Reactions, Media "errors" and more

Button, button, who’s got the button? McCain/Palin merchandise is flying off the shelves.

Meanwhile, my pal Shana (she runs that rosary bracelet business in the right column ad) reports that she’s enjoying watching her buttons run huge numbers popular on facebook flair – not that I actually know what that means – but if you want to make your own buttons, while you’re waiting for “official” ones, these Palin vs Obama buttons are getting a lot of hits here.

Although I must say I like the look of the bigger, shinier McCain/Palin Audacity & Hope Button, myself!

11:39 PM

Campbell Brown invests two solid hours into bashing Gov. Palin? It’s the sisterhood again! (See my post at 9:37 PM)

Two hours of interviews with focus groups of supposed independent women who naturally don’t like her; an interview with the former state trooper Palin supposedly abused her power to get fired (he admits to tazing Palin’s 11-year-old nephew, by the way); interviews with a bunch of Alaskans who don’t like her (with an 86% approval rating that took some work); an entire segment — teased throughout the hour — devoted to exposing the truth behind Palin putting the governor’s plane on Ebay (Gasp, it didn’t sell on Ebay, but she still put it on Ebay Campbell)… And of course the new liberal media meme – being led by Roger Simon who practically broke down crying over it on Hardball – Palin must take tough questions from the same hostile, liberal, in-the-tank-for-Obama media who spent four days trashing her and her family.

Things got so bad Bay Buchanan finally called her on it. Brown responded by accusing Bay of using Republican talking points. Classy.

For two full hours it was segment after segment of the worst kind of attack journalism.

Because that’s done so much for their bottom lines, and their credibility, already. Also, let’s get some criticism of her parenting going, (H/T) because people appreciate seeing parents second-guessed and will not self-identify with Palin. My GAWD what idiots. See also. 10:26 PM

Gerard Baker, the man who brought you Biblical Obama now brings you, It’s Palin, Go West…

The very fact that Mrs Palin didn’t go to elite schools but succeeded nonetheless – the very ordinariness with which she so piquantly jabbed Mr Obama on Wednesday – is what will make her so appealing to Americans. And as a pro-life conservative she debunks in one swoop the enduring myth that all women subscribe to the obligatory nostrums of radical feminism.

But there’s more to it than that.

You’ll want to read it all. 10:10 PM

Can someone tell me what this is? I don’t get it. I mean, you know…on some things I’m dumber than on others. This, I don’t get. It’s above my pay grade! Help me! 10:03 PM

I dunno, this whole amorphous “community organizer” position and issue is getting weird to me. And, apparently, it’s a little weird to Sen. Obama, too. – H/T Larwyn 9:58 PM

With the Bigtime Official Women of Bigtime Official Feminism dissing Gov. Palin
, I keep saying, “so much for sisterhood;” we always knew it only existed for the “right sort” of women anyway. But…there is a “Sisterhood of Sarah” of sorts. Seems authentic, anyway. 9:37 PM

When I didn’t love Hillary they told me I “hated” strong women; now they emphatically hate a strong woman, but in my email, somehow I’m still a “resentful idiot.” Hey, I’m not the one who keeps changing the rules! Like…I thought tax-exempt organizations were not supposed to endorse candidates. Is that rule over? I always miss the announcements. 9:26 PM

I love this stuff. Other interesting archaeological finds you may have missed. 9:18 PM

Dr. Sanity: Oh, did you draw a line, there? 9:17 PM

Joke of the Night 9:16 PM

Astroturfing: It could also be called, try to prove a negative. But I like “astroturfing” – laying something down that looks fine from a distance but is fake, fake, fake. 5:31 PM

What does it take for Palin to get a correction from the Professional Journalists? Bumped up from 1:10 PM: The Fuzzy Math of the Press by John Ham, about all those social programs Gov. Palin has “heartlessly cut!” Um, except, no, she hasn’t. Lorie Byrd sends this along and says “the Washington Post still has not issued a retraction or correction…” Byrd hopes to help correct the record that the “mediating intelligences and gatekeepers” in the press are umm…skewing. I’m sure Lorie will have to repeat herself again and again, aren’t you? Nothing is simple in politics; especially not the truth. 5:22 PM

You must watch this video. You must. Religious Fundamentalism at its most raw and interesting!

