Hurricane Sarah blows away the convention

(Credit to the Drudge Report for that metaphor.)

Well, I think Sarah Palin can take care of herself. Did you see how she dealt with the controversy over her daughter getting pregnant? In the most in-your-face way imaginable! She brought the father from Alaska and made him sit with the rest of the family!

And her speech was spectacular. She delivered it perfectly, with impeccable expression, timing,and presence. She was poised, intelligent, and funny. She just lacerated Barack Obama and her Democratic critics, and yet maintained her charm.

Hillary Clinton is also tough, but when she does it, she comes across as angry, icy, and off-putting. When Sarah Palin gets tough, she does it with a smile and she becomes even more likable. A TV pundit noted that she displayed her maternal qualities–her son about to go to Iraq; her promise to parents of special needs kids like her baby that they will have a friend in the White House; her presentation of herself as a hockey mom who got into politics through the P.T.A.–in a way that softened the way she came across in her political attacks. But I think that understates what we saw. Sarah Palin’s toughness is precisely the toughness of a mom.

To put it simply, Sarah Palin has charisma. Barack Obama has charisma, and that has been the Democrats’ big advantage. Now the Republicans have charisma on their ticket. And she may have more of it than Barack Obama does.

But is she qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? I think many Americans would rather have her as president than John McCain!

Look. I’m not saying this is a good thing, but here is the national mood and the political reality: Americans are not caring about experience. If they did, Obama would never have received the Democratic nomination. And who DOES have adequate experience for the presidency, surely a sui generis job that no one who holds that office is fully prepared for and that everyone who holds it must grow into. Furthermore, I don’t think Americans are caring all that much about issues, in the sense of specific policy proposals. If they did, John McCain would never have received the Republican nomination. Americans right now are craving fresh leadership, someone to like and look up to, someone to inspire them. This has been the appeal of Barack Obama. And this is the appeal of Sarah Palin.

And, frankly, I think Sarah Palin may prove to have even more appeal to Americans than Barack Obama does. Some politicos have fretted how Governor Palin will do in the vice presidential debate with Joe Biden, with all of his foreign policy expertise. Are they kidding? Put those two side by side and Senator Biden is doomed, not just because she will likely speak much better than he does but because her persona is just so much more appealing. The Democrats thought Joe Biden would appeal to blue collar voters, to make up for Obama’s weakness with that demographic? Do they realize how Governor Palin, who embodies the blue collar family, is going to come across?

Great moments from last night: Governor Palin’s speech somehow managed to overshadow that of Rudy Guiliani, which itself had to be one of the best political presentations that I can remember. He just took apart Barack Obama, point by point by point. His method was satire, and it was devastating.

Sarah Palin’s six-year-old daughter, Piper, was utterly cute, jumping up and down, waving, obviously so proud of her mom. I loved it when the camera caught her licking her fingers and smoothing the hair of her baby brother.

When the speech was over, the whole family came on stage, whereupon the vice presidential nominee promptly went up to take her baby, holding little Trig, afflicted with Down’s Syndrome, facing the camera for all the world to see.

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About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Reg Schofield

    As a interested Canadian , I have to say Palin is the real deal. I have always liked McCain and now that Palin has shown she is ready to take on the smear campaign , this ticket is perhaps the best Republican ticket in a long time. As to her inexperience , she’s a Mom , I think what she has gone through over the last 20 years is better training than the silver spoon President that now resides the office. Never have been a fan of President Bush . I still believe McCain should have won the nomination years ago . Its going to be a fun 2 months.

  • Reg Schofield

    As a interested Canadian , I have to say Palin is the real deal. I have always liked McCain and now that Palin has shown she is ready to take on the smear campaign , this ticket is perhaps the best Republican ticket in a long time. As to her inexperience , she’s a Mom , I think what she has gone through over the last 20 years is better training than the silver spoon President that now resides the office. Never have been a fan of President Bush . I still believe McCain should have won the nomination years ago . Its going to be a fun 2 months.

  • Mary Kruta

    “afflicted with Down’s Syndrome” Really? I don’t think she looks on it as an affliction. Did she not say her son was perfectly beautiful? Our culture today calls these children a curse and something to be aborted at the rate of 90%. Most parents I know with special needs children instead call them blessings.

  • Mary Kruta

    “afflicted with Down’s Syndrome” Really? I don’t think she looks on it as an affliction. Did she not say her son was perfectly beautiful? Our culture today calls these children a curse and something to be aborted at the rate of 90%. Most parents I know with special needs children instead call them blessings.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Mary, let’s be honest; Down Syndrome is a genetic defect. I was a special education teacher for years and there is no denying that Down Syndrome can bring significant challenges to both the child and the family. Many families are also able to see the blessings in the adversity. Per Wiki, individuals with Down syndrome tend to have a lower than average cognitive ability, often ranging from mild to moderate learning disabilities. A small number have severe to profound mental disability. Health concerns for individuals with Down syndrome include a higher risk for congenital heart defects, gastroesophageal reflux disease, recurrent ear infections, obstructive sleep apnea, and thyroid dysfunctions.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    Mary, let’s be honest; Down Syndrome is a genetic defect. I was a special education teacher for years and there is no denying that Down Syndrome can bring significant challenges to both the child and the family. Many families are also able to see the blessings in the adversity. Per Wiki, individuals with Down syndrome tend to have a lower than average cognitive ability, often ranging from mild to moderate learning disabilities. A small number have severe to profound mental disability. Health concerns for individuals with Down syndrome include a higher risk for congenital heart defects, gastroesophageal reflux disease, recurrent ear infections, obstructive sleep apnea, and thyroid dysfunctions.

  • http://chaz-lehmann@yahoo.com Pr. Lehmann

    My continual thought during the speech last night was, “I don’t want Sarah Palin to be the *vice* president.”

    Sarah seems to have a good grasp of the value of receiving what the Lord gives. Some might not think a child with Down Syndrome is a blessing, but that would be because they weren’t looking at the Giver.

    Palin knows who the gift came from, and, because of that, she knows the value of the gift.

  • http://chaz-lehmann@yahoo.com Pr. Lehmann

    My continual thought during the speech last night was, “I don’t want Sarah Palin to be the *vice* president.”

    Sarah seems to have a good grasp of the value of receiving what the Lord gives. Some might not think a child with Down Syndrome is a blessing, but that would be because they weren’t looking at the Giver.

    Palin knows who the gift came from, and, because of that, she knows the value of the gift.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Palin for President (or I’ll settle for a heartbeat away)! She’s our kind of lady.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Palin for President (or I’ll settle for a heartbeat away)! She’s our kind of lady.

  • Tom Baden

    How should Mrs. Palin respond to the negative comments about her and her family in the media? She made a good start last night when she said she wasn’t going to Washington to impress them; she was going to serve the American people.

    My roommate in college (Concordia – Seward in the late 50′s and early 60′s) and I worked at a service station. He was a former GI and had a black belt in judo. A dissatisfied customer at the station tore into him and called him things that would make a sailor blush. I thought my friend might be tempted to literally tear the man apart. Instead, when asked by the irate customer, “What do you think about that?”, my friend simply responded, “I think I’ve been called worse things by better people.” End of confrontation.

    I have the idea that Governor Palin would respond in a similar manner. She has so much more “class” than her detractors, they are not worthy of an explanation. Their opinion, as she said last night, doesn’t really matter. God bless Sarah Palin and God bless America.

  • Tom Baden

    How should Mrs. Palin respond to the negative comments about her and her family in the media? She made a good start last night when she said she wasn’t going to Washington to impress them; she was going to serve the American people.

    My roommate in college (Concordia – Seward in the late 50′s and early 60′s) and I worked at a service station. He was a former GI and had a black belt in judo. A dissatisfied customer at the station tore into him and called him things that would make a sailor blush. I thought my friend might be tempted to literally tear the man apart. Instead, when asked by the irate customer, “What do you think about that?”, my friend simply responded, “I think I’ve been called worse things by better people.” End of confrontation.

    I have the idea that Governor Palin would respond in a similar manner. She has so much more “class” than her detractors, they are not worthy of an explanation. Their opinion, as she said last night, doesn’t really matter. God bless Sarah Palin and God bless America.

  • CRB

    She delivered a great speech and shes’ conservative and she’s a mom, etc. What about this, though? Does anyone find this troubling?
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080903/ap_on_el_pr/cvn_palin_iraq_war

  • CRB

    She delivered a great speech and shes’ conservative and she’s a mom, etc. What about this, though? Does anyone find this troubling?
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080903/ap_on_el_pr/cvn_palin_iraq_war

  • Bruce

    I’m having a bit of a chuckle imagining how the McCain campaign is “managing” the tribe Sarah Palin has brought with her. What an entourage. Slickin’ down your baby brother’s hair with a bit o’ spittle is just the beginning. You just can’t stage manage that sort of thing.

  • Bruce

    I’m having a bit of a chuckle imagining how the McCain campaign is “managing” the tribe Sarah Palin has brought with her. What an entourage. Slickin’ down your baby brother’s hair with a bit o’ spittle is just the beginning. You just can’t stage manage that sort of thing.

  • Manxman

    If she becomes an attack dog, rubber stamp tool for McCain’s questionable neo-con, socially moderate policies, she’s nothing more than a clever, manipulative communicator with middle class values paving the way for further destruction. We really need to ask ourselves just exactly what will her talents be used to promote. Charisma, used for the wrong purposes, is a great evil.

  • Manxman

    If she becomes an attack dog, rubber stamp tool for McCain’s questionable neo-con, socially moderate policies, she’s nothing more than a clever, manipulative communicator with middle class values paving the way for further destruction. We really need to ask ourselves just exactly what will her talents be used to promote. Charisma, used for the wrong purposes, is a great evil.

  • Bruce

    I watched some of the CNN coverage (after Fox got a little too giddy) of the speech. The demo friendlies they had commenting basically said, “Ok, game on!”, meaning that Palin is now fair game in the brawny world of presidential campaign politics. Expect the heat–not light–to intensify on her in the days ahead. I agree that she’s up for it. The chase is on for the many undecided’s in this fascinating political race.

  • Bruce

    I watched some of the CNN coverage (after Fox got a little too giddy) of the speech. The demo friendlies they had commenting basically said, “Ok, game on!”, meaning that Palin is now fair game in the brawny world of presidential campaign politics. Expect the heat–not light–to intensify on her in the days ahead. I agree that she’s up for it. The chase is on for the many undecided’s in this fascinating political race.

  • fw

    governor palin´s speach and presentation were simply amazing. i support obama and the dems, but after watching her last night, I would advise the dems to in no way underestimate governor palin.

    It seems that McCain might have made a shrewd choice after all!

  • fw

    governor palin´s speach and presentation were simply amazing. i support obama and the dems, but after watching her last night, I would advise the dems to in no way underestimate governor palin.

    It seems that McCain might have made a shrewd choice after all!

  • Anon

    The speech was a disgrace. No content but the well used GOP catechism of hate, fear, ridicule, more hate, more fear, and blistering contempt for anyone who has ever worked among the poor.

  • Anon

    The speech was a disgrace. No content but the well used GOP catechism of hate, fear, ridicule, more hate, more fear, and blistering contempt for anyone who has ever worked among the poor.

  • fw

    #12 anon

    the speech was intended to be “red meat” for the party faithful. It succeeded in what it was intended for. the delivery was polished.

