Connections

Former 1960s radical Bill Ayers appeared (as himself) in the 2002 documentary The Weather Underground, which was narrated by Lili Taylor.

Taylor was in High Fidelity with Tim Robbins who was in The Hudsucker Proxy with Steve Buscemi.

And Steve Buscemi was in Tanner on Tanner with, yes, Barack Obama.

That’s only four degrees of separation — a closer connection than either The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times was able to establish in their exhaustive attempts to find any links between the former ’60s radical and the current Democratic nominee for president.

1969simpsonGov. Sarah Palin has also recently tried to link Obama and Ayers, suggesting that Obama is somehow complicit in Weather Underground activities that took place when he was a child because he has since raised funds for poor kids’ schools in Chicago and so has Ayers. CNN debunks Palin’s claim, noting that they’re a bit late to the party what with the Times and every other news outlet — “Several other publications, including the Washington Post, Time magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, The New Yorker and The New Republic …” — having already staked and dusted the claim before Palin repeated it.

I’ve never met Ayers, and I haven’t been to Chicago in years, but I can claim a closer connection to the man than Obama has. My uncle, and namesake, is listed in Ayers’ c.v. Ayers contributed a chapter for a book* my uncle edited. It’s the very first chapter — meaning Ayers’ name in the book’s table of contents is listed directly below the name of my mother’s favorite baby brother. By Gov. Palin’s reasoning, that’d be more than enough to put me on some FBI watch list.

This kind of desperate straining to find some distant association with which to smear Barack Obama seems like a counterproductive tactic for the McCain campaign. Going after Obama with a smear that’s this obscure, this far-removed, and this baseless reinforces the perception that McCain and his hired mudslingers were unable to find anything substantial or legitimate with which to criticize his opponent. (Plus, as a general rule, when you’re trying to land a below-the-belt smear it probably shouldn’t include having to point out that your opponent has a long history of raising funds to help poor schoolchildren. That’s generally regarded as a Good Thing.)

It doesn’t speak well of Sen. McCain that his campaign is willing to rely on such silly tactics. Ten years ago I might have said that McCain was “stooping” to such tactics, but the senator has gotten lower and lower over those years, wallowing deeper and deeper in whatever filth he thought might get him elected. It’s hard to say at this point that anything is beneath him.

More to the point though, these strained attempts at guilt-by-association don’t actually prove anything. The photograph above, for example, shows the 1996 Republican nominee for vice president Jack Kemp with one of his intimate business associates — a suspected murderer who is now a convicted felon. Did Kemp’s association with this unsavory figure make the former congressman any less qualified to be Bob Dole’s running mate? I didn’t think so, but then I don’t work for the McCain campaign.

Actually, when I say that these baseless and illegitimate attacks “don’t prove anything,” that’s not quite accurate. They don’t prove anything about the person being attacked, but they do prove quite a bit about the people making the attacks. They prove the attackers to be capable of the level of dishonesty and the level of sheer silliness that ought to disqualify one from public office.

In Gov. Sarah Palin’s case, this isn’t the first time she has demonstrated such dishonesty or such silliness. Nor is this the first instance of Palin repeating something that isn’t true long after it has been thoroughly documented as untrue.

Palin’s willingness to repeat such disproven and discredited allegations confirms the dismaying pattern we saw established in her very first speech after being selected by John McCain. She says things that aren’t true. She does this a lot.

Worse than that, Palin says things that aren’t true long after it has been pointed out to her repeatedly that the things she is saying are not true. She says things that aren’t true that she knows are not true. This is called lying.

The public hasn’t been afforded the opportunity to learn very much about Gov. Sarah Palin, but this much we do know: Sarah Palin is a liar. She lies to make herself sound better than she knows herself to be and she lies to make her opponents sound worse than she knows them to be. Her lies are many and they just keep coming, from her misleading self-flattery on her role in the Bridge to Nowhere scandal, to her obstruction of the Troopergate investigation, to her recent perverse description of her role in Alaska’s efforts to divest from the Sudan. She is a serial liar.