I think our excessive dependence upon instrumentation does come between us and our instincts, but I can’t help thinking that if these people would just become Catholic and avail themselves of the free-and-strictly confidential sacrament of reconciliation, they’d have less need for this sort of exhibitionism and catharsis. I’ve always been interested in how the rise of the self-help movement mirrored the decline of participation in reconciliation.

UPDATE: Is it satire? I don’t know, but great satire is rooted in truth, right? We’ve certainly seen some like behavior from environmentalists (and other religious folk).

And yes, Carolina Cannonball does find the oddest most unique stuff! And yes, extreme environmentalism is certainly a kind of religion, with all of the over and undertones, the sins, rituals, sacraments and even the savior (in their case, Al Gore). And if it isn’t religion, it’s still alarmism. I’ve never been much for doomsday scenarios, myself. 3:42 PM

Identity Theft: For when you hate yourself, and the clown you’ve become. 3:33 PM

“Public Allies,” has anyone heard of this? 3:24 PM

Standing in the trenches, or the lines, today, to try to see McCain/Palin. $10.00 parking and I’m betting no press pictures of the crowds, but this blogger may post some later. More here. 3:17 PM

Making a cop’s job even harder. Because that works so well in England. 3:05 PM

Was Bobby Kennedy selfish to seek office? “Why can’t they take the time to demand that their side hold a woman to the same standard they would hold a man of their own party?” A different perspective and an interesting read. 2:38 PM

Revealing the bugs under
the rock of “tolerance”. It only counts if you’re the right sort of person to be tolerated. 2:36 PM

In the NY Times, it’s “Mrs.” Clinton and “Ms.” Palin
. Deacon Greg explains why (H/T Reader Ryan for the question). 2:32 PM

The Democrats Control Both Houses of Congress. just saying. In case you were wondering. 2:27 PM

Sarah Cruise-Missile? I called her an “alpha female grizzly” in the wee small hours. Some quotes from Hanson:

The Geraldine Ferraro Democratic Vice Presidential nominee appointment was an inspired stroke of genius that advanced the cause of feminism; Palin’s was tawdry tokenism.

Insulting “small town mayors” and “good looking” women is funny; suggesting that “community organizing” is often a farce is a felony.

Joe Biden bravely continued as Senator after the tragic death of his wife and daughter left his injured young sons with a single parent; Sarah Palin selfishly shorted her children by running for VP and endangered her infants by flying while pregnant.

Criticizing Clinton’s engaging in sex in the oval office and lying about it to the American people were once “the politics of personal destruction”; lying that Sarah Palin might not have been the mother of her 5th child is the mere overreach of the blogs caused by the improper vetting of the McCain campaign.2:20 PM

Someone must have had wild dreams of success, or they wouldn’t have planned it. More: Is Hope a Strategy? 2:14 PM

From Kesler: A rather intriguing video, an Iraq vet talks to Sen. Obama. The vet, Joe Cook, is one of those easily-denigrated “small town” people, who elect folks like Sarah Palin to be their Mayor and their Governor. More on Cook, and that small-town spirit and quiet heroism that is so “corny” and so “typically American” here. Frank Capra would have loved this story. And it has the added effect of being true. 2:02 PM

Jennifer Rubin: On the floor during Palin’s speech. Um, the convention floor. 2:00PM

A request for Anna’s Butter Cookies 1:41 PM

Bishops of San Fran:
Naaancy, you have some ‘splainin’ to do!” Not all are impressed with the Bishop. 1:34 PM

