From Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland, p. 58-59:
The press had recently become Nixon’s enemy of first resort. Later generations would remember the media’s relationship to Nixon as he had wanted people to remember it: as implacably hostile from the beginning. Not so. The Los Angeles Times had supported him back when he was an unknown. His working relationship with Bert Andrews of the New York Herald Tribune on the Hiss case helped make him a national figure. Even after the Checkers Speech, coverage of Nixon was quite balanced. Balance was the fourth estate’s religion. They were even, sometimes, unbalanced in his favor. In 1960, for example, the two most powerful magazines in the country, Henry Luce’s Time and Life, were practically Nixon megaphones.
But he was the sort to spy betrayal even in the midst of affection.
So I had a chance to read Palin’s speech this morning, and I have to say that I found it surprising for even me. As someone who used to travel in Republican circles and gleefully spread the bullshit (you can check the damning archives for your own self) when I thought I was on the “right” side of issues, and who has now come to loathe everything about the modern Republican party, even I was taken aback by the cynicism of the speech. It was cynical on so many levels, and when the cynicism took momentary pauses, bitterness, sarcasm, and condescension took over.
Whether it was the flat out lies about the bridge to nowhere (such contempt for the audience, to brazenly repeat this after days of her actual position on the bridge out there for all to see), or the distortion of Obama’s record (the no major legislation nonsense), or just the nasty lines dismissing community organizers (and yes, they are trying to Ghettoize the term), I can’t help but wonder if this is really the face of the future for the GOP. This is what they want to portray? How could they be so foolish as to confuse contempt for toughness? How could they be so tone deaf as to load up an unknown’s introductory speech with lines that appear to have been stolen from Ann Coulter? This was really the best way to introduce Sarah Palin to the country? Through this churlish stemwinder? Do they really think that what middle America really wants is a schoolyard bully in a skirt? And why did they downplay her ultra-right Christian conservative “values?” Why was that not in the speech more prominently?
I suppose it will thrill the dead-enders in the blogosphere and shore up the base, but I simply can not see how it is going to play well to the independents and undecideds. America learned not one thing about Sarah Palin last night other than that she is a willing foot soldier for more of the same. There was no way forward. There was no sense of understanding of the challenges. There were no solutions. There was only divisiveness, nastiness, and sneering, which somehow is acceptable because it was delivered by someone in a dress (“See how tough she is!” they will all exclaim). Thank goodness the McCain campaign chose this path, because Palin could have been an effective weapon with the right message. Now, with their own words that they wrote for her, they have turned her into more of the same. While I am disgusted with them, I am also relieved that this is the path they have chosen. This will be rejected by the American public.
Again, I ask, this is the face of the GOP future? Thank goodness I got out when I did. The only thing missing from last night was a mention of the nattering nabobs of negativism. We have been down this road before as a country. It is a dead end.
Preach it, John!
The best part is that I think it really pissed off the Democratic base. I can only use me as an example, but my wife and I gave 100 bucks last night, and I convinced my mother and sister (both Hillary supporters) and two other friends to donate as well. My grandmother called me and said she was marching down to her local Obama HQ tomorrow to volunteer. Did any of my fellow Balloon Juice readers see similar mobilizations amongst their friends and family?
Feh. Maybe the Democrats will never understand this. Last night, listening to lightweight Palin criticizing Obama made me cringe. I expected her opponents would come out swinging today. What did we get?
Joe Biden tells us Palin made a good, effective speech that impressed him however she omitted mentioning some stuff.
This is the same Joe Biden who told his convention audience what a fine man McCain is. I wondered why anyone should want them to win when they were praising the virtues of their opponents.
The Republicans tell the people that they are running against two slime balls. The Democrats tell the people they are running against two admirable people who may have omitted addressing some issues. Who wants to vote for slime balls?
This author offers an interesting, similar view.
If you’ve only read the speech, you really should watch it for the full effect. The tone of her delivery perfectly matched the tone of the speech. She delivered that “community organizers” sneer with real gusto.