    I agree with your comments on content. there are reasons I am not a republican. but …

    politically the speech was well done and showed governor Palin to be a shrewd and able polititician.

    I think that nixon, reagan, and bill clinton were 3 of the most brilliant political minds of our last century. I can give them those dues without necessarily liking them or agreeing with their policies or agendas…..

  • fw

    #12 anon

    the speech was intended to be “red meat” for the party faithful. It succeeded in what it was intended for. the delivery was polished.

    I agree with your comments on content. there are reasons I am not a republican. but …

    politically the speech was well done and showed governor Palin to be a shrewd and able polititician.

    I think that nixon, reagan, and bill clinton were 3 of the most brilliant political minds of our last century. I can give them those dues without necessarily liking them or agreeing with their policies or agendas…..

  • Bryan Lindemood

    As David Brooks admitted last night right after her speech, which he thought was a good one, there remains a rather large policy hole in the Republican candidates’ platform. Though, I think that’s true about the Democratic ticket as well. But still, I like Palin (not on everything) but in terms of what matters to me politically, as far as I can tell right now, she represents my views (especially of limited government) better than any other candidate.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    As David Brooks admitted last night right after her speech, which he thought was a good one, there remains a rather large policy hole in the Republican candidates’ platform. Though, I think that’s true about the Democratic ticket as well. But still, I like Palin (not on everything) but in terms of what matters to me politically, as far as I can tell right now, she represents my views (especially of limited government) better than any other candidate.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Experience doesn’t matter? For what it’s worth, my take is that Palin, as governor of a state that’s too often run from DC (they’ve been asking to drill ANWR for how long now?), she’s got exactly the kind of experience that needs to be heeded in DC: the experience of knowing how bad it is to have your life run by a bureaucrat with absolutely no clue about your life.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Experience doesn’t matter? For what it’s worth, my take is that Palin, as governor of a state that’s too often run from DC (they’ve been asking to drill ANWR for how long now?), she’s got exactly the kind of experience that needs to be heeded in DC: the experience of knowing how bad it is to have your life run by a bureaucrat with absolutely no clue about your life.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    #7: I followed your link, and find it immensely troubling. Palin is certainly charismatic and all that – but if somebody can be duped into believing that the Iraq War was God’s work – well, then, there is no saying what else is possible. I hope that this is an inaccurate report – because it is reminscent of the belief that the US is somehow a new Israel, God’s chosen people etc. And for us outside the US, that is immensely troubling. But as I said, I hope it is wrong.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    #7: I followed your link, and find it immensely troubling. Palin is certainly charismatic and all that – but if somebody can be duped into believing that the Iraq War was God’s work – well, then, there is no saying what else is possible. I hope that this is an inaccurate report – because it is reminscent of the belief that the US is somehow a new Israel, God’s chosen people etc. And for us outside the US, that is immensely troubling. But as I said, I hope it is wrong.

  • http://maplemountain.blogspot.com/ s.d. smith

    Terrific.

    Liberals are terrified, resorting to panic and distortion. MSNBC was actually laugh-out-loud hysterical to watch last night. They are so upset they don’t know what to do. I really think that Olberman, Kos, etc. are actually more afraid of Sarah Palin than they are of Islamic Fascism.

    These are positive signs, in a sense.

    While the MSM’s desperate tactics are telling, likely impotent, and hillarious, it doesn’t mean she’s flawless, as we all know.

    But she definately has me about a hundred-times more excited about the ticket than I was before.

    Support for Obama and his abortion-genocide party is, of course, out of the question for any Christian serious about the Word and Glory of God. Though some are clearly duped, just as prosperity preachers dupe many and many Christians in the GOP are fooled into believing that the GOP is right about everything.

    I hold my nose and vote McCain. But my mouth is smiling because of Palin.

  • http://maplemountain.blogspot.com/ s.d. smith

    Terrific.

    Liberals are terrified, resorting to panic and distortion. MSNBC was actually laugh-out-loud hysterical to watch last night. They are so upset they don’t know what to do. I really think that Olberman, Kos, etc. are actually more afraid of Sarah Palin than they are of Islamic Fascism.

    These are positive signs, in a sense.

    While the MSM’s desperate tactics are telling, likely impotent, and hillarious, it doesn’t mean she’s flawless, as we all know.

    But she definately has me about a hundred-times more excited about the ticket than I was before.

    Support for Obama and his abortion-genocide party is, of course, out of the question for any Christian serious about the Word and Glory of God. Though some are clearly duped, just as prosperity preachers dupe many and many Christians in the GOP are fooled into believing that the GOP is right about everything.

    I hold my nose and vote McCain. But my mouth is smiling because of Palin.

  • Arizona Lutheran

    FWIW, Palin and McCain actually disagree on drilling ANWR and on abortion.
    Where does she stand on immigration, Afghanistan, Iraq, the minimum wage, taxes, foreign aid, NAFTA, reducing the budget deficit, and a plethora of other matters? No one – including, perhaps, herself – knows. Yet because she gives one angry and bitter speech, some of us are ready to give her the presidency. Let’s get a grip on ourselves, turn off the Rush Limbaugh program, and see how she behaves in the long run without a script.

  • Arizona Lutheran

    FWIW, Palin and McCain actually disagree on drilling ANWR and on abortion.
    Where does she stand on immigration, Afghanistan, Iraq, the minimum wage, taxes, foreign aid, NAFTA, reducing the budget deficit, and a plethora of other matters? No one – including, perhaps, herself – knows. Yet because she gives one angry and bitter speech, some of us are ready to give her the presidency. Let’s get a grip on ourselves, turn off the Rush Limbaugh program, and see how she behaves in the long run without a script.

  • http://maplemountain.blogspot.com/ s.d. smith

    I agree about the “New Israel” and “God’s will” thing.

    One of the idolatries of conservatives and GOPeople is this view of American Exceptionalism, a historical American error, and in the modern era, a reaction to the left’s oft’ hatred of American traditional values.

  • http://maplemountain.blogspot.com/ s.d. smith

    I agree about the “New Israel” and “God’s will” thing.

    One of the idolatries of conservatives and GOPeople is this view of American Exceptionalism, a historical American error, and in the modern era, a reaction to the left’s oft’ hatred of American traditional values.

  • Bruce

    #18 Az Lutheran: she’s not the only one we’d like to see run without a script. Obama has some work to do on that front. How about a town hall meeting between Obama and McCain? I’d like to see that sort of “thinking on your feet” performance.

  • Bruce

    #18 Az Lutheran: she’s not the only one we’d like to see run without a script. Obama has some work to do on that front. How about a town hall meeting between Obama and McCain? I’d like to see that sort of “thinking on your feet” performance.

  • Carl Vehse

    Re s.d. smith @ #17: “I hold my nose and vote McCain. But my mouth is smiling because of Palin.”

    One of the freepers noted last night after expressing his excitement about Palin’s speech that he was no longer going to have to get drunk before he went to vote for the GOP ticket.

  • Carl Vehse

    Re s.d. smith @ #17: “I hold my nose and vote McCain. But my mouth is smiling because of Palin.”

    One of the freepers noted last night after expressing his excitement about Palin’s speech that he was no longer going to have to get drunk before he went to vote for the GOP ticket.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I think it funny that folks (they even tried to do this in the PBS commentary after her speech last night) want to attach Palin to Rush Limbaugh in the eyes of moderates. Its too funny. Who cares, though. In her speech last night she dealt with that sort of crap journalism well enough. I like her, but I also agree with s.d. smith’s comment #19.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I think it funny that folks (they even tried to do this in the PBS commentary after her speech last night) want to attach Palin to Rush Limbaugh in the eyes of moderates. Its too funny. Who cares, though. In her speech last night she dealt with that sort of crap journalism well enough. I like her, but I also agree with s.d. smith’s comment #19.

  • Carl Vehse

    A sampling of some headlines this morning.

  • Carl Vehse

    A sampling of some headlines this morning.

  • Anon

    It appears that Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin were engaged prior to the pregnancy.

    Sarah Palin does have experience with foreign entities: She bargained British Petroleum – the former Anglo-Iranian Oil, with a profit greater than the budget of most nations – to a 50:50 split with the State of Alaska (traditionally, they have never accepted such a thing, forcing the overthrow of the Persian government, instead) and forced the natural gas pipeline – to be built wholly with private funds – past the oil interests who were dead-set against it.

    And she really is one of us – granted one extraordinarily gifted for office, but she really is one of us.

    Manxman, considering what she did to the GOP establishment in Juneau, and what she did to BP, I’m not really worried that she’ll become a thrall to Leviathan. Her statement on the rights of prisoners of war did leave me cold. I hope that wasn’t her but her GOP speechwriter.

    BTW, it is said that the teleprompter broke at some point in her speech.

    Other anon, I don’t comprehend how you can say that and be both honest and sane.

    Scylding, and how different is that (assuming one can trust the AP to report fairly, and we know that we can’t) from the view of too many Lutherans that whatever the kingdom of the left does, must be God’s will? Surely the liberating of the people of Iraq was a good thing, and surely God rules over the nations. We get very different reports on the occupation from the MSM and from the soldiers who have actually been there. I am much more apt to trust the latter, even though I do not think that America has the first clue of how to engage in nation-building and probably should refrain from that step.

    Palin has persuaded me to vote for her rather than for the Constitution Party this time around – something I was considering before now.

    Arizona; actually, McCain apparently is now pro-life. Either he is a much better actor than I believe to be the case, or he has actually listened to people and changed his mind. Word has it, she is much better *without* a script.

    s. d. smith, do you then reject the settlement and founding of America? I’m curious, because you reject what they believed. Do you believe that you can ethically vote here if you reject the Declaration of Independence? Oughtn’t you submit yourself as a subject of Elizabeth II Windsor? (or if you find Henry XIII Tudor’s rebellion also immoral, to the Most Catholic Monarch Juan Carlos of Spain?)

  • Anon

    It appears that Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin were engaged prior to the pregnancy.

    Sarah Palin does have experience with foreign entities: She bargained British Petroleum – the former Anglo-Iranian Oil, with a profit greater than the budget of most nations – to a 50:50 split with the State of Alaska (traditionally, they have never accepted such a thing, forcing the overthrow of the Persian government, instead) and forced the natural gas pipeline – to be built wholly with private funds – past the oil interests who were dead-set against it.

    And she really is one of us – granted one extraordinarily gifted for office, but she really is one of us.

    Manxman, considering what she did to the GOP establishment in Juneau, and what she did to BP, I’m not really worried that she’ll become a thrall to Leviathan. Her statement on the rights of prisoners of war did leave me cold. I hope that wasn’t her but her GOP speechwriter.

    BTW, it is said that the teleprompter broke at some point in her speech.

    Other anon, I don’t comprehend how you can say that and be both honest and sane.

    Scylding, and how different is that (assuming one can trust the AP to report fairly, and we know that we can’t) from the view of too many Lutherans that whatever the kingdom of the left does, must be God’s will? Surely the liberating of the people of Iraq was a good thing, and surely God rules over the nations. We get very different reports on the occupation from the MSM and from the soldiers who have actually been there. I am much more apt to trust the latter, even though I do not think that America has the first clue of how to engage in nation-building and probably should refrain from that step.

    Palin has persuaded me to vote for her rather than for the Constitution Party this time around – something I was considering before now.

