Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It Should Never Have Happened

Great couple of paragraphs from Andrew Sullivan:
Some readers think my continuing attempt to expose all the lies and flim-flam and bizarre behavior of Sarah Palin is now moot. She's history - they argue. Move on. I think she probably is history. Even Bill Kristol and his minions in the McCain-Palin campaign may not be able to resuscitate her political viability now. But even if she is history, she is history that matters.

Let's be real in a way the national media seems incapable of: this person should never have been placed on a national ticket in a mature democracy. She was incapable of running a town in Alaska competently. The impulsive, unvetted selection of a total unknown, with no knowledge of or interest in the wider world, as a replacement president remains one of the most disturbing events in modern American history. That the press felt required to maintain a facade of normalcy for two months - and not to declare the whole thing a farce from start to finish - is a sign of their total loss of nerve. That the Palin absurdity should follow the two-term presidency of another individual utterly out of his depth in national government is particularly troubling. 46 percent of Americans voted for the possibility of this blank slate as president because she somehow echoed their own sense of religious or cultural "identity". Until we figure out how this happened, we will not be able to prevent it from happening again. And we have to find a way to prevent this from recurring. Why Palin Still Matters

I can't answer Sullivan's question, but I think the ultimate answer will have the word "education" in it somewhere.

17 Comments:

Blogger David S. Fishback said...

There certainly are many reasons. One, I think, is that many -- probably most -- people assume that the political party to which they adhere (or to which they are sympathetic) will offer candidates who know enough to do the job.

If the Bush experience was not enough to lead people to conclude that this assumption is not warranted, perhaps the Palin experience will. Not today, but in the future, as the experience of 2008 sinks in.

This is yet another thing that may rest with Obama. If his presidency is successful -- on the heels of the Bush disaster -- then more and more people will conclude that education and intellectual curiousity and openness are essential in a president. The Inauguration theme is "A New Birth of Freedom." Perhaps a subtext will be "A New Birth of Competence."

November 13, 2008 5:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sullivan is a gay partisan. Good at wordsmithing, he is utterly wrong here. Palin's experience rivals that of our new President-elect. She has a fervent voter base, will do very well in the 2012Republican primaries, could run a campaign that McCain couldn't, will not be shackled by an unpopular incumbent, and even may be able to appoint herself as a Senator shortly. She's not history, despite Sullivan's fantasies.

American voters have consistently rejected Washington experience for decades, so it's odd that the press thinks Palin's lack of it is a negative. Obama is the first member of Congress to be elected since John Kennedy. He won mainly because he had so little experience that he could portray himself as an outsider.

We have preferred governors since the 70s and have batted .500. The current President-inept has been a bust as was Jimmy Carter. Reagan, however, was spectacular and Clinton, above average, from an amoral viewpoint. Arkansas is not really much bigger than Alaska.

You guys probably should get used to Palin.

November 13, 2008 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-not anon
Hey, Andrew Sullivan- please don't try to stop the Palin. Yeah, fervent voter base(I would have called it dumb, racist and incoherent- but hey- let's not argue). Palin/Jindal 2012! Palin/Steele 2016! Palin/Palin 2020Sarah and the Dud) Palin/Palin 2024(Sarah running for both offices)!

November 13, 2008 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I would have called it dumb, racist and incoherent- but hey- let's not argue"

Yes, that's wise on your part since your generalization here represents bias of the type you usually pretend to abhor.

This depiction of McCain/Palin supporters by the media was false and some of the most unprofessional journalism this country has ever seen.

And, to think, TTF made a contribution!

One aspect of this election that needs examination is how much of the supposedly objective media allowed itself to become agents of Obanma. Does it make any sense to have all these campaign finance rules and then let the media spend it's billions trying to elect individual?

November 13, 2008 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

The two leading parties in this country have a long history of nominating incompetents for the leading offices. Look back at the history of candidates, both defeated and elected.

Democracy is a terrible way of selecting a government, but it's better than any of the alternatives.

rrjr

November 13, 2008 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The two leading parties in this country have a long history of nominating incompetents for the leading offices. Look back at the history of candidates, both defeated and elected."

That's true. Just look at Joe Biden, John Kerry, Al Gore, Michael Dukakis, et al

Still, I think we do better than most countries.

"Democracy is a terrible way of selecting a government, but it's better than any of the alternatives."

That's right. The most common alternative is violent confrontation.

I like our way.

November 13, 2008 5:38 PM  
Blogger Emproph said...

I haven’t spoken with my outspokenly republican (McCain/Palin) family since well before the election. I’m still reeling as to how anyone can be that stupid.

