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Would We Be Better Off If John McCain Were President? August 1, 2011

Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain.
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Roger’s note: for those of us who vote the “lesser of evils,” here is a cogent and fascinating argument.  Should it be McCain and not Obama who is selling out wholesale to the military-industrial complex, warring incessantly abroad and helping the rich get richer and the poor poorer at home, not only would the hypocritical Democratic Party be taking up indignant opposition, but, more importantly, there would be massive protests in the street (which is the only effective antidote to Imperial America).
AlterNet /Fred Branfman

Presidents serve the institutional interests of the
corporations behind them. A President McCain may have at least triggered a true
progressive fight.

July 17, 2011  |

Beth Rankin / Flickr Creative Commons
Photo Credit: Beth Rankin / Flickr
The following piece first appeared on Truthdig.

Democrats were united on one issue in the 2008 presidential election: the
absolute disaster that a John McCain victory would have produced.

And they were right. McCain as president would clearly have produced a long
string of catastrophes: He would probably have approved a failed troop surge in
Afghanistan, engaged in worldwide extrajudicial assassination, destabilized nuclear-armed
Pakistan, failed to bring Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to the negotiating table, expanded prosecution of whistle-blowers, sought to
expand executive branch power, failed to close Guantanamo, failed to act on climate change, pushed both nuclear energy and opened new
areas to domestic oil drilling, failed to reform the financial sector enough to prevent another financial catastrophe, supported an extension of the
Bush tax cuts for the rich, presided over a growing divide between rich and poor, and failed to lower the jobless rate.

Nothing reveals the true state of American politics today more than the fact
that Democratic President Barack Obama has undertaken all of these actions, and
even more significantly, left the Democratic Party far weaker than it would have
been had McCain been elected. Few issues are more important than seeing behind
the screen of a myth-making mass media, and understanding what this demonstrates
about how power in America really works—and what needs to be done to change

First and foremost, McCain would have undoubtedly selected as treasury
secretary an individual nominated by Wall Street—which has a stranglehold on the
economy due to its enjoying 30 to 40 percent of all corporate profits. If he
didn’t select Tim Geithner, a reliable servant of financial interests whose
nomination might have allowed McCain to trumpet his “maverick” credentials,
whoever he did select would clearly have also moved to bail out the financial
institutions and allow them to water down needed financial reforms.

Ditto for the head of his National Economic Council. Although appointing
Larry Summers might have been a bit of a stretch, despite his yeoman work in destroying financial regulation—thus enriching
his old boss Robert Rubin and helping cause the Crash of 2008—McCain could
easily have found a Jack Kemp-like Republican “supply-sider” who would have
duplicated Summers’ signal achievement of expanding the deficit to the highest
levels since 1950 (though perhaps with a slightly higher percentage of tax cuts
than the Obama stimulus). The economy would have continued to sputter along,
with growth rates and joblessness levels little different from today’s, and
possibly even worse.

But McCain’s election would have produced a major political difference: It
would have increased Democratic clout in the House and Senate. First off, there
would have been no Tea Party, no “don’t raise the debt limit unless we gut the
poor,” no “death panel” myth, no “Obama Youth” nonsense. Although there would
have been plenty of criticism from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, the fact remains
that McCain, a Republican war hero, would never have excited the Tea Party
animus as did the “Secret-Muslim Kenyan-Born Big-Government Fascist White-Hating
Antichrist” Obama. Glenn Beck would have remained a crazed nonentity and been
dropped far sooner by Fox News than he was. And Vice President Sarah Palin,
despised by both McCain and his tough White House staff, would have been
deprived of any real power and likely tightly muzzled against criticizing
McCain’s relatively centrist (compared to her positions) policies.

Voters would almost certainly have increased Democratic control of the House
and Senate in 2010, since the Republicans would have been seen as responsible
for the weak U.S. economy. Democrats might even have achieved the long-desired
60 percent majority needed to kill the filibuster in one or both houses.

