Ordinary people

The media, the intellectual establishment of both the left and the right, and other members of our ruling class are just pouring contempt on figures like Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell.  They are portrayed as dangerous, extreme, and just plain weird.  The criticisms, though, don’t get much traction with the public  because these women are so much like the rest of the public.

A review of a new book about Sarah Palin concludes at just how normal she is:

Her beliefs make her what we once called normal, at least in flyover country. There are moms like her, and moms who strive to be like her without ever thinking of it that way and who might even scoff at the idea, on every street and in every neighborhood in America. They run our offices and schools, they run the local diners and band booster drives, and they get the family from Point A to Point B with military precision. Or they try their best to do all that, while trying to work out what they really believe about everything at the same time. Palin managed to do it, even to the point of running a state while going on oceanic fishing excursions with her husband while her political opponents buried her in expensive, frivolous accusations designed to drive her from office. She sent a son off to war. She’s dealt with a pregnant daughter, a worthless almost son-in-law, and a child with special needs. She’s us, pretty much, except that she also happens to have been nominated for the vice presidency and now commands a national following while also attracting a ferocious national opposition that includes most of the mainstream press.  Her faith and her values have carried her through all the very high highs and the very low lows that life has thrown at her. The rest of us could only hope that we would handle the extremes of being Sarah Palin with half her grace.

The Faith and Values of Sarah Palin: What She Believes and What It Means for America shows that Mrs. Palin is very much what-you-see-is-what-you-get: an authentically and uniquely American woman whose very ordinary beliefs have propelled her to do remarkable things.

via Pajamas Media » The Faith and Values of Sarah Palin: What She Believes and What It Means for America (Book Review).

As for Christine O’Donnell, she is being mocked for agreeing with the teachings about sex of her Roman Catholic Church, along with a big percentage of Americans and the world.  She is also unemployed, like 10% of Americans, and her house has been foreclosed.  It’s odd to hear Liberals mock her for those two things.

The Democratic party was strong when it was “the party of the people.”  The Left was strong when it  was a populist movement.  Think of the collectivism of the union movement, “Solidarity Forever,” “Power to the People.”  Today, leftists have become elitists and the Democrats are the party of the “professional class,” people who think they are experts.  They are so out of touch with ordinary Americans that they think they are scoring points when they make fun of much of the American populace whose votes they would like to have.

Now, astonishingly, the populists have become Republicans, much to the disdain of that party’s old guard, with its wealth and country club status.  This is why the Democrats are doomed.  The left will only revive if it can become a populist force like it used to be.

UPDATE: So far, just about everybody who has commented has missed the point of my post: That populists used to be Democrats, and that now they are Republicans. In the olden days, when I was young and a Democrat, the politicians of the party were full of rhetoric about democracy, equality, “the people,” the common man, etc. Republicans were more suspicious of the mob, wanting exceptional individuals rather than the common denominator. Now the rhetoric seems reversed.

I did not mean this to be an endorsement of Sarah Palin or Christine O’Donnell, or even Republicans. Rather, I am trying to give Democrats some advice that, if they want to win elections, they need to rediscover their populist roots, rather than following the strategy of making fun of ordinary Americans.

As for me, I tend to be like the old Republicans, looking for merit, and, again, vocation. I’m uneasy about some of the people I am seeing coming to the fore in the Republican party.

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.

  • Kirk

    Let’s be honest here: Christine O’Donnell is a professional politician. She’s unemployed because she can’t get elected and her house was foreclosed on the for pretty much the same reason. She’s basically been campaigning for office for the last 5 or 6 years. It’s hardly what I’d call “normal.” Still, it is true that the media’s fixation with her anti-masturbation stance is stupid.

    As for Sarah Palin’s normality, is that something we want in a politician? Normal people don’t have a great grasp of foreign policy, or the constitution, or public administration. Sure, they can drive their family’s around with “military precision,” but strict normality hardly qualifies one for public office. All of our great leaders have been just that: great. They’ve been truly exceptional, highly intellectual visionaries that moved our nation forward. I think it’s fair to say that Palin isn’t weird compared to the sort of people we see day to day. But does I really want the lady in line behind me at the grocery store leading my country? No. And if she tried to, I’d probably think it was weird. Maybe that makes me an elitist.

  • Kirk

    Let’s be honest here: Christine O’Donnell is a professional politician. She’s unemployed because she can’t get elected and her house was foreclosed on the for pretty much the same reason. She’s basically been campaigning for office for the last 5 or 6 years. It’s hardly what I’d call “normal.” Still, it is true that the media’s fixation with her anti-masturbation stance is stupid.

    As for Sarah Palin’s normality, is that something we want in a politician? Normal people don’t have a great grasp of foreign policy, or the constitution, or public administration. Sure, they can drive their family’s around with “military precision,” but strict normality hardly qualifies one for public office. All of our great leaders have been just that: great. They’ve been truly exceptional, highly intellectual visionaries that moved our nation forward. I think it’s fair to say that Palin isn’t weird compared to the sort of people we see day to day. But does I really want the lady in line behind me at the grocery store leading my country? No. And if she tried to, I’d probably think it was weird. Maybe that makes me an elitist.

  • Kirk

    I’d like to add that I do respect Christine O’Donnell. When I first read about her, the news made her sound like some dumb hick, but after seeing some interviews I think that she’s reasonably well spoken and does a great job of staying on message. She also put togethor a coherent and well-run primary campaign. Maybe she’s not perfect, and I probably wouldn’t vote for her and she’s definitely not going to win come November, but she’s not an idiot.

  • Kirk

    I’d like to add that I do respect Christine O’Donnell. When I first read about her, the news made her sound like some dumb hick, but after seeing some interviews I think that she’s reasonably well spoken and does a great job of staying on message. She also put togethor a coherent and well-run primary campaign. Maybe she’s not perfect, and I probably wouldn’t vote for her and she’s definitely not going to win come November, but she’s not an idiot.

  • Winston Smith

    Sarah Palin is a professional politician as well. Normal people don’t run for vice president when they’ve just delivered a baby with Down’s Syndrome.

  • Winston Smith

    Sarah Palin is a professional politician as well. Normal people don’t run for vice president when they’ve just delivered a baby with Down’s Syndrome.

  • Norman Teigen

    Well said and well written, Kirk. I believe that gullible people might find these candidates and their causes to be worthy of support. Was Veith kidding when he posted this?

  • Norman Teigen

    Well said and well written, Kirk. I believe that gullible people might find these candidates and their causes to be worthy of support. Was Veith kidding when he posted this?

  • LAJ

    Did anyone hear Christine O’Donnell last night on Fox? She defended herself very well and explained all the things that she is getting attacked on. She is unemployed, if you call it that, because she is doing work for nothing. Her house was fore-closed on because she took on a case again for nothing and worked 19 hours a day on it.

  • LAJ

    Did anyone hear Christine O’Donnell last night on Fox? She defended herself very well and explained all the things that she is getting attacked on. She is unemployed, if you call it that, because she is doing work for nothing. Her house was fore-closed on because she took on a case again for nothing and worked 19 hours a day on it.

  • Kirk

    @LAJ

    And also because she got fired from her job at a non-profit, sued and then dropped the case after she could no longer afford a lawyer.

  • Kirk

    @LAJ

    And also because she got fired from her job at a non-profit, sued and then dropped the case after she could no longer afford a lawyer.

  • Pete

    Winston @3, makes a very good point. We shouldn’t pick our leaders based on the extent to which they look like us but, rather, their ability to lead, i.e. offer effective solutions to the various problems our society faces. By all accounts, Ms. Palin did accomplish that as governor of Alaska but Winston’s implied observation is valid: that her time and efforts may have been more properly spent tending to her special needs child or shielding her other daughter from an apparent jackleg boyfriend. She may be that special kind of person who can keep lots of balls in the air at once and, if so, more power to her. In terms of bringing us through our current economic woes, she seems to be on the side of the “less government is more – government shouldn’t be on the side of subsidizing failure” crowd. But just because she’s right about that and runs a typical American family, doesn’t guarantee she is presidential material. Doesn’t rule her out, either.

  • Pete

    Winston @3, makes a very good point. We shouldn’t pick our leaders based on the extent to which they look like us but, rather, their ability to lead, i.e. offer effective solutions to the various problems our society faces. By all accounts, Ms. Palin did accomplish that as governor of Alaska but Winston’s implied observation is valid: that her time and efforts may have been more properly spent tending to her special needs child or shielding her other daughter from an apparent jackleg boyfriend. She may be that special kind of person who can keep lots of balls in the air at once and, if so, more power to her. In terms of bringing us through our current economic woes, she seems to be on the side of the “less government is more – government shouldn’t be on the side of subsidizing failure” crowd. But just because she’s right about that and runs a typical American family, doesn’t guarantee she is presidential material. Doesn’t rule her out, either.

  • Tom Hering

    If Obama and the Democrats are Leftists, and these Leftists are capable of winning the House, Senate and Presidency, why do these Leftists need to become populists? Maybe they just need to do a better job of following through on their promises to the majority that elected them.

  • Tom Hering

    If Obama and the Democrats are Leftists, and these Leftists are capable of winning the House, Senate and Presidency, why do these Leftists need to become populists? Maybe they just need to do a better job of following through on their promises to the majority that elected them.

  • utahrainbow

    Palin’s character was made clear when she left her job as governor of Alaska (put there by the people, undeniably her vocation at the time) in favor of, one assumes, greener political pastures. In my mind, that one act undermined anything else she will do. That’s really all you need to know.

  • utahrainbow

    Palin’s character was made clear when she left her job as governor of Alaska (put there by the people, undeniably her vocation at the time) in favor of, one assumes, greener political pastures. In my mind, that one act undermined anything else she will do. That’s really all you need to know.

  • CRB

    No slam against the ladies mentioned, but I think there is one
    man who would be quite capable of serving our country in
    various capacities, who possesses much wisdom about the military and the political machinations of the power elites and yet, at the same time is a humble, regular guy: Dr. Victor Davis Hanson

  • CRB

    No slam against the ladies mentioned, but I think there is one
    man who would be quite capable of serving our country in
    various capacities, who possesses much wisdom about the military and the political machinations of the power elites and yet, at the same time is a humble, regular guy: Dr. Victor Davis Hanson

  • Digital

    utahrainbow@9
    “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matt 7:2

    Anyway, once again I will post my most recent favorite news item:
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-september-16-2010/rally-to-restore-sanity

  • Digital

    utahrainbow@9
    “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matt 7:2

    Anyway, once again I will post my most recent favorite news item:
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-september-16-2010/rally-to-restore-sanity

  • Rev. Alexander Ring

    Regardless your opinions about Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell, I think the basic premise of the article is correct. I think their struggles resonate with a lot of people, even if they don’t totally agree with them. It’s like us hearing Evangelicals mocked for their belief in inerrancy, or Roman Catholics for their belief in the real presence. Yeah, we disagree with them, but those “criticisms” hit a little close to home for us. The sin of gossip aside, how popular would you be in your congregation if you started publically snickering about a person whose daughter had a child out of wedlock?