    Arizona; actually, McCain apparently is now pro-life. Either he is a much better actor than I believe to be the case, or he has actually listened to people and changed his mind. Word has it, she is much better *without* a script.

    s. d. smith, do you then reject the settlement and founding of America? I’m curious, because you reject what they believed. Do you believe that you can ethically vote here if you reject the Declaration of Independence? Oughtn’t you submit yourself as a subject of Elizabeth II Windsor? (or if you find Henry XIII Tudor’s rebellion also immoral, to the Most Catholic Monarch Juan Carlos of Spain?)

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Have we ever seen a VP nominee with his/her baby in arms up on a stage? I’m just wondering.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Have we ever seen a VP nominee with his/her baby in arms up on a stage? I’m just wondering.

  • Carl Vehse

    “Our family has the same ups and downs as any other… the same challenges and the same joys. Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge. And children with special needs inspire a special love.”

  • Carl Vehse

    “Our family has the same ups and downs as any other… the same challenges and the same joys. Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge. And children with special needs inspire a special love.”

  • http://www.gethsemanelutheranchurch.org Greg DeVore

    Well I am going to vote GOP this year simply because of Palin. I was on the verge of voting for Baldwin of the constitution party, which is a write-in vote here in California because I wanted to vote for someone who was both pro-life and anti-war. Even though I do not share the neo-con agenda of the GOP I cannot pass up the chance to vote for someone as socially conservative as Palin. I went from flirting with casting a third party ballot to supporting the GOP.

  • http://www.gethsemanelutheranchurch.org Greg DeVore

    Well I am going to vote GOP this year simply because of Palin. I was on the verge of voting for Baldwin of the constitution party, which is a write-in vote here in California because I wanted to vote for someone who was both pro-life and anti-war. Even though I do not share the neo-con agenda of the GOP I cannot pass up the chance to vote for someone as socially conservative as Palin. I went from flirting with casting a third party ballot to supporting the GOP.

  • http://thekurths.com Derek Kurth

    @CRB, I haven’t found the video where Palin supposedly calls the war in Iraq a “task from God,” but I found a more extensive quote from that speech here: http://www.thebigdaddyweave.com/2008/09/sarah-palin-iraq-war-task-from-god.html

    “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God.”

    It reads like she wasn’t proclaiming that the war in Iraq *is* a task from God, but rather that we should pray for our leaders to make decisions that are in keeping with God’s will when they decide whether to deploy soldiers to Iraq. With that context, her speech (at least the tiny part of it that I read!) is not troubling at all.

  • http://thekurths.com Derek Kurth

    @CRB, I haven’t found the video where Palin supposedly calls the war in Iraq a “task from God,” but I found a more extensive quote from that speech here: http://www.thebigdaddyweave.com/2008/09/sarah-palin-iraq-war-task-from-god.html

    “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God.”

    It reads like she wasn’t proclaiming that the war in Iraq *is* a task from God, but rather that we should pray for our leaders to make decisions that are in keeping with God’s will when they decide whether to deploy soldiers to Iraq. With that context, her speech (at least the tiny part of it that I read!) is not troubling at all.

  • http://maplemountain.blogspot.com/ s.d. smith

    Anon #24,

    Dear Anonymous,

    First of all, let me say that I’m a big fan of some of your poetry. Now, re:

    “s. d. smith, do you then reject the settlement and founding of America? I’m curious, because you reject what they believed. Do you believe that you can ethically vote here if you reject the Declaration of Independence? Oughtn’t you submit yourself as a subject of Elizabeth II Windsor? (or if you find Henry XIII Tudor’s rebellion also immoral, to the Most Catholic Monarch Juan Carlos of Spain?)”

    Don’t blame me, I voted for King George?

    Is that the translation you got from my rejection of the erroneous and idolatrous view that America is the New Israel, the view that basically believes that heaven starts their day off with the pledge to the flag, just like Adams, Jefferson and the Apostle Paul did?

    I think your comment was genuinely funny, but not applicable to mine. I love America, and I do not reject her. But I do reject viewing her as a replacement for God, where God becomes a vehicle towards, or co-equal with, patriotism. So I reject some of what the founders believed, yes.

    Also, I reject my son’s whining about eating his green beans at dinner, but I neither deny that he exists, nor go looking for another son. I love him.

    I will be voting. For Sarah Palin and the old guy.

  • http://maplemountain.blogspot.com/ s.d. smith

    Anon #24,

    Dear Anonymous,

    First of all, let me say that I’m a big fan of some of your poetry. Now, re:

    “s. d. smith, do you then reject the settlement and founding of America? I’m curious, because you reject what they believed. Do you believe that you can ethically vote here if you reject the Declaration of Independence? Oughtn’t you submit yourself as a subject of Elizabeth II Windsor? (or if you find Henry XIII Tudor’s rebellion also immoral, to the Most Catholic Monarch Juan Carlos of Spain?)”

    Don’t blame me, I voted for King George?

    Is that the translation you got from my rejection of the erroneous and idolatrous view that America is the New Israel, the view that basically believes that heaven starts their day off with the pledge to the flag, just like Adams, Jefferson and the Apostle Paul did?

    I think your comment was genuinely funny, but not applicable to mine. I love America, and I do not reject her. But I do reject viewing her as a replacement for God, where God becomes a vehicle towards, or co-equal with, patriotism. So I reject some of what the founders believed, yes.

    Also, I reject my son’s whining about eating his green beans at dinner, but I neither deny that he exists, nor go looking for another son. I love him.

    I will be voting. For Sarah Palin and the old guy.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    #24 – Anon: It has been well documented that America’s intervention/conquering in Iraq has played havoc with the local Christian population there, a large percentage of which are now refugees in Syria. Live was safer for Christians under crazy Saddam – though certainly I believe him to have been an evil dictator. I’m simply just making emperical observations. I’m by no means persuaded by the “kingdom of the left either” – though, too be fair, I’m not American. But these things do transcend national boundaries.

    But what if she comes to believe that it is God’s plan to “liberate” the Caucasus from Russia, and start planning an open, conventional war with Putin? We already know oil pipelines are “part of God’s plan” in her view, if we believe the report. That could put civilisation back very many years….

    It’s a pity the video is no longer available online, as reported in the AP article.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    #24 – Anon: It has been well documented that America’s intervention/conquering in Iraq has played havoc with the local Christian population there, a large percentage of which are now refugees in Syria. Live was safer for Christians under crazy Saddam – though certainly I believe him to have been an evil dictator. I’m simply just making emperical observations. I’m by no means persuaded by the “kingdom of the left either” – though, too be fair, I’m not American. But these things do transcend national boundaries.

    But what if she comes to believe that it is God’s plan to “liberate” the Caucasus from Russia, and start planning an open, conventional war with Putin? We already know oil pipelines are “part of God’s plan” in her view, if we believe the report. That could put civilisation back very many years….

    It’s a pity the video is no longer available online, as reported in the AP article.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Did you see how she dealt with the controversy over her daughter getting pregnant? … She brought the father from Alaska and made him sit with the rest of the family!” Thereby explicitly injecting him and her pregnant daughter into the discussion. It’s difficult to argue (as some have) that this election is not about her pregnant daughter when she does that, and McCain talks to the father in front of a crew of cameras. The cynical would argue that the campaign is intentionally putting them out there to distract from actual political issues surrounding Palin, thereby also playing the media card. (Ah, “the ____ card”! Part of our rich political dialog, right up there with “_____gate” and “for it before __ was against it”.)

    “Hillary Clinton is also tough, but when she does it, she comes across as angry, icy, and off-putting.” Well, that’s because, as every Republican knows, Hillary is a ______ (the blank is “Democrat”). Hillary could never know what it means to be a tough, loving mom, her maternal instincts having long ago withered as the naked ambition coursed through her veins like ice, so very unlike Palin’s aw-shucks bulldog blood. There is no partisan double standard here.

    “I think many Americans would rather have her as president than John McCain!” If by “Americans” you mean those “in the Republican base”, I agree. They seem to have forgotten that McCain would actually be President if the Republicans win.

    I’m interested to see how the Biden-Palin debate goes. However, your thoughts on how she will do seem to be based on how well she read a speech written by somebody else. Biden, windbag that he is, does have more experience talking extemporaneously. Also, I liked McCain’s take on Palin’s foreign policy experience: “Alaska is right next to Russia. She understands that.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Did you see how she dealt with the controversy over her daughter getting pregnant? … She brought the father from Alaska and made him sit with the rest of the family!” Thereby explicitly injecting him and her pregnant daughter into the discussion. It’s difficult to argue (as some have) that this election is not about her pregnant daughter when she does that, and McCain talks to the father in front of a crew of cameras. The cynical would argue that the campaign is intentionally putting them out there to distract from actual political issues surrounding Palin, thereby also playing the media card. (Ah, “the ____ card”! Part of our rich political dialog, right up there with “_____gate” and “for it before __ was against it”.)

    “Hillary Clinton is also tough, but when she does it, she comes across as angry, icy, and off-putting.” Well, that’s because, as every Republican knows, Hillary is a ______ (the blank is “Democrat”). Hillary could never know what it means to be a tough, loving mom, her maternal instincts having long ago withered as the naked ambition coursed through her veins like ice, so very unlike Palin’s aw-shucks bulldog blood. There is no partisan double standard here.

    “I think many Americans would rather have her as president than John McCain!” If by “Americans” you mean those “in the Republican base”, I agree. They seem to have forgotten that McCain would actually be President if the Republicans win.

    I’m interested to see how the Biden-Palin debate goes. However, your thoughts on how she will do seem to be based on how well she read a speech written by somebody else. Biden, windbag that he is, does have more experience talking extemporaneously. Also, I liked McCain’s take on Palin’s foreign policy experience: “Alaska is right next to Russia. She understands that.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Reg (@1), you said “As to her inexperience, she’s a Mom, I think what she has gone through over the last 20 years” is good training. Why does this not apply to fathers, especially given the Bible’s teaching on headship?

    CRB (@7), it’s not like she’s the first Republican leader to say that God endorsed the Iraq War. Can’t remember the other guy’s name, though. Neither could most people last night. (Scylding (@16), you can find video of her talking about what God wants, including the gas pipeline.)

    Bike (@15), you said Alaska is “a state that’s too often run from DC”. Of course, Palin, in her jobs, also ran to DC, asking for no small amount of pork (including the “Bridge to Nowhere” — she was, yes, for it before she was against it).

    Carl (@21), I find it humorous that some “freepers” routinely get drunk before voting. Perhaps that explains a lot.

    Finally, who knew what contempt with which the Republicans hold “community organizers”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Reg (@1), you said “As to her inexperience, she’s a Mom, I think what she has gone through over the last 20 years” is good training. Why does this not apply to fathers, especially given the Bible’s teaching on headship?

    CRB (@7), it’s not like she’s the first Republican leader to say that God endorsed the Iraq War. Can’t remember the other guy’s name, though. Neither could most people last night. (Scylding (@16), you can find video of her talking about what God wants, including the gas pipeline.)

    Bike (@15), you said Alaska is “a state that’s too often run from DC”. Of course, Palin, in her jobs, also ran to DC, asking for no small amount of pork (including the “Bridge to Nowhere” — she was, yes, for it before she was against it).

    Carl (@21), I find it humorous that some “freepers” routinely get drunk before voting. Perhaps that explains a lot.

    Finally, who knew what contempt with which the Republicans hold “community organizers”?