This has now been so well documented that the closest thing to a defense of Palin isn’t a defense at all, but rather an admission. “All politicians are liars,” her defenders say. That cynical, blanket condemnation blurring all degrees and frequencies of dishonesty fails to recognize what makes the Alaska governor special. She has distinguished herself by her willingness to continue repeating her lies long after they have been thoroughly discredited. Most lying politicians either back off or change the subject when their lies are refuted, but not Palin.

And that brings us to the second thing that we have been able to learn about Gov. Sarah Palin: She views her own supporters with contempt.

However much Palin may dislike her critics, that dislike is nothing compared to the scorn, disdain and loathing she regularly displays for those who offer her only their unconditional support. She detests those people.

Palin’s supporters are, for the most part, evangelical Christians, which is to say these are my people. She feeds my people lies, with a smile on her face, convinced that they are too stupid or too lazy to know or to care that she is feeding them bullshit and calling it chocolate. These people that she is treating with such contempt and inordinate condescension are my family — both figuratively and literally.

And, yes, I find it upsetting when someone treats my family so contemptibly. It would be wrong of me to allow anyone to treat my family this way without calling them on it, so I am calling her on it: Sarah Palin is a remorseless liar with a hole where her soul should be.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

* The chapter “Work that is real: Why teachers should be empowered” in the book Empowering teachers and parents: School restructuring through the eyes of anthropologists. G. Alfred Hess, Jr., ed., Bergin and Garvey, 1992. In case you were wondering.

  • Cowboy Diva

    whew hf; I thought it was just Safari on XP.
    Of course, I’m only on safari ’cause typepad kept crashing Firefox 3.x

  • Jeff

    Does anyone know why Typepad has suddenly stopped letting me view the whole thread on preview
    Because it’s TypePad (ick! pooie!)

  • Dash

    And speaking of remarkable, or at least unexpected connections, here’s a song from Berkeley’s Starry Plough pub about Barack Obama’s Irish ancestors. The rhyming is a bit forced, but it’s got energy.

  • pharoute

    So 3 degrees for both Barack Obama and John McCain but what about Sarah Palin:
    Sarah Palin…Michael Palin…the People’s Front of Judea! And the Popular Front of Judea! And Judean People’s Front! (splitters!)

  • pharoute

    So 3 degrees for both Barack Obama and John McCain but what about Sarah Palin:
    Sarah Palin…Michael Palin…the People’s Front of Judea! And the Popular Front of Judea! And Judean People’s Front! (splitters!)

  • Anonymous

    OTOH, if submitt[ing] to authorities that went against the establishment is left-wing, that would make Neo-Nazis left-wing. Not sure that that holds water.

    Altemeyer’s definitions of “left-wing” or “right-wing” authoritarianism aren’t about the political spectrum, but about the attitude to the establishment (if I recall correclty). Hence, in the communist USSR the RWA would actually be left-wing and the LWA right-wing.
    I don’t know the details of the beliefs of Neo-Nazi groups but I think it’s possible by his definition they’re LWAs. But again he didn’t talk about them a lot, so I don’t really know.

  • http://www.kitwhitfield.com Praline

    Bob Altemeyer talked about “left-wing authoritarians”, defined as people who instead of submitting to the established authority, submitted to authorities that went against the establishment; unfortunately he doesn’t say much about them. But the point I guess is that the government* isn’t the only authority authoritarians can fall behind; it’s just the biggest one.
    There’s a chapter about them in his previous book, The Authoritarian Specter. Mostly, from what I recall, he ran into the problem that the political times in which he was gathering data didn’t provide enough revolutionary movements to bring such people out of the woodwork in statistically significant numbers. If he’d been able to work with, say, American Maoists in the 1960s, he might have had more examples, but in the past few decades, the right has been offering authoritarians a much better pitch.
    But he did discover something interesting: the combination of high RWA and high LWA could work in any variation.
    Hence, high RWA, low LWA: your basic right wing authoritarian.
    Low RWA, high LWA: difficult to find in the milieu he was using, I think.
    Low RWA, low LWA: unauthoritarians, people who tend to think for themselves.
    … and, the really scary idea:
    High in both categories; what he called ‘Wild Card Authoritarians’. People who agreed both with the proposition that we should obey the government and the revolutionary leaders. Basically, people who are attracted to authoritarianism more than anything else, more than a political system, more than the idea of social order, more than the idea of safety – and who, as a result, will follow anyone as long as they’re authoritarian.
    In re what Inge says, Altemeyer suggests that this is why movements almost always splinter into a violent and a non-violent wing – Muslims versus Islamists, Sinn Fein versus the IRA, Straight Edge kids who just don’t drink versus Straight Edge kids who beat up people who do… You get some people who are there for the politics, and some who are there for the authoritarianism, and the latter are probably Wild Card Authoritarians; they end up unable to work together.
    On another note: am I the only one who’s now finding that if I hit ‘Preview’ I see only my own comment? This is beyond a joke.

