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    • The Dualistic Mistake For Controlling Consciousness
      I remember fairly clearly the day when, trying to choose what to read in a bookstore, I realized that what I was choosing is who would control my consciousness; my mind, for a couple hours. It wasn’t a thought I’d never had before; after all when we watch TV or a movie, or read a book, we want our consciousness to be changed for a while, but “I’m letting the […]
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Sarah Palin is neither the problem, nor the solution.

While the national debate over the Mythical Threat of the (not-just-a) Mosque (not) at Ground Zero continues, I’d like to distract your attention to that other national distraction… who else but Sarah Palin?

Actually, what I am going to say here is ultimately not about her, either. It’s about all of us as Americans. But, sadly I stand a better chance of getting your attention this way.

Why? Because it’s become a national pastime to hyperventilate over Sarah Palin.

Either by obsessing over her as if she were the One True Evil to bash all the livelong day to Obama’s re-election in 2012.

Or, by propping her up as the Pioneer Woman Fix to American politics today, by virtue of a good ol’ fashioned slap in the face to the Good Ol’ Club.

Neither of these narrow views of Palin get at the truth as far as I’m concerned.

Sarah Palin is a female pol building a rightwinger populist brand. She is actively courting the grassroots on the hard right. As is her right. She’s her own woman and she’s chosen to argue for a rightwing worldview.

From my leftwing feminist worldview, Sarah Palin is not the problem with American politics today nor is she the solution to it.

For her conservative grassroots, she may very well be their idea of a solution. That’s nice for them.

It’s better than I can say for the grassroots on the left right now anyways, which is all the more sad because not only did we have our own Rosie-the-riveter telling us We Can Do It, not only was she 16-years battle-tested against the vast right wing and the tabloid stream press, not only was she a policy wonk who could get things done, but she understood the crux of the problem with American politics today was the “trust bust” (a theme that goes back to her Hillary Rodham days at Wellesley).

From the Dream Ticket Debate in Los Angeles, California, January 2008:

Hillary: Well, I would, with all due respect, say that the United States government is much more than a business. It is a trust. It is the most complicated organization. But it is not out to make a profit. It is out to help the American people. It is about to stand up for our values and to do what we should at home and around the world to keep faith with who we are as a country. And with all due respect, we have a president who basically ran as the CEO, MBA president, and look what we got. I am not too happy about the results.

Obama: Let me — let me just also point out that, you know, Mitt Romney hasn’t gotten a very good return on his investment during this presidential campaign And so, I’m happy to take a look at my management style during the course of this last year and his. I think they compare fairly well.

The prose of governing versus the poetry of campaigning. Hillary understood.

She was no hopey dopey Change to Pretty Please Believe In.

Nor was she any flimsy whimsy Mama Grizzly.

She was a Master Tigress. (And, still is!)

Point being, it’s not like the grassroots on the left didn’t have the chance to thwart the Mama Grizzly phenomenon before it ever got started. We were right there on the verge. 18 million of us were ready. It could have been the Decade of Master Tigresses. However…

As Corzine put it recently, “she would have been able to handle this Congress… but it was just Obama’s time.””

Snort! If you *still* rationalize voting for Obama over Hillary because it was “just Obama’s time,” then please withhold any “concern” you may have about the rise of Mama Grizzlies. Male empty suits aren’t the only ones who “just have their time,” you know.

What Palin does with the power base she’s building, time will only tell. Everybody seems to have all kinds of theories about her political maneuvering and her political chances and what a President Palin’s governing style would be like in comparison to her rhetoric. But, I really don’t have much of a sense of any of that other than a general feeling of “neither here, nor there.” Citizen Sarah seems to be enjoying the ride and living in the moment and already has 12 million reasons and counting to laugh all the way to the bank.

