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    September 03, 2008

    Take that, bitches

    Posted by: Kevin

    Palinrnc Tonight, I came in after a solid 36 hours of work (in the real world, where I have a job) to Mitt Romney droning through a speech that appeared to be written in 1980.  Thank God this was his exit from the stage for now, hopefully for good.

    Then I saw Rudy Giuliani speak, and was reminded why I fought, and marched, and campaigned, and bled for that man in 1993 and 1997 in New York's gutter politics with the kind of energy a 20-something activist has plenty of to spare.

    And then the speech of the night.  I spoke to my 68 year-old mother, a registered independent, who was born in New York and lives in a swing state today.  She voted for Hillary in 2000, and again backed her this year.  She was in love.  My sister, who lives around the corner from Mom, who is Palin's age, is a soccer-hockey-baseball-wrestling mom who sleeps about 5 hours a night and drives a minivan, and was on her feet.  My dad, the only registered Republican of the bunch of them, who said to my horror in 1984 that a woman could never handle being President, said he thinks the "other three should step aside and let her do it."

    I say this purely as someone who did politics and campaigns for a decade, and not even a voter or a white guy or a right-handed vegetarian or a homosexual or an itinerate anti-car pedestrian: from what many very clever Democrats (and some temporarily whacked-out bloggers) have done to turn her into a monster, and what some marginally lunatic trolls on the internet have tried to do to her children, the speech given moments ago by Sarah Palin ought to send a chill down your spine tonight.  She represents an America you apparently don't realize is out there, and you'd better get with the program if you don't want to blow yet another election.  This is not Dan Quayle you're dealing with.  That's obvious now.

    And aside from everything that has been said about her record (and what yet might be said by her on the campaign trail), and this was only round one of a two-month long campaign ahead, I can tell you -- I agreed with every word, comma and period in that speech.  I am really, really undecided now.

    More later.  I'm on fumes, and I'm going to bed.  (Chris, you'll have to wait for the tome on the LCR endorsement.  But I think I've hit some of the points already right here.  We'll talk about the issues in a bit, but read through the blogosphere and you'll see why about a million gay Republicans feel a kinship with Sarah Palin tonight.  Emotion cuts both ways, ladies.)

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    Comments

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Sep 4, 2008 12:23:59 AM:

      Yeah, well, as a liberal Democrat, I flatly disagreed with most of what she said and I thought her sarcastic swipe at Obama's background as a community organizer was petty.

      However, I now get her and why McCain picked her. She has an appealing personal quality that will lend itself well to McCain's campaign. She gave a good speech and delivered her message in a cool, clever, and persuasive manner. It was a good speech. Doesn't change my mind that she'd be a disaster for the country, but the conservative base will come out to vote for her.

      I've been hearing in the media and from personal sources in Alaska that we Democrats underestimate Palin at our own risk. And after her speech tonight, I agree.

    1. Ian on Sep 4, 2008 12:27:58 AM:

      Jeez. We're back to the Culture Wars. Now it is the "elites" against "working Americans", and the urban areas against the rural areas, and to think we were taken there by Miss Alaskan Congeniality 1984. (Is it too late to rescind her title?) She is a theocon through and through. She does not believe in man's influence on global warming (although the Alaskan perma frost is thawing), believes creationism should be taught in schools, against hate crimes legislation, and is against rights for LGTBs. Of course none of these views were reflected in her speech. Her nick name "Barracuda" is quite appropriate

    1. David on Sep 4, 2008 1:21:59 AM:

      Her speech had no substance and was full of lies. I am very disturbed that this is the new standard of the Republican party. I'm not sure whether I should laugh or cry at this post. One can only hope that Kevin was so tired that he was bordering on delirium and his judgement was a little off. She would most definitely be a disaster for this country.

    1. Anellidifumo on Sep 4, 2008 2:04:33 AM:

      Well, CitizenCrain, I linked your post. It's a pity you can't read Italian. I listened to the speech and -as a Socialist- I agree with your point of view: she's a rottweiler-vicepresident, one of the most aggressive, gritty, extremist politician of our times, and of course she's a woman. She will be able to move the hard-core Republicans, the extremists, the neo&teo-con, the anti-gay people, the racists. And all together these are a great deal of the American electorate... She is the perfect embodiment of what the Far Right is, and now Republicans have a reason to vote for her, rather than against Obama or for McCain.

