Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Us and Them - The Palin Narrative

I'm so far behind on my blogging it's a shame, but I think it's time to weigh in on Sarah Palin. The current prevailing narrative is that "she's one of us," and because of that, independents and many white women voters are trending towards McCain. Maybe, maybe not. I am more than a bit skeptical about the polls, particularly since this election has never really been classified as anything other than a dead heat by those national polling outfits. I find that a little bit hard to believe, or maybe they're just not polling anyone I know. Or anyone who only uses a cell phone. Or anyone who... well, you get the idea, back to Sarah Palin and "us."

You know, I can relate to having and raising kids, and that sometimes they do things that you've specifically beaten into their heads not to do. That's life, as are circuitous routes through college and other such nonsense. I also understand the genuine excitement that so many women are feeling to have a female candidate at the top of a major party ticket. But my question still is who is "us?"

Honestly, I don't know. What I do know, is I don't feel like I'm included in this "us" thing. That's reason enough to give me pause because if the main reason folks are supposedly moving towards the McCain/Palin ticket is due to her being one of "us," then that implies that she's not one of "them." Which now means we have figure out who "they" are, and for some strange reason, I suspect that "they" are "us."

Confused? Yeah, well me too. According to the prevailing narrative, I can only surmise that "they" are the folks in this country who aren't white, or white women. Which leaves one to wonder about all of the white women and men who support the Obama campaign. Where do they stand? I'll let y'all try and figure that out yourselves, because I honestly don't know.

What I do know is that "they" haven't leveraged their positions to get people fired for petty, vindictive reasons. "They," by and large haven't shot a moose for no good reason or have bears hanging on their wall. "They" don't try to ban books, and definitely don't sneer condescendingly at those who make it their life's work to help empower others.

You know, looking at it like that, I guess I'm cool with not being included among "us" because really, all I need to know about Sarah Palin is that she's running on the Republican ticket. And after 8 years of their "leadership" running this country into the ground, I'll be ecstatic to pull the lever for anything with a "D" after it's name.

To me, it's as simple as that, and everything else is just background noise and distractions. Or lipstick on a pig. Or whatever. What about you?


Will Cooley Fan Club said...

Well stated. It is shocking to me that so many people have abdicated their responsibility to "love thy neighbor" in favor of a position that demonizes 1/2 the nation. This nativism is scary beyond words.

jobsanger said...

I'm proud to join you in the "they" catagory.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

she gets too much ink if u asked me
she is a distraction

Menopausal Mick said...

Palin, isn’t she just the MOST? Don’t ya wanna have a beer with her? Or invite her to your barbecue?

According to the pundits, this political acumen is a major part of what got Bush elected the first time. That’s the “fit for public consumption” explanation of the event. America wanted to have a beer with Bush. No matter his glaring lack of mental acuity. No matter that he was a dynasty son from a very wealthy and influential family. Americans became convinced that he was one of them.

Further, preachers from fundamentalist churches everywhere got motivated to preach politics from the pulpit when Bush/Rove convinced them to stand against gay marriage and abortion by voting Bush to a second term.

Palin is bringing to McCain the Bush Bamboozled Crowd. She is a powerful addition to the ticket for her ability to rouse a certain portion of the voters that McCain had zero chance of reaching.

I agree that she gets too much press attention. I wager that this will continue to be the case right up to the election. It’s all they have. They can’t win on McCain’s voting record since he sided with Bush ninety percent of the time and I think many people who voted for Bush are embarrassed that they were so fooled. I think they may see Palin as an example of what they were voting for when they voted for Bush…BUT…she has the added advantage of claiming to be fiscally responsible, which Bush never was. She is the illusion of the epitome of conservative “values”.

In a national election, a certain percentage of the voters follow straight party lines. Some estimates that I’ve read have the undecided and third party folks making up twenty percent of the remaining voters this year. These people should be Obama’s target audience. Palin is speaking directly to those of the middle by chanting, “Drill… Drill…Drill”…as if all of our problems would instantly vanish if we could drill our way back to two dollar gas.

It is a ridiculous claim for more reasons than I have room to expound here…but Dems everywhere need to debunk this as quickly as possible and in a way that is instantly comprehendible to people who have neither the time nor the inclination to research the question.

