Sunday, July 05, 2009

Common Decency

Mark Steyn can always be counted on to offer a combination of political and even geopolitical erudition, on one hand, and clever and sometimes merciless wit, on the other. Late last Friday, only a few hours after Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska, setting off a flurry of speculation as to why, Steyn wrote the following for The Corner, the National Review weblog. It's worth quoting in its entirety. Here it is:
With respect to many of the Palinologists below, I think they're getting way too hepatomantic over the entrails.

As a political move for anything other than the 2010 Senate race, today's announcement is a disaster. And I'm not sure it's a plus for the Senate - and, even if it were, the manner and timing suggest it was not a professionally planned event and therefore is unlikely to have any grand strategy behind it.

So Occam's Razor leaves us with: Who needs this?

In states far from the national spotlight, politics still attracts normal people. You're a mayor or a state senator or even the governor, but you lead a normal life. The local media are tough on you, but they know you, they live where you live, they're tough on the real you, not on some caricature cooked up by a malign alliance of late-night comics who'd never heard of you a week earlier and media grandees supposedly on your own side who pronounce you a "cancer".

Then suddenly you get the call from Washington. You know it'll mean Secret Service, and speechwriters, and minders vetting your wardrobe. But nobody said it would mean a mainstream network comedy host doing statutory rape gags about your 14-year old daughter. You've got a special-needs kid and a son in Iraq and a daughter who's given you your first grandchild in less than ideal circumstances. That would be enough for most of us. But the special-needs kid and the daughter and most everyone else you love are a national joke, and the PC enforcers are entirely cool with it.

Most of those who sneer at Sarah Palin have no desire to live her life. But why not try to - what's the word? - "empathize"? If you like Wasilla and hunting and snowmachining and moose stew and politics, is the last worth giving up everything else in the hopes that one day David Letterman and Maureen Dowd might decide Trig and Bristol and the rest are sufficiently non-risible to enable you to prosper in their world? And, putting aside the odds, would you really like to be the person you'd have to turn into under that scenario?

National office will dwindle down to the unhealthily singleminded (Clinton, Obama), the timeserving emirs of Incumbistan (Biden, McCain) and dynastic heirs (Bush). Our loss.

Mark Steyn


21 comments:

normabruns said...

Mark Steyn concludes that without people like Sarah Palin, we will be left with the Clintons, the Obamas, the Bidens, the McCains, and the Bushes. Well, first, I would say that the latest Bush needs to be moved over to his category of “people like Sarah Palin” (inarticulate, undereducated), and John McCain is at least at fault for having elevated her to the status of a standard-bearer for his party.

Sarah Palin’s ascendency was alarming for what it said about contemporary American politics—that a candidate can be not only accepted but applauded for her ignorance of foreign and domestic policy and her lack of any record of achievement in public life.

This morning, Fox News Channel’s Liz Trotta had this to say about Palin:

It’s very easy to say that the liberal media is caving in on her. Yes, they are. But she has given them a lot of raw meat. The woman is inarticulate, undereducated, and I pose this question, “What do you think William F. Buckley would have thought of her as the standard bearer of the Republican party?”

This is one of the rare cases where I think all the liberal stylists like Maureen Dowd, Gail Collins, and the rest of them really have a case. She just begs for adjectives like flakey and wacky.


Personally, I feel sorry for Palin because she didn’t know what she was getting into, and she got in way over her head. I hope, for her sake and for ours, that she will now step out of the spotlight and return to hunting and snowmachining and moose stew. If she stays in politics, she’s fair game, and she had better get used to it.

Mark Gordon said...

I agree that Sarah Palin lacks the intellectual curiosity, relevant experience, and seriousness of purpose to hold higher office.

But Mark Steyn's underlying point is that the ferocity of anti-Palin sentiment is fueled as much by class and religious bias as it is by opposition to her politics or personality. Ross Douthat made the point much more elegantly in the New York Times:

"Palin’s popularity has as much to do with class as it does with ideology. In this sense, she really is the perfect foil for Barack Obama. Our president represents the meritocratic ideal — that anyone, from any background, can grow up to attend Columbia and Harvard Law School and become a great American success story. But Sarah Palin represents the democratic ideal — that anyone can grow up to be a great success story without graduating from Columbia and Harvard.

"This ideal has had a tough 10 months. It’s been tarnished by Palin herself, obviously. With her missteps, scandals, dreadful interviews and self-pitying monologues, she’s botched an essential democratic role — the ordinary citizen who takes on the elites, the up-by-your-bootstraps role embodied by politicians from Andrew Jackson down to Harry Truman.

"But it’s also been tarnished by the elites themselves, in the way that the media and political establishments have treated her.

