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Born to Party

If you want to understand the Tea Party movement you should read Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America by Senator James Webb of Virginia:

The Scots-Irish (sometimes called the Scotch-Irish) are all around you, even though you probably don’t know it. They are a force that shapes our culture, more in the abstract power of emotion than through the argumentative force of law. In their insistent individualism, they are not likely to put an ethnic label on themselves when they debate societal issues. Some of them don’t even know their ethnic label, and some who do don’t particularly care. They don’t go for group-identity politics any more than they like to join a union. Two hundred years ago the mountains built a fierce and uncomplaining self-reliance into an already hardened people. To them, joining a group and putting themselves at the mercy of someone else’s collective judgment makes as much sense as letting the government take their guns. And nobody is going to get their guns.

Webb wrote in a WSJ article*:

The Scots-Irish comprised a large percentage of Reagan Democrats, and contributed heavily to the “red state” votes that gave Mr. Bush the presidency in 2000. The areas with the highest Scots-Irish populations include New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, northern Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, northern Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, southern Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and parts of California, particularly Bakersfield. The “factory belt,” especially around Detroit, also has a strong Scots-Irish mix.

These are my people – I am descended from redneck dirt farmers in Kansas and Oklahoma. There ain’t no royalty in my bloodline. At one time in my life I even lived in a single-wide mobile home. Yep, I’m trailer trash.

But we aren’t entirely unique – there are millions of Americans descended from the poor commoners of Europe, Mexico, Central and South America. These are places where the land was owned by aristocrats and the commoners worked the land or lived in the margins – the hills and swamps. They didn’t emigrate to the United States to get rich, they came here to make a living and to be left alone.

Mackubin T. Owens:

These are the “red state” voters. They are family-oriented, take morality seriously, go to church, join the US military, support America’s wars, and listen to country music. They strongly believe that no man is obligated to obey the edicts of a government that violates his moral conscience. They once formed the bedrock of the Democratic Party—from the time of Andrew Jackson until the Vietnam era—but they have been moving to the Republicans since then. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Webb called the Scots-Irish in America the “the secret GOP weapon.”

These people aren’t “country club” Republicans like the Bush family, they are the rank and file voters and they are the core of the Tea Party movement.

Bill Clinton understood these people because he is one of them, but the current crop of progressive schemers and plotters are clueless about them. Marc Ambinder doesn’t get it:

There is, in fact, a much better avatar of the Tea Party movement, someone whose very name provokes disgust among Democrats, someone whose name identification is 100 percent and whose ubiquity is extremely useful.

That person is Sarah Palin. All that’s required is for the President to utter her name a couple of times. The Fox-Rush-Redstate nexus would explode. Palin would bask in the attention and respond. And respond. And respond. The press would cover the story and ask why the President would elevate Sarah Palin? David Broder might write a column bemoaning the fact that the President chose politics over the institution of the presidency, which is supposed to respect the dignity of all Americans.

Elevate Sarah Palin? How much higher can she go? Everyone knows her. Some of Obama’s advisers have argued in the past that the attention paid to Palin by Americans in the last stages of the 2008 campaign is one reason why Obama was able to win so cleanly.

Palin and the Tea Party movement are not the same thing. The movement, evolving out of movement conservatism, is principally about government and the economy. Palin revels in the culture wars. But when that part of the Tea Party that does care about social issues becomes the story, linking the two in the public’s mind is easier.

Yes, the election is about control of Congress. But at a larger level, it’s about competing visions of the world. John Boehner v. the Democratic agenda is a boring contrast. Many Democrats couldn’t tell a Boehner from a Cantor. But everyone knows who Sarah Palin is.

The Tea Party is a populist movement. Oh, it got it’s start as a Dick Armey astroturf operation, but Frankenstein’s monster has escaped from the lab and is running amok around the countryside. The GOP establishment is almost as afraid of them as the Democrats are.

Sarah Palin is an authentic populist. The malefactors of great wealth spent millions of dollars to convince people that Barack Obama was the leader of a movement but it was all bullshit. Sarah Palin is the real deal.

Until she was selected by John McCain to be his running mate Palin was the virtually-unknown governor of a state large in size but small in population. She didn’t inherit the job, she took on incumbent governor Frank Murkowski in the GOP primary and former Democratic governor Tony Knowles in the general election.

Palin was heavily outspent by both men but beat them anyway to become the youngest and first female governor of Alaska. Political ideology aside, her story is truly inspiring – it’s an American by-her-bootstraps success story.

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

Starting with Troopergate the Obama campaign and the Journolistas threw everything including the kitchen sink at Sarah Palin. They even questioned whether Trig Palin was really her child or the son of her daughter Bristol.

Obot conventional wisdom is that Palin is the reason John McCain lost. The truth is she is the reason McCain almost won in a year the Democrats couldn’t lose.

After the 2008 election Palin returned to Alaska. Her story might have ended there, but for the obsessive Palin-hate among the Obots. They were determined to destroy her but their attacks had the opposite effect.

Sarah and Todd Palin had a combined income in the low six figures – well above the average but nowhere near the top. She had no wealthy backers or powerful friends. She lived a long, long way from Washington DC. When Palin resigned as governor the punditocracy gleefully declared her career over.

But she didn’t listen.

She wrote a book about her life and the 2008 campaign. The Obots mocked and jeered, but the book was a bestseller and crowds of people lined up to get autographed copies. She started making big bucks getting paid to give speeches to packed crowds. She used Facebook and Twitter to bypass the “lamestream media.”

Obots shook their tiny fists in impotent rage.

Meanwhile the Tea Party movement sprang into existence. It’s original astroturf intent was to motivate the right wing rank and file in opposition to Obama and the Democrats in Congress. But somebody forgot to tell the Tea Partiers it was just for show.

What followed was harmonic convergence – with the connivance of the Obamacrats Sarah Palin became the unofficial queen of the Tea Partiers. She started endorsing candidates in GOP primaries. Most, but not all of them were members of the Tea Party movement.  Many of them, like Christine O’Donnell and Kelly Ayotte, were women.

With the exception of John McCain they weren’t incumbents and most were not front-runners when Palin endorsed them. Her success rate was approximately 70% with record voter turnouts.