One quick way that I can think of is to develop our own easy to remember chant:

“Drill…Drill…make Exxon more profits!”.

Since American drilled oil can be sold anywhere on any market, this seems to be an obvious outcome. Drill more in America, ship more to foreign markets.


The House just passed an energy bill that allows for more domestic drilling but the Repugs are whining because it isn’t as close to the shoreline as they would like and it converts oil taxes for use in alternative energy funding but it specifically leaves OUT funding for nuclear. Much of the election will come down to this issue, IMO.

The Washington Post has an article on this … :
House Passes Bill To Expand Drilling, Fund Renewables


Angie-in-Japan said...

Thank you...thank you, DP! I was waiting for this one!!

The thought of Palin sitting anywhere inside the White House (including on the toilet) FRIGHTENS me! She may have fooled a lot of 'them' but she definitely does not fool me. For me, this isn't about's about morality and common sense. From supposedly favoring friends when it came to jobs, to 'troopergate' and refusing to answer questions relating to not being able to answer questions at all regarding policy unless they have first been scripted to perfection (this woman could possibly be our VP in less than two months and she doesn't see reason to tell us what she's thinking) not knowing what the Bush Doctrine conducting state business via a Yahoo having NO international experience at all (I have more stamps on the first page of my first passport than she has in total!!).

Pathetic...REALLY PATHETIC...I simply can't believe that America (whether White, Black, Male or female) is looking to this woman to lead our country. As if we haven't had enough secrets and lies over the past eight years. We are actually willing to turn around and put this woman who is being VERY secretive and flat-out telling whoppers in a position to become the second most influential leader in the world. What could her supporters possibly be thinking?

And to bask so openly in the fact that she is known as a 'barracuda'...(a large, predatory tropical marine fish with a slender body and large jaws and teeth) isn't THAT the perfect description of Sarah? She could learn so much from strong Japanese women who are known as 'iron butterflies'...for they look all cute, dainty (and subservient to you men in the west!!) but wield power beyond imagination. Oh well, I guess the only thing Sarah Palin knows about Japan is those designer glasses she wears...and I bet she can see us from Alaska with them, too!

What a joke...but GOD forbid we actually start laughing. Some people out there would kill to have her in office. In my very humble opinion, Palin's vicious character makes Hillary look like a goldfish in comparison...

DP said...

@Will Cooley Fan Club - Exactly, the politics of identity rears it's ugly head, again. Thanks for your visit and comment.

@Jobsanger - Welcome Aboard! I'm feeling much better about being in the "they" pool if you're in it too.

@Torrance - She is definitely a distraction, but one that a whole bunch of folks have been waiting for apparently. She's fired up the right, but it doesn't take more than a scratch below the surface to expose her flaws. And theirs.

@Mick - As usual, right on point. I might have to promote that comment to post status. I'll check out that link too. Drill now has already become the McCain campaign theme. As if that alone will solve all of the problems we have, especially in relation to energy policy. They conveniently forget that any oil produced will be put on the same open market for anyone, not just Americans, to purchase. Yeah, problem solved.

@Angie - Hey there, I was wondering what the ex-pat view of this situation was, thanks for providing one. I think both you and Mick are onto the same thing, basically Palin is Bush, just without the rich former president daddy. They both represent the same thing though - a total dumbing down of the political discourse in this country at a time when we need to be having a real conversation on the direction we're headed. At the same time those behind the scenes run ever more complicated schemes to increase their power and wealth at the expense of that same dumbed-down electorate.

Angie-in-Japan said...

Hey again DP: So many people around the world are hoping Obama becomes the next president, it blows me away. And in terms of international relations between the US and the rest of the world, that says it all. If we don't want to be alienated socially and economically, we'd better consider electing people who will be more 'internationally' sound, aware and considerate! I just got a phone call from Tokyo a few minutes ago reminding me to send in my ballot ASAP. Can't lick that stamp fast enough...