    And I don’t know; I think I would like it if the person I elected shopped at the same grocery store as I do. I often see parents of my students at the grocery store, and I think those conversations are more valuable than the ones in my office.

  • Rev. Alexander Ring

    Regardless your opinions about Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell, I think the basic premise of the article is correct. I think their struggles resonate with a lot of people, even if they don’t totally agree with them. It’s like us hearing Evangelicals mocked for their belief in inerrancy, or Roman Catholics for their belief in the real presence. Yeah, we disagree with them, but those “criticisms” hit a little close to home for us. The sin of gossip aside, how popular would you be in your congregation if you started publically snickering about a person whose daughter had a child out of wedlock?

    And I don’t know; I think I would like it if the person I elected shopped at the same grocery store as I do. I often see parents of my students at the grocery store, and I think those conversations are more valuable than the ones in my office.

  • Orianna Laun

    The key problem is mentioned in the first part of the quote: “Her beliefs make her what we once called normal, at least in flyover country.”
    Flyover country, in the mainstream media’s eyes, is what is wrong with America. We are still “clinging to our guns and religion.”
    @Kirk: I don’t know what your definition of “normal” is, but there are more people out there than you think that can deal with foreign policy, the constitution, and public administration. Also, there are some in congress who can’t deal with the same. To say that “normal” people shouldn’t run for office moves us away from the government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
    Maybe we should stop with the so-called “social studies” and actually teach children about countries and the people in them. Maybe we should sacrifice some sex-ed time and replace it with the constitution. Maybe we should make some more “normal” people who can deal with the business of running the country instead of running pork barrels.

  • Orianna Laun

    The key problem is mentioned in the first part of the quote: “Her beliefs make her what we once called normal, at least in flyover country.”
    Flyover country, in the mainstream media’s eyes, is what is wrong with America. We are still “clinging to our guns and religion.”
    @Kirk: I don’t know what your definition of “normal” is, but there are more people out there than you think that can deal with foreign policy, the constitution, and public administration. Also, there are some in congress who can’t deal with the same. To say that “normal” people shouldn’t run for office moves us away from the government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
    Maybe we should stop with the so-called “social studies” and actually teach children about countries and the people in them. Maybe we should sacrifice some sex-ed time and replace it with the constitution. Maybe we should make some more “normal” people who can deal with the business of running the country instead of running pork barrels.

  • mark

    I guess I am not as enamored with intelligence as some; too often it seems to come without humility. It seems to me that too often intelligent people use that intelligence to convince themselves that sin is not sin and that the Bible does not mean what it says. There are a number of denominations being driven over the cliff today because the ones in charge who are convinced they are the smartest people who ever lived. The country has been dominated by all the smartest people in the room these last years and they are convinced they can spend money we don’t have. Seems to me we are headed for the cliff as well.

    It does seem to me that some folks are smart about life and people but are looked down on by those who think they are intelligent but lack humilty about themselves or compassion toward others.

  • mark

    I guess I am not as enamored with intelligence as some; too often it seems to come without humility. It seems to me that too often intelligent people use that intelligence to convince themselves that sin is not sin and that the Bible does not mean what it says. There are a number of denominations being driven over the cliff today because the ones in charge who are convinced they are the smartest people who ever lived. The country has been dominated by all the smartest people in the room these last years and they are convinced they can spend money we don’t have. Seems to me we are headed for the cliff as well.

    It does seem to me that some folks are smart about life and people but are looked down on by those who think they are intelligent but lack humilty about themselves or compassion toward others.

  • kerner

    Orianna Laun:

    That was very well said.

  • kerner

    Orianna Laun:

    That was very well said.

  • Louis

    I’d like to point out another thing that I’ve l;earnt over the last while, but it only dawned on me this morning when I was walking the dog:

    In the common parlance, an elitist is a person that fulfills most, of the following criteria:

    1. He/she has had a better education than you have.
    2. He or she has been more successful / have more money
    3. He / she has a better accent (ie, clear anunciation, uses big words, less colloquialisms)
    4. Most important, and this one is always there, they have a different political view than you.

    On the other hand, normal people have similar education levels, have similar levels of success etc., speak like you, and share your political views.

    IOW, it is all a lot of nonsense.

    Of course I will go further, and say that I require of my leaders, in addition to their political orientation, that they be educated, cultured, experienced and “a cut above the rest” – ie, they should be “elite” (money is less of a factor, as all sorts of scoundrels can get access to that). The compulsion to dislike “elites” is born out of envy, and has more in common with Rousseau, Robespierre, Marx etc than anything else.

  • Louis

    I’d like to point out another thing that I’ve l;earnt over the last while, but it only dawned on me this morning when I was walking the dog:

    In the common parlance, an elitist is a person that fulfills most, of the following criteria:

    1. He/she has had a better education than you have.
    2. He or she has been more successful / have more money
    3. He / she has a better accent (ie, clear anunciation, uses big words, less colloquialisms)
    4. Most important, and this one is always there, they have a different political view than you.

    On the other hand, normal people have similar education levels, have similar levels of success etc., speak like you, and share your political views.

    IOW, it is all a lot of nonsense.

    Of course I will go further, and say that I require of my leaders, in addition to their political orientation, that they be educated, cultured, experienced and “a cut above the rest” – ie, they should be “elite” (money is less of a factor, as all sorts of scoundrels can get access to that). The compulsion to dislike “elites” is born out of envy, and has more in common with Rousseau, Robespierre, Marx etc than anything else.

  • Porcell

    Yes, Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell are politicians, though they reflect the values of “ordinary” American Christians who for the most part work hard for a living and are not interested in supporting a self-serving political class and its media sycophants that look down on them while spending money in Washington like a bunch of drunken sailors, to say nothing of presiding without effective policy over 10% unemployment and anemic growth.

    Until recently any serious Christian politician who publicly avowed their religion would be chastised and vilified. This was true with regard to George Bush and John Ashcroft, as it’s presently true with Palin and Ashcroft.

    What’s going on at a deep level in the country is that the people have found their voice through the Tea Party; the politicians who don’t pay serious attention, whether Republican or Democrat, will be unceremoniously shoved aside. Just now both the liberal Democrats and RINOs are suffering shock and awe from the process; come November they will realize the depth of this of very real rebellion.

    Periodically in our history, Americans wake up to dismal political realities and become a fearsome force. The Federalists once found this out, just as periodically both the Democrats and Republicans have. The establishment types, along with the weak willed and confused, wring their hands when this happens, though it is merely a sign that Americans traditionally are a rather live bunch.

  • Porcell

    Yes, Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell are politicians, though they reflect the values of “ordinary” American Christians who for the most part work hard for a living and are not interested in supporting a self-serving political class and its media sycophants that look down on them while spending money in Washington like a bunch of drunken sailors, to say nothing of presiding without effective policy over 10% unemployment and anemic growth.

    Until recently any serious Christian politician who publicly avowed their religion would be chastised and vilified. This was true with regard to George Bush and John Ashcroft, as it’s presently true with Palin and Ashcroft.

    What’s going on at a deep level in the country is that the people have found their voice through the Tea Party; the politicians who don’t pay serious attention, whether Republican or Democrat, will be unceremoniously shoved aside. Just now both the liberal Democrats and RINOs are suffering shock and awe from the process; come November they will realize the depth of this of very real rebellion.

    Periodically in our history, Americans wake up to dismal political realities and become a fearsome force. The Federalists once found this out, just as periodically both the Democrats and Republicans have. The establishment types, along with the weak willed and confused, wring their hands when this happens, though it is merely a sign that Americans traditionally are a rather live bunch.

  • Digital

    Louis@16

    That may be your experience but in my life it is not true.
    1. In my life just as many drop outs as academics behave this way. They are better than everyone who sold out to the man, they are better because they did it on their own.
    2. They chose not to take the bigger jobs or have a lot of “I could have” phrases in their life. They are elitist because they have risen above the need for success.
    3. This is just common sense, If you are better read, and more intelligent you will be better spoken. It is just the way it is. Show me a case where it is not…
    4. Not here either, it may be in your case because you are probably a conservative or Republican and most of the academic world (which you described in the previous 3 points), are liberal or Dem.

    I think people are just intimidated by intelligent folk. It is humbling, We want to justify the fact that we don’t read more. Justify our need to watch 4 hours of TV a night rather than challenging ourselves. It is easier to memorize sports stats, celebrity profiles, and TV guide listings.

    In my mind, and in my world, the elitists tend to be people who have hyperfocused in life. Be it a PHD or an obsession of sports or finances. They have neglected their social skills and have flighty opinions on various subjects that they don’t have time to think about. But because they are so good at their one respective area, they fool themselves into believing that they are good in all areas.

    Anyone can be a douchebag, it doesnt require intelligence to do. We just assign douchebag when we come across someone who outshines us intellectually. This is coming from a person who has been outshone more than his fair number of times.

  • Digital

    Louis@16

    That may be your experience but in my life it is not true.
    1. In my life just as many drop outs as academics behave this way. They are better than everyone who sold out to the man, they are better because they did it on their own.
    2. They chose not to take the bigger jobs or have a lot of “I could have” phrases in their life. They are elitist because they have risen above the need for success.
    3. This is just common sense, If you are better read, and more intelligent you will be better spoken. It is just the way it is. Show me a case where it is not…
    4. Not here either, it may be in your case because you are probably a conservative or Republican and most of the academic world (which you described in the previous 3 points), are liberal or Dem.

    I think people are just intimidated by intelligent folk. It is humbling, We want to justify the fact that we don’t read more. Justify our need to watch 4 hours of TV a night rather than challenging ourselves. It is easier to memorize sports stats, celebrity profiles, and TV guide listings.

    In my mind, and in my world, the elitists tend to be people who have hyperfocused in life. Be it a PHD or an obsession of sports or finances. They have neglected their social skills and have flighty opinions on various subjects that they don’t have time to think about. But because they are so good at their one respective area, they fool themselves into believing that they are good in all areas.

    Anyone can be a douchebag, it doesnt require intelligence to do. We just assign douchebag when we come across someone who outshines us intellectually. This is coming from a person who has been outshone more than his fair number of times.

  • utahrainbow

    Nice, Digital @ 11. Nice. Touche. Well, then, how do you judge (or not) those in leadership positions?

