Palin Nailin’ It

She—or at least her speechwriter—just went up in my estimation.  (There she goes again, reminding me of Obama circa 2004.  Words, words, words.)

She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).

These ideas hit the nail right on the head—diagnostically.  But is there a cure?  Can anyone we send to Washington buck these trends? Is there any way to mobilize the power of the little guy?  When big fund-raising has to pay big media to get a well-groomed version of the rough-hewn message across on a mass scale?

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Author: amba12

Continuing the conversation that started at AmbivaBlog ...

98 thoughts on “Palin Nailin’ It”

  1. I certainly agree, she nailed it, all right. You ask the definitive questions and we do need some definitive answers. A third party is definitely in order and it might sell on the presidential ballot but how do we mobilize enough congressional candidates to run as a third party ticket between now and November, 2012? And get a decent platform that will avoid the pitfalls of social issues that belong in the state legislatures and the courts rather than in Congress? Will the Powers Running Things allow it to happen? Look what happened to Ross Perot and he had plenty of money.

    We’re already getting union violence up here. Certainly it is not to be condoned but is representative of the level of frustration and anger by folks who are ‘mad as hell and not going to take it any more’.

  2. What she calls “corporate crony capitalism”? LOL

    I can say it faster: Big Whatever will fuck you every time.

    As for summoning the power of The Little Guy – that power only gets unleashed through mob action. If The Little Guy really had any power to begin with, s/he wouldn’t be so little any more.

  3. A third party is definitely in order and it might sell on the presidential ballot but how do we mobilize enough congressional candidates to run as a third party ticket between now and November, 2012? And get a decent platform that will avoid the pitfalls of social issues that belong in the state legislatures and the courts rather than in Congress? Will the Powers Running Things allow it to happen?

    Answers, in order: You can’t, logistically. You can’t, because so many of those most passionate refuse to de-couple these issues. They won’t, under any circumstances.

    As for the union violence – that’s just another one of the Big Whatevers looking to screw over The Little Guy. (Perhaps we should trademark that for the site?)

  4. “This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk,” [Sarah Palin] said of the crony variety. She added: “It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest — to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners — the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70 percent of the jobs in America.”

    Heh. On fancy blogs like Dave Schuler’s they call that collusion “rent-seeking”. Palin was smart enough to define it in a way that most people will understand, and didn’t use the pointy-headed word for it, thus avoiding looking like just another academic tool. She’s really REALLY good sometimes!

  5. If she’s running for president, she’s going about it in the right way. Let the others burn out, kill each other off, disappoint. Stand back and say the refreshingly right things. Look better and better to potential primary voters, until they are clamoring for you.

    Michele Bachmann helps her a lot. Makes her look closer to the sensible center, which seems to be her strategy.

    The little guy has only one power: numbers. Democracy is mob action by other means. The little guy’s weakness is twofold: 1) a sense of futility (“What’s the use”) and 2) an undying sincerity that allows him/her to be manipulated by hypocrites, then disillusioned, which leads directly back to 1).

  6. I don’t think what the little guy wants is power, per se. He just wants the steady job, benefits and pension his father had. Unfortunately, he sees them all disappearing and he is powerless to stop it.

  7. Not power per se, just the power to defend himself and his family from the perception that they do not matter one whit, they’re at best grist for grinding in the mill.

  8. It’s sad that a lot of the ~little guys~(the least of these little ones…:0))don’t keep an open mind about all that going on and all that they hear. I’ll include myself in that 70% little guy lumpage, but– i DO try to keep an open mind. Maybe it’s nature/nurture for me, i’m built conservatively.

    So many people pro-Obama in my neck of the woods don’t think twice, hell- maybe don’t know or care… that Hoffa.jr and Trumpka are treated w/respect by the Administration and can spew warfare rhetoric and oversee the kinda crap taking place up where mockT is while being praised and coddled by the Obama’s. Halliburton- hah.

    Yet, i’m ridiculed for liking Palin– simply stating that i think she’s got a lot more to her than a failed interview w/an airhead reporter or a pissing contest w/Levi.

    I still like her.
    I still believe Obama is a big, fat liar, too.

  9. There was plenty of the usual Palin schtick — words that make clear that she is not speaking to everyone but to a particular strain of American

    Yeah, that’s been my problem with her…I never feel as if she’s speaking to MY strain of American! “You got up out of your cubicle, you skipped your Pilates class…”

    Yet I’m the “little guy” too, getting canned and fearing becoming obsolete because some guy whose claim to fame was laying off thousands of people at Goldman Sachs got hired by my company to lay off thousands of people there.

  10. My point was that, while he doesn’t want power, per se, he realizes that he must obtain power one way or another to regain what he has lost. In the past, this was through strong labor unions who were often even more abusive and corrupt than the companies they opposed. Political power could be a way but, like Icepick, I don’t see it happening.