I know it's probably really difficult for my fellow Americans to hear this but we have lost MUCH standing and respect throughout the world. Most people living in the States aren't aware of this, as our media won't show you the truly negative things people around the world have to say about us (and we berate China for censoring their news!!). Right after the 9/11 bombings (which were beyond horrible, to say the least!), some people started questioning what the US had done to "instigate" the attacks. Instead of making use of this conversation to help make matters better, we shunned those with such questions as 'unpatriotic' or labeled them potential 'terrorists.' Yes, the United States has done some shameful things around the world, and yes, it will have to pay for that stench someday...and just as with slavery, some of us Americans would rather bury our heads in the sand and refuse to take responsibility for our roles regarding the spit we send out into the wind.

Honestly and very sadly, from what I can see in the news from here, we Americans are JUST starting to feel the sting the world is dishing out. In my opinion, there is much more unrest and war coming. Our government would have us all believe that our status as the last remaining superpower is not in jeopardy! Or that if everyone gives up a few more civil liberties for the sake of security, that we'll be safe...and according to the Palin/McCain ticket (no...I didn't get the name order wrong!!) - "Drill, baby...all we have to do is DRILL!" People can say all the nasty things they want about Senator Kerry but the man knew exactly what he was talking about when he was running for president and said that we need to pay more attention to our image overseas. Of course, Bush and his croonies turned that around to suggest that Kerry loved foreign interests more than his own country. But you know what, Kerry was 100% on target with that...sInce Bush has been in office, I realize that I've become more of a target for those who hate America (especially when I travel to Europe or within SE Asia)....and it makes me VERY aware of how we come across outside our own borders.

Yeah, the Bushes, Cheneys and Rices out there don't seem to realize just how difficult and dangerous it is for us Americans to travel now because they have the security that our taxes provide in tow. Maybe if they had to travel like us ordinary citizens (without the security details) they would be more diplomatic when it comes to communicating with leaders and officials around the world. Every time I see the arrogant and often ethnocentric demands we throw around the world, I wince and often end up changing travel plans. That kind of behavior does little to help promote good relations...and I TRULY resent the larger-than-life, red bulls-eye this Republican-led government has painted in the middle of my ex-pat back.

Stay blessed...and safe!

Menopausal Mick said...


I’m grateful that you allow me to post, whether that is in comments or any other venue. I’m too lazy to try and recapture the readers of my old site. We had pretty good numbers before we moved to the wilderness but it has fallen to almost zero since I quit posting. I’m too lazy to fight my way back to a decent audience level. At the same time, I feel the need to point out a few things that I can’t read anywhere else. This election is too important. I can’t find the words to convey the immensity of its outcome.

In our climate of news bites that appear and vanish at the speed of light, important items of interest to the public get lost in the sheer noise level of nonsense trivial news blurps that often have no more impact than a brief ticker line title crawling across the screen of CNN. If MSM deigns to cover important news, the stories are never the subject of follow-up research and reporting.

For instance, this week while the financial markets were in the midst of the convulsions of a major meltdown, Headline News spent much of its day covering the new OJ trial! OJ, for pete’s sake! Washington is busy bailing out the gambling habit of derivative players who have made billions by treating Wall Street like a weekend binge in Vegas and WE, the taxpayers, will pay for their excesses even though we have, in no way, participated in the benefits of their gambling addiction….and we get???… OJ.

All that is off topic… sorry. Heh

For a decent explanation of what derivatives are and how they impact the stock market (which took me a while to wrap my mind around, mind ya)… see this excellent article written by a lawyer and readable for the lay person:

It's the Derivatives, Stupid! Why Fannie, Freddie, AIG had to be Bailed Out

by Ellen Brown

On a happier note:

Angie! Great to see you here again! Sugar, I’ve been working for Senator Obama’s campaign here in Missouri and let me tell you… we have tons of work to do. You’re not going to believe this but my telephone volunteer time had me talking with prospective voters who STILL believe that Obama is a muslim! If I ask how he could possibly be a muslim when people spent so much time criticizing his CHRISTIAN pastor of the last twenty years, they really don’t want to hear logic. I had one gentleman tell me that he would NEVER vote for someone named Hussein.


The happy news is that I have older people in this same area who are totally committed to Obama. I even had one grandmother ask if someone from the campaign had a moment to talk to her grandson who desperately wants to work for Obama.

When the ten year old got on the phone, his first words were: “Obama ROCKS!”

Both the grandmother and the grandson are going to be doing volunteer work for Senator Obama. Too cool.