  • Anon The First

    s.d. smith,

    I’m not sure how viewing America as a new Israel is -idolatrous-. Bad theology, most likely, but idolatry? I certainly don’t agree with the idea that America can do no wrong! I don’t even believe that the flag should be in the sanctuary, or that a Christian flag should fly -under- a national flag. America deserves God’s wrath, and we pray for His mercy, and we find our hearts lifted when someone who speaks like Sarah Palin or Ronald Reagan come along who might slow the rot. In the post of yours to which I am now responding, you elaborate on what you meant in a different direction than I anticipated. I -do- think that the war for independence was a Biblically-valid act. I do like the Declaration of Independence. FWIW.

    Scylding, I am not aware that it was our liberation of the Iraqi populations from the murderous Ba’athist tyranny that harmed the Christians. it is our incomprehensible (to me) failure to protect them, their ancient church buildings, and their political rights which has exposed them to danger from the Muslims. Iraq is not a natural country. When Great Britain divested itself of its colonies, it would lump together people groups that hated each other thinking with liberal optimism that this would cause them to get along. Instead it lead to what is happening in Iraq, and what happened in Rwanda. It is the nation-building phase which we have done so poorly with. Not the initial liberation. Or so it seems to me, from what I know.

    You seem to belive some reports that I find dubious, including one disproven ahead of your post. Where did she say that a particular oil pipeline was “part of God’s plan”?

    The AP, like most of the rest of the media, are firmly campaigning for Obama, and hate Sarah Palin. This is very, very obvious to any who are paying any attention.

    Russia is 2 miles from Alaska. Further, neither Obama nor Biden have experience making treaties with foreign entities. Sarah Palin -does-.

  • Anon The First

    s.d. smith,

    I’m not sure how viewing America as a new Israel is -idolatrous-. Bad theology, most likely, but idolatry? I certainly don’t agree with the idea that America can do no wrong! I don’t even believe that the flag should be in the sanctuary, or that a Christian flag should fly -under- a national flag. America deserves God’s wrath, and we pray for His mercy, and we find our hearts lifted when someone who speaks like Sarah Palin or Ronald Reagan come along who might slow the rot. In the post of yours to which I am now responding, you elaborate on what you meant in a different direction than I anticipated. I -do- think that the war for independence was a Biblically-valid act. I do like the Declaration of Independence. FWIW.

    Scylding, I am not aware that it was our liberation of the Iraqi populations from the murderous Ba’athist tyranny that harmed the Christians. it is our incomprehensible (to me) failure to protect them, their ancient church buildings, and their political rights which has exposed them to danger from the Muslims. Iraq is not a natural country. When Great Britain divested itself of its colonies, it would lump together people groups that hated each other thinking with liberal optimism that this would cause them to get along. Instead it lead to what is happening in Iraq, and what happened in Rwanda. It is the nation-building phase which we have done so poorly with. Not the initial liberation. Or so it seems to me, from what I know.

    You seem to belive some reports that I find dubious, including one disproven ahead of your post. Where did she say that a particular oil pipeline was “part of God’s plan”?

    The AP, like most of the rest of the media, are firmly campaigning for Obama, and hate Sarah Palin. This is very, very obvious to any who are paying any attention.

    Russia is 2 miles from Alaska. Further, neither Obama nor Biden have experience making treaties with foreign entities. Sarah Palin -does-.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    tODD, yes, that’s true she lobbied for funding; in a state where the feds control or outright own most of the land, there comes a certain point where she doesn’t have any choice, no?

    Reduce federal involvement, reduce the number of plane trips to DC. Hopefully she’s up to the task.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    tODD, yes, that’s true she lobbied for funding; in a state where the feds control or outright own most of the land, there comes a certain point where she doesn’t have any choice, no?

    Reduce federal involvement, reduce the number of plane trips to DC. Hopefully she’s up to the task.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    tODD – I have been pondering the same issue of headship in the past few days. I did some research and found some good Lutheran theological opinion pieces on the topic. I wrote about it yesterday on my home blog (click on my name above).

    “…There may very well be times when we will recognize that it would be greater love for others to vote for (a woman) because the other candidates would be far less capable and would cause much greater harm if they were elected to office. ”

    Another commentary included an interesting comparison today’s world and the times of the book of Judges:

    “… there may indeed be times when a Christian may come to the conclusion that a woman running for the office of president may be the best available choice. We may decide to vote for that candidate even though we would know that in a perfect world it would be otherwise. Often, it may be a judgment on the men of a nation that no well-qualified men step forward to lead.

    Perhaps it may also help us to consider that even among God’s Old Testament people, there was a time that he raised up a woman to lead Israel. In Judges 4-5 we see God using Deborah to help lead Israel against a nation that was oppressing God’s people.

    Yet before we make too much of that bit of Israelite history, we must remember that the book of Judges hardly holds before us an ideal part of Israel’s history. In fact, the book of Judges reveals Israel often at its worst. What is more, Deborah’s own words clearly indicate that things were not as they should have been in Israel. She vainly struggles to get Barak to take the lead of the armies of Israel without her by his side (see Judges 4:9).”

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer Theresa K.

    tODD – I have been pondering the same issue of headship in the past few days. I did some research and found some good Lutheran theological opinion pieces on the topic. I wrote about it yesterday on my home blog (click on my name above).

    “…There may very well be times when we will recognize that it would be greater love for others to vote for (a woman) because the other candidates would be far less capable and would cause much greater harm if they were elected to office. ”

    Another commentary included an interesting comparison today’s world and the times of the book of Judges:

    “… there may indeed be times when a Christian may come to the conclusion that a woman running for the office of president may be the best available choice. We may decide to vote for that candidate even though we would know that in a perfect world it would be otherwise. Often, it may be a judgment on the men of a nation that no well-qualified men step forward to lead.

    Perhaps it may also help us to consider that even among God’s Old Testament people, there was a time that he raised up a woman to lead Israel. In Judges 4-5 we see God using Deborah to help lead Israel against a nation that was oppressing God’s people.

    Yet before we make too much of that bit of Israelite history, we must remember that the book of Judges hardly holds before us an ideal part of Israel’s history. In fact, the book of Judges reveals Israel often at its worst. What is more, Deborah’s own words clearly indicate that things were not as they should have been in Israel. She vainly struggles to get Barak to take the lead of the armies of Israel without her by his side (see Judges 4:9).”

  • Rose

    David Murrow has an interesting background article on Sarah Palin: http://churchformen.blogspot.com/

  • Rose

    David Murrow has an interesting background article on Sarah Palin: http://churchformen.blogspot.com/

  • Reg Schofield

    Todd , the only point I was making , in that role she would have gained much on hands experience that can translate to other things. I agree it would apply to Dad’s as well and I also affirm the headship role in home and church.

  • Reg Schofield

    Todd , the only point I was making , in that role she would have gained much on hands experience that can translate to other things. I agree it would apply to Dad’s as well and I also affirm the headship role in home and church.

  • BKW

    Todd @ post 31 – thank you! You took the words out of my mouth. I was really having a hard time understanding why Veith is so positively giddy at how well Palin read a speech written for her. She’s a good orator – that’s what I took away from it. I also found it troubling that Veith compares Palin & Clinton in terms of how angry they appear when delivering their respective speeches. Why? Because they are both women?

  • BKW

    Todd @ post 31 – thank you! You took the words out of my mouth. I was really having a hard time understanding why Veith is so positively giddy at how well Palin read a speech written for her. She’s a good orator – that’s what I took away from it. I also found it troubling that Veith compares Palin & Clinton in terms of how angry they appear when delivering their respective speeches. Why? Because they are both women?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@24), you said “Assuming one can trust the AP to report fairly, and we know that we can’t.” So, is everything the AP reports a lie, then? Is McCain perhaps 36 years old, in truth? Anyhow, did you even bother to look for the easily-found video of her remarks before you smeared the AP? Man, and people think journalists are lazy!

    Referring to the pipeline, she said “I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built” (somewhere after 4:00 in the video linked above).

    Somewhere around 6:00 in that video, she said, “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending out on a task that is from God.” It is admittedly unclear from that statement whether she thinks the war has so far been a task “from God”, or if (and I personally doubt this take) she is praying that in the future, it will turn into a task “from God”.

    Anyhow, Anon, you also claimed “Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin were engaged prior to the pregnancy.” Care to cite a source? I can find none.

    Bike (@34), you said, “that’s true she lobbied for funding; in a state where the feds control or outright own most of the land, there comes a certain point where she doesn’t have any choice, no?” Have you even looked into what her earmarks were for, or are you just guessing?

    According to the Anchorage Daily News article “Some of Palin’s remarks stretch the truth” (9/4/08):

    As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation, although she has cut, by more than half, the amount the state sought from Washington this year. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to Gravina Island, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a “bridge to nowhere.”

    So the “Bridge to Nowhere”, she had no choice on that? Then why has she — by choice, mind you — decided she’s against it now?

    The Washington Independent, in an article titled “Palin on Earmarks: ‘We Did Well!!!’” (9/3/08) quotes a Palin note that refers to “our nearly one million Dollars from the Feds for our Airport Paving Project. We did well!!!” As the article goes on to point out, “John McCain didn’t think so. Indeed, The LA Times reported that McCain was criticizing Palin’s earmarks at the time that his now-running mate was securing them.”

    The LA Times also has an article (“McCain had criticized earmarks from Palin”, 9/3/08) about the town’s earmarks. You might want to read it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@24), you said “Assuming one can trust the AP to report fairly, and we know that we can’t.” So, is everything the AP reports a lie, then? Is McCain perhaps 36 years old, in truth? Anyhow, did you even bother to look for the easily-found video of her remarks before you smeared the AP? Man, and people think journalists are lazy!

    Referring to the pipeline, she said “I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built” (somewhere after 4:00 in the video linked above).

    Somewhere around 6:00 in that video, she said, “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending out on a task that is from God.” It is admittedly unclear from that statement whether she thinks the war has so far been a task “from God”, or if (and I personally doubt this take) she is praying that in the future, it will turn into a task “from God”.

    Anyhow, Anon, you also claimed “Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin were engaged prior to the pregnancy.” Care to cite a source? I can find none.

    Bike (@34), you said, “that’s true she lobbied for funding; in a state where the feds control or outright own most of the land, there comes a certain point where she doesn’t have any choice, no?” Have you even looked into what her earmarks were for, or are you just guessing?

    According to the Anchorage Daily News article “Some of Palin’s remarks stretch the truth” (9/4/08):

    As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation, although she has cut, by more than half, the amount the state sought from Washington this year. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to Gravina Island, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a “bridge to nowhere.”

    So the “Bridge to Nowhere”, she had no choice on that? Then why has she — by choice, mind you — decided she’s against it now?

    The Washington Independent, in an article titled “Palin on Earmarks: ‘We Did Well!!!’” (9/3/08) quotes a Palin note that refers to “our nearly one million Dollars from the Feds for our Airport Paving Project. We did well!!!” As the article goes on to point out, “John McCain didn’t think so. Indeed, The LA Times reported that McCain was criticizing Palin’s earmarks at the time that his now-running mate was securing them.”

    The LA Times also has an article (“McCain had criticized earmarks from Palin”, 9/3/08) about the town’s earmarks. You might want to read it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Reg, you said (@37), “in that role [Palin] would have gained much on hands experience that can translate to other things. I agree it would apply to dads as well.”

    Then why did you argue (@1), “she’s a Mom, I think what she has gone through over the last 20 years is better training than” Bush has? He’s a dad.