More Palin fun facts 1:32 PM

Dumb memes: “Jesus was a community organizer; Pilate was a Governor?” No. He is Messiah, the One. Pilate was a Procurator. They happen every election, these dumb memes, but Treacher is clever about them

I think it’s a mistake for left or right to play these games, but here’s more: Bull Connor was a community organizer; Wallace was a Governor. Sigh. Gonna get ugly. Needlessly ugly. 1:27 PM

Another “quote of the day?: Pretty clever (Thanks, Lar) 1:21 PM

Lorie Byrd: Palin owes the Dems. Yes, it’s true. But I think the Dems gaining 10 million in contributions after her speech has kind of paid down that debt! Also, it’s very good that the Dems are putting this petty pique to rest 1:18 PM

Hey, thanks guys! That’s pretty nice! 1:14 PM

The Fuzzy Math of the Press: John Ham

Yesterday, Paul Kane of The Washington Post reported that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had “slashed funding for teen moms.” Kane based his story on a page from Alaska’s budget, which had hand-written line-item changes showing the amount going to Covenant House had been changed from $5 million to $3.9 million.

You can probably tell where this is going. It turns out that $5 million is the highball request for Covenant House and the $3.9 million is what Palin felt the agency deserved. As it happens, the $3.9 million actually represented a three-fold increase over the previous year. It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a “slash” in the budget.

The Washington Post has not yet corrected this mistake, which resulted in The New York Times running the same mistake today.

As an editor for many years, I can tell you that reporters are notoriously poor at math, but this is getting ridiculous. It’s happened again.

1:10 PM

The Anti-Palin “October Surprise”: Wooten is such an unsympathetic character that the Dems will be using “Alaskan process” to try to hurt Palin. That doesn’t sound like ignoring her. More here 1:05 PM

Keeping count of who attacked more, Obama or Palin. Also, it goes on and on 1:00 PM

A 15 inch waist? Of course, as my friend Bev says, it does make her hips look big. 12:57 PM

Is Oprah afraid of Sarah Palin? Oh, come on, I’m just teasing because it sort of ties into this piece, and the question of whether Sen. Obama is afraid of Gov. Palin. And anyway, the Oprah people are denying that this is true:

At the beginning of this Presidential campaign when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates.

Good call, I’d say, especially when her initial steps into endorsing Obama cost her viewers and ratings.

Oprah is perfectly entitled to invite whoever she wants on her show. It’s her show. She’s also entitled to support her own candidate (although I wonder if someone will, sooner or later, talk about “in kind contributions” in the media) But much of her audience is comprised of people who are like Sarah Palin and who like her. Oprah is being careful not to alienate a large slice of her audience. That’s probably why, when President Bush asked her to go talk to the women of Afghanistan, she refused him, too. It was perfectly within her right to do so.

Ed Morrissey wonders, too, if Oprah is afraid.

I wonder if some of this is the Mickey Kaus strategy: “ignore Palin. Just ignore her, and we’ll win.” But I don’t get a sense that Palin is a woman who can be ignored. And frankly, ignoring her and closing doors to her just makes the Dems look, yes, terrified. 12:52 PM

Redemption for Peggy Noonan?: After writing the other day, “Gone in 60 seconds: Peggy Noonan’s credibility”, Deacon Greg finds her back in form in her review of Palin’s convention speech, and he culls this as his quote of the day: “She has the power of the normal.” 12:43 PM

Quinn again, begin again: Sally Quinn has demonstrated more than once that she is rather clueless about the household of faith, and about the sensibilities of the faithful, yet she writes a weekly column on faith for WaPo/Newsweek. In that capacity she throws up this travesty of a piece, displaying for all the world to see how utterly she lacks understanding of either the modern conservative woman, or those people of faith who embrace dogma and doctrines to enhance their understandings and worship. It seems to me if she’s going to write this column, she needs to actually get to know the sorts of people she’s writing about, like Catholics who mind when non-Catholics take communion and then lecture them about it (with a taste review of the Host, for good measure) or – you know, those mindless creatures: conservative women. Attorney Athena de Paul, ably takes on the task of responding to Quinn It is too good to excerpt fairly – you’ll want to go read it:

…after both conventions, it looks like this election is going to degenerate, as so many do, into an all-out culture war. It’s fair for you to raise questions, but the vitriol coming your way stems from the assumptions underlying your concerns (the naivete, the lack of integrity, the simple-minded understanding of the role of formal religion). It’s particularly galling to be called to account for one’s faith to, of all people, the founder of “On Faith”!