As for Palin’s chances at the presidency were she to ever run, all I can say is that after experiencing the open season on women pols and their supporters in 2008, I really see the nomination process itself as a huge hurdle, forget about the general election. One of the two major wings (D or R) of the United Corporations of America will have to make a woman their nominee before I’ll believe either the Ds or Rs are capable of it. So far they’ve only proven how capable they are of using women as scapegoats to prop up men with very little leadership and conviction of their own to stand on.

As such, I firmly believe the bimbostein bogeywoman of Sarah Palin is one that exists in the cynical hearts and fevered imaginations of a bankrupt Democratic party that increasingly has had nothing to run on, so it desperately needs someone to keep on running against all the way to 2012. Some party of women that is.

Mother Jones, who in a very different time did not have the right to vote and did not support women’s suffrage once said:

“I have never had a vote, and I have raised hell all over this country! You don’t need a vote to raise hell! You need convictions and a voice!”

If you want to combat the rightwing memes and policies spread by Mama Grizzlies (as I do), the only effective way (to my mind) is to build up the hellraisers who can provide a real meaningful alternative to those rightwing memes/policies. Tearing down Palin’s womanhood will not stop the rightwing agenda. Caricaturing her as a backwoods biddy will not stop the attack on women’s rights.

Because here is the real problem (this is a screenshot, you can click on this link to the chart to see it in its entirety, or click on the image below for a larger view):

Note: This is not an endorsement of the Green party. I have not made up my mind yet but am looking at all my third party options.

I just think the chart is hilarious all around, but most especially where it says “Right to Choose.”

See that Question mark next to Democratic support?

It’s the same thing that I call the Asterisk Next to Women’s Rights.

This is the real attack on our right to choose. The party that claims to be protectors of that right has put a huge asterisk next to it.

The difference between the Party of Mama Grizzly and the Party of Papa Stupak is no difference at all. There is no party of women’s rights, just a system meant to restrict those rights thus keeping them in perpetual limbo. The Mama Grizzly party’s stated aims are actually more or less consistent with that agenda, so at least they are more honest about what they are up to. The Democrats pretend to protect women’s rights only to sell them out.

This is not acceptable. Listen to Eleanor’s Advice! Don’t Mess with Women’s Rights:

“The battle for the individual rights of women is one of long standing and none of us should countenance anything which undermines it.” –First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt

The damage done with Stupakistan is two-fold:

On the practical level of the equity argument, poor women should have the same freedom, access, and ability to exercise their choice on abortion as wealthy women do. The reverse should not essentially be codified into law.

And, on a fundamental level of political freedom, it keeps women still vulnerable in the back alley of politics, with the figurative choice between a coathanger (Democrats) or barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen (Republicans). When American women are unable to exercise their full political voices and devote them completely to fighting for or against the meat of public policy–because they’re stuck fighting for their BASIC human rights–this does not just hurt women, it hurts all Americans.

This is what happened on healthcare. Our energies were diverted by the Stupakistan gambit when we could have used that energy to fight for a Medicare expansion rather than Obama’s mandated junk insurance.

And, it doesn’t just stop there. The Stupaksis disease is spreading across the country. This is a spreadsheet called State Legislation Enacted in 2010 Related to Reproductive Health. I’d put the entire spreadsheet here if it wasn’t so big. You really need to see this chart if you haven’t already. It is creepy. I was horrified the first time I saw it and that horror is etched into my brain. Ordinary Americans are alive and suffering in this economy and state governments are going nuts passing gibberish amendments such as Requires Provider to Inform a Woman That Abortion Ends “the Life of a Separate, Unique, Living Human Being” and “Considers Some Miscarriages Murder.”

What fresh hell is this? All under a Democratic president, a Democratic Congress, and a Democratic female Speaker of the House. Do you feel very safe and protected reading that spreadsheet? I don’t.

When the chosen method of protection doesn’t work, a different method of protection is needed. (Pun accidental.)

We recently celebrated the 90th birthday of our 19th Amendment. It’s rather surreal that less than a century ago, a woman’s right to vote was also an asterisk that had to be resolved. Of course a lot has improved for women in that time. But, in other ways, the more things have changed, the more they have stayed the same.