Democratic control of the House and Senate fostered by disastrous Republican
policies would have severely limited McCain’s ability (as occurred with George
W. Bush) to weaken Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance
and other programs that aid those most in need. (Yes, domestic spending might
have been cut less if McCain had won.)

Had McCain proposed “health insurance reform,” because health insurers saw a
golden opportunity to increase their customer base and profits while retaining
their control, the Democrats would at least have passed a “public option” as
their price for support. And possible Health and Human Services Secretary Newt
Gingrich—placed in that position in a clever move to keep him away from economic
or foreign policy—might have even accelerated needed improvements in
computerizing patient records and other high-tech measures needed to cut health
care costs, actions that he touted in his book on the subject.

In foreign and military policy, McCain would surely have approved Gen. David
Petraeus’ “Afghanistan surge,” possibly increasing the number of U.S. troops
there by 40,000 instead of 33,500. But Gen. Stanley McChrystal would probably
have remained at the helm in Afghanistan, since he and his aides would never
have disparaged McCain to Rolling Stone. McChrystal
might have continued a “counterinsurgency” strategy, observing relatively strict
rules of engagement, unlike his successor, Petraeus, who tore up those rules and
has instead unleashed a brutal cycle of “counterterror” violence in southern
Afghanistan. (Yes, far fewer Afghan civilians might have died had McCain

McCain, like Obama, would probably have destabilized nuclear-armed Pakistan
and strengthened militant forces there by expanding drone strikes and pushing
the Pakistani military to launch disastrous offensives into tribal areas. And he
would have given as much support as has Obama to Israeli Prime Minister
Netanyahu’s opposition to a peace deal because he believes that present policies
of strangling Gaza, annexing East Jerusalem, expanding West Bank settlements and
walling off Palestinians are succeeding. (It is possible that a McCain secretary
of state might not have incited violence against unarmed American citizens—as
did Hillary Clinton when she stated that Israelis, who
killed nine unarmed members of the 2010 Gaza flotilla, “have the right to defend
themselves” against letter-carrying 2011 Gaza flotilla members.)

While McCain would have wanted to keep 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan
until 2014, he might have been forced to reduce their numbers, as has Obama. For
McCain would have faced a strengthened and emboldened Democratic Congress, which
might have seen electoral gold in responding to polls indicating the public had
turned against the Afghanistan War—as well as a far stronger peace movement
united against Republicans instead of divided as it now is between the desires
for peace and seeing an Obama win in 2012.

Most significantly, if McCain had won, not only would Democrats be looking at
a Democratic landslide in the 2012 presidential race, but the newly elected
Democratic president in 2013 might enjoy both a 60 percent or higher majority in
both houses and a clear public understanding that it was Republican policies
that had sunk the economy. He or she might thus be far better positioned to
enact substantive reforms than was Obama in 2008, or will Obama even if he is
re-elected in 2012.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in March 1933 after a 42-month
Depression blamed entirely on the Republicans. Although he had campaigned as a
moderate, objective conditions both convinced him of the need for fundamental
change—creating a safety net including Social Security, strict financial
regulation, programs to create jobs, etc.—and gave him the congressional
pluralities he needed to achieve them. A Democratic president taking office in
2013 after 12 years of disastrous Republican economic misrule might well have
been likewise pushed and enabled by objective events to create substantive

Furious debate rages among Obama’s Democratic critics today on why he has
largely governed on the big issues as John McCain would have done. Some believe
he retains his principles but has been forced to compromise by political
realities. Others are convinced he was a manipulative politico who lacked any
real convictions in the first place.

But there is a far more likely—and disturbing—possibility. Based on those who
knew him and his books, there is little reason to doubt that the
pre-presidential Obama was a college professor-type who shared the belief system
of his liberalish set: that ending climate change and reducing nuclear weapons
were worthy goals, that it was important to “reset” U.S. policy toward the
Muslim world, that torture and assassination were bad things, that
Canadian-style single-payer health insurance made sense, that whistle-blowing
and freedom of the press should be protected, Congress should have a say in
whether the executive puts the nation into war, and that government should
support community development and empowering poor communities.