    In many respects, nearly all of us are ‘little guys’ now. Although I went to college for seven years and have only a BS degree, my husband has a PhD in biochemistry and had a good job with good benefits and a decent retirement [although not at the level of that of public employees!]. But company policies change, benefits get dropped and medical shit happens. And it’s happening to almost everyone I know.

  11. Perhaps, in the end, we are treated as how we are originally seen; if someone really respects you, they treat you respectfully. If your employer longs to dispose of you, (the “grass being greener” with a robot or someone from another country) than they will find a way to get there!

    Often discussed over at The End of Work these things are….

  12. Karen- Thanks for proving Ice’s point. Way to hijack a non partisan discussion and make it partisan. It’s not about Obama, or Bush, or any specific politician. BOTH PARTIES support the big guy in power. BOTH PARTIES drink the koolAid. NEITHER side lies or does dumb stuff more than the other. It’s ALL junk, not just the other guy’s stuff.
    I liked what Palin said here. It’s interesting, cause to me she is a mirror of an earlier Obama-kinda opposite sides of the same coin. Both have said good things and proven they can make pretty speeches. Both came from outside the system. I wonder if, given the chance, Palin would be any more effective than Obama? I wonder how much needs to change before real reforms can be made.

  13. Oh- and both had modest incomes before attaining political office, becoming known and writing books. Neither made their money from either family or lobbying-both did it from book sales that parlayed their fame into an income. Which means both got their money from us, not big corporate interest-that’s a point in their favor!

  14. If she’s running for president, she’s going about it in the right way. Let the others burn out, kill each other off, disappoint. Stand back and say the refreshingly right things. Look better and better to potential primary voters, until they are clamoring for you.

    If she runs in the primaries they she will miss the boat. If she’s going to run, using this rhetoric (and hopefully meaning it), then she should run as a third party candidate.

    Democracy is mob action by other means.

    Yes, but we don’t live in a democracy, we live in a republic. Moreover, our electoral processes are increasingly design to thwart any kind of challenge from someone not approved by the powers of the two parties. How one gets on ballots, how one raises and spends money, how one can get publicity of any kind, etc, etc. All designed to make certain the riff-raff don’t geet any traction. And in this case the riff-raff is everyone not a member of or a protege of those running the parties.

  15. Both came from outside the system.

    Obama rose through the ranks of the Chicago/Illinois political machine. He’s totally an insider. (I believe the only way to be more inside would be to be a member of the Kennedy or a Bush clans.)

    As for where he got his money – that’s an interesting point of view. What about the money Michele made while working at one of the insider law firms in Chicago? What about the money she made for the UofC hospital? What about the (humongous) raise she got AFTER US Senator Obama kicked over several million dollars to the hopsital of federal money? And after he’s out of office he will no doubt cash in like Bill Clinton has, raking in tens of millions of dollars. (I bet that only Kissinger has made more money from being an ex-“civil servant’, and he had a decades long head start.) Other than Michele’s initial law firm job, all that money that derives directly from his “public service”.

    Palin certainly has her abuses, but nothing quite so brazenly grapsing at the public coffers.

  16. Perhaps, in the end, we are treated as how we are originally seen; if someone really respects you, they treat you respectfully.

    Ron, true. I think my ex-employer and I sized each other up pretty accurately right from the start. I knew they were doing things inefficiently and that by making them more efficient, I would sooner or later make myself obsolete. I figured it would take a couple of years, and that I’d move on after that. I didn’t count on a Life Accident happening that would keep me there for 7 years, or that they would keep coming up with things I could do for them during that time.

    There were people who’d been there for over 10 years who considered the place to be “family.” With families like that, it’s a good thing the insurance covered therapy!

  17. I still hold to my opinion about Palin: I don’t feel she’s speaking to my kind of American. In fact, I often feel as if she’s speaking to people who are AFRAID of my kind of American. And I’d imagine a lot of those people feel that Obama was doing the same with them.

    But maybe the distinctions between Red State and Blue State lifestyles are giving way to a distinction between Extremely Powerful People and Regular People.

    However, I’m clueless at the moment as to how ANYone is going to change things by being the one in power.

    The best line I heard about Obama’s jobs speech was from Seth Myers: He should have hired a million people to write it.

  18. Unlike most other politicians, Palin has the luxury of getting paid big bucks to address groups all around the country, rather than paying to get her message out. Not to mention getting well paid by one of the media she denounces, rather than having to pay them to get her message out. If other politicians are not green with envy, I’m surprised.

    It is, in fact, the one reason why I could see her not running for President next year: it would mean the end of the gravy train. On the other hand, she may be rich enough by now not to care.