I ask you to remember the suffragists themselves and how they got us the vote. They didn’t get us the vote by falling for the strawman that they had to support Democrats or else the Republicans would win.

The truth is: the Democratic party needs our rights in limbo because it keeps us hostage to the Politics of No Place Else to Go. If they can convince most of us that we still need them to protect our reproductive rights from the GOP, whose assault on our rights is 2% more evil than the Dems’ assault on our rights, then they sure as hell don’t have to do anything to earn our votes.

I don’t think it makes a difference if the current lot of Ds is in charge or the GOP is… it’s an illusion… because really it’s one party all in power…a giant party elite orgy that both sides are equal participants in… they just rotate who gets to drink more from the corporate cash trough every 4-8 years.

One of the crucial mechanisms that they use to keep this system rigged is by keeping fundamental human rights hanging in the balance. The other is the politics of divide and conquer. Women, LGBT, workers, immigrants, religious, racial, and ethnic minorities, older voters, younger voters, and so on and so forth… ordinary Americans under the bus, no place else to go, pit against each other and stuck fighting for our most basic rights and any semblance of a safety net while we are stuck in endless unnecessary war, our Constitution under attack, our economy and standard of living unraveling at the seams. Meanwhile our politicians allow the country to be swept up in “controversies” that are not the problem, the solution, or the point? That is the real threat playing into the hands of extremists of all sorts who wish to see our way of life deteriorate.

As Maggie Williams said during the Hillary campaign in 2008:

We will not be distracted.

November is getting closer. Many of us are not exactly feeling our most confident about how to make our voices heard and our votes meaningful when the choice is between worthless Democrats who run as “Independent conservatives” and Republicans who run as batshit insane.

I’ll leave you again with what Mother Jones said:

“I have never had a vote, and I have raised hell all over this country! You don’t need a vote to raise hell! You need convictions and a voice!”

87 Responses

  1. Brilliant post! Thanks.

    • Wonk The Vote,

      Wonderful insights there and that chart left me scratching ME 😯 little head…hemmm…

      I do agree on the spreading (new laws to even restrict reproductive health further) of the Stupakistan Executive Order signed by President Obama, after Ms Magazine had declared him to be ‘This is what a FeMANist looks like’, without first earning (by supporting women’s issues) their fawning and fainting about as if he were a rock star and the womminz orgs silly teenagers.

      Women’s Issues were SOLD OUT, and Pelosi stood there and clapped. 😦

  2. Wonderful picture! Please post if often as election season gets closer so we don’t forget! Also, if readers have not seen Iron-Jawed Angels with Hillary Swank as Alice Paul, it’s a must-see (you may have to fast forward through the kind of beside-the-point romance parts) but when you get to the brass tacks of how they stuck together and suffered in prison for their beliefs, you will be inspired! Thanks!

  3. Yes, echoing DT….Brilliant post! Brava!

    And thanks for that link to the State Legislation Enacted in 2010 Related to Reproductive Health.

    We had a vote to amend the Georgia Constitution this past election…to regard Georgia’s Human Life Amendment “Right to life from conception to death.”

    It is frighting to see all this Reproductive Health amendments being enacted.

  4. Wow. Amazing, amazing post. The Democrats are not a real party, and it’s too much effort for them to even pretend to be one. If they want to sew up women’s votes, all they have to do is consistently advocate on behalf of their issues. I will vote for you if you represent me. I’m a human being, and I’m entitled to some return for my precious vote. But instead, they like to live in the moment with this mob mentality, thinking how fun it is to stop on everyone who deviates from their brave new world ideal. No thought to tomorrow when the consequences some due. And the Repubs aren’t stupid. If nothing else, they’re good at politics. With the Dems eagerly giving away the high ground with both hands, whatever made them think the Repubs would refuse to take it and run away from it as if it were toxic? So Emily’s List announces that it will not rest as long as one kitten heel remains in American politics. The Dems use the 19th Amendment as a 2 inch gimmick at the top of the page. And the Repubs swoop in and run circles around the Dems, making them look like the hypocritical opportunists they are, and stepping into the void that’s been left to wrap their own opportunism in the mantle of nobility (hey, kind of like Obot Nation wrapped its misogyny in a noble crusade of anti-racism–gee, wonder if the Repubs were taking notes? It is sneaky not to regard easily observable public behavior as private and off-limits!). How unpredictable. How unexpected. If only we could keep this conjob going forever, without even half-trying.