  • http://www.kitwhitfield.com Praline

    Bob Altemeyer talked about “left-wing authoritarians”, defined as people who instead of submitting to the established authority, submitted to authorities that went against the establishment; unfortunately he doesn’t say much about them. But the point I guess is that the government* isn’t the only authority authoritarians can fall behind; it’s just the biggest one.
    There’s a chapter about them in his previous book, The Authoritarian Specter. Mostly, from what I recall, he ran into the problem that the political times in which he was gathering data didn’t provide enough revolutionary movements to bring such people out of the woodwork in statistically significant numbers. If he’d been able to work with, say, American Maoists in the 1960s, he might have had more examples, but in the past few decades, the right has been offering authoritarians a much better pitch.
    But he did discover something interesting: the combination of high RWA and high LWA could work in any variation.
    Hence, high RWA, low LWA: your basic right wing authoritarian.
    Low RWA, high LWA: difficult to find in the milieu he was using, I think.
    Low RWA, low LWA: unauthoritarians, people who tend to think for themselves.
    … and, the really scary idea:
    High in both categories; what he called ‘Wild Card Authoritarians’. People who agreed both with the proposition that we should obey the government and the revolutionary leaders. Basically, people who are attracted to authoritarianism more than anything else, more than a political system, more than the idea of social order, more than the idea of safety – and who, as a result, will follow anyone as long as they’re authoritarian.
    In re what Inge says, Altemeyer suggests that this is why movements almost always splinter into a violent and a non-violent wing – Muslims versus Islamists, Sinn Fein versus the IRA, Straight Edge kids who just don’t drink versus Straight Edge kids who beat up people who do… You get some people who are there for the politics, and some who are there for the authoritarianism, and the latter are probably Wild Card Authoritarians; they end up unable to work together.
    On another note: am I the only one who’s now finding that if I hit ‘Preview’ I see only my own comment? This is beyond a joke.

  • http://drivenwide.com Nykemartyn

    Palin attacked Sen. Obama on Saturday for his brief political relationship with Bill Ayers, a founding member of the radical Weather Underground, which was involved in several bombings in the early 1970s, including attacks on the Pentagon and the Capitol. Obama was a child at the time of the bombings.
    ———————-
    Nykemartyn
    Internet Marketing

  • http://drivenwide.com Nykemartyn

    Palin attacked Sen. Obama on Saturday for his brief political relationship with Bill Ayers, a founding member of the radical Weather Underground, which was involved in several bombings in the early 1970s, including attacks on the Pentagon and the Capitol. Obama was a child at the time of the bombings.
    ———————-
    Nykemartyn
    Internet Marketing

  • Elmo

    Jeff — keep the main thread open in one tab, the comments in another.

  • Elmo

    Jeff — keep the main thread open in one tab, the comments in another.

  • Tonio

    Inge, regarding your point about fanwank, would you explain which of my posts you were addressing?

  • Tonio

    Inge, regarding your point about fanwank, would you explain which of my posts you were addressing?

  • http://www.gothhouse.org McJulie

    Praline: I, too, have found the preview hack no longer works.
    It feels like a targeted punishment thing, but it’s probably just a side effect of something getting “fixed.”

  • http://www.gothhouse.org McJulie

    Praline: I, too, have found the preview hack no longer works.
    It feels like a targeted punishment thing, but it’s probably just a side effect of something getting “fixed.”

