McCain and Palin: Socialists?

An exchange from the 2000 campaign on MSNBC’s Hardball (quoted nimbly in the New Yorker): 

During the 2000 campaign, on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” a young woman asked him why her father, a doctor, should be “penalized” by being “in a huge tax bracket.” McCain replied that “wealthy people can afford more” and that “the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don’t pay nearly as much as you think they do.” The exchange continued:


YOUNG WOMAN: Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff?. . . 
MCCAIN: Here’s what I really believe: That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more. 

Then of course there’s Sarah Palin:

A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.” Perhaps there is some meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it (“collectively,” no less), but finding it would require the analytic skills of Karl the Marxist.

Palin wasn’t really on SNL

Ok I admit it. I bought into the hype. I wanted to see how Palin would handle her appearance on SNL. Would she take this chance to pounce on the media, to poke fun at the jokesters that helped bring down her poll numbers? What would she do? What would SNL write?

Well watching the clips I was utterly disappointed. Clearly, Sarah Palin was supposed to be a surprise guest, not a known commodity. SNL did their usual surprise guest thing. While making fun of the guest on stage they appear backstage to set the record straight. The problem is comedy is less funny the second time around and since it had been leaked by Palin herself that she would be on the show, the surprise was largely gone. She delivered no real jokes. Her cold open was little more than refusing to answer questions and saying “Live from New York! It’s Saturday Night!”

The Palin rap sketch featured Palin sitting behind the weekend update desk as Amy Poehler rapped about her and McCain. 

Final Take:

SNL=Funny

Sarah Palin=Bystander.

William Kristol Begs: Let McCain be McCain

In his NY Times Column this week, William Kristol wants McCain to fire his campaign staff and work from the gut. He writes:

The McCain campaign, once merely problematic, is now close to being out-and-out dysfunctional. Its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic…. 

…What McCain needs to do is junk the whole thing and start over. Shut down the rapid responses, end the frantic e-mails, bench the spinning surrogates, stop putting up new TV and Internet ads every minute. In fact, pull all the ads — they’re doing no good anyway. Use that money for televised town halls and half-hour addresses in prime time…

The problem of course with this line of reasoning is that it somehow separates McCain from the campaign he is running. Kristol seems to believe a more coherent, more economically learned candidate is buried within the McCain campaign somewhere. That deep down America really wants John McCain, they just don’t know it because the spin masters have done such a terrible job. Kristol would have us think that the wild machinations from “the fundamentals are strong” to this being economic armageddon don’t instill a lot of confidence in most voters even if Sarah Palin calls them “Joe Six-Pack.”   

Or maybe Kristol is doing what pundits always do, blaming the campaign staff for their candidates slide, instead of the candidate himself. McCain’s campaign has made some missteps, but we will never know which were generated by Rick Davis and his team and which came from McCain himself. This election was supposed to be all about Obama, yet McCain can’t seem to keep himself out of the spotlight and out of the realm of judgment. The non-suspension of his campaign is the biggest case in point. Only John McCain could decide it was time to make himself the center of attention during an economic hurricane. And we’ll never know if it was the campaign or John McCain that decided Sarah Palin would be the Hail Mary Pass that would win this game. What we do know is McCain approved it. 

The real problem the McCain campaign is up against is there’s no good way to couch his economic message, foreign policy views, or general shoot-from-the-hip demeanor as anything other than very similar to George W. Bush. Sure people may see McCain as more competent, but on policy there is little separating the two. That’s not spin, it’s fact. 

If anything a candidate with such a flawed platform in these times needs to commend his staff for keeping it this close. I thought Obama was supposed to have been up by double digits by now? Let’s leave the campaigns alone and just see this for what it is a candidate misshapen for the times is against a candidate of the moment, no amount of non-campaigning will fix that.

A rare defense of Palin

I have to stand up here and just once again state that I think its high time that we show a bit of respect for these candidates. Much in the same way I have called for McCain followers to end their personal attacks on the Junior senator from Illinois, I would call upon the heavily democratic city of Philadelphia to extend the same courtesies to Palin. While there were no racial epitaphs caught by an open mic, I’m sure there were some nasty expletives flying around in the crowd that night amidst the boos. After all isn’t this the once infamous “City of Brotherly Love”? Ironic how a city once founded because of intolerance has shown that while the clothes change and the technology advances, those same sentiments of intolerance echo across the ages. Trust me, I am the last man who need defend Palin, as I have been amongst most critical of her political policies here at ThinkPop. In this particular instance, Palin wasn’t giving a political speech, or making any attempt to smear the other party. She was there to drop a ceremonial puck to kick off the NHL season. Perhaps NHL fans need to be reminded that any press (good or bad) will bring much needed attention to their ailing sport. So next time you have a celebrity/politician drop a puck at one of your games, button your lips and just clap.  Democrats shouldn’t criticize Republicans for being nasty when they are equally as cold and unfriendly. I think I’ll climb down off my high horse now, since I probably stirred up some junk.

I am Marc and I approved of this message…

Booing is The New Cheering – And Palin Gets Five Minutes in the Parenting Penalty Box

Seems everyone’s new favorite pastime is booing our candidates. McCain was booed sticking up for Obama. Obama was booed for showing respect for McCain. At least they were shown disfavor for honorable actions. And then, in an addendum to James’ post earlier this evening, this happened:

You know who I feel the worst for in all of this? Governor Palin’s youngest daughter, who was paraded out onto the ice with her mom like a prop. There’s a reason Bill Clinton never carted Chelsea around. Or that the Obamas keep their children on a low profile. It’s just not cool to subject your kids to that kind of pressure and public scrutiny.

To sum up this scatter shot post, here’s my big epiphany for the day: If you’re found unethical by independent state investigators and you parade your youngest daughter into an arena with the potential of being booed by thousands of the NHL’s harshest hockey fans – and then YOU ARE BOOED – you’re a bad hockey mom. A very bad hockey mom. I’m blowing the whistle and calling 5 in the penalty box for poor judgment.

Palin gets booed in Philly (insert shock here)

I’m on the move this evening and won’t be able to post links and the like, but let me just share my amusement and lack of surprise at the following:

Sarah Palin was resoundingly booed at her puck dropping appearance at todays Philadelphia Flyers versus (my beloved) New York Rangers. The idea that anyone would be shocked by this is beyond me. The Flyers have some of the roughest fans in all of hockey. A hockey mom should have known better than to venture out there.

Politicians and sports almost always equal a bad thing. I feel a V-List coming on….

The Last Person Who Should Give Ethics Lessons

A short blurb on today’s (I think) important  report from an Alaskan state investigation into Governor Palin’s behavior in what has been called “Troopergate.” From CNN.com:

Palin violated state ethics law by trying to get her former brother-in-law fired from the state police, a state investigator’s report for the bipartisan Legislative Council concluded Friday.

“Gov. Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda,” the report states.

Technically, Gov. Palin didn’t break the law when she fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan – which she is quick to point out in trying to defend herself.  What she did do is, in a blatant conflict of interest, try to influence Monegan to fire her former brother in law. UNETHICAL in her position.

So, before the Gov. gets back on the stump about executive experience, judgment and ethics, she should examine her own. Most certainly, the American people should …as well as Senator McCain. You know what they say about people in glass houses.