Balkinization  

Friday, October 03, 2008

Palin becomes irrelevant; McCain prepares his endgame

JB

At last night's vice-presidential debate Sarah Palin gave a mediocre but adequate performance. True, she dodged every difficult question and stuck mindlessly to her talking points. She appears to know very little about the key issues of the day. But she did not embarrass herself and she did not implode. Given the baseline of expectations established by the Couric interview, she did just fine.

But ironically, the effect of her performance is that she is now largely irrelevant to McCain's chances of winning the Presidency.

Palin began as a star, a charismatic celebrity that could contrast with Obama's charisma. McCain made fun of Obama this summer for being just a celebrity, then he went out and got his own. For a while, it worked. Audiences swooned, large crowds came out to see her while conservative pundits dutifully made nonsensical arguments about her obviously superior qualifications.

Then came the public assessment of Palin and her credentials. This took the luster off of her candidacy. The McCain camp shielded her from press inquiries, and then, when she did give interviews, she seemed uninformed if not incoherent.

The Vice-Presidential debate gave her a chance to show that she was not an empty airhead trading on newly found celebrity; that is, precisely what McCain claimed Obama was this summer. She came through the debate without disastrously failing, thus alleviating people's greatest concerns about her. But that's about all she has done. She will not return to her former degree of charisma and attraction, at least outside of her devoted followers in the Republican base. Now that she is more of a known quantity-- charming but mediocre-- she no longer holds any special attraction for independent voters, the voters that McCain so desperately needs. As a result, in a period of about a month, she has gone from being McCain's secret weapon to being a potential disaster to being essentially an irrelevancy. She will neither hurt him nor help him much at this point.

Instead, if McCain is to make a comeback at this point, it will probably not be because of anything Sarah Palin does. Rather, it will come from two pieces of news. The first is that Congress has passed and President Bush has now signed a bailout plan. This may reduce the urgency of McCain's need to talk about the economy; the successful passage of a bailout bill may take people's minds off of what is McCain's greatest weakness and the area where he has shown himself to be the most unsteady and erratic. Perhaps now that the immediate economic emergency seems momentarily behind us McCain will be able to pivot to discussions of national security, where he is stronger. If the economy continues to remain the central issue, however, he may not be able to do so. He must hope that concerns about national security begin to dominate the public's attentions once again, and in ways that make him look like a better choice.

The second important piece of news that might help McCain is the report that McCain is about to throw yet another Hail Mary pass: he is going all out with negative campaigning. Since this election has basically been about whether voters trust Obama enough to make him President, and since he seems to have passed the test of basic trustworthiness following the first debate, McCain's goal must now be to destroy that sense of comfort. He must now do everything in his power to so tarnish Obama that voters will find him alien, radical, and downright scary.

If this is McCain's endgame strategy, and the evidence suggests that it is, the press must pay attention not only to what McCain says, but also his surrogates and coordinated supporters are saying. McCain is behind in most of the swing states and he has to win almost all of them to become President. At this point McCain really has nothing to lose.

It is true that McCain's own reputation may be in tatters by the end for engaging in such a scorched-earth strategy, but he doesn't have to be admired and respected to win. He just has to be loathed less than his opponent.

Comments:

The real reason she's irrelevant to his chances is that zero times anything is zero. She could be Ronald Reagan in drag, and she still couldn't resurrect McCain's prospects after the consequences of McCain's own actions, such as putting his campaign on hold, giving up on Michigan, giving his base the finger on several issues, and generally being Dole in '92 redux. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to believe he actually wants the job.
 

:::chuckle:::

I love Dem condescension. And you wonder where the Dem elitist caricature is derived.

1) Average middle class folks of both parties loved Governor Palin last night. Observe the bipartisan focus group reaction to Palin as opposed to the Dem only positives for Obama last Friday.

2) Palin drew an enormous audience of nearly 70 million of those average folks. (They were sure as hell not tuned in to see Joe Biden). The debate drew the highest viewership of any VP debate in history, any presidential debate since 1992 and a third more than the McCain vs. the Messiah debate the previous Friday.

3) Substantively last night, Palin and Biden left the Obama Friday night foreign policy flounderings in the dust. This is rather remarkable since Obama has had 18 months to bone up on foreign policy while Palin has had five weeks. Indeed, Obama should be thankful that he is debating the excruciatingly polite McCain because Plain had no problems skewering Obama's reckless and contradictory foreign policy stands. You betchya!

4) It is true that previous VP debates have never much moved the polls in a presidential race. Then again, no prior VP candidate has even come close to Palin in drawing viewers and crowds. Palin drew the audience she needed to make an impact. Let's see if the audience was moved.

4) I do agree that the key to a McCain comeback is getting past the bank scare. Prior to the bank scare, McCain led. Over the past two weeks during the bank scare, Obama has now developed a 5 point lead. However, what is interesting about this lead is that it was primarily derived by McCain voters going into a larger undecided column while Obama only gained a couple undecided points in his column. Right now, Obama is where Clinton, Gore and Kerry ended up - between 48-49% of the vote and just short of the promised land. The question is, now that the political class is through scaring the hell out of main street to bail out Wall Street, will the McCain voters come back home?

5) The idea that McCain is throwing a hail mary pass by going negative is a laugh. Both candidates have been going full blast negative since a month before the convention. Perhaps the most ridiculous negative ad I have heard was an Obama radio spot in Denver where it was implied that part of the money we are spending in Iraq is going to a giant ferris wheel in Baghdad against a background of scary music. At least McCain ads have a modest sense of humor.
 

This is the kind of issue ad identifying the culprits of the mortgage crisis the RNC needs to be running non stop until the election - a direct indictment using the culprits' own words.
 

I love Dem condescension. And you wonder where the Dem elitist caricature is derived.

As opposed to the clueless Republican caricature that Failin has demonstrated?


2) Palin drew an enormous audience of nearly 70 million of those average folks..

Did you see the Couric interview? People were tuning in to watch the train wreck.
 

Plain had no problems skewering Obama's reckless and contradictory foreign policy stands. You betchya!

At what point in the talking points monologue did that happen?
 

Jack:

One more post in response to your contention of Palin's "irrelevancy."

Compare Mrs. Palin's raucous post debate rally with Mr. Biden's cricket fest which drew maybe 10 people. (Scroll down the linked post).

BTW, that post debate crowd and its intensity is normal for Palin. When she and McCain came out here to Colorado Springs, there were about 15,000 in the audience and thousands more who could not fit in outside the gate making such a ruckus that I could not hear Palin 50 feet away.

Palin was not picked to draw in Dem leaning Indis. That is "Across the Aisle" McCain's job. Rather, Palin is there to fire up the base and the GOP leaners by giving them a good old dose of Reagan conservatism like that which spiked the focus group's dials during the debate.

In short, Palin is highly relevant to the effort to draw back those voters who went into the undecided column rather than to Obama when the bank bailout debate hit.

Take her lightly at your own risk. I certainly hope the Obama people keep up their derision. It only makes her even more popular.
 

Bart, do you have any polls that suggest Governor Palin won the debate, or persuaded independents toward her ticket?
 

Palin's the new Paris Hilton/Brittany Spears:

When she and McCain came out here to Colorado Springs, there were about 15,000 in the audience and thousands more who could not fit in outside the gate making such a ruckus that I could not hear Palin 50 feet away.

Wow. Did the 15,000 RW foaming fundies come to touch the garments of a true "elite"?

ROFLMAO.....

Cheers,
 

It seems to be incontestable that for so long as Governor Palin was able to read from a teleprompter the speeches carefully crafted for her by the best speechwriters who could be salavaged from the George W. Bush machine, she was able to excite the conservative base of the Republican Party, both at the RNC Convention and at several rallies subsequently - to the point of eclipsing the official candidate.

Palin enthusiasts undoubtedly exist - after all according to the RCP site (which is right leaning) a massive 26.7% of the US populace still approve of President Bush, in spite of all that his Administration has wrought. No doubt that will include some die-hards who are banking on the statistical chance that the "maverick" (translate as "loose cannon") McCain (who is not all that popular with the conservative base) would not survive his first term.

Others too, are finding inspiration from Governor Palin, notably female impersonators Lily Armani as Sarah Palin and They Palin Comparison - NY Post

Of course, the GOP candidate's wife, the 54 year old cosmetically enhanced (if a bit heavy on the botox and Polyfilla) GOP fashion plate, has a drag queen following too: Drag Queen Cindy McCain and many of these will perhaps also want to experiment with a Palin costume.

But, apart from closeted GOP gays, will the Palin caricature of a "gun-toting frontierswoman" really have much impact on the vote come November? In the depopulated red states, perhaps. But won't they go for McCain anway?
 

AEI: "Gov. Palin is a blank slate."

So McCain's UnAbles prepped her for two weeks on how to avoid being responsive to questions. And she is already using an eraser to make corrections.

Consider a law school student skipping ConLaw classes and cramming for the exam over a two week period and acing the exam. Qualified on ConLaw? Or even for DUI cases?

Maybe someone can come up with a Broadway musical:

"My Fey Lady"

starring Tina Fey as Gov. Palin and Tim Conway as Sen. McCane [sick]. The story line: Making a silk purse into a sow's ear (with lipstick already!) Including a joke with the punchline: "Idaho, Alaska."
 