    Is that not a valid concern? That she would prematurely quit her job that she was elected to by the people of Alaska, for a job at Fox news & hanging with Glenn Beck? If she were a liberal, would you judge her then? Just wondering.

    I have a lot more respect for a “normal” woman as governor, than a “normal” woman on Fox or at a Beck rally.

    I do like your link, though :)

  • utahrainbow

    Nice, Digital @ 11. Nice. Touche. Well, then, how do you judge (or not) those in leadership positions?

    Is that not a valid concern? That she would prematurely quit her job that she was elected to by the people of Alaska, for a job at Fox news & hanging with Glenn Beck? If she were a liberal, would you judge her then? Just wondering.

    I have a lot more respect for a “normal” woman as governor, than a “normal” woman on Fox or at a Beck rally.

    I do like your link, though :)

  • Digital

    utahrainbow@19
    Sure I judge people, cant help it, darn old Adam just pesters me way too much.
    I am just wondering why we don’t give people some slack. maybe she thought that she could extend her 15 minutes to do more good in a more public position. Honestly who knew who she was before the election? Who would remember her as a running mate after? If you had the chance to augment your ministry or policies, wouldn’t you jump at the chance?
    I feel the same way about Al Gore, I may not like the guy but he really used his fleeting fame to do some good stuff.

  • Digital

    utahrainbow@19
    Sure I judge people, cant help it, darn old Adam just pesters me way too much.
    I am just wondering why we don’t give people some slack. maybe she thought that she could extend her 15 minutes to do more good in a more public position. Honestly who knew who she was before the election? Who would remember her as a running mate after? If you had the chance to augment your ministry or policies, wouldn’t you jump at the chance?
    I feel the same way about Al Gore, I may not like the guy but he really used his fleeting fame to do some good stuff.

  • Tom Hering

    Porcell, the Tea Party is not the voice of “the people.” They are either the voice of a minority of the American people, or the voice of a majority of the American people. Either way, all talk of “taking our country back” – by any candidate or party or movement – is delusional.

  • Tom Hering

    Porcell, the Tea Party is not the voice of “the people.” They are either the voice of a minority of the American people, or the voice of a majority of the American people. Either way, all talk of “taking our country back” – by any candidate or party or movement – is delusional.

  • utahrainbow

    I actually did cut her slack at first. There are a myriad of reasons that one could legitimately step down from an elected position. Family issues, health concerns, even possibly being elected for a higher office, etc. But wanting to extend your 15 minutes? Doesn’t seem to cut it. Al Gore wasn’t serving in an elected position. That makes all the difference. She had a vocation, a good one at that, and when her term was up, she could certainly gracefully bow out to pursue other avenues. To give up running a state in the middle of a term, to satisfy ambitions, does not come off well. She’s has a long LONG way to go to prove that the “good” she’s doing was worth it.

  • utahrainbow

    I actually did cut her slack at first. There are a myriad of reasons that one could legitimately step down from an elected position. Family issues, health concerns, even possibly being elected for a higher office, etc. But wanting to extend your 15 minutes? Doesn’t seem to cut it. Al Gore wasn’t serving in an elected position. That makes all the difference. She had a vocation, a good one at that, and when her term was up, she could certainly gracefully bow out to pursue other avenues. To give up running a state in the middle of a term, to satisfy ambitions, does not come off well. She’s has a long LONG way to go to prove that the “good” she’s doing was worth it.

  • Porcell

    Tom, the Tea Party has become the effective voice of the American people, most of whom have had it with the ruling class that has proven self-serving and ineffectual dealing with the major issues of the day.

    During the period of the Revolution, the Boston Tea Party symbolized the frustration of the people with British government, something that the incredulous Brits and American Tories hadtrouble understanding.

    Obama/Pelosi/Reid have proven themselves, like the Brits, to be petty tyrants; the American people are just now in the process of handing them a royal defeat in November.

    The American people have known deep down for years that something has been radically wrong with its politics. Obama’s feckless administration has revealed this in spades; hence the revolt of the people, who with the superbly named Tea Party are taking their country back.

  • Porcell

    Tom, the Tea Party has become the effective voice of the American people, most of whom have had it with the ruling class that has proven self-serving and ineffectual dealing with the major issues of the day.

    During the period of the Revolution, the Boston Tea Party symbolized the frustration of the people with British government, something that the incredulous Brits and American Tories hadtrouble understanding.

    Obama/Pelosi/Reid have proven themselves, like the Brits, to be petty tyrants; the American people are just now in the process of handing them a royal defeat in November.

    The American people have known deep down for years that something has been radically wrong with its politics. Obama’s feckless administration has revealed this in spades; hence the revolt of the people, who with the superbly named Tea Party are taking their country back.

  • Louis

    Porcell, you are missing Tom’s point. Let me put it this way: If they are the voice of the people, the November elections will go over 90% of votes cast (not results) against the Democrats. I would call that wishful thinking… Thus they are the voice of a minority / majority only, not THE PEOPLE.

  • Louis

    Porcell, you are missing Tom’s point. Let me put it this way: If they are the voice of the people, the November elections will go over 90% of votes cast (not results) against the Democrats. I would call that wishful thinking… Thus they are the voice of a minority / majority only, not THE PEOPLE.

  • Tom Hering

    Porcell @ 23, you completely missed (or dismissed) my point @ 21. And you continue to speak of the “the people” in a way that has nothing to do with America’s populace as a whole. What you seem to mean by “the people” is those people whose values and politics you like.

  • Tom Hering

    Porcell @ 23, you completely missed (or dismissed) my point @ 21. And you continue to speak of the “the people” in a way that has nothing to do with America’s populace as a whole. What you seem to mean by “the people” is those people whose values and politics you like.

  • Louis

    Digital @ 18 – referring to your fourth point, I’m neither, as I’m not American. However, were I an American, I would most probably still be neither. In gneral, i think the way the term elitist has been used is, well, far removed from it’s meaning, and just a word that people throw at people they don’t like, most often using the criteria I mentioned.

    Of course, during the last election campaign, some went so far as to describe their concept of the elites as “arugula-eating”. If that is the main criterion, please sign me up, I love the stuff… :)

  • Louis

    Digital @ 18 – referring to your fourth point, I’m neither, as I’m not American. However, were I an American, I would most probably still be neither. In gneral, i think the way the term elitist has been used is, well, far removed from it’s meaning, and just a word that people throw at people they don’t like, most often using the criteria I mentioned.

    Of course, during the last election campaign, some went so far as to describe their concept of the elites as “arugula-eating”. If that is the main criterion, please sign me up, I love the stuff… :)

  • Digital

    utahrainbow@22
    What good does it do to maintain the judging? For all we know, this could be an incredible maneuver. Many people have used 15 minutes to extend and augment ministries. As it is where her ideals only affected 700K people, she now has tens of millions liking and hating her. Her shoes in Alaska were fillable. This is a massive move upwards politically. Politics are more than title, they are about influence. So now how often does a female wield the power she does now with the general populace? That is rare and something we need to see in this country. Like or hate it, she is formidable, way more than she was before.

    Louis@26
    Agreed!

  • Digital

    utahrainbow@22
    What good does it do to maintain the judging? For all we know, this could be an incredible maneuver. Many people have used 15 minutes to extend and augment ministries. As it is where her ideals only affected 700K people, she now has tens of millions liking and hating her. Her shoes in Alaska were fillable. This is a massive move upwards politically. Politics are more than title, they are about influence. So now how often does a female wield the power she does now with the general populace? That is rare and something we need to see in this country. Like or hate it, she is formidable, way more than she was before.

    Louis@26
    Agreed!

  • Porcell

    Tom and Louis, you’re missing my point that at times in American history one can speak in general terms about the will of the people. Tocqueville, back in 1835, with his Democracy in America spoke of public opinion in general terms without much bothering with the nuance of minority opinion.

    I’m well aware of the distinctions of minority and majority opinion, though in a period of revolution one may speak of such a thing as dominant American opinion. For better or worse in a democracy at times the people speak dominantly and fearsomely, notwithstanding establishment and other confused hand wringing types.

  • Porcell

    Tom and Louis, you’re missing my point that at times in American history one can speak in general terms about the will of the people. Tocqueville, back in 1835, with his Democracy in America spoke of public opinion in general terms without much bothering with the nuance of minority opinion.

    I’m well aware of the distinctions of minority and majority opinion, though in a period of revolution one may speak of such a thing as dominant American opinion. For better or worse in a democracy at times the people speak dominantly and fearsomely, notwithstanding establishment and other confused hand wringing types.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dear me. We have bought into the “aw, shucks” narrative, haven’t we? Oh, look, Pajamas Media. Right.

    Anyhow, how many of you have:
    * Ever held political office?
    * Ever been a member of your city council?
    * Ever been elected mayor?
    * Ever been elected governor?
    * Ever been the youngest governor elected to your state?
    * Ever been nominated by one of the only two major political parties to be candidate for the vice-presidency of the United States of America?
    * Ever been the first female nominated to a presidential ticket for that major party?
    * Ever quit your political job in the middle of a term due to ethics investigations?
    * Ever formed your own political action committee?
    * Ever been an apparent frontrunner for the presidential nomination?
    * Ever written a book (with help)? Maybe two?
    * Ever had your book become a national bestseller?
    * Ever been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey? Barbara Walters? Sean Hannity? Bill O’Reilly? To name but a few?
    * Ever been hired by the most-watched mainstream media outlet to do commentary?
    * Ever been contracted to host your own TV show?

    Oh, yes, how perfectly “normal” she is! She’s plain folk! She’s just like us!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dear me. We have bought into the “aw, shucks” narrative, haven’t we? Oh, look, Pajamas Media. Right.

    Anyhow, how many of you have:
    * Ever held political office?
    * Ever been a member of your city council?
    * Ever been elected mayor?
    * Ever been elected governor?
    * Ever been the youngest governor elected to your state?
    * Ever been nominated by one of the only two major political parties to be candidate for the vice-presidency of the United States of America?
    * Ever been the first female nominated to a presidential ticket for that major party?
    * Ever quit your political job in the middle of a term due to ethics investigations?
    * Ever formed your own political action committee?
    * Ever been an apparent frontrunner for the presidential nomination?
    * Ever written a book (with help)? Maybe two?
    * Ever had your book become a national bestseller?
    * Ever been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey? Barbara Walters? Sean Hannity? Bill O’Reilly? To name but a few?
    * Ever been hired by the most-watched mainstream media outlet to do commentary?
    * Ever been contracted to host your own TV show?

    Oh, yes, how perfectly “normal” she is! She’s plain folk! She’s just like us!

  • Louis

    Then let me ask you this, Porcell, as a percentage of votes, what does “dominant” mean, as per your comment at #27?