    • It sure didn’t last long, did it? 2006-2010. Now the Democratic Party is dead. Was it really worth it Dems?

      • They probably think it is, as long as their timing’s okay and they can avoid being swamped as we’re trapped in this cycle Bush to Obama to scary Repub to useless Dem and back again, they don’t even have to bother to pretend anymore. Hands out, heads down, can’t lose.

    • The Dems use the 19th Amendment as a 2 inch gimmick at the top of the page. And the Repubs swoop in and run circles around the Dems, making them look like the hypocritical opportunists they are,


      I think the Obots actually took their cues from Repugs (Arianna and Kos are their fearless leaders after all)… Seems the Brooks brothers brigade was a precursor to Obots.

  5. Great rant. Very interesting chart…perhaps I need to give the Green Party another look. The other two parties don’t seem to be looking for my vote.

  6. Maybe raising hell is more important than voting.

    • No important change has ever been accomplished without the raising of much hell.

      Brilliant post, Wonk!

    • Raising hell is the most important thing. I think what the Obama campaign did to a lot of activists on the left was take away their hell-raising spirit and turn them into complacent Hope-receptacles. A lot of the younger ones and frankly even a lot of the older ones don’t know who or what the establishment, so if you tell them that Obama is anti-establishment, then they now think everything is wonderful and birds are chirping and they don’t have to raise any hell, just support Obama in raising hell. They don’t understand (or don’t care) that he only raises hell in service to his own image. For a cause bigger than himself, he cannot be bothered to bring out that baritone soaring rhetoric of his. And, that inaction itself is an action–a choice.

  7. Both charts, the one on reproductive rights and the run down of issues between parties, are very enlightening. How sad that the Dems [no, make that the Obamacrats] have so clearly abandoned their own members. The party of FDR and Hillary Clinton has been completely dismantled. We now have Republicans and Republican-clones.

    Personally, I reject both.

    • The Ds are again running against G.W. — both losers. I’m forgetting about Washington in November, hence I’m voting Green, but Jerry Brown gets my vote.

  8. Great post, the democrats did what they always do, attack down, instead of up. Palin would have faded away if not for the media and the dems making her the new populist go to. (Also the sexist crap didn’t help). The Democrats had their chance on that front. This is what the dems needed at this time (a populist move to the left), a fighter for the people. Look what we got. I will just end by saying, I can not vote for the republicans, I can not vote for the democrats, I will not give any money to them. Beyond that, I will look at other candidates. I’m through with this Sh*t.

  9. Going after Sarah Palin is one of the most counterproductive missions I’ve ever seen. The attacks against her are so personal and so deranged, it makes her more sympathetic. It also makes the people on her political side more likely to rally around her.

    Third parties in this country only gain national power because of one person. The Bull Moose Party (started by Teddy Roosevelt) came in second, Ross Perot got 18% of the vote in 1992 (but no electors) and ran candidates up to 2000’s infamous Pat Buchanan run under the Independence Party.

    The only third party to succeed was the Republican Party as founded in the 1850s, and it basically killed what was left of the Whig Party. Even if we had a viable third party, we’d likely end up like Great Britain, with coalition governments who sell out their ideals to defeat the winner of the plurality.

    • I agree on the counterproductive part, and the so called progressives did the same thing attacking the only 2 term democratic president since Roosevelt. When Lewis Black said ” republicans have a really sh*tty idea and the democrats can make it sh*tter.