Reagan Quote:

WITH GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE WAY, IT IS
MORNING AGAIN IN AMERICA.
OUR BEST DAYS ARE BEFORE US
 

Bart wrote:
2) Palin drew an enormous audience of nearly 70 million of those average folks. (They were sure as hell not tuned in to see Joe Biden).


Just because you're oogling at her doesn't mean 70 million other people are.
 

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Mourad:

Even more amusing than American Dem elitist consesension is the leftist Euro elitist consesension sniffing at middle America based upon the antics of the Dem court jesters at SNL.

A caricature of a caricature.

BTW, after all your insufferable posts sniffing at the troubles of the banks here in the colonies to argue that this was an American problem, you might be interested in this Telegraph article noting that the EU banks are in even more trouble. Ooops!
 

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bit:

Reread Jack's post concerning the affect of the mortgage mess on McCain and McCain's use of "negative ads" to bring down Obama's standing. The RNC commercial indicting the Dems with the Fannie and Freddie mess in their own words directly applies to both of Jack's points. While McCain moves on to other subjects, the RNC is trying to hang the blame for the mess on the Dems where it belongs.
 

Lisa's bro seems to be sniffing bicycle seats, or whatever, in his own fey way (SUI, aka sniffing under the influence) while we all "chuckle" with SNL and its Fey way.
 

Bart suffers from the same short term memory loss which seems to afflict Senator McCain when confronted with inconvenient facts.

If our tame LSR cares to look back to
this thread he will find that several days ago I posted on the very subject:-

"So, it could rightly be said that the present crisis is the consequence of corporate greed, absence of proper regulation and the "greed is good/soak the poor"economic theories adopted by Reagan, Thatcher and their political successors of whom McCain is certainly one.

I would just add this: the UK was forced to bail out another mortgage lender over the weekend and the Benelux had to rescue Fortis. The Republic of Ireland was forced to take similar action: Financial crisis: Ireland’s banks are rescued and France and Belgium had to bail out another banking group European governments bail out Dexia in €6.4bn rescue deal." [links in the original not repeated]


I have always argued that the crisis is world-wide in its effects and that its primary cause was absence of regulation of the exploding derivatives market.

Not only is the op-ed stale news, but its writer Wikipedia: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is a notorious right-wing fruit-cake. Another loathsome spotted reptile.

BTW: what Evans-Pritchard conveniently forgets to mention is that these banks are in difficulties primarily because of their involvement as purchasers of the unregulated derivatives created in the USA. What he also omits to mention are the potential consequences - touched upon in some of the on-line comments in response to his article:

"In times of hyperbolic events unfolding daily under our eyes, hyperbolic editorial such as this one fit perfectly into the media landscape. May I just remind the author of this basic anti European diatribe about the falacity of rating junk bonds with AAA grades in order to shovel lousy financial products "en masse" on the shoulder of every solvent and responsible saver. A lot of these in Europe being poor Eurozone suckers. Now remind me where those rating agency originated from? The Eurozone? Try again!"

"AEP's article is full of unsubstantiated assertions, which should not be taken at face value. It is disappointing that such a fine thinker should find it necessary to produce this sort of propaganda. The EU may well break up, and the Eurozone may well lose members, but the Euro will stay. It was created to allow Germany and its allies to weather this storm and to prevent a situation like in the 1970s developing, where the US could export its inflation and say, "its our currency, but your problem". The Dollar as a reserve currency is causing problems for the EU, but those problems are manageable by Germany and its allies. This time the US cannot export its problems to Europe and is in danger of choking on its mismanagement of financial affairs."

"A lot of risible nonsense in these comments about the demise, breakup or shrinkage of the eurozone. As a consequence of this crisis, the eurozone will grow, to include the Scandinavians (incl. Iceland) and most probably the UK."


This time around, it is going to be much harder for the USA (or indeed any other country) to export inflation. One bitten, twice shy. European banks are not going to rush back to Wall Street and the US derivatives market, nor indeed to the London OTC derivatives market managed by Lehman Brothers that was.

As they recapitalise, EU based banks are not going to be allowed by the regulators to count US derivatives of their balance sheets in the same way as before.

Further, I suspect much of any new US commercial borrowing outside the USA is not going to be denominated in US dollars and marketed in New York but in Euro and marketed in London or Frankfurt so that the borrower will have to shoulder the exchange risk.

Anybody tried explaining derivatives to the VP drag queen yet?
 

Consider a law school student skipping ConLaw classes and cramming for the exam over a two week period and acing the exam. Qualified on ConLaw? Or even for DUI cases?

Apparently this is true in Colorado.
 

BD: Plain had no problems skewering Obama's reckless and contradictory foreign policy stands. You betchya!

BB: At what point in the talking points monologue did that happen?


From the debate:


Palin: I know that the other ticket opposed this surge, in fact, even opposed funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Barack Obama voted against funding troops there after promising that he would not do so.

And Senator Biden, I respected you when you called him out on that. You said that his vote was political and you said it would cost lives. And Barack Obama at first said he would not do that. He turned around under political pressure and he voted against funding the troops. We do have a plan for withdrawal. We don't need early withdrawal out of Iraq. We cannot afford to lose there or we're going to be no better off in the war in Afghanistan either. We have got to win in Iraq.

Biden: Barack Obama offered a clear plan. Shift responsibility to Iraqis over the next 16 months. Draw down our combat troops...

Palin: Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq and that is not what our troops need to hear today, that's for sure. And it's not what our nation needs to be able to count on. You guys opposed the surge. The surge worked. Barack Obama still can't admit the surge works...

***

Palin: Now, you said regarding Senator McCain's military policies there, Senator Biden, that you supported a lot of these things. In fact, you said in fact that you wanted to run, you'd be honored to run with him on the ticket. That's an indication I think of some of the support that you had at least until you became the VP pick here.

You also said that Barack Obama was not ready to be commander in chief. And I know again that you opposed the move he made to try to cut off funding for the troops and I respect you for that. I don't know how you can defend that position now but I know that you know especially with your son in the National Guard and I have great respect for your family also and the honor that you show our military. Barack Obama though, another story there. Anyone I think who can cut off funding for the troops after promising not to is another story...

***

Palin: An armed, nuclear armed especially Iran is so extremely dangerous to consider. They cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons period. Israel is in jeopardy of course when we're dealing with Ahmadinejad as a leader of Iran. Iran claiming that Israel as he termed it, a stinking corpse, a country that should be wiped off the face of the earth. Now a leader like Ahmadinejad who is not sane or stable when he says things like that is not one whom we can allow to acquire nuclear energy, nuclear weapons.

Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, the Castro brothers, others who are dangerous dictators are one that Barack Obama has said he would be willing to meet with without preconditions being met first. And an issue like that taken up by a presidential candidate goes beyond naivete and goes beyond poor judgment. A statement that he made like that is downright dangerous because leaders like Ahmadinejad who would seek to acquire nuclear weapons and wipe off the face of the earth an ally like we have in Israel should not be met with without preconditions and diplomatic efforts being undertaken first...

***

Palin: Now, Barack Obama had said that all we're doing in Afghanistan is air-raiding villages and killing civilians. And such a reckless, reckless comment and untrue comment, again, hurts our cause.

That's not what we're doing there. We're fighting terrorists, and we're securing democracy, and we're building schools for children there so that there is opportunity in that country, also. There will be a big difference there, and we will win in -- in Afghanistan, also...

***

Palin: Palin: Oh, yeah, it's so obvious I'm a Washington outsider. And someone just not used to the way you guys operate. Because here you voted for the war and now you oppose the war. You're one who says, as so many politicians do, I was for it before I was against it or vice- versa. Americans are craving that straight talk and just want to know, hey, if you voted for it, tell us why you voted for it and it was a war resolution.

And you had supported John McCain's military strategies pretty adamantly until this race and you had opposed very adamantly Barack Obama's military strategy, including cutting off funding for the troops that attempt all through the primary. And I watched those debates, so I remember what those were all about...

Biden: I never supported John McCain's strategy on the war. John McCain said exactly what Dick Cheney said, go back and look at Barack Obama's statements and mine...

Palin: I beg to disagree with you, again, here on whether you supported Barack Obama or John McCain's strategies. Here again, you can say what you want to say a month out before people are asked to vote on this, but we listened to the debates.

 

Observation: Bartwurst causes gas - even at his best.
 

2) Palin drew an enormous audience of nearly 70 million of those average folks. (They were sure as hell not tuned in to see Joe Biden). The debate drew the highest viewership of any VP debate in history, any presidential debate since 1992 and a third more than the McCain vs. the Messiah debate the previous Friday.

And according to a Fox News poll, 61 percent of them thought Biden won the debate.
 

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Poor dear Bart is becoming just the teeniest bit shrill on the subject of Governor Palin - which is unsurprising. As Newsweek magazine puts it in the headline to a story this week: The Palin Problem

"Yes, she won the debate by not imploding. But governing requires knowledge, and mindless populism is just that—mindless."

As Professor Balkin observes above:-

"McCain's goal must now be to destroy that sense of comfort. He must now do everything in his power to so tarnish Obama that voters will find him alien, radical, and downright scary."

It is not without significance that another Palin article in the same Newsweek issue: Palin, McCain and the Weeks Ahead is written by none other than Karl Rove, the spin doctor who twice packaged the George W. Bush for sale to America.