Quinn – and perhaps Democrats in general – should perhaps try to meet up and actually get to know some women like DePaul – maybe then they would put away the stereotype they seem to carry about conservative women, that they are all an amalgam of The Stepford Wives and Kathy Bates in Misery. 12:20 PM

Tensions at CBS last night, from emailer TK:

Last night there was an interesting moment in the CBS coverage: Jeff Greenfield (former RFK speechwriter) was underwhelmed by the McCain speech. And Bob Schieffer interjected, “Well, I have to strongly disagree.” And he explained, very coherently and sensibly, why it was effective and played well in the hall. You could cut the tension with a knife.

Interesting. I wonder if Schieffer will get the first big Palin interview for that? Hey, not being cynical, just asking! I kinda like auld Schieffer, as I’ve written here. 11:59 AM

Why 2008 is shaping up to be A Millenial Election, Complete with Savior and Devil Icons. 11:51 AM

Children’s books for the candidates!
This is a pretty cool idea! Your kids hear you jammering on about both candidates, why not buy them some books and let them “vote” based on their gleanings? If my kids were little, I would definitely do that. These both look interesting: Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope and My Dad, John McCain. 11:50 AM

My Li’l Bro Thom sends appreciation of this little clip in the NY Times piece I cite here, “Advisers to Mrs. Clinton said that she stood ready to help the Obama-Biden ticket, but they urged the campaign not to overestimate the impact Mrs. Clinton could have, noting that she had other commitments this fall, like campaigning and raising money for Senate candidates.”

Writes Thom: Guess she’s got more important things to do now, huh? 11:47 AM

Melissa Clouthier on stale identity politics. 11:39 AM Widgets

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Klaire

    As for Jeff Greenfield, I DID catch that last night. However, after Liberman’s speech, I started channel flipping (prefer to watch the original on CSpan) specifically to hear the network anchor reactions, and watched Geenfield BLOW UP, totally biased. (paraphrased; doing this from memory), “Well, Satan has just entered the Vatican; never thought I would see it.” It wasn’t pretty, and Greenfield wasn’t hiding any emotion.

    [Yikes, Klaire, I never heard of that - where did you see it? - admin]

  • DWiss

    If it’s possible to subtly throw somone under the bus, that’s what Hillary has done to Obama. It’s obvious that she wnats him to lose so she gets another shot in 2012. But wait! Now there’s Sarah! McCain wins in November,serves 8; Palin wins in 2016, serves 8. Now it’s 2024 and Hillary is about 74 years old. Too old? According to her, yes. Plus, she wouldn’t be the first woman president. Curses! Foiled again! I’m not counting my chickens yet, but I like that scenario.

  • a. depaul

    Oh my goodness – Thank you for your kind words! I’m so happy that someone actually cared enough to read what I wrote that it edges out the humiliation I feel at the verbosity and the errors.

  • lisapope

    I totally disagree with you on this one Anchoress!

    Oprah is perfectly entitled to invite whoever she wants on her show. It’s her show. She’s also entitled to support her own candidate

    SHE “introduced Obama to her woman audience and went on the record as a supporter–”

    With that being said–she “isn’t allowing her show to be a Platform”–OK–then just have her on and “introduce her” and not allow her to use her show as a platform–just let the American people meet her informally–

    This WILL backlash–I’m bettin she gets “DIXIE CHICKED”!
    (hope so)

  • HNAV

    Peggy Noonan lost her credibility a long time ago, it is doubtful it can be regained.