      She will be a terrific enemy, for evey liberal-minded person.

    1. Allan on Sep 4, 2008 3:26:55 AM:

      Well, as someone who didn't come home from 36 hours of work, because I was laid off by one of the richest corporations in America, and wondering if my husband and I will lose our house before this disastrous economy turns around, I was disgusted and appalled by the speech.

      Tonight was a disaster for the ICU patient called the Republican Party.

      Because your beloved snarling poodle Rudy talked too long, they had to cut the video which would have given Sarah a warm & fuzzy soft-focus introduction to America.

      So her petty, mean-spirited and unwarranted attacks on Obama were left hanging in the air like a giant fart.

      Stupid stupid stupid Republicans! That was what Giuliani and Romney were for. You don't introduce someone with no discernable record to the country and have them immediately attack the opposition's readiness to lead.

    1. Scott on Sep 4, 2008 3:49:46 AM:

      Another suicidal gay man (Kevin) more concerned about self-obsessed heterosexuals affairs. Gay people have been oppressed for thousands of years on a global scale (by heterosexuals). I will not ignore that and will not vote the way heterosexuals want me to vote because they believe their issues are the most important and mine are not. Your vote will effect a lot of gay people's lives. In Iraq gays are living in hell because of the invasion. The gays that voted for Bush in '00 and '04 are partly responsible for the deaths of gay Iraqis from death squads. Gay issues are number one for me and should be for every gay person. Period.

      Sarah Palin is judgemental of what families do so her family should be scrutinized to see if she practices what she preaches.

      I agree she will be effective in garnering support from conservatives. That would be expected because she is one of them: insanely religious, heterosexual, viciously conservative, judgemental, etc.

      I thought she was extremely mean and snotty during her speech.

    1. Kevin on Sep 4, 2008 6:47:58 AM:

      Hmm.

      Who are the "mean and snotty", "petty and mean-spirited" "rottweiler"s and "snarling poodle"s?

    1. Andoni on Sep 4, 2008 9:44:39 AM:

      I just got off the phone with my sister in Virginia Beach. Her husband works for Pat Robertson and they were all Republicans. She asked me what I thought of the speech, but I made her go first. She floored me, because she and her 3 daughters (all voters) hated the speech and had bad vibes about Palin herself. I couldn't believe it.

      My reaction to the speech was that Palin took too many personal cheap shots, re-opened the culture wars (the tried and true Republican divide and conquer),was full of half truths and had at least 4 outright bold faced lies (the claim of opposing the Bridge to Nowhere.)

      To hear Kevin's reaction to the same speech I saw is disappointing. This indicates to me that we are indeed in two different Americas and there probably is not a chance in hell that anyone, McCain or Obama can bridge the gap, reach out to the other side, bring the country together, or whatever they claim they are going to do if elected. Half our country is on one planet and half is on another planet. I am very sad.

      Good luck, America.

    1. Kevin on Sep 4, 2008 10:32:03 AM:

      Andoni, et al:

      I am more than ready to meet you on an intermediary planet. The point is that I have little faith at all that the reverse is true of most of the folks on yours, given the viciousness and anger that seems to characterize much of the gay nabobosphere around Obama (who, himself, seems to be a very honorable man). I have my share of polemics in what I write, and early on I was pretty combative. But I sense little to no interest among many of the Democratic gay partisans swirling around this or any gay blog in coming one millimeter towards the other side without a hundred loaded guns in their pockets. Go figure why you despair.

      You're my friend and co-blogger, but you've repeatedly tried to diagnose McCain as clinically insane on this blog. Seriously. And there is all this noise from various corners attacking the 17-year old daugher of Sarah Palin, and now her equally young fiance. I've seen several joke blogs started by partisans just to deride them in ugly, embarrassingly vicious ways. And people who I know to be intelligent men (one in particular, back in DC) who are literally demanding in public that Sarah Palin take a maternity test to prove she gave birth to her fifth child - and say this is a central issue for the campaign.