Rove has read the signs in the polls: Mr Dementia and Mrs Fluff are not going down at all well - so there has to be a change of tack and Rove instinctively thinks in the propaganda terms of his most noted predecessor:-

"The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over." - Reichs Propagandaminister Dr Josef Goebbels.

So here is the Dr Goebbels Patent Propaganda Remedy prescribed by Dr Rove:-

"McCain-Palin must deepen those doubts by pounding away on questions about Obama's character, judgment and values. Drawing on Obama's own record and statements, they need to paint him as a big spender, class warrior and cultural elitist; they need to say he's never worked across party lines or gotten his hands dirty solving big issues. But the duo must also give voters reasons to support them. They must crystallize a positive, forward-looking vision so people who see Obama as unqualified have something to hang on to. It can't be a laundry list of positions. McCain-Palin must offer a narrative about what they will do to help America see better days, especially on kitchen-table concerns."

Note that the remedy is couched in terms of image, not substance. It is about "painting" Obama and "offering a narrative".

Brace yourselves, gentle readers, for hours of relentlessly negative commercials on the goggle box and for yards of unmitigated tosh on this blog from our Bart, our LSR resident propagandist.

Both will not be seeking to "fool all of the people all of the time" just "some of the people some of the time" - i.e. perhaps 15% of the electorate for just a few weeks - but, were they to be successful, the grim reality would come later.

And if readers wish something of an antidote, they might dip into yet another current Newsweek article by Francis Fukuyama: The Fall of America Inc which has some food for thought on the demise of the Reagan era.
 

A rolling stone may gather no moss but this Rolling Stone article "Make-Believe Maverick" by Tim Dickinson, 10/16/08 issue, available here:

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/23316912/makebelieve_maverick/print

gathers, at length, the real story of John McCane [sick]. I wonder if Gov. Palin reads Rolling Stone, among the many publications she reads.
 

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It looks like this VP debate is following the historical trend and is not moving the tracking polls.
 

It's a bit painful to watch Bart pass through the stages of grief. He seems to have reached acceptance now, though.

Here's a logical proposition: if McCain has given up on Michigan, then he's given up on the "Reagan Dems" the delusional right wing has been counting on, because that was the center of the supposedly Democratic party strongholds that went for Nixon in '72 and Reagan in '80 and '84.

The economy is not going to turn around in the next month. Paulson isn't even going to start spending, as, when he does, it will become clear to everyone that the "bail out" is about transferring wealth from the public into the hands of the wealthy -- and doing it selectively so as to benefit the "friends of Bush and Cheney." By waiting until after the election, that can be done with a free hand and in a manner calculated to do the most damage to the Democrats.

Get prepared for endless guilt-by-association attacks by McCain and his proxies. It's what they've got, and it's what appeals to the paranoid, anti-intellectual, RWA followers that are now the only base McCain seems to have any hold on. Oh, and the outright or latent racists, but he doesn't need to court that bunch.

The only effect McCain's going even more negative will produce is to give a few more racists cover, but, since these people are now largely to be found in states that are already leaning right, it's not clear that this will produce any pro-McCain swing.

It's gonna be a long and painful end-game.
 

It's worth looking at Karl Rove's own web site electoral map and polling trend line Election Map and Electoral Vote Trend.

Rove comments: "If the election were held today, Obama would win every state John Kerry won in 2004, while adding New Mexico (5 EV), Iowa (7 EV), and Colorado (9 EV) to his coalition. Remember, though, that these state polls are a lagging indicator and most do not include any surveying done after the vice-presidential debate on Thursday night."

According to Gallup, Obama currently leads by 8% in their tracking poll.

What is therefore interesting is the electoral college effect - a quite small change in the electoral popular vote percentage is much magnified by the electoral college system as shown by Electoral Vote-Electoral College Graphs

But Gallup's historical dataset shows that only twice since 1936 has a candidate who reached 50% in the polls lost the general election: Dewey in 1948 and Al Gore in 2000 (the latter result of course widely thought to have been affected by electoral shenanigans).
 

it sure is high comedy watching pointyheaded old bart revel in the ruckus raised by good ole folksy sarah palin. yubetcha!

what a shameless flack, utterly shameless. left obama in the dust my foot!

go flag some frangible molecular commodities, bart.
 

She will not return to her former degree of charisma and attraction, at least outside of her devoted followers in the Republican base. Now that she is more of a known quantity-- charming but mediocre-- she no longer holds any special attraction for independent voters, the voters that McCain so desperately needs.

I think you are mistaking why she was picked. She was picked to appeal to two audiences, neither of which can be purely described as "independents."

The first was the movement conservatives, who never liked McCain and who provide much of the footwork for the modern GOP. By that, I mean the people who go door-to-door canvassing, who man the phone banks, who put up signs, etc. This crowd also controls the radio talk shows that get the base motivated. Her selection has done wonders for getting this crowd behind McCain. So, she is a rousing success on this front.

The second is the blue-collar vote that liked Hillary in the primaries and has voted GOP in the past (the prototypical 'Reagan Dem') but has shown no particular liking of Obama. That vote will be instrumental in key swing states throughout the midwest and in PA, CO, WV and VA. Whether she is appealing to them or not, I don't know, but that is the other half of her mission. (It is also why Biden was chosen, since he allegedly appeals to them as well.) I'm not sure how you measure her success on this front: maybe just by watching the state polls in the relevant swing states and adjusting for the Bradley effect.

What she is definitely not there to do is pick up either the women who wanted Hillary but got Obama and then Biden (i.e., the PUMA vote), or Dems who think of themselves as moderate enough to vote GOP if the candidate is someone like Colin Powell or Olympia Snowe. That was never the point of a Palin pick, so gauging her success by their reaction to her is basically meaningless. Likewise, the MSM take on her is largely irrelevant (as is the law school prof take on her). No one in these crowds fits into the audience she was picked to address.
 

c2h50h said...

It's a bit painful to watch Bart pass through the stages of grief. He seems to have reached acceptance now, though.

:::chuckle:::

You might recall that I posted after the GOP convention that McCain would win if the election is being held then, but I was unwilling to make a prediction then because circumstances change.

Circumstances have changed. The mortgage mess and bailout has shifted the lead to Obama. If the election were held now, most of the undecided would come back to McCain, but Obama would win by 2-3 points. However, once again, things change and we have a month and two debates to go. I am still unwilling to make a prediction.

It is possible that the mortgage mess has permanently shifted the race towards Obama. Given that the Dems are primarily to blame for this mess, that would represent a rather cruel irony for those of us in the GOP, but such is politics.

However, the Obama shift is relatively short lived and only occurred over the past two weeks when the rescue was being debated. We will see whether enactment of the rescue enables the voters to move back to other issues which were at the fore when McCain was leading and to the issues of Obama's lack of competence and questionable character that McCain previously did not raise when he had a lead, but will pound on over the next two weeks.
 

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mourad said...

But Gallup's historical dataset shows that only twice since 1936 has a candidate who reached 50% in the polls lost the general election: Dewey in 1948 and Al Gore in 2000 (the latter result of course widely thought to have been affected by electoral shenanigans).

This comparison is both valid and misleading.

It is misleading in that most other presidential candidates who reached the 50% threshold among Gallup's registered voters also exceeded that threshold, not just nipped 50%.

The comparison between Bush/Gore 2000 and the present race is far more valid. Gore received a bounce after the debates with Bush which, by the time the vote actually took place, slid back to the 48 to 49% glass ceiling that Dems have had over the past three election cycles while the undecided broke for Bush. It is true that the GOP conservative Christian base did not show up for Bush in 2000 as they later did in 2004, giving Gore a miniscule plurality of the popular vote, but still a minority of the electoral vote.

Obama's polling right now does resemble the Gore polling at the same time in 2000. Gore received a big bounce from his convention, but lost it after the debates were finished because voters started questioning his competence and character. Obama received a nice bounce from the rescue package scare, but we have two debates to go and McCain will finally get off his high horse and start challenging Obama's competence and character.
See a pattern here?

If you want to count your proverbial chickens a month out, be my guests.
 

Bart,

No rule says you can't just go from acceptance back to denial, but I'd think it might make your head spin if you make a complete pass through the stages every few days.

Given the tracking polls over the last several months, it would be more accurate to say that McCain got a temporary bounce from Palin, the RNC, and a little luck from the weather that allowed him to hide Bush and Cheney. But that's all done now, and the current subject is all about the economy all the time.

Good luck changing the subject now, with the demolition of the financial system happening in realtime as the campaign plays out. Unless you can truly find something earthshaking, there just isn't going to be any interest in playing "who is a friend of whom."

The idea that McCain has been on a "high horse" until now has to be one of the most hilarious things I've heard recently.

Nobody is counting chickens, but, thanks to conservative karma coming home to roost and befouling the financial system, it would appear that the ducks are all getting into a row.
 

Given that the Dems are primarily to blame for this mess

Further given that this assertion requires a level of intellectual dishonesty that renders any conclusion irrelevant.
 

