Pessimistic blogger feeling pessimistic about pick

posted at 3:37 pm on August 29, 2008 by Allahpundit

Ponnuru, Halperin, and Jonah Goldberg have fleshed out most of the negatives so read them first, paying particular attention to Goldberg’s point about Palin’s parochialism. The Dan Quayle narrative is already circling overhead in search of a gaffe to alight on, which is why, fairly or not, Obama’s lack of experience isn’t as damaging as hers. Whatever you think of Barry O, he’s got intelligence to spare to handle the job; a voter worried that Obama doesn’t know what he’s in for can console himself with the fact that he’ll be a quick study. That may be true of Palin too but she doesn’t have much time to show it, which is why every last mistake on the trail will be magnified to “prove” that she’s a hick who’s out of her depth. She’ll have to be letter perfect, especially in the debate with Biden, to convince independents she’s up to it. If she isn’t, I think McCain’s support in the center will collapse as people worry, as I did with Pawlenty and now with Palin herself, that we’re handing the keys to the kingdom to a totally unknown quantity who’s one 72-year-old heartbeat away from being commander-in-chief. Think she can be perfect for 67 days? Can anyone?

The good news is that everyone to the right of the nutroots will be rooting for her to do well, so personally appealing and comparatively guileless is she. That’ll buy her some leeway, as will the fact that Team Barry has to tread lightly when attacking a small-town girl in the year of PUMAs and Bittergate. But the Obama camp doesn’t have to do the attacking; the media, scrambling for a prefab storyline, will supply the clueless yokel ammunition for them. Check out CNN’s post from a few minutes ago picking up on that veep clip I just wrote about. Quote:

“As for that V.P. talk all the time,” she told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow in late July, “I tell ya, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me: What is it exactly that the V.P. does every day?”

Are McCain’s and Obama’s interviews usually transcribed phonetically like that, with “ya” in place of “you”? The meme’s already aloft, you see. I’m not sold on the idea that she’s going to attract women voters either, especially Hillary types. One of the subtler virtues of the hick meme is that even if it doesn’t convince voters she’s dumb, it might at least convince PUMAs that she’s not “our kind” of woman. The left is exceptionally good at authenticity games, and the better Palin does on the trail, the more fervently they’re going to push the idea that she’s a traitor to her gender whom no “real” feminist would ever support. My boss gets that from them 24/7. Here’s Susan Estrich, taking a tiny step in that direction by making the otherwise pedestrian point that Hillary and Palin aren’t political twins:

She paid her dues. She walked through fire. She survived. It’s hard to give that up, not only hard for her to give up the dream but also hard for the rest of us.

What does any of that have to do with Sarah Palin?

Only Her Majesty, forged in the furnace of overweening privilege, deserves real respect. That point’s metastasizing already, in fact, into an argument that picking Palin actually proves McCain’s contempt for women voters insofar as it shows he thinks they’re automatons who’ll vote on the basis of gender and nothing more. That’s pure garbage — the near-hysterical enthusiasm on the right today proves her appeal goes deeper than her sex — but I’m positively aching at the thought of our nuanced left affecting high dudgeon for the next two months over, of all things, identity politics. You turds invented this game. Don’t cry because you’re suddenly getting beat at it. When Hillary stops making “plantation” references to the GOP on MLK Day, Palin will stop pitching herself to women voters, how’s that?

So there’s the pessimism. Now the praise: Not only is this the most galvanizing pick Maverick could have made, but the thought of watching progressives tie themselves in knots over the next two months trying to square the inevitable attacks on the “bimbo” beauty queen with poor, poor Hillary’s sexist treatment by the media is worth it even if we lose. Imagine the sort of crap that’ll be airing against her on MSNBC come mid-October. I haven’t cut a check for a candidate since 2004, but I’m suddenly inspired. Here’s the link.

Update: One other thing. I don’t think Palin’s going to make the play for the center; I think she’s going to anchor the base, which is suddenly in love, so that Maverick can go be his old mavericky self with independents. Short of reversing himself on abortion, there’s not much he could do at this point to make conservatives stay home.


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He was president of the Harvard Law Review…that ain’t affirmative action.
I am no fan of Obama, but his academic credentials are for real.

right2bright on August 30, 2008 at 12:25 AM

As an attorney, I can tell you that’s false. Selection of law review personnel is highly political, and while affirmative action isn’t outwardly cited when the choices are made, I can tell you from experience that race can and does play a part.

cgoode777 on August 30, 2008 at 11:06 PM

I’m pro-abortion and I would have voted for McCain. But right now I won’t vote for a woman. Not for president. McCain is 72 years old. Will he live to his 90’s like Reagan did? Maybe. I’m not willing to take that chance.

