Saturday, August 30th, 2008

From what little of Palin I know thus far, she seems to be about as good a pick from a major party as libertarians could hope for. But how McCain picked her is a bit disconcerting:

Sarah Palin pumps her fist as she is introduced to supporters at a campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio, Friday.

John McCain on Friday announced a running mate whom he met only six months ago and with whom he spoke just once on the phone about the position before offering it in person earlier this week.

McCain’s first encounter with Sarah Palin came at a Washington meeting of the National Governors Association in February, according to a campaign-provided reconstruction of how the little-known Alaska governor was thrust into the national spotlight. The two discussed the position by phone on Sunday before McCain invited Palin and her husband to Arizona to formally make the offer. McCain, joined by his wife, Cindy, did just that Thursday morning at their home near Sedona, Ariz.

By picking somebody he and most Americans barely know — an out-of-the-blue decision that sent shock waves of disbelief through the political world and still has jaws agape — McCain has taken a considerable gamble.

I don’t buy the "no experience" critique. Frankly, I’d rather have someone in the White House who hasn’t been corrupted by too much time in politics. I do wonder though, why McCain has so much confidence in Palin after spending so little time with her. It certainly can’t be her record–there’s not much to go on there, either.

They cynical (and probably correct) answer would be that pretty, female, and social conservative were all he needed. That is, his main concern was how she could help him win, not so much how well she’d do in the no-so-unlikely event that she were to become president.

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39 Responses to “Palin”

  1. #1 |  PC | 

    According to Jow Klein, Palin implemented windfall profit taxes to increase state coffers:

  2. #2 |  chance | 

    I wish we’d go back to the old system, where the loser became VP.

  3. #3 |  Edintally | 

    Interesting they chose someone with virtually no experience after making the same argument against Obama.

  4. #4 |  jwh | 

    Interesting that her critics feel her inexperience is somehow relevant, though Obama’s is, somehow, one of his strengths…….

  5. #5 |  rawdawgbuffalo | 

    not finished
    but sarah got a gun

  6. #6 |  Edintally | 


    As usual, you miss the point entirely. I am not making the argument that her experience is relevant. McCain’s campaign made experience an issue in relation to Obama. Then picked a running mate with less experience than Obama.

    If you can’t see the difference, I can’t help you.

  7. #7 |  Sam | 

    How is being a social conservative, and using the government to regulate morality, libertarian?

  8. #8 |  Mike T | 

    Interesting they chose someone with virtually no experience after making the same argument against Obama.

    Unless you count McCain’s experience as a military officer, he has no executive experience either. Obama, McCain and Biden only have experience as legislators which is a whole different ballgame from being a mayor, governor or president.

    You’re right, she doesn’t have much experience; I’d rather she had been able to finish her term as governor first. However, let’s not bullshit ourselves into thinking that she is the one with the “experience problem” here.

  9. #9 |  Mike T | 

    How is being a social conservative, and using the government to regulate morality, libertarian?

    She’s strong on gun rights, fighting pork and generally a pretty free market sort of politician. She’s certainly a lot more compatible with libertarian views than Biden, who has never met a government power short of rounding up all of the arabs, jews and blacks that he didn’t support.

  10. #10 |  KBCraig | 

    Experience? At the end of her first day as mayor of a small town, she had more experience as a government chief executive than Obama, Biden, and McCain combined.

  11. #11 |  Kris | 

    Her experience is a little bit more relevant when the one running for president has suffered 3 heart attacks and is 72 years old. Obama at the very least has experience in a large state and hasn’t racked up a 20 million dollar debt in a tiny state.

  12. #12 |  dad29 | 

    I disagree with your analysis–as does Karl Rove, who called this “a prototypical McCain-ianism.”

    Palin has gone full-bore into rooting out and prosecuting corrupt (R) party people in AK–and has been very effective.

    What McCain saw was an anti-Establishment, tough, smart, Governor.

    That red-lined his “I LIKE” meter.

    I won’t say that that, in itself, is the best reason to pick a VP; but he saw his anti-Establishment junior and went for it.