  19. True; too true; but the end of our political system was written by Democritus a long time ago; in a rough paraphrase he said

    “…The end of any democracy comes when one group of people has a way to gain access to the Public Treasury; or is able to promise it’s contents to others to secure votes….”

    This is indeed what happened in the “too big too fail..” rip-off we all saw; and now must endure the attempts of others who will try to repeat it’s resounding success for the powerful and influential private sector that rule Washington who now seemingly have access to the Federal Reserve: without reserve; because they can get money “for free” at almost no interest to lend: and still won’t lend it to us…they just keep it; and put it in foreign accounts that pay very good interest indeed: it’s the End kids: finito….Done. Corporate America and their banks have won; but their victory is our defeat…just as when all the Savings and Loans that could have offered an alternative were sunk deliberately a while back: taken out: and taken down….

    My solution? With one rather mundane object. The way out of our current problem has always been within the reach of the Will of the People: it’s called the Pen; we can indeed by amendment have the form of gevernment we really want: as all 50 United States here can attest: and when the people wake up; and are finally ready to accept their responsibility to create a Just World they shall then read what I or some other scribe have written. It is then that a Pen will write the words that shall bring about that true utopia that is the Kingdom of God on Earth; for indeed that is what America was meant to be from the beginning; the Foundation: then indeed all shall know “…What Hath God Wrought…” when it becomes “What God hath Wrought…”

    My party is the Idealist Party by the way….it’s New; and our emblem is: a Unicorn…

  20. There’s a huge and abrupt divide between the big guys and the little guys now, and which way you got shunted does not depend only on your willingness to work your tail off. In a way it reminds me a little bit of Dr. Mengele’s “selections.”

  21. Stephanie: you’re backing up my oft-stated point that Obama and Palin resemble each other, not in content but in form. Because the content seems to many on both sides like matter and antimatter, it blinds them to the similar roles the two play as attractive avatars of their respective worldviews. As we are now seeing, both also have the ability to appeal, at least in words, to the center (otherwise Obama could not have been elected).

  22. The best line I heard about Obama’s jobs speech was from Seth Myers: He should have hired a million people to write it.

    Bravo.

  23. OK, I still maintain that the ONLY way to correct the situation is by decentralizing the government. We the people must wrest power and authority–and money, of course–from the federal leviathan and give most of it back to the states. How this might be accomplished is a more difficult problem….;-) The CEO of Starbucks is urging businesses to withhold campaign dollars from both parties. It’s a step in the right direction.

  24. I thought accountants came in a gaggle…..and a murder of Management Consultants. Remember….eat what ya kill!

  25. Melinda: just pretend your cubicle is a deer blind.

    LOL!

    “Look! A herd of accountant!”

    Just remember that you aren’t legally allowed to shoot them. Believe it or not, they’re covered by the Endangered Species Protection Act. That management consultants, on the other hand, are classified as a nuissance species….

  26. The CEO of Starbucks is urging businesses to withhold campaign dollars from both parties. It’s a step in the right direction.

    Starve the beasts!

  27. More hyper-partisan hijacking from karen:
    (Ice?? Can you link it up?? Again??) From Anchoress…

    “That was fast: The AP (the AP!) fact-checkers are calling bogus on President Obama’s speech
    Meanwhile Arnold Kling gets interesting with invaders, peasants, and fortified towns.

    (H/T to Insty)”

  28. About the only thing I agree with Kling about is that employers should not be mandated to provide health insurance. It might have made sense back in the 1950’s but it’s unrealistic and onerous now.

    I remember when Science was worshiped as the god who would provide all the answers. Now it’s Technology. Letting the ‘ruthless invaders’ take over would be as dehumanizing as an Ayn Rand novel.

  29. Karen: Go ahead and continue being partisan if it pleases you, but the truth is that not one of the Republicans currently running for President care anything at all about you, your family, your business, or your problems. Zero. Nada. They want your vote, yes, but that’s it. The past decade is proof positive about the true nature of the GOP. They have and will continue to tell you anything you want to hear, but when it comes to actually doing it, they’ll pull back. Unless it is bankrupting the country – they set a fine course for that, what with two wars waged entirely on credit for the first time in history, and their willingness to destroy the life savings of millions of Americans with their reckless actions threatening, even reveling in, defaulting on the national debt.

    So, how are your 401(k), IRA, property values, business since then? Hope they’re doing good. The GOP wiped out a trillion or two of everyday American’s assets this summer alone, and they’re proud of it.

    Not that the Democrats are any better, mind you, but the sad truth is that the GOP is ALL about large-scale crony capitalism and achieving/holding on to political power even if it means destroying the nation. They don’t give rat’s ass about the family farmer or small businesses or the average person.