  • Jim

    The real reason to bring up the Ayers thing has nothing to do with the truth of the matter of course. McCain’s campaign is simply trying to tie the guy with the supposedly Muslim name who lived in Indonesia to terrorism and counting on their target audience to fill in the blanks.
    Richard Nixon did something similar in the 1952 election when he accused Adlai Stevenson of being a “traitor to principles of the Democratic Party.” The “to the principles of the Democratic Party” part of the charge wasn’t as important given the context (the McCarthy era) as the word “traitor.”
    There are a few interesting “coincidences” here. Palin made her charges in Florida. McCain’s campaign admitted around the same time that McCain would cut Medicare to pay for his health care plan. McCain has to win Florida to win the presidency, and you have to wonder whether dusting off the “Obama is a secret Muslim” attacks was meant to distract the Jewish retirees who make up a large voting bloc in the state.

  • Jim

    The real reason to bring up the Ayers thing has nothing to do with the truth of the matter of course. McCain’s campaign is simply trying to tie the guy with the supposedly Muslim name who lived in Indonesia to terrorism and counting on their target audience to fill in the blanks.
    Richard Nixon did something similar in the 1952 election when he accused Adlai Stevenson of being a “traitor to principles of the Democratic Party.” The “to the principles of the Democratic Party” part of the charge wasn’t as important given the context (the McCarthy era) as the word “traitor.”
    There are a few interesting “coincidences” here. Palin made her charges in Florida. McCain’s campaign admitted around the same time that McCain would cut Medicare to pay for his health care plan. McCain has to win Florida to win the presidency, and you have to wonder whether dusting off the “Obama is a secret Muslim” attacks was meant to distract the Jewish retirees who make up a large voting bloc in the state.

  • inge

    Praline: High in both categories; what he called ‘Wild Card Authoritarians’. People who agreed both with the proposition that we should obey the government and the revolutionary leaders.
    I’ve met some of those. They’ll bow to everyone who beats them and strokes their egos.
    am I the only one who’s now finding that if I hit ‘Preview’ I see only my own comment?
    No. It’s disgusting.
    Tonio: would you explain which of my posts you were addressing?
    Oct 06, 2008 at 01:57 PM. I usually don’t hold it against entertainers if they are confused about fact vs. their preferred narrative, because I want their narrative. But politicians deal with primary world canon which is far less flexible.

  • Tonio

    But politicians deal with primary world canon which is far less flexible.
    Thanks for the clarification.
    Does it seem like Palin is more popular in the GOP base than McCain? I imagine new campaign signs with Palin’s name being larger. You’ve heard of Ponzi schemes? This would be a Fonzie scheme. Pretty soon, Palin will be living over John and Cindy’s garage, and causing jukeboxes to play when she winks.

  • Tonio

    But politicians deal with primary world canon which is far less flexible.
    Thanks for the clarification.
    Does it seem like Palin is more popular in the GOP base than McCain? I imagine new campaign signs with Palin’s name being larger. You’ve heard of Ponzi schemes? This would be a Fonzie scheme. Pretty soon, Palin will be living over John and Cindy’s garage, and causing jukeboxes to play when she winks.

  • Jeff

    BTW, I hate TypePad! Ick! Pooie!

  • Jeff

    BTW, I hate TypePad! Ick! Pooie!

  • Ember Keelty

    All right, besides being shameless begging this is MASSIVELY off-topic, and I mostly lurk on these boards anyway, so feel free to ignore me or laugh me off the thread. It’s just that this is the place I’ve seen some of the best discussions of this topic, so I thought I’d come here for help.
    I’m a college student, and I’m writing a paper on why full legal marriage is necessary to grant homosexual couples the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples, and why alternative solutions such as civil unions and private contracts are not adequate. I would greatly appreciate if someone could point me to reliable sources for facts and data that could back up this claim.
    Thank you.

  • Ember Keelty

    All right, besides being shameless begging this is MASSIVELY off-topic, and I mostly lurk on these boards anyway, so feel free to ignore me or laugh me off the thread. It’s just that this is the place I’ve seen some of the best discussions of this topic, so I thought I’d come here for help.
    I’m a college student, and I’m writing a paper on why full legal marriage is necessary to grant homosexual couples the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples, and why alternative solutions such as civil unions and private contracts are not adequate. I would greatly appreciate if someone could point me to reliable sources for facts and data that could back up this claim.
    Thank you.

