Paglia on Palin Feminism

September 10, 2008 at 10:37 am

Sure, there is a lot in this piece to disagree with. But there is also much to cheer in this refreshing critique of modern feminism:

Pow! Wham! The Republicans unleashed a doozy — one of the most stunning surprises that I have ever witnessed in my adult life. By lunchtime, Obama’s triumph of the night before had been wiped right off the national radar screen. In a bold move I would never have thought him capable of, McCain introduced Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his pick for vice president. I had heard vaguely about Palin but had never heard her speak. I nearly fell out of my chair. It was like watching a boxing match or a quarter of hard-hitting football — or one of the great light-saber duels in “Star Wars.” (Here are the two Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, going at it with Darth Maul in “The Phantom Menace.”) This woman turned out to be a tough, scrappy fighter with a mischievous sense of humor.

Conservative though she may be, I felt that Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism. At her startling debut on that day, she was combining male and female qualities in ways that I have never seen before.

Read it all.

DeMint: Actions Mean Something

September 10, 2008 at 7:04 am

My former boss, Jim DeMint, provides a smackdown of epic proportions for Barack Obama on the Bridge to Nowhere issue.

From the Wall Street Journal:

In politics, words are cheap. What really counts are actions. Democrats and Republicans have talked about fiscal responsibility for years. In reality, both parties have a shameful record of wasting hundreds of billions of tax dollars on pork-barrel projects.

My Senate colleague Barack Obama is now attacking Gov. Sarah Palin over earmarks. Having worked with both John McCain and Mr. Obama on earmarks, and as a recovering earmarker myself, I can tell you that Mrs. Palin’s leadership and record of reform stands well above that of Mr. Obama.

Let’s compare.

Read it all.

This is just wrong

September 9, 2008 at 6:30 pm


From the Politico


September 9, 2008 at 4:06 pm


The decision by MSNBC to yank Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews from anchor duty during live political events did not exactly send a thrill up the leg of liberal bloggers.

A number of them denounced the cable channel yesterday for making a change that had long been sought by NBC News veterans, saying MSNBC was caving into pressure from John McCain’s campaign and the right wing.

MSNBC President Phil Griffin denied that complaints from either Republicans or NBC journalists were a factor. He said he reached the decision after “talking to my guys, mainly Olbermann,” after the Republican convention. Olbermann and Matthews will remain as analysts during such major political events as the presidential debates.

The Party of special-interests

August 25, 2008 at 6:36 am

The Wall Street Journal on the motivations of the Democratic Party:

Instead, the Democrats of the past several years have shown themselves to be less a party of ideas than a vessel for special interests. Exhibit A: the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

Privately, Congressional Democrats know this deal is in the nation’s interests. Colombia is a primary ally in a rough neighborhood, and the agreement is a win for both sides. Colombia’s goods can already enter the U.S. duty free because of the Andean trade preferences act. The AFL-CIO, however, has commanded that no vote can occur on Colombia, and so Democrats have obeyed and the trade deal languishes, frustrating and perhaps embittering a foreign friend of the U.S.

The fight over offshore drilling is playing to the same script. Despite solid public majorities showing a sharp turn in favor of exploiting the nation’s oil reserves, a Democratic Congress chained to carbon-phobic environmental groups has refused to allow even a vote on drilling. This fiasco has given House Democrats a black eye. No matter. The party’s special interests have the last word. The first word from these interests — Big Labor, the teachers unions, environmentalists or the trial lawyers — is: Do our bidding or we will make you pay at the polls.

This is the crowd that will be dancing in Denver. The Congressional Democrats have moved left on taxes and left on trade; they propose a significant federalization of health insurance and propose to resurrect the regulatory state that Jimmy Carter helped bury. On foreign policy, they are to the left of where Bill Clinton was on Kosovo and Bosnia.

The difficulty with interest-group politics, as we saw with the “dinosaurs” of Mexico’s PRI party until they were finally run out of power, is that it can become incapable of thinking about national interests. The lockdown on the Colombia deal shows that.

Do the Democrats really believe that the American pubic is ready for this kind of narrow governance? So it appears. Nancy Pelosi has outlined a path to Democratic dominance for a generation. The party builds its majority this year, she argues, wins more seats through redistricting after the 2010 census, and then achieves long-term dominance in 2012.

Team Obama has to hate this

August 23, 2008 at 2:23 pm

The Associated Press’s Ron Fournier throws a freezing cold bucket of water on the new Democratic ticket:

DENVER (AP) - The candidate of change went with the status quo.

In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness - inexperience in office and on foreign policy - rather than underscore his strength as a new-generation candidate defying political conventions.

He picked a 35-year veteran of the Senate - the ultimate insider - rather than a candidate from outside Washington, such as Govs. Tim Kaine of Virginia or Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas; or from outside his party, such as Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; or from outside the mostly white male club of vice presidential candidates. Hillary Rodham Clinton didn’t even make his short list.

