Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It's the Economy, Sarah!

Back in the day, the old fashioned Republicans (the kind that I grew up with) had people like William F. Buckley.  Now they have Ben Stein.  OK, so he's an actor and a game show host (on cable even).  But he's also a conservative law school professor (at Peperdine) and former speechwriter for Presidents Nixon and Ford.  

Here is what Professor Stein says about Sarah Palin's speech.  She talked about a lot of stuff.  Mainly deriding the value of the community organizing that Obama did back before he was a law school professor and state assembly rep (where he actually did make decisions about tough choices involving tax payers - I mean real tax payers in a state with actual state taxes).  But she never talked about the economy.  This mystified Professor Stein.


The Law Talking Guy said...

An outrageous and silly speech.
Not one word about health care. Not one. Nothing about the government solving any problems. Just deriding community organizing, fancy speeches, and taxes. What will taxes get you, she asked? First, she lied about tax hikes in income and payroll taxes. Republicans always do that. Obama will cut taxes on almost everyone listening, including payroll taxes. But the answer is "universal health care, safe streets, good schools, and a stronger military." You know, what America needs and wants. Pit bull with lipstick? Nah, she's a dachshund on stilts. What did Palin offer other mothers in America except the slogan "I'm one of you"? That and $4.50 will buy you a gallon of gas.

It was really disgusting when she said she'd be an advocate for the disabled. Oh yeah? Her party opposes the ADA every time it can, doing what it can to weaken its reach. They oppose money for schools, money for special education, money for new ramps. Republicans cry foul when the government requires (small) businesses to widen doors, install ramps, or hire people with disabilities.

When she mocked civil liberties, my hair stood up on end. She said that when it came to Al Qaeda, Obama was only worried about whether they are read their rights. Because Palin doesn't give a crap about rights. Rights are what criminals hide behind. We all know that. Innocent people don't need to get all lawyered up. Except whe Palin hires a lawyer to defend herself against ... well you know.

Palin revealed herself as someone of extremely limited experience, not just limited in terms of politics, but limited in terms of the world. The world is bigger than Wasilla, but one gets the impression she doesn't know much about the rest of the country. Como se dice hockey mom? FYI, Sarah, in most of the country, if you see someone walking towards you with something that looks like a long stick slightly crooked at the end, it's not a hockey stick. Oh, and the faux homemade signs were pathetic. The whole Palin rollout was totally minor league.

What really galled me was comparing being mayor of a small town of 9,000 people - a part time job, mind you - with being a full time community organizer on the south side of Chicago. Which job would you rather have? Anyone? Which one is harder? Anyone? Bueller? Which one speaks more of personal sacrifice, service, virtue, and heart?

Maybe Palin plays well in small towns. I don't know. I'm not from a small town myself. The smallest towns I've lived in had about 30,000 people, and believe me, I didn't even know who the mayor was, much less want that person to be hovering near the nuclear button. This is not unusual. The *vast* majority of American voters are from cities and suburbs, not rural villages.

Bob said...

I too was unimpressed with the speech, although maybe I unconsciously set the bar higher.

Like the guys at said, it was a fine speech for a keynote speaker. If she _were_ an established candidate, it would've been a fine speech for the VP. But she's virtually unknown.

I felt like the start of the speech -- talking about her family and biography -- was fine, although the sniping at community organizing theme (which wasn't just her speech) seemed uninformed, tacky, and weird. Then she got into beating up on Obama, which of course infuriated me but the GOP crowd loved it. Probably most of America didn't care -- it came off as smear politics as usual. Then she talked about how great McCain was, which was just a rehashing of the prior speeches.

And then I was left with...who is this person, again? There was nothing in that speech that made me think "Ah, _that's_ why she's a VP pick, and not just a keynote speaker."

I completely agree with LTG's take on the "they'll have an advocate in me" stuff. Every time a Republican talks about their _attitude_ without backing it up with some sort of _action_, I dismiss it. (Apparently, Republicans dismiss anything a Democrat suggests as something to _do_ as an expensive and insincere boondoggle, and then say they didn't hear any details.)

I think in fact the overall theme is that Palin might be (or at least elliptically spoke as) a small-government conservative. Maybe she didn't bring up the economy and didn't talk about the government solving problems because that's not what the government is _supposed_ to do. It's just supposed to deliver your oil check every year. Oh, and make abortions illegal and unsafe.

Regarding LTG's observation that most people don't actually live in small towns, I think that the myth has a lot of pull, particularly for conservatives. Many people think of their suburbs as small towns, even if they only sleep there, and deride "the city", even if they're effectively in one.

Incidentally, I _am_ from a small town, and perhaps the fact that most people aren't actually works somewhat in Palin's favor. The people that live there know what the job is, and probably know people who have filled it who should NOT be in a White House administration.

Raised By Republicans said...

I think Palin's will prove to be the most effective speech of the convention. Of course she's being compared to John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Grandpa Fred Thompson and a party co-chair who thinks her VP nominee is "Sarah Pawlenty."

I think there is a real danger for McCain here. Suppose his speech is full of his usual stumbles and mistakes. In that event, the story will start to be about McCain's age and impending senility. I suspect that the Republican "base" already thinks the ticket is upside down.

McCain has already lost his advantage in the polls regarding who voters think is the most "decisive leader." That's a bad sign. Being upstaged by the newly elected Governor of Alaska won't help.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Well, Palin's is going to be the only speech most people watch. It will get higher ratings than McCain tonight, for sure. NFL football starts tonight.