The question was whether the selection of Governor Palin was of continued relevance to Senator McCain's chances of winning the presidency. Bart asserts the drag queens' latest heroine was picked to appeal to two classes of voters:-

"The first was the movement conservatives, who never liked McCain and who provide much of the footwork for the modern GOP. By that, I mean the people who go door-to-door canvassing, who man the phone banks, who put up signs, etc. This crowd also controls the radio talk shows that get the base motivated. Her selection has done wonders for getting this crowd behind McCain. So, she is a rousing success on this front.

The second is the blue-collar vote that liked Hillary in the primaries and has voted GOP in the past (the prototypical 'Reagan Dem') but has shown no particular liking of Obama. That vote will be instrumental in key swing states throughout the midwest and in PA, CO, WV and VA."


As to the 1st Bart category, the following is a comparison of the field efforts of the two campaigns from FiveThirtyEight.com dated 3rd October 2008:-

"Let’s be clear. We've observed no comparison between these ground campaigns. To begin with, there’s a 4-1 ratio of offices in most states. We walk into McCain offices to find them closed, empty, one person, two people, sometimes three people making calls. Many times one person is calling while the other small clutch of volunteers are chatting amongst themselves....Given a choice between taking embarrassing photos of empty phone banks, we give McCain’s people the chance to pose for photos to show us the action for what they continually claim we “just missed.” No more. We stop into offices at all open hours of the day, but generally more in the afternoon and evening. “Call time,” for both campaigns, is all day, but the time when folks over 65 are generally targeted begins in late afternoon and goes til 8 or 9 pm. Universally, McCain’s people stop earlier. Even when we show up at
6:15pm, we’re told we just missed the big phone bank, or to come back in 30 minutes. If we show up an hour later, we “just missed it” again.

The McCain offices are also calm, sedate. Little movement. No hustle. In the Obama offices, it's a whirlwind. People move. It's a dynamic bustle. You can feel it in our photos. Up to this point, we’ve been giving McCain's ground campaign a lot of benefit of the doubt. We can’t stop convincing ourselves that there must – must – be a warehouse full of 1,000 McCain volunteers somewhere in a national, central location just dialing away. This can’t be all they’re doing. Because even in a place like Colorado Springs, McCain’s ground campaign is getting blown away by the Obama efforts. It doesn't mean Obama will win Colorado Springs, but it means Obama's campaign will not look itself in the mirror afterward and ask, "what more could we have done?" You could take every McCain volunteer we’ve seen doing actual work in the entire trip, over six states, and it would add up to the same as Obama’s single Thornton, CO office. Or his single Durango, CO office. These ground campaigns bear no relationship to each other."


None of the state polls yet point to any Palin "rousing success on this front" thus far. Pollster.com's Colorado Chart is not untypical.

As for Bart's hoped-for Palin effect on "blue collar" voters, I referred in an earlier post to Francis Fukuyama's Newsweek article and some may find this passage insightful:

"All this suggests that the Reagan era should have ended some time ago. It didn't partly because the Democratic Party failed to come up with convincing candidates and arguments, but also because of a particular aspect of America that makes our country very different from Europe. There, less-educated, working-class citizens vote reliably for socialist, communist and other left-leaning parties, based on their economic interests. In the United States, they can swing either left or right. They were part of Roosevelt's grand Democratic coalition during the New Deal, a coalition that held through Lyndon Johnson's Great Society in the 1960s. But they started voting Republican during the Nixon and Reagan years, swung to Clinton in the 1990s, and returned to the Republican fold under George W. Bush. When they vote Republican, it's because cultural issues like religion, patriotism, family values and gun ownership trump economic ones.

This group of voters will decide November's election, not least because of their concentration in a handful of swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Will they tilt toward the more distant, Harvard-educated Obama, who more accurately reflects their economic interests? Or will they stick with people they can better identify with, like McCain and Sarah Palin? It took an economic crisis of massive proportions from 1929 to 1931 to bring a Democratic administration to power. Polls indicate we may have arrived again at that point in October 2008.


The recession has already begun. It is going to be worse than any previous recession experienced by anyone still of working age.

Obviously, Senator McCain will not personally have to worry over much about that since he married real money. There is little chance that he will ever be called upon to live on the emoluments of his office. But do he or Governor Palin have any coherent plans about how to cope which do not involve "soak the poor" Reaganite economics - such as charging for rape test kits at public hospitals?

Could it be that Bart actually wishes blue-collar voters to vote against their economic interests? That seems remarkably selfish.

But then, that's what loathsome spotted reptiles are all about - gulling the poor into voting in the way most likely to make them relatively poorer when compared to the rich.
 

George W majored in cheerleading at Yale (minor, history). Gov. Sarah Palin may not have stayed at one of the six colleges she attended ong enough to get on a cheerleading squad. But she does have her "pom-pom" style that someday she might attract the Supreme Court to elect her, the second cheerleader President, but this time a little smarter.

All she has to do is develop the "art" of providing nicknames; she's had a good start with her "first dude" husband and the actual names of her children. By the way, if Sarah does make it as VP, my nickname for her will be "Fey Wray" although John McCane [sick] is much too short to be King Kong, so that she may have the monkey on her back.
 

...gulling the poor into voting in the way most likely to make them relatively poorer when compared to the rich.

Is it not amusing that a couple of months ago Bart was flogging the idea that the Democrats are the "party of the rich." Then after a time Bart treated us to the "why do Democrats want to punish the creators of wealth" tune.

If "integrity" refers to a coherent set of principles and ideas then of it Bart is plainly bereft.
 

Mourad:

All you have to do is listen to any GOP radio talk show, or any self-described movement conservative (with few exceptions), to see that Palin has brought the movement conservatives on board the McCain bandwagon. Many would have probably stayed home before Palin, or voted for Barr. Now they will vote for McCain and they are giving him money, and giving the party money. So it is beyond question that she has succeeded on this front.

As for the blue-collar vote, I don't know. I am a white-collar professional and all of my friends and family are white-collar professionals, so I don't have much to go on here anecdotally. It may be that these voters vote their wallets and go for Obama, or it may be that they vote on cultural issues and vote for McCain.

But I don't know why anyone would expect that people would vote their wallets over their values: most people I know who are voting for Obama are NOT voting their wallets, they are voting their own cultural issues. I suppose you could say that when white-collars vote Democratic, it's because cultural issues like [abortion], [gay rights], [global warming] and [stem cell research] trump economic ones.
 

Take her lightly at your own risk. I certainly hope the Obama people keep up their derision. It only makes her even more popular.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 11:30 PM


Baghdad, no one cares if she is more popular with wingnut foamers like you. You represent a very small portion of the country that was going to vote for McSame anyways.
 

Bart writes:
the RNC is trying to hang the blame for the mess on the Dems where it belongs.


Nothing could be farther from reality. In case Bart missed it, Congress has a mix of both parties. In reality, the mortgage crisis was caused by sourcing loans structure to fail once land prices stopped rising at unsustainable rates to people who couldn't afford them - something the lenders did all on their own and are responsible for (bart seems to want to blame a political party and let lenders off the hook). Its more than likely that lenders would have done this without efforts to counteract lending discrimination, since it results in considerable short term paper gains and commissions.

That the mortgage crisis has spilled into the credit markets is a result of deregulation - something both parties can happily share blame for.
 


Zachary said...

...But I don't know why anyone would expect that people would vote their wallets over their values: most people I know who are voting for Obama are NOT voting their wallets, they are voting their own cultural issues. I suppose you could say that when white-collars vote Democratic, it's because cultural issues like [abortion], [gay rights], [global warming] and [stem cell research] trump economic ones.


While I agree with your basic premise, I think this is the conventional wisdom that is entirely wrong. The truth seems to be that unless you are really wealthy, the democrats, along with the social issues, are better for you economically. Case A is the current financial meltdown, caused by excessive de- and non- regulation. Even the very wealthy only get a short-term benefit from reaganomics, since it threatens the stability of the entire system. nevertheless, times always seem better for 95% of the population when dems are in charge. and that 95% includes a hefty chunk of the upper middle class and less wealthy upper class. professionals, who think in the long term and past sloganeering recognize a healthy tax structure and vibrant middle class is actually better for them financially than a devalued dollar and unemployed workforce, that cannot purchase the goods that will increase earning for companies in which they own stock.

I have always felt the dems biggest failing (in the seemingly unending laundry list of them) is their failure to attack laffer economics. like good politics, economics that "trickles up" raises all boats, and benefits the rich as well as everyone else.
 

The numbers show that the VP debate had little or no effect on public approval of either VP or P candidate.

This could be seen as simply validating the CW that VP debates and VP choices have little or no effect on election outcomes.

Or it could be seen as success for Palin: she managed to stop the hemorrhaging, even if not to reverse the trend or recover any territory. And, given the low expectations the GOP PR (reasonably when you think about it) established, that's success of a kind. Not to fail is to succeed. Not to make things worse is something.

It could even be seen as a new Palin, showing herself in a considerably better light than any she's displayed so far, finding her way on the national scene. This of course is fantasy; one not-horrible performance per two weeks of campaigning is not the ratio of winning campaigns.

Probably the best summary is the simplest: the team prepped the candidate for two weeks for this? If anything would make you sorry for the folks with that job, this will do. And give them credit, please: they did the best with what they had.

In the end it comes around to Jack's points: Palin at her best is net zero for the McCain campaign, and yes, the Hail Mary passes will be something to see as we approach the finish line (apologies for the mixed metaphor).