    Palin is right. She will never be elected President, however. Jon Huntsman was right earlier this summer. He, too, will never be elected President. If anyone here wants to put a one-term governor into the Oval Office whose major claim to fame is a career as hedge fund operator, be my guest. Or if a three-term governor who quotes scripture for base political ends every 5 minutes, be my guest, as well.

  30. The more I think about it, the stronger I feel about term limits. If they can only serve one term [perhaps a little longer than at present] they won’t have to spend so much time on their re-election campaign and the power brokers will be limited in there sphere of influence. Not that corruption and cronyism will stop but it will be severely limited.

  31. They way it looks to me, the parties are locked in a power struggle with each other. Increasingly, all they want is to defeat the other party. They don’t seem primarily concerned any longer with any goals of getting power, whether material spoils or the opportunity to enact an ideology (much less with the good of the country). The power struggle has become an end in itself. It’s like a huge Super Bowl in which the point is to get and keep possession of the football — the presidency. The Republicans seem to have been playing chicken with the debt deadline because they knew it would hurt the economy and hurting the economy while Obama is president will hurt Obama. The Democrats basically use entitlements as vote-buying and the threat of the end (or just the limitation) of entitlements as fear-mongering. In each case the goal is simply to get or keep the football.

  32. Term limits: if I could have one constitutional amendment, it would be to make the presidency a single six-year term.

  33. And term limits for Congress would give us the citizen legislature we were supposed to have. A bunch of amateurs — exactly!

  34. Take a look at Mexico to see how a one-term limit for President will probably work. The moment a President is elected, lame duck status sets in. For a close approximation of the American experience, I guess we could also look at Teddy Roosevelt’s second term. (He famously announced he wouldn’t run for a second elected term shortly after being elected for the first time in his own right.)

    For a good look at how term limits for legislators work in practice, California has had them for over two decades now. IMO, ample evidence that they’ve turned out to be disastrous. Unless one is fond of wives and husbands exchanging jobs once termed out and going on to bigger and better money in lifetime appointments to state boards and commissions. And that’s just the GOP’ers who claim to enthusiastically support term-limits and decry career politicians. Dozens of ’em. Some of them supposedly “leaders” of the tea party movement in the state. Imagine what the Dems, who never claimed to support term limits and have no problem with career politicians, are doing.

    They all serve their masters: the 9,000 registered lobbyists in Sacramento, not the voters. They don’t have to worry about the voters. The districts are so large its virtually impossible to lose (unless they tick off one of their more powerful masters amongst the lobbyists). 900,000 people in a State Senate district. 450,000 in a State Assembly district. 700,000 in a U.S. congressional district.

  35. The unelected professional staff ends up running virtually everything when it’s “Amateur Hour.” Those interested also end up getting elected to replace their supposed boss once the boss is termed out.

  36. FWIW, by way of comparison, the average Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom represents a district with between 60,000-80,000 voters. (They don’t apportion by population but by voters). It works out to about 1 MP per 100,000 people.

  37. LOL. Well, that’s what I meant by wondering if there even IS a solution.

    “Greed is good,” remember? Well, if you’re a Taoist every statement and its opposite are both true.

  38. Randy, much of what you say is true. Perhaps all of it is true. But limiting the length of terms would limit the type of entrenched power and influence we see today. And concurrently reducing the size and power of the federal government and giving more back to the states, where it belongs, would also dilute the concentration of power. It’s our only hope.

  39. Louise: As all this is just my opinion, I’m not too sure about it being true, save to me. At any rate, the problem with term limits is that it doesn’t eliminate anything except career politicians. It does further entrench the type of power and influence we see today because the people running the show are now completely behind-the-scenes careerists of another sort: political operatives and career legislative/executive staffers, both of the political kind and the bureaucratic kind.

    As for giving more power back to the states, I don’t see anyone in either party seriously giving that a moment’s effort. Neither has for almost 40 years. After all, if Ronald Reagan blinked when he had the chance to abolish the then-newly established Department of Education, what hope is there for down-sizing the bloated the Defense Department?

    The GOP likes to talk about federalism a lot, but when push comes to shove, they have zero interest in actually doing it. A good example would be the recent fires in Texas. People like Perry were all for the latest GOP idea of not providing federal disaster relief unless something was cut elsewhere in the budget. Now that he wants the money, Perry is impatient that the federal government hasn’t come to his aid already.

  40. As for giving more power back to the states, I don’t see anyone in either party seriously giving that a moment’s effort. Neither has for almost 40 years.
    Nor do I, which is why we need a third party. Nothing has entrenched power and corruption so much as the two-party system we have now. Teddy Roosevelt created the Bull Moose Party after being denied the Republican nomination. We need another party.