"Here are lessons of the Sarah Palin experience, for any aspiring politician who shares her background and her sex. Your children will go through the tabloid wringer. Your religion will be mocked and misrepresented. Your political record will be distorted, to better parody your family and your faith. (And no, gentle reader, Palin did not insist on abstinence-only sex education, slash funds for special-needs children or inject creationism into public schools.)

"Male commentators will attack you for parading your children. Female commentators will attack you for not staying home with them. You’ll be sneered at for how you talk and how many colleges you attended. You’ll endure gibes about your “slutty” looks and your “white trash concupiscence,” while a prominent female academic declares that your “greatest hypocrisy” is the “pretense” that you’re a woman. And eight months after the election, the professionals who pressed you into the service of a gimmicky, dreary, idea-free campaign will still be blaming you for their defeat.

"All of this had something to do with ordinary partisan politics. But it had everything to do with Palin’s gender and her social class.

"Sarah Palin is beloved by millions because her rise suggested, however temporarily, that the old American aphorism about how anyone can grow up to be president might actually be true.

"But her unhappy sojourn on the national stage has had a different moral: Don’t even think about it."

Doughlas Remy said...

The democratic ideal that Ross Douthat alludes to in The New York Times (i.e., that anyone can grow up to be a great success story without graduating from Columbia or Harvard) has suffered as a result of the Palin debacle, but it will survive. However, we should not expect it to ever again be as robust as it was in the days before higher education became so widely available in this country. My own father had only a high-school degree, but he worked his way up through the ranks of his company and became a highly-paid executive. This was not unusual in his day (he came of age in the mid-thirties). Nowadays, such stories have become rarer, though people like Bill Gates occasionally prove that the democratic ideal is still within reach.

But Sarah Palin hardly belongs in the same league as Bill Gates. She did not work her way incrementally into candidacy for the vice-presidency. She was catapulted there, and for reasons that obviously had little to do with her real qualifications for the job. (Ellen Goodman says it was like starting a middle-school basketball star in the NBA.) And when she made it into the national spotlight, she blew it, bigtime. Of course, the media were there to magnify every misstep and play back every incoherent sentence she uttered. And they freely distorted her record in many instances. But that’s the to-and-fro of politics in a wired age, and anyone entering politics just has to expect it. It comes with the territory. We want political leaders who are tough enough to survive in that kind of arena, as Obama and the Clintons and so many others—on both sides of the political spectrum—have done. You don’t get a PhD without sitting through the comps, even if one of the profs is an SOB.

The kind of intense media scrutiny that Palin was subjected to has its uses. Palin had portrayed herself as a pitbull with lipstick, and we found out last week just how tough she really is. Again and again, the disparities between the hype and the reality of this person were starkly revealed. In spite of all the blurring that occurred as a result of misrepresentations, we came away with a pretty realistic view of her, on average. Republicans and Democrats generally agree about that.

I am an elitist. I happen to believe that we need elites in high public office, just as we need them in the Olympic Games, at the heads of corporations, in our hospitals, and elsewhere. By “elites,” I mean people who have solid credentials and extraordinary records of achievement. Why should we accept anything less in a world so desperately in need of solutions to economic and environmental crises? My fear is not that Obama and his cabinet members know too much but that they know and understand too little. I do not want leaders who are “just like me” any more than I want my surgeon to be “just like me,” thank you. Sometimes our need for self-validation (“I could be president, too!!”) can get in the way of careful deliberation around election time.

Doughlas Remy
Member, COV&R

normabruns said...

A recent survey ranked people from different races, ethnicities, religions, etc., by the number of respondents who said they would vote for them in an election. Gays and lesbians were second from the bottom. At the very bottom were atheists. (And they were “way” low. There is only one “out” atheist in the U.S. Congress.)

So, no, it is not true that just anyone can grow up to be president—or senator or representative. For sexual minorities and secularists, the hurdles are set impossibly high. That may change, as it did for African-Americans. Let’s hope so.

But even if the playing field were completely level, it would still not be true that “anyone” can grow up to be president. Being a competent president requires extraordinary levels of talent, determination, intelligence, and achievement. Like Mr. Remy, I would not want that office to be occupied by anyone lacking those qualifications.

Mike O'Malley said...

Nornabruns closed her first comment with: If she (Gov. Palin) stays in politics, she's fair game, and she had better get used to it. What here seems telling is that Normabruns doesn't step-up to the plate and forthrightly address: just what should Gov. Palin get use to? Is Gov. Palin supposed to get used to the cynical public humiliation and savaging of her minor children?! If this sort of omission wasn't so common, would it not come across as what it is, just plain creepy? What even creepier is this targeting of young innocent third parties for public destruction comes right out of the Alinskian playbook (see below). Are we to be comfortable living in an America where a political dissident or a non-machine citizen politician is told in effect: know your place babe, it would be a shame if your little girl were to became a target




RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)

RULE 6: "A good tactic is one your people enjoy." They'll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They're doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid "un-fun" activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)

RULE 8: "Keep the pressure on. Never let up." Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)

RULE 9: "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself." Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists' minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)


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"And into this Ring, he poured his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life"


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Perhaps our resident member of the Colloquium On Violence & Religion can locate this Palin phenomena in the victimage mechanism for us.