    • a third party doesn’t have to be an end unto itself to be useful… it can be a means to trying to take back a major party. Whether that’s possible or not in today’s environment, I’m not sure. But would it really hurt to try at this point? It’s not like voting within the D/R context has been producing any kind of results much worth preserving at this point.

  10. That was a very thoughtful post and I so enjoyed reading it. I agree with you on about everything. The problem is the Republicans are Satan and the Dems are like Satan’s little brother. I know Satan’s little brother isn’t as bad as Satan. So I am left between the two faces of evil, bad and badder. I don’t think our country can take any more of the real deal, Satan. I do think the Republicans are going to do something with the female vote….Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. Neither one is the type of woman I want to vote for. It’s just more corporate crap. After watching Glenn Beck the forces will be strong in November with the religious right out to vote to “take back their honor”. As if they had any honor in the first place.

    The most important vote for me this November is for our governor’s race here in Michigan. I’m voting for Virg Bernero, a Democrat in the style of FDR. However, the corporate Wall Street candidate will probably win as he is currently 20 points ahead in the polls!

    • Silent Kate, I live in Fl. I have the same problem here on who to vote for. The whole da*m political thing is wearing me out. I have health problems, house problems, family problems, and not enough drugs or alcohol to put even a dent in the pain.

      • I’m sorry to hear that. The Democrats lost me on May 31st, 2008. I know I’m voting for the Dem for governor and I feel he’s a good guy…definitely not the lesser of two evils. The party in Michigan and I’m sure, Florida, to you, has really let us down. They expect us to just “get over it.” I think President Obama is so like President Bush that I can barely tell them apart. Same wars, same stupid vacations, same religious bullshi*t talk, same Guantanmo, same “hit” list for the CIA, same crappy education program except now it’s NCLB on “steroids”. As much as the Dems want to tell us how different it is, nothing has really changed…just worse because now many more don’t have jobs. I can vote for Dems for certain positions and I will. However, when 2012 comes around unless Obama does something completely polar to what he is currently doing, I won’t be voting for him. I’d vote for Mickey Mouse before I’d vote for the current Obama!

        • Silent Kate, thanks for the HONK. I am so mad that a democratic president and congress that could not help health care and housing that I don’t think I can ever get over it. May 31st started it, but it has only gotten worse. I owe 50,000.00 more now than my house is worth. It is a small house, I did not spend more than I could pay for. The houses going bust around me and the increase in my payment I am now close to losing my house. No one will refinance a home worth less than is owed. I did not make my house worth less. Wall Street did. I live one block from the beach in a 1600 sq. foot home built by the corp of engineers in the early 50’s after the war. We are not talking about a mansion. I spent the last 12 years being the only care giver to both of my parents, COPD and Parkinson’s. My father was a WWII veteran. And no one will hire me at my age. I’m just Fu*ked.

          • I should also add, I took out a second mortgage to take care of my parents. That’s the 50,000.00 dollars. The house at that time was worth 20,000.00 more. My house if you saw it is a shack near the beach. But I was happy.

          • Yeah, I have visions of many families combining their assets to stay afloat. It’s already happening. Someone on here today commented that her son who had just finished college is going to stay home with them. They felt that everything is so uncertain so he shouldn’t pay rent and maybe risk losing everything should the job not work out. Where I live we have many Mexicans that have moved in. For years they would have multiple families living in small houses. These would also be multi-generational. This is how they would get ahead. I see these times are coming for everyone as people try to hang onto their homes. My heart goes out to you. I have a job and am hoping to keep it. It makes me sick to think about all of the people out their on the edge. I hope there is some support you can find.

          • pdgrey, I feel for you and I wish there was something I could do to help.

  11. HONK!!!

  12. I find it fascinating that women make up over 51% of the population, yet do not have their own party – one where women are the majority and are responsible for policy. Is it just me, or is this a major disconnect and why?