    Ms. Noonan went very cynical after the 2004 Election. Almost as if she had been influenced by the likes of the NBC-MSNBC-Mathews-Hardball Crowd far too much. She and Mr. Frum seemed to suffer from professional jealously with the very lofty, but worthy Bush Administration expression at the time.

    Ms. Noonan was never the same.

    Gov. Palin comes from a different Universe, than the Elite World of Ms. Noonan. The excitement about Palin is more to do with her Outsider quality, her authentic nature, as compared to the lackluster Washington Beltway Establishment which Noonan has excelled.

    Gov. Palin is accomplished, but not in the Elite Environment. An American ‘can do’ who works very hard, is very productive, truly optimistic, and very honest, strong, decent.

    Gov. Palin encounters similar opposition in some ways, as those from Washington, the Beltway, who despised Romney for his vivid success as an Outsider within the Free Market.

    Sure, Palin’s background may be far more ‘low brow’ in comparison to former Gov. Romney. The rural stereotype often blinds the self proclaimed Intellectual Elite, to the substance of that which they consider lacking. But like Romney, the Palin Family has become a success within the American Free Market, which is counter to the entrenched Populace who made careers in the US Government, or the Partisans in the Media who strive to ‘make a difference’ under the guise of Journalism.

    Gov. Bush experienced similar problems as a proven CEO coming from Texas, as the Liberal Democrats demeaned his intellect, often debasing his accent and style of expression. It didn’t matter, that Bush had better grades and a more impressive background than both Gore or Kerry. Liberal Democrats still believe Bush is not as bright as their desired Presidential Candidates. Basis, factual evidence be damned.

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    Redemption for Peggy Noonan?

    (derisive laugh) No.

    Redemption requires contrition and some gesture of penance, neither of which have been offered by Miss Noonan. Redemption requires acknowledging that you previously said that the selection was “bullsh*t.” Redemption requires that you admit to yourself, as well as the world, that it is you (Miss Noonan) who has been incredibly out of touch while living in your NY elitist wonderland.

    She did none of those things. Indeed, she ends her current piece with a snark at McCain.

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    I wonder if Schieffer will get the first big Palin interview

    I haven’t seen Bob Schieffer since hardly ever, but he does not strike me as a rabid “gotcha” reporter. Maybe he has tried it, but such things have gotten easily swatted away. Even so, an old guy will likely be charmed by a smart, engaging, attractive woman.

    The key to all these interviews — whether of Palin or McCain — is to absolutely refuse to allow the press to play their gotcha games. And so they should refuse to be interviewed by anyone who has a propensity to play that game. They should refuse to reward such obnoxious, non-news relevant behavior.

    At NBC, I would look at perhaps going back to Maria Bartiromo, who interviewed Palin previously for CNBC, although Brian Williams is not much of a gotcha guy either. At Fox, Chris Wallace has always seemed pretty fair, and Brit Hume could be given a plum because he’s bowing out. For ABC, ???? Cokie Roberts maybe? And CNN, well Larry King is also subject to being charmed, and he doesn’t have the arm anymore to throw the fastball. For harder news, perhaps Wolf Blitzer is the best of the bad.

  • amcalabrese

    >Is Oprah afraid of Sarah Palin?

    Of COURSE Oprah is afraid of Governor Palin. All sane, rational creatures fear her. Did you see what she did to that bear? And let’s not forget the caribou.

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  • Gina

    Exhibit B in the “Stupidest Strategy in History” file, right after poking a bear mama in the eye:

    Spending a week telling us that McCain was pathetic and insulting for thinking that a token woman was going to draw women voters, and then sending out token women to draw women voters.

    This is great political theater (comedy, of course)! You can’t make this stuff up! I thought the Obama campaign was supposed to be savvy.