*

And while he is at it perhaps our resident aristocrat ;-) can answer a few questions about the "need" to place "elites in high public office".

Question #1,
What was Barack Obama's gradepoint average at Columbia?

Question #2
What was Barack Obama's LSAT score?

Question #3
How did Barack Obama get into Harvard?

Question #4
How did Barack Obama get onto Harvard Law Review?

Question #5
What distinguished legal papers did Barack Obama submit to and get published by Harvard Law Review?

Question #6
What would made Harry Truman an inferior War President to an elite candidate such as say Adlai Stevenson?

normabruns said...

Mr. O’Malley, you are creating a straw man, as you did before in discussions with Dale. What Sarah Palin should get used to if she wants to remain in public office is having to deal with vicious attacks. If she is to be a politician, she cannot quit every time someone maligns or slanders her or her family. The President and his family have to get used to being surrounded by security personnel 24 hours a day. It comes with the territory. It would be great if there weren’t wingnuts out there, but there are. We can all agree that many of the attacks on Palin and her family were way over the line.

Doughlas Remy said...

Mr. O’Malley,
Your asking me to answer a list of questions is presumptuous. If you have something to say about President Obama, just say it. Isn’t this kind of smear tactic that you deplore when it is directed against Sarah Palin? It is a list of insinuations followed by a shifting of the burden of proof to me. It is a form of the argumentum ad ignorantiam, which consists of making an assertion (or, in this case an insinuation) without justification and then challenging the audience to disprove it. The burden of proof is on you.

Mike O'Malley said...

normabruns said...
Mr. O'Malley, you are creating a straw man, as you did before in discussions with Dale.


I'm sorry that you are unable to muster an effect response Normabruns. That is no straw man whom you reject. That is another victim of the cruel disciples of Saul Alinsky.

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

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As liberal Psychotherapist writing under the name Robin of Berkeley wrote of her childhood and Sarah Palin today: After I grew up and became a psychotherapist, I learned that there was a name for Tom's behavior, sadism. Sadists get a thrill out of being cruel and watching others suffer. While most abusive parents are motivated by a misguided effort to socialize and control, sadistic siblings just want to have fun by inflicting pain.

I rarely think of Tom, who disowned my family years ago. But when I reflect on what was done to Sarah Palin, I remember him and his sadism. And I look around and see more and more Tom's, all grown up; but they haven't grown up, actually; they refuse to grow up and use self control and restraint. And, alarmingly, many of them are in positions of power.

Let's call them by their true name. When an actress calls for gang raping Palin, she's a sadist. When people torch Palin's church with children inside, they are sadists. When bloggers call her a c___t and scorn her disabled son, they are being sadists.

Each day I wake up and the world looks more and more like my childhood ... Good people like Palin and Carrie Prejean being victimized in a manner so malicious that the intent is nothing short of destroying them. And the Powers that Be which could stop the growing brutality at any time by calling off the dogs, calling for order, won't do so because it serves their needs. After all, it's what Saul Alinsky preached: control the masses by keeping them agitated and paranoid.

Maybe what's happening today goes beyond Left and Right and speaks instead to the ancient struggle between good and evil. We live in a nation that has banished evil, that denies it even exists. But this is naive and foolhardy; good and evil exist hand in hand in the fiber of all human beings ... Evil, unacknowledged and unrecognized, takes root and becomes a virus so virulent, it threatens everyone whom it touches.


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[When people torch Palin's church with children inside, they are terrorists. - Mike]

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Now that an honest to goodness real liberal for you.!
Read it all here:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/sarah_palin_vs_the_marquis_de.html
In Sarah Palin vs. the Marquis de Sade

Mike O'Malley said...

Emmanuel Goldstein posts to facebook...

The woman, who feminist blogger Dr. Violet Socks believes is our culture’s designated Hate Receptacle, volunteers for another round of Two Minutes Hate ...

[As Dr. Violet Sock writes:
Sarah Palin is the Designated Hate Receptacle for self-described feminists. They know they’re not supposed to hate other women, but they do anyway because their feminism is not quite as strong as their patriarchal brainwashing. Sarah Palin is the culture’s designated Hate Receptacle.

Dr. Socks continued

I’m not entirely satisfied with that, but it’s the best I can come up with. If we add to that the subconscious Obama resentment-transference, perhaps on a kind of sliding rheostat thing, we may be getting close to a solution.