Upon taking office, however, Obama—whatever his belief system at that
point—found that he was unable to accomplish these goals for one basic reason:
The president of the United States is far less powerful than media myth
portrays. Domestic power really is in the hands of economic elites and their
lobbyists, and foreign policy really is controlled by U.S. executive branch
national security managers and a “military-industrial complex.” If a president
supports their interests, as did Bush in invading Iraq, he or she can do a lot
of damage. But, absent a crisis, a president who opposes these elites—as Obama
discovered when he tried in the fall of 2009 to get the military to offer him an
alternative to an Afghanistan troop surge—is relatively powerless.

Whether a Ronald Reagan expanding government and running large deficits in
the 1980s despite his stated belief that government was the problem, or a Bill
Clinton imposing a neoliberal regime impoverishing hundreds of millions in the
Third World in the 1990s despite his rhetorical support for helping the poor,
anyone who becomes president has little choice but to serve the institutional
interests of a profoundly amoral and violent executive branch and the
corporations behind them.

The U.S. executive branch functions to promote its version of U.S. economic
and geopolitical interests abroad—including engaging in massive violence which
has killed, wounded or made homeless more than 21 million people in Indochina
and Iraq combined. And it functions at home to maximize the interests of the
corporations and individuals who fund political campaigns—today supported by a
U.S. Supreme Court whose politicized decision to expand corporations’ control
over elections has made a mockery of the very notion of “checks and balances.”
The executive branch’s power extends to the mass media, most of whose
journalists are dependent on executive information leaks and paychecks from
increasingly concentrated media corporations. They thus serve executive power
far more than they challenge it.

No one more demonstrates what happens to a human being who joins the
executive branch than Hillary Clinton, a former peace movement supporter whose
1969 Wellesley commencement address stated that “our prevailing, acquisitive, and
competitive corporate life is not the way of life for us. We’re searching for
more immediate, ecstatic and penetrating modes of living”; praised “a lot of the
New Left [that] harkens back to a lot of the old virtues”; and decried “the
hollow men of anger and bitterness, the bountiful ladies of righteous
degradation, all must be left to a bygone age.” Clinton the individual served on
the board of the Children’s Defense Fund, promoted helping the poor at home and
Third World women abroad and at one point was even often compared to Eleanor

Although her transformation began once she decided to try to become
president, it became most visible after she joined the executive branch as
secretary of state. The former peace advocate has now become a major advocate
for war-making, a scourge of whistle-blowers and a facilitator of Israeli

But while rich and powerful elites have always ruled in America, their power
has periodically been successfully challenged at times of national crisis: the
Civil War, the Progressive era, the Depression. America is clearly headed for
such a moment in the coming decade, as its economy continues to decline due to a
parasitic Wall Street, mounting debt, strong economic competitors, overspending
on the military, waste in the private health care sector and elites declaring
class war against a majority of Americans.

Naomi Klein has written penetratingly of Disaster Capitalism, which
occurs when financial and corporate elites benefit from the economic crises they
cause. But the reverse has also often proved true: a kind of “Disaster
Progressivism” often occurs when self-interested elites cause so much suffering
that policies favoring democracy and the majority become possible.

The United States will clearly face such a crisis in the coming decade. It is
understandable that many Americans will want to focus on re-electing Obama in
2012. Although Democrats and the country would have been better off if McCain
had won in 2008, this is not necessarily true if a Republican wins in
2012—especially if the GOP nominates Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann.

But however important the 2012 election, far more energy needs to be devoted
to building mass organizations that challenge elite power and develop the kinds
of policies—including massive investment in a “clean energy economic
revolution,” a carbon tax and other tough measures to stave off climate change,
regulating and breaking up the financial sector, cost-effective entitlements
like single-payer health insurance, and public financing of primary and general
elections—which alone can save America and its democracy in the painful decade
to come.

Fred Branfman’s writing has been published in
the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Republic, and other
publications. He is the author of several books on the Indochina War.