  13. #13 |  Kris | 

    Actually she is in the middle of a corruption scandal herself…

  14. #14 |  bobzbob | 

    For those of you who think Palin’s reputation (earned or not) as a corruption fighter, free-marketeer, or anything else will make her an asset to this government, I’ve got news for you: The washington insider mccain and his staff of washington insiders wouldn’t give the VP of moosejaw the time of day even if she was jesus christ in the flesh. Any practical participation in the Mccain administration will end for Palin on the first wednesday of november, win or lose.

  15. #15 |  Matt | 

    The washington insider mccain and his staff of washington insiders wouldn’t give the VP of moosejaw the time of day even if she was jesus christ in the flesh.

    Yes, exactly. Does anyone seriously think McCain is going to consult her, much less craft policy around her views (which are far from clear anyway)? I mean, great–she admits to having smoked pot way back when. But there’s a long, long ways between that and drug policy reform, especially in a party where the “war on drugs” in specific and “law and order” in general are such a crucial part of the platform. McCain’s reasons for selecting her are about as transparent as the timing of the announcement.

  16. #16 |  dad29 | 

    Umnnhhh….Kris….get the rest of the story on that “corruption scandal”

    Apparently the ex-B-I-L also tasered his kid, drove DUI in a State Patrol car, and shot a cow moose out-of-season.

    Gee–you mean Andeeee Sullivan didn’t tell you that?

  17. #17 |  Andrew Williams | 

    And now for something completely the same….

  18. #18 |  Chuchundra | 

    This whole argument that Palin has “executive experience” relevant to the presidency because she spent six years as the Mayor of Wasilla, AK is a big fucking joke. Wasilla is a tiny town with less than 8,000 people out in the middle of nowhere.

    It’s roughly equivalent to saying that running a small convenience store is a qualification to be CEO of Wal-Mart.

  19. #19 |  Lubey | 

    Palin rocks. Experience is irrelevant in this case because her positions are mostly spot on. As opposed to that book writin’, empty suited doofus ya’ll seem to be so sweet on.

  20. #20 |  Abhishek Saha | 

    “Palin seems to be about as good a pick from a major party as libertarians could hope for.”

    Color me skeptical.

    She may be a fiscal conservative, but her insistence on using the government to enforce morality, her view that creationism should be taught in public schools and her extreme pro-life views (opposing abortion even for rape) are enough to turn this libertarian away.

    Also there is censorship. According to this story, Wasilla’s library director, Mary Ellen Emmons, said that Palin asked her outright if she “could live with censorship of library books.” Palin later dismissed the conversation as a “rhetorical” exercise. I am not entirely convinced.

  21. #21 |  j.d. | 

    Palin’s lack of foreign policy understanding and experience ultimately requires neoconservative policy enforcers to step back in and run things.

    I’m suprised she didn’t say, “thanks but no thanks, there are like a dozen more qualified persons than me.” McCain’s wishes to pick Lieberman ultimately draws us a picture that Palin was picked to win an election, not run a government. His lack of foresight into the fact that if something wrong happens to him Palin is a heartbeat away from running the country with such little experience is absolutely shocking.

    One more quick thing, I was sent some information this morning that inclines me to questoin whether Trig, the baby with down syndrome, is hers, rather than one of her daughters. It was a string of picture and newspaper clips that detail what perhaps did happen. Interesting stuff. not determinative, but very dispositive. I’ll wait to see if the MSM picks this up before I forward Mr. Balko the message.

  22. #22 |  bobzbob | 

    I’m a little confused here- why does everyone keep saying Palin, who as mayor went on a spending binge that left her little town with $21 million in debt, is a fiscal conservative. Doesn’t “fiscal conservative” mean what I think it does?

  23. #23 |  Cynical In CA | 

    Arthur Silber has demonstrated that political leaders possess no abilities of intellect that the average person does not have. It is matters of judgment that are relevant to morality.

    The average person has a far keener sense of morality than a political leader, who must by definition be a person of low morality, since the enterprise they have chosen is founded on forcing individuals to surrender their independent judgment and action to a criminal organization.

    Thus, Palin, by rising so far so fast, has amply demonstrated her ability to serve the office of VP.