      No matter what opinion I might be permitted to form about her as a candidate (I do require longer than 5 days, and I don't rely on blog commentators to make my decisions in life), the bonfire of hate directed at her has touched something in me about common decency and gross unfairness, and has reminded me of lo the many times I have been subjected to the same treatment, from grammar school up to recent days. Perhaps had there not been that volley of hate, I would have thought differently of her, but my back got up and I am not going to apologize for having a basic moral (interplanetary??) opinion about that kind of discourse. Please don't tell me that is so alien to you that you despair further.

      I don't think America needs luck. I think we have two excellent men running for president, and if they are permitted to have a real discussion and debate between them, the nation will be lifted up, and by Election Day I have a feeling there will be many of us who are undecided who will be at peace with a solid decision, no matter who it's in favor of. And many of us will be at peace with the result even if it goes against us and life will have to go on, gentlemen. We'll have to go back to work the next day and live our lives.

      The question I have is whether the abject partisans, particularly the gay ones around Obama making so much deafening noise, understand what being at peace with your own beliefs really means. Whether they can hold themselves together if Obama is not elected. The evidence so far, judging from what I read on the internet at least (which is not a slice of broad reality by any measure, I recognize), isn't promising.

      But I have faith in America, and I even have faith in all of you, like I have faith in myself. Faith trumps luck, even if it's naive to you.

    1. Gee on Sep 4, 2008 12:08:50 PM:

      Palin will appeal to small town and rural voters. She will only shave off a few Hillary supporters. Her appeal is narrow.

      She has made some statements in the past which should be used against her to show her extreme religious beliefs.

    1. Allan on Sep 4, 2008 12:20:32 PM:

      Gee, Kevin, if any of the Republicans who addressed the nation last night said anything as gracious as that, perhaps we wouldn't be excoriating them for what they actually said and the ideologies they espoused.

      Huckabee came closest with his brief comments of support for the IDEA of an Obama candidacy and what that says about the progress America has made in race relations.

      Or if any of them had explained how a McCain presidency would be materially different from the current administration, and how the party that has controlled Congress for 12 of the last 14 years and the White House for the last eight can actually run against Washington without choking on the irony, I might have a few more charitable words for them today.

      Or how the party that went out of its way to repeatedly mock the work of community organizing can square that disdain with the fact that political parties are themselves community organizers, and that the PTA Palin is so proud of serving in is also community organizing, and that the women's suffrage movement that made it possible for Palin to stand as a major party's VP nominee was also community organizing.

      Can I hold myself together if Obama is not elected? Of course I can. I have survived Republican rule before and I can survive it some more.

      But have no fear. The Obama campaign is busy organizing a community called the United States of America, and you will all see what community organizers can do on November 4th.

    1. Gee on Sep 4, 2008 12:33:26 PM:

      Kevin,

      Palin could be the next President of the United States someday if McCain is elected - the most powerful position on the planet. She is not qualified. That is why she is getting so much heat. I don't feel sorry for her. Is she cannot take that heat we need to know now.

    1. Gee on Sep 4, 2008 12:36:20 PM:

      Having Palin as VP is like reducing that office to that of student council president or head of the local PTA.

      I hope people get serious.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Sep 4, 2008 12:57:09 PM:

      By that logic, then, having Obama as President is like reducing that office to that of a "community organizer".

    1. Gee on Sep 4, 2008 1:15:18 PM:

      North Dallas Thirty,

      What is wrong with wanting to help others?
      Obama's intellect is far superior to Palin's. He was editor of the Harvard Law Review. Yet he comes from humble beginnings. Now THAT is accomplishment. Oh - and he is a United States Senator from one of the most populous states in the country.
      Palin is 5th tier compared to Obama. The GOP knows it too - and it will backfire - especially among GOP men - they will start to think - wait a minute who does Palin think she is?

    1. Gee on Sep 4, 2008 1:19:24 PM:

      Palin will shave off very few Hillary votes - but she will definitely alienate male voters. And she should.

      She was condesending - and has NOTHING to back that up with. That spells disaster.

    1. Charlie on Sep 4, 2008 1:20:46 PM:

      But I have faith in America, and I even have faith in all of you, like I have faith in myself. Faith trumps luck, even if it's naive to you.

      Beautifully said, Kevin.

      I think this election is all about hope. 50% of the candidates vying for the top slots are political outsiders. Two of the four are known as "mavericks" and a third has based his entire campaign around the word "change."