What’s alarming is that the need for a female Hate Receptacle exists, even with feminists. But that would explain why Palin haters are so reluctant to give up hating her. It would explain why they’re so resistant to the truth. They don’t want to find out that the lies are lies; they don’t want to be disabused. They need a hate receptacle, and so they need Palin to be the sum of all things they fear.
]

http://www.reclusiveleftist.com/2009/07/04/feminists-and-the-mystery-of-sarah-palin/#more-4325

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Friday, August 07, 2009
Palin: Obama's "Death Panel" Could Kill My Down Syndrome Baby
Sarah Palin in Facebook:

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.


http://nalert.blogspot.com/2009/08/palin-obamas-death-panel-could-kill-my.html

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History provides us examples of methods for remediating persons considered genetically defective and a financial burden to society ...


http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/disabled.html


What is old is new again!

normabruns said...

Palin’s so-called “death-panel” claim about the health care reform bill is not only preposterous but highly irresponsible, and it’s just one more reason why she is unfit for public office. There is absolutely no truth to the idea that the bill will encourage euthanasia or infanticide. If she does not know this, then she should have studied the bill before speaking. If she does know it, then she is a liar. In either case, her remark has fueled the flames of irrational and violent discontent in this country, and she is blithely unapologetic.

It is remarkably easy to find out whether a claim about the health care reform bill is accurate. We only need to read the bill. This makes Palin’s claim all the more astonishing, because it flies in the face of freely available evidence disproving it. And there is yet another layer of astonishment in the fact that we are even having a debate about whether the claim is true. Palin’s remark should have been immediately treated as an embarrassment and dismissed. Instead, it has been repeated like a mantra across the airwaves, and town hall agitators are using it to incite violent behavior. If someone is killed during one of these melees, who is to bear responsibility?

Denouncing Palin’s idiotic remarks has nothing to do with hatred. It’s more about disgust—disgust at her reckless and incendiary words and at the credulity of the mobs who hang on her every word. We are extremely fortunate that she is not now occupying the office of Vice-President.

normabruns said...

I see that Sarah Palin has now advised her 719,000 Facebook supporters to “stick to a discussion of the issues and not get sidetracked by tactics that can be accused of leading to intimidation or harassment.” This is laudable, but wouldn’t it be more effective to stop distorting and lying about the issues in the first place? Several commentators have pointed out that Palin is like an arsonist who first sets fires and then reports them to the fire department.

Mike O'Malley said...

normabruns said... Palin's so-called "death-panel" claim about the health care reform bill is not only preposterous but highly irresponsible

Preposterous?
Highly irresponsible?
... and you know this how? Please tell.

Well she did move the debate. Some think that the whole endeavor to nationalize one seventh of the US economy might be highly irresponsible.

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Welcome back Nornabruns. Let's stay on this threads topics, which are I think:
demonization,
scapegoating,
Sarah Palin,
citizen politicians, and
democracy.

Any way ...

Preposterous?
Highly irresponsible?
Idiotic?
... and you know this how? What is the source of your information about this? Please tell.

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normabruns said...We only need to read the bill. This makes Palin's claim all the more astonishing, because it flies in the face of freely available evidence disproving it. And there is yet another layer of astonishment in the fact that we are even having a debate about whether the claim is true.

Would you be expecting a section of the proposed statute to be entitled Part Six, Title VI, Section 6d: Death Panels, maybe? Was there a section in Civil Rights Act of 1964 entitled "mandatory racial quotas for hiring minorities"? There wasn't. Nevertheless mandatory racial quotas for hiring minorities was in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 despite the repeated assurances of the bill's sponsors that such was not the case.

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As posted above feminist blogger Dr. Violet Socks believes is our culture's designated Hate Receptacle. Do you think that there might be something to this?

normabruns said...

Nationalizing one-seventh of the U.S. economy might be a very good idea if that portion is fast on its way to becoming one-third.

The health care reform bill that Sarah Palin was referring to either does or does not contain provisions for death panels. So far, no one has located any such provisions, either in major sections or in fine print. Not even those who claim such provisions exist are able to point to them. This seems to be yet another case of “Who you gonna believe—me or your own eyes?” Palin’s death-panel claim is a complete fabrication, and the widespread acceptance of it as fact shows that we as a society are becoming dangerously unhinged from reality.

The gullibility of many Americans seems to have no limit. I believe we could see Palin ratchet up her wacky claims to the point that she is certifiably mad, and still she would have millions of faithful supporters. What if she were to claim that the health care reform bill contained provisions for the wholesale slaughter of white children so as to favor racial minorities? How many of her admirers would bother to do a little fact-checking about this claim, and how many would simply adopt her delusion as their own? What has happened to the moral compass of these people?

It does not take a genius to recognize that public figures such as Sarah Palin are scapegoated by some of the public. However, their scapegoat status does not alter the fact that they sometimes do stupid and irresponsible things. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and a fool is just a fool. Sometimes we criticize our leaders not because we hate them but because they have screwed up and deserve our censure. Claiming scapegoat status has become a widely recognized strategy for evading responsibility.