They say that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The Obots have been relentlessly attacking Sarah Palin for over two years now, and she keeps getting stronger.

Marc Ambinder should be careful what he wishes for.

All the things that the Obots despise about Sarah Palin are the things the Tea Partiers love. She is one of them. She is a conservative but so are they. The fact that the media hates her is just icing on the cake.

Another problem for the Obots is that they don’t seem to grasp that the whole country doesn’t share their views. When they talk about the “radical” views of Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell and the Tea Partiers they don’t realize that those views aren’t really that radical.

Ronald Reagan won two elections espousing the same ideas as the Tea Party movement. Bush I and Bush II won three more doing the same thing. That’s five out of eight elections in the last thirty years. They have a good argument that they’re the mainstream.

Me? I’m a liberal, but I live in the middle of Tea Party country. The headquarters of the Tea Party Express is located about two hours north of me up Highway 99 in Sacramento. I can tell you from personal experience that these people are not stupid, crazy or ignorant. For the most part they aren’t racists either.

But they ARE wrong.

The Republicans have been winning elections for the past thirty years by espousing Randian economic theories, opposing immigration and The Gay and by advocating deregulation of everything except abortion and recreational drugs. The fundies got pissed at them for not delivering on abortion and other social issues and the conservatives (in the form of the Tea Partiers) are pissed because the GOP hasn’t lived up to its libertarian rhetoric of smaller government and laissez faire economics.

Back when Newt Gingrinch was pimping his “Contract on America” I said that the worst thing for the Republicans would be if they won. If they failed to keep their promises they would piss off their supporters but if they did keep them they would piss off the whole country. They won, then made the mistake of tangling with the Big Dawg.

What the Tea Partiers want is what Reagan promised them. The problem is what he promised them won’t work. But instead of making that argument the Democrats plan to run on “Sarah Palin is a c*nt!”

Palin has enough support to win the Republican nomination. She doesn’t have the money, the media or the GOP establishment supporting her, but she’s got something better – voters. More importantly, they’re motivated voters.  The fundies love her because she’s one of them, too.

Now there is many a slip twixt the cup and the lip, but if the primaries were starting today she would be formidable. If the candidates she endorsed win in November she’ll be the shiznit. The 2012 campaign starts on November 3, 2010.

Which brings me to my final point, which is why Marc Ambinder is full of shit. Women comprise 52% of the electorate. They have been leaning Democratic for the past few decades but Sarah Palin is building her own “Mama Grizzlies” brand that is based on the idea of conservative feminism.

Watching Obama’s dick army go wild with unhinged misogyny against Hillary alienated lots of women. If you’re reading this you’re probably one of them. Obama hasn’t really done anything to heal that breach, in fact he’s made it worse.

Pete Wilson got himself elected governor of California twice by running on anti-immigration platforms. He also shifted the Hispanic vote solidly into the Democratic column, turning Big Smoggy into a blue state.

If women stay home in November 2012 then Obama will be in deep doo-doo, regardless of who the GOP candidate is. If Sarah Palin is the GOP nominee and women vote Republican she will break the glass ceiling that Hillary cracked.

On the bright side – no populist has ever been elected president.

Unfortunately, Sarah Palin may be the first. What’s really stupid is the Obamacrats want Sarah Palin to be the GOP nominee. They are salivating over the possibility. I said this in a comment thread yesterday:

Whenever I see someone on the left suggesting that they go after Sarah Palin I think about the French military’s strategy in Indochina back in the Fifties. They thought if they could just get Ho Chi Mihn’s boys to stand and fight the war would be over.

They got their wish, at a place called Dien Bien Phu

(*Original link inoperative, quote via Anglachel’s Journal)

175 Responses

  1. Boy, myiq, that’s the best analysis of Palin I’ve seen yet…


  2. Terrific article, Myiq!

  3. Honk! Honk!

  4. Bravo, Myiq!!!

    If the Scots-Irish are anything, they are UNpretentious. And they can spot a fraud from a mile away. Got nuttin to do with skin color.

    Thanks for this great post!

    • They are reverse snobs. They look down on wealth and ostentation.

      They use expressions like “putting on airs” and “too big for his britches.” (If you heard those expressions growing up then you’re probably one of them.)

      • Hemmm, I think I understand a bit more as to why you blog without yours, although I still find it a bit 😯 …well you know… :blush:

      • Hi myiq,

        I’m descended from Scots-Irish ancestors too, along with French-Canadian. I’ve always loathed snobbery and elitism. Going back to read the rest now….

      • LOL! I had forgotten that childhood phrase “too big for your britches.” Ah, memories. LOL

        The point, though: talking down to them just makes it worse. They LIKED Bill Clinton, cuz he treated them like adults and not children. So did Hillary…. remember her mocking Obama’s gloriousness with the “stars will come down from the sky” speech? Right up Scots-Irish alleys. 🙂

        Same kinda emotion Dak and everybody feels toward Brazille now, after she suggested the Party didn’t need em anymore. Pfft, is the response.

        Webb’s right, though. These are salt of the earth people. Can’t be hustled, can’t be okey-doked.

        Straight talk matters.

        • And here’s another quality:

          Even if you have a lotta money , to flaunt it or waste it on pretentious things is a SIN in the Scots-Irish community. No Neiman Marcus namedroppers in this crowd….no sirree.

          Odd, I know, but they deeply despise all the “creative class” horseshit from both coasts that suggests they’re too “low-information” to know better.

          Obama and the boys DROVE them away, just like WMCB said. Coulda been different if Obama had had the smallest amount of wisdom like Bill and Hill.

          Oh well.

        • Unfortunately, they have been hustled and okey-doked–by Reagan, both Bushes and the Republican Party in general, and have voted against their own best interests because of it.

          • Not anymore than the African Americans have been hustled by the Obama administration.

            Did the African Americans vote against their best interests?

      • I’m one of ’em, and I can’t stand ’em. I’ve got nothing on common with those sanctimonious redneck a**holes except ethnicity.