Meanwhile Rome burns. From Wall Street to Main Street to Bagdad to Bush's torture rooms across the globe, the world has way more definite problems than perhaps any President can solve. It turns out you can break more things faster than you can fix them.
 

Mourad writes:
As to the 1st Bart category, the following


Its altogether possible that bart is coflating the new right with the religious right, whom Palin is likely to motivate (extremists and other fundamentals, at least). He may be justified is doing so.

The recession has already begun. It is going to be worse than any previous recession experienced by anyone still of working age.

It will be bad, but it may be a key question as to whether or not the nation was as polarized when FDR got in as it is now. People may vote against their economic interests if they are polarized enough. If fundamentalism plays a big enough role, Palin may have been a good choice.
 

mourad said...

The second is the blue-collar vote that liked Hillary in the primaries and has voted GOP in the past (the prototypical 'Reagan Dem') but has shown no particular liking of Obama. That vote will be instrumental in key swing states throughout the midwest and in PA, CO, WV and VA."

Now you are catching on.

As for Bart's hoped-for Palin effect on "blue collar" voters, I referred in an earlier post to Francis Fukuyama's Newsweek article and some may find this passage insightful:

"All this suggests that the Reagan era should have ended some time ago. It didn't partly because the Democratic Party failed to come up with convincing candidates and arguments, but also because of a particular aspect of America that makes our country very different from Europe. There, less-educated, working-class citizens vote reliably for socialist, communist and other left-leaning parties, based on their economic interests. In the United States, they can swing either left or right. They were part of Roosevelt's grand Democratic coalition during the New Deal, a coalition that held through Lyndon Johnson's Great Society in the 1960s. But they started voting Republican during the Nixon and Reagan years, swung to Clinton in the 1990s, and returned to the Republican fold under George W. Bush. When they vote Republican, it's because cultural issues like religion, patriotism, family values and gun ownership trump economic ones.


This nonsense makes as much sense as Fukuyama's claim that we were at the end of history.

The Dems left the Reagan Dems on three issues in order of importance:

1) After Vietnam, the Dems became the isolationist and anti-military party that loses wars. The folks the Dems are dumping all over are the blue collar kids like me who serve in those wars. This is the main reason the Reagan Dems went GOP.

2) The Dems went from FDR style social insurance (which the Reagan Dems support) to redistribution (which the Reagan Dems do not). Reagan Dems like living in houses and enjoying the other material perks of being in the middle class offered by free markets. They do not hate the rich, they want to become rich.

3) Lastly, the Dems became the party of social license, extending right to criminals and now terrorists, abortion and firearm confiscation.

Will they tilt toward the more distant, Harvard-educated Obama, who more accurately reflects their economic interests?

The idea that EU style socialism and redistribution represents anyone's economic interest is a joke.

Feel free to compare the economic well being of the American and EU middle classes. The Reagan Dems have more jobs and more after tax income and thus a better standard of living in housing and property than the EU.

As an example, my sister-in-law and her husband are a teacher and a auto glass installer who live in low tax Florida. They own two houses, one of which they rent out, a camper, a boat, a van, a truck, two motorcycles and are sending their daughter to a top line university. These are your Reagan Dems.

The counter parts of my relatives in the EU live in a modest apartment, use public transportation and their only child is unemployed and can't find a job. However, they do get twice as much vacation as my relatives and their child is on the dole.

The recession has already begun. It is going to be worse than any previous recession experienced by anyone still of working age.

We are nowhere close to the Carter recession Reagan inherited in 1982 nor are we likely to get close.

But do he or Governor Palin have any coherent plans about how to cope which do not involve "soak the poor" Reaganite economics...

One can only "soak the poor" if the government actually takes away their earnings. Neither Reagan nor McCain did or plan to do so.

McCain's plans to reduce our corporate taxes to the level of the EU would sure help spur business and increase employment.

McCain's plans to cut (or more likely slow down the growth of) government spending rather than adding another trillion dollars of debt like Bush before him and Obama is planning to do in the future leaves substantially more credit for the economy to invest and grow.

McCain's plan to shift to domestic energy production (a shift that would be even more dramatic if Palin can keep pushing McCain) reduces energy costs and the outflow of wealth overseas while Obama wants energy prices artificially high to make uneconomical alternative sources of energy appear economical.
 

There's no need to "drill, baby, drill" while Bartwurst is available to provide natural gas.
 

Baghdad, with all the great stuff you rightwingnuts have to offer America, it's really quite amazing that the rest of your rotting corpse is about to be tossed under the bus.
 

As an example, my sister-in-law and her husband are a teacher and a auto glass installer who live in low tax Florida. They own two houses, one of which they rent out, a camper, a boat, a van, a truck, two motorcycles and are sending their daughter to a top line university. These are your Reagan Dems.

If the latest FL polls are any indication, there is a good chance your in-laws are now Obama Dems.
 

Shorter "Bart":

The folks the Dems are dumping all over are the blue collar kids like me who serve in those wars. This is the main reason the Reagan Dems went GOP.

"Dems voted for Reagan because Vietnam was a disaster...."

Cheers,
 

I call bovine scat:

The Dems went from FDR style social insurance (which the Reagan Dems support) to redistribution (which the Reagan Dems do not).

Reagan (along with the Rethuglicans) hated Social Security....

What Reagan did was stoke racism: the "Welfare Cadillac queens" lie.

Cheers,
 

3) Lastly, the Dems became the party of social license, extending right to criminals and now terrorists, abortion and firearm confiscation.

Hate to point it out, but when you give rights to people, that includes those accused of crimes and terrorism. Maybe if we had a way to know beforehand which are which ... "If she floats...." Or we could make the 'bad guys' that don't have any rights wear tattoos so we can tell 'em apart....

At least now "Bart" comes clean WRT abortion, though. It's not "pro-life", it's "anti-social license"....

Cheers,
 

The idea that EU style socialism and redistribution represents anyone's economic interest is a joke.

Those Europeans seem to think so; they keep voting for it, and they're not complaining. Matter of fact, they're doing pretty well.

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma:

The counter parts of my relatives in the EU live in a modest apartment, use public transportation and their only child is unemployed and can't find a job. However, they do get twice as much vacation as my relatives and their child is on the dole.

Using your relatives may not be representative of Europe, "Bart". ;-)

Cheers,
 

Another lie:

McCain's plans to reduce our corporate taxes to the level of the EU would sure help spur business and increase employment.

Effective tax rates are comparable between the U.S. and Europe.

Cheers,
 

McCain's plans to cut (or more likely slow down the growth of) government spending rather than adding another trillion dollars of debt like Bush before him....

McSame's been voting the Republican line for quite some time.

But here's your debt with Republicans and Democrats. Spare us the bulls$*t, "Bart". Note the exemplary performance of "Bart"'s heroes Reagan and Dubya.

Cheers,
 

Bart write:
1) After Vietnam, the Dems became the isolationist and anti-military party that loses wars.

Its seems only fair that now the other party has been taking their turn at it.
 

bitswapper: "Its seems only fair that now the other party has been taking their turn at it."

I confess: When Palin said, "We have got to win the wars", I thought, compassionately, about folks who, for one reason or another, ever supported the official GOP party line of "Mission Accomplished".
 

bit/robert:

We have won the Iraq War and are perhaps on the verge of doing the same in Afghanistan as CNN is reporting the Taliban are treating for peace with the Afghan government in Saudi.

In sharp contrast, Obama would have lost the Iraq War if her were President in 2006 and was providing propaganda to the Taliban when he falsely claimed that all our troops in Afghanistan were doing were air raiding villages and killing civilians. The man is incompetent to be CiC.
 

"Bart":

You falsely claimed that "he [Obama] falsely claimed that all our troops in Afghanistan were doing were air raiding villages and killing civilians."

Why do you lie so often?

Cheers,
 

arne langsetmo said...

"Bart": You falsely claimed that "he [Obama] falsely claimed that all our troops in Afghanistan were doing were air raiding villages and killing civilians."

That is precisely what this incompetent claimed. Barrack Obama stated on video:

"But we gotta get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops that we are not JUST air raiding villages and killing civilians which is causing enormous problems there."

Can anyone imagine FDR giving a speech to American citizens during WWII that: "We are just air raiding cities and killing civilians" and thus providing Goerbels propaganda?

Obama is incompetent and dangerous.
 

We have won the Iraq War

We found the WMD??
 

Did anyone else hear the esteemed GOP Vice Presidential candidate say, "We have got to win the wars"? How does that square with the talking points of other GOP supporters?
 

While I agree with your basic premise, I think this is the conventional wisdom that is entirely wrong. The truth seems to be that unless you are really wealthy, the democrats, along with the social issues, are better for you economically. Case A is the current financial meltdown, caused by excessive de- and non- regulation. Even the very wealthy only get a short-term benefit from reaganomics, since it threatens the stability of the entire system. nevertheless, times always seem better for 95% of the population when dems are in charge. and that 95% includes a hefty chunk of the upper middle class and less wealthy upper class. professionals, who think in the long term and past sloganeering recognize a healthy tax structure and vibrant middle class is actually better for them financially than a devalued dollar and unemployed workforce, that cannot purchase the goods that will increase earning for companies in which they own stock.