And then there’s the opposite of scapegoating: slavish adoration, moral and intellectual abdication, and uncritical acceptance of our leader’s every word and deed. All of this produces toxic leadership.

I think it’s time for us to get real about our political leaders. They are neither gods nor demons. They are just human, like us, with the difference that they occupy positions of power. And as Lord Acton said, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Sarah Palin has already become corrupted by the uncritical support of her faithful. The more uncritically they support her, the more corrupted she will become.

Mike O'Malley said...

Normaburns said: And as Lord Acton said, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Sarah Palin has already become corrupted by the uncritical support of her faithful. The more uncritically they support her, the more corrupted she will become.

WOW! absolute power corrupts absolutely! The governorship of Alaska! Rival of the Turkish Sultans! Rival of the Great Khan! Even Napoleon would be humbled before Governor Palin the Magnificent. If only the Emperor of the French had traded Lousiana for Alaska. If he only had known. Stalin must have rued the day on which the Czar sold away his destiny ...

Power may corrupt but the corrupt are attracted to power. That too is Chicago Way. You never heard of Tony Rezko, Nadhmi Shakir Auchi or Aiham Alsamarrae? I'd guess not.

Anyway, your evidence of Sarah Palin's cult following seems a bit thin.


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This is a more extensive quote from Sarah Palin's facebook page:
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Thomas Sowell is a respected scholar, historian, economist and former Marxist. If Sarah Palin is accurately relaying the gist of Dr. Sowell's argument, it is hard to find the basis for your bill of indictment.

Among your charges Normaburns were:
(Palin) ... is not only preposterous
but highly irresponsible
she is unfit for public office...
then she is a liar...
her remark has fueled the flames of irrational and violent discontent in this country...
and she is blithely unapologetic...
Palin's idiotic remarks...

Each of these charges you made against Sarah Palin seem histronic if Sarah Palin convey's Dr. Sowell's argument accurately, Normaburns. Did you read Sarah Palin's short essay in full before you "went off on her"? Did you read Dr. Sowell's essay in full before you abusively dismissed Sarah Palin? I read Dr. Sowell's essay. It is reasonable and informed and seems well founded based upon the Congressional Budget Office reports I am currently reading.


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Normabuyrns said: Denouncing Palin's idiotic remarks has nothing to do with hatred. It's more about disgust-disgust at her reckless and incendiary words and at the credulity of the mobs who hang on her every word

If you have not read Gov. Palin's and Dr. Sowell's essays in full, your rush to judgment seems damning Normaburns. You might just want to carefully reflect upon how harsh you were to Gov. Palin. You might also wish to contemplate the narcissistic Obama cultists so much in evidence during the 2008 campaign. No few American Liberals were troubled by what they saw.

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I must add that your equating democratic dissent with violence is troubling. [Normaburms said: her remark has fueled the flames of irrational and violent discontent in this country]
Particularly in light ot the terrorist attack upon Gov. Palins church during last Fall's election campaign. The church building was occupied by women and children at the time. Much like those burned at the behest of Mr. Odinga in Kenya earlier that year.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-01-01-kenya-elections_N.htm

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/019454.php

http://madkenyanwoman.blogspot.com/2008/01/enough.html

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As posted above feminist blogger Dr. Violet Socks believes is our culture's designated Hate Receptacle. Do you think that there might be something to this?

Mike O'Malley said...

Normaburns, one wonders why you vilify and dismiss Sarah Plain as you have done abve and ignore Whitehouse Science Advisor, Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel a key presidential health care adviser and Rahm Emanuel's brother, on the toipic of health care rationing.


Dr. Emanuel told news reporter Washington Times reporter, Jon Ward: "When I began working in the health policy area about 20 years ago ... I thought we would definitely have to ration care, that there was a need to make a decision and deny people care." And: "I think that over the last five to seven years ... I've come to the conclusion that in our system we are spending way more money than we need to, a lot of it on unnecessary care. If we got rid of that care we would have absolutely no reason to even consider rationing except in a few cases."


So as a matter of fact we find that there are indeed powerful Obama administration figures who are designing the health care overhaul who do indeed support government imposed compulsary health care rationing.

As the Times goes on tho observe: "The reason people were wary of Dr. Emanuel in the first place is because of his writings from the 1990s in which (to quote one of them), he advocated giving younger people first dibs on medical care: "Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years." In late 1996, he wrote that "services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed."

Note that phrase Normaburns, "irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens". Doesn't that sound as though Rahm Emmanual's brother is describing Trig Palin?