        But maybe that’s just the 1/8 Comanche talking… 😉

      • Hey, that all sounds familiar. I have some Scots-Irish in me as well. Although we never make big claims on the Scotts part as they tend to be CHEAP. We love the Irish part better because of the Irish Creme. I am really a Heinz 57 with a lot of other stuff like French and Czech thrown in to boot. However, I don’t like the “group think” of the Tea Party any more than the other parties and I definitely didn’t vote for Reagan! lol However, I do hate the haughty “elitist” attitude of parties that keep telling us what to do! My momma always used to use that “Putting on Airs” thing! She’d also say stop being so pretentious!

        • The Scots-Irish moms/grandmothers don’t call that quality “cheap.”

          They call it “thrifty” and “frugal.” And smart.

          Making that dollar “squeek” is the goal. 🙂

    • Yes!!

  5. This is your third most impressive analysis of the motivating factor driving the TP folks. First, is still ‘Later Not NOW’, second is your post on Charity with regards to Health Care quoting the bible, and this being third because you truly point out what many are still missing; THE WOMEN FOLK ARE STILL PO’ed and THE UNITY EXPRESS NEVER LEFT THE STATION! \

    YUP, the Democrats have made things worse, rather than better with the women folk and the social issues aren’t even being heard, because the message torch has been taken from them and the only Democrats that are solid and speak to the pain the folks are experiencing in these hard economic times are Big Dawg and Hillary. Until, the Democrats get some committed fight in them it will be all down hill, because they are essentially doing this on que:

    edgeoforever, on September 18, 2010 at 8:30 pm Said:

    I also liked “We came this close to giving you healthcare” and “We fight for you – up to a point”

    Let’s face it, there is no greater enemy than the one you face, that goes into a fight with the intention to win, even when many think they don’t have a chance.

    One last point, that escapes me is why they attack Sarah as being dumb when she is the daughter of TEACHERS and that only works against those attacking. Also, most families have their children attend colleges and universities like the one’s Palin attended, most American’s don’t have Ivy League graduates, and that too is working against those attacking with that logic.

    Any hoo…I have an idea that one day the ‘Trail Trash’ bit will be replaced with ‘Trailer Innovators’, as it is those that are not bound, nor constrained that allow for the flow of free thought and are able to pick up and go with the flow that brings about INNOVATION.

  6. myiq, analysis doesn’t get better than this one! Thank you.

  7. Christine O’Donnell discusses the Republican primary on FOX

  8. Christine O’Donnell discusses the media’s love affair with O “Christine O’Donnell…A Republican strategist”

    • I have been finding video after video of Christine O’Donnell and she is MAIN STREAM GOP being portrayed as an outsider which she is NOT! Fox identifies her as a GOP ‘strategist’, and this could well be a campaign strategy with the hope of folks not finding out that she is and has been in the Republican Party full on and has been on every show, including RUSH years before her current race.

      NOW, would the GOP let her speak to the presidential race time and time again if she was an outside person? Sorry, but I am not buying the story that she is an outsider.

      • You have to remember, you don’t really need credentials to be a “strategist.” That’s some BS Fox came up with to bring certain people on again and again. Kirsten Powers was a “Democratic Strategist” for a while. She worked on D campaings, then was actively blacklisted by the party and became a columnist instead.

        The funniest part is that O’Donnell looks like such a big pot of crazy that Media Matters, MSNBC, Bill Maher and every other Republican basher has forgotten every other race to focus on Christine. She’s drawing their fire. Her loss could very well get many other fringe candidates elected.

        • Having been in the inside of things, I trust FOX on the ‘strategist’ ID, as they(media) know and when you are asked to speak to the press (with more than one reporter) or an interview it has been cleared with the party big wigs. I never spoke on the party line, unless it was cleared or I was representing my own opinion give the ‘blank’ I held.

          SO, I am not buying the OUTSIDER bit, nope, nope, NEVER…this is a full on play they are doing to get an ULTRA conservative elected.

          If she is a non-party connected person then so was I, before May 31st, 2008 (The day they went after me and I went into exile.). BTW: I still consider myself a Democrat and don’t lie about that.

          • Being a party insider is based more on class than seniority. Joe Lieberman was in the Democratic Party for years but got primaried for Ned Lamont. Just because the GOP didn’t object (or tacitly approved) of O’Donnell as a talking head, it doesn’t make her worthy to them of being a candidate.

            The Republicans bashed her pretty good in the days leading up to the primaries. I doubt they’re playing some 11th dimensional chess game to get her elected. I just don’t believe that stuff works.

      • When they pulled out that old Bill Maher video I was wondering about all of that. I thought she must be pretty brave to be who she is with her convictions and go on Bill Maher. It made me think that she must be more well known than what we have been thinking.

        • From what I’ve read, that Bill Maher clip was never aired. His old show may have been cancelled before it was on.

          • His old show was on Comedy Central in the mid-90s, no one was watching it. I notice Maher isn’t dredging up old clips when he was a fiscal conservative and Arianna Huffington was a right-wing Republican.

          • I remember Maher well, the “libertarian” who was anti Gore and helped Arianna with her shadow convention in 2000, which wanted to feature McCain. 🙂

          • Yes, Ralph. Maher, who was anti-Gore, helped Versaille media give us 8 years of Bush.

            So did Dowd and Robinson.

        • Christine O’Donnell is a Republican Party Insider, don’t be fooled. Sarah Palin, was not an insider, that I checked out, this lady is, and don’t be fooled, she did the ‘attack’ on Hillary and played on the ‘wife’ bit, when, oh Hillary was a SENATOR, that office she is trying to obtain.

          • She’s concerned women for america … that’s pretty much the grass roots part of all the republican women’s groups. The country clubbers don’t go for that, but any one that’s not a banker’s wife is part of that group

  9. Well this is from 3 days back, so it’s old news but can’t resist linking to it:

    “The White House has denied claims in a new book that Michelle Obama told French first lady Carla Bruni that her life in the White House was “hell”.”


    BBC also seems to be full of tea partiers today:

    A real revolution in the ranks


    • From the BBC piece…

      This is a real revolution in Republican ranks. It can be explained by the Great Recession, the exposure of the American Dream as, well, a dream and by a new intolerance with entitlement.

      It is underpinned by an appalling discrepancy in incomes, by the heavy hand of government, by the limitations of America at home and abroad.