Anway, I love it that both Angie and DP are back in the battle. We have a lot of work to do and little time left.


Angie-in-Japan said...

Mick, I pray all is well with you and yours in regards to your new move?!? I really miss your posts...glad to see YOU back!!

I realize every vote counts. I'm from Florida and was devastated when Jeb Bush handed that election in my state to his CRAZY war-hungry-because-of-oil brother. Yes, I voted and mailed my ballot from Japan but it was probably 'conveniently' lost...(I surely wouldn't put it past those SNAKES!!). How did politics in our country get so dirty?? People really need to think seriously about how these politicians are going to affect the future. Our lives are far too important to take such a flippant stance on the issues and people involved in this particular campaign. Palin reminds me of a female version of George Bush: knock, knock...nobody home up in there! Even a British cabinet minister recognized Palin as 'horrendous.'

Keep up the wonderful work in MO. I feel blessed to have someone as dedicated as you and others in here helping to put Obama in a house that just a blink in time ago his relatives (at least on his father's side) would have had to clean. Thank GOD times have somewhat changed. Not perfect...but better!

By the way, I read a quote that made me cackle like a crazed hen this morning: "Someone please whack her over the head with a geography book...Palin is woefully under-qualified to be anywhere near the Oval Office. It kind of makes you want to go out and find a moose and put lipstick on it." (by Nancy McGuire, editor and publisher of Nome Nugget newspaper. And I thought they only harpooned wildlife up there...?!!) Not a good idea for the Republicans, in my opinion. The moose would probably have better ideas and make more sense than Palin ever could...but knowing that barracuda, she'd probably spend her energy and taxpayer money to put its head on her office wall. See ya!!

Menopausal Mick said...


Lady, we got moved to the Ozarks JUST in time. Are you getting the financial news in Japan? Holy CRAP!

I've been quietly preparing for this mess for the last couple of years but I honestly thought we'd have until the election before the economy crashed. I've been quietly trying to get family and friends ready as well. Some listened... some didn't. I was off about forty five days... dangit. I'm more ready than most but not totally ready.

This bailout will not save us. It might even make things worse as the rest of the world has lost patience with our house of cards economic policies. They will start calling in their markers.

Bush and the IDJITS lost their war of attrition recently when CHINA won the rights to Iraqi oilfields. It'd be funny if it weren't so terribly tragic and flippin' CRIMINAL.

Paulson and the Old Bankers crowd are busy raping the middle class one more time on their way out the door. They can't keep an oil based/financial derivatives based/house of mirrors economy afloat any longer.

I listened VERY carefully to Senator Obama's response to the crisis. If he'd rubber stamped Paulson's plan, I would have had to rethink my support. He "did me proud". He's calling for oversight and regulation. I hope he'll point out the futility of bailing out Wall Street when so many other areas of the economy are going to come calling for a bailout as soon as this foolish plan is implemented. We'll see as time goes by... for now, I'm relieved that once again, he's talking truth, even if he can't talk about how serious things really are without causing even more of a panic. At least he's going to fight the unregulated give away.

Honestly, I believe this meltdown will cause serious pain to the middle class no matter what the government does. It almost HAS to happen at this point. I can't see piling on 700B more onto the backs of the middle class so Wall Street fat cats can make their last big score on their way to Aruba.

These people need to be in prison.

Whew... that was a rant! heh.

Dp and his family are probably busy making storm repairs. Hopefully, he'll be back to posting soon. People are going to need a heads up on how to deal with a crashed economy in practical terms.


Angie-in-Japan said...

Hey Mick...yes, been keeping up with the news here. Let me tell you, we have lost a WHOLE LOT of respect throughout the world. I mentioned that on another website...was accused of being unpatriotic. Oh well, let's all keep our butts up in the air and head stuck in the sand.

I'm so glad this move happened for you and your family when it did. It was very wise of you to start looking into ways to sustain yourself. I am doing the same. I'm looking into buying enough land to grow food, house a few chickens, etc.

I agree that they should be locked up and we should really think about throwing away the keys. So many GREEDy people out there...thinking what's theirs is theirs and what's our is theirs too. I say let the banks fall...

Angie-in-Japan said...

This is pretty disturbing...“racist-sexist-vindictive-and-mean”/