Yes, but it is not clear that the deregulation/non-regulation that produced the current crisis is all of GOP making. While the GOP was pushing for market deregulation, the Dems refused to allow Fannie and Freddie to be regulated because they wanted to be very pro-house-ownership. So it is far from clear that a Dem-controlled Washington would have steered clear of the present disaster or could steer us out of it more effectively than McCain. McCain is not exactly anti-regulation. He is about as far from a movement conservative as you can find in a presidential nominee of the GOP since at least Ford.

Second, I dispute your contention that times always seem better for 95% when Dems are in charge. Remember the Carter administration? Does the word stagflation mean anything to you? How about the two years of the Clinton administration when he had Democratic control of Congress?

Personally I am of the opinion that neither party can be trusted with control of all three political branches. Divided government is your friend. In the midst of the partisanship, you eventually get some kind of compromise on the important issues that works, as opposed to attempts at ideological purity from, and/or special interest sucking-up by either side.
 

Bart said: "The idea that EU style socialism and redistribution represents anyone's economic interest is a joke."

To which Arne replied: "Those Europeans seem to think so; they keep voting for it, and they're not complaining. Matter of fact, they're doing pretty well."

Europeans, of course, complain about the policies of their different governments (whether of the right or the left) every bit as much as Americans do.

Where we differ from Americans is that there is a broad European consensus on matters such as (i) the minimum safety net which ought to be available for the most disadvantaged; (ii) the proper regulatory role of the state; and (iii) the level of services which the state ought to provide to citizens which certainly differs from that of some Americans.

Of course our consensus results in some degree of redistribution of wealth - which means that there is less of a gap between the very rich and the very poor in Europe than in the USA. And yes, we do like it that way.

Nor I am convinced that working class Americans would not wish the levels of employee benefits which are the norm in the majority of the EU states, the health and child care safety nets, or the progress being made towards the concepts of equal pay for equal work and non discrimination on grounds of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or disability.

I believe, Fukuyama was at least right when he said that historically European working-class citizens "voted reliably for socialist, communist and other left-leaning parties, based on their economic interests."

A generalisation perhaps, but nevertheless broadly true, as a result of the relatively greater influence in Europe of trade unions from the turn of the last century fowards. It is also the case that our electorates seem to participate more fully in elections with percentage participation in general elections regularly being well over 75% as opposed to the 55% turnout common in US general elections.

If Governor Palin's nomination were to impact on turnout (whether in support for what pass for ideas in her discourse or in rejection of them), that would not be any bad thing. But I suspect that the Obama campaign will succeed to a far greater extent than anything which can be achieved by Governor "Fluff and Smear" in the Obama objective of mobilising a far greater number of the electorate to vote at all - which is a process that can only assist in the process of transforming the USA from a Republic into a Democracy.

On Governor Fluff's impact, I note the conclusions of Charles Cook in the GOP's Senate Stock Falls. Of Palin he said:-

"Although Republicans enjoyed a brief burst of euphoria immediately after John McCain selected Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, effectively giving the 72-year-old nominee the political equivalent of a Vitamin B12 shot, the rush has subsided."

Perhaps that is a realistic assessment.

In a post above said: "The recession has already begun. It is going to be worse than any previous recession experienced by anyone still of working age."

Bart responded "We are nowhere close to the Carter recession Reagan inherited in 1982 nor are we likely to get close.".

Well, time alone will tell, but I question Bart's understanding of the nature of the financial markets, the impact of the 100-fold boom in unregulated derivatives over the last 7 years and the difficulty the US and European monetary authorities will experience in restoring confidence and a working credit market.

Everything points to November 2008 as being a US election where the biggest single issue will be the economy. The contempt in which the Bush Administration is now held by the electorate is undeniable Pollster.com: Bush National Job Approval and that must disadvantage the GOP ticket.

No amount of vacuous references by Governor Palin to Senator McCain being "a maverick" will be a substitute for the absence of any coherent plan for recovery.

As for his "soak the poor" economic policies. I would not have thought that the McCain campaign's announcement that his healthcare proposals would be paid for by vast cuts in Medicare and Medicaid would go down particularly well with senior citizens in the retirement communities of Florida.

Yesterday's state polls showed Obama with a 6 point lead in Colorado, a 7 point lead in Florida, a 13 point lead in New Hampshire, a 6 point lead in North Carolina, a 10-12 point lead in Virginia. These are only snapshots but the trend is clear: Obama is gaining a full point on McCain every three days.

Whether tonight's debates will change the course of the election thus far is of interest, but I think the original issue on this thread is now clear: Governor Fluff's pandering to prejudice will have negligible impact on the campaign of her "Jefe de Oro", the rather sadly diminished figure of the one-time respected Senator McCain.
 

At EconomicPolicyJournal.com, take a look at this August 2008 entry:

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2008/08/sarah-palin-daffy-with-touch-of-igloo.html

titled "Sarah Palin: Daffy With A Touch of Igloo Trash"

Now that's "cold."
 

Isn't that a cute picture of Bartwurst with his "Backpack of Lies"?
 

mourad said...

Bart said: "The idea that EU style socialism and redistribution represents anyone's economic interest is a joke."

To which Arne replied: "Those Europeans seem to think so; they keep voting for it, and they're not complaining. Matter of fact, they're doing pretty well."


The fact that government dependents vote for those who give them other people's wealth is unsurprising. This proves only that they are dependent, not that they are economically better off than similarly situated people in a freer country.
 

Take a look at "Miss Alaska Footage, 1984" at:

http://outhouserag.typepad.com/outhouserag/2008/09/miss-alaska-foo.html

for the "skinny" on Sarah Heath. Her bio:

Contestant #8, Sarah Heath. Sarah says that she wants to prepare for a career in television broadcasting by majoring in Telecommunications and Political Science. It's no wonder that she has also been recognized by Who's Who, since she has explained her leadership in all areas, from academics to student politics to athletics, having led her basketball team to the championship at the state tournament. Ladies and gentleman, contestant #8, Sarah Heath."
 

Has Sarah achieved her career goal? Watch out, Katie Couric!
 


Obama is incompetent and dangerous.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 8:08 PM


Coming from one of the loudest, and most obnoxious, advocates of the Disaster in Iraq, this rings more than a little hollow.
 

shag from brookline said...

Has Sarah achieved her career goal?

If I recall correctly, during a similar point in his life, Mr. Obama had no career plans outside of scoring drugs at Occidental College.

In contrast, Palin entered and won her beauty contest to help pay for college. Perhaps she could have joined the Army like this child of a blue collar family, but then you would probably call her too stupid to avoid the service.
 

Bart's argument is that of a shyster.

If a person becomes unemployed, loses his health coverage, and the wherewithal to house and feed his family, and receives benefits from a state social insurance system, that does not make him a "dependent of the government subsisting on other people's money".

The recipient is a free citizen receiving benefits from a social welfare system of which a majority of citizens approve and to which all subscribe in the manner provided by law.

If anything it signifies that the recipient is a citizen of a mature and functioning democracy which takes the welfare of its citizens responsibly, rather than of an immature democracy where the rule is "I'm all right, Jack, screw you!".

The latter seems to be the Malthusian system for which "beggar thy neighbour" Bart transparently advocates.

I see that I've been over indulgent in describing Bart as merely a "loathsome spotted reptile"
 

mourad said...

If a person becomes unemployed, loses his health coverage, and the wherewithal to house and feed his family, and receives benefits from a state social insurance system, that does not make him a "dependent of the government subsisting on other people's money".

Depends upon the system.

In the United States, unemployment insurance is a labor cost to provide a temporary bridge between employment. Unemployment insurance is temporary and cannot make one dependent.

In much of the EU, the unemployed end up on a semi permament dole. That does encourage dependence. Even the Dems were forced to realize this and joined the GOP in making welfare a temporary bridge to break dependence. It was a wild success without the Malthusian results that US socialists who share your views predicted.
 

Does little Lisa's bro suggest that beauty is skin deep, or something else? And did Sarah Heath win, place or show in the contest? As for Sarah Heath not joining the military, perhaps she shared the philosophy of VP Cheney whom she seems to want to emulate - she had better things to do like shoot and field dress a moose (but not shoot a friend, like hunter Dickie did). So I guess we have to rely upon grunts like little Lisa's bro, who may not back then have had better things to do, like developing expertise in DUI, to defend us. Thank you for your service. (By the way, I was drafted in 1955, serving my duty for two years, between the Korean conflict and Vietnam. While I had better things to do, like start my law practice, I did not wish to take Dick Cheney's cowardly routes to avoid military service. No reciprocal thanks necessary, although during my military service there was no war going on.)
 

Palin's facebook page
 

During their investigation of the causes of the mortgage mess, the Dems in the Congress unsurprisingly do not want to investigate Freddie and Fannie and instead a looking for scapegoats for their own misfeasance. Hotair made the rather apt analogy to OJ claiming to be looking for the true killer of Nichole and Ron.
 

During their investigation of the causes of the mortgage mess, the Dems in the Congress unsurprisingly do not want to investigate Freddie and Fannie and instead a looking for scapegoats for their own misfeasance. Hotair made the rather apt analogy to OJ claiming to be looking for the true killer of Nichole and Ron.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 12:02 PM


Americans are blaming the GOP for the tanking economy. Your whining does not seem to be getting a lot of traction.
 