  • Louis

    Then let me ask you this, Porcell, as a percentage of votes, what does “dominant” mean, as per your comment at #27?

  • DonS

    I don’t have an issue with people legitimately believing that Palin or O’Donnell (or others) are not the best candidates for the job, for various reasons. I think it is legitimate to consider that Palin is not in the right stage of life to have the time to devote to a job like President, or that she has insufficient experience, or to have concerns about some of O’Donnell’s past financial problems, etc. All part and parcel of vetting a candidate. What I do object to is the trivializing of a candidate by supposedly objective media figures because she is an evangelical, or believes the Bible is literally true, or by slurring her with ad hominems like she is dumb, or harping on her stance from the mid-90′s on masturbation or that she dabbled in witchcraft, etc. And, worse, doing it only for the candidates of one particular viewpoint, while ignoring the strange things in other candidates’ past, like spending 18 years in a radical Black Liberation church, or hanging with criminal radicals like Bill Ayres, or the fact that the guy had done NOTHING that prepared him to be our President during the worst financial crisis since the 30′s. You know, little stuff like that. Or how about Joe Biden shouting at a political rally to the paralyzed guy to “stand up” so that we can honor you. Didn’t see that on the news, did you? But boy, that “potatoe” gaffe by Dan Quayle sure was a kick, wasn’t it? Seen that probably 500 times.

    Does anyone remember, despite the fact that those who backed Proposition 8 are demonized as neanderthals for standing in the way of civil rights, that both Obama and Biden are on record as being opposed to gay marriage, as recently as the campaign in 2008? Look it up!

    The people are sick of the demonization of their perfectly mainstream beliefs, the demonization of the U.S., which is still a great country, and the hypocrisy. That’s why this election is going to be historic.

  • DonS

    I don’t have an issue with people legitimately believing that Palin or O’Donnell (or others) are not the best candidates for the job, for various reasons. I think it is legitimate to consider that Palin is not in the right stage of life to have the time to devote to a job like President, or that she has insufficient experience, or to have concerns about some of O’Donnell’s past financial problems, etc. All part and parcel of vetting a candidate. What I do object to is the trivializing of a candidate by supposedly objective media figures because she is an evangelical, or believes the Bible is literally true, or by slurring her with ad hominems like she is dumb, or harping on her stance from the mid-90′s on masturbation or that she dabbled in witchcraft, etc. And, worse, doing it only for the candidates of one particular viewpoint, while ignoring the strange things in other candidates’ past, like spending 18 years in a radical Black Liberation church, or hanging with criminal radicals like Bill Ayres, or the fact that the guy had done NOTHING that prepared him to be our President during the worst financial crisis since the 30′s. You know, little stuff like that. Or how about Joe Biden shouting at a political rally to the paralyzed guy to “stand up” so that we can honor you. Didn’t see that on the news, did you? But boy, that “potatoe” gaffe by Dan Quayle sure was a kick, wasn’t it? Seen that probably 500 times.

    Does anyone remember, despite the fact that those who backed Proposition 8 are demonized as neanderthals for standing in the way of civil rights, that both Obama and Biden are on record as being opposed to gay marriage, as recently as the campaign in 2008? Look it up!

    The people are sick of the demonization of their perfectly mainstream beliefs, the demonization of the U.S., which is still a great country, and the hypocrisy. That’s why this election is going to be historic.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    As for this whole “party of the people” label, I suppose anybody can claim to be that. But if you’ve paid attention to elections in the past few decades, you might have noticed that the people — yes, the regular, normal people — are kind of split. They don’t act as one. That’s how you get popular vote splits for presidential candidates that continue to hover around the 50-50 split. The country is not nearly half “elites”, no matter how much you may want to think so.

    “Think of the collectivism of the union movement.” Mm-hmm. And am I to understand that the Republicans are now courting these people?

    “They are so out of touch with ordinary Americans that they think they are scoring points when they make fun of much of the American populace whose votes they would like to have.” This could easily be applied to either party, of course, but that’s not how it’s being presented. Who do you think elected Obama? And brought the Democrats into control of Congress? I believe the answer is: the American people. And yet Obama routinely gets mocked and pilloried here. Do “conservatives” worry about that? Of course not, because they have decided that they are the real people, the real Americans, so they can mock those others who are not.

    “The populists have become Republicans, much to the disdain of that party’s old guard.” Really? Really? Does anyone here believe this? I’m pretty certain that “old guard” has been parading around as “populists” when it serves them (read: in election years, out on the campaign trail) for quite some time. “Message: I care.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    As for this whole “party of the people” label, I suppose anybody can claim to be that. But if you’ve paid attention to elections in the past few decades, you might have noticed that the people — yes, the regular, normal people — are kind of split. They don’t act as one. That’s how you get popular vote splits for presidential candidates that continue to hover around the 50-50 split. The country is not nearly half “elites”, no matter how much you may want to think so.

    “Think of the collectivism of the union movement.” Mm-hmm. And am I to understand that the Republicans are now courting these people?

    “They are so out of touch with ordinary Americans that they think they are scoring points when they make fun of much of the American populace whose votes they would like to have.” This could easily be applied to either party, of course, but that’s not how it’s being presented. Who do you think elected Obama? And brought the Democrats into control of Congress? I believe the answer is: the American people. And yet Obama routinely gets mocked and pilloried here. Do “conservatives” worry about that? Of course not, because they have decided that they are the real people, the real Americans, so they can mock those others who are not.

    “The populists have become Republicans, much to the disdain of that party’s old guard.” Really? Really? Does anyone here believe this? I’m pretty certain that “old guard” has been parading around as “populists” when it serves them (read: in election years, out on the campaign trail) for quite some time. “Message: I care.

  • Porcell

    Louis: Then let me ask you this, Porcell, as a percentage of votes, what does “dominant” mean, as per your comment at #27?

    Rasmussen poll, March 2010:

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of U.S. voters believe the average member of the Tea Party movement has a better understanding of the issues facing America today than the average member of Congress. Only 30% believe that those in Congress have a better understanding of the key issues facing the nation.

    As you would expect, there is a wide divide between the Political Class and Mainstream Americans on these questions. Seventy-five percent (75%) of those in the Political Class say that members of Congress are better informed on the issues. Among Mainstream Americans, 68% have the opposite view, and only 16% believe Congress is better informed.
    By a 62% to 12% margin, Mainstream Americans say the Tea Party is closer to their views. By a 90% to one percent (1%) margin, the Political Class feels closer to Congress.

    Since March 2010 the Tea Party support has deepened. Anyone who doubts that the Tea Party doesn’t represent the dominant will of the American people isn’t paying attention.

  • Porcell

    Louis: Then let me ask you this, Porcell, as a percentage of votes, what does “dominant” mean, as per your comment at #27?

    Rasmussen poll, March 2010:

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of U.S. voters believe the average member of the Tea Party movement has a better understanding of the issues facing America today than the average member of Congress. Only 30% believe that those in Congress have a better understanding of the key issues facing the nation.

    As you would expect, there is a wide divide between the Political Class and Mainstream Americans on these questions. Seventy-five percent (75%) of those in the Political Class say that members of Congress are better informed on the issues. Among Mainstream Americans, 68% have the opposite view, and only 16% believe Congress is better informed.
    By a 62% to 12% margin, Mainstream Americans say the Tea Party is closer to their views. By a 90% to one percent (1%) margin, the Political Class feels closer to Congress.

    Since March 2010 the Tea Party support has deepened. Anyone who doubts that the Tea Party doesn’t represent the dominant will of the American people isn’t paying attention.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And while anti-elitism, anti-intellectualism, and any number of a host of anti-philosophies are currently quite trendy with “tea partiers” and other would-be populists, it does occur to me that there is this concept of vocation, talent, skill, etc., and that some people are better suited to some jobs than others. I will not hire you to work on my Web site, nor should you hire me to install a new half-bathroom. As such, much to the dismay of those who want to believe we’re all equal, somehow, when it comes to politics, there are some people who are better leaders, better politicians than others.

    Sure, we can disagree about who those people are, based on their past experiences, their current stances and ideas, and so on. But let’s not pretend that the existence of the non-universal vocation of politician means that we have abandoned the principle of “of the people, by the people, for the people”. We’re still electing people, last I checked.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And while anti-elitism, anti-intellectualism, and any number of a host of anti-philosophies are currently quite trendy with “tea partiers” and other would-be populists, it does occur to me that there is this concept of vocation, talent, skill, etc., and that some people are better suited to some jobs than others. I will not hire you to work on my Web site, nor should you hire me to install a new half-bathroom. As such, much to the dismay of those who want to believe we’re all equal, somehow, when it comes to politics, there are some people who are better leaders, better politicians than others.

    Sure, we can disagree about who those people are, based on their past experiences, their current stances and ideas, and so on. But let’s not pretend that the existence of the non-universal vocation of politician means that we have abandoned the principle of “of the people, by the people, for the people”. We’re still electing people, last I checked.

  • John C

    The conservatives in Australia conducted their own version of the Culture Wars during the 1990s. Those who opposed a Conservative point of view were elitist. Theoretically, someone with no more than a high school education could be called ‘elitist’ and they often were.
    During those years, the Conservatives did have fun with the language. It is not surprising that post modernism flourished. ‘Trust’ was an ephemeral notion particularly if used in conjunction with Iraq. And now we have the anti-politician politician because Palin/O’Donnell is not a politician, she is just like you and me.

  • John C

    The conservatives in Australia conducted their own version of the Culture Wars during the 1990s. Those who opposed a Conservative point of view were elitist. Theoretically, someone with no more than a high school education could be called ‘elitist’ and they often were.
    During those years, the Conservatives did have fun with the language. It is not surprising that post modernism flourished. ‘Trust’ was an ephemeral notion particularly if used in conjunction with Iraq. And now we have the anti-politician politician because Palin/O’Donnell is not a politician, she is just like you and me.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    I think it is a false dichotomy to choose either’ normal’ or ‘elite’

    What we need is to elect great and exceptional people who share what the article calls ‘normal’ values.(Read that values we believe in.)

    What we definitely don’t want is to elect people who despise their own constituency, and mock their values.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    I think it is a false dichotomy to choose either’ normal’ or ‘elite’

    What we need is to elect great and exceptional people who share what the article calls ‘normal’ values.(Read that values we believe in.)

    What we definitely don’t want is to elect people who despise their own constituency, and mock their values.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@30), I feel like most times I ask you to give me specifics on your accusations, you don’t really give them to me, but let’s try it again. Maybe this time it’ll work.

    You said: “What I do object to is the trivializing of a candidate by supposedly objective media figures because she is an evangelical, or believes the Bible is literally true, or by slurring her with ad hominems like she is dumb.”