    I mean, Britney Spears is a mom, and she’s been through a lot lately, too. Too bad she’s only 26, or she’d be ready for the job, I guess. I bet she’d make “Oops, I Did it Again” the national anthem.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Reg, you said (@37), “in that role [Palin] would have gained much on hands experience that can translate to other things. I agree it would apply to dads as well.”

    Then why did you argue (@1), “she’s a Mom, I think what she has gone through over the last 20 years is better training than” Bush has? He’s a dad.

    I mean, Britney Spears is a mom, and she’s been through a lot lately, too. Too bad she’s only 26, or she’d be ready for the job, I guess. I bet she’d make “Oops, I Did it Again” the national anthem.

  • Joe

    “Finally, who knew what contempt with which the Republicans hold “community organizers”?”

    Just the one’s who think being a community organizer makes them more qualified to be president then being a small town mayor. :)

    Also, why does it matter that Palin’s speech was written for her – are all going to pretend that Obama writes the entirety of his own speeches? We already know that he freely borrows from several other pols. I thought there were two interesting points re: the delivery of the speech: 1. the ad lib lines that were tossed in were very well done. Impeccable timing 2. several old political hacks interviewed after the speech stated that in their opinion no-one can deliver a speech that well unless they took an active role in the writing process. I thought that was interesting.

    But we’ll see what happens in the up coming interviews and the debate with Joe Biden. I am excited by Palin so far but there is much yet to see.

  • Joe

    “Finally, who knew what contempt with which the Republicans hold “community organizers”?”

    Just the one’s who think being a community organizer makes them more qualified to be president then being a small town mayor. :)

    Also, why does it matter that Palin’s speech was written for her – are all going to pretend that Obama writes the entirety of his own speeches? We already know that he freely borrows from several other pols. I thought there were two interesting points re: the delivery of the speech: 1. the ad lib lines that were tossed in were very well done. Impeccable timing 2. several old political hacks interviewed after the speech stated that in their opinion no-one can deliver a speech that well unless they took an active role in the writing process. I thought that was interesting.

    But we’ll see what happens in the up coming interviews and the debate with Joe Biden. I am excited by Palin so far but there is much yet to see.

  • Bob Myers

    tODD said @ #31: “Biden, windbag that he is, does have more experience talking extemporaneously.” Perhaps a review of Biden’s “extemporaneous” use of Kinnock, HH Humphrey, John and RF Kennedy’s words may not be the experience necessary to compete against Mrs. Palin.

  • Bob Myers

    tODD said @ #31: “Biden, windbag that he is, does have more experience talking extemporaneously.” Perhaps a review of Biden’s “extemporaneous” use of Kinnock, HH Humphrey, John and RF Kennedy’s words may not be the experience necessary to compete against Mrs. Palin.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    She’s just who she is. I don’t see why people are so cynical about it.
    Well, on the other hand, I do see.
    I can’t think of contemporary politician who’s risen to a position of power simply for being who he or she is–not relying on other people of power or connections; not relying on a gimmick, but on the force of personality and some ability to get people to believe that what she’s saying, she believes. And then furthering her success on the basis of prior success.
    Looks to me like what we’ve been taught as the all-American success story: succeeding on grit and ideas and principle, not on tactics.
    Palin in ’12.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    She’s just who she is. I don’t see why people are so cynical about it.
    Well, on the other hand, I do see.
    I can’t think of contemporary politician who’s risen to a position of power simply for being who he or she is–not relying on other people of power or connections; not relying on a gimmick, but on the force of personality and some ability to get people to believe that what she’s saying, she believes. And then furthering her success on the basis of prior success.
    Looks to me like what we’ve been taught as the all-American success story: succeeding on grit and ideas and principle, not on tactics.
    Palin in ’12.

  • fw
  • fw
  • Bryan Lindemood

    “Oops I did it again” would make a great new national anthem if it meant that folks would start having more children earlier and marrying earlier. Screw going to government sanctioned colleges and just get married. Stop screwing around and grow up. You too can be president like Palin in ’12. Go Palin!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    “Oops I did it again” would make a great new national anthem if it meant that folks would start having more children earlier and marrying earlier. Screw going to government sanctioned colleges and just get married. Stop screwing around and grow up. You too can be president like Palin in ’12. Go Palin!

  • Anon The First

    I personally wouldn’t go to one devoted to participating in the abomination that causes desolation, who hates Christians and Biblical morality, who according to Scripture must have been very recalcitrant in refusing to give thanks to God to be turned over to his present choice of sin and identification with that sin, for a reliable source of information, especially regarding someone he would so vociferously disagree.

    Bryan, you are creating artificial dichotomies in your satire.

  • Anon The First

    I personally wouldn’t go to one devoted to participating in the abomination that causes desolation, who hates Christians and Biblical morality, who according to Scripture must have been very recalcitrant in refusing to give thanks to God to be turned over to his present choice of sin and identification with that sin, for a reliable source of information, especially regarding someone he would so vociferously disagree.

    Bryan, you are creating artificial dichotomies in your satire.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I know, just trying to have some fun.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I know, just trying to have some fun.

  • BKW

    Joe @ 41 said, “Also, why does it matter that Palin’s speech was written for her – are all going to pretend that Obama writes the entirety of his own speeches?” I don’t see anyone saying that Obama writes his own speeches. Why can’t a statement about something just be a statement without assuming that a comparison is being made? Of course his speeches are written for him. Good for her that she’s a great speaker and ad libber. Does that qualify her for the office of VP?

  • BKW

    Joe @ 41 said, “Also, why does it matter that Palin’s speech was written for her – are all going to pretend that Obama writes the entirety of his own speeches?” I don’t see anyone saying that Obama writes his own speeches. Why can’t a statement about something just be a statement without assuming that a comparison is being made? Of course his speeches are written for him. Good for her that she’s a great speaker and ad libber. Does that qualify her for the office of VP?

  • BKW

    fw @ 44 – Absolutely beautiful.

  • BKW

    fw @ 44 – Absolutely beautiful.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@41), name one person who thinks “being a community organizer makes them more qualified to be president then being a small town mayor.” And don’t reply with the lazy answer of “Obama” — actually think through your assertion. And then think about why Republicans are only mentioning Obama’s being a “community organizer”, and not, say a civil rights lawyer, Constitutional law professor, state legislator, or U.S. Senator. The singular focus on Obama’s being a community organizer is not only misleading, it seems to show a frank disdain for those people and communities where such organizers actually help.

    You also asked “why does it matter that Palin’s speech was written for her”. In a way, it doesn’t. But to claim that her speech is indicative of her ability to do well in a debate seems a bit odd. Her speech, I have read, was written by Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully, and it may not have been written specifically for her — McCain’s campaign manager told reporters his team was reworking the speech to make it less “masculine”. Nonetheless, she did a good job giving the speech. Though I’m not sure much what her actual positions and policy ideas are.

    “Are all going to pretend that Obama writes the entirety of his own speeches?” No, but he did, I understand, write all of his 2004 convention speech. And he usually plays a significant role in writing his own. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’ll do well in a debate, either — in fact, from what I’ve seen of his question-answering, I think he’ll do worse than he does at giving (or writing) speeches. Extemporaneously, he’s only so-so.

    Anon (@46), I can’t tell if you’re being serious or not anymore. Who “hates Christians”? Please cite your evidence. And the thing FW was pointing to on Sullivan’s site — I tell you this so you can keep your mind unpolluted by any idea he might have — is a Daily Show video that points out several Republicans’ hypocrisy on various issues. I’m sure you’d love it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@41), name one person who thinks “being a community organizer makes them more qualified to be president then being a small town mayor.” And don’t reply with the lazy answer of “Obama” — actually think through your assertion. And then think about why Republicans are only mentioning Obama’s being a “community organizer”, and not, say a civil rights lawyer, Constitutional law professor, state legislator, or U.S. Senator. The singular focus on Obama’s being a community organizer is not only misleading, it seems to show a frank disdain for those people and communities where such organizers actually help.

    You also asked “why does it matter that Palin’s speech was written for her”. In a way, it doesn’t. But to claim that her speech is indicative of her ability to do well in a debate seems a bit odd. Her speech, I have read, was written by Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully, and it may not have been written specifically for her — McCain’s campaign manager told reporters his team was reworking the speech to make it less “masculine”. Nonetheless, she did a good job giving the speech. Though I’m not sure much what her actual positions and policy ideas are.

    “Are all going to pretend that Obama writes the entirety of his own speeches?” No, but he did, I understand, write all of his 2004 convention speech. And he usually plays a significant role in writing his own. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’ll do well in a debate, either — in fact, from what I’ve seen of his question-answering, I think he’ll do worse than he does at giving (or writing) speeches. Extemporaneously, he’s only so-so.

    Anon (@46), I can’t tell if you’re being serious or not anymore. Who “hates Christians”? Please cite your evidence. And the thing FW was pointing to on Sullivan’s site — I tell you this so you can keep your mind unpolluted by any idea he might have — is a Daily Show video that points out several Republicans’ hypocrisy on various issues. I’m sure you’d love it.

  • Joe

    Hey tODD – The smiley face was supposed to be a clue to the fact that I was making a joke about the community organizer bit.

    But since your so offended let me ask you if you are equally offended by the constant refrain that Palin is less qualified than Obama because she was a small town mayor. It was the first official statement of the Obama camp after her announcement:

    “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,”

    And I never said giving a good speech meant she would do anything in the debates or in interviews in fact I specifically withheld any prediction stating:

    “But we’ll see what happens in the up coming interviews and the debate with Joe Biden. I am excited by Palin so far but there is much yet to see.”

    BKW – my comment was more of a reaction the post Palin speech coverage than to anyone her. I watched CNN, MSNBC and FoxNews (I flip around too much and have a DVR – not a good combination). In the panel discussions on all three channels people kept repeatedly stating that Palin’s speech was written for her. I watched the post coverage of all the other speeches and never once heard any commentator mention anything about who wrote the speeches for Obama, Biden or McCain. I know you can find out who wrote them if you want to but the constant refrain of it re: Palin was just annoying. I could just have easily put any other pols name in the sentence in place of Obama. I first typed it as “every other pol has their speeches written for them too.” But I didn’t want to make a such a general statement because there is probably some pol out there who writes all of his/her speeches without any help… I only used Obama as the example because I know for a fact that he has speech writers and borrows (with permission) from several other pols.

  • Joe

    Hey tODD – The smiley face was supposed to be a clue to the fact that I was making a joke about the community organizer bit.

    But since your so offended let me ask you if you are equally offended by the constant refrain that Palin is less qualified than Obama because she was a small town mayor. It was the first official statement of the Obama camp after her announcement:

    “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,”

    And I never said giving a good speech meant she would do anything in the debates or in interviews in fact I specifically withheld any prediction stating:

    “But we’ll see what happens in the up coming interviews and the debate with Joe Biden. I am excited by Palin so far but there is much yet to see.”

    BKW – my comment was more of a reaction the post Palin speech coverage than to anyone her. I watched CNN, MSNBC and FoxNews (I flip around too much and have a DVR – not a good combination). In the panel discussions on all three channels people kept repeatedly stating that Palin’s speech was written for her. I watched the post coverage of all the other speeches and never once heard any commentator mention anything about who wrote the speeches for Obama, Biden or McCain. I know you can find out who wrote them if you want to but the constant refrain of it re: Palin was just annoying. I could just have easily put any other pols name in the sentence in place of Obama. I first typed it as “every other pol has their speeches written for them too.” But I didn’t want to make a such a general statement because there is probably some pol out there who writes all of his/her speeches without any help… I only used Obama as the example because I know for a fact that he has speech writers and borrows (with permission) from several other pols.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@51), Obama spokesman Burton’s reference to her being a “mayor of a town of 9,000″ certainly is spin in the line of the “community organizer” bit, and, as such, dumb.