The Times goes on to cite Ralph Reiland in the American Spectator online last Friday, Dr. Emanuel had not seemed to change much even as late as 2008: "Last year in 'Health Affairs: The Policy Journal of the Health Sphere,' Emanuel wrote that 'Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely lipstick cost controls, more for show and public relations than for true change.'" "

The Times continues to Dr. Emanuel was right then: The only way to implement Mr. Obama's proposals without breaking the bank is to impose the sort of rationing that Dr. Emanuel formerly pushed.

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http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/16/health-rationing-by-other-names/

It appears that Sarah Palin is far more precient than idiotic.

It also appears that what is old is new again.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/disabled.html

Mike O'Malley said...

One need not look far for competent analysis of the demonification of Sarah Palin. Here is a timely analysis in today's Washington Times:

[quoted in part below without the customary intialics]

Monday, August 17, 2009
George W. Bush-by-proxy syndrome
by Andrew Breitbart

There is an extensive body of writing from both sides of the political aisle that has analyzed the extraordinary depths of hatred leveled at former President George W. Bush. ...

But all presidents make mistakes, pursue unpopular ideas, possess off-putting personality traits and don't do enough to appeal to their core supporters. Something far more insidious was at work in the hatred of our most recent former president.

Now that Mr. Bush is quietly going about his retirement, this strain of rage - the GWB43 virus - has spread like wildfire, finding unsuspecting targets, each granting us greater perspective into what not long ago seemed like a mysterious phenomenon isolated only on our 43rd president.

The first person to catch the virus was Sarah Palin, whose family also was infected, including, unforgivably, her children.

Then it was Joe the Plumber, for asking a question.

Next were the Mormons.

Then it was Rush Limbaugh - who hit back.

Next, tax-day "tea party" attendees were "tea bagged."

Then there was a beauty contestant.

And a Cambridge cop, too.

And now we have town-hall "mobs."

Smile ... you've been "community organized."

When put on the media stage, these individuals and groups have been isolated for destruction for standing in the way of a resurgent modern progressive movement and for challenging its charismatic once-in-a-lifetime standard-bearer, Barack Obama.

This is their time, we've been told. And no one is going to stand in the way.

The origins of manufactured "politics of personal destruction" is Saul Alinsky, the mentor of a young Hillary Rodham, who wrote her 92-page Wellesley College senior thesis on the late Chicago-based "progressive" street agitator titled, "There Is Only the Fight."

Mr. Obama and his Fighting Illini, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, have perfected Mr. Alinsky's techniques as laid out in his guidebook to political warfare, "Rules for Radicals." In plain language, we see how normal, decent and even private citizens become nationally vilified symbols overnight - all in the pursuit of progressive political victory.

"Rule 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)"

With the complicity of the mainstream media and abetted by George Soros' money and netroots nation, Mr. Bush never stood a chance.

But the more the virus spreads, the more we study it and, perhaps, find the cure. The repetitive use of the same technique against anyone who would dare stand up and oppose the progressive movement and especially its leader has exposed the game and rendered its tactics less effective.



The rest of the essay should be read here:
http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/17/george-w-bush-by-proxy-syndrome/?page=3




I expect that Gil has much to offer such a study.

Gil Bailie said...

As to what I have to offer: Mike is carrying the ball much better than I could. I'm grateful.

Mike O'Malley said...

Thank you Gil.

Over the last several weeks we have all had an opportunity to revisit the vile mistreatment of the Palin family; vicious calculated mistreatment of decent people for which all Americans should be ashamed.

Revisiting this phenomena on several occasions with young voters (late teens and twenty somethings) I find that those who hold negative views about Sarah Palin seem likely to continue to hold those views. Their negative views, while strongly felt, seem poorly thought out however as they do not seem to encompass any critical analysis. When challenged with rational argument those who hold those negative views seem to fall back upon: mocking dismissal, partisan dismissal and resentful silence. One may recall that young inexperienced first time voters are among David Axelrod's campaign specialties. One may also recall the massively financed focus group research conducted during national political campaigns by students of Saul Alinsky. Anyone who is interested in this phenomena of the character assassination of Sarah Palin would do well to visit the essay by radical feminist blogger Dr. Violet Socks which is linked above. I recall that certain Internet savvy bloggers, such as those at Ace of Spades (sort of conservative) and Little Green Footballs (sort of liberal) found that a handful or so of common negative campaign themes about Sarah Palin exploded simultaneous across the left side of the bloggoshere during a single hour the morning after Gov. Palin's unexpectedly good GOP Convention speech. Clearly someone has invoked the scapegoating mechanism in order to destroy Sarah Palin and her family. All Americans should be ashame of what has been done.

Thank you again Gil for the opportunity to post on these themes in your forum. Much more can be said but time is short today and doctors Violet Socks, Sanity (Pat Santy) and Neo-Neocon have done indispensable work on this topic.