    Please name a media figure, who styles him- or herself as “objective”, who trivialized one of these two women “because she is an evangelical, or believes the Bible is literally true, or by slurring her with ad hominems like she is dumb.”

    And you accuse the media “doing it only for the candidates of one particular viewpoint, while ignoring the strange things in other candidates’ past, like spending 18 years in a radical Black Liberation church, or hanging with criminal radicals like Bill Ayres.” Which, sadly, means that you are making up things out of thin air. They did cover the Ayers thing. Repeatedly. But you missed that, I guess. And if you follow that link and type in [obama trinity united], guess what else you’ll find? A whole heap of stories on Obama’s “Black Liberation church”. Guess you missed each and every one of those, as well.

    “Or how about Joe Biden shouting at a political rally to the paralyzed guy to ‘stand up’ so that we can honor you. Didn’t see that on the news, did you?” Well, I don’t watch TV news, so technically, you’re right. But the New York Times wrote about it[1]. Do they count? Oh, and if you want to read more articles on that story, you can go back up to that link above and search for [biden "stand up" graham]. I’d link to all those searches, but then I’d get flagged in the spam quarantine.

    Seems to me that the problem with people criticizing (some of) the media is that they’re not actually paying attention to that media they’re criticizing.

    [1]nytimes.com/2008/09/11/world/americas/11iht-biden.4.16081515.html

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@30), I feel like most times I ask you to give me specifics on your accusations, you don’t really give them to me, but let’s try it again. Maybe this time it’ll work.

    You said: “What I do object to is the trivializing of a candidate by supposedly objective media figures because she is an evangelical, or believes the Bible is literally true, or by slurring her with ad hominems like she is dumb.”

    Please name a media figure, who styles him- or herself as “objective”, who trivialized one of these two women “because she is an evangelical, or believes the Bible is literally true, or by slurring her with ad hominems like she is dumb.”

    And you accuse the media “doing it only for the candidates of one particular viewpoint, while ignoring the strange things in other candidates’ past, like spending 18 years in a radical Black Liberation church, or hanging with criminal radicals like Bill Ayres.” Which, sadly, means that you are making up things out of thin air. They did cover the Ayers thing. Repeatedly. But you missed that, I guess. And if you follow that link and type in [obama trinity united], guess what else you’ll find? A whole heap of stories on Obama’s “Black Liberation church”. Guess you missed each and every one of those, as well.

    “Or how about Joe Biden shouting at a political rally to the paralyzed guy to ‘stand up’ so that we can honor you. Didn’t see that on the news, did you?” Well, I don’t watch TV news, so technically, you’re right. But the New York Times wrote about it[1]. Do they count? Oh, and if you want to read more articles on that story, you can go back up to that link above and search for [biden "stand up" graham]. I’d link to all those searches, but then I’d get flagged in the spam quarantine.

    Seems to me that the problem with people criticizing (some of) the media is that they’re not actually paying attention to that media they’re criticizing.

    [1]nytimes.com/2008/09/11/world/americas/11iht-biden.4.16081515.html

  • Tom Hering

    A lot of the criticism of the “liberal” media comes from people who admit they watch nothing but FOX News, and listen to nothing but conservative talk radio. Which might – just might – mean they often don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to the rest of the media.

  • Tom Hering

    A lot of the criticism of the “liberal” media comes from people who admit they watch nothing but FOX News, and listen to nothing but conservative talk radio. Which might – just might – mean they often don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to the rest of the media.

  • DonS

    I would like to see the media vet Chris Coons the way they are vetting O’Donnell. He has an interesting past, and from what I can see, no better qualifications for serving as a senator than O’Donnell. But, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in exploring his past. I wonder why?

  • DonS

    I would like to see the media vet Chris Coons the way they are vetting O’Donnell. He has an interesting past, and from what I can see, no better qualifications for serving as a senator than O’Donnell. But, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in exploring his past. I wonder why?

  • Porcell

    Don, at 30:

    Does anyone remember, despite the fact that those who backed Proposition 8 are demonized as neanderthals for standing in the way of civil rights, that both Obama and Biden are on record as being opposed to gay marriage, as recently as the campaign in 2008? Look it up!

    The people are sick of the demonization of their perfectly mainstream beliefs, the demonization of the U.S., which is still a great country, and the hypocrisy. That’s why this election is going to be historic.

    You have this exactly right. Todd, is trying to divert the issue to discussion of the media; he and others on this blog, wishing to deny the hard reality of the rebellion of the people, are dancing around the quite correct issue that Veith has raised regarding the views of ordinary people versus the political establishment and its media minions.

  • Porcell

    Don, at 30:

    Does anyone remember, despite the fact that those who backed Proposition 8 are demonized as neanderthals for standing in the way of civil rights, that both Obama and Biden are on record as being opposed to gay marriage, as recently as the campaign in 2008? Look it up!

    The people are sick of the demonization of their perfectly mainstream beliefs, the demonization of the U.S., which is still a great country, and the hypocrisy. That’s why this election is going to be historic.

    You have this exactly right. Todd, is trying to divert the issue to discussion of the media; he and others on this blog, wishing to deny the hard reality of the rebellion of the people, are dancing around the quite correct issue that Veith has raised regarding the views of ordinary people versus the political establishment and its media minions.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Does Larry Flynt have a peculiar sexual agenda? Does he try to legislate his sexual viewpoints? How about those in favor of gay marriage? Gay marriage is currently the least popular political idea, having been defeated in every referendum in every state in which it was on the ballot? How about Obama’s peculiar objection to legal protection for babies that survive late term abortions? He used his position in Illinois to thwart protections for those children.

    While these women may not be absolutely ordinary, they share many values of ordinary people. They would vote against obviously stupid ideas like confiscatory taxes, amnesty, legalizing drugs, gay marriage and abortion on demand. So, in that sense they are ordinary. One needn’t be a genius to know that permitting and funding bad behavior will render more bad behavior.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Does Larry Flynt have a peculiar sexual agenda? Does he try to legislate his sexual viewpoints? How about those in favor of gay marriage? Gay marriage is currently the least popular political idea, having been defeated in every referendum in every state in which it was on the ballot? How about Obama’s peculiar objection to legal protection for babies that survive late term abortions? He used his position in Illinois to thwart protections for those children.

    While these women may not be absolutely ordinary, they share many values of ordinary people. They would vote against obviously stupid ideas like confiscatory taxes, amnesty, legalizing drugs, gay marriage and abortion on demand. So, in that sense they are ordinary. One needn’t be a genius to know that permitting and funding bad behavior will render more bad behavior.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 38: I would suspect it’s true that there are some people who never watch or listen to any news media other than Fox News or conservative talk radio. However, that’s not true for me, nor is it true for anyone else I know. First, that would be hard to do, just because of the sheer number and ubiquity of other media outlets. Second, most people I know on the right like to hear from a variety of viewpoints.

    What I do suspect IS true is that there is a much larger group of people who criticize Fox News and conservative talk radio, though they never watch or listen to either.

    And, although MSNBC is, if anything, much harder to the left than Fox News is to the right, why do they seem to escape the same kind of criticism that is heaped on Fox News? Is it just because their audience is relatively miniscule? ;-)

  • DonS

    Tom @ 38: I would suspect it’s true that there are some people who never watch or listen to any news media other than Fox News or conservative talk radio. However, that’s not true for me, nor is it true for anyone else I know. First, that would be hard to do, just because of the sheer number and ubiquity of other media outlets. Second, most people I know on the right like to hear from a variety of viewpoints.

    What I do suspect IS true is that there is a much larger group of people who criticize Fox News and conservative talk radio, though they never watch or listen to either.

    And, although MSNBC is, if anything, much harder to the left than Fox News is to the right, why do they seem to escape the same kind of criticism that is heaped on Fox News? Is it just because their audience is relatively miniscule? ;-)

  • Porcell

    Tom, at 38, conservatives are well aware of the liberal media bias toward conservatism and the Tea Party. Personally, I read the New York Times and the Washington Post daily, along with the Wall Street Journal and Investor’s Business Daily. I don’t watch any television.

    Your facile assumption that conservatives are ill informed is both mistaken and arrogant.

  • Porcell

    Tom, at 38, conservatives are well aware of the liberal media bias toward conservatism and the Tea Party. Personally, I read the New York Times and the Washington Post daily, along with the Wall Street Journal and Investor’s Business Daily. I don’t watch any television.

    Your facile assumption that conservatives are ill informed is both mistaken and arrogant.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Todd, is trying to divert the issue to discussion of the media” (@40). So now Peter wants in on the whole “I’m making things up out of whole cloth” game, eh? Fine.

    The astute, serious reader may notice that (1) “the media” is actually the topic at hand. You have to read all of two words into Veith’s introduction to figure that out. Here, I’ll copy it for you: “The media,”. There. (2) I was replying to the very specific, and easily proven false, accusations of DonS (@30). And for doing this, I am accused of “trying to divert the issue”. Which is apparently Porcell-talk for “saying things I don’t like or can’t rebut”.

    Will DonS actually return to his fallacious claims? He’s written two replies since I pointed out the obvious errors in his claims, one to a comment made after mine.

    Or is this just a hit-and-run sort of thing, where you make up facts you want to be true and then just move on?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Todd, is trying to divert the issue to discussion of the media” (@40). So now Peter wants in on the whole “I’m making things up out of whole cloth” game, eh? Fine.

    The astute, serious reader may notice that (1) “the media” is actually the topic at hand. You have to read all of two words into Veith’s introduction to figure that out. Here, I’ll copy it for you: “The media,”. There. (2) I was replying to the very specific, and easily proven false, accusations of DonS (@30). And for doing this, I am accused of “trying to divert the issue”. Which is apparently Porcell-talk for “saying things I don’t like or can’t rebut”.

    Will DonS actually return to his fallacious claims? He’s written two replies since I pointed out the obvious errors in his claims, one to a comment made after mine.

    Or is this just a hit-and-run sort of thing, where you make up facts you want to be true and then just move on?

  • Porcell

    Todd, you haven’t come close to refuting Don’s claim of rampant media bias toward ordinary American Christians and their conservative Christian views that are routinely excoriated in the press and television.

    You merely have provided a few isolated examples of media balance, though the evidence is overwhelming regarding liberal media bias. Fred Barnes reports in an article, Liberal Media Evidence
    A new poll by the Pew Center proves that the media is as liberal as ever. When will “diversity” mean more conservatives?
    including:

    THE ARGUMENT over whether the national press is dominated by liberals is over. Since 1962, there have been 11 surveys of the media that sought the political views of hundreds of journalists. In 1971, they were 53 percent liberal, 17 percent conservative. In a 1976 survey of the Washington press corps, it was 59 percent liberal, 18 percent conservative. A 1985 poll of 3,200 reporters found them to be self-identified as 55 percent liberal, 17 percent conservative. In 1996, another survey of Washington journalists pegged the breakdown as 61 percent liberal, 9 percent conservative. Now, the new study by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found the national media to be 34 percent liberal and 7 percent conservative.