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  • Scott H

    I must say, what infuriates me the most about all of the ‘she should be at home raising her kids’ memes is that it totally ignores Gov. Palin’s husband. TACIT in the meme is that he has no role in raising his kids, and I see very few people point out this flaw in the reasoning. Doing so would be a very useful tool in avoiding the TFT that inevitably occurs.

    I have noticed HotAir and others noting that Palin’s approval rating is even higher with men than with women. Mr. Morrissey (sp?) is a bit puzzled by that, and there’s an easy answer: chivalry. It ain’t dead.

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  • roylofquist

    I have always liked Schiefer. There is absolutely no doubt about his political leanings but, like Russert, he tries very hard to be fair and square with both sides. I think he would be a real good fit for Fox.

  • Joseph

    Anchoress, I’m beginning to think you should do a little less linking and a little more writing. Most of this is material you have gone through over and over, and you are merely rotating new villains to hiss at through the same stage scenery. I think Sarah Palin has shown us enough about herself that there are whole new issues to be framed about her beyond how much intolerant feminists and liberals have hated her and trashed her.

    For example, let me put some hypothetical questions: How many of your women readers would vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstances? Would you vote for her under any circumstances? How about Nancy Pelosi? Now my best guess is that the answers would be none and no. If those are the correct answers, it would obviously be because of the fact that these two women oppose your deeply held views on almost all social issues. I, for one, would never expect you to abandon your deeply held views and vote for either of them because they are two “strong women”.

    So why should we expect any woman who holds the same views as Clinton or Pelosi, and holds them as strongly as you do yours, to vote for John McCain merely because Sarah Palin is a “strong woman”? Is there anything inherent, for example, in an “anti-abortion” view that makes you able to hold it more strongly, and resist this temptation, than Josephina [my imaginary feminine twin] holds her “pro-choice” view?

    Looked at this way a lot of the response to Sarah Palin by conservatives turns into naive gush, particularly the Democrats-better-watch-out-how-they-treat-Sarah-Palin variety, and the Sarah Barracuda variety.

    Republican women love Sarah Palin, conservative women love Sarah Palin, conservative Christian women love Sarah Palin. Duh!

    Are any of these women likely to vote for Barack Obama under any circumstances? I doubt it. So what all this does is it returns us to the issues that Sarah Palin really cares about, and the actual things she has accomplished up in Alaska.

    If the way the convention went is any indication, we should all be very afraid that Sarah Palin is going to be strongly coached to say nothing but “drill baby drill”, and then bash Obama and Biden for the rest of the speech, at every campaign stop. If so, it will not only [I think] be absolutely deadly for the McCain campaign it will also be a crying shame.

    In her speech Sarah Palin actually presented more specific, definite, and concrete accomplishments in a couple of years as Governor of Alaska than anybody has so far been able to present about John McCain’s 26 years in the United States Senate! All we really know after a shortened week’s hoopla is that Joe Lieberman thinks McCain is a mensch and Fred Thompson regards him as a mentor and father figure.

    Those facts should bring anyone up short. Palin’s accomplishments are not arbitrary and accidental, they derive directly from her other views on political and social issues.

    I also greatly fear that Sarah Palin is going to be coached to underplay her views on abortion, creationist education, gun control, and a whole host of other “culture wars” issues for the sake of cultivating her appeal to “undecided women voters”. This would also be a crying shame and a deadly mistake.

    Now, of course, I can’t do anything about it, but you and your fellow bloggers just might be able to if you can let go of Oprah Winfrey, Peggy Noonan, and the Washington Post long enough to re-set the stage and put Sarah Palin back on it.

  • Klaire

    About that Cannonball video…not to sure it’s satire. I live in California and just last month witnessed a “religous” experience in the Catfood aisle at Walmart.

    You had to see this to believe it; the catfood meltdown. As I was looking for the Friskies, the girl beside me was quickly “melting down.” Her mother was with her, and finally asked her WHAT is wrong with you, to which she admitted, “I can’t, can’t, (sob sob sob), believe they would put MEAT, MEAT in catfood. How will this planet ever survive?”