    • We all really know what has to be done. We need good female candidates. I wrote this post last month. I think you might find it interesting.

      • Kate, powerful piece, and so very true – and kiddo I’m a kid of the 50’s/60’s so I’ve seen it all. Very well stated. Sad but true. One day, not in my lifetime obviously, but hoperfully in your’s, one day we will be considered equal citizens under ALL Laws, rights and freedoms. And one Day we will not be bullied, denigrated, spit upon, beaten, raped and subject to hate speech because we just happen to be female – One day. I just wonder when ONE DAY will come.

        • Okay, I started laughing when I got to the end. I guess we all can dream of that place. Where the h#ll is it? It certainly isn’t in “Obama World”. Remember that dusting off of the shoulders. BTW, I’m 55 and it’s probably out of reach for me as well!

      • What is a “good” female candidate then? Are there any who are going to be perfectly in agreement with all of us on every issue? If we’re going to be overly picky in throwing women under the bus who are not aligned with our beliefs, we will never advance.

        • Yep!

        • I wasn’t in perfect agreement with Hillary on every issue, but Hillary is a woman of phenomenal strength AND substance, and those are the two qualities I look for because, no there isn’t going to be anyone who perfectly aligns with me.

          Right now I can say Palin is a woman of strength. But she really doesn’t have much substance going on.

          Just because Obama is a llama doesn’t mean a mama grizzly is an answer. Mama grizzlies have a role to play in giving voice to the rightwing grassroots, esp. rightwing women. But I’m not going to help them spread their message on issues where their message is at odds with mine.

    • I don’t know what’s happening anymore. When I marched and protested in the 60’s even though my entire high school ostracized me, ( kids where not killing each other then, I give you that) but I am beginning to believe it just doesn’t matter anymore what I do.People that I thought were on “my side of beliefs” think such crazy sh*t I don’t want to hear any more of it.

      • pd, I marched in the sixties as well, and trust me, I wasn’t the prom queen – quite the opposite, I was the outsider, the weird one, the one with the outspoken opinions, and I didn’t even wear glasses (seems to have been an unspoken thing back then that any blue stocking, had to have glasses). Funny story, in college, I was the prom queen – weird huh.
        Anyway, what we were fighting and marching for then was worth the effort. My daughter has a much better chance at advancement that I did, and believe me, she was accepted at uni on the basis of her grades, rather than her sex (and she entered a total science field of study). So everything we did was a move foreward. Now we are facing the Paris Hilton school of stupidity, wherein a certain segment of the population has been stuptified into believing that celebrity is important. It’s not, but propaganda is like that. Answer is to fight back, but it needs the young pups to stop with their concentration on celebrity, computer games and social networking sites, and to start getting involved in their future, because if they do not, then 1984 was not just in a man’s imagination.

        • I was the outcast in high school because my family respected black people and taught their three daughters to do the same. I held my belief as pride, of knowing I was doing the right thing. Funny, now that you mention it, I later won the beauty contest that represented “Miss Tennessee”., much to the horror of the ruling class.

          • See, high school has become a social clique of stupidity. If one is lucky, one meets some great people (who are also outcasts generally) and gets instruction from some very good teachers if they managed to survive the cuts. High School does play a role in who we become, mostly because we will do anything not to be like those arseholes that made our lives a misery – you know the ones, the mean girls and jocks clubs.

            Want a laugh, I was elected the first Miss Whatever in the first year of college by virtue of the professors and the student body – they rated presence, interaction in the college community, and academic scholarship – oh and looks did play a role, however, it was a majority vote, and I won – more ridiculous, I didn’t even know that I was entered, otherwise I would have withdrawn my name.
            BTW, my best friend in elementary school was Herbie – the only black child in our school. I don’t know where they moved or why, but if Herbie is reading, I’ve missed you in my life for the last 40 years.