Jaynie59 on August 30, 2008 at 2:45 PM

Wow pessimist all the way, Pro-Abortion? Or just Pro-Choice?(there is a difference)

BTW, Palin is just running for the VP, not the President and McCain could very well live well into his late 90′s his mother is 96 and she also has a twin sister.

http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/12/14/travel/escapes/14sisters.html

Chakra Hammer on August 30, 2008 at 11:12 PM

eanax:

Life is a gamble.

Terrye on August 30, 2008 at 12:37 AM

No, life is what it is. The choices one makes are the gamble…

eanax on August 31, 2008 at 12:41 AM

Having had time to study the reaction, AP has it correct

the near-hysterical enthusiasm on the right

But AP need have no pessimism

Palin has given many conservatives someone else to vote for. After a sleazy primary that was designed to divide and conquer the base by separating the base into warring factions so McCain could step past them all, the lingering dislike of opponents made every other choice an anathema.

This applies to McCain as well, because he is a famous grudge holder, and no grudge worse than a political opponent.

Meanwhile, the adoration of Palin by the right exceeds, if this is possible, the adoration of Obama by the Left.

The reaction makes me think of the Lady Di obsession. The useful part is total fan loyalty. The bad part is no criticism allowed. To this day Lady Di fans would rip apart anyone who dares find fault with the Goddess.

Minus an October surprise Palin helps McCain a lot

I don’t think they can trip up Palin in an interview because people would view her answers through the Lady Di lens. All perfection

It has been a long time since Lady Di and a longer time since Jackie. Tough break for Obama. He is not as cute

entagor on August 31, 2008 at 2:06 AM

My Palin video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quvBbcFDPI0

D0WNT0WN on August 31, 2008 at 2:38 AM

After spending all day reading up on Palin and watching videos, reading blogs, and learning more about her, I have to say I’m pretty impressed.

I still don’t think women will vote for her, but I might just get off my ass and register to vote so I can vote for McCain. It won’t matter since I live in a blue state.

If she doesn’t crash and burn on Tuesday I might just do it anyway.

Jaynie59 on August 31, 2008 at 5:34 AM

His farcical election to Editor validated everything in their worldview.

He was president, not editor. President is a popularity contest and doesn’t really do anything. The editor is chosen on merits and ability and runs the show.

peacenprosperity on August 31, 2008 at 8:27 AM

He doesn’t even know her.
That’s the thing that gets me.
And he made her VP nominee? Wow.

He knows grahm, feingold, lieberman, schumer, spector,….

What was your point?

peacenprosperity on August 31, 2008 at 8:31 AM

AP,

If Obama were really intelligent, he wouldn’t be a liberal. His intelligence is hitched to a liberal agenda which not only does not solve problems, but exacerbates them. Educating liberals is like putting a rocket motor on an oxcart.

muggedbyreality on August 31, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Having had time to study the reaction, AP has it correct

the near-hysterical enthusiasm on the right

But AP need have no pessimism

Palin has given many conservatives someone else to vote for. After a sleazy primary that was designed to divide and conquer the base by separating the base into warring factions so McCain could step past them all, the lingering dislike of opponents made every other choice an anathema.

This applies to McCain as well, because he is a famous grudge holder, and no grudge worse than a political opponent.

Meanwhile, the adoration of Palin by the right exceeds, if this is possible, the adoration of Obama by the Left.

The reaction makes me think of the Lady Di obsession. The useful part is total fan loyalty. The bad part is no criticism allowed. To this day Lady Di fans would rip apart anyone who dares find fault with the Goddess.

Minus an October surprise Palin helps McCain a lot

I don’t think they can trip up Palin in an interview because people would view her answers through the Lady Di lens. All perfection

It has been a long time since Lady Di and a longer time since Jackie. Tough break for Obama. He is not as cute

entagor on August 31, 2008 at 2:06 AM

I think you hit the nail on the head here. I myself wasn’t going to vote Republican in this election (I would have voted for the Constitution Party candidate to piss away my vote). Depending on the nature and reliability of the dirt that gets dug up on Palin, I may just vote for her. She seems intelligent and gives off an impression that she has a good head on her shoulders.

Make no mistake that if my presidential vote is cast for the Republican party, it will be for her, not McCain.

leetpriest on September 1, 2008 at 2:04 AM

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