November 13, 2008 6:30 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Obama won and got credit for it because he ran a better campaign. Pure and simple. McCain had NO platform and he made a crucial error: He made the election about his opponent, so even when folks were talking about McCain, they were thinking about Obama.

November 13, 2008 6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Obama won and got credit for it because he ran a better campaign. Pure and simple."

I agree he ran a better campaign but there were many other factors and it's not pure and simple.

November 13, 2008 8:11 PM  
Blogger WOW power leveling said...

Your web is great!! I learned something about WOW here!!!!

November 13, 2008 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

What's WOW? I know it as Whitlow's on Wilson, a restaurant in Arlington.

rrjr

November 14, 2008 11:24 AM  
Blogger Tish said...

I believe it is World of Warcraft and that we are being teased.

November 14, 2008 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 14, 2008 2:41 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

I'm not going to have this thread hijacked by arcane WoW comments.

JimK

November 14, 2008 2:44 PM  
Anonymous Maryanne Arnow said...

As a result of posting this on the TTF listserve, I was asked if I would mind having my comments blocked by at least 2 members.

One asked if I was joking. Another asked rather rudely if I had been too high on my premarin lately, and I was also told this was making people too uncomfortable, and to please post no more there on this subject. I did anyway, in part due to emotional overrun, and of misunderstanding of whom, how, and why, i had been engaged in this matter, in the manner that i have been.

There was much more positive response on some other sites, but at least one of the responses was inhumanely vitriolic, and denied all sense of humanity to a another woman, human being and citizen, in a manner that I can only describe as pure hatred, some of which felt a bit personal, being as I was the one that had the audacity to apparently speak in any kindness of an adversary of pro-LGBT forces and goals.

She is a mother of children - for good or ill. A wife, a daughter, fellow American, a public servant, and a human being - in this country - - my country – your country.

She is a beautiful and charismatic woman that went as far as she could, barring mishandling by her own camp, under the most difficult of political and social stresses that anyone can ever face in this country.

This was a woman, (me) speaking for and about another woman (her), from my feelings on the most baseline of compassionate, non politic, non-theological, and unbiased human levels. Period. Personal feelings. Not right nor wrong. Just is.

Disagree - Fine. But for anyone to act as if i was less than, or should be considered as a liability of some kind, as a result of my frankness ? That i should shut and silence my mouth ? That i should not "make others uncomfortable" because the truthful expression of my own heart feelings makes others uncomfortable ?! - Because of their OWN personal biases or filters ?

Those are feelings and cultural personal experiences of their own, which I AM NOT responsible for. – I can “make” no one uncomfortable. Other people have made themselves and one another uncomfortable.

This flies in the very face of all fairness, tolerance, acceptance, and Democratic principles, as far as i am concerned

As i said before - agree with all of her politics, policies, theology, etc ? – No - of course not.

NOT judge her based on the fact that A.): She, as a person, is product of how she was raised in her own social culture as an individual in this world, whether "right" or "wrong", and make that judgement based on someone elses' views ? I cannot.

and B.): neither any of you nor i have likely (thus far) ever met nor talked to her personally, or can give ANY true witness to the value of her life (or any other "adversary" - I am only using her as the best example of this principle now) behind the closed doors of her own home, and her own mind and heart. NO, i will not do that.

That is EXACTLY what people have tried to do to me, very personally, most of my life, and i do not consider that fair or reasonable, nor will I continue to engage in that kind of dialogue if I can help my own self, outside of my own biases, emotions, and personal filters – which is often very difficult – granted.

I would welcome such a dialogue in unbiased humanity with her – in fact - with all that are hated and that hate me as well - just for the CHANCE at having had a moments' human understanding, and personal dialogue solely for that benefit, if nothing else.

Then, and only then, could I even consider to claim to assess or proclaim worth or unworth as a fellow human being, a fellow citizen, another woman in this life and in the world. Even then, I would hesitate to do so publicly, unless I could flatly prove I was personally attacked by her.

She was once a little girl full of human hopes and dreams – just like me - and may still be - just like all the rest of us that may still keep that kind of child alive in our hearts.

This is human. Not politic. No theological. Not cultural. This is a woman talking about another human being and human woman. Period. Vilify me for this ?- Condemn me for this ?- Hate me for this - insult me, ban me, and ask my silence for this ?

For completely unconditional tolerance and acceptance? The one thing we may all need more of than anything else in this life?


That, to me, is unreasonable, hypocritical, and ridiculously unacceptable.