      There are many more reasons, for sure. But the first shot of the revolution was fired at the 2008 GOP convention in St Paul, Minnesota, when an almost-unknown Sarah Palin had the grand old men rolling in the aisles with her tough talk about moose, pitbulls and lipstick.

      Little did the likes of McCain, Romney and Crist know then that they would end up in the cross-hairs, hunted by someone of their own creation.

      Good hunting to them.

  10. Spot on. Great, great post!

    btw..I think we may be related.

  11. Spot on and all that. I believe you’ve hit the preverbal nail on the, well, head thingy.

  12. Great piece myiq. Just like Palin, the tone deaf Left thinks they can condescend and dismiss what is growing to be a powerful force in this country. Agree with them or not–it exists and is gaining steam. My mom’s side comes from the “bitter clinger” crowd, coal-miner’s in Western Pa. so I can relate. I also went to an Ivy League school, so I’ve seen the range of attitudes up close and personal. My maternal relatives are hard-working, loving, authentic human beings. I don’t have the same religious or social values, but there is mutual respect, and I respect their right to fight for what they believe in, even if I disagree. The patronizing, snarling attitude of the elite however, always disgusted me. And now, it is their achilles heel–they are so in love with themselves, they cannot clearly see or hear the strength of the opposition. Unfortunately, for those of us that are liberals, the backlash is going to smack us in the face too. I can’t help but think how differently HRC would have handled this opportunity and what it is going to cost the country for years to come…tragic.

    • Honk! Honk!

      • Well, I was born a coal miner’s daughter,
        In a cabin, on a hill in Butcher Holler,
        We were poor, but we had love,
        That’s the one thing my daddy made sure of,
        He shoveled coal to make a poor man’s dollar.

        My daddy worked all night in the Van Lear Coal Mines,
        All day long in a field a-hoein’ corn,
        Mommy rocked the babies at night,
        and read The Bible by the coal-oil light,
        And everything would start all over come break of mornin’.

        Daddy loved and raised 8 kids on a miner’s pay,
        Mommy scrubbed our clothes on a washboard every day,
        Why, I seen her fingers bleed, to complain, there was no need,
        She’d smile in mommy’s understanding way.

        In the summertime we didn’t have shoes to wear,
        But in the wintertime, we’d all get a brand new pair,
        From a mail-order catalog, money made from sellin’ a hog,
        Daddy always managed to get the money somewhere.

        Yeah, I’m proud to be a coal miner’s daughter,
        I remember well the well where I drew water,
        The work we done was hard, at night we’d sleep ’cause we were tired,
        I never thought of ever leavin’ Butcher Holler.

        Well, a lot of things have changed since way back then,
        And it’s so good to be back home again,
        Not much left but the floor, nothin’ lives here anymore,
        ‘Cept the memories of a coal miner’s daughter.

    • Wow, you could become a politician as you went to an Ivy league school. I went to a “state” school, Michigan State University. I could never be a politician. I’m not the elite! lol

    • Unfortunately, for those of us that are liberals, the backlash is going to smack us in the face too. I can’t help but think how differently HRC would have handled this opportunity and what it is going to cost the country for years to come…tragic.

      my feelings entirely

    • fif, my background is similar. Central western PA from a family of coal miners and steel workers and farmers. I was the first in my generation to graduate from a University.
      I know these guys. They are just what you describe your relatives to be.(re hard-working, loving, authentic human beings)
      As I said a week ago, that segment of the population would have gone Hillary in a split second. Hillary could have rallied that huge group which, before O, would have also included the minority vote too. Consider that mandate to make things right.
      There would be no Tea Party.

      But now Sarah has captured their anger, instead.
      Perhaps Jim Webb can stand up and lead a movement for the left.
      I know he is not as far left as I am but he seems to be pretty savvy and he served honorably and he has a backbone.

    • well said.

  13. OT: Just read at RCP that Russ Feingold is 7 points behind. I’m stunned.

    • Whoa. I do believe that light at the end of the tunnel is indeed a big train about to run over the new Dem coalition.

    • Yep, 7 points behind an aluminum manufacturer that no one had heard of six months ago. Tsunami coming ashore.

    • Glen Greenwald, Al Franken and a bunch of other spokespersons for the left sent out donation requests for Russ last week.
      Sen Feingold had a fund raiser called Cheddarbomb.
      I think he raised an incredible million or more in a day or 2.

      Send Russ your lunch money tomorrow.
      He is one of the few good guys.
      I’d vote for him for POTUS.

      • I hope Russ and Sestak win, despite a tough year. Sentimentally, I also am for Charlie Melancon in LA.

    • If it’s true, as I think I remember reading here, that Feingold opposed Hillary’s health plan back in the 90s but voted for O’s Heritage Foundation travesty, then good riddance to ‘im, says I.

  14. More on the Tea Party from the Brit New Statesman:

    Why the Republican Party is a spider, but the Tea Party is a starfish

    The Tea Party has more in common with Al Qaeda than it would like to think. Both are of an extremely religious bent. Both hate Barack Obama. And both are starfish organisations – at least according to Jonathan Rauch of the National Journal..

    Rauch uses Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom’s model of the spider and the starfish and applies it to the relationship between the Republican Party and its troublesome base movement.


  15. I think you nailed it, myiq

  16. Oh man! I have dueling Clintons on the teevee!!! what to do, what to do

  17. Great piece Myiq!

    You said: “She doesn’t have the money, the media or the GOP establishment supporting her, but she’s got something better – voters. More importantly, they’re motivated voters
    But, but isn’t that where Hillary was – Lord knows we supported her – we still support her, she had more votes than anyone, anywhere, anytime – but the money and fraud crushed her win during the primaries – they just stole it.

    • If the RNC tries that shit on Sarah and the Tea Partiers they will find out what a lynch mob looks like, up close and personal.

      • Ayup.

        You DO know that most of the people who stirred up and took part in the original Tea Party were Scots-Irish, right?

        They’ll storm the figurative barracades.

      • 😉

      • I agree. I think the fact that it was just recently done in ’08 will have an effect. You can’t do the same thing that soon, even if it’s the other head of the corporatist two headed monster.