We’re all hockey moms now.
i tried watching. i got 5 minutes into Huck, and when he started sneering about Obama bringing back “European values” from his world tour, i shut him off, and gave Obama another $100. there was no way i could watch the rest of the it – i couldn’t afford to.
Palin on the Bridge to Nowhere: “I said thanks, but no thanks.”
“I said thanks, then no thanks.”
I was so pissed I gave $25.00 last night and again this morning. I felt like I was watching a bad parody of a convention. What part of their reptile brains figured out that an an ugly condescending mood was what America really needs? Sheesh.
Damn. I’m pissed again. Looks like Obama just got another $25…
Sarah and Rudy’s attack on community organizers shows the true colors of the Republican party. They have complete disdain for the idea of helping poor people who live in a city.
Sarah Palin thinks the Iraq war is a mission from God.
She seems to have confused President Bush with God.
Okay, I’m gonna pontificate with absolutely nothing to back this up but my gut feeling (and my wife’s visceral reaction)… She’s going to come off to most women as the bitchy (you betcha, I’ll go there) cheerleader that spread nasty rumors about them in high-school, or talked trash to their faces, or gave them maximum ‘tude.
It ain’t gonna wear well over time.
ActBlue button plzkthnxbai
Damn. Some days John makes Rachel Maddow sound like Howard Fineman.
Funnily enough, a female friend of mine — not inclined to her at all to start with — brought up this same exact comparison this morning.
I think it would be interesting to see what the fundraising numbers on the GOP side will be like over this week and next — and then discover what Obama raised.
Nixonland rocks. There’s just no point trying to understand the mess we’re in without reading it.
I’d suggest The Big Sort as a companion read. Briefly, its thesis is that prosperity led to mobility which allowed people to sort themselves geographically into like-minded communities of similar politics, religion, culture, etc. Lots of data; for example, showing that county-by-county, lopsided results are much more common than they used to be. Not cheery news.
I dropped another buck or two in the Obama Thermometer too. MUP FTW!
John’s Obama ActBlue page, in case he doesn’t post it.
And yes, my main reaction was utter disgust, and upon reflection some relief. The entire message of the speech was that she hates, hates, hates Obama, and thinks Rural America should hate him too, along with hating all the other urban and educated folks. If there was a single indication of why her ticket wanted the Oval Office and what they’d do, beyond blocking Obama, drilling for oil, and “winning in Iraq”, I sure missed it.
So you’re different now in what way? As someone who was a confidant back in the day (hell, who HOSTED your blog for free) let me say that what you’ve achieved could accurately be described as “same shit, different pile”. If you believe that ANY political party cares about you or this country over the interests of the party itself, you’re sadly mistaken. So you went from corrupt, insensitive Rebublicans to the loyal, toadying product of the Daley Chicago political empire…and you call it change. Still consider you a friend John but, damn, that must be some goooood kool-aid. Can you HONESTLY read what you post here and even begin to assert that the last sentence I quoted above doesn’t still apply in spades?!
Stuck in the Fun House
I’ve been saying this since she was chosen. Forget the skeletons in her closet or her lack of experience. Having been an independent for most of my voting life, what usually drives someone into this category are ideologues, left and right. Indies are pragmatists if nothing else and when they hear of banning books, and no abortion in cases of rape they’re going to be sour. The very reason they’ve liked MCcain for so long is his perceived non-partisan approach to things, his maverickiness if you will. And they are not going to be pleased with Palin, and more importantly with Mccain for choosing her. You add in that there has been a turnover for indies, former dems going back to dnc, and former mod republicans fed up with the winguttery going into the Indie cat.
I really think that speech is going to blow up in the Reps faces. I do not think it will play well in the real world.
Did any of my fellow Balloon Juice readers see similar mobilizations amongst their friends and family?
I donated $250 (which is actually my first money to Obama.)