    So far on this thread you have skated around the central issue of the issue of the rebellion of the ordinary people against the political elite.

  • Porcell

    Todd, you haven’t come close to refuting Don’s claim of rampant media bias toward ordinary American Christians and their conservative Christian views that are routinely excoriated in the press and television.

    You merely have provided a few isolated examples of media balance, though the evidence is overwhelming regarding liberal media bias. Fred Barnes reports in an article, Liberal Media Evidence
    A new poll by the Pew Center proves that the media is as liberal as ever. When will “diversity” mean more conservatives?
    including:

    THE ARGUMENT over whether the national press is dominated by liberals is over. Since 1962, there have been 11 surveys of the media that sought the political views of hundreds of journalists. In 1971, they were 53 percent liberal, 17 percent conservative. In a 1976 survey of the Washington press corps, it was 59 percent liberal, 18 percent conservative. A 1985 poll of 3,200 reporters found them to be self-identified as 55 percent liberal, 17 percent conservative. In 1996, another survey of Washington journalists pegged the breakdown as 61 percent liberal, 9 percent conservative. Now, the new study by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found the national media to be 34 percent liberal and 7 percent conservative.

    So far on this thread you have skated around the central issue of the issue of the rebellion of the ordinary people against the political elite.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, I see! Is it a reading comprehension issue, then, Peter? “Todd, you haven’t come close to refuting Don’s claim of rampant media bias”, you said (@45) in reply to my statement (@44) that “I was replying to the very specific, and easily proven false, accusations of DonS”. Don is, of course, free to provide some facts to back up his claims. But they are his claims to substantiate. You haven’t exactly helped him by providing facts of your own as to his specific claims. No, you’d much rather accuse me of “skat[ing] around the central issue” when I am replying to specific claims made by others who you are not calling out. Do you need glasses? A brighter light?

    But since Don has yet to show any interest in backing up his own claims, let’s move on to yet another of his claims that he’s decided, instead, to lob into the arena: “I would like to see the media vet Chris Coons the way they are vetting O’Donnell. … But, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in exploring his past. I wonder why?” Do you wonder, Don? Have you even looked into the matter?

    Don, I’ve already linked to it, but it didn’t stick, so allow me to introduce you to Google News. It allowed me to find an article on Fox News (which you know you can trust, even though it’s quite possibly the most mainstream of the media outlets) titled “46 Days to Decide: Dem Candidate Coons Comes Under Scrutiny in Delaware Senate Race”[1]. Now, perhaps you think that Fox News is merely referring to itself when it says Coons is “coming under scrutiny”, but this is where the full power of Google News is your friend. Let’s go over there and search for [Chris Coons Marxist] and see if anyone in the media has shown any interest in one particular aspect of Coons’ past. Did you see any articles there? Of course, you could also, if you wanted, look up more important issues by substituting “Marxist” with “bankruptcy” or “taxes”, and you’d find the media talking about those issues, as well, but the media is largely fixated on the whole “bearded Marxist” thing because the media is stupid.

    [1]foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/17/days-decidedem-candidate-comes-scrutiny-delaware-race-bidens-old-senate-seat/

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, I see! Is it a reading comprehension issue, then, Peter? “Todd, you haven’t come close to refuting Don’s claim of rampant media bias”, you said (@45) in reply to my statement (@44) that “I was replying to the very specific, and easily proven false, accusations of DonS”. Don is, of course, free to provide some facts to back up his claims. But they are his claims to substantiate. You haven’t exactly helped him by providing facts of your own as to his specific claims. No, you’d much rather accuse me of “skat[ing] around the central issue” when I am replying to specific claims made by others who you are not calling out. Do you need glasses? A brighter light?

    But since Don has yet to show any interest in backing up his own claims, let’s move on to yet another of his claims that he’s decided, instead, to lob into the arena: “I would like to see the media vet Chris Coons the way they are vetting O’Donnell. … But, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in exploring his past. I wonder why?” Do you wonder, Don? Have you even looked into the matter?

    Don, I’ve already linked to it, but it didn’t stick, so allow me to introduce you to Google News. It allowed me to find an article on Fox News (which you know you can trust, even though it’s quite possibly the most mainstream of the media outlets) titled “46 Days to Decide: Dem Candidate Coons Comes Under Scrutiny in Delaware Senate Race”[1]. Now, perhaps you think that Fox News is merely referring to itself when it says Coons is “coming under scrutiny”, but this is where the full power of Google News is your friend. Let’s go over there and search for [Chris Coons Marxist] and see if anyone in the media has shown any interest in one particular aspect of Coons’ past. Did you see any articles there? Of course, you could also, if you wanted, look up more important issues by substituting “Marxist” with “bankruptcy” or “taxes”, and you’d find the media talking about those issues, as well, but the media is largely fixated on the whole “bearded Marxist” thing because the media is stupid.

    [1]foxnews.com/politics/2010/09/17/days-decidedem-candidate-comes-scrutiny-delaware-race-bidens-old-senate-seat/

  • Tom Hering

    “… the central issue of … the rebellion of the ordinary people against the political elite …”

    Whose definition of “ordinary” are we going to use in a highly diverse, and ever-increasingly diverse, nation? What constitutes “rebellion”? Rallies organized by big-media stars? A few wins by outsider politicians? (And is anybody still an outsider once they’re elected?) Methinks the word “rebellion” is hyperbole.

  • Tom Hering

    “… the central issue of … the rebellion of the ordinary people against the political elite …”

    Whose definition of “ordinary” are we going to use in a highly diverse, and ever-increasingly diverse, nation? What constitutes “rebellion”? Rallies organized by big-media stars? A few wins by outsider politicians? (And is anybody still an outsider once they’re elected?) Methinks the word “rebellion” is hyperbole.

  • DonS

    Porcell, tODD is well aware of the overwhelming and credible survey evidence, both that those in the media resoundingly self-identify as liberal, and that the American people perceive them that way. He doesn’t care. For in his mind, the fact that he can find an occasional link to an article that fisks a liberal or that shows a conservative in a positive light “proves” that the media actually plays it right down the middle. He doesn’t care about emphasis, or the number of articles tilting in each direction, or any of that. If there’s one, that’s enough, and he has proven that our accusations are false and all is right with the world. Well, those who have ears to hear, let them hear. Those who don’t want to believe it can continue to whistle in the dark.

    Well, emphasis does matter. There is no objective reason for O’Donnell to be having to spend the first five minutes of every interview talking about witchcraft, and the people of Delaware aren’t getting the opportunity to get to know her more substantively. There are many other things about her past, some good and some bad, that are far more worthwhile to discuss. On the flip side, Coons should be getting an equal grilling about his radical past, instead of being simply crowned as the next U.S. senator from Delaware.

    And, returning to the issue of Proposition 8 and gay marriage, why does Obama get a pass on the issue? He clearly stated that he opposed gay marriage during the campaign. Why isn’t he being castigated as a homophobe, as are the good people on the conservative side of the issue? Alternatively, why isn’t he being actively fisked for the cynical political move he made in claiming to oppose gay marriage? Isn’t it important for a truly objective media to explore dishonesty in politics, especially when it involves the president, instead of giving him a complete pass?

  • DonS

    Porcell, tODD is well aware of the overwhelming and credible survey evidence, both that those in the media resoundingly self-identify as liberal, and that the American people perceive them that way. He doesn’t care. For in his mind, the fact that he can find an occasional link to an article that fisks a liberal or that shows a conservative in a positive light “proves” that the media actually plays it right down the middle. He doesn’t care about emphasis, or the number of articles tilting in each direction, or any of that. If there’s one, that’s enough, and he has proven that our accusations are false and all is right with the world. Well, those who have ears to hear, let them hear. Those who don’t want to believe it can continue to whistle in the dark.

    Well, emphasis does matter. There is no objective reason for O’Donnell to be having to spend the first five minutes of every interview talking about witchcraft, and the people of Delaware aren’t getting the opportunity to get to know her more substantively. There are many other things about her past, some good and some bad, that are far more worthwhile to discuss. On the flip side, Coons should be getting an equal grilling about his radical past, instead of being simply crowned as the next U.S. senator from Delaware.

    And, returning to the issue of Proposition 8 and gay marriage, why does Obama get a pass on the issue? He clearly stated that he opposed gay marriage during the campaign. Why isn’t he being castigated as a homophobe, as are the good people on the conservative side of the issue? Alternatively, why isn’t he being actively fisked for the cynical political move he made in claiming to oppose gay marriage? Isn’t it important for a truly objective media to explore dishonesty in politics, especially when it involves the president, instead of giving him a complete pass?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@48), you’re dodging. I am not discussing overly general claims of whether the media is “liberal”. I am asking you to back up your specific claims (@30) with evidence — any evidence. Please.

    Do you care about the truth, Don? Then answer me (@36): Please name a media figure, who styles him- or herself as “objective”, who trivialized one of these two women “because she is an evangelical, or believes the Bible is literally true, or by slurring her with ad hominems like she is dumb.”

    Do you care about the truth, Don? Then explain how you can reasonably claim that the media “ignored” Obama’s “18 years in a radical Black Liberation church” or “hanging with criminal radicals like Bill Ayres”.

    Do you care about the truth, Don? Then explain how you can legitimately say that we “didn’t see that on the news” in reference to a Joe Biden gaffe.

    Do you care about the truth, Don? Then explain how you can reasonably say that “there doesn’t seem to be much interest in exploring [Coons'] past.”

    You accuse me of not caring about “the number of articles”, that “if there’s one, that’s enough”. And to a degree, you’re right. If you claim the media “ignored” a story or that it “wasn’t in the news”, then yes, one story is enough to prove you wrong. But I am linking you to a search engine’s repository of stories on various topics — there are many stories out there.

    But do you care? How many is enough before you’ll admit that your statements are, at best, inaccurate? You blame me for not caring about reality, but you provide no evidence at all. You just make things up and keep going.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@48), you’re dodging. I am not discussing overly general claims of whether the media is “liberal”. I am asking you to back up your specific claims (@30) with evidence — any evidence. Please.

    Do you care about the truth, Don? Then answer me (@36): Please name a media figure, who styles him- or herself as “objective”, who trivialized one of these two women “because she is an evangelical, or believes the Bible is literally true, or by slurring her with ad hominems like she is dumb.”

    Do you care about the truth, Don? Then explain how you can reasonably claim that the media “ignored” Obama’s “18 years in a radical Black Liberation church” or “hanging with criminal radicals like Bill Ayres”.