    That said, the situations aren’t parallel. Palin was mayor from 1992-1996 — it was her last successful election before being governor. Obama was a community organizer from 1985-1988. At the same time she was mayor, he was a state legislator, which was his last successful election before being U.S. Senator. If the Republicans had wanted to go for parallelism in regard to her being a mayor, they would have mentioned his time in the Illinois senate. But I imagine that didn’t sound dismissive enough, so they went further back on his resume. By the way, her corresponding job when Obama was a community organizer was being a sports reporter.

    Still, I think you’re missing the point in the statement, “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency.” It’s explicitly dismissing her because of “zero foreign policy experience”. The “mayor” bit, as I have said, is just spin.

    Still, what does Karl Rove say? If anyone speaks straightforwardly, it’s a Republican, right? “She has had executive experience. She’s been a mayor, admittedly of a small town, but active in her state’s affairs as chairman of an important commission.”

    This is the same Rove who dismissed the idea of Democratic Gov. Kaine as VP pick by saying:

    With all due respect again to Governor Kaine, he’s been a governor for three years. He’s been able, but undistinguished. I don’t think people could really name a big, important thing that he’s done. He was mayor of the 105th largest city in America. And again, with all due respect to Richmond, Virginia, it’s smaller than Chula Vista, California; Aurora, Colorado; Mesa or Gilbert, Arizona; North Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada. It’s not a big town. So, if you were to pick Governor Kaine, it would be an intensely political choice where he said, “You know what? I’m really not first and foremost concerned with, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’

    Richmond, Virginia has a population of 200,000 — over 35 times larger than Wasilla, Alaska.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@51), Obama spokesman Burton’s reference to her being a “mayor of a town of 9,000″ certainly is spin in the line of the “community organizer” bit, and, as such, dumb.

    That said, the situations aren’t parallel. Palin was mayor from 1992-1996 — it was her last successful election before being governor. Obama was a community organizer from 1985-1988. At the same time she was mayor, he was a state legislator, which was his last successful election before being U.S. Senator. If the Republicans had wanted to go for parallelism in regard to her being a mayor, they would have mentioned his time in the Illinois senate. But I imagine that didn’t sound dismissive enough, so they went further back on his resume. By the way, her corresponding job when Obama was a community organizer was being a sports reporter.

    Still, I think you’re missing the point in the statement, “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency.” It’s explicitly dismissing her because of “zero foreign policy experience”. The “mayor” bit, as I have said, is just spin.

    Still, what does Karl Rove say? If anyone speaks straightforwardly, it’s a Republican, right? “She has had executive experience. She’s been a mayor, admittedly of a small town, but active in her state’s affairs as chairman of an important commission.”

    This is the same Rove who dismissed the idea of Democratic Gov. Kaine as VP pick by saying:

    With all due respect again to Governor Kaine, he’s been a governor for three years. He’s been able, but undistinguished. I don’t think people could really name a big, important thing that he’s done. He was mayor of the 105th largest city in America. And again, with all due respect to Richmond, Virginia, it’s smaller than Chula Vista, California; Aurora, Colorado; Mesa or Gilbert, Arizona; North Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada. It’s not a big town. So, if you were to pick Governor Kaine, it would be an intensely political choice where he said, “You know what? I’m really not first and foremost concerned with, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’

    Richmond, Virginia has a population of 200,000 — over 35 times larger than Wasilla, Alaska.

  • Joe

    tODD – I am not trying to defend the community organize line. I think it is silly. I am sorry if I have touched a nerve with an (apparently not funny) joke. And please don’t toss Rove at me. I have no love for him. I have not gone to events because he was the speaker. He is far to willing to sell out policy goals for political expediency.

    But if I were in charge of drawing a contrast between Palin and Obama’s experience/records I would do something crazy at try to look at what they actually did. I would probably point out that Obama voted “present” almost 130 times while he was in the State Senate, I would point out that he actively tried to defeat the infants born alive act, I would point out that sense taking a seat in the senate (that he won largely because the Republican candidate’s confidential divorce papers were made public and contained some extremely troubling accusations from his ex-wife regarding sexual deviance and forced him out of the race) he has pretty much done nothing of any significance. Then I would point out that Palin defeated a sitting governor in the primary and a former governor in the general, that she renegotiated the deal Alaska had with BP to get the most favorable deal in Alaskan history, that she changed the new natural gas pipe line from a public/private cost sharing project into a completely privately funded project saving tons of money. But I would not try to be goofy and try to say she has a wealth of experience.

    Personally I would rather we agree that neither Palin nor Obama have a huge wealth of experience. I am happy to admit it. And I think it does matter. The only real issue I have is that Obama is at the top of the ticket. Personally, I think Obama (and Plain) are perfect VP candidates.

  • Joe

    tODD – I am not trying to defend the community organize line. I think it is silly. I am sorry if I have touched a nerve with an (apparently not funny) joke. And please don’t toss Rove at me. I have no love for him. I have not gone to events because he was the speaker. He is far to willing to sell out policy goals for political expediency.

    But if I were in charge of drawing a contrast between Palin and Obama’s experience/records I would do something crazy at try to look at what they actually did. I would probably point out that Obama voted “present” almost 130 times while he was in the State Senate, I would point out that he actively tried to defeat the infants born alive act, I would point out that sense taking a seat in the senate (that he won largely because the Republican candidate’s confidential divorce papers were made public and contained some extremely troubling accusations from his ex-wife regarding sexual deviance and forced him out of the race) he has pretty much done nothing of any significance. Then I would point out that Palin defeated a sitting governor in the primary and a former governor in the general, that she renegotiated the deal Alaska had with BP to get the most favorable deal in Alaskan history, that she changed the new natural gas pipe line from a public/private cost sharing project into a completely privately funded project saving tons of money. But I would not try to be goofy and try to say she has a wealth of experience.

    Personally I would rather we agree that neither Palin nor Obama have a huge wealth of experience. I am happy to admit it. And I think it does matter. The only real issue I have is that Obama is at the top of the ticket. Personally, I think Obama (and Plain) are perfect VP candidates.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@53), I appreciate your thoughts on Rove, but you complain about my “tossing” Rove at you, and then in the next paragraph you cite some of his talking points (especially the ridiculous voting “present” thing — go ahead, explain why that’s a negative).

    I will agree that Obama doesn’t have much experience as such. I also agree with what Veith said about it being a sui generis job in terms of experience. Furthermore, I think the past eight years have belied any arguments about “executive experience” preparing one adequately for the job (or even the sort of “experience” that Cheney was supposed to add to Bush’s shortcomings in that area). I’m tired of what that “experience” has brought us.

    A President does not act on his own. He needs to be able to surround himself with competent, intelligent advisors, as well as to appoint competent, intelligent people to various positions. As such, I am much more comforted by Obama’s selection of Biden than by McCain’s selection of Palin. The latter seems to be more of a political decision — she shores up the base (as comments here demonstrate) and may also be a sad attempt at getting Hillary supporters — than a matter of selecting the right person. That reminds me too much of the last eight years. I’m tired of the Ashcrofts, the Gonzalezes (who made me miss the Ashcrofts), the Rices (as NSA, that is), the Rumsfelds, the Miers (Really? She was a better candidate than Alito?).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@53), I appreciate your thoughts on Rove, but you complain about my “tossing” Rove at you, and then in the next paragraph you cite some of his talking points (especially the ridiculous voting “present” thing — go ahead, explain why that’s a negative).

    I will agree that Obama doesn’t have much experience as such. I also agree with what Veith said about it being a sui generis job in terms of experience. Furthermore, I think the past eight years have belied any arguments about “executive experience” preparing one adequately for the job (or even the sort of “experience” that Cheney was supposed to add to Bush’s shortcomings in that area). I’m tired of what that “experience” has brought us.

    A President does not act on his own. He needs to be able to surround himself with competent, intelligent advisors, as well as to appoint competent, intelligent people to various positions. As such, I am much more comforted by Obama’s selection of Biden than by McCain’s selection of Palin. The latter seems to be more of a political decision — she shores up the base (as comments here demonstrate) and may also be a sad attempt at getting Hillary supporters — than a matter of selecting the right person. That reminds me too much of the last eight years. I’m tired of the Ashcrofts, the Gonzalezes (who made me miss the Ashcrofts), the Rices (as NSA, that is), the Rumsfelds, the Miers (Really? She was a better candidate than Alito?).

  • Anon The First

    todd, the point was that the senate is not an executive position, and that while in the senate, (including the Federal senate) Obama didn’t do much of anything except campaign. The ‘community organizer’ refers to his time as a radical left-wing political agitator.

    And the GOP was specifically reponding to Obama’s statements and claims vis a vis Sarah Palin. Note that according to him, his chief executive responsibly lies in his two year campaign for president, ignoring that campaigns have maanagers who are not the candidate.

    You appear at least to be partisan for the Democrat ticket. Is that correct?

  • Anon The First

    todd, the point was that the senate is not an executive position, and that while in the senate, (including the Federal senate) Obama didn’t do much of anything except campaign. The ‘community organizer’ refers to his time as a radical left-wing political agitator.

    And the GOP was specifically reponding to Obama’s statements and claims vis a vis Sarah Palin. Note that according to him, his chief executive responsibly lies in his two year campaign for president, ignoring that campaigns have maanagers who are not the candidate.

    You appear at least to be partisan for the Democrat ticket. Is that correct?

  • Joe

    I don’t know if Rove is talking about voting present or not (I don’t listen to much of what he says) but here is why I think it is a negative. A legislator has really only one job – to vote and explain that vote to the people, explain why something is a good idea or a bad idea. His core function is to take a position. Voting present allows you to not take a position – it is a dodge. To me it indicates a sort of political slickness that really offends me. What is the point of it if it is not to attempt to avoid taking a position?

    Do you think it is a good thing?

    “A President does not act on his own. He needs to be able to surround himself with competent, intelligent advisors, as well as to appoint competent, intelligent people to various positions.”

    I agree with that. But I am more concerned about who the Sec. of State and Def. and AG are then who the VP is. I do tend to belong to the school of thought that the VP is a pretty minor role in the administration. Of course there is no way to know who they will be until the person is elected.

    Also you seem to think I will just accept the party line whole hog (“If anyone speaks straightforwardly, it’s a Republican, right?”). I think I have posted several times around here that the GOP is just as guilty as the Dems at smearing the other guy. Also, while I have, at times been a member of the GOP – I have even held officer positions in the state party – I usually ended up quitting the party in disgust. So, I am not the usual GOP standard bearer. I consider myself a conservative and I don’t always vote for the GOP. In fact, I may not vote for McCain.

    Lastly, I know that you and I have gone around a few times on this blog and we are both fairly sarcastic guys, but I am trying to stay level headed so if I am coming off as anything other than that please forgive me and give me the benefit of the doubt.

  • Joe

    I don’t know if Rove is talking about voting present or not (I don’t listen to much of what he says) but here is why I think it is a negative. A legislator has really only one job – to vote and explain that vote to the people, explain why something is a good idea or a bad idea. His core function is to take a position. Voting present allows you to not take a position – it is a dodge. To me it indicates a sort of political slickness that really offends me. What is the point of it if it is not to attempt to avoid taking a position?