    Her mom was sort of clueless, so then the poor girl had to go into the Al Gore speech, and how it was her DUTY, through her cat, to AT LEAST, do her small bit. It then occured to me that I had already put the “Beef with gravy” into my cart. I gave a quick look and BOLTED; wasn’t having that fight! THAT is a true story, unless of course, I missed the candid camera.

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  • dellbabe68

    I really love Mr. Baker’s columns. He brings clarity to issues in a way our own press is unable to because they are so invested in a particular outcome.

    I am not surprised nor upset at Oprah. It’s her show. Her readers/viewers will give her some hell. I’m content to allow that to make its mark. But I do relish the idea that she will eventually have Sarah Palin on, and hopefully it will be as Vice President.

    Isn’t the “how can she be a good Mom?” meme something to behold?! Really now. What about Palin’s hubby taking on primary child care duties? Isn’t this a perscription for all the feminists think is wrong with the world, or do they just appreciate that when it’s on their side of the fence? Ut-oh, their souls are showing!

    On Peggy Noonan. I like her and am only a new convert to her columns. But I am glad to see a chink in the armor if only because (and I don’t normally require this) I have always had to slow my heartbeat down in order to take her whole column in. I always thought it was me but no, she’s human afterall.

    How about Nancy Pelosi? Good on the Bishops for speaking up. I’m sure you all appreciate it the way I do. I’m glad the time period for them remaining silent in the press is over. I think it is part of a larger plan on the Church’s part to not be steamrolled anymore and I’m so very grateful for it!

  • pbuchta

    Senator Clinton to ‘take on’ Sarah Palin.

    [Edited to admit link - admin]

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  • roylofquist

    Peggy Noonan is a superb writer. She has an audience. It buys the groceries. She has changed over the years. I think it is a combination of cynicism and lost glory. But she can still write the Penny Dreadfuls.

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  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    So why should we expect any woman who holds the same views as Clinton or Pelosi, and holds them as strongly as you do yours, to vote for John McCain merely because Sarah Palin is a “strong woman”?

    Just a quick comment on this — and I know that some folks will not like to hear it, but a woman who holds the same views as Hillary or Pelosi is instrinsically more likely to vote for Palin than vice versa because Palin (at least what we have seen of her) embodies a truer and more authentic concept of “woman,” and she is closer to their own intrisic nature of womanhood, than do/are Hillary or Pelosi, or more specifically, than do the political philosophies of Hillary and Pelosi.

    Conversely, a woman who holds the same views as Palin or our dear Anchoress would not be more likely to vote for Hillary or Pelosi because both of those latter women subscribe to an ideology that is contrary to the very nature of woman.

    Even though some might intellectually be pro-choice, or go even further and be pro-abortion, they cannot be true to their conscience (what is “written in their hearts”) if they deny the inherent fertility and fruitfulness of woman, if they blind themselves to the one thing that differentiates a woman from a man.

    Man, i.e. male and female, is by his very nature both relational (spousal) and parental. For man (male), that means he is inherently spousal and paternal. For woman, that means that she is inherently spousal and maternal. While one might adopt certain ideologies intellectually, this truth of the human person is nevertheless present in the center of our being. Even a pro-choice/pro-abort woman cannot evade her own feminine nature, her own spousal/maternal nature, and she is intrisically drawn to it because it is the truth of her being.

    Palin embodies and espouses the truth of the human person that we call woman, and the truth of the human person that we call man, needing and complementing each other in equality. On the other hand, Hillary and Pelosi have pursued ideologies that are contrary to the inherent diginity of woman, ideologies that are lies against the truth of woman, all in favor of power — “empowering” women — pitting woman against man in a struggle for dominance. Pitting woman against her own maternal nature in a power struggle for dominance even over innocent little babies.