    And BTW, who is Louise? ;-)

  41. Apologies – was thinking of someone else when I responded ;-) I’m blaming it on chemo-brain. “Yeah, that’s the ticket…” (J. Lovitz) ;-)

  42. Speaking of which, Randy, I hope you are doing OK. Wish I could have found some medical expert for you but no dice. You are in my prayers, though. God bless you and may you live long and prosper. :-) –mock

  43. Not that the Democrats are any better, mind you….

    But for them you have a slight wave of the hand, while pouring forth unending vitriol on Republicans and their supporters, or even anyone that isn’t as rabidly anti-Republican as yourself. Boring. And noticably partisan.

  44. That’s hilarious. We all knew part of her appeal was sex appeal for guys. Now why would that make her MORE simpatico to conservative women and LESS simpatico to liberal women?

    Supposedly they are working on an Obama lookalike nails Palin lookalike. How symbolic is that? Maybe it’s the only way the two sides of the country could ever get together. But isn’t it an almost ritualistic, archetypal image for where we are now?! Like something the Aztecs would have enacted (or forced beautiful scapegoats to enact) just before cutting someone’s heart out, or something?

  45. But for them you have a slight wave of the hand, while pouring forth unending vitriol on Republicans and their supporters, or even anyone that isn’t as rabidly anti-Republican as yourself. Boring. And noticably partisan.

    If you say so, I guess. Sorry it bores you. I wasn’t aware of a requirement that every comment should spend an equal amount of verbiage damning both parties. All the same, I’ve made my opinion known of the shortcomings of the Democratic Party at various places and times. I’m in no rush to join it or take up its banner. Not that its really any business of yours, I’ve marked virtually every one of my ballots for President of the United States for whoever was the GOP nominee. As my brother worked for the GOP for about 40 years, I have a passing acquaintanceship with the organization.

  46. I have worked in both parties at various times in my life and can tell you in all candor that they are both corrupt and self-serving. The last thing either of them wants is for people to get involved en masse and rock their boats. Oh, they might want you to plant signs, canvass door to door, make phone calls, etc. for their candidate but you’d better toe the party line. The party bosses are in charge and you will know it early on. I must say that, in my state, at the times of my involvement, the Democratic Party was far more corrupt than was the Republican Party but they were also the party in power and maybe that makes a difference. It’s an eye-opening experience and a discouraging one, as well.

  47. Sorry it bores you. I wasn’t aware of a requirement that every comment should spend an equal amount of verbiage damning both parties.

    Randy, I never said one needs an equal amount of verbiage for both sides.

    But look at your language. “The GOP wiped out a trillion or two of everyday American’s assets this summer alone, and they’re proud of it.” I’m surprised you didn’t mention the five or six trillion “the Republicans” wiped out in the housing bubble crash. Or the over six trillion “the Republicans” gave away to the financiers. And with you it is almost always “the Republicans”.

    The point is this: “the Republicans” weren’t the only people responsible for all of any of that. The Democrats surely had something to do with it. I guess you are blaming the recent stock market woes exclusively on Republican partisanship concerning raising the debt limit. What about Obama’s insistence that he wouldn’t sign on for anything that didn’t raise the limit enough that it mean he didn’t have to raise it again until AFTER his re-election campaign? Was that not partisan? Hell, that was nakedly putting his own INDIVIDUAL situation above that of the entire rest of the planet. But he gets no blame? (Incidentally, that was a massive fail anyway – the Congress is quietly working on raising the debt ceiling again because they already plowed through most of the debt ceiling raise from the August agreement. But the insistence of some in the Republican Party that spending be curtailed is clearly the only reason anything bad ever happened to anyone about anything. If not for Tea Partiers no doubt Jesus would still be alive and well and sipping Mojitos in Cancun.)

    Further, how responsible was the debt ceiling debate for the recent market troubles? It’s not exactly like the US is having problems getting a good price on its debt. That’s because Europe and the European banking system are imploding. The jitters from that are far reaching. Also, there are signs that pretty much the entire world is slipping (or has slipped) into recession again. Not to mention that the Swiss fired the first true shot in the currency war this last week. None have anything to do with the fucking debt ceiling debate, despite the hyper-partisan whining of the shills.

    Frankly you remind me of Obama. During the campaign of 2008 he called Bush unpatriotic for increasing the debt load by as much as he did. Obama has accomplished just as much in less than a third of the time, with much more to follow.* But yet all he does is blame Republicans for everything bad. It’s the usual crap and completely expected these days, and no less tiresome for it. The only thing as tiresome is the usual Republican line that if we just cut taxes everything would be hunky-dory. Neither side wants to own up to its responsibility, so fuck ‘em both. Yet you only have (evil) eyes for the Michele Bachmans of the world. You have expended far more effort, and not one tenth of the vitriol, in spreading around the blame.