    Do you care about the truth, Don? Then explain how you can legitimately say that we “didn’t see that on the news” in reference to a Joe Biden gaffe.

    Do you care about the truth, Don? Then explain how you can reasonably say that “there doesn’t seem to be much interest in exploring [Coons'] past.”

    You accuse me of not caring about “the number of articles”, that “if there’s one, that’s enough”. And to a degree, you’re right. If you claim the media “ignored” a story or that it “wasn’t in the news”, then yes, one story is enough to prove you wrong. But I am linking you to a search engine’s repository of stories on various topics — there are many stories out there.

    But do you care? How many is enough before you’ll admit that your statements are, at best, inaccurate? You blame me for not caring about reality, but you provide no evidence at all. You just make things up and keep going.

  • Porcell

    Tom: Whose definition of “ordinary” are we going to use in a highly diverse, and ever-increasingly diverse, nation? What constitutes “rebellion”?

    If you don’t get the difference between ordinary American folk and the ruling political class, you had better go back to junior high school with Todd who is still scratching his head regarding the reality of liberal media bias.

    As to rebellion, check the results of the November election that shall likely prove to be a political tsunami.

  • Porcell

    Tom: Whose definition of “ordinary” are we going to use in a highly diverse, and ever-increasingly diverse, nation? What constitutes “rebellion”?

    If you don’t get the difference between ordinary American folk and the ruling political class, you had better go back to junior high school with Todd who is still scratching his head regarding the reality of liberal media bias.

    As to rebellion, check the results of the November election that shall likely prove to be a political tsunami.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I am asking you to back up your specific claims (@30) with evidence — any evidence. Please.”

    Careful with that evidence. It might turn your stomach!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I am asking you to back up your specific claims (@30) with evidence — any evidence. Please.”

    Careful with that evidence. It might turn your stomach!

  • Cincinnatus

    Two things:

    1) I sincerely hope that “normal” people (whether or not Sarah Palin and O’Donnell qualify as “normal”–a doubtful proposition) are not placed in positions of high authority and responsibility. Cf. Kirk@1.

    2) I sincerely hope that normal people don’t resemble Sarah Palin and O’Donnell. What a dumb world that would be.

  • Cincinnatus

    Two things:

    1) I sincerely hope that “normal” people (whether or not Sarah Palin and O’Donnell qualify as “normal”–a doubtful proposition) are not placed in positions of high authority and responsibility. Cf. Kirk@1.

    2) I sincerely hope that normal people don’t resemble Sarah Palin and O’Donnell. What a dumb world that would be.

  • Tom Hering

    “If you don’t get the difference between ordinary American folk and the ruling political class …” – Porcell @ 50.

    “Ordinary” American folk elected the ruling political “class.” What was your point again?

  • Tom Hering

    “If you don’t get the difference between ordinary American folk and the ruling political class …” – Porcell @ 50.

    “Ordinary” American folk elected the ruling political “class.” What was your point again?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Check the results of the November election that shall likely prove to be a political tsunami” (@50). Indeed. For the incumbents. As it always has been.

    If you don’t think so, Peter, then give me a number. What percentage of congressional races will be won by non-incumbents? Or, if you want, by “tea party” candidates (though if you want to go that route, you’ll have to identify beforehand which races have candidates you consider “tea party” ones). So have at it. You’re already making predictions. Now get specific. What constitutes a tsunami? 25% non-incumbent candidates? 10%?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Check the results of the November election that shall likely prove to be a political tsunami” (@50). Indeed. For the incumbents. As it always has been.

    If you don’t think so, Peter, then give me a number. What percentage of congressional races will be won by non-incumbents? Or, if you want, by “tea party” candidates (though if you want to go that route, you’ll have to identify beforehand which races have candidates you consider “tea party” ones). So have at it. You’re already making predictions. Now get specific. What constitutes a tsunami? 25% non-incumbent candidates? 10%?

  • Porcell

    Todd, For your info: Real Clear Politics Election Data

    Current Senate 59 Democrats 41 Republicans

    Forecast 48 Democrats 46 Republicans 6 Tossups

    Current House: 255 Democrats | 178 Republicans | 2 Vacancies

    Forecast: 192 Democrats 205 Republicans 38 Tossups

    Real clear Politics is the best disinterested poll authority we have.

    The above data indicates that the 2010 election will be a disaster for the Democrats, who, if you will remember, were talking after 2006 and 2008 about a budding liberal era in American politics. The largest factor influencing the above results is the Tea Party’s influence on especially independent voters.

  • Porcell

    Todd, For your info: Real Clear Politics Election Data

    Current Senate 59 Democrats 41 Republicans

    Forecast 48 Democrats 46 Republicans 6 Tossups

    Current House: 255 Democrats | 178 Republicans | 2 Vacancies

    Forecast: 192 Democrats 205 Republicans 38 Tossups

    Real clear Politics is the best disinterested poll authority we have.

    The above data indicates that the 2010 election will be a disaster for the Democrats, who, if you will remember, were talking after 2006 and 2008 about a budding liberal era in American politics. The largest factor influencing the above results is the Tea Party’s influence on especially independent voters.

  • Cincinnatus

    Porcell@55, is RealClearPolitics “the best disinterested poll authority we have” because it happens to forecast a positive result for Republicans? A needless plug: RCP is a good source, but I’m not sure how it stacks up against Rasmussen, etc. In fact, I thought RCP was just an aggregator of polls? But I jest.

    In any case, I have to take exception with this statement: “the largest factor influencing the above results is the Tea Party’s influence…” Really? How did you discover that? Can you explain to me the means of analysis you employed to derive such a conclusion from the data? Are you sure there aren’t confounding variables–like, you know, general voter dissatisfaction with the way Democrats have governed (particularly in response to the recession)? Show your work. I’m prima facie skeptical, primarily because the Tea Party is no thing in particular: as we’ve been discussing, it has no unitary or coherent message, and it has yet to elect anyone. It’s not a party. I’m skeptical of its ability to do anything other than make loud noises right now. So, since you’ve made a bold empirical claim, please show us the empirical processes by which you collected the evidence to make this claim.

  • Cincinnatus

    Porcell@55, is RealClearPolitics “the best disinterested poll authority we have” because it happens to forecast a positive result for Republicans? A needless plug: RCP is a good source, but I’m not sure how it stacks up against Rasmussen, etc. In fact, I thought RCP was just an aggregator of polls? But I jest.

    In any case, I have to take exception with this statement: “the largest factor influencing the above results is the Tea Party’s influence…” Really? How did you discover that? Can you explain to me the means of analysis you employed to derive such a conclusion from the data? Are you sure there aren’t confounding variables–like, you know, general voter dissatisfaction with the way Democrats have governed (particularly in response to the recession)? Show your work. I’m prima facie skeptical, primarily because the Tea Party is no thing in particular: as we’ve been discussing, it has no unitary or coherent message, and it has yet to elect anyone. It’s not a party. I’m skeptical of its ability to do anything other than make loud noises right now. So, since you’ve made a bold empirical claim, please show us the empirical processes by which you collected the evidence to make this claim.

  • Porcell

    Cincinnatus, actually Real Clear Politics performs an excellent service by being discriminate in selecting credible polls and aggregating them. No serious critic has questioned its attempt to be fair. It tries to be objective and has been remarkably accurate with its projections.

    The Real Clear Politics data indicates a profound shift in political direction, which, in my view is primarily attributable to the Tea Party. Jonathan Rauch of the National Journal, among the shrewdest of political writers, explains the genius of the Tea Party including as follows:

    First, radical decentralization embodies and expresses tea partiers’ mistrust of overcentralized authority, which is the very problem they set out to solve. They worry that external co-option, internal corruption, and gradual calcification — the viruses they believe ruined Washington — might in time infect them. Decentralization, they say, is inherently resistant to all three diseases.

    Second, the system is self-propelling and self-guiding. “People seem to know what the right thing to do is at the right time,” Dallas’s Emanuelson says. “As times change, then our focus will change, because we’re so bottom-up driven. As everyone decides there’s a different agenda, that’s where things will go.”

    Should you have a different view of what’s going on in American politics, do enlighten us.

  • Porcell

    Cincinnatus, actually Real Clear Politics performs an excellent service by being discriminate in selecting credible polls and aggregating them. No serious critic has questioned its attempt to be fair. It tries to be objective and has been remarkably accurate with its projections.

    The Real Clear Politics data indicates a profound shift in political direction, which, in my view is primarily attributable to the Tea Party. Jonathan Rauch of the National Journal, among the shrewdest of political writers, explains the genius of the Tea Party including as follows:

    First, radical decentralization embodies and expresses tea partiers’ mistrust of overcentralized authority, which is the very problem they set out to solve. They worry that external co-option, internal corruption, and gradual calcification — the viruses they believe ruined Washington — might in time infect them. Decentralization, they say, is inherently resistant to all three diseases.

    Second, the system is self-propelling and self-guiding. “People seem to know what the right thing to do is at the right time,” Dallas’s Emanuelson says. “As times change, then our focus will change, because we’re so bottom-up driven. As everyone decides there’s a different agenda, that’s where things will go.”

    Should you have a different view of what’s going on in American politics, do enlighten us.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell, what I want (@54) “for my info” is a prediction from you as to the size of this “political tsunami”, not some polls you found (@55).

    Remember, it is you who are talking about (@45) “the central issue of the issue of the rebellion of the ordinary people against the political elite.” In recent decades, the incumbent re-election rate has hovered around 90% or so, I think. But this tsunami you speak of: what percentage of non-incumbents will be swept into office? 25%? 10%?

    To say nothing of Cincinnatus’ pointed questions (@56), for which I’d also like to see an answer.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell, what I want (@54) “for my info” is a prediction from you as to the size of this “political tsunami”, not some polls you found (@55).

    Remember, it is you who are talking about (@45) “the central issue of the issue of the rebellion of the ordinary people against the political elite.” In recent decades, the incumbent re-election rate has hovered around 90% or so, I think. But this tsunami you speak of: what percentage of non-incumbents will be swept into office? 25%? 10%?

    To say nothing of Cincinnatus’ pointed questions (@56), for which I’d also like to see an answer.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I’m prima facie skeptical, primarily because the Tea Party is no thing in particular: as we’ve been discussing, it has no unitary or coherent message, and it has yet to elect anyone. It’s not a party. I’m skeptical of its ability to do anything other than make loud noises right now.”

    yeah, I am a skeptic, too. However, I feel pretty sure those folks will show up in November. It took a lot of cheerleading to get the Dems to the polls in 2008. I think of Rick Santelli as the t-party instigator, and he only made one out burst.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I’m prima facie skeptical, primarily because the Tea Party is no thing in particular: as we’ve been discussing, it has no unitary or coherent message, and it has yet to elect anyone. It’s not a party. I’m skeptical of its ability to do anything other than make loud noises right now.”

    yeah, I am a skeptic, too. However, I feel pretty sure those folks will show up in November. It took a lot of cheerleading to get the Dems to the polls in 2008. I think of Rick Santelli as the t-party instigator, and he only made one out burst.