What I think we all witnessed last night was a key milestone in our nation’s history. Listening to that crowd fake-laugh and cheer for those awful hateful speeches, it seemed to me that we were witnessing the birth of a new, far more radicalized, and far more dangerous, Republican party. Of course the short term impact will be to put victory even farther out of reach. But the resulting defeat will galvanize this hard-right element and create in our society a hard-core group that will, I think, one day come close to being our undoing.
Thousands, now millions of Republican supporters are now internalizing obvious falsehoods as “truth:” that Palin gave a great speech is just the latest. That she is well-qualified is just another. In fact, the entire Republican enterprise has become nothing but a reality-denying exercise in buying into fantasy. Lowering taxes creates jobs. Cutting government spending is good for the needy. Going to war for no reason is our highest calling and greatest honor. That “activist judges” are the problem. That life begins at conception. That only Republicans understand the true values of real America, and that the liberals (defined as everyone else) are morally bankrupt.
These constant and repeated exercises is cognitive dissonance exact a toll. These believers are becoming capable of even greater mischief, and I fear one day real evil. As much as we all would like to think that an Obama win in November will shut these people up and help us turn a corner, I’m not so certain in that in the longer haul anything like that is going to happen.
This is the reason why Obama and Biden are running and not you, Joshua. You don’t give tell-tale signs of your ground game.
They were gracious to her in her debut, but they’re going to kick her ass all over the place. Just watch.
Who would I vote for? Certainly not the party that’s fucked up the country so badly for the last eight years. Get real.
She’s a fucking Heather: Well, it’s just like – they’re people I work with, and our job is being popular and shit.
It worked well enough with the yahoos in the half filled hall. As a new candidate roll out it was a disaster.
I have no idea why the GOP is doing this, but I’m glad they are. The more they beat this dead horse, the more predictable their lies and strawmen become, the less likely they are to win anyone over now or in the future.
We’ve got a Republican party that has more than doubled the national debt, brought us from a federal surplus to a massive federal deficit, lied to start a war, tried to write bigotry into the U.S. constitution (and failed), stuck their noses into the people’s private lives, repeatedly insinuated that more than half of Americans are traitors, politicized the Justice department, ignored looming national security threats, ignored looming environmental threats, and have attempted to merge religion and government (just like Iran, yay!).
Yes, I know I left a lot out.
If the dimwits in the RNC really think that this election can be won simply by using “liberal” as a pejorative, they have another thing coming.
Friends of mine and I thought she resembled Kirstie Alley’s character from “Drop Dead Gorgeous”. I’m figuring that’s about the same thing.
Wondering what the possible next Vice President’s stance on the issues is? Such questions aren’t relevant, Ringo at Weakly Standard tells us. See, GHWB didn’t trash Reagan’s economic plan and promote his own when he was the Veep nominee, so we have no right to wonder what Palin’s views are. Ringo doesn’t bother to mention, of course, that GHWB (and Biden, for that matter) also ran for president so everyone already knew what his views were, he wasn’t plucked out of obscurity and sent before the American people with the request that they not bother with silly questions about “issues” or “policies”.
At best for McCain, Palin is a wash. As much as she supposedly energizes the GOP base, she also energizes the Dem base. Trust me, Dems all over are dumping money into the Obama/Biden website today.
The real problem for McCain is that Palin is not being well received among independents. They look at her and see an empty (pant)suit, and listen to her and hear the tired and familiar divisive rhetoric that got us to “85% think America On Wrong Track” and Bush-Cheney approval ratings in the toilet. They are sick of it, and she rubs salt in their wounds and squirts lemon juice in their eyes. They are not going to tilt to McCain on the strength of the sorry spectacle we saw last night. There wasn’t a single policy statement that gives any voter a better deal on anything, in her entire speech. Nada.
So while she had her fun in the limelight and the delegates got to cheer, the truth is, McCain is going to lose this election and probably lose it worse now than he was already going to lose it a week ago.
Which, you know, is fine with me.