    * This week was fun. Obama promised to cut the funding for Medicare and Social Security in half, with only a vague promise that some future Congress would make up the funding gap through some measures not yet thought up. Amazing stuff.

  48. I have worked in both parties at various times in my life and can tell you in all candor that they are both corrupt and self-serving.

    DING! DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!

  49. We see things differently (obviously ;-). AFAIAC, something like 87 times since the 1940’s, the national debt ceiling has been raised. This year, for the first time in what is normally a routine procedure, one political party chose to place rank partisanship above the obvious national interest and pursued base aims right up to the final hours. Having embarked on this hitherto unprecedented and completely irresponsible course of action over a sustained period of time with a great deal of noise and self-congratulation, the ensuing turmoil, IMO, is virtually their sole responsibility. Actions have consequences.

    Now that the GOP has chosen to cross this particular Rubicon, it is likely that the Democrats will at some future point as well. Maybe the nation will be lucky again, and the deadly game of chicken will stop short before default. Maybe they won’t. One thing I’m convinced of is that politics is a long-running game of tit-for-tat. With that in mind, the GOP severely harmed the nation, both now and in the future, with their dangerous short-sighted search for partisan gain.

  50. Wow, Randy you did notice how ObamaCare passed with plenty of Popular and GOP support, because it would be partisan hackery to pass something that sized based on a momentary window of a supermajority, right? Good thing they won’t FORCE us to buy it, because that would be “hitherto unprecedented and completely irresponsible”!

  51. Ice- is the Chicago political machine really that powerful on the national stage? I guess I knew they had a powerful (and corrupt) political organization, but thought it was more at a local (state) level. I would have thought the Boston and New York organization had far more political clout on the national level, given the number of presidents and other high ranking officials that have come out of them.
    Was watching something on the history channel last night, and it made me realize- both parties believe that ruling is best left to the elites. With the democrats there is a sort of “noblesse oblige”-the idea that we are obligated to make the peasantry a little comfortable, at least. Not that they are really willing to pay for that…why should they when they can make the “middling rich” do it?
    The Republicans, in turn, believe that ruling is best left to the ruling class, and that money should be rewarded. People should be encouraged to be rich, and the chips should fall where they may. If you don’t want to be a peasant, work really hard and what happens, happens.

  52. I have to second Randy, California’s term limits have been a disaster. If anything, he understates the situation by saying that the permanent staff end up running things. From what I see, the lobbyists are the ones who end up writing the laws.

    I think there is a solution, at least a partial solution. If we force the drawing of legislative districts be done without regard to creating “safe” seats, we at least greatly increase the number of swing seats. And swing seats have to be much more centerist; as opposed to safe seats, where the premium is on pandering to the extremes in order to win the primary.

    If I’m right, we may seem some progress in California, since this time around we are having a go at non-partisan redistricting. If our legislature becomes more functional (admittedly an extremely low bar), and our Congressmen become less hyper-partisan, it will suggest that it is at least a step in the right direction on that count.

    It is, of course, not foolproof (and I use the term advisedly). Witness the refusal of the California Republicans to nominate a moderate and turf out Senator Boxer. (Boxer is, IMHO, the luckiest politician going. She keeps getting paired with people who are even further from the center than she is or otherwise unelectable. If she was picking her opponents she could hardly do better than what the Republicans keep putting up.)

  53. Ice- is the Chicago political machine really that powerful on the national stage? I guess I knew they had a powerful (and corrupt) political organization, but thought it was more at a local (state) level.

    Well, let’s look at it. The last President to come out of the New York political machine was FDR. The last one out of Boston was JFK – and he only got in because of the help from Chicago.

    As for the power of the Chicago machione in this case – your point seemed to be that Obama was some kind of political innocent from outside the system. The truth is otherwise. He is an insider who has used skewed rules, politicial chicanery, back stabbing, sleaze, connections and especially HUGE MONEY to grasp the golden ring. Wall Street turned out for him huge in 2008, and they’re already doing so for 2012. That’s no outsider, nor have any of his actions been the action of an outsider.

  54. And swing seats have to be much more centerist; as opposed to safe seats, where the premium is on pandering to the extremes in order to win the primary.

    That assumes both that there isn’t a center now, and that the center is somehow magical. Let’s look at the record of the last ten years.

    Both parties have supported bad housing practices.
    Both sides have supported stupid financial work (pre-Lehman),
    Both sides have started and continued wars of choice with disastrous results.
    Both sides have been willing to spend trillions from the public coffers to make certain the richest financiers get even richer, while buggering the rest of us.
    Both sides have supported stupid financial incentives for businesses that otherwise couldn’t succeed.
    Both sides have passed large new entitlements that aren’t paid for in any real sense.
    Both sides have supported profligate spending.
    Both sides have supported de-funding of the government.
    Both sides have supported instrusive “security measures” that have done nothing to make us more secure, but have certainly inconvenienced the rest of us and slowly striped away our protections from the police power of the state.