The picks say something profound about Obama: For all his self-confidence, the 47-year-old Illinois senator worried that he couldn’t beat Republican John McCain without help from a seasoned politician willing to attack. The Biden selection is the next logistical step in an Obama campaign that has become more negative - a strategic decision that may be necessary but threatens to run counter to his image.


August 19, 2008 at 5:55 pm

John McCain’s campaign is gathering momentum in the wake of his performance at Saddleback Church. Even David Gergen is taking notice:

Heading into the candidates’ appearances on Saturday night at Saddleback Church, the conventional wisdom in politics was Barack Obama should have a clear upper hand in any joint appearance with John McCain — one the young, eloquent, cool, charismatic dude who can charm birds from the trees, the other the meandering, sometimes bumbling, old fellow who can barely distinguish Sunnis from Shiias.

Well, kiss that myth goodbye.

McCain came roaring out of the gate from the first question and was a commanding figure throughout the night as he spoke directly and often movingly about his past and the country’s future. By contrast, Obama was often searching for words and while far more thoughtful, was also less emotionally connective with his audience.

Obama takes the low road

August 18, 2008 at 6:10 am

The Wall Street Journal takes Obama to task for his nasty slur against Justice Clarence Thomas:

Barack Obama likes to portray himself as a centrist politician who wants to unite the country, but occasionally his postpartisan mask slips. That was the case at Saturday night’s Saddleback Church forum, when Mr. Obama chose to demean Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Pastor Rick Warren asked each Presidential candidate which Justices he would not have nominated. Mr. McCain said, “with all due respect” the four most liberal sitting Justices because of his different judicial philosophy.

[Barack Obama]

Mr. Obama took a lower road, replying first that “that’s a good one,” and then adding that “I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don’t think that he, I don’t think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution.” The Democrat added that he also wouldn’t have appointed Antonin Scalia, and perhaps not John Roberts, though he assured the audience that at least they were smart enough for the job.

So let’s see. By the time he was nominated, Clarence Thomas had worked in the Missouri Attorney General’s office, served as an Assistant Secretary of Education, run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and sat for a year on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation’s second most prominent court. Since his “elevation” to the High Court in 1991, he has also shown himself to be a principled and scholarly jurist.

Meanwhile, as he bids to be America’s Commander in Chief, Mr. Obama isn’t yet four years out of the Illinois state Senate, has never held a hearing of note of his U.S. Senate subcommittee, and had an unremarkable record as both a “community organizer” and law school lecturer. Justice Thomas’s judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama’s Presidential résumé by any measure. And when it comes to rising from difficult circumstances, Justice Thomas’s rural Georgian upbringing makes Mr. Obama’s story look like easy street.

Even more troubling is what the Illinois Democrat’s answer betrays about his political habits of mind. Asked a question he didn’t expect at a rare unscripted event, the rookie candidate didn’t merely say he disagreed with Justice Thomas. Instead, he instinctively reverted to the leftwing cliché that the Court’s black conservative isn’t up to the job while his white conservative colleagues are.

So much for civility in politics and bringing people together. And no wonder Mr. Obama’s advisers have refused invitations for more such open forums, preferring to keep him in front of a teleprompter, where he won’t let slip what he really believes.

Ideas for McCain

August 17, 2008 at 11:32 am

George Will has two very good suggestions for the McCain campaign:

McCain’s populism, if such there must be, should be distilled into one proposal that would be popular and, unlike most populism, not economically injurious. The proposal, for which he has expressed sympathy, is: No officer of any corporation receiving a federal subsidy, broadly defined, can be paid more than the highest federal civil servant ($124,010 for a GS-15). This would abruptly halt the galloping expansion of private economic entities — is GM next? — eager to become, in effect, joint ventures with Washington.

Next, McCain should make an asset of an inevitability by promising two presidential vetoes. The inevitability is enlarged Democratic congressional majorities in 2009. Americans suffer political astigmatism. They squint at Washington, seeing an incompetent cornucopia that is too big but which should expand to give them more blessings. Their voting behavior, however, generally conforms to their professed suspicion about unchecked power in Washington: In 31 election cycles since the restoration of normal politics after the Second World War, 19 of them produced divided government — the executive and legislative branches not controlled by the same party.

Two Democratic priorities in the next Congress would placate two factions that hold the party’s leash — organized labor and the far left. One is abolition of workers’ right to secret ballots in unionization elections. The other is restoration of the “fairness doctrine” in order to kill talk radio, on which liberals cannot compete. The doctrine would expose broadcasters to endless threats of litigation over government rules about how many views must be presented, on which issues, by whom, for how long and in what manner.

“At what point does a baby get human rights?”

August 16, 2008 at 9:11 pm

So went the question posed by Rick Warren to Barack Obama tonight at the Saddleback faith forum. Obama stumbled and bumbled in his response saying only two things definitively: 1 — the answer to that question is “above my pay grade”, and 2 — He “strongly supports” Roe vs. Wade.

Weak. And yes, entirely characteristic and predictable.