How far can this intense hatred irrational hatred of Sarah Palin go? This far it seems:
ATF: Accelerant poured on Palin's church before fire
Associated Press
Dec. 15, 2008, 5:32PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An accelerant was poured around the exterior of Gov. Sarah Palin's church before fire heavily damaged the building, federal investigators said Monday.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the accelerant was poured at several locations around the church, including entrances.

Lab tests will determine the type of substance involved. Possibilities include gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel or even lamp oil, Agent Nick Starcevic said.

The blaze was set Friday night at the main entrance of the Wasilla Bible Church while a small group, including two children, were inside. No one was injured. Fire authorities were called to the scene at 9:40 p.m., unusually early for many arson fires, Starcevic said.

"It's kind of odd to do in the evening hours," he said. "I can tell you that most of the arson fires I've worked on are late nighttime, usually when no one is there."

... within a hair's breath and the Grace of God of replay the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing of September 15, 1963, in Birmingham, Alabama.


http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/6166189.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16th_Street_Baptist_Church_bombing



as Dr. Sanity wrote on August 18, 2009
Perhaps, the best answer to that question is that, when it comes to themselves, the left is constitutionally unable to understand or accept the dark side of their own natures with any degree of clarity, let alone honesty.

This would seem to be difficult in fact for most of us. - Mike

normabruns said...

Samuel Johnson said that patriotism was the last refuge of a scoundrel. Now that everyone in the world—absolutely everyone, it seems—has at least a rudimentary understanding of scapegoating, it might well replace “patriotism” in that saying. The Sarah Palins of this world, who are really and truly scapegoated, now hope to turn their victim status to their advantage and gain immunity from criticism. But not so fast! Even paranoids have real enemies, and even scapegoats may genuinely deserve censure. Not every scapegoat is a saint. Some of them are also scoundrels. Sarah Palin may be the object of unjust attacks, but she is also guilty of lying about President Obama’s health care plan.
Bill Clinton was scapegoated while in office, as was his wife. This does not alter the fact that his conduct with Monika Lewinsky was monumentally stupid and irresponsible. He screwed up, and then he lied about it.
If Sarah Palin were to engage in illegal behavior, the “scapegoat” defense would not carry much water in a court of law. Though her distortion of the facts about the health care plan does not reach that level, it is morally reprehensible (Do I really need to explain this to Catholics?), and the fact that she is so hated by so many people in this country does not alter that fact in any way.
I am in that subset of people who believe that our political leaders should be held accountable when they distort the truth. I am not in that subset of people who believe that these leaders should be slandered and harassed.
Sarah Palin already has far more power than she knows how to use responsibly. Now mentioned in the same breath with Rush Limbaugh, she is obviously considered one of the leaders of the Republican party. We mustn’t underestimate her potential for mayhem. I see her as a disaster waiting to happen, I would personally like to see her neutralized, and I will be joining the effort to devalue her stock. However vocally I may denounce her, I will also denounce those who go over the top in their accusations of her.
I am a secularist and I believe it is time we stopped “sacralizing” our political leadership. So it’s time to put away the halo and the horns! Sarah Palin is just a human being, nothing more or less, and her leadership should be judged on its merits. So far, I have seen almost nothing that inspires me with any confidence in her.

Mike O'Malley said...

Normaburns said: "Though her distortion of the facts about the health care plan does not reach that level, it is morally reprehensible (Do I really need to explain this to Catholics?)"
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No, what you need to do Nornaburns is to go back and actually R-E-A-D and address what Dr. Sowell actually wrote, what Sarah Palin actually wrote and what I actually wrote. As much as you are uncomfortable with Dr. Sowell's thoughtful assessment and Gov. Palin's effective rhetoric the facts don't support your bogus moral indignation. You are free of course study the actual arguments of those with whom you may disagree and to make an informed counter-argument. Dr. Sowell and Gov. Palin are without doubt acting in good faith. That is something which you Normaburns will have not done until you fairly address their arguments, even if Dr. Sowell and Gov. Palin are in fact mistaken.
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Normaburns said: "If Sarah Palin were to engage in illegal behavior, the "scapegoat" defense would not carry much water in a court of law. Though her distortion of the facts about the health care plan does not reach that level
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Why on earth are you framing Gov. Palin's comments in terms of "illegal behavior"? In the very next sentence you explicitly concede that Gov. Palin's comments are not illegal acts. So why would you even inject a question about illegal acts into the discussion?
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Normaburns said: "...and the fact that she is so hated by so many people in this country does not alter that fact in any way.
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Yes, then you do indeed agree that Gov. Palin was relentlessly demonized shortly after her introduction to the American people at the GOP convention?
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Normaburns said: "I am in that subset of people who believe that our political leaders should be held accountable when they distort the truth.
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OK fair enough. In the Fall of 1993 and the Winter of 1994 the UN Peacekeeping force in Rwanda warned the UN, US, France and others about plans government lead preparations for genocide in Rwanda. On January 11, 1994 Lieutenant General Roméo Dallaire (a Canadian general and the United Nations Force Commander in Rwanda) notified Military Advisor to the Secretary-General, Major-General Maurice Baril of four major weapons caches and plans by the Hutus for extermination of Tutsis. The telegram from Dallaire stated that an informant who was a top level Interahamwe militia trainer was in charge of demonstrations carried out a few days before. Lieutenant General Roméo Dallaire asked for additional troops with so that he could confiscate the weapons those weapons caches. The UN, the French and the Clinton Administration refused to send those additional peacekeeping troops. The genocide began on April 7, 1994.
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In the Spring of 1994, Pres. Clinton was concerned about the up coming Congressional elections. International human rights activists and Clinton Administration believed that the United States was under treaty obligation to intervene to stop that genocide the under the terms of the 1948 Genocide Convention. At that time, human rights activists and the CIA had informed Pres. Clinton that the genocide they had been warned about had indeed begun. Pres. Clinton made a calculated political decision not to intervene. He instructed his staff to deflect calls for US intervention by stating that only "acts of genocide" had occurred in Rwanda but to refuse to concede that "genocide" was occurring in Rwanda. The then young White House staffer, Susan Rice was Pres. Clinton's point person to communicate this policy position to the rest of the Clinton Administration. She instructed the Administration staff to deflect calls for US intervention by stating that only "acts of genocide" had occurred but to refuse to concede that "genocide" was occurring in Rwanda.
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Tell me Normaburns, how you have held former Pres. Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice held accountable when they distorted the truth in this instance.