      • It’s because the nation is being polarized by everyone from crazy a## Glenn Beck to snooty President Obama. There is no clear “leader” to calm this crazy crap. Barack should get off his high horse and realize he is supposed to be leading this country. Maybe if he would pry is lips off the a## of every corporation that backed his candidacy, he could lead!

    • On this note, Wonk, You should seriously think about running for office. Some office…any office.

      You are a voice that can lead.
      You seem to have the command of history and a clear call.

      WONK for ________(fill in the blank)

  13. I just ran across this. It’s off topic, but I think it’s worth reading:



    • You’re right about the cheap labor thing. My conservative brother was lamenting the fact that with extending the unemployment it made it difficult for him to hire people for 8 bucks an hour. I kid you not! He said they’d rather stay home and collect unemployment. (Sorry, banging head against wall.)

      • Your brother sounds like a real sweetheart. (snark font)

        Perhaps I’m lucky to be an only child. 🙄

        • On my site, he is the reason I did my post today on Holy Wars….He has some crazy ideas…Which might be explained by the fact that my sister hit him on the head with a broom handle when he was kid. He walked across her freshly washed floor with sh*t farmer boots on when my sister had just told him not to walk on it. Some people never learn.

    • Good read. But as we have discovered, we also have Cheap Labor Democrats. We have Cheap Labor “leadership.”

  14. Oops Hazards of Live TV

  15. Wonk the Vote, I want to make sure you know how much the post means. It says everything I think is true. I love ” What fresh Hell is this?”. You are wonderful.

  16. I disagree with Palin’s positions too much to vote for her, but I don’t think she’s a horrid human being, either.

    I surf some of the more conventionally “progressive” blogs, and they talk about her like she’s the Wicked Witch of the (North)West.

    “Eeek! It’s Sinister Sarah! She’s gonna turn us all into frogs! Burn the witch!” 😛

    • Ah, a Monty Python fan? Burn the witch indeed. Sarah Palin is a media construct – they made her, they will continue to use her. Otherwise, how would she and they make money?

    • They couldn’t get their hate on to these cosmic levels for anyone but Hillary. Now they can’t muster up the same degree of hate for anyone but Sarah. I sense a pattern.

  17. What an excellent post!!

    I just wish there was some way we could put the power of women (voting bloc and purchasing power) together to ensure that we are no longer bargaining chips for every issue. As you said, I truly believe the reason the conservatives pushed the abortion issue so hard is to keep women busy fighting for our BASIC rights. The Emily’s List attack on Sarah Palin makes me so angry as that is not the way to get women to come together. We need to find a way to give courage and strength against the sharp knives that will surely come the moment we try to capture our power. If only women would be willing to be called names and not be as popular with the frat boyz as our foremothers were, we might be able to get somewhere.

    I, for one, am ready to raise some hell.

  18. Okay, I know it is OT….but I thought this was an interesting take…written by Daniel Pearl’s father.

    Anyway, again WTV awesome post.

    Currents and undercurrents below the Ground Zero mosque


  19. Well, now I simply must post this: :mrgreen:

  20. Sarah Palin is not the problem with American politics today nor is she the solution to it.

    so simple, it’s genius! Great post

  21. Oh hell, Saturday night’s nearly over here in the Central time zone and no one’s posted music yet?

    I just discovered that New Wave legends Romeo Void covered the classic early-’60s instrumental “Apache”. 😎

  22. My Green Party endorsed candidate for the ninth district is anti choice.

    Everyone should look carefully at the candidates, not the party they are affiliated with. Caveat emptor and whatnot.

  23. Bernanke Downplays “Double-Dip Recession”

    • EAAAK…double dipper recession!?! 😯

      • Heh, the male reporter said Bernanke says “the revovery is in place.’ Okaaaay, then, that has to mean it’s settled on the Big Banksters, just where they intended it to be! And screw the rest of us….

  24. Obama for America rang my doorbell today. I sent them packing.

  25. Thousands flee Indonesia volcano

  26. I never forgot Willie Brown’s editorial following Palin’s RNC debut:

    The Democrats are in trouble. Sarah Palin has totally changed the dynamics of this campaign.