  • http://d-84.livejournal.com cjmr’s husband

    Oooh, flamebait!
    The relevant fact is the Declaration of Independence. Something something something equal.

  • http://d-84.livejournal.com cjmr’s husband

    Oooh, flamebait!
    The relevant fact is the Declaration of Independence. Something something something equal.

  • Dash

    Ember Keelly, since you’re a college student, there’s a good chance there’s a LGBT equity office on your campus. They will have good source material and probably some handouts. You might also check the website of GLAAD Equality California (www.eqca.org) and http://www.freedomtomarry.org. The websites are likely to provide position papers with references to check. I’m assuming you’re already familiar with the procedures for locating relevant journal articles at the library.
    If you have a state legislator who is interested in the issue, you might also check his/her office. They often have references.
    And of course for the flipside (always important if you’re writing a persuasive paper), check out the “Proposition 8″ people in California.

  • Dash

    Ember Keelly, since you’re a college student, there’s a good chance there’s a LGBT equity office on your campus. They will have good source material and probably some handouts. You might also check the website of GLAAD Equality California (www.eqca.org) and http://www.freedomtomarry.org. The websites are likely to provide position papers with references to check. I’m assuming you’re already familiar with the procedures for locating relevant journal articles at the library.
    If you have a state legislator who is interested in the issue, you might also check his/her office. They often have references.
    And of course for the flipside (always important if you’re writing a persuasive paper), check out the “Proposition 8″ people in California.

  • cjmr


    >>am I the only one who’s now finding that if I hit ‘Preview’ I see only my own comment?
    No. It’s disgusting.

    And truly annoying, because I like to use ‘preview’ to check and see if someone else has said what I just meticulously typed out, only better or more succinctly, while I was busy typing it out.

  • cjmr


    >>am I the only one who’s now finding that if I hit ‘Preview’ I see only my own comment?
    No. It’s disgusting.

    And truly annoying, because I like to use ‘preview’ to check and see if someone else has said what I just meticulously typed out, only better or more succinctly, while I was busy typing it out.

  • Caravelle

    I’m a college student, and I’m writing a paper on why full legal marriage is necessary to grant homosexual couples the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples, and why alternative solutions such as civil unions and private contracts are not adequate.
    I read some comment thread on this very subject very recently, wasn’t it here ? Anyway, there are rights related to filing taxes or to not testifying against each other for example that can’t really be handled with private contracts.

  • Caravelle

    I’m a college student, and I’m writing a paper on why full legal marriage is necessary to grant homosexual couples the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples, and why alternative solutions such as civil unions and private contracts are not adequate.
    I read some comment thread on this very subject very recently, wasn’t it here ? Anyway, there are rights related to filing taxes or to not testifying against each other for example that can’t really be handled with private contracts.

  • http://thegreenbelt.blogspot.com The Ridger

    >>I’m a college student, and I’m writing a paper on why full legal marriage is necessary to grant homosexual couples the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples, and why alternative solutions such as civil unions and private contracts are not adequate.
    >I read some comment thread on this very subject very recently, wasn’t it here ? Anyway, there are rights related to filing taxes or to not testifying against each other for example that can’t really be handled with private contracts.
    Not to mention that those rights that can be acquired through private contracts or POAs often cost much, much more than a marriage license.

  • http://thegreenbelt.blogspot.com The Ridger

    >>I’m a college student, and I’m writing a paper on why full legal marriage is necessary to grant homosexual couples the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples, and why alternative solutions such as civil unions and private contracts are not adequate.
    >I read some comment thread on this very subject very recently, wasn’t it here ? Anyway, there are rights related to filing taxes or to not testifying against each other for example that can’t really be handled with private contracts.
    Not to mention that those rights that can be acquired through private contracts or POAs often cost much, much more than a marriage license.