    I especially enjoy the concept that McCain made this decision unilaterally. Talk about having one’s head in one’s ass — every decision made at the national level is made by the ruling oligarchy to ensure that every candidate is a member of “la famiglia.”

    Trust me when I write, Palin is surely one son-of-a-bitch, as it were, and more than up to her role as mafia lieutenant.

  24. #24 |  Sam | 


    I didn’t ask anything about Biden. I asked about Palin. Arguing that Palin is better than Biden doesn’t answer my question: how does using government strength to enforce a particular morality make somebody a libertarian? Or does freedom only matter when it comes to money?

  25. #25 |  Phelps | 

    Two things: First, Klien is wrong. There was no tax on profits — there was a severance tax on drilling, which nearly every other oil producing state does as well.

    Second, bobzbob, where do you get your info on her mayoral budget? Everything I see shows that she slashed the budget 60%. She did enter a $20MM bond. Confusing the two is like saying that someone with a $200,000 mortgage and $50K in savings is in worse shape than someone barely making a $80,000 mortgage.

  26. #26 |  annemg | 

    All I can say is… creationist! Run away, run away!!!! The worst possible thing that could happen is to have a creationist anywhere NEAR the White House.

  27. #27 |  chsw | 

    VP candidates have been chosen with less contact with prospective POTUSes. However, Palin has faced down oil interests that were dragging out drilling hoping to get more concessions from the state. She is also the biggest opponent of AK senior senator (to nowhere) Stevens and has cleared out many of the more blatantly corrupt state bureaucrats and politicians. Brava!

    Now, will she pick Jindal or Cantor as her running mate in 2012?


  28. #28 |  Amor Fati | 

    “what’s the VP do anyway?”
    Palin in July ’08.

    Occurs at around the 2:50 mark.

  29. #29 |  James D | 

    annemg, at least a creationist admits their belief is a religion. Anyone who doesn’t understand that evolution is a state-sponsored religion doesn’t truly understand science. I’d prefer that neither were taught as FACT with my tax dollars.

  30. #30 |  bobzbob | 

    Palin didn’t “slash the budget” 60%. (If she did, why would she need to $20 million?). She cut property taxes 40%, but replaced them with a steep sales tax. No cuts here, just replacing one tax with another. On top of that she built a big city run ice rink and sports center (which is losing money to this day). Again, she spent a lot of money, acquired a lot of debt and didn’t cut taxes (net). How is that a fiscal conservative?

  31. #31 |  bobzbob | 

    Oh, and “on the bridge” to nowhere? Palin initially supported it, and when congress funded it she didn’t build it, but she kept the money and used it for other pork projects. You people who think she is fiscally conservative are deluded.

  32. #32 |  Cynical in CA | 

    James D,

    “Anyone who doesn’t understand that evolution is a state-sponsored religion doesn’t truly understand science.”

    I wonder if you would be willing to apply your discriminating mind to analysis of the teaching of history and civics in government schools. Do you understand that U.S. history and civics is state religion, that government schools indoctrinate their captives to the cult of the state? Do you similarly object?

    Statism = religion

  33. #33 |  Ben | 

    The Washington Post’s story this morning on Palin’s use of lobbyists to garner $26 million in earmark projects for Wasilla pretty much gives the lie to her claim to fiscal conservatism.

    Then, there is the Alaska Independence Party, to which she belonged until becoming a Republican, which argues that the statehood vote was erroneous, and that Alaska (which, as I recall, the US bought from Russia, cash money) should be its own independent entity.

    Face it: Alaska is a petrodependent welfare state (not at all unlike Saudi Arabia) which sucks federal largesse like the biggest piglet in the litter– all while portraying itself as the last frontier, full of rugged self-sufficient individualists.

    I’ve no doubt that the establishment media will keep spinning Palin’s “maverick” image, but I don’t see her as anything other than an opportunist whose ship came in unexpectedly (and prematurely).

  34. #34 |  Bad | 

    “she seems to be about as good a pick from a major party as libertarians could hope for”

    Yes, because libs just love it when people try to ban books from public libraries and then fire librarians that won’t fall in line (Palin as mayor), tax the heck out of the oil industry (Palin as gov), and spend like mad, endorse every last piece of pork on the table, and then turn around and claim to be a foe of big government because of a single year of vetoing everything that came before her in a fit of pique.