I asked a conservative friend of mine (a real conservative, not the phony kind the GOP has fronted the last 20 years) what he thought of her, and he said, SARAH PALIN FOR POPE!!
I thought he hit the nail right on the head–as a religious leader (who can confess and get off scotch free for lying) Palin could work. She could go out with Dobson and preach up a real hellfire sermon.
But, how come Dobson doesn’t run for public office? Same reason people are going to look askance at Palin–who wants a religious nut job in charge??
Echo without Bunnies or Men
Her speech was for the drooling acolytes in the Xcel Center, and no one else. They all got whipped into a frenzy by Rudy, who practically had blood coming from his eyes, then she drove them home. Andrew Sullivan nailed it today, these starry eyed Jesus freaks do whatever they are told, believe any lie uttered, and don’t question anything their dear leaders say because they have Gawd on their side, not like those evil libruls in the media and in DC.
Of course they wet their pants over Palin, hell, that funeral of a GOP convention needed some kind of boost to jump start their comatose presentation to America.
She did not say one fucking thing last night to make me believe she is remotely qualified to be VP, not one. Didn’t talk about the economy, or jobs, or energy. Just attack, attack, repeat.
Fucking please, I am so tired of this ‘I’m a plebian just like you’ line from these assholes, and we all know what happened the last time people voted for ‘someone we want to have a beer with’
What exactly does skinning a moose have to do with running the country? Or shooting a gun, or driving a fucking snowmobile?
Where have you been the last 7.5 years? Seriously? How can any sane person claim that the Dems and the GOP represent the same thing?
Thanks. I put in another $30 – we don’t need more insane ideologues like McCain and Palin driving this country further into ignorance and debt.
Tim (The Other One)
Vice President Cheney
Vice President Palin
Yeah, that’ll work….
Seriously doubt that. On the morning after Election Day, Republicans will wake up to an electoral landslide for the Democrat, a loss of seats in the Senate and even more seats in the house, and be sitting there looking at the smoldering ruins on the “conservative movement” which never existed, in reality, in the first place.
The power structure in the GOP, which has never liked John McCain, will blame all of this on him, and will ponder the massive repudiation of their cynical message and start looking for ways to rebuild their party.
You are not seeing the birth of anything, you are hearing a death rattle.
yeah, she sounded like homer simpson when he talks about flanders, only not funny.
you’d think by her speech that the biggest problem america has today isn’t the economy, the war, the energy crisis or the health care crisis, but rather that barack obama still lives and breathes. oh noes!
apparently 37 million tuned in to see her speech. that’s a lot. almost as many as obama got. mostly to find out for themselves who she really is and what she believes in. i’ll bet most of them walked away thinking ‘jesus, what a dick’.
I guess that’s just more of that keeping their powder dry we’ve heard so much about. I just hope they don’t wait too long for that perfect moment.
The differences between Obama and McCain are perfectly summarized by their respective slogans “Yes we can!” v.s. “Country first!” Obama’s slogan is an inclusive call to positive action while McCain’s feels more like a tribal call to defense.
If Obama can convince the leaners that, worst case, taking a chance on him will not make their lives worse, or the country less secure, then this thing will be over.
And the whole display of fucked up family values will not sit well with most sentient women. You can take that to the bank
When The Virgin Sarah Palin was offered to the altar of Dobson and the fundies ponied up $7m over the weekend, I put another $250 on the plastic for O & Joe.
Waiting for my Obama/Biden swag to arrive. :)
Spot on. (great soundtrack, too)
I haven’t read Nixonland, but my understanding is that Nixon’s press appeal came mainly from conservative political constituencies controlling certain press outlets. In the specific cases cited, the Chandler family, publishers of the LA Times, was deep into California Republican politics and generally had final say on which R’s ran for governor, senate, etc, on top of constructively whitewashing Nixon’s pressers and appearances. Time liked Nixon because Nixon was a huge hawk on China, and Luce, who grew up as the son of missionaries in China, basically invented the China lobby. In both cases the support wasn’t systemic in the media as a whole and was more issue-based, namely, Red China and California Republicans. When Norman Chandler handed the LAT over to his son Otis, who had no interest in political bias, and Luce died, Nixon lost his support. Halberstam’s The Powers That Be is a good place to find a good study on Nixon’s support and conservative media in the mid-century besides.