    I could go on if I kept thinking about it, but why bother?

    Looks to me like there is strong bi-partisan support for how the country should be run. That’s the definition of the center! You are allowing yourself to be confused by irrelevancies.

  55. 68 comments in a Palin thread! This blog is becoming “Althouse East”!

    Only if Titus shows up and starts talking about buggery. ;)

  56. Randy– i wondered when you’d speak up!!!

    You’re right, of course. After this thread, i’ve decided that– i probably won’t vote for anyone in 2012– i feel like ice did in 2008.

    But, you have to know this: Obama doesn’t give two shakes of a shitty stick about me, my family or my farm, either.

    ps– don’t know if you’ll think this is a funny joke or not, but in a lot of observation this past Summer:
    ~~~~~~~
    Why did the chicken cross the road?
    She heard a car coming!

    I love you, Randy:0).

  57. If we call upon Titus to appear like the Great Roofi Spirit, will Trooper York be far…behind?

    I’d bet even money (if I had any) that Trooper York and Titus sprang from the same demented mind.

  58. No, i’ve never commented there, i don’t think. Yet, when i leave here, i have a little ~Route~ i take, like Dennis the Menace- i get the Althouse from this blogroll and i usually click the links or i read the interesting comments.

    Allen S makes me laugh. He’s so frank.

    Wasn’t it Titus that questioned the women peeing in India? lol.

  59. Well, Karen….you brought it on yourself! Karen the Menace. or should that be WoMenace?

    i get the Althouse from this blogroll Does anyone really “get” the Althouse? Outside of Meade!

    I’m off to make Ruth Anne’s Brownies…. Thanks, RAA!

  60. Karen, I almost neveer read Althouse anymore and even more rarely the comments. I do still drop the occassional comment.

  61. Karen: I just knew you’d get what I meant! Thanks for understanding right away. At the moment, like you, I’ll probably sit the next one out. My mom hasn’t missed an election (national, state, local or special) in all her 56 years of voting, but she’s had enough at this point as well.

    Ron: I thought the subject of the thread was Palin’s statement and responded to that. If you want a definitive statement condemning Obamacare, I’ll be happy to provide it. It sucks. It was a bad idea poorly executed. I said so at the time.

    Side Note: I don’t understand why it is always automatically assumed if someone criticizes one party, they must be in love with the other party. I’ve criticized the Democratic Party here and elsewhere plenty of times, but all that matters to some people is that I’m not criticizing them at this very moment so, therefore, I support them. I gave up thinking in terms of 100% good guys vs. 100% bad guys a long time ago.

    Besides, at the moment, the Democrats aren’t setting the national agenda are they? Tell me again about the GOP promise that tax cuts will solve our economic problems. That must be why so many in the GOP are making noises about opposing extending the payroll tax cut for the average citizen. Not going to the right kind of people, I guess. Even though Obama offered what they demanded, allowing employers the same tax cut on their end.

    As the middle class continues to disappear, the only ones left in it will be the bureaucrats protected by their political party, the Democrats.

    Welcome to Brazil!

  62. Ice-agree with you somewhat on item#70. I think you overstate things in #68: “As for the power of the Chicago machione in this case – your point seemed to be that Obama was some kind of political innocent from outside the system. The truth is otherwise. He is an insider who has used skewed rules, politicial chicanery, back stabbing, sleaze, connections and especially HUGE MONEY to grasp the golden ring.”. Perhaps I don’t know enough about it, but IMO, that’s a bit of an overstatement. His wife was the moneymaker, true, but IIRC their tax returns don’t show big money until his royalties started coming in. I could be wrong though :-). I miss the connections and HUGE money. Rezko comes to mind, but not sure I get back stabbing, connections or huge money from that.

  63. “You’re right, of course. After this thread, i’ve decided that– i probably won’t vote for anyone in 2012.”

    Karen, you’re going to vote and you know it, especially knowing how you feel about Obama. “But, you have to know this: Obama doesn’t give two shakes of a shitty stick about me, my family or my farm, either.”

  64. Randy- i do get it.
    I hope i feel better as time goes on, but it’s not nice ~out there~. I don’t even care about any of the candidates, yet. Maybe once the choice one starts debating the big O?

    Ron, so cool– i don’t mind the “Men-ace” tag as opposed to “Wo-Menace”. I am my husband’s right hand man, after all.

    Spud, if farmers have to get a CDL– how will you feel? Sucks to be 8-10 yrs old and trying to help out on the farm. Or, are those days gone?