Same Sex Marriage: Is the Separation of Church and State a Fundamental Issue? November 13, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in About Human Rights, Human Rights.
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© Roger Hollander, 2008-11-13


(dedicated to Keith Olbermann)


In light of the negative results for same sex civil rights in California, Florida, Arizona and Arkansas elections on November 4, I suggest it may be helpful to take a political/philosophical/analytical look at the issue.


My thesis is the following:


Prejudice and bigotry aside, the greatest obstacle to resolving the human rights issue of same sex marriage is the unfortunate historic “marriage” of church and state in the marriage business.


Those who practice religious beliefs have the right to define in their own terms what a “marriage” between two human beings is.  What they don’t have a right to do is to impose that definition on anyone else, least of all the state.  Nor do they have the right to put into practice within their own communities a definition that violates human rights.  This is true regardless of the degree to which their views are honestly held versus being based upon veiled bigotry.


From the point of view of civil society, what is generally referred to as “marriage” has to do with certain civil rights (inheritance, taxes, adoption, etc.) and restrictions (age, bigamy, incest, etc.).  In a secular democracy where human rights are respected, these rights and restrictions need apply to everyone (it is a large part of the problem that the fundamentalist religious right in North America does not believe in or advocate secular democracy, rather they are intent upon imposing a theocracic form of government, not that different from their Islamic counterparts).


It has been the con(fusion) of the religious and civil concepts via state sanctioned religious marriages that has been the root of the problem.  This reality reflects itself in the fact that many who oppose same sex marriage have no problem with civil unions.


This, of course, is not to underestimate the impact of bigotry, religious or otherwise, on the issue.  However, it is important to have a clear political analysis with honest, clean and understandable definitions.  Just as it has been crucial with respect to women’s reproductive health rights that the issue be defined as pro-choice and not pro-abortion; it is essential that those who favor same sex civil rights recognize and take into account that anti-gay bigotry is one thing, and the fundamental issue of the separation of church and state is another.


From a pragmatic political perspective, had the No vote for Proposition Eight prevailed in California, then perhaps it would have turned out for the good to have fought the battle on the grounds of “gay marriage.”  Furthermore, it is understandable that men and women who are gay and Lesbian should feel entitled to the same rights and the rest of the population, even if the social institution of concern is morally or politically flawed.  A gay or Lesbian pacifist, for example, would not be in self-contradiction advocating for equal rights in the military.


Nevertheless, in the long run I believe it is always best to struggle on the grounds of reason and justice even if it is going to entail a long and arduous battle.  Plato said that we should judge the actual by the ideal and not the other way around.  Separating religious union from civil union should therefore should never be lost sight of as the fundamental objective; it should be the long term goal regardless of tactical manoeuvres that may make sense along the way.

In an ideal world civil union would be the broader category; every couple who wished to be considered legally a single unit by the state, regardless of sexual orientation and regardless of religious affiliation, would be required to have their union performed and sanctioned by the state.  Amongst that larger population, those with religious beliefs would be free, in addition, to be “married” by their church authority.


In and ideal world, a church that believed that “marriage” should only be between a man and a women, might only consider as “married” those both within and outside their community who meet that definition, but would in no way discriminate against same sex couples either within or outside their communities, who have entered into state sanctioned civil unions.


A final tangential thought.  When I was a student in the 1950s and 1960s, I could not have conceived that in my lifetime we would see the election of an Afro-American President in the United States.  I regret to say that at the moment, I find it just as hard to conceive of the election of an openly gay or Lesbian President in my children’s lifetime.  It is my fervent wish nonetheless that History will prove me wrong once again.









Harass Sarah? November 12, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in About Repubicans, 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. 


Massive Palin Scandal Brewing October 14, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in John McCain, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

From the Plaid Lemur Blog

October 13, 2008

A scandal twice the size of Ted Stevens’ is brewing for Sarah Palin. No, it’s not the troopergate report, which in its own right is a monumental scandal, but one that hasn’t hit the mainstream media yet. This one’s a doozie. A half million dollar doozie.

Those of us who pay attention to the election with our proverbial telescopes and microscopes have all seen the pictures of Sarah Palin’s beautiful home overlooking a pristine Alaskan lake. It’s very picturesque, and enviable for most Americans. Now, it’s all the more idyllic if you believe the Palin’s–Todd built it himself, with his own two hands. What a nice image, but is that image the true one?