  18. Think “Jacksonian,” folks. Same kind of era.

  19. Scotch-Irish-Dutch-English, my grandfather used to say. He was just like Reagan. Except he was more like Fred Astaire.

    Your article is very good, and you touch on significant points.

    We Californians who cast our votes for the first time against Reagan in college know why we did. Our state has reaped the repercussions for years.

    McCain played a real trick on women. Very tricky. He played right into the huge letdown Hillary’s female supporters felt. Anybody who was concerned about Obama’s lack of experience had no choice but to go that way.

    Only? You caught it above in the video. That would be her — from some little backwater town full of little god fearing types who believe in Rape and Incest because, well? It probably happens there — just like it does all over in little hidden burgs, or Mormon compounds or?

    She didn’t write her book. Like Obama she had a ghostwriter.


    Like Obama, she has no real record. Not one like this:


    or even this:


    That was a hideous dilemma in 2008. For those of us who felt like Democratic Party loyalists. Wasn’t it?

    At first, when we had dealt with the misogyny towards Hillary, and had to stomach it, and then we saw the T shirts and the lipstick on a pig remark, well? She seemed okay. But?

    Not now. Not with the agenda that she has, coupled with tandem agendas that are Schafley-based. And her cronies in that Heartland ad.


    That Bircher deal is only part of it. We are talking about the ERA.


    Now, what we are looking at as Democrats is something very, very serious. I don’t even think Obama is aware of exactly what might transpire over the next two years given this group of people.

    It’s not going to be pretty.

    The Obots simply aren’t aware of the political significance of all of these things at this particular juncture. But, Bill Maher is.

    And Jon Stewart.

    He’s my gen. I have a bunch of faith in the men in my gen. Simply because it was our gen. In times like these.

    I have a lot of faith in the women of my gen too. Mostly for the times we have lived. I have a lot of faith in Democratic women in terms of their lived feminism during our particular era.

    I don’t want to watch what I think is going to happen over the next two years. I really don’t. But if there were ever a time for the Democratic Party to pull together, this is that moment.

    For 2012.

    Basically? We need a strong leader to get us out of this mess. Somebody that the country can trust. I don’t care which political party that leader comes from. But? That leader better be able to communicate to “the center.”


    I really don’t know.

    It’s non-funny at this point.

  20. That would be her — from some little backwater town full of little god fearing types who believe in Rape and Incest because, well? It probably happens there — just like it does all over in little hidden burgs, or Mormon compounds or?

    WTF? They believe in rape and incest? Where does this abject bullshit come from? Have you looked at stats for your large CA cities?

    • I believe she was referring to Palin’s views on abortion.

      • I hope so, otherwise it’s just looney tunes 😉

        • I am referring to that group of conservative women’s views on abortion.

          Looney tunes should be reserved for the uneducated proletariat that this group is going to pander to. Just watch.

          • Well, maybe if the dems did some respectful engagement with that “uneducated proletariat” themselves, instead of going around calling them the “uneducated proletariat”, things might not be looking so grim.

          • One factoid I picked up doing a college research project on then-Speaker Newt Gingrinch is that his home district in Cobb County, Georgia has the highest percentage of college graduates in the nation.

          • ‘uneducated proletariat’. Are you working for the RNC? Or just can’t help but condescend.

          • One more thing. As the pressure increases over the next two years we will be seeing more things like what is gong on in Arizona right now.

            It’s the larger things that concern me, post MLK.

            I’ve never been one to like mobs. Especially not this type.
            Also? You have not seen what this sort of narcissism might do, either. When pressed.

            The economy is making it like the 30’s in Europe.

            Most of the country is not interested in the $30,000 dinners at this point. Imagine how the populace feels about such excess. At the same time you have something brewing, bigly like Arizona, as undercurrent..

            That is just to the west of here, and you can feel it all the way out to the beach..

            Palin et al will be playing to that crowd. Just the other day I saw one of those tea party mustachioed pictures out here — in a liberal beachtown. They had some kind of petition going on.

            Give it two years.

            As for me, I’m not a Reagan Democrat.

            I’m a Jerry Brown Democrat. I’ve already seen what Whitman has done in terms of her ads.

            The West is now a giant barometer. it really is.
            I remember the riots and things in the 70’s. I was a kid then.
            All the social programs have been cut.

            Remember that old Robbie the Robot from our childhoods?

            “Danger, Will Robinson. Danger.”

            It’s a bit like that.

          • Calling people “uneducated proletariat” and “sanctimonious redneck assholes” and such is not generally a good way to persuade them to share your viewpoint. Demonizing them like this will only contribute to their sense of being besieged and marginalized in their own country and drive them further right.

            Funny thing–my farmer grandpa had a redder neck than any white guy, no matter how well broiled, and his grandkids are almost all flaming liberals. The lesbian half-Comanche cousin and her partner are farmers themselves. Stereotypes are useful only for polishing the egos of those who hold them.

          • I meant EAST, not West. Arizona is to the East of here.
            That’s how upset i feel.

            About what I am seeing happen. You’d just have to be here.
            I don’t want to watch.

            Two years ago, here at the Confluence we saw what was coming.

          • Remember that old Robbie the Robot from our childhoods?

            “Danger, Will Robinson. Danger.”

            That would be “Robot” from Lost in Space. Robbie the Robot was from Forbidden Planet.

          • I don’t want to watch.

            The Chinese have a curse:

            “May you live in interesting times”

          • And we’re living it, myiq! Probably the smartest thing to do is pull up a a lawn chair and cooler full of your favorite brew and just sit back and watch the fireworks. Unfortunately I’m usually too busy beating my head against my desk to sit back and do the smart thing.

  21. Jeralyn must miss those heady days of Palinpalooza.

    She’s trying to relive them with O’Donnellmania.

  22. Margaret Carlson:

    Some people may think it accidental that Sarah Palin has left the stage at this weekend’s Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit to Christine O’Donnell. The summit is a crucial event on the Republican calendar, a stop for any Republican who wants the conservative activists’ seal of approval and a beauty contest for GOP presidential hopefuls who vie to win its straw poll.

    I think it’s wise that Palin is otherwise occupied. Better not to be upstaged by the new It Girl on the block. Sure, Palin created the monster now threatening to steal her thunder by endorsing the unknown O’Donnell four days before Tuesday’s primary. She stunned everyone by beating former Congressman and Governor Mike Castle for the chance to run for former Senator Joe Biden’s seat.