In a flash of unexpected emotion and heartfelt compassion, I saw a girl, living the American dream – hers. I saw it as a girl, and from another girl’s point of view – mine. And I expressed it.

I was told this was making many people uncomfortable, and as a result I have potentially done long-term damage to my own effectiveness within our communities.

She is intelligent and strong enough to have borne several children, of whom any may become great people that contribute positively to our world.

Is good enough to marry an attractive and apparently loving husband, to rise to the highest public office within her own State, and then survive the grueling immensity of a presidential campaign, no mattwer her education or lack thereof.

This is a woman, a mother, a human being, and an American citizen, just like any of you.

I don’t think this should be discounted and that the continued hateful rhetoric towards any of our adversaries serves our communities well at all.

I have been angry – yes. I have been vocal, and crossed the line of reasonableness myself in my emotion, more than once, but I have also recognized that, and pulled myself back to a space of neutrality, acceptance, and tolerance, which may afford constructively intelligent dialogue with both allies in disagreement, and any of our adversaries, if given the time for this to be nurtured and grow.

Pro-LGBT groups, allies, and educational forces are supposed to represent the most open-minded of Democratic fairness, embody more awareness of human rights, humility, unconditional love, tolerance, understanding, and acceptance for all others, as well as all liberal-minded means of open dialogue.

This cannot be a thing of convenience. If some aren’t willing to actually fully live those ideals, I strongly suggest don’t throw others under the bus for openly trying to, or actually doing so.

Love does not know color, gender, sexuality, race, theology, politics, or culture – it never has, and it never should in my book.

If that isn’t good enough for anyone else, that cannot and will not be my problem. It is sad and reprehensible to me if that is to be the case.

Look in the mirror. Those are not my issues, nor did I create them for any single one else, many of whom are yet still close friends, and allies, in larger struggles than any single one of us can individually encompass.

It is important we are all together in this, no matter what. I will not forget that – there is far too much at stake for me to ever be just a fair-weather ally.

I will only ask the same in return.

Most Sincerely and respectfully to all,

LoveForever,


Maryanne

November 19, 2008 3:12 AM  
Anonymous Maryanne A. Arnow said...

Just a thought -

No matter what set of spiritual, religious, Karmic, or any other beliefs that may matter to anyone that reads this, but....

If it "wasnt supposed to have happened", it simply would not have by the same logic of the statement used.. Right ?

God would not have allowed it to happen, right ? if it "never should have happened", right ? Or can we all now claim the authority to second guess God, him - or her -or it - self... ?

The ultimate catch 22 whenever someone says - "this was not supposed to happen" about something that HAS, in fact, completely happened, in full living color.

Deal with it. Let go of it. Process it, make something constructive out of it, support your fellow human beings in ever way possible about it, no matter which side of the fence it falls on.

We're all part of exactly the same human family, and the same God-given human spirit, are we not ?

And why, just for arguments sake, dosent everyone try doing so in a civil, loving, completely humane, and non-judgemental manner?

Hmmm...?

That's all i can tell you. My heart's feelings. Disagree, Cool. completely judge or hate me - oh well- i guess that'll be what it'll be.

Really get honest, and deep down think about it - that would be cool too.


Lovingly always,


Maryanne

November 19, 2008 3:34 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim writes,

I can't answer Sullivan's question, but I think the ultimate answer will have the word "education" in it somewhere.

Education, education, education...hummm, methinks you place too much (dare I say it?...sigh, ok, I will) faith in education. Education has limits, and provides no guarantee of the desired outcome. A good book to read that touches on the subject of education and suggests limitations on the same is The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam's Threat to the Enlightenment, by Lee Harris.

Anyhow, what was the question here? Oh, yeah, the why and wherefore of Sarah Palin as Vice Presidential nominee on the Republican ticket? Well, first off, I am surprised that someone as bright (and I do mean that) as Sullivan would do little more than engage in name calling, especially since it does advance any sort of understanding of WHY this happened.

So, what do I think? Gosh, I thought you would never ask.

The weakness of political parties. Political parties use to be much stronger and had more of a hand in grooming and vetting candidates. Problem with this approach is that it offends democratic sensibilities, since this process generally works best behind the scenes (ok, I'll say it...back rooms filled with smoke and lots of liquor). The alternative...that is, what we have now is where a single person, the candidate, gets to choose their running mate with virtually no say from the political party officials. A strong political party would have told a John McCain at the mere thought of a person like Palin, "forget it".

Now how Joe "I love to plagiarize Neil Kinnock" Biden got the nod from Obama I am still trying to figure, but that is for another time.

November 21, 2008 12:46 AM  

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