The home was constructed in 2002, right before Sarah Palin’s tenure as the director of Ted Stevens’ PAC, Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Incorporated. Ted Stevens, you may recall, was indicted for taking a quarter of a million dollars worth of gifts in the form of construction on his Alaskan cabin, and there are potential striking similarities to Sarah Palin’s situation. Not only is it improbable that Todd Palin built an almost 4,000 square foot luxury home with a ‘couple of buddies’, but it is looking as though Todd Palin had very little to do with the construction other than supervision.

Remember the massive, and horribly overpriced sports complex that Sarah Palin pushed through in Wasilla? Well, it seems that the sports complex contractors and architect have strong links and ties to Palin. Spenard Building Supplies was one, and wouldn’t you know, they also supplied the materials for the Palin’s home. Sure, a small connection, but get this–Spenard also was the supplier for Ted Stevens cabin. This one building supply company is involved with Palin, Stevens, the Wasilla sports complex, and is a financial contributor to Palin. Keep in mind that the sports complex was being constructed at the very same time as the Palin’s home.

This connection is neither fleeting, nor minor. This appears to be a pattern of concurrent events that makes it more and more likely that the Palin’s home may have been some sort of quid pro quo arrangement for the massive influx of money into the building supply company. An area that could reinforce this connection would be if the architect of the Wasilla sports complex, Blase Burkhart (also a contributor to Palin), had anything to do with the construction of the Palin’s home.

Another interesting twist to the story is that Sarah Palin was, at the time, also running for Lieutenant Governor, a position that could further reward those contributing to her campaign, and those that were involved with the Wasilla sports complex and the construction of Sarah Palin’s home. We know that Alaska has been a bastion of corrupt political activities.

Spenard Building Supplies has connections to Ted Stevens indictment, but also the Murkowskis. They have been a major contributor to Murkowski’s daughter’s Senate run. Frank Murkowski was the center of a massive corruption probe, with his Chief of Staff, Jim Clark, being found guilty in a conspiracy involving Veco, the company at the center of the Ted Stevens corruption scandal. Spenard worked with Veco on Stevens cabin.

So, Sarah Palin’s home involves a company involved with Ted Stevens, Palin became the director of Ted Stevens PAC within months after the home was built, and there is a plausible quid pro quo with the involvement of the $12,500,000 Wasilla sports complex. These connections are proven with city, state  and court documents, the question now is whether Palin’s home had any amount of work contributed by Spenard, Veco, Burkhart, or any other contractors involved with the building of the Wasilla sports complex. My guess? There’s more to this story than has been uncovered so far. Todd Palin didn’t build a nearly 4,000 square foot luxury, lakeside home valued at over $500,000 by himself. Who helped him build it?

Sources for this entry include The Village Voice and StopThinkVote

TV Debates: Candidates Making Nicey Nicey October 3, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in About Class, Canada, John McCain, Sarah Palin.
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Two Great Debates on prime time last night: the U.S. Vice Presidential and the Canadian Prime Ministerial.  I was unable to watch either.


For a reasonable $9.95 a month there is cable TV in the paradisiacal backwater third world village I inhabit at the moment, but I do not subscribe since I have no interest in watching Brazilian soap opera.  Albeit at the maddeningly slow pace of dial-up (yes, here we are in the twenty-first century and dial-up still refuses to die), however, I can read the full text of each debate on the Internet and review commentaries at the web sites of the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CNN, etc.


What always grabs me when read the newspaper coverage is the obligatory photo of all the participants, sometimes shaking hands, sometimes hugging, always smiling that hail fellow well met smile, and happy to be there with his or her fellow friendly opponents.  This, I am convinced, is to assure the nervous viewer (for what is there not to be nervous about in the world of politics and economy these days?) that, despite our differences, we are all patriots, one big happy family engaging in the democratic process for the benefit of the country and humankind; ready to put our little differences behind us and work as a team for the general good.