I think McCain’s (lately gone) media support is much more symptomatic of a systemic problem in the media. He simply bartered access for positive coverage, and played a dashing character with a good story.
Yep, the lady friend o’ mine said the same thing about the bitchiness. And was PISSED OFF (like I’ve never seen before) that EVERYONE but the damn dad was holding the kid (he finally grabbed it at the end). She was furious that the daughter, not dad, was left to hold the child for most of it.
Just sumpin, as a guy, I never woulda noticed. I’m bettin other women were similarly angry about as well.
Hey, looking through the archives, you were at least right on White Phosphorus. I lost a lot of respect for fellow lefties when that bullshit parade was going on.
You were a raving loon before that, though.
What I see in Palin is actually kind of scary. The right is actually trying to set her up as an Ann Coulter that actually lives her bullshit. Everyone knows, deep down, that Ann Coulter is a joke–she’s young(ish), (somewhat) attractive(ish), tall, and blonde, and you get the feeling that she moonlights as a dominatrix. Sarah Palin, though, has the fundie cred to pull it off, to show the “success” of the radical right wing agenda as she screams the same invective. And they made her the VP nominee. Luckily, of course, she’s a corrupt little shit with no charisma at all.
Quick! Tweety is eating Buchanan alive!
I shouldn’t have to preface this by saying that I want Obama to win, but I know I do. Despite my preferences I’m afraid it’s you who might have another thing coming. This has been a winning strategy for quite some time. I think it’s quite a bit too early(not to mention foolish) to be smug as a Democrat. Obama is a great candidate but so far his message has been almost completely drowned out. Yes McCain is taking jabs at the media, but so did Bush and they just replied “thanks! can I have another?”. Sure Palin is a corrupt religious fanatic with extreme right wing ideologies but it won’t count for shit if the media continues to paint her as your average housewife. Let that sink in. The narrative is that she’s simultaneously a Governor and Housewife. That fact alone should scare the shit out of anyone paying attention, yet here we have a group of liberals talking about how fucked McCain is. If you can’t see the danger posed by these realities then I honestly pity you.
Shouting at the Rain
Congratulations are in order for the Republican Party.
They have succeeded in turning Sarah Palin into a celebrity. Well done.
Obama $$ since Palin: $8 million.
Grumpy Code Monkey
It is true that there are corrupt officials on all sides and at all levels of government. The question to ask is, is the greater good being served despite the corruption? For the Democrats, the answer is “maybe, sometimes.” For the Republicans (at least the wing of the party that’s been in charge for the last decade), the answer has been “fuck no.”
That’s the difference.
It only took about 5683 days since they started really showing their true colors to see them go off the rails, yeah!
Punchy, I talked to my mother this morning and she noticed the same thing. We were both surprised that when Palin started talking about him, the husband pushed that baby into the little girl’s arms. When he made the baby’s hand wave, I screamed at the TV, “Let him sleep, goddammit!” It seemed to me, though, that even Cindy McCain and Palin herself held that little boy more than the father did.
I read special education blogs, and many of the bloggers are not happy with Palin’s choice to run for VP when she has a newborn child with special needs. Not sure if I agree with them, but it is something to consider. (This is an argument that wouldn’t be made much of if Palin was a man. Sorry, it’s true.)
Karl Rove did.
The Moar You Know
Damn, I can tell that you’re pissed – but there’s no need to go losing your dignity over it.
OK, It sunk in. I’m still not convinced… We’re voting in a president and VP, does anyone think that an “average housewife” is qualified to be either?