    Often we don’t realize when we are cooperating in our own demise, a classic tale, memorialized in All About Eve. Bette Davis’s Margo Channing, the venerable star of Broadway, lets the adoring Eve Harrington, the fresher, prettier version of herself, into her life only to find her career eclipsed by the outwardly docile ingénue.

    Why would Palin want an obvious knockoff hawking her wares on the shores of the Delaware? She can tolerate Mamma Grizzlies who aren’t poaching her act, like Sharron Angle and Rep. Michele Bachmann. They acknowledge she’s the Big Mamma. But look at O’Donnell. She used to be a dead ringer for Elaine on Seinfeld until this election. Now, she’s a mini-me of the queen of the tundra.

    C’mon Margaret, don’t hold back. Tell us what you REALLY think.

    Like Eve, O’Donnell has some striking advantages. Although with soft lighting, the pair look like they were separated at birth, in fact, the baby-faced O’Donnell looks less like a twin than a daughter. Time is cruel to women, especially on HDTV. Your older man becomes a distinguished Old Lion and a woman just becomes old, aging in dog years. O’Donnell at 41 is five years younger than the 46-year-old Palin, who is a grandmother after all.


    BTW – C4P points out:

    First, let me apply some simple math to deconstruct the loony logic that makes up Margaret Carlson’s contemptuous tripe. It was announced in late August that Governor Palin would be the key speaker at this year’s Ronald Reagan Dinner, held by Iowa Republicans. Governor Palin did not endorse Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware GOP Primary race until September ninth.

    • When I read that I couldn’t believe a sentient being wrote it. Then noticed it was Margaret Carlson and realized I was right.

    • OMG, another woman hating on women. If she had ANY idea how she really sounds she would be ashamed. It’s all reduced to who’s younger and prettier huh Margaret? Palin would laugh in your face. You just don’t get it.

    • So, in the looks department, Sarah Palin is to Christine O’Donnell what Margaret Carlson is to Sarah Palin?

      That’s more or less what Calson herself is saying. Without the appearance stuff, she’s basically trying to tie the erratic O’Donnell more closely to the down-to-earth Palin. None of those punches are landing.

    • Every time I see Margaret Carlson’s name I think of her stalking of Fred Thompson, Ha!

    • “monster” ???? Eyuck.

    • What a b*tchy thing to say…the HDTV…not kind to women. Margaret better look in the mirror. She’s not so cute on regular TV but I never held it against her!

  23. Mark McKinnon:

    The good news out of this election season for Republicans is the Tea Party is capturing the anti-establishment energy in America. The bad news is that the Republican establishment is not immune to that energy.

    Those inside the Beltway have been slow to recognize the new breed of candidate emerging on the right. These conservative candidates are not professional politicians. They sometimes say the wrong thing. They often irritate the self-anointed because their pasts are not pedigreed. And they sometimes have “real people” problems.

  24. If you want to understand the Tea Party movement you should read Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America
    The “genius” of the Reagan campaign and rethug strategists, Casey, Rollins. Atwater, etc. was to use “values” as the shiny object to get people to vote against their self-interest.

    “Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War”
    is another book that looks at the same demographic.

    As the Reagan Democrats and their children loose their jobs, homes and financial security, the 1%ers are laughing there asses off at their stupidity.

  25. myiq, this was a brilliant piece. One of the best analyses of what is going on that I’ve read. I’ve been right along with you in trying to wake the left up to this.

    This line made me laugh out loud:

    The GOP establishment is almost as afraid of them as the Democrats are.

    That’s true. Liberals need to get their heads out of the time warp and realize that these are not the same wingers we’ve known and fought for 15 years. Sure, some of those people are in there. And some of the attitudes remain the same. But there has been a sea-change. The curtain has been pulled back, and they do indeed see the ride that the GOP took them on, and they are JUST as pissed at that as they are at the Dems.

    Why else would keep seeing comments on conservative blogs saying things like: “We HAVE to break the compact between govt and the big corporations. That is essential.” and “We need to throw out all the lobbyists”. And those comments are as much cheered as jeered. They are laughing their asses off at that f*ck Newt waddling as fast as he can to get in front of the parade. They despise him.

    What I am saying is that a lot of them do see a lot of the problems, unlike 10 years ago. They do have some clarity about what is going on. But the Dems just keep jeering at them as the same ol’ wingers, and are leaving a massive void for the R’s to fill with their own “solutions” rather then real ones.

    Attack the policies, not the cultural underpinnings. Acknowledge that a lot of the things these people see that are wrong, ARE wrong. Admit that the problem isn’t just the evil banks, but that our govt both R and D has been in bed with them for years. No, you are not going to win all of them, or even most. But you would not be ceding the “party of the working stiff” identification to the damn republicans, which is what the dems are rapidly doing.

    • This movement could have been split in half if there had been a liberal insurrection. I don’t know if that would be a good thing or it would have just diluted what I see as their power, I doubt I would like any of their solutions but it’s perfectly clear, after the last 10 years, that we can’t keep on keeping on and survive. I think this will be a CHANGE election whether we like it or not.

      • Either CHANGE or most likely, “Fuck change, tear it down.”

        Wise? Likely not. But that’s what people do when BOTH parties have backed them into a corner with no recourse. They come out snarling.

      • The liberal insurrection won’t happen until most of them get real and get their heads out of their arses. They’re all sitting around still saying “but I thought he was one of us!!!”

        Pride cometh before the fall.

        That’s the thing this scots irish cherokee girl used to hear from her grandmama whose grandfather was the chisolm of the chisolm trail. I come from a long like of dirt farmers and ranchers. They were victims of classism in Europe and they want none of it here.

    • “They are laughing their asses off at that f*ck Newt waddling as fast as he can to get in front of the parade. They despise him.”
      That remark made my day. It brings to mind such an effective image as to totally neuter NEWT!