If you are anything at all like me, then these photos may very well induce an uncontrollable urge to vomit.


I experienced directly and personally the “we’re-all-one-big-family” phenomenon when I sat on the Municipal Council of Metropolitan Toronto.  The (televised!) debates on important issues were always contentious, delivered with passion and conviction.  Opponents, while seldom frankly insulted, were usually treated as if their point of view contained potentially fatal dangers to the body politic, if not the very future of humankind.  However, in the back-chambers lounge, old boy (and old gal) clubbiness prevailed and schmoozing was the order of the day.  I was by far the most radical left on the Council, yet my ultra-conservative brethren and sisterern could not be friendlier: they sent flowers when I was in the hospital saying goodbye to my gall bladder.


What is my point?  My point is that the media, the politicos themselves, the academics, the talking head pundits, they all want to avoid at all costs the notion of class, and, above all, the concept of … horrors … class warfare.


There is no class warfare in North America (or anywhere for that matter).  Those who are homeless, those who cannot afford health care, those who are losing their homes via the mortgage lending fiasco, those whose jobs are being “outsourced” to the third word, undocumented immigrants who do our shit work for peanuts only to be harassed by their employers and terrorized by Homeland Security and the local police, all these fully enfranchised U.S. and Canadian citizens or residents should be thankful in that they share the same geography, democratic privileges and Christian values as the Kenneth Lays and the Conrad Blacks.  As I say, one big happy family.  Only some are not so happy.


So what am I advocating?  Class warfare?  I don’t need to advocate class warfare, it goes on at a low level (that from time to time, like nowadays, is elevated to a much higher level) every day.  All I am saying is: recognize it for what it is.


I may share citizenship, for example, with Stephen Harper and John Bush McCain, but I do not see them as fellow anything.  They are dangerous men, not only to me personally, but to millions of Canadians and Americans.  They and the big money behind them have no scruples when it comes to winning and holding power.  AVERAGE WORKING OR UNEMPLOYED LOW OR MEDIUM INCOME CANADIAN OR AMERICAN: HARPER AND MCCAIN ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS.  Their election will cost you: money, health, the very biosphere in which you live.  BEWARE.


The scariest statistic I have read lately is that just over one third of Americans believe that Sarah Palin is fit to be President of the United States.  If this is true, then I am fit to be the Queen of England.


And I am not amused.

Adios Sarah Palin? September 30, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Sarah Palin.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
September 29, 2008
Posted: 05:01 PM ET
Palin is being criticized by conservatives and liberals alike on her lack of knowledge on economic and foreign policy.
Palin is being criticized by conservatives and liberals alike on her lack of knowledge on economic and foreign policy.

FROM CNN’s Jack Cafferty:

The chorus of calls for Governor Sarah Palin to step aside as John McCain’s vice presidential candidate is getting louder in the wake of that disastrous interview Palin did with Katie Couric.

Kathleen Parker, a well-respected conservative columnist writes on The National Review website that, after watching Palin’s recent media appearances, her “cringe reflex” is exhausted.

She says that Palin’s interviews with ABC’s Charles Gibson, Fox News’ Sean Hannity and CBS’s Katie Couric have, quote, “all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who is clearly out of her league.”

Parker admits she’d been pulling for Palin as a woman and as a conservative, but her lack of understanding of economic and foreign policy issues is troubling. Parker now says ” If B.S. were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.”

Here’s my question to you: Should John McCain ask Sarah Palin to step aside?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Steve from Philadelphia writes:
Jack, John McCain can’t replace Palin because he would be admitting to his poor judgment. McCain constantly claims that he puts country first. His actions suggest otherwise. Perhaps, he can regain his so-called maverick status by getting rid of her.

Mickie from Tehachapi, California writes:
Yes, especially if she does as badly as I think she might in Thursday’s debate and Republicans continue to support her. Never before have I seriously been frightened that a nominee might actually win! She isn’t just way out of her league, she doesn’t even know what the league is.

