Palin and McCain – Canned Populism for Sale

According to the new meme. Repeated endlessly in the last 24 hours, to question, examine or take issue with anything remotely pertaining to Republican nominee for vice-president Sarah Palin is sexist and the worse kinds of smears in modern political history. Add this to the meme that to question Senator McCain on any issue and press for a straight answer is to diminish the pain and suffering of his POW experiences. As Ace Ventura and digby once said, “alrighty then.” Bring on those funny capes with the fur trim, the jewel encrusted crowns and the $500 loafers and anoint the new first couple, Johnny and his soulmate. There is something deeply unAmerican and anti-egalitarian about portraying political leaders, especially during an election cycle as almost demi-gods. There’s John and Sarah up there on their cloud beyond the pale of us mere working Americans. Someone should tell Byron York at the rightie national Review not to act as an echo chamber for those sexist smears against Palin by repeating news from that bastion of classy journalism The National Enquirer, What The Enquirer Is Saying About Palin . Why didn’t York just denounce the story instead of pumping it up. If that is NR’s idea of fighting smears they must think powder puffs are deadly weapons. I don’t know what Jamie Lynn Spears’ politics are, but compare how the Right attacked her and the hypocritical outrage over the tabloid coverage of M’s Palin’s daughter.

When Jamie Lynn Spears’ pregnancy was revealed, for example, Bill O’Reilly went after her parents.

“On the pinhead front, 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant. The sister of Britney says she is shocked. I bet.

“Now most teens are pinheads in some ways. But here the blame falls primarily on the parents of the girl, who obviously have little control over her or even over Britney Spears. Look at the way she behaves,” O’Reilly declared.

When a caller to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show asked about Spears’ parents, Limbaugh also rushed to blame them.

Caller: Would you tend to think that a family in this position, though, wouldn’t you think that there would be a more watchful eye as a parent to be watching over these kids so this doesn’t happen to them?

Limbaugh: I would certainly hope so, but it’s long past time for this to happen. The parents here are the culprits! (all emphasis mine)

Cynthia Tucker notes that once again Republicans, members of the inner circle of American culture receive a get out of criticism free card courtesy their membership privileges. Jamie, obviously a product of amoral pop culture. Britstol, her mom and the self proclaimed “rednecK” boyfriend are off limits, its a personal matter. I agree. Why does the Right keep doing the double standard shuffle on every new scandal. If your child should commit some transgression and you don’t have that magic R on your voter registration card you’re a low life, morally loose, cultural wart on America’s ass. This is what one Texas Republican delegate said about Palin’s family issues, “If anything, it just kind of shows what a normal American she is. Family crises and situations like this arise in families all across the country, and I think she’s doing the best with the situation. I think it will make Gov. Palin all the more strong,” Then one assumes, she listened to Limbaugh in the car on the way home where she watched the Bill O show. This isn’t some small hypocrisy like an environmentalist driving their car to work instead of walking the four blocks. This isn’t just Grand Canyon sized hypocrisy. This is you can see it from space its is so huge cognitive dissonance. The behavior of those inside the Circle of Trust can be faux populismed away. Those outside the Circle are damned.Talk about elitism.

McCain-Palin Canned Populism

The founder of the Alaska Independence Party once proclaimed his “hatred for the American government”  and swore “damn flag” in referring to the Stars and Stripes. Sarah Palin was never a member (her husband was 1995-2002 – where’s the outrage like that which occurred after Michelle Obama merely misspoke), but Palin did speak at one of their conventions,

Ms. Clark said she interpreted Ms. Palin’s attendance at the 1994 convention as reflecting an interest in hearing a variety of perspectives. “Her heart is very Alaskan,” she said, “and we have Alaskan issues.”

In her recorded address to the party’s convention this year, Ms. Palin said: “I share your party’s vision of upholding the constitution of our great state. My administration remains focused on reining in government growth so individual liberty and opportunity can expand. I know you agree with that.”

Kind of like Trent Lott reminiscing about the good old days of segregation. Nothing to see hear, pay it no mind.

McCain is on record opposing some earmarks anyway. One of the ones that he didn’t think passed the smell tests were from Governor Palin, Reports the Chicago Tribune

This year, Palin, who has been governor for nearly 22 months, defended earmarking as a vital part of the legislative system. “The federal budget, in its various manifestations, is incredibly important to us, and congressional earmarks are one aspect of this relationship,” she wrote in a newspaper column.

In 2001, McCain’s list of spending that had been approved without the normal budget scrutiny included a $500,000 earmark for a public transportation project in Wasilla. The Arizona senator targeted $1 million in a 2002 spending bill for an emergency communications center in town — one that local law enforcement has said is redundant and creates confusion.

McCain also criticized $450,000 set aside for an agricultural processing facility in Wasilla that was requested during Palin’s tenure as mayor and cleared Congress soon after she left office in 2002. The funding was provided to help direct locally grown produce to schools, prisons and other government institutions, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group.

McCain the quarter century veteran of Washington, who for the last eight years has supported spending every dollar Bush has asked for, thus is partly responsible for our historic debt says he’s a maverick reformer running with another maverick reformer. This represents more about the windmills of McCain and Palin’s minds then actual reality, but the sound bites are what matters. To quote Governor Palin “And maybe that’s because they realize there is a time for politics and a time for leadership … a time to campaign and a time to put our country first”, I’m sure she’ll let us know when that time comes when she actually does start putting her country first, she does love the sound of her own voice.  Palin v. Reality

Palin E-Mails Show Intense Interest in Trooper’s Penalty

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the running mate for GOP presidential candidate John McCain, wrote e-mails that harshly criticized Alaska state troopers for failing to fire her former brother-in-law and ridiculed an internal affairs investigation into his conduct.

The e-mails were shown to The Washington Post by a former public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan, who was fired by Palin in July. Monegan has given copies of the e-mails to state ethics investigators to support his contention that he was dismissed for failing to fire Trooper Mike Wooten, who at the time was feuding with Palin’s family.

[  ]…Palin had promised to cooperate with the legislative inquiry, but this week moved to change the jurisdiction of the case to the state personnel board, which Palin appoints. Her attorney, Thomas V. Van Flein, who was hired last month, challenged the jurisdiction of Stephen Branchflower, the retired prosecutor hired to investigate and report back to the legislature by the last week of October.

That last part sounds like its directly from the Bush/Cheney playbook. This is an ongoing investigation. She might have had a legitimate beef with the trooper she wanted fired, but it sounds like she didn’t know how to handle the situation. Instead of what appears to be abusing her office in a personal vendetta, she could have filed criminal complaints, had restraining orders issued, filed a civil suit and so forth. If she can’t handle relatively small issues like this one, how’s she going to handle being vice president to 310 million people.

Conservatives trash Palin on hot mic.

Obama might pursue criminal charges against Bush

"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued," Biden said during a campaign event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, according to ABC.

“[N]ot out of vengeance, not out of retribution,” he added, “out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president — no one is above the law”;

Obama sounded a similar note in April, vowing that if elected, he would ask his attorney general to initiate a prompt review of Bush-era actions to distinguish between possible "genuine crimes" and "really bad policies".

"[I]f crimes have been committed, they should be investigated," Obama told the Philadelphia Daily News. "You’re also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we’ve got too many problems we’ve got to solve."

That would almost make up for Obama’s compromise on FISA immunity for the telecoms.

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