    “She is also the biggest opponent of AK senior senator (to nowhere) Stevens”

    Little odd that she would be heavily involved in running one of the 527s supporting him then, no?

    “and has cleared out many of the more blatantly corrupt state bureaucrats and politicians. Brava!”

    She cleared out one guy from a job that she hated as a way of getting out of it entirely and launching back into a campaign. By all accounts, she’s also fired tons of qualified people simply because they wouldn’t pledge loyalty, all simply to build her own political machine to simply replace the old one.

  35. #35 |  James D | 

    Cynical in CA, absolutely …. there are a lot of things that are taught in public schools that are basically ‘religion’ rather than fact. Why do you think I’m here? I don’t agree with everything libertarianism preaches, but I agree with a lot of it. Where I went to school I basically had communist teachers trying to constantly teach me their ‘version’ of history. Just like there is no such thing as an unbiased news source, there is no such thing as a truly unbiased teacher.

  36. #36 |  Cynical In CA | 

    Cool, I guess what we can agree is that the state should not be in the education business. A free market in education would allow each individual or his/her parents to decide what they would like to learn.

    Public schooling is mostly indoctrination, the reading, writing and arithmetic aside.

    Disclaimer: I subscribe to the theory of evolution as the best current explanation for how things have come to be. I subscribe to the scientific method.

  37. #37 |  James D | 

    I don’t have a problem with that, as long as it’s taught as a ‘Theory’ and not fact. But unfortunately, it is taught as fact (at least in most schools) and it’s hardly as scientific as say the Law of Gravity or many other things that have provable science behind them. Evolution really exists mainly as an alternative to ID (or creationism), not as a truly scientific study. It’s full of holes and currently unprovable (in fact, science shows the opposite of evolution … that data is almost always LOST or at best MUTATED but not EVOLVING – not getting MORE information than was originally available). As a former believer in evolution (thank you school indoctrination), that fact was a quite revolutionary to me.

  38. #38 |  Ben | 

    James, evolution by natural selection is certainly as scientific as the “law of gravity.” Gravity, like evolution by natural selection, is a scientific theory which continues to be refined, and has many unexplained “holes” or anomalies. For example, physicists have been unable to establish the basis for gravity experimentally, and have had to hypothesize the existence of a graviton, a massless particle, to explain gravity in a manner consistent with the quantum field theory.

    The essential problem with your statement is that you imply that there are scientific “facts” compared to “theories.” The very example you chose demonstrates that this is a fallacious dichotomy.

    The indoctrination you’ve received appears to be by creationists bent on denying the progress of biological science.

  39. #39 |  James D | 

    Sounds like you are making gravity out to be more complicated than it really is …. it’s actually one of the simplest Laws there is …. mass creates gravity and all mass has a gravitational pull with each other. If you and another person were floating in space, you would be pulled toward one another. But since we are on a large planet, it’s mass far outweighs anything else so we are mainly just attracted to it. If I believe in ID (or a ‘creator’) … it’s not such a hard concept … there are a lot of things that ‘just work’ aren’t there? You call my belief ‘religion’ but yet you want me to believe that there was a magic ‘Big Bang’ of ‘nothing’ into everything we have now? How is that NOT religion?

    Your last sentence is nonsense BTW … there’s plenty of real science I believe in that does NOT have anything to do with Evolution. And I support REAL/PROVABLE science. Evolution is an ‘evolving’ theory because every time someone pokes a hole in it, people just keep adding ‘millions’ or ‘billions’ of years to the timeline as some magic way to explain everything (even though there STILL are no ‘in between’ fossils to be found to account for the changes).

    Your assumption is just like that of Global Warming alarmists …. anyone who doesn’t agree with you is ‘against all science’ …. rather childish really.

    Some of the smartest scientists I’ve met are ‘in the closet’ believers in ID … because if they came out, they’d be fired. If you really are a libertarian, that should bother you.

    “Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation which is unthinkable.” Says it all ….