    I typo’d, Ron.
    I didn’t mean get THE Althouse, i meant get TO Althouse. I find her pretty neat, actually. And she’s intentionally ambiguous even though you can see right through her, IYKWIM(AITYD)!!! lol. Besides, i always liked Meade, i met him here.

  65. “The political conversation in the United States is paralyzed by a simplistic division of labor. Democrats protect that portion of human flourishing that is threatened by big money and enhanced by government action. Republicans protect that portion of human flourishing that is threatened by big government and enhanced by the free market.”

    “What is seldom said is that human flourishing is a complex and delicate thing, and that we needn’t choose whether government or the market jeopardizes it more, because both can threaten it at the same time.”

    “Ms. Palin may be hinting at a new political alignment that would pit a vigorous localism against a kind of national-global institutionalism.”

    “On one side would be those Americans who believe in the power of vast, well-developed institutions like Goldman Sachs, the Teamsters Union, General Electric, Google and the U.S. Department of Education to make the world better. On the other side would be people who believe that power, whether public or private, becomes corrupt and unresponsive the more remote and more anonymous it becomes”

    Yay, finally, a politician who uses her brain. And even the NYT can’t help noticing.

  66. Recently, hanging by the coffee machine at work, keeping my mouth shut, while a band of “liberals” went through their old Pailin-is-stupid routine, thinking about how “progressives” worship some imaginary thing they call “intelligence.” Then a few days later got into an angry argument with one of the office lefties. I said what he wants is an “aristocracy of intelligence’ and boy that made him mad.

    All you have to do to prove you are intelligent is keep your nose slightly elevated at all times, speak with a yuppie accent and make fun of Sarah Palin.

  67. The HUGE MONEY was his backers on Wall Street.

    The back stabbing was how he screwed his mentor over to win his first elective office.

    The sleaze was how the Chicago machine managed to get its hands on sealed court documents to dig into his opponents divorce.

    The connections were the machine.

    If you want to know more about his wife’s job at the hospital, you can Google that one. That one is so sordid you aren’t likely to believe what I tell you!

  68. If you want to know more about his wife’s job at the hospital, you can Google that one. That one is so sordid you aren’t likely to believe what I tell you!

    Ice, that’s certainly one for the books, all right! And needs to be audited!. ;-)

  69. Mockturtle:

    Speaking of which, Randy, I hope you are doing OK…. You are in my prayers, though. God bless you and may you live long and prosper. :-) –mock

    I didn’t mean to ignore your kind comment. AFAIK, things are going very well, thanks especially to the many people who I’ve never met but took the time to make various suggestions and/or point me to websites with good information. Right here in our comments suggestion, Icepick immediately had links to places I’d never heard or thought about that helped greatly when I did locate an oncologist. I was armed to the gills with research papers and studies at that first meeting and the physician was quite interested in going through them together with me as if he had all the time in the world.

    Although not a specialist in this rare cancer, he was definitely very up-to-date on the latest and ongoing studies. I was very fortunate to find him, as he is local, and doing long-term treatment away from home while living in a hotel or apartment would have been tough.

    Thus far, the worst side-effect of treatment are hiccups on day 2 and 3. Won’t know for sure just how effective the treatment is until the end of the third round (just completed round 2), when I’ll go back into the MRI for a look-see. I feel great and I guess that’s the important thing.

  70. And MT, yes, that’s some story. It almost sends a tingle down my leg.

    (That last bit was sarcasm, of course.)

    It’s amazing how someone can get away with stuff like that and still be considered the Hope & Change candidate.

  71. Icepick:

    Hiccups? Ugh! Thank God they only lasted two days.

    LOL! – FWIW, that’s every week – day 2 and 3 after each treatment (Day 1). It really isn’t that bad – some bouts last less than a minute. The longest about 15. There are about 9-10 (maybe more – I’ve never really counted) on day 2 and then they taper off by evening of day 3. I’m sure not going to complain about it – beats day(s)-long nausea and loss of hair!

    I have a huge collection of my dad’s Model A hats from club meets and other things I was planning to wear if I did lose hair. Which reminds me that I should start wearing them anyway in quiet tribute to him. We’re finally organizing his parts collection and other Model A paraphernalia for a garage sale next month. Still have a car myself, but most of the parts aren’t useable on it due to modifications and there’s no point in letting them rot on shelves. Amazing what I’ve found so far.

    Ah well, forgive the digression everyone, – I just came back from stock-taking.

  72. Randy- what the hell is ~stock-taking~?
    Stocks and bonds- or are you a cattle rustler:0)?

    You should take a pic of yourself in a hat, Randy… would love to see that.

  73. I’m sure not going to complain about it – beats day(s)-long nausea and loss of hair!

    That’s a low bar, Randy.

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