Bart writes:
We have won the Iraq War


Not by any reasonable criteria. We've just succeeded in crippling our ability to persecute a war against terrorists.
 

The Sarah Six Pack Effect?

It appears that the race is tightening again...in the most Dem slanted polls - Dem Stan Greenberg's Democracy Corps (Obama +3), CBS (Obama +3), Hotline (Obama +2), and Reuters/Zogby (Obama +3).

As I posted before, the Obama lead was primarily based upon the shift of McCain supporters to the undecided column and not to Obama. Palin's job in the debate was to energize those voters and bring them back into the fold. That appears to be occurring most noticeably in the polls which most strongly slant Dem, which suggested she may be appealing to Reagan Dems and bringing them back to the GOP.
 

It appears that the race is tightening again...

# posted by Bart DePalma : 12:24 PM


Or not...

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Polls in five key battleground states in the race for the White House released Tuesday suggest that Sen. Barack Obama is making major gains.

 

Given the demographics of the country, the electoral college effect, and the fact that a lot of GOP members of Congress are up for election, it would seem to me (and perhaps to others interested in strategy) that a good strategy is to strive for a few percentage points of win in as large a number of states (and districts, in non-winner-take-all states) and not to strive for large percentage-point wins in states that aren't in play.

I'm not saying the Obama campaign is aiming for this, but it appears to be the direction the campaign is headed.

In that case, McCain's choice of Palin appears even more strategically (and tragically) mistaken, as he could have had Alaska for the asking. She brings almost no other advantage at this point, as her star is fading fast (so those bursts Lowry got are going to diminish in intensity. Sorry, Rich, that's the way things go.)

McCain's all negative all the time tactic now is simply playing into Obama's strategy, as it will cost McCain in battleground states.

He's done in Minnesota (negative campaigning is counterproductive in the upper midwest.)

He'll hold on to South Dakota and western Nebraska, and like places, where racism reigns supreme, but it's looking like an EC and Congressional sweep in much of the rest of the country.

Frankly, I don't see an endgame strategy McCain can employ that will make any difference. He's clearly not the ethical type to simply take his losses and go away. Perhaps the goal is to attempt to sully Obama to the point where he finds it difficult to govern -- which puts yet another lie to the idea that McCain puts country first.

I notice that Bart is still blathering about "Reagan Dems" -- give it a rest, fella, that's a non-issue since McCain abandoned Michigan and is behind in Ohio and Pennsylvania. These "Reagan Dems" you speak of so blithely were composed of people upset at the way the economy tanked in Carter's administration, and at the way they felt Carter mishandled the Iranian hostage issue. Those issues, please note in your long-term memory, no longer apply, or, if still operating, do not exactly favor the GOP candidate at this time.
 

c2h50h said...

Given the demographics of the country, the electoral college effect, and the fact that a lot of GOP members of Congress are up for election, it would seem to me (and perhaps to others interested in strategy) that a good strategy is to strive for a few percentage points of win in as large a number of states (and districts, in non-winner-take-all states) and not to strive for large percentage-point wins in states that aren't in play.

I'm not saying the Obama campaign is aiming for this, but it appears to be the direction the campaign is headed.


Both campaigns have trimmed their grander designs and are now concentrating their efforts in the usual handful of true tossup states. Obama did this after the GOP convention and McCain just pulled most of his effort from Michigan.

In that case, McCain's choice of Palin appears even more strategically (and tragically) mistaken, as he could have had Alaska for the asking. She brings almost no other advantage at this point, as her star is fading fast (so those bursts Lowry got are going to diminish in intensity. Sorry, Rich, that's the way things go.)

:::chuckle:::

Palin is easily matching or surpassing Obama's crowds in the toss up states without the benefit of Springsteen and Cuba Gooding, Jr. to help draw a crowd.

Go to youtube and search using the term "Palin speech" for an idea of "Palin power" with crowds. You will not get this from the NYT or CBS News, altough CNN and ABC are providing some coverage.

McCain's all negative all the time tactic now is simply playing into Obama's strategy, as it will cost McCain in battleground states.

Why then are the Obama people furiously spinning Obama's relationships with the terrorist Ayers, the right Reverend Wright and PLO operative and rabid anti-semite Rashid Khalidi? Indeed, the LA Times is refusing to release a video of their candidate praising Khalidi and saying that the US would be wise to adopt many of his foreign policy prescriptions.

Obama has the most radical leftist past of any credible candidate to run since Father Charles Coughlin in 1936. The Obama campaign is properly scared that their candidate's carefully crafted moderate fascade will start to fall.

I notice that Bart is still blathering about "Reagan Dems" -- give it a rest, fella, that's a non-issue since McCain abandoned Michigan and is behind in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The Reagan Dems have been the determining swing vote in every presidential election over the past generation. The only time a Dem has managed a plurality win since 1980 has been when they brought back a substantial portion of this block.

Frankly, I am delighted that you and the Obama campaign think that they can win on the same coalition of youth, minorities and rich coastal white folks which led to the election victories of McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis. Ignore the blue collar vote at your own electoral hazard.
 

Why then are the Obama people furiously spinning Obama's relationships with the terrorist Ayers, the right Reverend Wright and PLO operative and rabid anti-semite Rashid Khalidi?

They're doing nothing of the kind. The only spinning on those topics is coming from rightwingnut hacks like you.

Speaking of spinning, if Ayers is a terrorist, why isn't he in jail?
 

Frankly, I am delighted that you and the Obama campaign think that they can win on the same coalition of youth, minorities and rich coastal white folks which led to the election victories of McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis. Ignore the blue collar vote at your own electoral hazard.

It is McSame who is surrendering in Michigan, not Obama.
 

[Cook writes] "Although Republicans enjoyed a brief burst of euphoria immediately after John McCain selected Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, effectively giving the 72-year-old nominee the political equivalent of a Vitamin B12 shot, the rush has subsided."

Perhaps that is a realistic assessment.


It's a fun metaphor. But direct observation is possible here. Palin's numbers lasted about as long as the public's ignorance of her. The more America learned about Palin, the less it liked her.

But if metaphors are fun, perhaps a better one would be, the campaign came to learn that the shot it had been told was B12, was in fact saline. The burst of good feeling was merely what any credible placebo will deliver. Unfortunately what the campaign needs is strong medicine, and it may already be too late to save the patient.

We could also indulge in a little analysis: not all Repubs had a huge rush over Palin. Peggy Noonan spoke for a lot of Repubs who were shocked from day one. You passed over how many qualified women for this?

However none of this matters much at this point. She's irrelevant. She neither helps nor hurts the campaign. Net zero. McCain's on his own. And desperate, of course. This context will inform our understanding of the slime that will follow. It's not like the folks who sling it believe it.
 

bartbuster said...

BD: Why then are the Obama people furiously spinning Obama's relationships with the terrorist Ayers, the right Reverend Wright and PLO operative and rabid anti-semite Rashid Khalidi?

They're doing nothing of the kind. The only spinning on those topics is coming from rightwingnut hacks like you.


Dude, Axelrod and his operatives have all been on TV claiming that Obama did not know Ayers was a terrorist when Ayers launched Obama's career in his living room and whine that Palin is trying to change the subject when she brought up Wright.

Speaking of spinning, if Ayers is a terrorist, why isn't he in jail?

Thank the exclusionary rule. This scumbag should be in prison. The fact that a university has welcomed and tenured this terrorist is obscene.
 

Dude, Axelrod and his operatives have all been on TV claiming that Obama did not know Ayers was a terrorist when Ayers launched Obama's career in his living room and whine that Palin is trying to change the subject when she brought up Wright.

Dude, if Ayers was a terrorist, he would have been in jail. The only spinning here is coming from scum like you.

This scumbag should be in prison. The fact that a university has welcomed and tenured this terrorist is obscene.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 2:39 PM


It's not nearly as obscene as the bullshit that spews out of you on a daily basis.
 

Doubtless on express orders from the McSame campaign propaganda fuehrer, Oberst Bart has been so busy spreading the party line poison, that he has completely failed to notice the depth of the world economic crisis. At close of play in London tonight:-

1. In the UK, by 17.04 pm UK banking shares had plunged yet again on the London Stock Exchange. HBOS dropped 42%, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) fell 39%, Barclays shed 9% and Lloyds TSB was down 13%. By 19.03 the BBC reported that the Prime Minister had been in talks all day with the Governor of the Bank of England, the Chancellor and the Chairman of the Financials Services Authority.

2. It was reported by the BBC that the Government will announce crisis measures before the markets open tomorrow to include a proposal to inject capital into the banks (partial nationalisation) and new standby loan facilities which it is hoped will unblock the frozen interbank market.

3. In Iceland, where the country's 3rd largest bank, Glitnir, was nationalised last week, the country's 2nd largest bank, Landesbanki was placed into receivership today. This bank has £4.5 billion in on-line deposit accounts from UK investors - all frozen as of this evening. Iceland has applied to Russia for a 4 billion Euro standby loan facility.

4. In the USA, Peter Orsag, the head of the Congressional Budget Office, informed the House Education and Labor Committee that public and private pension funds and employees' private retirement savings accounts - like 401(k)'s - have lost some 20 percent overall since mid-2007 and that private retirement plans may have suffered slightly more because those holdings are more heavily skewed toward stocks. The estimated loss figure is US$2 trillion.