Mike O'Malley said...

Gil and Normaburns, it is unclear to me how can I make the best use on my limited time. Should I try to explore this phenomena directly? Or Normaburns should I continue to respond to you? It seems to me that you do not engage nor do you consider argument and thought beyond your familiar comfort zone. And it is unclear to me to what degree you understand Girard and Bailie.
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One of America's best liberal secularist public intellectuals, Dr. Christopher Lasch pointed out that in a democratic society we need people who disagree with us in order to help us work through, to understand, to test and to articulate our own ideas. Viewing Sarah Palin from such a vantge, one observer writes: Those Facebook pages she's (Palin's) tossing around like ninja throwing stars are eloquent proof that no one has the right to pat Sarah Palin on the head and send her out of the room, while the grown-ups settle down to serious talk. She isn't just writing snarky rants. She's providing both devastatingly effective criticism, and substantial policy alternatives. It's fairly obvious the White House paid a great deal of attention to her infamous "death panel" column. I haven't seen that many people turned into nervous wrecks by Facebook since the last time the "Mafia Wars" servers went down ...

The death panel doesn't have to take the form of nine robed Sith Lords, stamping your grandmothers' termination orders with a giant red skull, then handing them to a ghoul in surgical scrubs. It will be no less deadly if it consists of thousands of faceless government drones in cubicles, processing Quality of Life spreadsheets and crossing out the unlucky Social Security numbers with pink highlighter pens. In fact, my only quibble with Palin's prediction is that, given the style of the current Administration, it is much more likely that we'll have a Death Czar ...

What Palin brings to the health-care debate is the energy, wisdom, and wit to make complex ideas understandable to ordinary people.


Perhaps that's the real problem, Sarah Palin is effective at making understandable what others strugle to obsure.

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/08/23/why-sarah-palin-should-not-leave-the-room

It is sad, Normaburns that you do not welcome the gifts that Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh offer you in this regard.

I invite you to visit Dr. Violet Sock's thread on Sarah Palin: here

note what commenter #5 observes:

leis says:

My friends and family, who are for the most part Democrats, raged about Palin during the election. To which I replied, "I don't dislike her any more than any other Republican" and without fail they would respond that she was far worse. I asked them how they could justify disliking Palin worse than McCain for fuck's sake? What I found so disappointing (still do) was their total lack of awareness. They really, really believe she is worse than Bush, worse than McCain. There is no critical thinking, no questioning why they feel more strongly about her than a Republican that has been spewing uber-conservative bullshit for 50 years. And when I ask them, "Do you think you feel this way because she has a vagina? Because I'm almost certain that's why". Well, then they stop talking to me for a day or two.

That to is my observation

I am losing hope.
July 5th, 2009 at 12:33 am EST

Here too it seems "there is no critical thinking, no questioning why they feel (so) strongly about her". Unlike Pres. Obama whose political record to the degree that it is known can only be described as extremist, Gov. Palin governed from the center. Gov. Palin might well be a pro-life version of moderate/liberal former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman.

Commenter Leis closes with an uncanny observation: "(d)o you think you feel this way because she has a vagina?" Not quite, I think they feel this way because Gov. Palin invokes a threatening sense of wholesome fertility.
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[Emphasis in bold throughout are mine - Mike]