    Do you think it is a good thing?

    “A President does not act on his own. He needs to be able to surround himself with competent, intelligent advisors, as well as to appoint competent, intelligent people to various positions.”

    I agree with that. But I am more concerned about who the Sec. of State and Def. and AG are then who the VP is. I do tend to belong to the school of thought that the VP is a pretty minor role in the administration. Of course there is no way to know who they will be until the person is elected.

    Also you seem to think I will just accept the party line whole hog (“If anyone speaks straightforwardly, it’s a Republican, right?”). I think I have posted several times around here that the GOP is just as guilty as the Dems at smearing the other guy. Also, while I have, at times been a member of the GOP – I have even held officer positions in the state party – I usually ended up quitting the party in disgust. So, I am not the usual GOP standard bearer. I consider myself a conservative and I don’t always vote for the GOP. In fact, I may not vote for McCain.

    Lastly, I know that you and I have gone around a few times on this blog and we are both fairly sarcastic guys, but I am trying to stay level headed so if I am coming off as anything other than that please forgive me and give me the benefit of the doubt.

  • Anon The First

    One little note on Palin’s speech, while she did have the assistance of a speechwriter, as I understand it, he didn’t just write it and hand it to her, she had a lot to do with it.

    Also, the teleprompter was showing the wrong speech. She wasn’t just reading from the teleprompter the way it is said at least, the leader of the opposing ticket does (though I think that he too, has a lot to do with the content of his speeches)

  • Anon The First

    One little note on Palin’s speech, while she did have the assistance of a speechwriter, as I understand it, he didn’t just write it and hand it to her, she had a lot to do with it.

    Also, the teleprompter was showing the wrong speech. She wasn’t just reading from the teleprompter the way it is said at least, the leader of the opposing ticket does (though I think that he too, has a lot to do with the content of his speeches)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@55), you asked, “You appear at least to be partisan for the Democrat ticket. Is that correct?” No, it isn’t.

    Joe (@56), in answer to your question of whether Obama’s “present” votes are a “good thing”, let’s start with your definition: “A legislator has really only one job – to vote and explain that vote to the people.” Okay.

    So then I would ask you in what ways an Illinois state legislator can vote. In order to save time, I’ll answer for you, from the Web site for the Illinois General Assembly, which defines a record vote as “A roll call vote in which each legislator electronically votes yea, nay, or present.” Now that is the definition of what an Illinois legislator can do. But you would have me believe that choosing one of those options is not a part of his job, in spite of that definition. I don’t see it.

    I mean, in my church, I am occasionally called upon to attend voters meetings. In those meetings, I can either vote yea, nay, or not at all — Roberts Rules of Order do not demand that I decide solely between yea or nay. Occasionally there are matters in which I have no strong opinion, and in which I’d rather the decision were carried by those who do care, so I don’t vote. Is that a bad thing? Is it a “dodge”?

    Having said that, I don’t really know why Obama cast those present votes. I have read some articles that have made some assumptions, but those assumptions tend to follow partisan politics on “both” sides, so I’m unimpressed. I guess one could decry it as “politics”, but, well … it is politics!

    Regardless, if people so resent these votes, their problem isn’t with Obama, it’s with the system that allows it. But I don’t see any rush to change the Illinois General Assembly’s rules, so I’m not convinced they care. Hopefully, that is the most I will ever have to say about Illinois legislative procedures.

    As for your statement that “I am more concerned about who the Sec. of State and Def. and AG are then who the VP is,” I very much agree. And I happen to view the candidates’ VP choices as a window into who they will pick for those more important positions. Obama, in apparent contrast with his “change” motto, may pick those with traditional experience, likely creating a partisan slate. McCain … well, honestly, hard to say. I doubt his picks will be as politically calculated as his VP pick, since that wouldn’t be necessary. But I do worry he will be rash in his choice and may not pick the best person for the position.

    “Of course there is no way to know who they will be until the person is elected.” True, and yet we must make some guesses when we vote, regardless.

    Your political story is interesting — thanks for sharing. I know most people here assume I’m a Democrat, but I actually have both libertarian and liberal political leanings, depending on the issue. I haven’t even voted for the same party in any of the last three presidential elections! In fact, if he does more talk in the next two months like he did in his speech, I could even find myself voting for him. But don’t tell some people here that — it’d disappoint them, I think. :)

    And yeah, I’m sarcastic, occasionally cynical, and often hot-headed. Sorry. I’ve tried to be fairly genial in my responses, but given my tenacity, it may not have come across that way. I appreciate your nice words, though. Thanks.

    Man, this was waaay too long.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@55), you asked, “You appear at least to be partisan for the Democrat ticket. Is that correct?” No, it isn’t.

    Joe (@56), in answer to your question of whether Obama’s “present” votes are a “good thing”, let’s start with your definition: “A legislator has really only one job – to vote and explain that vote to the people.” Okay.

    So then I would ask you in what ways an Illinois state legislator can vote. In order to save time, I’ll answer for you, from the Web site for the Illinois General Assembly, which defines a record vote as “A roll call vote in which each legislator electronically votes yea, nay, or present.” Now that is the definition of what an Illinois legislator can do. But you would have me believe that choosing one of those options is not a part of his job, in spite of that definition. I don’t see it.

    I mean, in my church, I am occasionally called upon to attend voters meetings. In those meetings, I can either vote yea, nay, or not at all — Roberts Rules of Order do not demand that I decide solely between yea or nay. Occasionally there are matters in which I have no strong opinion, and in which I’d rather the decision were carried by those who do care, so I don’t vote. Is that a bad thing? Is it a “dodge”?

    Having said that, I don’t really know why Obama cast those present votes. I have read some articles that have made some assumptions, but those assumptions tend to follow partisan politics on “both” sides, so I’m unimpressed. I guess one could decry it as “politics”, but, well … it is politics!

    Regardless, if people so resent these votes, their problem isn’t with Obama, it’s with the system that allows it. But I don’t see any rush to change the Illinois General Assembly’s rules, so I’m not convinced they care. Hopefully, that is the most I will ever have to say about Illinois legislative procedures.

    As for your statement that “I am more concerned about who the Sec. of State and Def. and AG are then who the VP is,” I very much agree. And I happen to view the candidates’ VP choices as a window into who they will pick for those more important positions. Obama, in apparent contrast with his “change” motto, may pick those with traditional experience, likely creating a partisan slate. McCain … well, honestly, hard to say. I doubt his picks will be as politically calculated as his VP pick, since that wouldn’t be necessary. But I do worry he will be rash in his choice and may not pick the best person for the position.

    “Of course there is no way to know who they will be until the person is elected.” True, and yet we must make some guesses when we vote, regardless.

    Your political story is interesting — thanks for sharing. I know most people here assume I’m a Democrat, but I actually have both libertarian and liberal political leanings, depending on the issue. I haven’t even voted for the same party in any of the last three presidential elections! In fact, if he does more talk in the next two months like he did in his speech, I could even find myself voting for him. But don’t tell some people here that — it’d disappoint them, I think. :)

    And yeah, I’m sarcastic, occasionally cynical, and often hot-headed. Sorry. I’ve tried to be fairly genial in my responses, but given my tenacity, it may not have come across that way. I appreciate your nice words, though. Thanks.

    Man, this was waaay too long.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sorry, that should have read (@58), “if McCain does more talk …”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sorry, that should have read (@58), “if McCain does more talk …”

  • Joe

    “Occasionally there are matters in which I have no strong opinion, and in which I’d rather the decision were carried by those who do care, so I don’t vote.”

    Here is where I think that difference is. At a voters assembly, you are voting on behalf of yourself and an elected representative in our system votes for other people (using their best efforts to get it right). In my mind, that creates a duty for them to care – even if they don’t or would rather not take a side. I understand that present is an option given to the Illinois State Senate. I just find it wrong and annoying that someone would use that option often. A couple breakdowns I have found came to the conclusion that he voted present once every 31 votes over his career. That seems high to me (others will probably not think so). The other aspect of it that I do not like is the strategy of voting present. Here is a portion of an article written during the primary about some of Obama’s present votes:

    “Several involve abortion — a ban on certain late-pregnancy abortions, a requirement that a minor’s parents be notified and restrictions on a type of abortion where the fetus sometimes survives for short periods.
    “A woman’s right to choose … demands a leader who will stand up and protect it,” said one Clinton campaign mailer.
    But the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council says Obama’s “present” votes were actually part of a careful strategy to prevent those restrictions from passing.
    President Pam Sutherland said the group feared several senators were going to vote “yes” on the legislation because of attacks from Republicans over their past opposition. Sutherland says she approached Obama and convinced him to vote “present” so that the wavering senators would do the same. For their purposes, a “present” was as good as an outright “no” because it kept the bills from reaching the majority needed to pass.”
    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/01/24/fact_check_obamas_present_votes/

    This strategy really annoys me. If you think something should fail then vote no – if that makes you vulnerable to an attack then stand up and explain why your position is correct. Without that the battle of ideas will never have a chance to play out. Instead, the debate is avoided by procedure.

    I also don’t agree that because present is available as an option that this makes it okay to vote that way. One can always chose to conduct themselves at a standard above that which is allowable. To me using the excuse, “well its available as an option and others do it too,” kind of undercuts the Change mantra. It just looks like politics as usual.

    tODD – no worries re: the “heat” of the debates. I understand where you are coming from – I tend to get worked up too!

  • Joe

    “Occasionally there are matters in which I have no strong opinion, and in which I’d rather the decision were carried by those who do care, so I don’t vote.”

    Here is where I think that difference is. At a voters assembly, you are voting on behalf of yourself and an elected representative in our system votes for other people (using their best efforts to get it right). In my mind, that creates a duty for them to care – even if they don’t or would rather not take a side. I understand that present is an option given to the Illinois State Senate. I just find it wrong and annoying that someone would use that option often. A couple breakdowns I have found came to the conclusion that he voted present once every 31 votes over his career. That seems high to me (others will probably not think so). The other aspect of it that I do not like is the strategy of voting present. Here is a portion of an article written during the primary about some of Obama’s present votes:

    “Several involve abortion — a ban on certain late-pregnancy abortions, a requirement that a minor’s parents be notified and restrictions on a type of abortion where the fetus sometimes survives for short periods.
    “A woman’s right to choose … demands a leader who will stand up and protect it,” said one Clinton campaign mailer.
    But the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council says Obama’s “present” votes were actually part of a careful strategy to prevent those restrictions from passing.
    President Pam Sutherland said the group feared several senators were going to vote “yes” on the legislation because of attacks from Republicans over their past opposition. Sutherland says she approached Obama and convinced him to vote “present” so that the wavering senators would do the same. For their purposes, a “present” was as good as an outright “no” because it kept the bills from reaching the majority needed to pass.”
    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/01/24/fact_check_obamas_present_votes/

    This strategy really annoys me. If you think something should fail then vote no – if that makes you vulnerable to an attack then stand up and explain why your position is correct. Without that the battle of ideas will never have a chance to play out. Instead, the debate is avoided by procedure.

