a coded way of saying, “We don’t care what you know or what you think”? We find it odd that, of all the examples of dubious expenditures of public funds, the speechwriters alighted on this one.
Whatever the explanation, it scares us. Everyone who has suffered, either personally or indirectly, from an inherited illness, and anyone whose life has been lengthened or enriched by modern medicine, should channel Palin’s flip comment when they stand in the voting booth on November 4th.
Why a Staunch Conservative Like Me Endorsed Obama October 26, 2008Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008.
Tags: abandon McCain, conservative voice against McCain, conservatives criticize McCain, conservatives reject McCain, John Mcain, Ken Adelman, McCain and Palin, McCain character, McCain lack of character, McCain personality, McCain temper, Republicans reject McCain, roger hollander
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Ken Adelman, Huffington Post, October 24, 2008
That’s what I wondered when George Packer (ace of the New Yorker) asked whether he could post my intention to vote for Obama on his blog.
So I duly ignored him. Only when he bugged me two days later did I say okay, and responded in quick, instinctive emails back.
Little did I know the splash this would make. Not until a day later, when my wife and I were up in Philadelphia to teach leadership via scenes from Shakespeare’s Henry V for the Wharton Business School. When friends joined us for dinner at UPenn, they said their taxi driver had talked about my “endorsement of Obama,” having read it online during a break.
What’s most fun about unexpectedly “breaking through” on an issue is not feeling powerful, that you’re molding minds out there. People make up their own minds, based on lots more information than my personal inclinations.
Okay, this type announcement can give (maybe a few) conservatives some cover — not publicly to use with others, but privately to assure themselves that it’s actually okay to break away. To break with the most conservative, or Republican, candidate and vote (in my case, the first time ever) for “the other guy.”
And it’s not most fun dealing with longtime friends, fellow conservatives. Most are polite and say they understand, and they’ll get over it. Yet a few do get heated, show their disappointment, and say they can’t understand my taking a public stance (even if I privately stray).
I don’t enjoy those discussions, since I’ve long prided myself in being a staunch conservative.
Not a neo-con, since I was never liberal along the way (having campaigned for Barry Goldwater in 1964, when at that hotbed of lefty politics, Grinnell College). I’m really a con-con.
And not a staunch Republican, as I’ve never been to a Republican rally or convention (I came closest in 1980, after writing Don Rumsfeld’s speech and after we drove there; but I left Detroit before the convention opened).
So I’ve considered myself less of a partisan than an ideologue. I cared about conservative principles, and still do, instead of caring about the GOP.
Granted, McCain’s views are closer to mine than Obama’s. But I’ve learned over this Bush era to value competence along with ideology. Otherwise, our ideology gets discredited, as it has so disastrously over the past eight years.
McCain’s temperament — leading him to bizarre behavior during the week the economic crisis broke — and his judgment — leading him to Wasilla — depressed me into thinking that “our guy” would be a(nother) lousy conservative president. Been there, done that.
I’d rather a competent moderate president. Even at a risk, since Obama lacks lots of executive experience displaying competence (though his presidential campaign has been spot-on). And since his Senate voting record is not moderate, but depressingly liberal. Looming in the background, Pelosi and Reid really scare me.
Nonetheless, I concluded that McCain would not — could not — be a good president. Obama just might be.
That’s become good enough for me — however much of a triumph (as Dr. Johnson said about second marriages) of hope over experience.
Now what’s most fun about the media breakthrough is hearing from gobs of people from previous lives. Many long forgotten, reminding me of long forgotten times together. People emerging suddenly, from the dark matter of time, into the recesses of the brain.
These folks were important at various stages of my life — grammar school playmates, Grinnell classmates, Indianapolis cousins, Dan Quayle, Dick Allen, colleagues from the Reagan arms control agency (chuckling over my quip to Packer that I wouldn’t have hired Sarah Palin to a mid-level job there).
A veritable stroll down memory lane, to see a line of people who have touched my life at various times, in its varied stages, reconnecting in a most unexpected (even bizarre) manner.
Now that’s fun.
Alaskas Largest Newspaper Endorses Barack Obama October 26, 2008Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008.
Tags: abandon McCain, Alaska, Alaska endorses Obama, Alaska for Obama, Alaska rejects McCain, John Mcain, McCain and national interest, McCain Palin, roger hollander, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008
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Of course they’re endorsing Obama. They’ve lived with Palin. They know her. They realize McCain’s huge mistake.
October 26, 2008
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage Daily News, Alaska’s largest newspaper, has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president.
The newspaper said Sunday the Democrat “brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand.”
The Daily News said since the economic crisis has emerged, Republican presidential candidate John McCain has “stumbled and fumbled badly” in dealing with it.