  26. Anne Laurie at Buffoon Juice:

    The self-proclaimed conservatives who have made Palin, and now O’Donnell, symbols of Heartland American Values™ are not, to phrase it politely, defenders of gender neutrality. Fundamentalists and authoritarians still loudly prefer their women to be decorative, and subservient. Whatever the mooted power of the PUMAs, it’s not going to be easy for the most hardcore “traditionalists” to accept a woman in a position of real authority.

    Another rebel without a clue.

    • Jesus Christ on a waffle cone. These idiots wouldn’t know a conservative woman if one gave them a wedgie.

      Newsflash: Conservative women, even pro-life conservative women, are not subservient doormats. They are some proud, self-assured, tough, kick-ass mamas. Don’t let your vehement disagreement with their abortion views blind you to that, or you are gonna get creamed.

      This is how most conservative women I personally know would react to a discussion of, say, male domestic violence. Not with a self-empowering focus seminar. With this, and it’s not exactly a “doormat mentality”:

      • I know one woman (now in her seventies) who said her husband of 40+ years slapped her once when they were newlyweds. She told him “Don’t ever do that again. You have to sleep sometime and I have a frying pan.”

        He never did it again.

      • Steel magnolias

        • …and cast iron magnolias.

        • Yep. East/West coast and urban people often don’t understand the complexities of the women in more traditional areas. They don’t believe me when I tell them that the deep south is, in many ways, a strongly matriarchal society. They shove the men around plenty, and grown men are more afraid of Mama’s disapproval than they are dad’s.

          They’ll often let the men ostensibly “handle stuff” until there is a crisis. Then they will rise up, push them aside, and put things right – and they take no prisoners. When provoked, they will kick your ass six ways from Sunday.

          If the Left thinks they are fighting the caricature of traditional women that only really exists in their own minds, it’s going to be a rude awakening indeed. The conservative women are LEADING this movement, not subserviently following along. Anyone with half a brain can see that.

          • Yep. In Southern culture, when push comes to shove, Mama rules!

          • They’ll often let the men ostensibly “handle stuff” until there is a crisis. Then they will rise up, push them aside, and put things right – and they take no prisoners. When provoked, they will kick your ass six ways from Sunday.

            Are you describing Hillary?

            That’s why I love her. That’s why the working class loved her in 2008, and still does.

      • goodbye, earl

    • Women hold local offices in WV, and have for decades. Especially offices that involve money and budgets.

      • Yeah, and down here in hickville TX, my city is one of only 2 major cities in the entire country with a female majority city council.

        But red state women are simpering mousy little doormats, dontcha know. Arianna Huffington told me so.


  27. Christine O’Donnell: “I Dabbled Into Witchcraft”

    • Oh, my! Shock and dismay!!

      • I must protest as Christine was the GOP point woman in charge of ‘witchifying’ Hillary as a mere ‘wife’, and we know that Hillary has worked for her country her whole life. Christine was doing the ‘wife’ thing, when Hillary was a SENATOR, that office Christine is trying to get.

        • What’s your point?

          I’m not supporting O’Donnell.

          • I just want to make sure, you aren’t being nailed for a but burning and without realizing she is A PRO-POLITICO! She is not an outsider! Is is PURE GOP strategist and will nail you without giving it a second thought, she was the point woman on the attacks on ‘wife’ Hillary!

            Palin, is an outsider and but O’Donnell isn’t! Don’t confuse the two. She is a GOP version of Donna Brazile!

            Ah, you look so MEAN when you’re mad! 😉

    • Personally it looks as if he paid her to say off the wall things on his show and it doesn’t give a good example of ‘witch’, and all she would have to say is a good ‘testimony’ add a few tears ala Glenn Beck and all is forgiven. If the Tea Party doesn’t care that Glenn Beck is a Mormon, they won’t care that Christine was into witch craft, so long as she does her part well and attacks, they won’t care, but if she is labeled a GOP insider…TROUBLE. 😉

    • What I think would be hilarious would be if her supporters printed teeshirts with her opponent’s picture, and a speech bubble:

      “She turned me into a newt!”

      Mock them right back.

  28. News post up.

  29. Excellent, Myiq, in every way!

    Just one quibble though about the emergence of the Tea Party (TP), according to the following comment: “Oh, it [the TP] got it’s start as a Dick Armey astroturf operation [….]

    There are many theories about the TP’s origins, but it appears that there are two entities claiming ownership pf the monement: The Tea Party Express and the Tea Party Patriots. The TP Patriots argue that the TP Express is GOP based and is trying to co-opt/manage the movement through “Our Country Deserves Better PAC” (OCDB):

    (David Weigal, 10/02/09)

    ‘“As an organization, we do our best to be completely nonpartisan,” said Mark Meckler, a national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots. “That’s one of things that’s allowed us to survive when we were called Republican tools. Tea Party Patriots are very dissatisfied with the Republican Party — we have nothing against Our Country Deserves Better PAC, but they raise money for Republicans.”’

    Meckler did say that the antics of Mark Williams, the former radio host who has become a spokesman for Tea Party Express — and is often identified as a “Tea Party leader” because of this — played a role in the pushback.

    “Williams has a tendency to go out to national media and say exceptionally inflammatory things,” said Meckler. “That can lead to the Tea Party movement being painted by the left as a bunch of racists. And that’s not the Tea Party movement.”
    OCDB funding:

    According to FEC filings, Our Country Deserves Better directed almost two thirds of its spending during July through November 2009 back to the Republican consulting firm that created the PAC in the first place. Of $1.33 million, a total of $857,122 went to Sacramento-based GOP political consulting firm Russo Marsh + Rogers, or people associated with it.[20]

    Our Country Deserves Better PAC is a registered political action committee with the Federal Election Commission[21].



    Tea Party Patriots

  30. Many were surprised that Palin was chosen as VP, but I wasn’t since I was pulling for her after June 1, 2008. I stayed tuned to the draft Sarah Palin for VP website. Note that the date of the post is 2/26/2007. McCain grabbed the opportunity, but it wasn’t his idea to appeal to the Hillary voters. I added the emphasis.