5. Also in the USA, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index slid 35 points, or 3.3 percent, to 1,021.89 at 2:08 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 305.93, or 3.1 percent, to 9,649.57 after sinking below 10,000 for the first time in four years yesterday. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 3.9 percent to 1,790.52. Eight stocks fell for each that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

6. Bloomberg reported:-

Even the 1930s are looking better for U.S. stock investors after the credit crisis wiped out more than $6 trillion from equities in the past year. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 18 percent since the start of 2000 after sinking 11 percent this month, total return data compiled by Bloomberg show. The decline would be the first for a decade in 70 years and exceeds the 8.9 percent plunge in the 1930s, following the stock market crash of 1929, data compiled by New York University's Stern School of Business show....Arthur Cashin, a member of the New York Stock Exchange for 44 years, says the speed and scope of the latest global sell-off makes the financial meltdown more dangerous and harder to contain than any previous crisis after $25 trillion of market value was wiped out worldwide. The credit crunch ``has become a financial forest fire,'' he said. ``I have never seen it happening contemporaneously all around the globe where everyone is impacted.''

With all that going on, I shall be very interested to see whether in tonight's debates Senator McCain enunciates a coherent economic strategy to tackle this crisis. For someone who has in the past acknowledged that economic policy is not his forte, that might be quite hard to do convincingly - and, needless to say, this is way out of Governor Fluff's league.

I'm betting that the US may also need to consider recapitalising the banks. Probably during a lame duck session after the election - because it won't wait till the new year.

Enjoy the debate, people.
 

Mourad:

1) Your government could learn something from Mr. Bush about taking quick action to deal with the banking mess. What is taking them so long? The EU indecision is dragging down our markets.

2) The stock market has lost the gains made since 2004. This is nothing close to Depression Era losses. Bloomberg is being deliberately misleading. The Crash occurred in 1929, so the comparison to the further 8.9% loss which occurred when the New Deal deepened the Depression in 1937 was after the markets had lost most of their value.
 

If, as Bart says, these legendary "Reagan Dems have the determining swing vote" in every presidential election since 1980, then they've elected Republicans 5 times, and a Democrat twice. I'd suggest that a more more accurate term for them would be "Clinton Republicans."

Simple honesty requires us not to twist the words to make our arguments. It is even more dishonest to twist other people's words in order to create something which we can argue against. Beyond that lies the even more dishonest tactic of guilt by association, where the words or actions of completely different people are deliberately confused for the purpose of argument.

The McCain campaign went beyond simple dishonesty a months ago and is now engaged in intellectual fraud beyond anything I've seen before this side of a get-together of Limbaugh imitators.

I don't expect to hear anything but talking points coming from either side tonight. That's the problem with this style of a pseudo-town hall "debate."
 

c2h50h said...

If, as Bart says, these legendary "Reagan Dems have the determining swing vote" in every presidential election since 1980, then they've elected Republicans 5 times, and a Democrat twice. I'd suggest that a more more accurate term for them would be "Clinton Republicans."

While I would love to welcome the Reagan Dems as full fledged Elephant voters, and I was tempted to do so after the GOP took Congress, the sad fact is that they generally self identify as Dem or Indi and often vote for Blue Dog Dems for Congress. They are a swing vote that trends GOP for President when the Dem candidate is not running as Reagan -lite as did Clinton.
 

They are a swing vote that trends GOP for President when the Dem candidate is not running as Reagan -lite as did Clinton.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 4:02 PM


Apparently this time around they'd rather vote for a Communist than a Republican. How sad for you.
 

jpk wrote:
However none of this matters much at this point. She's irrelevant.


I don't think so. I think she'll rally the fundamentalist, evangelical, and other christian religious extremists. To what extent is a good question. Still, as to how her fruit spoils so fast in the sunlight, as a group, the fundamentalists are known for voting purely on ideological grounds.
 

"Bart" DePalma:

[Arne, to "Bart"]: You falsely claimed that "he [Obama] falsely claimed that all our troops in Afghanistan were doing were air raiding villages and killing civilians."

That is precisely what this incompetent claimed. Barrack Obama stated on video:

"But we gotta get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops that we are not JUST air raiding villages and killing civilians which is causing enormous problems there."


Here's a rebuttal. He didn'tsay that was "all" the troops were doing. He said, and perfectly reasonably, that if we don't have enough troops to do stuff on the ground, we run into trouble. That's unarguable. And unremarkable.

Cheers,
 

jpk wrote: However none of this matters much at this point. She's irrelevant.

Driving home from Court today, I scanned through the AM talk radio:

On Limbaugh, a woman was calling in from Michigan wanting to see Palin.

On Hannity, a woman was calling in recounting the Palin visit in Jacksonville, Florida.

On Air America/Randi Rhodes, a woman called in worried about Palin changing the subject from Obama's economic message, although she was not quite sure what that message might be.

I get home and surf the net:

CNN fact checking Obama's lies about his relationship with Ayers in reaction to Palin's sump speech.

The loony tune View women yelling at one another about Palin.

In the Wash Post, Dana Milbank is whining that Palin does not have the good graces to concede the race to Obama like he thinks McCain has done.

Irrelevant? The governor is dominating the news cycle for both the left and the right. McCain might actually get some coverage attending tonight's debate. I wonder if he will follow Palin's lead and simply lay into Obama?
 

["Bart"]: "The idea that EU style socialism and redistribution represents anyone's economic interest is a joke."

[Arne]: "Those Europeans seem to think so; they keep voting for it, and they're not complaining. Matter of fact, they're doing pretty well."

["Bart"]: The fact that government dependents vote for those who give them other people's wealth is unsurprising. This proves only that they are dependent, not that they are economically better off than similarly situated people in a freer country.


Even if we take base assertions as true arguendo, WTF does that have to do with the price of tea in Sri Lanka ... or what I was saying?

Cheers,
 

arne langsetmo said...

Like you, the Brit pundit you linked as rebuttal hadn't even heard the Obama statement before he dutifully regurgitated the Obama campaign spin.

One would expect a Harvard graduate and former law professor to know the meaning of the term "just."

Obama damn well knew what he was saying. If he did not know it was true and said it anyway, Obama was inexcusably ignorant and reckless for supplying the enemy propaganda. If he knew it was untrue, Obama is a rank liar. In either case, he is incompetent to be CiC.

Hell, even the inexperienced Palin is smart enough not to make up derogatory attacks on the military during a war.
 

"Bart" DePalma:

Palin is easily matching or surpassing Obama's crowds....

Errr, as Hertz says, "not quite". But I will grant that the RW foamers are out in force at Palin rallies, issuing such wonderful bon mots as "Kill him!" Haven't seen such 'enthusiasm' since Kristallnacht....

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma:

Why then are the Obama people furiously spinning Obama's relationships with [...] rabid anti-semite Rashid Khalidi?

You misspelled McSame flack "Hannity" and "Andy Martin".

Then there's this.

Cheers,
 

"Bart"'s just a complete eedjit:

"Obama has the most radical leftist past of any credible candidate to run since Father Charles Coughlin in 1936."

ThisFather Coughlin? Friend of the America First crew so popular with Republicans?!?!? Not "leftist". Make that "fascist".

Cheers,
 

jpk:

We could also indulge in a little analysis: not all Repubs had a huge rush over Palin. Peggy Noonan spoke for a lot of Repubs who were shocked from day one. You passed over how many qualified women for this?

Rick Lowry is still seeing stars. That wink did it for him. ;-)

Cheers,
 

Bartbuster:

Apparently this time around they'd rather vote for a Communist than a Republican. How sad for you.

Actually, it looks like they'd rather vote for a "terrorist" and a "traitor" than a Republican. Might how the mighty have fallen....

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma:

Like you, the Brit pundit you linked as rebuttal hadn't even heard the Obama statement before he dutifully regurgitated the Obama campaign spin.

No, you moron. Like you, he quoted the language in question. Then proceeded to show how dishonest the attacks on Obama were. I repeat myself: [Obama] didn't say that was "all" the troops were doing. He said, and perfectly reasonably, that if we don't have enough troops to do stuff on the ground, we run into trouble. That's unarguable. And unremarkable.

Cheers,
 

And then there's this:

MCCAIN: In the most obscene chapter in recent American history is the conduct of the Kosovo conflict when the president of the United States refused to prepare for ground operations, refused to have air power used effectively because he wanted them flying — he had them flying at 15,000 feet where they killed innocent civilians because they were dropping bombs from such — in high altitude.

Yes, it's politically fatal to criticise the military in a time of war....

Cheers,
 

Bart writes (or doesn't):
CNN fact checking Obama's lies about his relationship with Ayers in reaction to Palin's sump speech.


You left out the Palin fact checking. She's been fact checked enough that McCain will have to work to get in sideways. What was CNN fact checking result on that, BTW?

I wonder if he will follow Palin's lead and simply lay into Obama?

s/ lay into / lie about /

Fixed that for you - no need to thank me ;-)
 

Bart:
McCain might actually get some coverage attending tonight's debate. I wonder if he will follow Palin's lead and simply lay into Obama?


Maybe, but if Obama fights back there's always the chance that McCain will react by giving Obama the names of all his advisers. So far there's no indication of whether this would occur before or after his naptime.
 

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