      Palin's appeal is exactly the same as Obama's, albeit tailored to a different audience. It's been funny and sad to watch both sides scramble to interpret the definition of "experience."

      I'm not sure if I believe in America anymore, but I'd like to.

    1. Gee on Sep 4, 2008 1:36:57 PM:

      Who does Palin think she is?

      Maybe the legal secretary in my office can give a good speech and be VP - and then even President?

      Gosh. Why the heck not. You betcha. By golly.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Sep 4, 2008 1:50:37 PM:

      What is wrong with wanting to help others?

      You tell me; you're the one who's belittling student council presidents and heads of local PTAs.

      Obama's intellect is far superior to Palin's. He was editor of the Harvard Law Review.

      Are you aware that the Harvard Law Review is a student organization, and that it admits that part of its editorial selection process is based on race?

      Maybe the legal secretary in my office can give a good speech and be VP - and then even President?

      Gosh. Why the heck not. You betcha. By golly.

      What are you criticizing -- her gender or her speech patterns?

      Do you believe that an accent or tendency to use regional colloquialisms indicates a lack of intelligence?

      The hate and sexism that's oozing from the Obama supporters on this board is downright hilarious.

      Yet he comes from humble beginnings. Now THAT is accomplishment. Oh - and he is a United States Senator from one of the most populous states in the country.

    1. Alex on Sep 4, 2008 2:12:52 PM:

      I disliked the amount of time Palin spent talking about her family during her speech last night. I am very, very, very sympathetic to the idea that her being the mother of small children should not disqualify her from consideration. Likewise, a woman should not be judged on her family situation more harshly than a man should.

      On the flip side though, Palin should have some responsibility to not use "I am a wife and mother" as a job qualification. She spent way too much of her speech talking about her husband and kids, who are really irrelevant to her ability to do the job. If she doesn't want to be judged on her family, then she shouldn't talk about them so much!

    1. Charlie on Sep 4, 2008 2:34:46 PM:

      What are you criticizing -- her gender or her speech patterns?

      The hate and sexism that's oozing from the Obama supporters on this board is downright hilarious.

      Gee hasn't said anything even remotely sexist. Other posters may have, but your sudden political correctness is amusing. I'm not at all advocating sexist (or racist, or ageist, or anything-ist) comments against any of the candidates, but inventing prejudice where none is apparent is an activity associated with the most hardcore of liberals. Apparently these same liberals may be more sexist and racist and whatever-ist than they want to admit, but that has no bearing on my point, which is that in your fevered attempt to defend Palin, you've started engaging in an activity that you probably don't approve of in others.

      There are plenty of genuine criticisms being leveled at Palin, and if you stick to her actual qualifications as means to defend her, rather than hiding behind her gender, I'm sure you'll do just fine by her.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Sep 4, 2008 2:48:41 PM:

      Gee hasn't said anything even remotely sexist.

      Hmmmm.

      Maybe the legal secretary in my office can give a good speech and be VP - and then even President?

      Gosh. Why the heck not. You betcha. By golly.

      Pretty condescending to that female, belittling of her intelligence, and mocking of her accent and speaking pattern.

      You think he'd say all of that about her in earshot?


    1. Gee on Sep 4, 2008 3:06:27 PM:

      North Dallas Thirty,

      You can be politically correct if you want - but I call 'em as I see 'em - male or female, white or black. She is vastly underqualified in terms of experience and intellect.
      She would make a good Human Resources manager though [as long as her brother-in-law didn't work at her company].
      Can Mccain change his mind and appoint her as WH office administrator or something?

      No thinking, caring American would want her a heart beat away from the most powerful position on the planet.

    1. JC Allen on Sep 4, 2008 3:38:05 PM:

      This was a Reagan-esque speech which was well delivered. To those critics who doubt Palin's ability to handle the job of president: Doesn't Mayor Guiliani have the same experience? Talk about a double-standard.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Sep 4, 2008 3:50:23 PM:

      You can be politically correct if you want - but I call 'em as I see 'em - male or female, white or black. She is vastly underqualified in terms of experience and intellect.

      LOL...oh yeah, she was only a successful mayor, state commissioner, ethics whistleblower who got her own party chair fined and kicked off a state board, and then Governor of Alaska, defeating both the incumbent from her own party AND a popular former two-term governor.

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