    Pro-Hillary voters might intellectually embrace such an ideology but, deep down, they cannot but realize that Palin is more in line with the truth of their person. Hence, it would be easier for them to vote for Palin, then for pro-Palin voters to vote for Hillary or Pelosi.

  • Joseph

    Bender, I’m not going to try to follow you into speculation about the “inherent nature” of women. I’ll leave that to my twin Josephina. For one thing, as a Buddhist, I would resolutely deny that there is an “inherent nature” to anything. We call this view “essentialism” and the most rigorous of our philosophers, Arya Nagarjuna, was able to almost effortlessly show that claims about “inherent nature” are self-contradictory. The opposite view, “nihilism”, is harder to refute, but it, too, will not stand up to serious philosophical criticism. Nagarjuna, by the way, is roughly the equivalent in importance for Mahayana Buddhism as Aquinas in Catholicism.

    Unfortunately, the drugs I take no longer permit me to argue at such rarified levels for long, but try this line of thought: If the Anchoress and Hillary Clinton have the same inherent nature how can we say they are different people? Does this mean the Anchoress has an “anchoress” inherent nature to go with her “feminine” inherent nature? Nancy Pelosi and the Anchoress are Catholic, so do they share a “catholic” inherent nature? That has our dear Anchoress up to three inherent natures. And since Sarah Palin and the Anchoress are both conservatives, then they must share a “conservative” inherent nature as well.

    The Anchoress now has four inherent natures and I’m sure she’s already feeling a bit crowded, so I won’t point out the infinite number of inherent natures she would have to share with everyone and everything else, if there is such a thing as an “inherent nature”. Besides, just what do all those inherent natures inhere to in the Anchoress? Or in anybody else?

    Beyond that, however, I do think it intellectual hubris for someone who believes they have found “the truth” to assert that everyone else is not just in error but also dishonest, either with others or themselves. And I notice this hubris seems to flourish quite luxuriantly among ordinary conservatives.

    Against it I would place a remark of the great Fenian Irish rebel John O’Leary: There is no cause so bad that honest people have not believed in it, for what seemed to them good reasons.

    [Crap, I'm not sure I am even one whole inherent person; I'm certainly incomplete. - admin]

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    Bender, I’m not going to try to follow you into speculation about the “inherent nature” of women.

    No need to speculate. The truth of the human person is manifest in the human body.

  • Joseph

    Who isn’t incomplete Anchoress? if someone asks me, “How can you possibly know you’ve been reincarnated?” the only reply possible is “How can you possibly know you were born?” I certainly don’t remember my birth, do you? And how many of our earliest memories are truly our own, and not made up from repeated second hand testimony to us when the family photo album comes out at Thanksgiving? I have never seen my face, I have only seen the changes it makes in a mirror or a camera. If there really is a true “me”, why do I have to accept so much about it on second hand testimony? The past is only a memory or a story, the future is nowhere to be found, and the present slips through our fingers whenever we try to grasp it. By the time you notice it, the tick of a clock is no longer there.

    So why should we expect to feel complete? The craving for “completeness” is part of the problem. Buddhist teachers tell you to look directly and squarely into your own sense of incompleteness–there is something living and precise and splendid about it, of which we normally can only get glimpses. My tradition calls it “basic groundlessness”–the discovery that there are no permanent reference points anywhere for anything. When we think there are, these are merely bits of second hand testimony we’ve created or been given.

    A really good psychological shock [the classic one is the abrupt and totally unexpected discovery of a cheating spouse] can sometimes knock all of this “evidence” completely away from us at a stroke, leaving only the groundlessness behind. We make everything all back up again, of course, and get on with our lives. But we really wouldn’t need to. We could just stay there, totally aware, without anything to be aware of and no one to be aware of it. In Japan they call this “the face you had before you were born”.

    A Buddha is someone who doesn’t need the reference points, not even the ones so subtle we don’t even know they exist until we probe directly into our incompleteness like, as they say in Japan, a mosquito trying to bite an iron ball.

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