  • Karen

    Ember, I would start by finding out the basic rights conveyed by marriage under your state’s laws, both common law and statutory, and go from there. For instance, spouses have the right of inheriting from each other in the absence of a will. Marriage creates that right by itself; civil unions don’t. Another is the privilege against being compelled to testify in court against the spouse. All of these rights exist at the time the marriage takes place, without any further action by the spouses. Civil unions and other “marriage-light” arrangements require formal contracts and other actions in order to create similar rights, and never quite make it.
    Also, I think it would help your piece if you include a section explaining why current marriage structure — two people — can immediately accommodate same-sex couples but cannot accommodate polygamous relationships. The current structure of marriage involves two people and there is no good argument limiting that to opposite sex couples. There is no question that the two people invovled are married to each other and only to each other. In a poly group, the law would have to settle the question of whether each member was married to each other member, only certain members, one particular member, or only to one other person. That’s just the first of many questions already settled in regular marriage.

  • Karen

    Ember, I would start by finding out the basic rights conveyed by marriage under your state’s laws, both common law and statutory, and go from there. For instance, spouses have the right of inheriting from each other in the absence of a will. Marriage creates that right by itself; civil unions don’t. Another is the privilege against being compelled to testify in court against the spouse. All of these rights exist at the time the marriage takes place, without any further action by the spouses. Civil unions and other “marriage-light” arrangements require formal contracts and other actions in order to create similar rights, and never quite make it.
    Also, I think it would help your piece if you include a section explaining why current marriage structure — two people — can immediately accommodate same-sex couples but cannot accommodate polygamous relationships. The current structure of marriage involves two people and there is no good argument limiting that to opposite sex couples. There is no question that the two people invovled are married to each other and only to each other. In a poly group, the law would have to settle the question of whether each member was married to each other member, only certain members, one particular member, or only to one other person. That’s just the first of many questions already settled in regular marriage.

  • Karen

    Oh, and more related to the original post, here is a collection of nonsensical arguments about why it matters than Obama was on the same board of directors as Bill Ayers. The poster never answers the question of why being associated with a guy who was connected, but not responsible, for three deaths and all of those members of his own group, while the Republican Party’s continued affection for actual mass murderer Henry Kissinger* isn’t a big deal.
    *Kissinger was the person who crafted most of the Nixon administration foreign policy, including bombing formally neutral Cambodia and overthrowing it’s popular king, which led directly to the triumph of the Khmer Rouge. That’s not even mentioning things like Kissinger’s insistence that the South Vietnamese reject a truce in 1970 that gave them a much more stable state than the reprehensible deal he abandoned them to in 1974.

  • Karen

    Oh, and more related to the original post, here is a collection of nonsensical arguments about why it matters than Obama was on the same board of directors as Bill Ayers. The poster never answers the question of why being associated with a guy who was connected, but not responsible, for three deaths and all of those members of his own group, while the Republican Party’s continued affection for actual mass murderer Henry Kissinger* isn’t a big deal.
    *Kissinger was the person who crafted most of the Nixon administration foreign policy, including bombing formally neutral Cambodia and overthrowing it’s popular king, which led directly to the triumph of the Khmer Rouge. That’s not even mentioning things like Kissinger’s insistence that the South Vietnamese reject a truce in 1970 that gave them a much more stable state than the reprehensible deal he abandoned them to in 1974.

  • Cowboy Diva

    Perhaps a better tack for Ember would be to argue against the concept of formalized marriage altogether; from a western christian standpoint there is really nothing sacred about the nuclear family unit that a government needs to support much less encourage, whether from a tax perspective or any of the other 3000 benefits given to married individuals under current US law.
    By the way, I would forgo facts and data as unimportant trivia; it has been demonstrated by many of our elected and appointed officials (again, US-centric; apologies) lately that unimpeachable sources such as fact and researched data are not as good as lies and made-up numbers when trying to further your agenda.

  • Cowboy Diva

    Perhaps a better tack for Ember would be to argue against the concept of formalized marriage altogether; from a western christian standpoint there is really nothing sacred about the nuclear family unit that a government needs to support much less encourage, whether from a tax perspective or any of the other 3000 benefits given to married individuals under current US law.
    By the way, I would forgo facts and data as unimportant trivia; it has been demonstrated by many of our elected and appointed officials (again, US-centric; apologies) lately that unimpeachable sources such as fact and researched data are not as good as lies and made-up numbers when trying to further your agenda.

