Saturday, November 01, 2008

Fisking the Cornerites #1

As the prospect of an Obama presidency gets closer and closer to reality, we've seen the writers over at The Corner get increasingly shrill and excitable. They can't quite seem to accept that America might actually elect someone who represents such a stinging rebuke to their conservative philosophy, and so they start inventing more and more fantastic reasons that explain it all. And today's no exception, with a couple doozies so big that they each warrant their own fisking. We start with editor K-Lo, explaining why people who blame Palin do so at their own 'peril'. K-Lo starts thusly:
In the final week of the presidential election, the hot political storyline centered on how the maverick hockey mom, also known as Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, is really a “rogue,” a “diva,” and even, Lord help us, a “whack job.”
It should be noted that none of those descriptions came from a Democratic source. One came from a professional news commentator who's supposed to be objective; the other two came from internal McCain campaign sources. So to the extent that people are calling her names, it's the people who have been spending the most time with her and are supposed to be her alllies.
She’s gone “off message,” “McCain sources” complain.
Off message? Off message! That’s only something to complain about if you want Palin’s running mate to lose.
Hang onto that last sentence, because we're going to come back to it. K-Lo writes a few more sentences about how McCain's campaign hasn't exactly been stellar, and then a few about how much of what Palin says 'off message' actually resonates, particularly Palin's nationally televised denouncement of robo-calls.
Why shouldn’t she say that robocalls are irritating? Ever get one? Conservative friends of mine who have recently received such calls from Michelle Obama appreciated Palin’s honesty. Even while the Republican presidential campaign defends the use of automated telephone messages, Palin’s remarks were not only honest but smart politics. McCain sources complain at their own peril.
Ok. Let's say you go to a rally and hear Palin say that robo-calls are terrible. It resonates. You leave the rally feeling great about McCain-Palin. You get home, push the button on your answering machine and hear ... a robo-call from the McCain-Palin campaign. If you're like most voters, this won't exactly do wonders for your feelings about the Republican ticket. That's why the McCain campaign was angry. Palin wasn't off message, she was contra message; ie - explicitly denouncing, in no uncertain terms, the very tactic McCain was using at that very moment, and likely lowering McCain's chances of winning. What was that quote K-Lo just had about the complainers only wanting McCain not to win?
The motivation, presumably, of whoever is complaining to the press lies in getting a head start on recriminations. Someone, operating under the assumption that McCain-Palin will end up a losing ticket, is aiming to get in front of the pack by making the GOP’s first female vice-presidential contender a scapegoat.
Probably. It's probably also not a coincidence that those people are all blaming Palin. Especially since poll after poll shows her to be the reason many people won't vote for McCain
.“And it’s my own jacket,” Palin said about the cream-colored blazer she recently wore, in the wake of the Republican National Committee’s much-reported efforts to spruce up the candidate’s wardrobe. That story didn’t help her or the campaign, and she knows it.
No, it certinaly didn't help at all. Like most things that don't help a campaign, there's a reason for that.
It was a silly distraction in some ways — only to get sillier when it started a fight on The View after co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck appeared with Palin at a weekend rally. But it also indicated the direction the blame game might head should the Republicans lose the presidential election. And in this way, the diva story should serve as a cautionary note.
There are all sorts of reasons not to blame Palin for the down-to-the-wire nature of this close election, but to thank her.
So, after listing a bunch of reasons that Palin was directly or indirectly responsible for some bad press, K-Lo's conclusion is that Palin is the only thing keeping McCain afloat. Umm... ok.
She has, by McCain’s own admission, energized the campaign.
And also energized hoards of people against it.
She has presented America with an entirely new type of feminism, one that conservative women and the Catholic Church can finally understand and identify with. She should not be faulted for providing the campaign and the election with a breath of fresh air.
That breath of fresh air last about 30 seconds, until people started looking at her actual record, and found it wanting. She may have been a boon to far-right social conservatives like K-Lo, but most people saw a woman who didn't know anything about national issues, thought that was ok, and tried to bluff her way past it all by saying whatever she felt like saying, regardless of whether it had any relationship to reality.
She’s not perfect, but who among us is? If the McCain campaign tries to make her responsible for any defeat or close call, Republicans ought to repudiate such tawdry efforts with due haste. In many ways, Sarah Palin is a step in the right direction. Don’t you dare blame her.
"In many ways, Sarah Palin is a step in the right direction." Wow. Just ... wow.

1 comment:

reunionpi said...

Elisabeth Hasselbeck of the View television program: Wikipedia and the media declare her a Republican. How she is registered to vote from age 18 till today

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