Stefano writes:
People are so quick to criticize Palin because of her lack of experience or knowledge. However, these are the same people that were watching TV in 1929. Are you guys serious? If Palin had made the same mistakes that Biden makes every time he opens his mouth, she would have been crucified.

Martin from Miami, Florida writes:
McCain should do it, but he will not admit that he made a bad decision. I believe for the sake of Palin’s political career; she is the one who should remove herself from the ticket. She is not ready and by restraining her, she will make mistakes on top of the lack of knowledge.

Jake from Texas writes:
I really appreciate some of Sarah Palin’s conservative views towards the 2nd Amendment and immigration, but she is the most unqualified candidate running for any office in the United States government. So yes, John McCain should pick another candidate, but he won’t. Sarah plays to the emotions of millions of voters and that is how Republicans win- they appeal to one’s emotions.

Richard writes:
You ask, should John McCain ask Sarah Palin to step aside? Heck, no. With the two of them on the ticket, it is glaringly obvious that they are both woefully inept. I guess the Republican party decided to forego this election and to keep their powder dry for 2012 if the Democrat screws up while in office.


Posted by rogerhollander in Sarah Palin.
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‘Alaska Women Reject Palin’ Rally is HUGE!

14 09 2008

I attended the Welcome Home rally for Sarah Palin this morning.  Hooo.  It was an experience. About a thousand (maybe) hard-core Palin supporters showed up to hear her speak at the new Dena’ina Convention Center in downtown Anchorage.  

After shaking it off with a good double shot of espresso, and a brisk walk back to my car, it was time to head to the Alaska Women Reject Palin rally.    It was to be held outside on the lawn in front of the Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage.  Home made signs were encouraged, and the idea was to make a statement that Sarah Palin does not speak for all Alaska women, or men.  I had no idea what to expect.

The rally was organized by a small group of women, talking over coffee.  It made me wonder what other things have started with small groups of women talking over coffee.  It’s probably an impressive list.  These women hatched the plan, printed up flyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets.  One of those media outlets was KBYR radio, home of Eddie Burke, a long-time uber-conservative Anchorage talk show host.  Turns out that Eddie Burke not only announced the rally, but called the people who planned to attend the rally “a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots”, and read the home phone numbers of the organizers aloud over the air, urging listeners to call and tell them what they thought.  The women, of course, received many nasty,  harassing and threatening messages.

So, as I jettisoned myself from the jaws of the ‘Drill Baby Drill’ crowd and toward the mystery rally at the library, I felt a bit apprehensive.  I’d been disappointed before by the turnout at other rallies.  Basically, in Anchorage, if you can get 25 people to show up at an event, it’s a success.  So, I thought to myself, if we can actually get 100 people there that aren’t sent by Eddie Burke, we’ll be doing good.  A real statement will have been made.  I confess, I still had a mental image of 15 demonstrators surrounded by hundreds of menacing “socialist baby-killing maggot” haters.

It’s a good thing I wasn’t tailgating when I saw the crowd in front of the library or I would have ended up in somebody’s trunk.  When I got there, about 20 minutes early, the line of sign wavers stretched the full length of the library grounds, along the edge of the road, 6 or 7 people deep!  I could hardly find a place to park.  I nabbed one of the last spots in the library lot, and as I got out of the car and started walking, people seemed to join in from every direction, carrying signs.

Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage.  The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators).  This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state.  I was absolutely stunned.  The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by.  And even those that didn’t honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute.  This just doesn’t happen here.

Then, the infamous Eddie Burke showed up.  He tried to talk to the media, and was instantly surrounded by a group of 20 people who started shouting O-BA-MA so loud he couldn’t be heard.  Then passing cars started honking in a rhythmic pattern of 3, like the Obama chant, while the crowd cheered, hooted and waved their signs high. 

So, if you’ve been doing the math…  Yes.  The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was significantly bigger than Palin’s rally that got all the national media coverage!  So take heart, sit back, and enjoy the photo gallery.  Feel free to spread the pictures around (links are appreciated) to anyone who needs to know that Sarah Palin most definitely does not speak for all Alaskans.  The citizens of Alaska, who know her best, have things to say.