  • http://vicwelle.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/am-i-friends-with-a-terrorist-sympathizer/ victoria

    After commenting here, I got my friend’s permission to write about her connection to Bill Ayers. Click on my name for the link.

  • http://vicwelle.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/am-i-friends-with-a-terrorist-sympathizer/ victoria

    After commenting here, I got my friend’s permission to write about her connection to Bill Ayers. Click on my name for the link.

  • Reynard

    Posted by Cowboy Diva: During election years local candidates find a constituent with a nice (classics are considered a nice touch) car, plaster it with placards and walk in front of it flinging candy at children and 4-color brochures at their parents.
    I watched as the person next to me (as she explained for her friend standing with her) based her vote on whether or not a candidate made eye contact with her children.
    Not on issues, not on past tenure in an elected office, but on whether some stranger smiled at her children while giving them something to rot their teeth.
    We can talk about tribalism, and we can talk about lying with impunity to them what think they know you, but in truth there are times when even that doesn’t get to the lowest denominator.

    I can only wonder how she’d react if that smiling candidate who’d caught her children’s eyes and, possibly because of her vote, was now in office turned out to be a child molester…
    P.S. Typepad has been screwing with me too. It no longer works in my Safari 3.1.2 (Mac OS 10.4.11) It keeps telling me that the Typepad server is down. I’m currently having to use my venerable, buggy, Netscape 7.2 .
    Bummer…

  • Reynard

    Posted by Cowboy Diva: During election years local candidates find a constituent with a nice (classics are considered a nice touch) car, plaster it with placards and walk in front of it flinging candy at children and 4-color brochures at their parents.
    I watched as the person next to me (as she explained for her friend standing with her) based her vote on whether or not a candidate made eye contact with her children.
    Not on issues, not on past tenure in an elected office, but on whether some stranger smiled at her children while giving them something to rot their teeth.
    We can talk about tribalism, and we can talk about lying with impunity to them what think they know you, but in truth there are times when even that doesn’t get to the lowest denominator.

    I can only wonder how she’d react if that smiling candidate who’d caught her children’s eyes and, possibly because of her vote, was now in office turned out to be a child molester…
    P.S. Typepad has been screwing with me too. It no longer works in my Safari 3.1.2 (Mac OS 10.4.11) It keeps telling me that the Typepad server is down. I’m currently having to use my venerable, buggy, Netscape 7.2 .
    Bummer…

  • http://www.kitwhitfield.com Praline

    Ember: I’d recommend you to read this article. It’s not statistics, but it is a well-argued piece of activism from a bi woman who took advantage of the Califorina ruling to marry her partner, and might give some food for thought. Another interesting article from her here about the effect same sex marriages have on society.
    Also here, she quote a statistic:
    As of right now, five months after New Jersey’s Civil Union Law took effect, at least 1 out of every 7 civil-union couples in New Jersey are not getting their civil unions recognized by their employers.
    If anyone’s reading this from work, be advised Greta Christina’s blog may not be entirely worksafe, as she blogs about sex – but if you’re a student, presumably you have more leeway.

  • http://www.kitwhitfield.com Praline

    Ember: I’d recommend you to read this article. It’s not statistics, but it is a well-argued piece of activism from a bi woman who took advantage of the Califorina ruling to marry her partner, and might give some food for thought. Another interesting article from her here about the effect same sex marriages have on society.
    Also here, she quote a statistic:
    As of right now, five months after New Jersey’s Civil Union Law took effect, at least 1 out of every 7 civil-union couples in New Jersey are not getting their civil unions recognized by their employers.
    If anyone’s reading this from work, be advised Greta Christina’s blog may not be entirely worksafe, as she blogs about sex – but if you’re a student, presumably you have more leeway.