  • Porcell

    Todd, I wouldn’t pretend to go beyond the Real Clear Politics data that I quoted at 55 that make clear a profound political shift has already taken place, which in my view is attributable to the outrage of many American people as expressed by the Tea Party movement.

    If you’re serious about trying to understand the Tea Party, I should suggest that you have a look at the Rauch video linked to above. Rauch, an urbane homosexual, is a National Journal reporter, well known for his incisive and mostly disinterested view of politics..

  • Porcell

    Todd, I wouldn’t pretend to go beyond the Real Clear Politics data that I quoted at 55 that make clear a profound political shift has already taken place, which in my view is attributable to the outrage of many American people as expressed by the Tea Party movement.

    If you’re serious about trying to understand the Tea Party, I should suggest that you have a look at the Rauch video linked to above. Rauch, an urbane homosexual, is a National Journal reporter, well known for his incisive and mostly disinterested view of politics..

  • Tom Hering

    Personally, I’m placing my bets based on this poll. Oink.

  • Tom Hering

    Personally, I’m placing my bets based on this poll. Oink.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Okay, Peter (@61), you do realize that the RCP data doesn’t actually say anything about the re-election of incumbents, so it is not possible from it to make any quantification of your predicted “rebellion of the ordinary people against the political elite.”

    Since you refuse to quantify your own prediction, I am forced to make some assumptions. If we assume that (1) RCP’s forecast comes true, and (2) every Democrat left in office after the election and every Republican in office before the election are incumbents that got re-elected, then…

    You are predicting an incumbent re-election rate of 92% in the Senate, and 89% in the House.

    I think it’s pretty obvious that, by any reasonable standard, that is hardly a “political tsunami” or “rebellion” against the “political elite”. It is overwhelmingly a vote in favor of the status quo.

    But perhaps you want to be relative about it and compare it to past re-election rates.

    Well, 92% is the lowest re-election rate in the Senate since 1994 (at 90%, the year of the “Contract with America”, though 1992 actually had a lower rate at 88%). But then, in the past two election years, we had a re-election rate of 94%. The differences aren’t exactly “tsunami”-level, but rather margin-of-error-level.

    Well, how about 89% in the House, though, right? That’s a lower re-election rate than the House saw in 1994, when it was 92%. Though it’s not as low as in 1992, with 83%. But then, the re-election rates in 2006 and 2008 were 79% and 83%, respectively. So it looks like the House experienced a more significant “tsunami” or “rebellion” in the last two elections than you are predicting for this year.

    All of which makes me think that, even by your predictions (such as they are), your talk of “tsunamis” and “rebellions” against the “political elite” is so much hot air.

    We’re gonna elect the same lot of politicians, by and large. Like we always do.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Okay, Peter (@61), you do realize that the RCP data doesn’t actually say anything about the re-election of incumbents, so it is not possible from it to make any quantification of your predicted “rebellion of the ordinary people against the political elite.”

    Since you refuse to quantify your own prediction, I am forced to make some assumptions. If we assume that (1) RCP’s forecast comes true, and (2) every Democrat left in office after the election and every Republican in office before the election are incumbents that got re-elected, then…

    You are predicting an incumbent re-election rate of 92% in the Senate, and 89% in the House.

    I think it’s pretty obvious that, by any reasonable standard, that is hardly a “political tsunami” or “rebellion” against the “political elite”. It is overwhelmingly a vote in favor of the status quo.

    But perhaps you want to be relative about it and compare it to past re-election rates.

    Well, 92% is the lowest re-election rate in the Senate since 1994 (at 90%, the year of the “Contract with America”, though 1992 actually had a lower rate at 88%). But then, in the past two election years, we had a re-election rate of 94%. The differences aren’t exactly “tsunami”-level, but rather margin-of-error-level.

    Well, how about 89% in the House, though, right? That’s a lower re-election rate than the House saw in 1994, when it was 92%. Though it’s not as low as in 1992, with 83%. But then, the re-election rates in 2006 and 2008 were 79% and 83%, respectively. So it looks like the House experienced a more significant “tsunami” or “rebellion” in the last two elections than you are predicting for this year.

    All of which makes me think that, even by your predictions (such as they are), your talk of “tsunamis” and “rebellions” against the “political elite” is so much hot air.

    We’re gonna elect the same lot of politicians, by and large. Like we always do.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I should also note that I further assumed (3) that the forecast “tossup” elections from RCP were split evenly between the two parties.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I should also note that I further assumed (3) that the forecast “tossup” elections from RCP were split evenly between the two parties.

  • Porcell

    Todd, bottom line in the upcoming election is that the Republicans will retake the House and have an ample margin to defeat OBama proposals in the Senate that requires on major issues a 3/5s vote. Politics is always about what’s going at the margins, especially with relation to independent voters.

    You’ll understand this better come 3 November, at which point the vaunted liberal era beginning in 2oo6 and 2008 shall be toast. A tsunami indeed, notwithstanding your amateur playing with the numbers

  • Porcell

    Todd, bottom line in the upcoming election is that the Republicans will retake the House and have an ample margin to defeat OBama proposals in the Senate that requires on major issues a 3/5s vote. Politics is always about what’s going at the margins, especially with relation to independent voters.

    You’ll understand this better come 3 November, at which point the vaunted liberal era beginning in 2oo6 and 2008 shall be toast. A tsunami indeed, notwithstanding your amateur playing with the numbers

  • Cincinnatus

    Porcell@65: You know what will come on 3 November? Aside from British modes of writing dates (apparently), what will come is business as usual. Regardless of the ravings of the Tea Party, the Republican Party hardly differs in its governing habits at the national level from the Democratic Party. How much did things change when “liberals” took over in 2006-2008? Answer: very little.

    Oh, and your vaunted independent voters? Yeah, most of those are the folks who have few coherent political principles and who are too dense or obtuse to decide on where to send their ballots prior to the day of the election.

    I’m oversimplifying a bit in the name of salutary cynicism, but my general points are valid: both big parties are (as much empirical research has pointed out) vote collectors which are, aside from being nearly indistinguishable from one another, both dedicated to similar tropes of big government. Meanwhile, the vast majority of voters are idiots (literally, in the most etymologically faithful sense: those who should not participate in public life), the Tea Party notwithstanding (or “especially” as the case may be).

  • Cincinnatus

    Porcell@65: You know what will come on 3 November? Aside from British modes of writing dates (apparently), what will come is business as usual. Regardless of the ravings of the Tea Party, the Republican Party hardly differs in its governing habits at the national level from the Democratic Party. How much did things change when “liberals” took over in 2006-2008? Answer: very little.

    Oh, and your vaunted independent voters? Yeah, most of those are the folks who have few coherent political principles and who are too dense or obtuse to decide on where to send their ballots prior to the day of the election.

    I’m oversimplifying a bit in the name of salutary cynicism, but my general points are valid: both big parties are (as much empirical research has pointed out) vote collectors which are, aside from being nearly indistinguishable from one another, both dedicated to similar tropes of big government. Meanwhile, the vast majority of voters are idiots (literally, in the most etymologically faithful sense: those who should not participate in public life), the Tea Party notwithstanding (or “especially” as the case may be).

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus, I agree with you that we will be underwhelmed after November. Somewhat because the Republicans will still have Obama to contend with, and I have a feeling we will see some new veto records set in the next two years. And, somewhat because Republicans generally disappoint, simply because they tend to melt down in the face of the inevitable media pressure and hostility they face when they dare try to promote conservative ideas. However, you cannot reasonably say “How much did things change when “liberals” took over in 2006-2008? Answer: very little.”

    Not in the face of Obamacare.

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus, I agree with you that we will be underwhelmed after November. Somewhat because the Republicans will still have Obama to contend with, and I have a feeling we will see some new veto records set in the next two years. And, somewhat because Republicans generally disappoint, simply because they tend to melt down in the face of the inevitable media pressure and hostility they face when they dare try to promote conservative ideas. However, you cannot reasonably say “How much did things change when “liberals” took over in 2006-2008? Answer: very little.”

    Not in the face of Obamacare.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell claimed (@65), “bottom line in the upcoming election is that the Republicans will retake the House and have an ample margin to defeat OBama proposals in the Senate”, which is what I assumed you actually meant, and I don’t much take issue with that prediction, though nor am I terribly certain about it.

    But keep in mind that what you originally were talking about was the “rebellion of the ordinary people against the political elite” (@46). And as to that latter prediction, I am certain that it will utterly fail to come true this November. Republicans taking back the House will have no impact on the power wielded by “the political elite”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell claimed (@65), “bottom line in the upcoming election is that the Republicans will retake the House and have an ample margin to defeat OBama proposals in the Senate”, which is what I assumed you actually meant, and I don’t much take issue with that prediction, though nor am I terribly certain about it.

    But keep in mind that what you originally were talking about was the “rebellion of the ordinary people against the political elite” (@46). And as to that latter prediction, I am certain that it will utterly fail to come true this November. Republicans taking back the House will have no impact on the power wielded by “the political elite”.

  • Porcell

    Don, while I’ve tended to be skeptical about Republican’s ability to change matters in Washington, just now I’m cautiously optimistic, as the Here that Codevilla presciently discussed in his Spectator will prove itself dominant. The leading young Republicans, including Ryan, Cantor, and McCarthy, are well aware that the country party has had it with the big-spending Democrats and the RINOs.

    The ruling liberal political class and the spineless Republicans who lust after Times and WAPO approval are history. Todd, our house Veith blog liberal shall have to get use to this, though it will take awhile.

    I consider Obama providential in that he has finally proved the fecklessness of the secular liberal agenda.

  • Porcell

    Don, while I’ve tended to be skeptical about Republican’s ability to change matters in Washington, just now I’m cautiously optimistic, as the Here that Codevilla presciently discussed in his Spectator will prove itself dominant. The leading young Republicans, including Ryan, Cantor, and McCarthy, are well aware that the country party has had it with the big-spending Democrats and the RINOs.

    The ruling liberal political class and the spineless Republicans who lust after Times and WAPO approval are history. Todd, our house Veith blog liberal shall have to get use to this, though it will take awhile.

    I consider Obama providential in that he has finally proved the fecklessness of the secular liberal agenda.

  • Porcell

    Sorry the Codevilla link is Here.

  • Porcell

    Sorry the Codevilla link is Here.


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