Sure, Bush ran as “the guy you’d like to have a beer with”, but I’m not sure that would fly with most voters today, and I’m not sure that the “average housewife” has the ability to convince voters she’s actually a tough redneck you don’t wanna mess with.
“Macho” and “average housewife” are mutually exclusive images. Even most Republicans are not dumb enough to get sold on both.
If you were willing to bet Obama will lose, and you gave me a 50/50 payout, I’d take that bet.
I wouldn’t make a bet like that even if I weren’t living in George Bush’s economy. Call me superstitious but I don’t bet against the things I want.
Just because I wouldn’t bet against Obama doesn’t mean I’m ready to declare “Mission Accomplished”.
jrg and GCM: I think you’re misinterpreting Gregory Markle’s “same shit, different pile” comment. He’s not equating the two parties with that line, he’s equating John Cole’s behavior. He’s saying that a switch of parties hasn’t changed JC’s fundamental attitude.
I wish your package fleet feet. My “Limited Edition Obama T-Shirt” that I got for donating $30 on June 30 arrived today.
That’s even outside the Ronco “allow 6-8 weeks for delivery” boilerplate.
Yes, apparently the people who thought a horse show lawyer could run FEMA think so.
The people who are still convinced that Terri Schiavo could have been a VP pick if only she had gotten one or two more tube feedings seem to think so.
That’s right, which is why he leads in the polls and sold something like 75,000 tickets to his acceptance speech in a few hours.
You sound like Yogi Berra. “Nobody listens to him, his speeches are too crowded with people trying to get in.”
Sarah Palin is a bully. I have been reading a lot about how she bullies and fires people even after they have helped her along. She like Bush/Cheney sees the world in black and white and god help anyone who does not agree. She has a viscous bite behind her “you betcha” smile. We have all met Miss Congeniality at some point in our life. Make no mistake she is a bully in the worst way. More Cheney than Bush, just on a much smaller scale. Now think about putting her a heart beat away from the most powerful position in the world.
My wife, usually a disinterested voter, was aghast. She’s mobilized to the hilt now.
My mother, a Hillary backer who was going to sit this one out, donated $200 to Obama after watching it and wants to volunteer now.
My best friend reported that his wife, who voted Bush in 2004, said after watching it, that all she knew about Palin now was that she was “a bitch.”
It’s a dead end but it’s just what their base wants to hear. I’ve read that the two parties actually represent two kinds of brains and I’m more convinced than ever that that is true. The Dems just don’t find the kind of humor on display last night very funny and the Repubs think it is the funniest thing they’ve ever heard. They were really whooping it up. Thank goodness, John, your inner brain came through.
Yeeeooowch! That haddta hurt!
I didn’t realize the race for the white house was supposed to be a comedy spectacle. I thought it was supposed to be about addressing the issues, hmmmmm!
Howie Mandel for President, ha!
Rachel Maddow FINALLY supported the AIP story. Any discussion on MSNBC the last two days has been about how Palin herself wasn’t a member and thus the story was a “smear.” Maddow finally had the good sense to point out that her husband was a member and that Sarah Palin herself courted the votes of AIP members. Has the rest of the media dismissed this as a smear, too?
Sarah Palin is a bully.
The Editors and sythia are on this too: Sarah Palin is mean!
From Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland…:
To anyone with spare time but putting off reading Nixonland, it is Machiavelli’s “The Prince” for our time, disguised as extremely readable political history. If you can find a used copy of “Before the Storm”, well, it’s the “The Prince, the Prequel”. (Out of print and expensive in the used books market.)
Here’s how I would approach Sarah Palin:
As mayor, she cut taxes and increased spending, leaving a debt that amounted to 2000 bucks per citizen. She passed on the problem to someone else while she moved on to a better position. We’ve seen this story before. It’s how Republicans have been running the country. They don’t solve problems, they create them.
She attended more colleges than Obama, Biden and McCain combined.
She’s more than qualified.
This is encouraging, actually. I’d kinda figured mine was never gonna show. Now I’m free to hope again.