  • Nenya

    Does it seem like Palin is more popular in the GOP base than McCain?
    Hmm, it depends. My first thought was to say “heck yes!” given the enthusiasm of her fans. (Such as some of my beloved, but Republican, cousins posting to Facebook.) Some people (not my cousins, I hope) are praying that McCain does die and leave the presidency to her. On the other hand, I hear that some of the conservatives who aren’t fundamentalists are quite leery of her, and wish McCain hadn’t picked someone so extreme. I am wondering how this will affect the voting–I don’t know how many people are planning to switch their votes to Obama (I’ve heard of a few who are), but will some McCain voters stay home? Will that be more or less than the number who are energized by her RTCness and hockey-momness?
    For myself, I find Palin more interesting. John McCain bores me to death, even while I know his policies are dangerous. I do think the Obama/Biden tactic of keeping the focus on McCain and not getting distracted by Palin is sound–McCain’s the one running the show (as much as either of them are, anyway). Despite some people’s hopes/other people’s fears, McCain, not Palin, will be the one who becomes president in January if Obama (God forbid) doesn’t.
    Also, fie upon TypePad for the latest bit of screwing with us. I do imagine they’re fixing some bug and that’s resulted in us not being able to use Preview to see all the posts, but it really sucks that we are now forced to use the pagination. AND there still is no “first” or “last” link. *sigh*
    I don’t suppose they’ve changed the settings, either, such that Fred can set it to show all the comments at once again. I know when they first did the pagination, Fred said he could choose 25 or 50 comments per page, but nothing else. It seems to be a case of TypePad deciding what they think we should want (shorter pages) at the expense of what we really want (fewer clickthroughs). I’m guessing they haven’t really surveyed various blogs to see how they like it. Maybe we’ll have to go complain.

  • Nenya

    Does it seem like Palin is more popular in the GOP base than McCain?
    Hmm, it depends. My first thought was to say “heck yes!” given the enthusiasm of her fans. (Such as some of my beloved, but Republican, cousins posting to Facebook.) Some people (not my cousins, I hope) are praying that McCain does die and leave the presidency to her. On the other hand, I hear that some of the conservatives who aren’t fundamentalists are quite leery of her, and wish McCain hadn’t picked someone so extreme. I am wondering how this will affect the voting–I don’t know how many people are planning to switch their votes to Obama (I’ve heard of a few who are), but will some McCain voters stay home? Will that be more or less than the number who are energized by her RTCness and hockey-momness?
    For myself, I find Palin more interesting. John McCain bores me to death, even while I know his policies are dangerous. I do think the Obama/Biden tactic of keeping the focus on McCain and not getting distracted by Palin is sound–McCain’s the one running the show (as much as either of them are, anyway). Despite some people’s hopes/other people’s fears, McCain, not Palin, will be the one who becomes president in January if Obama (God forbid) doesn’t.
    Also, fie upon TypePad for the latest bit of screwing with us. I do imagine they’re fixing some bug and that’s resulted in us not being able to use Preview to see all the posts, but it really sucks that we are now forced to use the pagination. AND there still is no “first” or “last” link. *sigh*
    I don’t suppose they’ve changed the settings, either, such that Fred can set it to show all the comments at once again. I know when they first did the pagination, Fred said he could choose 25 or 50 comments per page, but nothing else. It seems to be a case of TypePad deciding what they think we should want (shorter pages) at the expense of what we really want (fewer clickthroughs). I’m guessing they haven’t really surveyed various blogs to see how they like it. Maybe we’ll have to go complain.

  • Tonio

    Some people (not my cousins, I hope) are praying that McCain does die and leave the presidency to her. On the other hand, I hear that some of the conservatives who aren’t fundamentalists are quite leery of her, and wish McCain hadn’t picked someone so extreme.
    There’s something deeply unsettling about the former. That division you describe sounds like the division in the GOP during the Watergate years. As Nixon’s culpability became clearer, his base in Congress gradually shrunk to just a handful of older Southern ideologues. Perhaps Palin’s candidacy is really a litmus test for ideological rigidity.
    On another forum, I heard someone (don’t know the party) declare that if McCain wins, he would volunteer for Secret Service duty, just so he would take a bullet if necessary to keep Palin from becoming President.
    Typepad has been screwing with me too. It no longer works in my Safari 3.1.2 (Mac OS 10.4.11) It keeps telling me that the Typepad server is down. I’m currently having to use my venerable, buggy, Netscape 7.2.
    Have you tried Google Chrome, which uses Safari’s rendering engine? I didn’t know many people were still using Netscape – I had assumed that most had switched over to Firefox.


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