    I also don’t agree that because present is available as an option that this makes it okay to vote that way. One can always chose to conduct themselves at a standard above that which is allowable. To me using the excuse, “well its available as an option and others do it too,” kind of undercuts the Change mantra. It just looks like politics as usual.

    tODD – no worries re: the “heat” of the debates. I understand where you are coming from – I tend to get worked up too!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@60), you said, “Here is where I think that difference is. At a voters assembly, you are voting on behalf of yourself and an elected representative in our system votes for other people.” I understand there is diminishing value in debating over the metaphor, but just to respond, I don’t just vote on behalf on myself. Of course, foremost is that I try to vote on behalf of what’s best for the church (and the Church at large). But more specifically (since I am a WELS member), I also vote on behalf of my wife. And, if I had any kids, them, too. I also try to vote on behalf of those women in our church who do not have husbands to represent them at such meetings. So yeah, I’m a representative even at my church! And yet there are still times I abstain from voting.

    Anyhow, we probably agree in many of the cases where Obama voted “present” (as in the case you cited) that his vote was wrong (just as a “no” vote would have been wrong — although, to be fair, I haven’t actually looked at the legislation). Where we disagree is whether it’s right or wrong to use the options at his disposal in the first place for political (or other) reasons.

    In my mind, it’s kind of like getting worked up over all the people in the courts pleading “no contest”, and saying that that option should be taken away, forcing everyone to plead either guilty or innocent. It’s certainly your right to feel that a “no contest” plead or a “present” vote is weaselly or annoying or whatever, but I just have to disagree that it’s wrong, given that it is an option.

    And I think we’re missing the larger picture here, which is that the 130 or however-many “present” votes are usually pointed to in order to paint Obama as a do-nothing guy, or indecisive, or ineffective, or whatever. As I think has been discussed here, it’s clearly not the case. A political maneuver? Probably. Used to vote in such a way that Christians would find regrettable? Possibly.

    “To me using the excuse, ‘well it’s available as an option and others do it too,’ kind of undercuts the Change mantra.” Oh, come on — I’m pretty certain his references to “change” refer to a slightly more lofty goal than to restricting the options available to Illinois legislators in voting on bills. Do you also think it’s hypocritical for him to call for anything less than full rebellion against the bylaws of the Senate? :)

    Anyhow, always a pleasure to discuss things in a reasonable manner. Thanks.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@60), you said, “Here is where I think that difference is. At a voters assembly, you are voting on behalf of yourself and an elected representative in our system votes for other people.” I understand there is diminishing value in debating over the metaphor, but just to respond, I don’t just vote on behalf on myself. Of course, foremost is that I try to vote on behalf of what’s best for the church (and the Church at large). But more specifically (since I am a WELS member), I also vote on behalf of my wife. And, if I had any kids, them, too. I also try to vote on behalf of those women in our church who do not have husbands to represent them at such meetings. So yeah, I’m a representative even at my church! And yet there are still times I abstain from voting.

    Anyhow, we probably agree in many of the cases where Obama voted “present” (as in the case you cited) that his vote was wrong (just as a “no” vote would have been wrong — although, to be fair, I haven’t actually looked at the legislation). Where we disagree is whether it’s right or wrong to use the options at his disposal in the first place for political (or other) reasons.

    In my mind, it’s kind of like getting worked up over all the people in the courts pleading “no contest”, and saying that that option should be taken away, forcing everyone to plead either guilty or innocent. It’s certainly your right to feel that a “no contest” plead or a “present” vote is weaselly or annoying or whatever, but I just have to disagree that it’s wrong, given that it is an option.

    And I think we’re missing the larger picture here, which is that the 130 or however-many “present” votes are usually pointed to in order to paint Obama as a do-nothing guy, or indecisive, or ineffective, or whatever. As I think has been discussed here, it’s clearly not the case. A political maneuver? Probably. Used to vote in such a way that Christians would find regrettable? Possibly.

    “To me using the excuse, ‘well it’s available as an option and others do it too,’ kind of undercuts the Change mantra.” Oh, come on — I’m pretty certain his references to “change” refer to a slightly more lofty goal than to restricting the options available to Illinois legislators in voting on bills. Do you also think it’s hypocritical for him to call for anything less than full rebellion against the bylaws of the Senate? :)

    Anyhow, always a pleasure to discuss things in a reasonable manner. Thanks.

  • WebMonk

    tODD, I agree that the “present” option should still be there, but that doesn’t mean that voting “present” 130 times still isn’t a failure of responsibility or something. If it was 130 times out of 4000 votes, then I can very well see your point tODD, but if it was 130 out of 140 total votes, then it’s a very different, and very negative story.

    Before deciding one way or the other, it would be good to know that information, and it would be good to know what the normal range of “present” votes is. If people wanted to get really in-depth, they could look at what sorts of bills he voted “present” for – is there a pattern? If he placed thousands of votes, how many of them were for serious content and how many of them were for minor, day-to-day details? What is the pattern for his “aye” and “nay” votes?

    The NYT did a piece on his voting record that broke it down quite a bit in regard to his “present” votes. The number didn’t seem to be outrageously high, and many seemed to be made as part of larger goals. Many of those larger goals that he seemed to be trying to accomplish were things with which I disagree, though. Most all of the “present” votes seemed to be tied up in some sort of political wrangling – either working with the rest of his party to accomplish some goal, or to dodge criticism about voting against (or for) various bills.

    Really, just the number “130″ by itself is a piece of nonsense. Figure out what they were accomplishing and why, and then look at his other votes.

  • WebMonk

    tODD, I agree that the “present” option should still be there, but that doesn’t mean that voting “present” 130 times still isn’t a failure of responsibility or something. If it was 130 times out of 4000 votes, then I can very well see your point tODD, but if it was 130 out of 140 total votes, then it’s a very different, and very negative story.

    Before deciding one way or the other, it would be good to know that information, and it would be good to know what the normal range of “present” votes is. If people wanted to get really in-depth, they could look at what sorts of bills he voted “present” for – is there a pattern? If he placed thousands of votes, how many of them were for serious content and how many of them were for minor, day-to-day details? What is the pattern for his “aye” and “nay” votes?

    The NYT did a piece on his voting record that broke it down quite a bit in regard to his “present” votes. The number didn’t seem to be outrageously high, and many seemed to be made as part of larger goals. Many of those larger goals that he seemed to be trying to accomplish were things with which I disagree, though. Most all of the “present” votes seemed to be tied up in some sort of political wrangling – either working with the rest of his party to accomplish some goal, or to dodge criticism about voting against (or for) various bills.

    Really, just the number “130″ by itself is a piece of nonsense. Figure out what they were accomplishing and why, and then look at his other votes.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    WebMonk, curious that you should mention “130 times out of 4000 votes”. According to an AP “fact check” article by Christopher Wills, “Obama acknowledges that over nearly eight years in the Illinois Senate, he voted ‘present’ 129 times. That was out of roughly 4,000 votes he cast, so those ‘presents’ amounted to about one of every 31 votes in his legislative career.” So I suppose you “can very well see [my] point.” :)

    And, again, I’m not defending what he did with those “present” votes — I haven’t really looked into it much — I’m just defending them as (1) neither that numerous and, more importantly, (2) perfectly legitimate options in that political setting.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    WebMonk, curious that you should mention “130 times out of 4000 votes”. According to an AP “fact check” article by Christopher Wills, “Obama acknowledges that over nearly eight years in the Illinois Senate, he voted ‘present’ 129 times. That was out of roughly 4,000 votes he cast, so those ‘presents’ amounted to about one of every 31 votes in his legislative career.” So I suppose you “can very well see [my] point.” :)

    And, again, I’m not defending what he did with those “present” votes — I haven’t really looked into it much — I’m just defending them as (1) neither that numerous and, more importantly, (2) perfectly legitimate options in that political setting.

  • WebMonk

    Sorry tODD if I was vague. I am in agreement with you for the most part. (I only say “for the most part” because I haven’t gone back through and read all your posts.) I did know the numbers when I was writing that, but I guess I was trying to get ‘cute’ with my literary style.

    The NYT article had the 130 out of 4000 votes statistic. Granted, a vast majority of those votes were surely on the daily minutia of a Rob’s Rules of Order-run body, so that’s something of an inflation. I’m not sure how many of those votes were votes of particular substance, however people might want to determine “substance”. Still, the point stands that just saying “130! 130!” is silly.

  • WebMonk

    Sorry tODD if I was vague. I am in agreement with you for the most part. (I only say “for the most part” because I haven’t gone back through and read all your posts.) I did know the numbers when I was writing that, but I guess I was trying to get ‘cute’ with my literary style.

    The NYT article had the 130 out of 4000 votes statistic. Granted, a vast majority of those votes were surely on the daily minutia of a Rob’s Rules of Order-run body, so that’s something of an inflation. I’m not sure how many of those votes were votes of particular substance, however people might want to determine “substance”. Still, the point stands that just saying “130! 130!” is silly.

  • Joe

    I gave the ratio once in every 31 votes. It was in the same article I linked in my post. I predicted that some would find it high others would not. Do I get a prize?

    “perfectly legitimate options in that political setting.” What do you mean by that? Adding a poison pill amendment to a bill is a legitimate option, so is the Speaker of the House (and I don’t mean any particular Speaker – just talking in generalities) refusing to allow certain bills to come to the floor for a vote, etc., but I think they all obscure, instead of promote, the “market place of ideas” that I still believe in. So, did you mean legitimate in the sense that they are procedurally available or “legitimate” in the sense that you don’t mind them being used to gain an advantage? I am curious because I don’t dispute that there all kinds of games one can play with Roberts Rules or the Rules in the House and Senate but I have always hoped for better then game playing.

  • Joe

    I gave the ratio once in every 31 votes. It was in the same article I linked in my post. I predicted that some would find it high others would not. Do I get a prize?

    “perfectly legitimate options in that political setting.” What do you mean by that? Adding a poison pill amendment to a bill is a legitimate option, so is the Speaker of the House (and I don’t mean any particular Speaker – just talking in generalities) refusing to allow certain bills to come to the floor for a vote, etc., but I think they all obscure, instead of promote, the “market place of ideas” that I still believe in. So, did you mean legitimate in the sense that they are procedurally available or “legitimate” in the sense that you don’t mind them being used to gain an advantage? I am curious because I don’t dispute that there all kinds of games one can play with Roberts Rules or the Rules in the House and Senate but I have always hoped for better then game playing.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@65), did I “mean legitimate in the sense that they are procedurally available”? Yes, mainly.

    Did I also mean it “in the sense that [I] don’t mind them being used to gain an advantage”? Not sure. To answer that, I’d have to know more about the particular scenario. I’m not trying to be weaselly, I’m just saying that, occasionally, politicians play games in such a way that, though I find the method disappointing, I still am glad with the result. Would I prefer that no games were played at all? Sure, but I won’t pretend every filibuster upsets me, for instance.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@65), did I “mean legitimate in the sense that they are procedurally available”? Yes, mainly.

    Did I also mean it “in the sense that [I] don’t mind them being used to gain an advantage”? Not sure. To answer that, I’d have to know more about the particular scenario. I’m not trying to be weaselly, I’m just saying that, occasionally, politicians play games in such a way that, though I find the method disappointing, I still am glad with the result. Would I prefer that no games were played at all? Sure, but I won’t pretend every filibuster upsets me, for instance.

  • Joe

    tODD – gotcha.

  • Joe

    tODD – gotcha.

  • Joe

    tODD – sorry, that made no sense – “got it” is what I was trying to say. I have got to stop posting pre-coffee.

  • Joe

    tODD – sorry, that made no sense – “got it” is what I was trying to say. I have got to stop posting pre-coffee.


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