    Palin’s speech to the GOP National Convention on Wednesday has set it up so that the Republicans are now on offense and Democrats are on defense. And we don’t do well on defense.

    Suddenly, Palin and John McCain are the mavericks and Barack Obama and Joe Biden are the status quo, in a year when you don’t want to be seen as defending the status quo.

    From taxes to oil drilling, Democrats are now going to have to start explaining their positions.

    Whenever you start having to explain things, you’re on defense.

    I actually went back and watched Palin’s speech a second time. I didn’t go to sleep until 1:30 a.m. I had to make sure I got the lines right.

    Her timing was exquisite. She didn’t linger with applause, but instead launched into line after line of attack, slipping the knives in with every smile and joke.

    And she delivered it like she was just BS-ing on the street with the meter maid.

    She didn’t have to prove she was “of the people.” She really is the people.

    There is one thing she should have done: announced when her 17-year-old daughter and the teenage father of the girl’s unborn child are getting married and invited all of us to the wedding. It should be like Sunday at church.

    As for Palin herself, she is going to be very, very effective on the campaign trail, especially if McCain’s people can figure out how to gently keep her from getting into confrontations with the press.

    If she can answer questions like she handled herself at the convention, Palin will turn out to be the most interesting person in all of politics, and the press will treat her like they treated Obama when he was first discovered.

    And remember, the Palin bandwagon needs to roll for only two months.

    By the way, a note to John McCain: Get rid of the suits.

    McCain is best with an open collar, his sleeves rolled up and in a Western shirt.

    He doesn’t come off well in suits at all.

    They make him look old.

    And Cindy – keep the hair up.

  27. Finally, an article on Confluence that does not feel the need to slip in a sneer at Palin. Very refreshing.

  28. Wonk, as a long time TC follower I’ve read much of your terrific writing but this is brilliantly done. Thanks for keeping us awake and focused.

    I was on SilentKate’s site and left a response to a fellow who had a thoughtful response about the requirement to recognize racial, religious, class as well as gender needs – my reply to him was:

    This is why women will never get ahead – because everyone seems to get off track (distracted.) “Women’s rights are human rights” is something that folks always seem to forget – if you take care of women you cover their race, religion and class because that is all part of who a woman is. Let’s not get distracted.

    That’s why we need the ERA!

  29. I still shudder at the thought of her being in a position of actual power….

    On The Media covered the way the Cuban Missile Crisis has been reported in the MCM, from hagiography to somewhat more realistic to its virtually ignoring the release of tapes of actual discussions.

    In the tapes, JFK comes off as more of a hero to me. Every single one of his advisers, from political to military, wanted the bombing to begin and to hell with working with Krushchev. But JFK actually thought things through on his own, came to a different appoach. He said he did not want the results of 500 sorties against Cuba and USSR ships if it was possible to avoid the bloodshed.

    He had experience with war and he also had an incisive mind.

    The person discussing this said that perhaps one of the sad losses of not paying attention to the reality of JFK, that one thinking and reasonable man stood against all his “best and brightest’ advisers, led this nation to election a BushBoy, about whose obvious lack of intellect the MCMers and the pundits and the Repub pols said, Oh, that’s OK — he’s surrounded by really good advisers, the Repub Best and Not Quite Too Dim! It’ll be OK, see — his advisers will keep him away from bad decisions.

    And that worked out how well?

    Then, we got the same crap sold to Democratic voters about Obama — inexperienced? Hasn’t complete even one Senate term? Well, not to worry. He’ll have all those great advisers…like Geithner and Summers and Bernanke?

    How’s that working out?

    So, Palin scares the hell out of me. Not on her personality, which is great — I want to like her!– but on her lack of intellectual rigor and ability to analyze. Plus all that really wacko Repub thinking…. Dog help us!

    • The “her” is Palin. Thought I’d hit the reply button so it would be clear…ooops.

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