    Why Sarah Palin?
    This blog is the result of about a month worth of research on potential Republican Vice-Presidential candidates for the 2008 election. I had been considerably less than thrilled with all of the early speculation, mostly swirling around second-tier presidential candidates, so I decided to see if there was anyone better suited for the job that I hadn’t been hearing about. So, I developed the following profile for the perfect VP candidate (using Rudy Giuliani as my presumptive presidential candidate):

    1) A energetic, young, fresh face who will energize the electorate
    2) Not connected to the current administration
    3) Pro-Life
    4) Pro-Gun
    5) A woman or minority to counter Hillary or Obama and put to rest the idea that America only elects white males

  31. Thank you for the article, very interesting.
    I have a question for you … these people you’re describing, Scots-Irish, what do they do for work generally? I ask because I’m kind of an individualist myself, but it’s not so easy to be in the economy we have (I do programming/software).

    • In the past they were farmers, herders, craftsmen, laborers, miners, soldiers, sailors, factory workers.

      Nowadays – you name it.

      Scots-Irish is a culture, not a career.

    • Oh, you are of the ‘Techie Nerdie Tribe’, some have a trace while others are full on Tribe Chiefs…programmers are on the Chief ladder. 🙂

  32. Honk, honk!

    “…the Democrats plan to run on “Sarah Palin is a c*nt!””

    What an incredibly stupid and unimaginative tactic.

    I don’t agree with Sarah Palin, at all but dissing her as ignorant and simple will bite the Dems in the butt big time.

  33. Mark Levin interviews Christine O’Donnell for US Senate in Delaware

  34. From Sarah Palin’s speech when she was first introduced as McCain’s running mate August 29, 2008:

    To serve as vice president beside such a man would be the privilege of a lifetime, and it’s fitting that this trust has been given to me 88 years almost to the day after the women of America first gained the right to vote.

    I think as well today of two other women who came before me in national elections. I can’t begin this great effort without honoring the achievements of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and, of course, Sen. Hillary Clinton, who showed such determination and grace in her presidential campaign.

    It was rightly noted in Denver this week that Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America. But it turns out the women of America aren’t finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all.

  35. Beautiful analysis, myiq — thank you!!


  36. it is the left all powererful centraliized gov run by a bunch of. Know at all know nothings whose ideas throughout the history of mankind from king tut to hitler to stalin to mao, one of the obama admins heros, has proven to be failures bad to the health and life of all freedom loving people.

    • Don’t drink and blog.

    • Also, learn to use punctuation, and actual verbs that follow nouns and are followed by direct objects and stuff.

      I am one who will usually politely listen to even a conservative’s argument, providing they actually <make one.

      • king tut? I ‘m still wondering what drug she’s on … it’s obviously cut all the oxygen to the brain. Grammar and spelling aside, KING TUT?

        • You know, KIng Tut and Mao. Same thing. Which makes me wonder if Steve Martin is a secret Stalinist in on the plot and financed by the Trilateral Commission.

        • BTW, hubby and I are sitting here on the couch and I shared this. He is STILL laughing and going, “King Tut? King TUT?? WTF??”

    • Whoa, that was incoherent. What drug are you on?

    • Common sense dictates that you need to make much better and more persuasive arguments if you want to be listened to by people who don’t share your worldview. There’s a different, higher standard based on who you’re addressing, if they know you, if they’re predisposed to agree with you, etc.

    • Yawn. Your tea is brewing. Go run along now.

    • “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” 😛

  37. I liked her much more before she let the right wing get control of her. The policies she’s talking about are nothing I can support, tho I did vote her way against Obama. I’m a hard core hillbilly and Scots-Irish to the core. Out of roughly 100 family members, 15 or so are frothing GOPers, but almost everyone supported Sen.Clinton. Very few have indicated firm support for Palin for president.

    • I don’t think the right wing Republicans really have control of her – I think she’s making them absolutely crazy… which I kinda like in a perverse sorta way…

      there’s a part of me that thinks she is like Obama in some ways… she says what the rabble want to hear, but her record as governor certainly doesn’t back up her rhetoric…

      only time will tell… can she seize the Republican nomination? I wouldn’t rule her out at this point…

      can’t agree with her positions but her rattling the establishment’s cage is very entertaining.

      • I’m like you in that I love the cage rattling. It’s the best thing in politics now. It would be fantastic to see the GOP establishment blow up completely.

        I don’t know about Palin either. If you do look at her record in Alaska, and who she worked with, it’s pretty darned good.

        She may have moved Right because, with the constant attacks even after ’08 campaign was over, she didn’t have much choice. People will gravitate toward accceptance.

        • I don’t see where she moved that much more right rhetorically. Mostly, she’s been criticizing Obama as too leftist. It fits with her world view.

  38. I am a fifth generation Coloradan.A kind of mixture of Scots Irish and German. My Gransmonther died in 1966 when I was 10. We weren’t dirt poor, but really not too far off. My Grandma divorced my philandering grandfather in the 30s and raised six kids alone in the dustbowl during the Depression.

    My mother was divorced, raising 4 kids alone,with no child support, mostly ostracized by the town she grew up in because my father’s family was a little more powerful than she was. She married my father when she was 17, so only had a high school education, until she went to college to be able support us.

    My Grandma would tell me “You’re as good as anyone, and better than most, and don’t you ever forget it. Stand up and fight, you don’t get anywhere laying down”. I adored my Grandma, so I listened and I never forgot that. I worked hard and came out a little higher up the ladder. Not much, but a little. I remember where I came from, I came from two strong women. My kids are really having a harder time, because in the 1970s you could go to college pretty much for free if you were poor. I went on scholarships and grants. And I worked my ass off breaking colts.

    Sarah Palin is a strong woman. I do not agree with pretty much any of her ideas, but I really think a lot of that has been kind of forced on her by the way she was protrayed by the media and by the Obots. She was not a bad Governor. Her first act as Governor was to veto a bill which wold ake away gay rights. Then she taxed the oil companies and gave to money to the taxpayers. That is really kind of progressive. No wonder the Republicans in Alaska hated her.

    I was reall ykind of pleased when she was named as VP candidate. But, she was immediately cast by the media and the Democrats as thisbimbo. A pretty (and that is bad), crazy, gun- toting right wing lunatic. Lots of people seemed to identify with that, So she went with it. And it’s paid off really well for her. She can say whatever the hell she wants to, and the more it pisses off the Obamacans, the better it works for her.

  39. Thoughtful….well done..

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