“Of the two candidates, Sen. Obama better understands the mortgage meltdown’s root causes and has the judgment and intelligence to shape a solution, as well as the leadership to rally the country behind it,” the paper said.
The Daily News said Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has shown the country why she is a success as governor. But the paper said few would argue that Palin is truly ready to step into the job of being president despite her passion, charisma and strong work ethic.
“Gov. Palin’s nomination clearly alters the landscape for Alaskans as we survey this race for the presidency — but it does not overwhelm all other judgment. The election, after all is said and done, is not about Sarah Palin, and our sober view is that her running mate, Sen. John McCain, is the wrong choice for president at this critical time for our nation,” the paper said.
“Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time,” the paper concluded.
Palin’s ‘going rogue,’ McCain Aide Says October 25, 2008Posted by rogerhollander in John McCain, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008.
Tags: Add new tag, John Mcain, McCain Palin, Palin rogue, Republican candidates, Republican Party, Republican Party Vice President Nominee, Republican Presidential Ticket, Republican ticket 2008, roger hollander, Sarah Palin
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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (CNN) — With 10 days until Election Day, long-brewing tensions between GOP vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin and key aides to Sen. John McCain have become so intense, they are spilling out in public, sources say.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at a rally in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday.
Several McCain advisers have suggested to CNN that they have become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin “going rogue.”
A Palin associate, however, said the candidate is simply trying to “bust free” of what she believes was a damaging and mismanaged roll-out.
McCain sources say Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate. They cited an instance in which she labeled robocalls — recorded messages often used to attack a candidate’s opponent — “irritating” even as the campaign defended their use. Also, they pointed to her telling reporters she disagreed with the campaign’s decision to pull out of Michigan.
A second McCain source says she appears to be looking out for herself more than the McCain campaign.
“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said this McCain adviser. “She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else.
“Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.”
A Palin associate defended her, saying that she is “not good at process questions” and that her comments on Michigan and the robocalls were answers to process questions.
But this Palin source acknowledged that Palin is trying to take more control of her message, pointing to last week’s impromptu news conference on a Colorado tarmac.
Tracey Schmitt, Palin’s press secretary, was urgently called over after Palin wandered over to the press and started talking. Schmitt tried several times to end the unscheduled session.
“We acknowledge that perhaps she should have been out there doing more,” a different Palin adviser recently said, arguing that “it’s not fair to judge her off one or two sound bites” from the network interviews.
The Politico reported Saturday on Palin’s frustration, specifically with McCain advisers Nicolle Wallace and Steve Schmidt. They helped decide to limit Palin’s initial press contact to high-profile interviews with Charlie Gibson of ABC and Katie Couric of CBS, which all McCain sources admit were highly damaging.
In response, Wallace e-mailed CNN the same quote she gave the Politico: “If people want to throw me under the bus, my personal belief is that the most honorable thing to do is to lie there.”
But two sources, one Palin associate and one McCain adviser, defended the decision to keep her press interaction limited after she was picked, both saying flatly that she was not ready and that the missteps could have been a lot worse.
They insisted that she needed time to be briefed on national and international issues and on McCain’s record.
“Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic,” said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the “hardest” to get her “up to speed than any candidate in history.”
Schmitt came to the back of the plane Saturday to deliver a statement to traveling reporters: “Unnamed sources with their own agenda will say what they want, but from Gov. Palin down, we have one agenda, and that’s to win on Election Day.”
Yet another senior McCain adviser lamented the public recriminations.
“This is what happens with a campaign that’s behind; it brings out the worst in people, finger-pointing and scapegoating,” this senior adviser said.
This adviser also decried the double standard, noting that Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama‘s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, has gone off the reservation as well, most recently by telling donors at a fundraiser that America’s enemies will try to “test” Obama.
Tensions like those within the McCain-Palin campaign are not unusual; vice presidential candidates also have a history of butting heads with the top of the ticket.
John Edwards and his inner circle repeatedly questioned Sen. John Kerry’s strategy in 2004, and Kerry loyalists repeatedly aired in public their view that Edwards would not play the traditional attack dog role with relish because he wanted to protect his future political interests.
Even in a winning campaign like Bill Clinton’s, some of Al Gore’s aides in 1992 and again in 1996 questioned how Gore was being scheduled for campaign events.
Jack Kemp’s aides distrusted the Bob Dole camp and vice versa, and Dan Quayle loyalists had a list of gripes remarkably similar to those now being aired by Gov. Palin’s aides.
With the presidential race in its final days and polls suggesting that McCain’s chances of pulling out a win are growing slim, Palin may be looking after her own future.
“She’s no longer playing for 2008; she’s playing 2012,” Democratic pollster Peter Hart said. “And the difficulty is, when she went on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ she became a reinforcement of her caricature. She never allowed herself to be vetted, and at the end of the day, voters turned against her both in terms of qualifications and personally.”